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The unexpected oil crisis

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, January 16th, 2016 - 186 comments
Categories: China, climate change, economy, Economy, energy, Globalisation, International, iraq, Syria - Tags:

Opec cheap oil

In a scenario put out late last year by the International Energy Agency, the price of oil might not again reach up to the US$50 to $60 range until the 2020s. Maybe won’t get back to US$85 until 2040. Right now it’s selling at $33 per barrel. This scenario would have a few big consequences.

As noted in Salon, the countries who own major oil companies and would forego that massive income will hurt. Think of what that low price may put at risk: Venezuela’s social programmes, Nigeria’s stability such as it is, Iraq’s postwar recovery, Iran’s post-sanctions recovery, etc. Maybe Russia and Saudi Arabia have enough cash saved not to worry about their state expenditures, and to keep their international engagement strong. Still, it’s not just BP and Shell that’s hurting.

This impact, as New Zealand and Alaska have already seen, also falls upon regions who need fresh investment and good jobs. They too have expected that major explorers would keep investing locally. East Timor, Tasmania, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Falklands, even New Plymouth and Dunedin. Many such peripheral and developing economies will feel the hurt as oil exploration largely ceases.

The politics of this will be that all but a few oil-producing countries will become less politically influential. Countries like Denmark, Spain, US and China who have great oil-substitution industries will rise.

This also matters for whole sharemarkets. Listed oil stocks don’t start looking so good. Schadenfreude, until we remember that a whole bunch of many public and private superannuation funds are at stake. Including ours.

Perhaps the longer term net outcome is that the world has just bought itself more time to make the adjustments towards a less oil-reliant future. Maybe, for now, it’s both a good and a bad thing; but if it’s continuing, it’s a massive thing.

This may not play out. Maybe Saudi Arabia and Iran will go to war. Maybe China will boom again and revert to buying gas-inefficient cars. Maybe ISIS starts winning again. None of these are more likely than the current trend.

We appear to be in a low oil price track for the medium term, and that has major consequences.

186 comments on “The unexpected oil crisis”

  1. There is nothing unexpected about this. Not unless you’ve been living under a rock since 9/11. The utter destruction of the US economy by outsourcing all the jobs to third world countries, the collapse of China’s fake bubbles, the collapse of the Baltic dry index, the illegal wars of aggression against Muslim countries and the money printing to keep the banking Ponsi scheme going were all indicative of an unsustainable global economy based on fraudulent fiat currencies. That is collapsing now and if people can’t afford oil the market for that collapses too!

    • Paul 1.1

      A website worth following on this
      http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      Correct. People need to recognise that the oil price is low because demand is flat as a consequence of economic stagnation.

      Even super low oil prices aren’t enough to stimulate poor people to spend more or for corporations to take on more staff, that’s how shit the real world economic situation is.

      Our financial system has also created the perversity of lower prices forcing production UP. Because highly indebted shale plays need to pump even more to try and cover their cashflow requirements.

      One other thing of note: even despite demand being flat and US shale output maxxing out…surplus production is only sitting at about 1.5M bb/day out of a total global consumption of 90+M bb/day.

      Anyone can see that a small production surplus like that can disappear overnight and all of a sudden oil will be back up at $100bb.

      And it is the volatility and unpredictability of this oil price which will destroy entire economies.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      I was going to agree with you until “fraudulent fiat currencies” which is, quite simply, a load crock. All currencies are fiat including the Gold Standard.

      The problem with the present financial system is that the private banks create the money, charge interest on it and they can do it without limit.

      We must move to a sovereign monetary system where the government creates the money, spends it into the economy and then taxes it back out of existence.

      • travellerev 1.3.1

        Hence the words Ponsi scheme and FRAUDULENT fiat currencies!

        • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1

          The present system is a Ponzi scheme and thus fraudulent but that doesn’t make fiat currencies fraudulent. It’s the private creation of money that makes the present system fraudulent and that includes BitCoin and other digital currencies.

          • travellerev 1.3.1.1.1

            Bitcoin is of an entirely different nature. Fiat currencies by their nature are fragile and prone to fraud. It can work but requires dedication and honesty and they generally don’t last long. But hey shells have been used with great success as money too!

            • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Bitcoin is of an entirely different nature.

              No it’s not.

              It’s effectively a Gold Standard and, as such, won’t work. It is also a fiat currency as people have asserted that it has value (value by fiat). And it’s also created, ex nihilo, by private interests.

              All the same problems that our present system has.

              To make it worse, if it’s accepted as a currency then every other such currency needs to be accepted which opens the gate for an infinite number of currencies created by an infinite number of people none of which are connected to the actual physical economy. Essentially what happen prior to 1694 (IIRC) and brought about the British law which stopped banks creating their own currency.

              The only currency that works is a fiat currency created by the government of the nation that it spends into the nations economy and then is taxed back out. A fiat currency that utilises the nations own wealth.

              • Democrats for social credit are still around. I agree with you on the fiat currency thing being created by us the people. But for that you have to get rid of the current elite. Especially the money trader we call Prime Minister and his ilk!

      • Jones 1.3.2

        The private banks creating the money through fractional reserve lending is the fraudulent part.

  2. savenz 2

    Personally feel it is a good thing.

    Lets leave the oil in the ground.

    Not make needless wars and refugees in the middle east.

    More jobs now are produced by solar. Economies need to move with the times.

    More deaths and wars and economic hardship are going to be caused by global warming and neoliberalism polices that put money and power above common sense than running out of oil.

    Now jobs should be put into innovation to solve current problems, not to exactebate existing ones.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      The oil will not be left in the ground.

      The more the price falls, the more the producers need to pump in order to pay their bills.

      That’s the perverse economic system we have created.

      • savenz 2.1.1

        That would be the neoliberalism that is part of the problem. Next thing will be corporate welfare to prop up the companies (because the banks don’t want to lose money or sue governments for unrealised profits under TPPA type agreements.

        • acrophobic 2.1.1.1

          It’s got noting to do with neo-liberalism, it’s the basic economics of supply and demand. Demand for oil has plummeted. In the past in response to supply exceeding demand, oil producers have slowed down supply until prices firm. The last time this happened, those who took this course lost market share, and so this time they are pumping away as usual.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.1.1

            noting [sic] to do with neo-liberalism, it’s the basic economics of supply and demand.

            The notion that neoliberalism might have something to do with the collapse in demand has not crossed the poor thing’s “mind”.

            • acrophobic 2.1.1.1.1.1

              There are a number of reasons for the fall in oil demand.

              http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/planetpolicy/posts/2014/10/17-world-oil-demand-ebinger lists the following:

              1. Slowing global economic growth;
              2. Increasing energy efficiency, a response to three years of oil prices in excess of $110 per barrel, which, in turn, had an impact and continues to impact long-term global demand;
              3. Surging natural gas liquids and hydrocarbon gas liquids production outside the OPEC quota system;
              4. Natural gas eating away oil’s market share as a refining fuel and as a feedstock in petrochemicals;
              5. The decision by Japan to restart some of its nuclear reactors, reducing forward demand for fuel oil in the power sector;

              Economic slowdown happens in all kinds of economies. To blame neo-liberalism is a weak oversimplification.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                …unless for example, we note that the OECD and World Bank have recently pointed out how much it slows economic growth. I expect they’re probably communists and scroungers.

                Edit: I note that “it’s got nothing to do with it” has been abandoned and now the claim is it’s a “weak oversimplification”. Do you actually pause to think about the shite you let dribble down your chin or is your main goal just to get it out?

                • acrophobic

                  No, I said your reasoning for blaming it was weak over simplification.

                  “…we note that the OECD and World Bank have recently pointed out how much it slows economic growth. ”

                  You mean they blamed ‘neo-liberalism’? Really? I’d be interested to know if there’s even a single country where such a system exists. We certainly don’t have neo-liberalism in NZ.

                  Perhaps you want to start blaming socialism. After all it appears to have crippled just abot every nation that has tried it, the latest being Venezuela http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3401559/Venezuelas-president-declares-economic-emergency.html.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    You seem to be forgetting that I didn’t “blame” it (though I expect it played a role: cf: Greenspan’s humiliating admission to Congress for an example of how useless it it is). I’m just pointing out that a five-year old could drive a truck through your “argument”.

                    • acrophobic

                      You related neoliberalism to the collapse in oil prices. You may as well relate the price fall to the tooth fairy, for all the evidence you have.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      @acrophobic

                      The evidence is there staring you in the face but, like all RWNJs, you ignore it as it doesn’t fit your preconceived notions.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    the evidence you have.

                    Did you fail to grasp the significance of Greenspan’s confession? Of course you did: your entire worldview relies on your failure.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    The confession about his “shocked disbelief”. Are you really so ignorant of the recent history of your faith?

                    Confirmation bias much?

                    • acrophobic

                      Greenspan didn’t say anything like you claimed (“Greenspan’s humiliating admission to Congress for an example of how useless it it is”).

                      Greenspan said he was ‘partially wrong’ (http://www.theguardian.com/business/2008/oct/24/economics-creditcrunch-federal-reserve-greenspan). He In fact he spelled out exactly what is mistake WAS “”I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organisations, specifically banks and others, were such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms,””.

                      Capitalism lives on, as healthy as ever.

                  • reason

                    http://www.actofkilling.com/

                    In 1965 the Indonesian government was overthrown by the military

                    Anybody opposed to the military dictatorship could be accused of being a communist: union members, landless farmers, intellectuals and ethnic chineese…..

                    In less than a year and with the direct aid of western governments over one million ‘communists’ were murdered……

                    “declassified documents[5] indicate that the United States “provided economic, technical and military aid to the army soon after the killings started. It continued to do so long after it was clear a ‘widespread slaughter’ was taking place in Northern Sumatra and other places, and in the expectation that US assistance would contribute to this end.”

                    Venezuela has been very lucky with the ‘soft’ touch of the u.s.a, so far ,…… Instead of outright death squads its been more a case of “make the economy scream” https://startpage.com/do/metasearch.pl

                    It’s still a very cruel policy ……

                    • acrophobic

                      I’m not sure what point you’re making. We’re talking economic systems, not political regimes.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Too funny. Shill pretends Economics is not a political shit-fight 😆

              • Draco T Bastard

                Economic slowdown happens in all kinds of economies. To blame neo-liberalism is a weak oversimplification.

                Supply and demand are the basic fundamentals of neo-liberalism.

                • acrophobic

                  No. Supply and demand are basic fundamentals of any free market system, including our own here in NZ. Socialism failed, Draco, and continues to.

                  • ropata

                    Have you tried reading the news? You might have heard of a GFC and all sorts of banks and markets collapsing due to capitalists running amok

                    • acrophobic

                      …yet capitalism carries on. Yes, the free market has it’s blips, but ultimately the systems self corrects and continues. Unlike the soviet experience eh.

                    • ropata

                      because when the “blips” happen either a) everyone goes broke and leaves whatever market just failed, or b) governments intervene and regulate bad behaviour

                    • Tautuhi

                      Banks win when the market goes up and many are winners when the markets collapse!!! As they pick up the carcasses at bargain basement prices.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      …yet capitalism carries on. Yes, the free market has it’s blips, but ultimately the systems self corrects and continues. Unlike the soviet experience eh.

                      LOL Russia has self corrected and continued.

                      As Orlov has observed, the USA is well en route to a similar kind of collapse, but is far less prepared for it than the people of the former Soviet Union were.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Throughout recorded history the only system that failed is the capitalist type systems. It’s destroyed societies and empires after socialism type systems built them up.

                    NZ is a good example of this. Socialism built up our infrastructure and equitable social structure and then, from the 1970s, capitalism has destroyed it.

                    • acrophobic

                      Draco, NZ has never been socialist. It was, for a time, propped up by mother England, but that’s all. Socialism destroyed Soviet Russia. It destroyed Greece. And it is destroying Venezuela.

                      https://mises.org/library/greece-illustrates-150-years-socialist-failure-europe
                      http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2014/02/25/5-ways-socialism-destroys-societies-n1800086/page/full

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Really, read history, look at the structures of the societies that have collapsed rather than the names. Once you do that then the obvious conclusion is that hierarchy and the rich are the problem.

                      In other words, capitalism is the problem. Capitalism destroys.

                    • acrophobic

                      “Once you do that then the obvious conclusion is that hierarchy and the rich are the problem.”

                      The rich in Soviet Russia stood by why he population starved. There is rich and poor in every economic system.

                      “In other words, capitalism is the problem. Capitalism destroys.”

                      No, capitalism empowers. Capitalism meets the needs of the population by responding to the market, not state fiat.

                      “…look at the structures of the societies that have collapsed rather than the names.”

                      This discussion is about economic systems, not societies. Socialism is a failed system (think Soviet Russia, Greece, Puerto Rico and now Venezuela). Capitalism has had no such failures.

                    • joe90

                      Capitalism has had no such failures.

                      banking crisis in the 14th century, tulip mania, the panics of 1776, 1819 and 1857 etc etc, no, never happened//

                      ((but if they did – it was the left running out of other peoples money))

                    • acrophobic

                      “banking crisis in the 14th century, tulip mania, the panics of 1776, 1819 and 1857 etc etc, no, never happened//”

                      Which economies did these collapse? With TulipMania, for example, the Dutch still have a market based economy today.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The rich in Soviet Russia stood by why he population starved.

                      Same as the rich are standing by while our own population starve. In fact, the rich are even blaming the starving for the results of the actions of the rich.

                      Capitalism meets the needs of the population by responding to the market

                      No it doesn’t else we wouldn’t have poverty.

                      This discussion is about economic systems, not societies.

                      The economic system is a subset of the society. If it fails then the society fails.

                      Capitalism has had no such failures.

                      As I said, read history and open your eyes. Capitalism has always failed and will continue to do so.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Which economies did these collapse? With TulipMania, for example, the Dutch still have a market based economy today.

                      Yeah like the Great Depression: the suffering, chaos and disaster it brought upon millions of American families doesn’t even register with people like you.

                      The bankster elite keep comfortably cruising along above all the carcasses.

                    • joe90

                      Which economies did these collapse?

                      Of course, economies don’t collapse, they have crises!.

                    • Paul

                      Do you know no history?

                  • Macro

                    Firstly – there is no such thing as a free market.
                    The TPPA, for instance, requires 6000 pages of regulations! Hardly “Free”.
                    and
                    Secondly – Says “Law” has about as much validity as a John Key promise.
                    Neo classical economic theory is just bunkum – a whole edifice of words with little connection to reality – piss and wind signifying nothing.

                    • acrophobic

                      “Firstly – there is no such thing as a free market.”

                      True, I’m using the phrase carelessly. Most modern economies are ‘mixed markets’, with varying degrees of market economics and state regulation.

                      “Neo classical economic theory is just bunkum…”

                      True, again. In reality it doesn’t exist except in a text book. That’s why I find it strange that the left think it is brining down the price of oil!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Transnational corporations hate truly free markets and hate truly competitive environments.

                      What they want is a playing field completely slanted towards them: where they have unbeatable power to set pricing and to define the rules and regulations as it suits them and their shareholders.

                    • Macro

                      @ Draco – thanks for that quote – so very true.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Capitalism meets the needs of the population by responding to the market, not state fiat.

                    1. Mixed markets do it better than Capitalism does, as you’ve already acknowledged.

                    2. What Chomsky said: “Capitalism? Show me some!”

                    3. What Piketty said.

                    4. In New Zealand, on Earth, today, far from “meeting the needs of the population”, market failure is blighting lives and killing children, and it’s getting worse, while you argue whether the Emperor has any shiny clothes left. That’s pretty shabby.

                    • acrophobic

                      1. A mixed market is a form of capitalism.
                      2. I agree with Chomsky. It’s like neoliberalism…it’s a theory that doesn’t actually exist in reality.
                      3. ??
                      4. Market failure is not doing any of those things. Poor choices. Inadequate education. Substance abuse. Laziness. Bad luck. Yep.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Pretending it’s a consequence of “poor choices”, substance abuse” or “laziness” makes you come across like a self-aggrandising tosser, not to mention pathetically delusional. Not to mention so lazy your amygdala does all your “thinking”. You do realise that, eh?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    “Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder’s equity—myself especially—are in a state of shocked disbelief.”

                    Yeah, he sounds really just ‘partially’ wrong aye. Deregulation, neo-liberalism’s sacred cow, relies on that theoretical “self-interest” he genuflects to.

                    Will your amygdala let you think about this concept?

                    • acrophobic

                      He’s not talking about deregulation per se. He’s talking about how self interest informs the decisions made by lending institutions. You’re not even close.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Ah hahahahahahahahahahahahaha I know that’s what he’s genuflecting to, dunce.

                      I missed the part where he substantiated a single one of his deeply held Objectivist notions on the subject of the thought patterns of employees of lending institutions, or indeed, any humans whatsoever.

                      Randist fuckwits don’t pass go.

                    • acrophobic

                      “I missed the part where he substantiated a single one of his deeply held Objectivist notions on the subject of the thought patterns of employees of lending institutions.”

                      No, you misrepresented what he said, thinking you’d get away with it. You were drawing a very long bow quoting a single individual on an entire economic system anyway. Misquoting him just made you look like an idiot.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yes! Because unsubstantiated notions of “self-interest” inform no Economic discussion whatsoever. No sirree.

                      You are the fish in the barrel.

                      Edit: I am somehow forcibly reminded of the way a history teacher had to rub the entire Treasury Department’s faces in the fact that raising the minimum wage doesn’t cause unemployment. Humiliation for the greater good 😆

                    • acrophobic

                      “Because unsubstantiated notions of “self-interest” inform no Economic discussion whatsoever. No sirree.”

                      Well they obviously informed Greenspans views. But that was all he was talking about. You implied it was something more.

                      “Edit: I am somehow forcibly reminded of the way a history teacher had to rub the entire Treasury Department’s faces in the fact that raising the minimum wage doesn’t cause unemployment. Humiliation for the greater good ”

                      I’m not sure how that could be true. It would, after all, depend on the frequency and size of increase. There is widely varying opinion on the impacts of changes to the minimum wage, including between academics. My view is small (around the rate of inflation) and frequent (annually) increases in the minimum wage are positive for the economy.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I’m not sure how that could be true.

                      So what? The only “evidence” you can offer is opinion. The history teacher rubbed Treasury’s face in stuff that actually happened.

                • greywarshark

                  acrophobic
                  Dedicated to raising the number of comments and hits for TS to that of the RW blogs’ dubious stats. Thanks acro, helping TS to become the leading blog in NZ.

                  • acrophobic

                    You’re welcome. I enjoy it here, I really do. There is more freedom of expression than at TDB (which is like expressing an opinion in a Gulag), and a far broader range of opinion that on WO. I don’t mind boosting the rankings.

      • Macro 2.1.2

        And the Middle Eastern OPEC countries are pumping as hard as they can – flooding the world with oil.
        http://www.reuters.com/article/us-oil-ships-delays-idUSKCN0T21E220151113

    • +100

      Totally concur, the sun blasts us with free energy daily. Free. Money makers want anything but.

      Time to move with technology.

      Was looking at the neighbours she just put up solar, 7k it cost her. It’s getting extremely cheap and should be heavily promoted. So should cars to electric soon as that is done. innovation, and R&D credits heavily we could lead with out no 8 wire mentality.

      I honestly see it as a way to make us great again just wish there was more behind it than the greens to be honest. All parties should be heavily embracing it to get a head start on businesses and manufacturing of the future.

      • BM 2.2.1

        7k to run a two bar heater.
        What a waste of money and the 7k doesn’t even include battery storage.

        https://solar.genesisenergy.co.nz/

        • Richardrawshark 2.2.1.1

          It does not include the battery storage, she didn’t buy from genesis, solar something website, powers her whole house, not sure her capacity and may have been 9k or 7k but was not over 10k from the conversation I had with her a little while ago.
          Still she has a massive double row of big panes on her garage and she’s very happy with it.
          Runs her pc’s, cooking, tv and anything else she wants and even during cloudy days.

          Solar panels have come along way in the last few years.

  3. BM 3

    Good thing National has invested heavily in roads.
    All that talk about horse and cart and sailing ships, lol.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Yip, that will help us meet our new obligations under COP21

      • Steve Withers 3.1.1

        They’ll just buy more fraudulent Ukrainian carbon credits.

      • BM 3.1.2

        Cars produce far less pollution if they’re not stuck in traffic, idling.

        • maui 3.1.2.1

          lol, Auckland has been saved from gridlock by National…

            • Naturesong 3.1.2.1.1.1

              As far as I can tell planning for the CRL was first mooted in 1920 so it’s around 95 late.

              The last concerted effort to get the rail system working properly was in 1970, Muldoon’s National govt was responsible for gutting that project.

              But if you’re talking about this specific National government, they are being forced to only start it 18 months later than ARTA/ARC/ACC had planned, which is 2 years earlier than National said they would.

              And critical rail links to the airport and north shore are still years away.

              • Draco T Bastard

                +1

                National has been standing in the way and thus preventing us from developing our economy.

              • millsy

                “As far as I can tell planning for the CRL was first mooted in 1920 so it’s around 95 late.”

                That hard-left Marxist greenie, Gordon Coates, rail minister in the 1920’s was a big support of it as well.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Yep, back when the politicians could see the advantages places like London and Manhattan were getting from having a subway.

                  Now all they see is the profit that the oil companies get from having so many cars on the road. They ignore the damage that cars do to the environment and society.

            • maui 3.1.2.1.1.2

              In that article they say rail patronage has increased by over 700% in the last 10 years. I read another article that says Auckland car traffic has decreased over atleast part of that timeframe. Given those numbers its insane that roading gets the majority of transport funding.

            • Macro 3.1.2.1.1.3

              Yeah the fat lazy bastards who warm the treasury benches were shamed into doing something for a change by the ACC.

        • Naturesong 3.1.2.2

          Thats true.

          Unfortunately all those new motorways will Induce demand.

          So more, not fewer, idling cars.

        • Lanthanide 3.1.2.3

          Busses and trains also produce less pollution, and need fewer motorways as well.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.5

          Cars produce even less pollution if they simply don’t exist.

          • Stuart Munro 3.1.2.5.1

            Cars have been an article of faith for western economies, with perhaps a third of manufacturing relating to internal combustion or its support, and it was for a time the proven path to development followed by all industrialised nations.

            We do not have politicians capable of responding to the long term problem of finite oil, or the long term trade imbalance NZ suffers by importing it.

            I expect a competent government to understand this kind of thing, but the Gnats of course are operating at a much lower level, simply stealing public resources, hooting, and flinging excrement about. They should all be in prison.

            • Pat 3.1.2.5.1.1

              that is indeed the most important video everyone should watch….. it should be compulsory viewing ….particularly in parliament.

            • Pat 3.1.2.5.1.2

              in fact this should now be the default response to all statements posited here …..and everywhere else for that matter

    • maui 3.2

      The fact the price is going through large swings and isn’t very stable should be concerning. Oil companies going bust doesn’t really help happy motoring.

    • Colonial Viper 3.3

      Good thing National has invested heavily in roads.
      All that talk about horse and cart and sailing ships, lol.

      throughout the western world road passenger kilometres are stagnant or falling.

      Build all the roads you want, personal motor vehicle transport is gradually going away.

      • BM 3.3.1

        This must be quite tough on you CV, you’ve been banging the PO doomer drum for a long time.

        How’s your faith, still strong or are a few doubts creeping in?

        • Colonial Viper 3.3.1.1

          I find it odd that you think that a low price is anything more than a temporary (manipulated) market situation or that it somehow creates new physical, accessible reserves of oil.

          I’ll put it another way – oil prices have collapsed by 2/3 but oil consumption by economies around the world isn’t increasing. What does that tell you about the state of those economies.

          I’ll put it yet another way – this is all part of economies failing to cope with post-peak oil.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.2

          Peak Oil is a physical thing and it happened, according to the IEA, back in 2006. Nothing has happened to have changed that.

          In fact, the only thing to have happened that has extended the use of oil is the ongoing collapse of the global economy.

        • Naturesong 3.3.1.3

          I don’t mind the motorway spending as much as the timing.

          The need for cycling infrastructure of this magnatude is still a few years away.

          • BM 3.3.1.3.1

            The problem with cycle ways is how do you pay for them and maintain them.

            Do you think cyclist should pay a yearly registration to help fund cycles ways?

            • RedLogix 3.3.1.3.1.1

              Most are already taxpayers. Funding cycleways from general taxation is far more efficient than dreaming up administratively complex user pays schemes.

              • BM

                So are people who drive cars.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  And the roads used to be aid for via general taxation (both local and national). Probably most of the roads in existence were actually paid for that way.

                • RedLogix

                  The core problem with all user pay type schemes is they create market incentives to avoid them. Over time the income from them declines while most of your fixed costs remain.

                  Fuel taxes have long been considered a reasonable proxy for road usage, and while far from perfect, the administration of this tax is simple and reasonably efficient.

                  Of course you may want to consider what the advent of more electric vehicles on our roads may imply, how you might want to go about taxing them in an efficient manner. I suspect you’d finish up with something like the current road miles tax imposed on light diesel vehicles, and that’s not an especially well-liked model at all.

                  Bicycles … and their increasingly popular electric variants … are even more problematic. At some point it just gets simpler to cut the losses with user pays and just do it out of general taxation.

            • millsy 3.3.1.3.1.2

              That would be a administrative nightmare.

            • Naturesong 3.3.1.3.1.3

              Possibly, but that is beside the point. cycle infrastructure should be part of an integrated transport system.

              There are a couple of things to consider;
              Cyclists already contribute to the cost of roads/cycleways through rates, GST, income tax, driver licensing and vehicle registration. Most adult cyclists currently have cars, and that is likely to continue until the our transit system is mature enough that cars are no longer a necessity for most people.

              Every bike on the road is one less car (reduced congestion, less pollution et al.). Given measureable economic positives that cycling brings to health and reduction of congestion, why would you want to create additional barriers to people cycling?

              Then there is the relative cost of cycle infrastructure, which is negligable if it is planned and designed as part of the transit infrastucture.
              Unfortunately, because we voted in folks for teh last 50 years that had no fucking idea what they were doing, or simply didnt care, adding this critical infrastructure now is more expensive.

              Here’s a cheat sheet for roading costs in NZ
              http://www.gw.govt.nz/assets/Transport/Regional-transport/Pics/NewFolder/Road-funding-in-NZ-final.pdf

            • b waghorn 3.3.1.3.1.4

              “”Do you think cyclist should pay a yearly registration to help fund cycles ways?””
              It would be simplified by a one of levy at point of purchase. Maybe some acc as well.

              • Ad

                Attribution of tax back to those making the impact is about as good as its going to get. Wear and tear from cycling is stuff all and so needs little opex.

                Cycling capex is usually absorbed as 2-5% of a road in project already in planning.

                Current gov’t have also set up a big dedicated ate cycling fund, with big results.

                Bridges has signaled that the current funding system will be fine for a decade. After that if NZTA are losing too much to electric vehicles, probably the Electricity Commission would have a stronger role.

                The funding mechanisms for transport transition from oil already exist here.

        • ropata 3.3.1.4

          BM, affordability is the first energy-related limit of a finite world

          1. Affordability / High prices reversing to low prices
          2. EROEI, Peak Oil
          3. Climate Change
          4. Running out of oil, fuels

          https://gailtheactuary.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/6-affordability-is-the-first-limit.png

          Read more: http://ourfiniteworld.com/2016/01/07/2016-oil-limits-and-the-end-of-the-debt-supercycle/

  4. grumpystilskin 4

    So, why are we paying close to $2 for petrol?
    I thought more supply = cheaper for the consumer?

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Just over half the price of petrol at the pump is comprised of tax. Another quarter is operating costs / profit for the petrol companies.

      I saw a comment on stuff the other day, saying that even if oil cost $1/barrel, petrol in NZ would still cost about $1.30 per litre.

    • Gabby 4.2

      I think more supply = the consumer gets to pay for the increased cost of storage.

    • BM 4.3

      NZ/US gone from $.85 to $.64.

    • Stuart Munro 4.4

      Don’t be silly – large corporates know they can keep gouging kiwi customers. You can’t get your petrol online yet.

    • Macro 4.5

      Crude Oil is now at 2004 – but the cost of petrol in NZ is 62% above 2004 prices. Yes there have been tax increases – but not that much.
      Some one is doing some pretty heavy price gouging along the line.

  5. Lanthanide 5

    I think more likely than a decade+ of low oil prices, is a yo-yo effect of oil low oil prices, giving rise to low exploration and new wells while production continues to naturally decline, then eventually oil prices will rise to reflect shortage, and producers will scramble to try and bring resources on line.

    Alternatively, the entire world economy could actually be completely fucked, as Gail the Actuary argues, and low oil prices (and low other commodity prices) are just a reflection that the general populace can’t *afford* to buy the resources at the prices the producers *need* to charge. It’s a very deadly vicious circle.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Also note that producers like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela, US shale oil operators, perversely have to pump more when prices are low in order to meet their budgets and debt repayments.

      As you say, a deadly vicious circle.

  6. Steve Withers 6

    This price drop is mainly being driven by the Saudis, as far as i can tell, and it coincides with three things: 1. the lifting of sanctions on Iran and 2. the growth of fracking / shale oil in the US reaching critical mass and 3. the impact of both renewable energy sources and people moving fairly rapidly to smaller cars and / or public transport.

    Some analysts have said that Saudia Arabia wants to hurt Iran in the short term and also undermine the economic case for all of the competing energy sources as well as undermine conservation measures.

    Why? The influence of Saudi Arabia is largely based on its position as an indispensable energy source (and money source?) for most of the developed world. Their government gets away with things that the US invaded Iraq to stop. Should Saudi Arabia no longer be untouchable….that could pose a mortal threat to the current regime there.

    Climate change? They don’t care. But we must….and the value of oil must (as in should) continue to decline because we just don’t need it. Our present government is useless in this area, but that won’t always be the case. We’re only two seats away from a different government.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Think of what that low price may put at risk: Venezuela’s social programmes, Nigeria’s stability such as it is, Iraq’s postwar recovery, Iran’s post-sanctions recovery, etc.

    Actually, it wouldn’t put anything like that at risk if those countries used sovereign money to build up local infrastructure to support their people from local resources. The real problem is that we’ve come to believe that a nation needs foreign funds when it really doesn’t.

    This impact, as New Zealand and Alaska have already seen, also falls upon regions who need fresh investment and good jobs. They too have expected that major explorers would keep investing locally.

    And again in such cases the government could use sovereign money to do that too. Of course, the option that they should be choosing to do is to use that sovereign money to develop renewable energy sources locally.

  8. Bill 8

    In a world where there is only a given amount of a total something that can be used, those with access to the something behave as though they’re in a lolly scramble.

    I keep reading that Saudi Arabia is flooding the market to kill the US fracking industry. The flaw in that argument is that oil doesn’t have to drop to $30 to achieve that and anyway, Saudi Arabia could ‘game’ the price in a way that gets it max return while leaving it as a main player.

    I’m picking that a factor behind US militarism has been with the intent on securing as many as the lollies as it can. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia hoovering them up with a huge sucky machine…which, in spite of what the post suggests, is hurting Russia big time.

    Bad analogy that lolly scramble thing, I know, but only one coffee down and can’t be doing with constructing a more appropriate one at the moment. 😉

    • David 8.1

      “I keep reading that Saudi Arabia is flooding the market to kill the US fracking industry. ”

      This simply isn’t true, the fracking industry can’t be killed with a temporary low price. Saudi is simply badly managed and in a vice between conflict with Iran & Russia, weak demand from China and the need to keep the money flowing to maintain power at home.

      “Saudi Arabia could ‘game’ the price in a way that gets it max return while leaving it as a main player.”

      It can’t, the days of it having control over the oil market are long gone.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        This simply isn’t true, the fracking industry can’t be killed with a temporary low price

        ?

        The financing to the fracking industry has been killed. And weak players in that industry (and the tar sands) are folding up on a weekly basis now.

        As for Saudi Arabia’s role in the pricing of oil. They still have significant influence, should they wish to use it. But notice, they have decided not to cut back on production.

        • David 8.1.1.1

          Sure, companies will go bust, but if the price rises in future, new companies will start drilling again. On top of that fracking technology is moving very quickly and the costs are dropping very rapidly.

          The Saudis can’t cut production, they need the money too much,

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.1

            So you accept that American and Canadian companies in the oil sector are going under and there are large numbers of job losses?

            Where do you think new fracking companies going to get financing from now that so many investors have been burned?

            Of course Saudi Arabia can reduce production. They have a massive amount of cash on hand.

            • David 8.1.1.1.1.1

              “So you accept that American and Canadian companies in the oil sector are going under and there are large numbers of job losses?”

              It’s not for me to accept, if the oil price remains low there will be major job losses. It’s already been happening in the North Sea for the last year. I just need to look at many O&G people I know on Linkedin changing to ‘seeking new opportunity’ to know that.

              “Where do you think new fracking companies going to get financing from now that so many investors have been burned?”

              Same place they did last time, if the numbers work.

              “Of course Saudi Arabia can reduce production. They have a massive amount of cash on hand.”

              Saudi is running a $100bn deficit, that cash disappears very quickly at that rate. Without oil they are a third world nation.

      • Stuart Munro 8.1.2

        When I was in Saudi, the word was they were still pumping at US request, both to stop the Russian embargo from pushing up prices, and to stimulate the flaccid world economy. Saudi can afford to do so and still maintain public services but some of the smaller oil states risk serious civil disorder – Kuwait for instance.

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.2.1

          This is why Pepe Escobar terms the overall US geopolitical strategy that of the “Empire of Chaos.”

  9. Ad 9

    Anyone got any policy ideas for New Zealand if this low price continues?

    • sabine 9.1

      eat your own?

    • b waghorn 9.2

      Make the tax on petrol flexible so that it stays at about $2.10 a litre and use the extra cash to target technology to transition nz away from oil .

      • Ad 9.2.1

        Interesting.
        Like a Supplementary Minimum Price for oil companies.

        • b waghorn 9.2.1.1

          It dawned on me after I put it up that it would make any government unelectable.
          And as for it getting the ball rolling on getting the standard posters to look for solutions instead finding the negatives it failed there to.

          • Ad 9.2.1.1.1

            But it gives the Righteous a moment to say it’s all impossible. I think it’s not easy, but in transport it’s possible. A subtext to my post is: without crisis, transition has no motivation, but with crisis, transition has no time. But as we saw in 1979, even the Nats can do post-oil transition.

    • David 9.3

      Import more V8’s?

    • Draco T Bastard 9.4

      The obvious one: Stop importing oil altogether and build up our renewables. It’s dangerous to remain so dependent upon resources from failed states and, no matter what, it will always be cheaper to produce renewable power.

      • Ad 9.4.1

        Fully agree.
        There are reasonably easy things like all Council’s who own ports requiring that all bulk freight enter and exit the port by rail. A good big target.

        Also reduces motorway maintenance, and good for Kiwi rail.

        • b waghorn 9.4.1.1

          “There are reasonably easy things like all Council’s who own ports requiring that all bulk freight enter and exit the port by rail. A good big target.”
          The logs I cut up for export in both Whanganui and dannevirke followed good rail lines on the back of trucks all the way to Wellington where the truckies had to deal with huge traffic and big waits, ironically for trains to get in and out. Absolute madness.

    • Graeme 9.5

      Considering this may be caused in part by changing technology, there’s not much that can be done, we’re not going to be able to influence the price, but we can be ready to react to the changes that are coming. And be vigilant to incumbent industries trying to maintain their position.

      A study of the antics of the equine industry when the motor car came along will show a few things not to do.

  10. Graeme 10

    I was looking up this quote by Sheik Yamani , it’s been running around in my head reading this,

    “the stone age didn’t end because we ran out of stones, and the oil age won’t end because we run out of oil”

    And came across this post http://www.koomey.com/post/116651386663 It draws from this Bloomberg article from April last year http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-16/big-oil-is-about-to-lose-control-of-the-auto-industry

    Will be interesting if we are at the end of the oil age, or even the start of the end. But change comes fast when new technologies take hold, the motor vehicle replacing the horse or the internet replacing encyclopaedias. The change away from oil could be very rapid.

    • b waghorn 10.1

      Good positive post.
      I think that China will possible lead the way , once they decide to do something they tend to make it happen.

      • Graeme 10.1.1

        They are the ones producing the PVs, and the batteries. I saw some figures on the amount being installed in China and it was staggering, along with the whole growth in their renewables sector.

  11. Graeme 11

    I was looking up this quote by Sheik Yamani , it’s been running around in my head reading this,

    “the stone age didn’t end because we ran out of stones, and the oil age won’t end because we run out of oil”

    And came across this post http://www.koomey.com/post/116651386663 It draws from this Bloomberg article from April last year http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-16/big-oil-is-about-to-lose-control-of-the-auto-industry

    Will be interesting if we are at the end of the oil age, or even the start of the end. But change comes fast when new technologies take hold, the motor vehicle replacing the horse or the internet replacing encyclopaedias. The change away from oil could be very rapid.

  12. Johnny no friends 12

    I have had a look around on websites trying to find the pump price in nz for when last oil was about 30 bucks a barrel.
    Haven’t had any luck, does anyone here know?

  13. ropata 13

    Here’s a good chart – the red line is the inflation adjusted price.
    http://inflationdata.com/Inflation/Inflation_Rate/Historical_Oil_Prices_Chart.asp

    In inflation-adjusted USD the price was fairly stable between $20 and $30 a barrel from 1946 to 1973, then the oil shocks of the seventies kicked the price around a hell of a lot, and NZ embarked on Think Big, woohoo

  14. BM 15

    Saw this in stuff comments.

    According to the link below, the price we pay for petrol(excluding tax) is the 2nd highest in the OECD.

    If Labour has any brains they’d be on to this, pointing out how kiwis are getting tucked and the government needs to be doing something about it.

    Great chance to appeal to middle NZ.

    http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/energy/liquid-fuel-market/weekly-oil-price-monitoring/#margin

    • RedLogix 15.1

      Yeah but including tax we’re more or less in the middle of the pack.

      Given our relative isolation and small market, I’d expect the cost to provide fuel to the NZ market to be a bit higher than most.

      Just as an aside; go to Google Earth sometime, and zoom back so you can see the entire hemisphere and move it about so as NZ is right at the centre of the circular disc. (Technically this is called a circumpolar plot). Apart from Australia, PNG, Indonesia and the Philipines, almost all the of the humans on the planet live on the other side of the planet to us.

    • David 15.2

      “If Labour has any brains they’d be on to this, pointing out how kiwis are getting tucked and the government needs to be doing something about it.”

      What do you expect them to do exactly? Tow NZ north or something?

      • BM 15.2.1

        Point out the doubling of petrol/diesel margins.

        Also why can Gull provide petrol at a much cheaper price when they import all their product, unlike the other fuel companies who all part own and use the Marsden point refinery.

    • sabine 15.3

      Should you not demand that your National Party led Government to do something about, considering that Kiwis are getting tucked and that is no good?

      Surely that would be a great chance for the National led Government to appeal to the poor and the middle class NZ that is struggling to pay the high costs of Gasoline?

      Or are you looking for a reason to vote Labour at the next election?

      • BM 15.3.1

        No, just offering my 5 cents worth.

        NZ needs a decent opposition for democracy to work.

        • Paul 15.3.1.1

          It needs an independent media and a decent opposition.
          However, you and I probably disagree on what constitutes ‘a decent opposition’.
          My idea involves one that offers a genuine alternative rather than ‘National Lite.’
          Capitalism is failing the planet, its species and most of its human population.
          We need alternatives.

        • sabine 15.3.1.2

          Currently NZ needs a decent National led government for democracy to work.

          My comment stands.
          If you consider that the Citizens of this country are being ‘tucked’ or abused by the Gasoline Industry, i suggest that you ask the current National led Government do something to protect the citizens.

          You could start here 🙂 Its Steven Joyces baby that does the monitoring of prices 🙂

          http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/energy/liquid-fuel-market/weekly-oil-price-monitoring

          look as they said, in 2008 !!!! 🙂 (bwhahahahahahahahaha) they did a review about prices (obviously they liked what they saw, considering that they did not review it after that date)

          http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/energy/liquid-fuel-market/new-zealand-petrol-review

          and because i know that you don’t like reading links here are the findings of the 2008 review. 🙂

          Quote: The report concluded that:

          The New Zealand petrol market is fundamentally competitive.
          Retail petrol prices are not fast to rise and slow to fall.
          Price rises during 2008 were mainly due to increases in the international crude oil price.
          A Fuelwatch scheme like Australia’s wouldn’t benefit consumers, because our market works differently.
          More transparency about the makeup of importer margins and a move to report daily margin movements would be useful for consumers.
          As a result, the Ministry’s monitoring of margins achieved by retailers was strengthened to further enhance the transparency of the retail price.

          Quote End.

          and here is a little graph as to where NZ stands on the world in regards to prices…….:)

          http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/energy/liquid-fuel-market/weekly-oil-price-monitoring/#comparison

          Saying that the opposition do someting maybe in 2017 or later, just means that you are ok with your fellow citizens to be tucked by the Gasoline Industry and the National led Government as they are the ones profiting from the high gasoline tax that comes with high gasoline prices, and that you have been ok with the tucking of your fellow citizens since at least the last review.

          So you are sure you are not just wanting a few reasons that would make voting for Labour or the Greens palatable to you?

          • BM 15.3.1.2.1

            National has lots on it’s plate, this issue would be way down the list and never be dealt with.

            It’s a perfect issue for a opposition though, far better than pushing the rights of ex kiwi crims or pointing the finger at people with Asian sounding names.

            • sabine 15.3.1.2.1.1

              hahahahahahaha you are a joke mate.

              The National Party together with its supporters from the Maori Party, the Peter fuckn Dunne Party and the conservatives and the “ActParty” are the government. No matter how much they have on their plate it is still their business, and you as their supporters should hold them to their business, after all you pay for their services, inclusive GST.

              So frankly if the National led Government find that they have too much on their place i suggest that they get themselves a bigger plate, cause you know governing is hard work, n working is hard. Don’t you know?

              gosh you are a turn coat aren’t you?

              • Ad

                When Clark’s government tried just increasing the RUC there was almighty protest and the gov’t backed down. Any gov’t would be spending major percentage points to achieve major change.

                TBH the current gov’t and Council investment in public transportation has paid off hugely in results.

                • sabine

                  can you link to the significant spending on public transport by the current government?

                  Really I would like know more of it.
                  cheers

                  also what do you think of BM’s point that the Labour party should be governmental about these issues because teh National led Government can’t be governmental about it because their plate is to small for all the governmental things they ought to do but can’t because they don’t have a plate big enough. 🙂

                  • Ad

                    I’d need to be at work for getting it all together, but the full breakdown of pt expenditure is in the NLTP (national land transport plan), which is also broken down into regional ones (RLTPs). Transport Blog is the best place to go for analysis of it.

                    As for “plate’s too full”, well, this is a specacularly lazy govt, so he’s probably right. No high oil price, no crisis. Only a quandary for the left really.

                    • sabine

                      I think that making the upcoming / ongoing energy crisis an object of left vs right vs left is intellectually lazy, but i agree with you that this current government is spectacularly lazy in any regards and alas this laissez faire and can’t be bothered attitude of the current National led Government is going to be the problem of the people of this country that will bear the brunt of excesses and excuses of this current political leadership. After all, most of us have to pay for things like gasoline with our own money and not with governmental stipends and perks paid for courtesy of the taxpayer.

                      I am however looking forward to you showing me where our current National Government has heavily invested into public transport, it would please my inner german. So i am looking forward to your links tomorrow when you are back at work. Who knows you could even structure it as a guest post?
                      As far as I know, most lefties love themselves some public infrastructure. 🙂
                      cheers.

  15. Ad 17

    I’m beginning to think the low $$barrel is starting to cause both disinfection and a serious global bear market.

    Iran coming online is huge.

    Let’s see how much and how fast the oil market hits the share market and then crashes into the housing market here.

    A big few months ahead.

    • Paul 17.1

      ‘Iran is set to flood the oil market with an extra half a million barrels a day after international sanctions were lifted in a move that has been hailed by the country’s president as a “golden page” in its history.

      Hours after sanctions imposed by US, UN and EU on Tehran were lifted – thereby removing an obstacle to exports – the deputy oil minister announced Iran was ready to increase its crude oil exports by 500,000 barrels a day.

      “With consideration to global market conditions and the surplus that exists, Iran is ready to raise its crude oil exports by 500,000 barrels a day,” Deputy Oil Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia was quoted as saying by the Shana news agency.

      Already there are some 38 million barrels of oil in Iran’s floating reserves, ready to enter the market, according to the International Energy Agency.’

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-nuclear-deal-president-announces-golden-page-in-tehran-s-history-as-sanctions-lifted-a6817076.html

      • Paul 17.1.1

        Buckle your seatbelts: China could rock markets next week

        ‘Global markets are poised for more volatility next week with key economic data from China expected to show that the world’s second-largest economy continues to grow at its slowest pace since the financial crisis, despite aggressive measures taken by the central bank to boost growth.

        “There has been ongoing fear bubbling since August that the China slowdown is worse than expected. Investors are nervous that we’ll see a massive downside correction in China’s economy. That’s why this data is so important to markets,” said James Rossiter, senior global strategist at TD Securities.

        China is expected to release fourth-quarter GDP, industrial production and retail sales data Tuesday morning.’

        http://www.cnbc.com/2016/01/15/buckle-your-seatbelts-china-could-rock-markets-next-week.html

        • Paul 17.1.1.1

          Why are we looking on helplessly as markets crash all over the world?
          Will Hutton

          ‘The oil price collapse should be good news. It makes everything cheaper. It puts purchasing power in the hands of business and consumers elsewhere in the world who have a greater propensity to spend than most oil-producing countries. A low oil price historically presages economic good times. Instead, the markets are panicking.

          They are panicking because what is driving the lower oil price is global disorder, which capitalism is powerless to correct. Indeed, it is capitalism running amok that is one of the reasons for the disorder. Profits as a share of national income in Britain and the US touch all-time highs; wages touch an all-time low as the power of organised labour diminishes and the gig economy of short-term contracts takes hold. The excesses of the rich, digging underground basements to house swimming pools, cinemas and lavish gyms, sit alongside the travails of the new middle-class poor. These are no longer able to secure themselves decent pensions and their gig-economy children defer starting families because of the financial pressures.

          The country that has taken this further than any other is China. The Chinese economy is a giant Ponzi scheme. Tens of trillions of dollars are owed to essentially bankrupt banks – and worse, bankrupt near-banks that operate in the murky shadowlands of a deeply dysfunctional mix of Leninism and rapacious capitalism. The Chinese Communist party has bought itself temporary legitimacy by its shameless willingness to direct state-owned banks to lend to consumers and businesses with little attention to their creditworthiness. Thus it has lifted growth and created millions of jobs.

          Advertisement

          It is an edifice waiting to implode. Chinese business habitually bribes Communist officials to put pressure on their bankers to forgive loans or commute interest; most loans only receive interest payments haphazardly or not at all. If the losses were crystallised, the banking system would be bust overnight. On top, huge loans have been made to China’s vast oil, gas and chemical industries on the basis of oil being above $60 a barrel, so more losses are in prospect.

          Investors in China’s stock market took fright in the new year, with falling share prices only another turn of the screw. The only surprise is that nobody saw through it all earlier. China’s leaders are visibly frightened and at a loss, clamping down on any possible source of dissent as they flail to keep their Ponzi economy alive. As consumer demand falters in Europe, North America and Asia, so the demand for oil falls, even as Saudi Arabia, waging economic war against Iran and US shale producers, pumps oil out of the ground without limit. The whole structure of banking that was predicated upon higher oil prices gets more rickety still.

          At just this crucially sensitive moment, the US Federal Reserve last month raised interest rates from their extraordinary lows, more concerned to signal its ardent desire to return to the normality of business as usual than to face the reality we live in abnormal times. There is no danger of inflation. If credit growth is out of hand, the tool central banks must use, as the Bank of England recognises intellectually by equipping itself with such tools but as yet not bold enough to use them, is direct quantitative controls to constrain the growth of credit. The system is not robust enough to withstand a rise in interest rates.

          It’s clear what needs to happen. There needs to be wholesale change in economic thinking. Forces in world labour markets – new forms of 21st-century trade unionism – need to be strengthened. The power of financial markets needs to be constrained. Credit growth needs to be managed by direct controls on the growth of bank balance sheets and banks need to be weaned off the financial casino they have built. Great companies need to be allowed to purpose themselves around creating value rather than dancing to the interests of disengaged shareholders.

          All this requires a new generation of political leaders prepared to throw off the categories in which thinking has been cast since 1980 – and remake our world rather as the world was remade in the years after 1945. Prosperity, peace, co-existence and recognition of mutual interdependencies are too easily taken for granted. The financial markets are signalling deep unease, not least at the world they themselves have helped build. It is a message that should be heeded.’

          http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/17/china-economic-crisis-world-economy-global-capitalism

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    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 ...
    18 hours 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 ...
    19 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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? ...
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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 ...
    3 days 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
    3 days 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    3 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    4 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    7 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    7 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    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 ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago

  • 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
    10 hours 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
    13 hours 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
    20 hours ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
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    4 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    5 days ago
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    6 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
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  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
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  • COVID-19 updates
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  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
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  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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  • 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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  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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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 ...
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