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The war on drugs is lost

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, June 17th, 2011 - 28 comments
Categories: crime, drugs - Tags:

The Global Commission on Drug Policy have just released their latest report on the global war on drugs. Its message is quite simple; the war has failed, and it is time to begin new dialogue on what has become the greatest social failure of the last fifty years.

In fact, the drug issue is something quite relevant in New Zealand at the moment; Synthetic marijuana products are laughing in the face of our archaic beliefs surrounding drugs and the related laws. The time for discussing the wider drug issue is now; New Zealanders must be willing to open their minds to see the potential benefits that come with changing our opinions on drugs and their use.

The Report by the Commission is comprehensive, easily readable, backed up by various case studies and statistics accumulated over the last few decades and I would encourage anyone with an opinion on this issue to read it in full.

“The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world. Fifty years after the initiation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and 40 years after President Nixon launched the US government’s war on drugs; fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed.

End the criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but who do no harm to others. Challenge rather than reinforce common misconceptions about drug markets, drug use and drug dependence.

Offer health and treatment services to those in need. Ensure that a variety of treatment modalities are available, including not just methadone and buprenorphine treatment but also the heroin-assisted treatment programs that have proven successful in many European countries and Canada. Respect the human rights of people who use drugs.

Invest in activities that can both prevent young people from taking drugs in the first place and also prevent those who do use drugs from developing more serious problems. Eschew simplistic ‘just say no’ messages and ‘zero tolerance’ policies in favor of educational efforts grounded in credible information and prevention programs that focus on social skills and peer influences.”

The report lays down four key principles for approaching drug reform:

1) Drug policies must be based on solid empirical and scientific evidence. The primary measure of success should be the reduction of harm to the health, security, and welfare of individuals and society.

“The 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs made it clear that the ultimate objective of the system was the improvement of the ‘health and welfare of mankind’.”

2) Drug policies must be based on human rights and public health principles. We should end the stigmatization and marginalization of people who use certain drugs and those involved in the lower levels of cultivation, production and distribution, and treat people dependent on drugs as patients, not criminals.

“many countries still react to people dependent on drugs with punishment and stigmatization. In reality, drug dependence is a complex health condition that has a mixture of causes – social, psychological and physical
(including, for example, harsh living conditions, or a history of personal trauma or emotional problems). Trying to manage this complex condition through punishment is ineffective – much greater success can be achieved by
providing a range of evidence-based drug treatment services.”

3) The development and implementation of drug policies must be a shared global responsibility.

“As with all multilateral agreements, the drug conventions need to be subject to constant review and modernization in light of changing and variable circumstances”

4) Drug policies must be pursued in a comprehensive manner, involving families, schools, public health specialists, development practitioners and civil society leaders, in partnership with law enforcement agencies and other relevant governmental bodies

“repeated studies have demonstrated that governments achieve much greater financial and social benefit for their communities by investing in health and social programs, rather than investing in supply reduction and law enforcement activities.”

The report goes on the make recommendations: break the taboo on policy discussions; stop the persecution of users as criminals and begin treating them as patients; challenge misconceptions; invest resources in evidence based prevention, especially in youth; and most significantly, act now.

We must act; as I posted last year on The Standard Blog, the time for us is now.

Since writing that piece something interesting has happened in our country; the sale and
use of products like Kronic has proliferated. What an embarrassment for the prohibition
pioneers; and yet where is the outcry from these very same lobbyists, and action from their
allies in Parliament? These legal highs are having a dangerous influence on our youth, who
are choosing them over the ‘illegal’ option in the belief that it is somehow safer; that
because a product is sold in a shop, it can’t be that bad.

It becomes obvious this problem is quite acute within our communities; yet what meaningful action is being taken?
None! My point being that communities are concerned about this issue and want some dialogue on it and that is understandable; but is it that the solution to this issue, representative of a much wider social dilemma, is more than simply removing a product from dairy shelves?

Health authorities are extremely concerned by the rapidly increasing use of Kronic like products,

“Dr Tim Parke, the clinical director of Auckland City Hospital’s emergency department, said the products should be illegal. An increasing number of people, particularly those aged 16 to 21, were seeking treatment after using products such as Kronic.

“They come in with severe anxiety, very rapid heart rates – about double what’s normal. Some of them don’t understand what’s happening, some of them think they’re going to die.”

St John senior clinical education tutor Dr David Anderson said St John in Auckland dealt with patients who had used the synthetic products – a very rare outcome for users of natural cannabis.”

It would be understandable for someone in Dr. Parke’s position to take the line that these drugs should be illegal; they’re dangerous and the first thought when a dangerous crack emerges in the dinghy of social stability is to cork it with a nice piece of legislation. Sure it stops any leakage in that moment and keeps the dinghy afloat; but these cracks are expensive to fix and you can’t keep bailing forever. The boat is inevitably going to sink and unless you find a more buoyant one, you’re going down with it.

“ Creating a tightly controlled market with the Government receiving significant revenue streams would allow for the creation of significant support structures for those using the drugs, and begin workable anti-drug campaigns in schools.”

Instead, we create laws to sweep the issue of drug use under a rug. Unfortunately a few smart entrepreneurs uncovered the reality of the situation; they saw a market, and in they went with a product that simply laughed in the face of our drug laws, exposing our children to a substance that is obviously harmful and we failed to respond.

This is also a failure in the education of our youth: failing to say that drugs are not simply bad because the law says they are; they’re bad because they harm you, and they have damaging side effects which prior to consuming each you should be fully informed of. Because whether we like it or not people will take drugs and we should not stigmatise them,
rather we should help reduce the harm to themselves and our wider communities.

What is more is the increasing use among working New Zealanders, another failure of our drug policies. We’ve allowed a drug to slip through uncontrolled, and we’ve unmasked our own fallacious logic on drugs. We have thought that by making these products illegal for a generation people would see them as dangerous and they wouldn’t want them; yet because we’ve failed for years to take the right approach to drugs we’re dealing with an emerging crisis. People see this drug as fine to use at work, fine to take at school because we’ve not justified our policies with evidence and broad logical thinking, but rather a simplistic belief that criminalizing them will eventually lead to their use being properly controlled.

We need to act to control substances and educate our society on the dangers of their use. We need to find ways to encourage responsible use for those who will inevitably abuse them; just like an obese man abuses pies, or an overworked nightshift worker abuses caffeine.

The White House has moved quickly to denounce the Global Commissions report, yet one must ask what motivations back their position if not to reduce harm within their society; the report mocks American policy by providing statistics showing over 25% increases in Opiate and Cocaine consumption from 1998 to 2008.

Do we listen to the wisdom of American policy or empirical evidence?

… in the mean time it seems we’ll just keep wasting our resources prosecuting people like Dakta Green … obviously a true criminal if ever there were one!

– Riley B

28 comments on “The war on drugs is lost”

  1. randal 1

    yahoo. free methedrine and heroin. yummy yummy.

  2. Rusty Shackleford 2

    I agree. Governments should stop all forms of violence. Direct or implied.

  3. MikeE 3

    Finally a post on here I can 100% agree with

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      The funny thing is, when these drug issues come up, almost everyone seems to agree that the current punitive system is a waste of time and money. People have differing opinions on how far we should change the system (decriminalisation of pot, legal selling of pot + ecstasy + lsd, or total legalisation of all drugs), but almost everyone agrees it should be made more lenient.
       
      And yet the government never changes it at all – if anything they make it harsher. Why?

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        Why? Because however informed and liberal we may think we are as adults, when it comes to our children we hope something better for them than drug addiction.

        • Rusty Shackleford 3.1.1.1

          Or get chucked in jail for acting peacefully?

          • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.1

            Lanth asked why. That’s a large part of the answer, if not most of it. People act in congruence with their self-image, and their hopes for their children are an important part of that. For many parents it’s their future, their hope, their reason for getting out of bed and going through the grind every day.

            It’s deeeply embedded and emotive and … reason has little to do with it.

            • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1.1.1

              But if drug laws were properly reformed and the stigma taken away from being an “addict”, then actually these people wouldn’t have much to worry about…

              As pointed out elsewhere, alcohol is more destructive than many of the currently restricted drugs, so surely these parents should be screaming for prohibition to stop their kids become drunks? And we already have a huge drinking problem, yet not much is being done to properly fight it.

              • burt

                Agree. Opposition to any new laws should use alcohol and tobacco to demonstrate either a) why the law needs to change or b) What sort of fun stuff we would miss out on with the new law.

                No win, it’s a distraction – no more no less.

                • RedLogix

                  This country has been a booze-saturated hell-hole from the beginning of colonisation, where alcohol has been an ESSENTIAL part of people’s lives. It’s the antidote many need to the fears and anxieties generated by the extremes of wealth and poverty in our capitalist world… just to function.

                  And again it’s entwined right into the roots of our self-image as a people. Rugby, racing and beer, or perhaps Rugby World Cup, Party Central, Tui ads is the current idiom… and yet remains our self-image as a people, as a nation.

                  However much harm alcohol causes, nothing will change until we change what we believe about ourselves.

  4. Dotty 4

    Yep, because our approach to alcohol has been *such* a success!

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Alochol is much more harmful than many of the low-level drugs, including cannabis, ecstasy and LSD. People on those three drugs don’t tend to get violent, whereas violence and irritability are two common effects from alcohol.

      The biggest lobbyist against California’s proposition to legalise marijuana was the liquor industry.

    • Luxated 4.2

      Strange, I don’t think anyone is proposing establishing a multi-billion dollar corporate industry to hawk currently illegal drugs onto the public.

      • bbfloyd 4.2.1

        nobody needs to establish an illicit drug corporation, they have been prolific for decades. in some countries they are called “government”… in others they get called “sir”.

        if anyone needs to know why our government seems to be going against all the research findings in order to harass pot smokers, look for the largest donors to their campaign funds. and find out what sinecures have been accepted for after politics. (the second suggestion an impossibility, without inside info).

        then, we might be able to spot the real “drug pushers”. the ones who profit the most from harsh prohibition laws.

  5. Lanthanide 5

    Good timing:

    Government to crackdown on sales of Kronic within weeks
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5159027/Govt-moves-to-curb-Kronic-sales

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Things like Kronic show that we have our drug regulations backwards. What we do is specifically name a few drugs that are banned and hope that no one introduces a drug that’s not on the list. Result: Introduction of drugs that are probably more dangerous than some of the ones that are banned.

      It should be illegal to introduce an unknown drug onto the market. That at least would minimise the potential for seriously dangerous drugs to be brought onto the market as legal highs.

  6. ianmac 6

    Drugs war has had the same effect as the Prohibition era. Mob/gang war, vastly increased cost of the drugs, cost of survellance border control, and with little success. Answer is ….ummmmm

  7. Sam 7

    Very well said.

    You know the law is a right cunt when you can smoke some ‘kronic’ on the steps of wellington central, yet be arrested should the police happen to be passing by when you are smoking a spliff on your front deck.

    Its a complete ass, and i cant even begin to disect how wrong that scenario is.

    One could argue to ban Kronic, etc, but the problem is that there are so many variants of synthetic cannabinoids that as soon as a particular one is banned, another is used in its place. New cannabinoids will continue to be developed and be used to circumvent current laws.

    With this in mind, sometime in the near future, these synthetic cannabis products are going to force governments and society to take a good, long hard look at existing drug laws. because just as the OP points out, these products make existing laws a complete farce.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      From my link above:

      “It needs to be the other way around. They will need to prove that their products are safe or they will not be able to sell them.

      “We cannot have this ongoing situation where we have to wait to a product is already on the market and then, authorities have to prove that it is unsafe, and when we do, they change an ingredient or two and we are back to square one.

      “They are making the money; they are producing a product and they need to prove that it is safe; not the other way around,” Mr Dunne said.

  8. The reverse onus of proof for drug possession is incompatible with the rule of law and is therefore unconstitutional in all jurisdictions.

    More: The universally unconstitutional war on drugs.

    • burt 8.1

      Yes but it sounds good to the sheeple with an election coming. Such a law would also stifle all human consumed product innovation. All this advertising for Kronic is making me think it must be worth trying… better get some asap.

      • Deadly_NZ 8.1.1

        I really wouldn’t do that Burt, you do not know what’s in it. Better to stick to the real stuff.

  9. Hugh Jayhole 9

    Because New Zealand is doing such a great job with alcohol?

  10. her 10

    They could legalise just pot and close two NZ prisons tomorrow and save over half a billion dollars each year. Not to mention give a lot of the Northland unemployed jobs and get a whole new tourist market.

    Who will have the guts to turn a liability into an asset?

  11. So much has been said and done about trying to put an end to drug abuse but instead of eliminating it, there seem to be a bigger market now. A failure, yes because sadly more and more people are eaten up by greed and drugs offer to bring in tons of cash.

  12. Lord Zealand 12

    Prohibition is solely about protection of profits by political puppets in parliament.
    (Cannabis cures cancer!)

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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    7 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago