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The shame of poverty in NZ

Written By: - Date published: 7:11 am, June 6th, 2015 - 30 comments
Categories: class war, national, poverty - Tags: , , , , ,

A piece in The Herald yesterday outlines the shame of poverty in NZ:

NZ children suffer higher relative hardship than 20 European countries

The title is confusing. The measures of poverty discussed are absolute, not relative measures. “Relativity” enters in to it when comparing children to other age groups in the population.

Children are more likely to be in material hardship relative to the rest of the population in New Zealand than in any European country, the Ministry of Social Development says.

Worse than any country in Europe.

A ministry report prepared for the child poverty package in last month’s Budget, published online yesterday, found that 18 per cent of Kiwi children lacked at least five out of 13 items of material wellbeing in 2008, compared with only 11 per cent of the whole population and 3 per cent of the elderly aged 65-plus.

New Zealand’s ratio of child deprivation to the whole population average, with children suffering at 1.6 times the average, was higher than in any of 20 European countries for which the same data was available.

It’s good that we take care of our elderly. But it shouldn’t be at the expense of children.

The 13 measures of material wellbeing included “having a meal with meat, fish or chicken every second day”, “keeping the home adequately warm,” “having two pairs of properly fitting shoes” and “having one week’s annual holiday away from home”.

The report also looks at NZ data for a wider list of 17 items including measures of hardship such as “postponed visits to the doctor”, “put up with feeling cold to save on heating costs” and “borrowed money from family or friends more than once in the last 12 months to cover everyday living costs”.

Again children were more likely than the general population to live in households with these hardships. For example, 19 per cent of children lived in homes that borrowed to cover everyday living costs, compared with 13 per cent of the whole population.

Poverty fell under the last Labour government, leapt up with the 2008 recession. Since then there is some evidence that it has fallen again, but not to pre 2008 levels. But then there’s this, also yesterday, by Jessica Sinclair for the Child Poverty Action Group:

Child poverty figures – fix the problem, not the warning light

On 25th June the Department for Work and Pensions will release updated figures on poverty, including child poverty, for 2013-14.

These figures were delayed until after the election, meaning the last government went into a General Election with child poverty figures available only up to the end of March 2013 –  that’s before most of the austerity-driven benefit cuts had been implemented.

The delay enabled government ministers to make repeated claims that child poverty had fallen during the last parliament, a claim that is unlikely to survive the publication of the 2013-14 figures. Independent experts including the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the New Policy Institute expect the number of children in poverty to have risen, probably by around 300,000. Even more worryingly, they see this rise as part of a longer term upward trend in the number of children growing up in hardship.

Even if these projections are inaccurate, there’s no disputing that the Government’s child poverty strategy is failing – it simply isn’t going to meet the legal targets to end child poverty by 2020.

Let’s hope that the predictions of an increase in child poverty are wrong. Let’s hope that we don’t have to see any more headlines like this:

death-damp-house

30 comments on “The shame of poverty in NZ”

  1. Tracey 1

    r0b

    I am confused, can poverty be measured, or not? Bennett was adamant it couldn’t be measured when she was Minister for Social Development, yet now it seems MSD might be suggesting it can be measured?

    • miravox 1.1

      I’m sure Bennett only said NZs poverty that can’t be measured. Reasons unclear. Other similar countries measure theirs all the time.

      Although the commissioner for children disagreed with Bennett’s view. http://www.nzchildren.co.nz/introduction.php

      • vto 1.1.1

        Bennett is part of this shameful government. She is a liar and cannot be trusted.

      • Tracey 1.1.2

        See, that’s why it is so confusing. But then, THAT’s the purpose isn’t it?

        This smoke and mirrors government doing “caring by cost/benefit analysis, and compassion by actuarial assessment.

        • miravox 1.1.2.1

          Absolutely. People can get so confused it all becomes meaningless doesn’t it? I mean, if all it is is counting pairs of shoes, I know heaps of kids who are doing ok that meet the criteria.

          /sarc.

          Some days I get as heatedly angry as vto (below). Other days I’m just coldly furious that NZers can consider this situation for children in a well-off country is acceptable or even worse, is deserved.

          • Tracey 1.1.2.1.1

            ditto. especially as no one i know who cares about what is happening is calling for unaccounrable money thrown at these areas. no one wants to waste monet yet that is the constant accusation…

            27m on the flag for example…

        • Sable 1.1.2.2

          This government wouldn’t know the truth if it tap danced thought cabinet. This is disgraceful and there is worse to come. The disgusting MSM have a role in this too as enablers for these bastards.

      • Stuart Munro 1.1.3

        Bennett is right though, it can’t be measured because NZ’s poverty is infinite – being a product of her government’s intellectual poverty. I’ve grown smarter vegetables than this lot.

        I mean Bill English is still there. Hard to believe: if you had a dog that was losing $300 million a week you’d shoot it. It’d be kinder really.

    • r0b 1.2

      Poverty can be measured if you want to. The Nats have always known about the power of measurement:

      Measuring poverty

      Mr English said the valuation [of benefit costs] was an important “performance tool” and would change the behaviour of the Government by forcing it to confront the long-term issue rather than accepting it was an unavoidable cost. … “When you take a long-term model, there’s no place to hide.”

      The Nats don’t measure poverty because they don’t want to know. There are none so blind…

  2. vto 2

    John Key should be ashamed.

    It disgusts me that we have children dying because of shoddy housing. The leader of a community should FIRST ensure all members of that community have a safe warm and healthy place to sleep at night. There is nothing that should be higher in priority.

    Disgusting pigs.

    Money for dairy irrigation, money for Rio Tinto, money for Americas cup, money for Americas wars, money for casinos, money for fucking everybody except those who fucking need it.

    I am ashamed of our society, which continues to elect people like Key with those priorities. I am ashamed of the attitudes and philosophies of the people around me, in close proximity who live with these priorities and vote John Key. They too disgust me.

    New Zealand disgusts me in its current form.

    We should be hanging our heads in absolute shame

    shame
    shame
    shame

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      The leader of a community should FIRST ensure all members of that community have a safe warm and healthy place to sleep at night.

      And food on the table.

      John Key should be ashamed.

      I’m reasonably certain that he’s never felt shame in his life.

  3. Tracey 3

    Maybe NZ’s poor need to move to Queen Street for a week and love on that main street. Just to show how many there are.

    Good on the Green Party for standing up, and THIS is how a partnership of sorts with LP can work. Laour can be the appeal to the everyman BS they want (whatever the everyman is), and the Greens can be the compassion, and when/if they get enough seats together LP can say these are the compromises we will make… and they turn out to be humane ones, where the vulnerable are at centre, not on the margins.

    BUT someone has to start having the brains to take on the myths… with pithy comebacks repeated ad nauseum til they take hold, with examples from the majority of those on benefits who are not bludgers, of the hard working struggling to get by… of the unemployed who were employed when they had the children the haters are now saying they shouldn’t have had…

    and do it like National does, over and over

    • Sabine 3.1

      I have been saying for a while now that we should start up Key-Villes in our Domains and Parks.
      Let those that don’t care see what their attitude creates. Of course the Police would come and arrest us, but that too would be par for the course.

      I really really would love for a polititian of the opposition to put forth a bill for the opening of grand cricket places and rugby fields to be opened for shack living in NZ.

    • Sabine 3.2

      Phil Twyford has been very good at this. I like his questioning of Nick Smith and others. IT always makes for a good laugh and a good cry.

  4. Charles 4

    I’ll spare you the “I lived in Europe” story and cut to the chase…

    The MSD will have a hard time selling their measures of hardship to an unsympathetic majority – as if that was ever their intent. Butter wouldn’t melt…

    The article is a reversed-but-same attitude that has been prevalent in NZ culture all my life: Someone has it worse, so shut up about your problems. Now it’s become: If we set the bar high enough that the aspirant classes will laugh, we’ll shame people falling into poverty, and those trying to halt the descent, into shutting up. I mean really, how stupid do they think we are? Bricks. That’s what we need. Fast Post a brick to the Herald. During office hours.

    The argument shouldn’t ever be allowed to become “how bad can we let it get before we feel guilty about what we’ve done and try to adjust it” and those reported measures of hardship will allow that argument to re-activate, and purposely seeks that direction. Bad job. Really fucking malicious reporting on behalf of the Herald, actively malicious terms of reference from the MSD. Only bright side is at least Jessica Sinclair didn’t buy into it.

  5. Foreign Waka 5

    Yes, there are hungry children and families in poverty. The only relativity is how many at any given time – i.e. 1930, 1945, 1970, 1990 etc… The earthquake in Christchurch has worsen the situation by a staggering amount due to the absolutely unbelievable neglect of providing basics (not luxuries Mr Brownley) to families. I have been to Christchurch last month and what I saw was heartbreaking – 4 years on! The only thing that seem to have happened is the bulldozing of everything. Someone, somewhere made a fortune because this is not normal with the supposed billions spent. My first question of the day: where the heck is the money gone? Worse the Fifa, I say.
    Secondly, the policy of envy is now fully played out. To compare the children’s plight to that of elderly smacks of utter nastiness. Firstly, and lets be clear about that, most of the elderly have worked all their lives and contributed with their taxes to building this nation. Secondly, most of the elderly are just scraping by and have been brought up not complaining. Many, many and more die before they get medical treatment (how ghastly is that!) living on very little and hope to not be a burden! The pictures on TV with retirement homes filled with well to do older people are just advertisement – get it?
    And all of them are mothers and fathers of a generation that seem to be constantly pointing fingers instead of growing some guts to make a political statement and build “their” nation – articulate and vote. If it is to be equality for all- don’t wait for the elderly to do it for you (again) and don’t use the children as a shield to build an argument.
    Yes, there are many people who just have enough, and there are many who are poor. No relativity here if you cant feed, cloth and house your family.
    The current government gives into the rich “I want” list and Labor has not shown any vision what an alternative society could look like. And this is what is lacking, everybody sits back and waits for someone to invent the next gadget that will fix all. Meanwhile, NZ is becoming a peasant country.

  6. Foreign Waka 6

    Yes, there are hungry children and families in poverty. The only relativity is how many at any given time – i.e. 1930, 1945, 1970, 1990 etc… The earthquake in Christchurch has worsen the situation by a staggering amount due to the absolutely unbelievable neglect of providing basics (not luxuries Mr Brownley) to families. I have been to Christchurch last month and what I saw was heartbreaking – 4 years on! The only thing that seem to have happened is the bulldozing of everything. Someone, somewhere made a fortune because this is not normal with the supposed billions spent. My first question of the day: where the heck is the money gone? Worse the Fifa, I say.
    Secondly, the policy of envy is now fully played out. To compare the children’s plight to that of elderly smacks of utter nastiness. Firstly, and lets be clear about that, most of the elderly have worked all their lives and contributed with their taxes to building this nation. Secondly, most of the elderly are just scraping by and have been brought up not complaining. Many, many and more die before they get medical treatment (how ghastly is that!) living on very little and hope to not be a burden! The pictures on TV with retirement homes filled with well to do older people are just advertisement – get it?
    And all of them are mothers and fathers of a generation that seem to be constantly pointing fingers instead of growing some guts to make a political statement and build “their” nation – articulate and vote. If it is to be equality for all- don’t wait for the elderly to do it for you (again) and don’t use the children as a shield to build an argument.
    Yes, there are many people who just have enough, and there are many who are poor. No relativity here if you cant feed, cloth and house your family.
    The current government gives into the rich “I want” list and Labor has not shown any vision what an alternative society could look like. And this is what is lacking, everybody sits back and waits for someone to invent the next gadget that will fix all. Meanwhile, NZ is becoming a peasant country.

  7. tracey 7

    Funyy what they can always find money for

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11460627

    “Housing New Zealand paid an investment banker $1.6 million to help it sell state houses, official documents show.

    Low-profile Auckland banker Andrew Body gave advice to the Minister of Housing and secured lucrative contracts to implement the policy while also advising potential buyers of state housing stock – a dual role attacked by the Labour Party as a conflict of interest.

    Housing New Zealand (HNZ) and Mr Body say correct procedures were followed, and conflicts were declared where required.

    Mr Body was appointed in 2010 by then-Minister of Housing Phil Heatley to the housing shareholders advisory group, then later to an advisory panel to help form government policy on social housing.

    Part-way through these appointments, at the end of 2011, HNZ contracted his company, Andrew Body Ltd (ABL), to conduct work in the “asset transfer workstream”.

    Its job was to “provide advice in regard to scoping the transfer of social housing stock from HNZ” to non-government and private sector parties.”

  8. coaster 8

    sigh.

    i tried to explain that ive seem things get worse over the last 2 years( on the ground, not in fact and figures), in particular with hungry kids. the standard reply (from good people) is that its the parents fault and if start feeding kids it will make things worse.

    Not feeding the kids is making things worse, hungry kids disrupt classes, kids from poverty disrupts classes, poverty brings everyone down. The old saying the a team is only as good as its weakest link is very true, nz is a team , we need those weak links helped up so we all can do well.

    We dont need to measure something that is staring us in the face, we need to realise its there and fix it.

    • ropata 8.1

      that’s the gnat strategy. deny there’s a problem, stop measuring it, hide the figures, then do a half arsed solution when the truth gets too embarrassing.

  9. Amanda Atkinson 9

    We don’t have poverty here. Children are not starving to death. People are not living in shanty towns. I’ve just been to south America. You idiots don’t have a clue what poverty is. Now, should we wait til we get like Brazil or India or mexico before we address the issue of people falling through the cracks? No. But stop exaggerating, and more people might take it seriously. Saying we have poverty is an insult to the people of Brazil etc. Get some perspective please.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      Hi, idiot here.

      There are two components to this answer.

      One, Epidemiology informs us that universal social harm is proportional to a given country’s income inequality. Before you say it, no, that doesn’t mean the best value of the GINI coefficient is zero.

      Two, there are internationally agreed measures of poverty and some* NZ kids meet the criteria whether you like it or not.

      *one would be too many. It’s more than one. Google is your friend.

    • ropata 9.2

      you are comparing with developing countries? will you only do anything when kids die en masse? what a cruel attitude.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.3

      Children are not starving to death.

      Maybe, maybe not but they are starving and that shouldn’t happen at all. Any poverty is proof that our economic system is failing.

      But stop exaggerating, and more people might take it seriously.

      That’s just it, we’re not exaggerating. We really do have people dying due to poverty. Some of those will be older people who die because they didn’t have the heater on, some will be dying of respiratory illness caused by cold and damp houses and other issues that are a direct result of poverty.

      These things are happening in NZ today and yet you try to tell us that they’re not. You’re the one who needs perspective.

  10. ropata 10

    Smashing a few of the tiresome poverty myths we see spouted by the “do nothing” advocates: http://www.critic.co.nz/culture/article/4187/profile-new-zealand-child-poverty-101

    The simple answer is this: we can’t afford not to care. The effects of child poverty cost New Zealand around $6–8 billion a year, a cost we all bear. With good reason, it’s an election hot-topic — recent polls indicate that voters see child poverty as about the third most important political issue of 2014. If you’re planning to vote, you can’t ignore child poverty.

    Regardless of where you stand on the whole debate, the figures just don’t add up. It’s hard to argue that people could make better choices with money they don’t have. Families have to balance rent, power and food; transport, clothing and medical expenses … Where would you make the cut? Child poverty is directly attributable to income inequality and poor wages

    Children are silent victims in all of this. Children can’t debate, or vote to change their situation. And their situation is pretty dire: 83,000 children in this country go to school hungry each day.

    New Zealand currently has the one of the highest rates in the OECD of “Third World” diseases. Children in poverty suffer from recurrent chest infections, bronchiectasis, pneumonia and rheumatic fever — direct results of poor housing and overcrowding. We may not have many people living on the streets, but we do have families of 14 crowding into damp three-bedroom houses. Again, it’s the children who suffer the most: a child sharing a room with adults is far more likely to pick up infections and diseases. Our lower class carries the burden of poor mental health, high infant mortality and high hospital admissions. Since 2007, hospital admissions for poverty-related diseases have risen by 21 per cent.

  11. Mike the Savage One 11

    I have been overseas and I lived in Europe, also in Germany. What I can tell readers here is that as a tenant, despite of some increasing problems in that area also over there, you are generally treated a whole of a lot better than in NZ.

    Here in Auckland I have had 8 to 10 degrees minimum in my flat, unthought of in Europe, the supposed basked case on economic terms, if we believe the government.

    I met and lived with people who had a warm home, while outside you had snow and ice. Here in NZ you freeze even in many homes in supposedly “subtropical” Auckland. We have wet, damp and damned cold homes all over, about nearly half of NZ homes are according to developed countries’ health and building standards and statistics not fit to live in, at least in winter.

    In that and other countries they pay you welfare not just at base rates and top ups, they include basics and rent and heating, not like here, where you have to starve to afford heating your home.

    So how great is this for the “rock-star economy”, I ask?

    Add child poverty, of course comparable, as we know, but that is OECD measurement, and NZ is a country of two societies, those that cope and do ok, or even reap great profits, and those at the bottom end, freezing again, in their homes during winter now.

    As for that grandiose talk about insulating homes, it largely was only done in Housing NZ homes, and I know first hand, it is a bit of a con job too. All they did is put a few insulation pads over the roof and under the floorboards, it may improve temperatures by a few degrees, but I know many still freezing.

    And the other day I listened to the news, and one leading lawyer commented that the NZ government learnt nothing from the leaky home crisis, as now rushed building of supposedly affordable homes led to many short cuts being made.

    This country needs a revolution to sort things out nothing short of a revolution, sadly most are lulled into indifference and self interest instinct behaviour by a highly manipulative media and commercial advertising sector.

  12. Mike the Savage One 12

    What makes me really sick is another property lobby spokesperson pipe up on the news tonight, saying, he challenged all renters whether they wanted higher standards and pay more in rent for it, or not so.

    With this kind of shit going on, who needs more enemies, worse than Key and his corrupt government?

    http://www.3news.co.nz/business/property-investors-threaten-rent-increases-2010031119#axzz3cGxZFfSQ

    Extortion is the game, extortion and anti social behaviour by vested interest stake holders, shame on them.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      That story is from 2010?

      • Mike the Savage One 12.1.1

        That story keeps repeating itself, same as the legend that the poor can only be blamed for their own fate, full stop, no further questions asked. We know where i t comes from, so no surprises.

        The ones that hold the levers of power love to blame the failures on those that have no chance of getting a hand onto any lever of power. Social Darwinism of the worst kind, I fear.

      • Mike the Savage One 12.1.2

        Sorry yes a mix up, but watch The Nation tomorrow and it was there, or on one of the main news channels where a property investment spokesperson spooked the same yet again . Sorry I cannot link it right here, but it is factual, they repeat the same mantra again and again.

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    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
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    4 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
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    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    4 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
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    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
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  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
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    5 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
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    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
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    5 days 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 ...
    5 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
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    5 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
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    5 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    5 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
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    5 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
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    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    5 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Saving lives
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
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    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
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    6 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
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    7 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
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    7 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
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    7 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
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    7 days ago
  • The police and public trust
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    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
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    7 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
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    7 days ago
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    7 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
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  • Letter to a friend
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    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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  • Rāhui day 3
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  • A test of civil society.
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    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
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    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
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    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
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    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
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    1 week ago
  • We are not America
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
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  • Lock Down: Day 1
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  • A Compelling Recollection.
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  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
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  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
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  • After the Pandemic
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks 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
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
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    4 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
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    4 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
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    4 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
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    5 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
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    5 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
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    5 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    6 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    6 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    6 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
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    7 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago