web analytics

The New Silk Road

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 am, August 4th, 2016 - 45 comments
Categories: capitalism, Economy, energy, Environment, Globalisation, infrastructure, sustainability - Tags:

A quick heads up on the progress of this global multi-billion dollar infrastructure project that China is pushing ahead with. Here is one part of it:

It’s one of the great engineering achievements in history…

At 48 miles long, the Panama Canal cuts through a narrow strip of land in Central America. It links up the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, allowing ships to pass through the landmass instead of sailing around a whole continent.

Ships pay dearly to use this shortcut… up to $375,000 for a one-way toll.

It’s worth the price.

There’s only one other route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans: a 7,872-mile journey around the tip of South America. This trip can take weeks and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel.

The U.S. built the Panama Canal in the early 1900s. At a cost of $9 billion in today’s dollars, it was the most expensive construction project in U.S. history at the time.

So when other countries (including Germany and Japan) tried to build a second canal in nearby Nicaragua, the U.S. wouldn’t have it. A second canal, just 500 miles away, would dilute its value.

In 1912, the U.S. military even occupied Nicaragua to make sure there would be no Nicaraguan canal. And there never was.

But that’s all about to change…

The Chinese are preparing to build a Nicaraguan Canal. Like the Panama Canal, it will be a shortcut for ships to pass through Central America.

If all goes to plan, China will finish its canal in about 10 years.

And here’s the thing…

China’s Nicaraguan Canal is just a small piece of a much larger strategy of building strategic infrastructure to bypass U.S. control.

11EDITmap

The Telegraph of India has the above graphic to show part of the new planned “Silk Road” which already comprises the longest railway service in the world (Yiwu in China to Madrid Spain).

You’ll notice that the maritime part of the route through the narrrow Straits of Malacca is the only practical way that China can connect with India, Africa and the energy rich states of the Gulf.

During a super power confrontation a simple naval blockade of the area targetting oil tankers heading to China or Chinese exports heading west would close down China’s economy ASAP.

Which partially explains why China has been busy building strategic military installations in the middle of the South China Sea. And why the US plans to block that development every step of the way, institute a TPP which leaves China out in the cold, and is determined to remain the unopposed naval power in the area.

45 comments on “The New Silk Road”

  1. Worth reading Pepe Escobar on this if people are interested in more about the New Silk road and its role in Xi Jinping’s ‘Chinese Dream’ manifesto.

  2. Wayne 2

    The Malacca Straights are controlled by Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, and are only a few miles wide near Singapore.

    The US Navy has basing rights at Singapore naval base. But China does not.

    So I am not sure that the South China Sea issue really is about control of the maritime route, given that the choke point of the Malacca Straights is a few hundred miles to the west of the South China Sea.

    China’s reclamation’s in the South China Sea on the reefs adjacent to The Philippines are certainly huge (12 sq k), and arguably the largest civil engineering projects anywhere in the world over the last two years. But what has China really gained? Three highly vulnerable runways.

    The US has no chance of being the unopposed naval power in the region, and the US knows that. The Chinese naval build up is so large that by 2030, at least in the South China Sea, they will be able to rival the US Navy.

    What does naval parity in the region mean, given that it is highly unlikely that China and the US would get into a shooting war. They are after all both nuclear powers, and both have an interest in free passage of commerce. Unlike the USSR of the Cold War era, China is integrated into the global economy, so a new cold war is a zero sum game. In fact in a new cold war China and the US would each loose in that they would harm both their economies.

    It is noteworthy that current Chinese strategy has alienated virtually all of their neighbors in one way or another. And driven some of them (Vietnam for instance) into a much closer embrace with the US. One would think that China would re-evaluate the way they are doing things in order to improve their relations with their neighbors.

    All in all a lot of uncertainty ahead.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Appreciate your perspective on the issues involved, Wayne.

    • McFlock 2.2

      But what has China really gained? Three highly vulnerable runways.

      And support facilities for small vessels that might be used in low-level resource (fisheries/minerals) confrontations.

      For me, the biggest argument against the idea of the South China seas expansion being even in part to preserve strategic sea lane access is the fact that a blockade is an act of war. In that case there are only a few limited routes for ship access to China anyway, so having bases in the SCS isn’t exactly going to change the situation all that much.

    • dukeofurl 2.3

      Note below the new pipelines which Transit Burma , indeed go into the heart of China now as well. Malacca problem solved

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Which partially explains why China has been busy building strategic military installations in the middle of the South China Sea.

    They’re not building them in the middle but in the deep south where China has no business being. The only countries that have any claim over that territory is Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

    Is this a strategic threat to China? Possibly but life’s a bitch ain’t it.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      It would appear that the Chinese military and political leadership aren’t quite as cavalier as you about ensuring China’s long term national security interests.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        That doesn’t give them the right to encroach upon others long term national security interests.

        Because that is most definitely what they’re doing by claiming territory that is not theirs.

        • Peter Ch Ch 3.1.1.1

          Totally agree. Add Tibet (xizhang) and xinjiang (the turk islamic province) and Mongolia to that list. These provinces are ethnically, religiously, culturally and linguistically alien to han china.

          Make no mistake, China is an imperialistic empire that treats its minorities appallingly. All.its doing now is continuing what china has always done. Like the soviet union, it will end in collapse.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1

            oh look a westerner preaching about imperialism and treating minority groups of other religions, ethnicities and languages appalingly. If only you could hear yourself above the laughter of the gathered people of the world as you sip your (originally) slave sourced tea or coffee or cocoa with slave plantation sugar.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Why are you so determined to paint China as being in the right when if it was the US doing the same you would be declaiming their actions?

              • Colonial Viper

                Geeexus I’m not positioning China as being “right”. I’m positioning them as a rising superpower which is actively looking out for its strategic interests in its very own back yard.

                The US has already co-opted multiple countries in the region to put American military bases on.

                And they are currently using a massive ring of these bases from Singapore through to Japan in order to constrain China’s strategic options in a coming neocon led super power confrontation.

            • red-blooded 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Do you drink coffee or use sugar, CV?

              And how far back are we going to take the blame game, here? Is Peter (whom you assume to be a “Westerner”) personally responsible for the Crusades? For British imperialism in the 19th century and before?

              It seems from what you’re saying here, that imperialism by “Westerners” is bad, but by China is pretty much OK by you. Interesting.

              • Colonial Viper

                China learnt cold hard capitalism from its western colonial masters, red-blooded.

                No need to talk about the Crusades etc, this was in the last ~110 years, and especially in the last 25 years.

            • Peter Ch Ch 3.1.1.1.1.3

              If you feel so strongly about your infantile and ignorant beliefs, why are you using a computer? Where did the source materials for the circuit boards come from? How many people’s lives are effectively lived as slaves to enable you to post your ignorant drivel?

              • Colonial Viper

                Hi Peter, do try again, and this time if you could piece together your comment with some logic that a normal person can follow, that would be great. Thank you in advance.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2

          DTB don’t even preach about the importance of respecting a nation’s “long term security interests” right after dismissing the validity and importance of China’s long term security interests.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2.1

            China aren’t taking over the entirety of the South China sea for security purposes. They’re doing to grab all the resources there.

            And their actions are actually contributing to the loss of security because they are encroaching upon others territory.

            China is in the wrong here.

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2.1.1

              What do you care about China’s long term security interests. You clearly said above that if their interests are compromised, tough.

              And as I already said to you – the Chinese military and political leadership clearly aren’t going to be as cavalier as you about this issue.

              • Peter Ch Ch

                As per usual your ignorance of these issues is showing through. This has little to do about security and a lot to do about economics. The South Sea (only the westerners you so despise call it the South China Sea) is rich in minerals. Chinas economic growth has consistently outstripped its ability to source raw materials internally. It has little choice but to steal the resources of its neighbors if the Community Party is to survive to see a century.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Hi Peter Ch Ch

                  It is unfortunate that you choose to take such a belligerent tone in your reply.

                  Did you never take notice of the resources and land the English stole to maintain their empire?

                  • Peter Ch Ch

                    Ok cv i apologize if that came across a little strong. But really, because the English stole to build their empire is relevant how? So did the Russian empire. And isreal was founded on theft of land and the destruction of a local culture and community. Same with ottoman and so on.

                    But the topic is china and this is the 21st century. The Chinese empire has a mindset that is far worse than the British empire i would say. Just look at its very short history and how its treated even its own people. In less than 70 years there was the Great Leap Forward. 45 million dead. The Cultural Revolution. Another 20 million. Even today the Community Party has total control over the most minute aspects of peoples lives, even with compulsory forced abortions still occurr8ng in much of china.

  4. Wayne 4

    I should also add that I think the current Chinese initiatives are about staking a claim to be a key, perhaps the key stakeholder, in guaranteeing the security of the region.

    For the last 70 years the US has pretty much policed the Pacific Ocean, in that they have been the guarantor of freedom of navigation. No-one else could come close to equaling them. The US intends to maintain this position as long as possible. Hence the $13 billion on the USS Gerald Ford, the first of the new class of carriers

    However, China wants to have the same role, at least to be a co-equal with the US. Obviously China can’t do that across the wide swath of the Pacific. But in the ocean space near China (the 1000 miles from the Chinese coast) it is arguably an achievable goal.

    By 2030 China will have at least 150 advanced destroyers and frigates. They are not in the same class as the US Navy DG51’s, but there will be more of them, all able to concentrated in this one area of the world, whereas the US has to place its Navy throughout the world. Similarly China will want air parity/dominance in the same air space. By 2030 they will have 2,500 aircraft that are Su27 or better, though these aircraft are range limited, and are not in the same league as the F22 or the F35. One of the specific things the US wanted to achieve with the F35 was much greater range/combat radius than the current F16. That is why the F35 is so big. And that makes it more useful across ocean distances.

    Will China achieve the status as a co-guarantor in the 1000 miles adjacent to its coast. Probably yes, though the way they are going about it is leading their neighbors to build up their own capacity, especially Japan and Vietnam. Both these states have serious interests to protect, and they are determined that China will respect them.

    If China wants to be accepted as a co-guarantor it is going to have to take a more collaborative approach, a lesson long learnt by the US, which has not antagonized the Asian nations (the Vietnam war notwithstanding) to anything like the extent that China is currently doing.

    • One Two 4.1

      a lesson long learnt by the US, which has not antagonized the Asian nations (the Vietnam war notwithstanding) to anything like the extent that China is currently doing

      Asian nations are increasingly turning toward eachother for improved co-operation and security, simultaneously treating the rot left by the Imperialist West

      Only a small number of asian vassal states remain, and they are fighting hard to remove the imperialist parasite

      • Wayne 4.1.1

        One Two,

        You are obviously unaware that a number of Asian nations are enhancing their defence relationship with the US, including Japan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam. China being the principal reason.

        It is pretty obvious why they would do that. If you have a powerful and growing neighbor that is acting in a somewhat threatening manner, you might want to check that with another powerful nation.

        As the Vietnamese Defence Minister said to me in 2010, the Vietnam war had lasted 30 years, but conflict with China had stretched over centuries. So yes, Vietnam and many other countries in the region have a different perspective to what we have, when we view just about everything from the experience of the latter half of the twentieth century.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          It is pretty obvious why they would do that. If you have a powerful and growing neighbor that is acting in a somewhat threatening manner, you might want to check that with another powerful nation.

          Oh bullshit, with the “somewhat threatening manner” Wayne. Remind me who has who ringed with military bases? And who has moved an additional one if not two carrier groups into the region.

          Is it China which has surrounded the USA with military forces?

          Or is it America which has surrounded China with military forces?

          And given the answer to that, can you reply which country can be interpreted as behaving in a “somewhat threatening manner” in the region?

          • jcuknz 4.1.1.1.1

            Reminds me of the comment that all America [west] does is to make Russia feel threatened when Russia just wants to co-habitate. Same tomfoolery going on in another part of the world.

          • Wayne 4.1.1.1.2

            CV

            Tell that to the Vietnamese. I presume they are perfectly able to work out what is in their best interests. After all the US can hardly demand things from Vietnam, given the mutual history.

            So I suggest it is Vietnam that is making the running here. Vietnam is giving a clear signal to China, in deciding to be part of TPP and to have closer military co-operation with the US, especially in naval matters, that they want China to take a different approach.

            As I noted, it is not unreasonable that China would want to be at least a co-guarantor of maritime security. But it seems to me that China is going to have to act a differently, at least over the longer term, if they want to achieve that. I suppose an initial part of asserting that role is to show a tough stance and assert presence by reclamations and patrols. But such an approach is not sustainable over the long term. China will need to be co-operative with their neighbors to achieve their goal as co-guarantor.

            On your broader point of “ringed with military bases.”

            Ask yourself why the NATO countries thought they had to do that in the Cold War. They collectively feared the USSR in a way they didn’t fear the US. The way the USSR treated the Warsaw Pact nations was very different to the way the US conducted itself. The USSR had to regularly invade it’s neighbors (East Germany 1953, Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia 1968, the Berlin Wall, etc). No Western European country ever had any fear the US would do that.

            The East Asian and South Eastern nations have similar concerns about China, though to be fair not nearly to the same degree. China is not the USSR.

            So everyone wants good relations with China, especially in the economic sphere. They also know that China will have strong security presence in the region. China simply needs to be more respectful of their neighbors interests in asserting that presence.

            China’s actions, both in the South China Sea, and in the East Asia Sea, have not generated confidence that China is a benign influence. Hence the reason why the Asian nations are building, or rebuilding their US relationships. While the US clearly wants to retain its position as the dominant power in the Pacific, it also suits the Asian nations, from their own perspective, for the US to have a strong presence in their immediate region.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.2.1

              So, you are rationalising the USA surrounding China and Russia with new military bases, advanced weapon systems and additional carrier groups on the basis of China and Russia acting in ways that the west does not approve of.

              I ask again – how long are people going to accept the PR line that it is China and Russia who are making predominantly aggressive moves while all the US is doing is making defensive moves (moving military bases closer and closer to Russia and China).

              All you need to do is to think for 3 seconds how that looks like from the standpoint of Russia and China, and you will be able to guess the reflexivity which occurs next: a regional arms race with both Russia and China asserting ever more keenly their own security interests.

              Which is indeed what we are seeing.

              Re: the Vietnamese. I notice that they are more than happy to work with both Russia and the USA in the military and economic spheres. Expect their behaviour to continue in that regard.

              • Wayne

                CV

                You are fundamentally missing the point that it is the Asian nations that are wanting to re-engage with the US. They are doing so because they think it is in their best interests to do so. The US can’t force them to do this. But of course the US is more than receptive for the opportunity.

                However the situation in Asia is not the same as the Cold War. All Asian nations have comprehensive relations with China. But they expect China to be more respectful of their interests. And they are prepared to play the US card to make that point.

                It is worth noting that the US is a Pacific nation with sovereign territory (i.e. actually part of the US) in Hawaii, Midway, Guam, Northern Mariana’s, American Samoa and several other islands. Guam is 1,500 miles from the Chinese coast, i.e. comparable to the distance from New Zealand to Australia. So the US is not leaving anytime soon.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The more US bases pop up surrounding China, the more China is going to raise the stakes in the region.

                  That’s what a “regional arms race” means, Wayne.

                  The US is of course keen to encircle and contain China with its military power. What you euphemistically call the US being “receptive to the opportunity.”

                  And hence tensions will continue to ratchet up until mistakes are made.

                  Guam is 1,500 miles from the Chinese coast, i.e. comparable to the distance from New Zealand to Australia. So the US is not leaving anytime soon.

                  Ahem. I don’t think China is shifting away either.

                  • McFlock

                    I don’t think China is shifting away either.

                    nope, it’s shifting forwards on artificial islands. That’s one reason why China’s neighbours are looking for protection by getting closer to the US.

                  • The more US bases pop up surrounding China, the more China is going to raise the stakes in the region.

                    And the more China encroaches on its neighbours’ territory, the more those neighbours are going to look to the US for support. Turning Vietnam into a US ally is quite an achievement – maybe a policy of not pissing off every single one of your neighbours would be a better one?

                    • dukeofurl

                      China has a radar station on the end of the Coco Islands which point out in the Indian Ocean part of the Andamans.
                      Thats a long way from China ! Indeed its 500km to India !

                      “Kyaukpyu is a small port town in Myanmar and possibly Beijing’s answer to its “Malacca Dilemma.” The Chinese presence in Myanmar and the Bay of Bengal is too close for comfort for policymakers in New Delhi. However, undeterred by Indian concerns, China has continued to invest in Myanmar, resulting in two gas and oil pipelines ferrying Chinese energy imports straight from the Indian Ocean without crossing the Straits of Malacca. The first project to materialize was the gas pipeline connecting Kyaukpyu to Kunming in 2013. The pipeline enables Beijing to completely avoid using the Malacca Strait and tap directly into Myanmar’s offshore gas fields. The second project is an oil pipeline starting from Maday Island in Kyaukpyu and transiting to China’s Yunnan province. The oil pipeline entered its operational stage as recently as January 2015. This oil pipeline runs parallel to the gas pipeline, directly transferring Beijing’s oil imports from West Asia and Africa. The gas and oil pipelines help solve China’s “Malacca Dilemma,”
                      http://thediplomat.com/2015/02/the-small-islands-holding-the-key-to-the-indian-ocean/

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      One of the specific things the US wanted to achieve with the F35 was much greater range/combat radius than the current F16. That is why the F35 is so big. And that makes it more useful across ocean distances.

      Is that from Lockheed Martin’s brochure?

      The F-35 software can only accommodate a very narrow range of weapons at the moment. The plane is not ready for combat outside of optimum conditions. It has never demonstrated that it can fly even one mission a day for an extended operational period.

      So far it has typically managed to fly one mission every 5 or so days.

      The other reason that the F-35 is so big is because they needed to fit the requirements of 3 different services inside the same air frame.

  5. Dave 5

    I guess the trouble will start nicruagwa to make sure the canal is never built

  6. Sanctuary 6

    China’s variation of the Greater East Asian Prosperity Sphere is about as appealing to it’s neighbours as Japan’s original one. Anyway, that new silk road isn’t particularly impressive. China has the same problem as Russia/Germany/USSR had. The Anglo-Saxons have secure land borders, big navies, open acccess to the ocean and control key chokepoints that will keep China hemmed into the South China sea. The Chinese, like the Kaiser in the North Sea before them, can assault their jailer but they’ll remain firmly in jail.

    The new Panama canal is completely indefensible. The Munroe doctrine means any attempt to station Chinese troops there would be sufficient to spark a war, and it isn’t safe from a US inspired coup or simply US occupation on some pretence or another. If it is only being built for strategic reasons it is a huge waste of money.

    The internal land route is about as secure as a stripper in a room full of Waikato Chiefs players, and goes nowhere useful given that NATO is firmly a US ally.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Hi Sanctuary, is your analysis that the Anglo-US empire will be able to maintain its policies of exceptionalism in the coming decades of world affairs then, even though their internal unrest seems on the rise and domestic infrastructure is crumbing?

  7. Stuart Munro 7

    China’s SCS escalation includes a historical grievance with Japan. http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/12/economist-explains-1

    The maritime silk road is often linked with the Thai Kraj canal – though ground isn’t broken on it yet.

  8. dukeofurl 8

    Panama canal – average toll is US$54,000, the number mentioned was the most expensive ever , for a Cruise ship ( who pay extra based on numbers of passengers)

    As for the Nicaragua canal, too many schemes have come to nothing before as will this one.

    “But when a Chinese billionaire, Wang Jing, officially broke ground in a field outside this sleepy Pacific Coast village [Brito] about a year ago, many Nicaraguans believed that this time, finally, they would get their canal.”

    And this may be why
    “At the time of the groundbreaking in December 2014, the Chinese government said it was not involved with the project.”

    And even more questions
    “There are also concerns about the seismic activity in the area, or the many volcanos. Some analysts point to China’s poor record on environmental matters and Mr. Wang’s inexperience in building anything, let alone a $50 billion (some say $80 billion) canal carving through miles of protected areas that are home to many endangered species, including the jaguar, and legally recognized indigenous lands. The little-known Mr. Wang made his fortune in telecommunications, not in construction.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/04/world/americas/nicaragua-canal-chinese-tycoon.html

    So even less qualified to be involved with a project like this, than Trump is to be president.

  9. dukeofurl 9

    Now we can pull apart the Rail Silk Road as well, like the wings on a butterfly.

    Through trains have been operating for some time, via Russia though

    “Currently, these trains travel along one of two main routes: either going due north from China and connecting with Russia’s Trans-Siberian or going west across Kazakhstan and feeding into the Trans-Siberian at Yekaterinburg,”
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/wadeshepard/2016/01/28/why-china-europe-silk-road-rail-transport-is-growing-fast/#3c34131e7f24
    A possible third route , but not available yet is :
    Although there was also a very ambitious, though pending, third rail route outlined on the China Railways map, which stretches south from Kunming, the capital of China’s western Yunnan province, through Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey, before terminating in the heart of Europe at Hamburg”

    This is just as implausible as the figment which now shows this route through central asian republics and northern Iran and Turkey and up through the Balkans to Rotterdam

    But back to what is happening, a regular service Chengdu ( Sichuan)-Lodz ( Poland)
    http://www.gochengdu.cn/mobile/modern-trains-to-revive-ancient-silk-road-a118.html

    Which means around a 2 week train journey from western China to Eastern Europe via Yekaterinburg , Russia . Train spotters will be aware of the change of gauge from Chinese to Russian and back to European.
    But the cincher is
    “Though ocean shipping costs 25 percent less than rail transport..” and I understand armed guards are required on the trains to protect the high value containers , eg computers, phones, electronics parts.

    gee that butterfly has no wings now. No rail route through central asia, no canal through Nicaragua.

    • dukeofurl 9.1

      PS If you were going to stick to Russian Broad gauge through into Poland built in 1979 , that ends up near Katowice ( not Lodz which is an existing rail hub for Europe) but it travels through Southern Ukraine. ( Kryvbas Region for its iron ore mines)

  10. Lloyd 10

    The presence of the off-shore oil and gas fields of Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia in the South China Sea might have quite a lot to do with the Chinese expansion into the region.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The Few are on the run, again, it still won’t stop reality catching up…
    We are seeing what has been termed “a greater challenge than the crash of 2008” by a growing number of economists and more rational, sane commentators, because whilst that was a shocking exposure of the levels to which hubris had sunk, right down to the blank cheque given those who ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 hours ago
  • Speaker: Locked down in Jersey City
    I am a Kiwi living in Jersey City, New Jersey. Jersey City is the second-largest city in the state and is located directly across the Hudson River from downtown Manhattan. Locals call it New York’s sixth borough. More than 350,000 New Jersey citizens, including myself, commute to New York daily ...
    5 hours ago
  • Expanding houses
    It’s  a beautiful autumn afternoon, we need to get out of the house, and so our bubble sets off on a bike ride around our local neighbourhood, Cambridge Park. The bikes come out of the garage, and, being really certain we have a front door key, close the garage door ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 13
    . . April 7: Day 13 of living in lock-down… and unlucky for those who are superstitious. A day when there was a ray of sunshine from an otherwise bleak day of worrying signs. Today, as RNZ reported; Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield reported 54 new confirmed and probable cases ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    9 hours ago
  • A UBI in Spain
    So far, universal basic income policies, which see people given a regular income without any conditions, have been trailed only on a small scale. But now, Spain is introducing one nationwide as a response to the pandemic: Spain is to roll out a universal basic income (UBI) “as soon as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    9 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 4: Till et al (2020)
    Paul Connet, head of the anti-fluoride propaganda group, Fluoride Action Network, claims that the IQ of children bottle-fed in fluoridated areas drops by 9 points. But he misrepresented the research. There is no observable effect. For earlier articles in this series see: Part 1: Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only ...
    13 hours ago
  • The Role of Government
    The Queen’s coronavirus broadcast, with its overtones of Winston Churchill and Vera Lynn, prompted me to reflect on the tribulations my parents’ generation suffered during the Second World War – and I imagine that those parallels, given her own wartime experience, were very much in the Queen’s mind as she ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    14 hours ago
  • How to complain about MDC’s unreasonable LGOIMA charging regime
    Back in February, the Marlborough District Council increased the mount it charges for LGOIMA requests. I used the LGOIMA to poke into this, and it seems the case for increased charges is unjustified: the supposed increase in request volumes it rests on is an artefact of the Council suddenly deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . 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
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    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
    5 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
    6 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
    7 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
    8 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
    9 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
    11 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
    17 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
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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
    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
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago