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The wrong man for the job

Written By: - Date published: 12:07 pm, June 19th, 2011 - 46 comments
Categories: accountability, disaster, Gerry Brownlee, leadership - Tags:

I haven’t seen the full interview of Brownlee on the Nation. If the clips on the news were anything to go by, it was more of the same. No info for Christchurch residents. No empathy for them either. More haughty bullshit. More vague excuses for delays. More focused on himself than the people who need help. He needs to go.

The people of Christchurch need information. Only some level of knowledge can allow them to begin to see the shape of their future. That should be at the heart of decision-making. But Brownlee has no empathy. He sees the people of Christchurch as a hindrance. An annoyance. He’s trying to plan which suburbs will go, which will be rebuilt. Would be much easier to do it at his own pace, without having to worry about the little people’s feelings. How many times have we seen reports of Brownlee failing to show up to public information meetings? How many times have local MPs complained in the Earthquake Bulletin that letters they have sent seeking advice for their constituents has no even received a reply from Brownlee?

9 months after the first quake. And Brownlee won’t even tell us what the hold up is. Seems to me there’s three basic aspects of the decision-making.

First – what will happen to different categories of land and how that will be funded. Off the top of my head, something like:

  • Category A land will be rebuilt with any damage funded by EQC and insurers and doesn’t need land remediation,
  • Category B land will be rebuilt the same but with government investment in remediation of the land,
  • Category C land bordering land to be abandoned will be the same as B but with compensation for loss of land value too,
  • Category D land will be abandoned with the government topping up any loss not covered by EQC or insurance and unlocking new land for suburbs in the east.

Just made up those categories now. Sure it’s more complicated than that. Also sure that, if you wanted to, you could get EQC, council, insurers, and governemnt together for a week and they could define categories. Has Brownlee done that? We don’t know. He won’t say. If he hasn’t done it, he’s incompetent. If he has done it and isn’t telling the people of Christchurch, he’s also incompetent.

Second – work out which land will fall into which category. Some or most of the decisions will be pretty obvious straight away. ‘Blindingly obvious’, even. Others will take longer to work out. Start by revealing the blindingly obvious decisions. Let as many people as possible breath easy with some knowledge of what the future for their land is. Brownlee hasn’t done this either. He hasn’t even revealed the criteria by which land will be judged. if he doesn’t have such criteria yet, he’s incompetent. If he has them and won’t release them, he’s also incompetent.

Third – timeliness. Decisions over which land will be rebuilt and which won’t don’t have to be 100% optimal. In fact, no matter how long you take, in hindsight the decisions will never be absolutely perfect. Expeditiousness has its own value. Better to rule out rebuilding on some land that will later be deemed safe or vice versa than keep entire suburbs in limbo for months on end. Brownlee has revealed no timetable. Either he has none. In which case he is incompetent. Or he has one and won’t say. Which is also incompetent.

Like Key and Bennett, Brownlee has substituted spin for action. He has attacked ‘doom and gloomers’ who said the Christchurch economy would be ruined by the earthquake by pointing to benefit numbers that haven’t gone up much. He doesn’t mention that tens of thousands of people were being supported by the special emergency benefits not included in those figures. Such spin does not a jot for the people of Christchurch. But it buys a smidgen of positive coverage for the government, for a short time. Tells you where Brownlee’s priorities lie.

This is the closest to a war situation that any modern PM has faced. The stakes are huge. So are the organisational complexities. The PM’s man running the show has to be up to the job. It’s worth asking why Brownlee has this job at all.

What has he ever accomplished in his political career that gives any confidence in his abilities? He lost the ‘unloseable election’ as Brash’s deputy in 2005. He was a Maori Affairs spokesman who couldn’t count to ten in Te Reo. He drew the largest protests in a generation against a government at the height of its popularity over Schedule 4. He failed to deliver an economic package for the West Coast after Pike River. He couldn’t even manage the legislative schedule right as House Leader. They repeatedly ran out of laws to pass one day, only to have to go into Urgency the next because Brownlee couldn’t run the show properly. He only got this job because he is the most senior local Nat MP. It should have gone to someone with a record of delivering, like Power. We shouldn’t be surprised that Brownlee has done so badly.

But we should be surprised that he has been allowed to continue doing such a bad job for so long. Would be no shame for Key in admitting he has the wrong man and replacing him. But that it hasn’t happened yet is a reflection on Key.

Good leaders replace incompetent generals. Bad ones don’t.

46 comments on “The wrong man for the job”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Sad for Christchurch 🙁

    National can’t even be bothered to put the city on life support, and is instead turning it off 🙁

    • side show bob 1.1

      What a twat, I really don’t give a fat rats arse about National but you people are starting to sound like full blown flushing idiots.Bloody hell do you want Gerry to make the sigh of the cross and say it’s all right and there shall be peace on earth. I’m sorry for the people of CHCH but they don’t need tosspots blaming someone in charge because of some political leaning, grow up, what children you people are. The only thing that will fix CHCH are the people of CHCH with the help of the rest of us. Screw the politics, the people of CHCH want answers but sometimes there are problems that we just can’t sort. and the only thing that will help is time. I’m sure the people of CHCH want to know where they stand but how can anyone make a valued judgement on a situation that chances day by day. To blame the government or one single person is down right stupid.Oh and by the way I would make exactly thee same comment on KB.

      • ropata 1.1.1

        I’m sure that really helps the people of East Christchurch who are suffering their own version of Hurricane Katrina while the politicians fiddle about and their supporters try and shoot the messenger. On behalf of all my Cantab friends, please tell your mate Gerry to start being useful or f*** off. I agree it shouldn’t be about the politics, but it was the incumbent government who invented CERA and made Gerry the king.

  2. ianmac 2

    Maybe the East of Christchurch has no electorates worth anything to a National Government? On the other hand repairs were rapid on the Fendalton/Ilam side of town.

    • ropata 2.1

      Aaron Gilmore is often styled as “National MP for East Christchurch” which is false, he’s a list MP, and lives in the swankier northern suburb of Parklands. Lianne Dalziel is the widely popular MP of the electorate, really engaged with the situation, and she’s been trying to get something useful out of a dysfunctional CERA and an inert Brownlee.

    • Zetetic 2.2

      they won’t be worried about a few thousand labour voters heading to aussie, either.

      there may be a real issue with voter population in some of those electorates by november.

      for ones that move elsewhere in nz, could potentially impact some of the electorates they’re moving too. but they’re probably too diffuse to have much influence.

  3. ropata 3

    Another reason benefit numbers haven’t moved much is because people are leaving.
    A more accurate figure would be job numbers or amount of PAYE collected. I’m guessing a decline by ~30%

    Even Brownlee’s corporate backers must be embarrassed that their lapdog is just a useless ornament.

  4. Portion Control 4

    So you admit you didn’t see the full interview, and then launch into a lengthy commentary on it.

    [One of the rules around here is that you don’t get to tell the authors what to write on their own blog. Have another go, and try and ask your question a bit more politely this time. r0b]

    • Zetetic 4.1

      it may be controversial, but my view of Christchurch and Brownlee’s performance isn’t entirely based on one interview on The Nation.

      • Portion Control 4.1.1

        I think you are wrong zetetic, in case you missed it there was a large earthquake last week. The situation in Christchurch is changing all the time. Every time there is a quake then insurers and assessors have to assess the damage to individual properties. Bronwlee has made it clear that it is unlikely that many whole suburbs will be laid to waste, it will depend on what is economic for the individual property.

        It is very easy for labour party people like Lord Burns of Marlborough to criticise the government’s efforts but he doesn’t have the tricky job of deciding what to do and where to prioritise resources. Given this is the biggest natural disaster we’ve ever had and the situation has chnaged so dramatically so often, I don’t think there’s a public mood to try and make political capital out of it as the snide labour party are trying to do.

        • r0b 4.1.1.1

          The “snide labour party” – and just about every newspaper columnist of the last week? Not to mention, you know, the people who live there…

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2

          I don’t think there’s a public mood to try and make political capital out of it as the snide labour party are trying to do.

          National is going to lose this election based on their non-plans and non-action on Christchurch.

        • Zetetic 4.1.1.3

          as I pointed out in the posts, Brownlee could have at least told us what the process is and what the hold ups are. He could have ruled large areas in or out. It’s only the marginal areas where decisions are hard.

        • Jum 4.1.1.4

          What is blindingly obvious are the areas where the damage is increasing with every quake and shake and where nobody has yet reported that the liquefaction is actually returning to the ground, the bricks resticking themselves to houses and giant boulders flying back to the place from whence they came.

          So what Brownlee knew was blindingly obvious some time back is even more blindingly obvious now. The more worrying factor, as always with this government of business molls, is what is in it for them and business to delay the decision making on any number of these houses or streets or even suburbs.

          Christchurch will not be the same as it was. ‘Christchurch City’ is moveable. People are what is important.

          I don’t care what spin Brownlee is putting on it; I still remember back in September when a family member was shocked to hear that damage had been occurring in the suburbs not just the CBD because we have friends and relatives in several suburbs. That was because all Parker and Key and Brownlee were interested in WAS the CBD. And that was all the media was interested in as they followed blindingly behind the NActs. It’s been a disgrace from the start.

          The delayed decisions with red stickering houses (or not) and sorting insurance in the September quake; there was no reason why that could not have been dealt with sooner. Did the government know something Cantabrians didn’t?

          All New Zealanders have given their time and or money and so much palpable empathy to the people of Canterbury who have undergone so much suffering but now want decisions made. Most Kiwis offered to pay a levy to help with Christchurch but oh no. Key/English/Brownlee wanted to keep borrowing so that not only the people of Canterbury will have the earthquake fallout to deal with but their and other New Zealanders’ children will be paying for Key and Brownlee’s bad decisions for decades to come. This puts the average New Zealand worker in dire straits and that’s my reasoning for Brownlee’s delays and obfuscations.

          We know too that English was lying when he talked up the urgent borrowings. One Hundred Million borrowed that was not needed. It no doubt affected the value of the NZ Dollar. This government has done nothing but lie to Kiwis. How long before Kiwis start to react?

          I sincerely hope that NAct is involving all political parties with representatives in the area equally in order for them to work together and those representatives must be told everything about the situation. Word will soon get out if they are not.

        • DS 4.1.1.5

          Unfair and unwarranted attack on Burns, PC. He’s the MP for Christchurch Central, and I’ve never seen anyone else work as hard as he has. He’s always out ready to help and talk to his constituents. Doing a bloody good job of it too. Would you prefer it if he shut up and didn’t make our voices known??

          The only comments I’ve heard him say on television are exactly the same as those which we’re all asking. Which is a request for more information. If you’re going to set yourself a public deadline and you can’t make it – like Brownlee did – don’t then ignore it completely. At least have the grace and respect to come out and apologize.

  5. Homer G Simpleton is doing a great job. He is staying inside his job ‘parameters’, which is the delay everything as long as possible, Gerry is doing exactly what Key and co have asked him to do, so lets keep that in mind when we are giving the fat fuck a hard time … he is only carrying out orders …. mind you that wasn’t much of an excuse when they were chucking babies into the gas chamber.
    Alas a chance of a Nuremberg trial is remote, as the Nazi Party is running the whole world now.

  6. SHG 6

    In an alternate reality where the best person for the job gets it and screw the politics, Key would have given the Christchurch job to David Shearer.

  7. ghostwhowalksnz 7

    Brownlee could even keep in with family.
    Before parliament , before the job teaching woodwork at St Bedes, there was the job at the Brownlee family timber company. For some reason- we can only speculate it was personalities- he was booted out of the company and it was a new career as an unqualified school teacher. Then politics beckoned …..

  8. What has he ever accomplished in his political career that gives any confidence in his abilities?

    It’s more what he did outside of his political career. Remember Gerry the Hut was a woodwork teacher. That’s gotta count for heaps in Key’s books cos he’s minister for tourism and he used to be a banker.

    • KJT 8.1

      Calling Brownlee a woodwork Teacher is an insult to woodwork Teachers, most of whom have been successful and competent trades people and small business owners before they took up Teaching.

      Many “woodwork Teachers’ would be very capable of consulting and moving things forward in Christchurch.

      Brownlee is a failure who went to the last refuge of the incompetent. The National party!

      • Jim Nald 8.1.1

        # gwwnz, pollywog & KJT

        The “woodwork Teachers” and their colleagues at the schools joined the timber family company in expressing collective relief when he left.

        Most fascinatingly, he is the creme the la creme of the current National MPs and has been honoured by being made Leader of the House.

        Can you imagine what the rest of the box of chocolates is like with the National cabinet?
        😛

  9. Brownlee has more power over anyone when it comes to Christchurch. Brownlee commented yesterday that up to 10 insurance companies may be involved in the same street. Is Brownlee afraid to put pressure on the insurance companies incase they do not have the capital to pay out the residents? Some of these insurance companies have been around for decades and when it comes to the big one they may be short on funds. Is this why English has borrowed 5 billion more incase he has to bail out in surance companies?

    • rosy 9.1

      Brownlee commented yesterday that up to 10 insurance companies may be involved in the same street.

      Ah yes, the pleasures of a competitive marketplace in essential services.

  10. Janice 10

    Brownlee has got all this power, why does he leave the eastern suburb clean up to volunteers when he could also call out the army to help? With the powers that he has he could probably even call back the troops from Afghanstan where they are supposedly building schools, which get blown up regularly, to help with the rebuild of Christchurh were they would be far more usefuly employed and wouldn’t have to be armed to the teeth to do the job. BTW I am always intrigued by people who think Simon Power is the bee’s knees. I used to live in his electorate and he was so totally useless we used to refer to him as ‘Simple Simon’. He just had a very good electorate secretary who made him look good, and no doubt now has good staff in parliament to do the same.

    • Treetop 10.1

      It would have been a nice gesture when the septic toilets were handed out, to have offered a wheel barrow and a shovel. Some residents do not own a wheel barrow or a shovel.

      Coordinating the army to clean up the liquifaction etc the logistics of accommodation may have been the reason the army were not deployed.

      • Treetop 10.1.1

        Burnham military camp is in the area. I did hear that prisioners are invoved in the clean up. Brownlee is holding the purse strings tightly or he is being ordered to.

    • Jum 10.2

      Janice,

      I do not think Simon Power is the ‘bees knees’. He is retiring from Parliament at this election because Key has promised to sell off our SOE assets and they need a guy to organise it. He’s a lawyer and made it quite clear to the Herald that he did not want a ministerial role in SOEs because it would cause a conflict of interest for him. He talks about holding things upside down to see what falls out in his new ‘private’ job.

      He conveniently forgot to mention, however, that New Zealanders – you and me, Janice – are the fallout.

      It’s time we started wearing hardhats. The nastiness has only just begun.

  11. seeker 11

    “Like Key and Bennett, Brownlee has substituted spin for action.”

    That’s why Key likes him in the job. They all spin to each other which makes them feel better about themselves – keeps the fantasy going. Meanwhile, in the real world that is New Zealand and Christchurch, your headline is perfectly correct. Brownlee is totally the wrong man for the job, but then so is John Key, so no help there. Thank God for the armies of volunteers!
    November needs to see these incompetent Nat.self servers thrown out of office. Real Kiwis need them like a hole in the head.The way they have handled the Christchurch and Pike river Mine disasters are nothing short of disgraceful. I am so ashamed of them, and deeply saddened.

  12. John Dalley 12

    The Christchurch “Winter of Discontent” is very likely to be thdeath of this National Government.
    As was pointed out on The Nation, Japan has built 30,000 temp houses and at this stage it appears that National has as yet to get out of bed little own actually reveal a plan.
    Surely there is areas of Christchurch that they could be steaming ahead with construction of new houses and moving people out of the more destroyed areas until at least the fuller picture emerges about the central areas of Christchurch.

    • Kevin Welsh 12.1

      Try ‘let alone’ rather than ‘little own’, John. Makes more sense.

  13. Descendant Of Smith 13

    What are the thoughts around the government propping up the uninsured and the under insured if they close down suburbs.

    Is this an inherent contradiction between the moral hazard argument and the need to help people move on?

    If this help is provided should there be a maximum level e.g. EQC + insurance + government help = no more than sufficient to buy a standard 3 bedroom house or a two bedroom unit according to their family size.

    Should home owning uninsured people now have to move back into the rental market and if not why not?

    Should uninsured and under-insured landlords be helped at all – theirs is much more of a commercial decision not to insure and as long as they have their own house to live in that should be sufficient? The priority is surely to ensure everyone is housed not to protect landlords investments.

    If market value was to be used what would this be given houses were overpriced anyway – insured value, G.V., some other figure – current market value no doubt the market will solve everything right wingers would say.

    Should the government own any owned or rental housing rebuilt that was not insured and if top up’s are made should the government have caveats on those properties so the yop-up money is recouped upon sale or death.

    There seems to be little public discussion around these issues.

    • Treetop 13.1

      There will be answers to your questions, but I doubt they will be the answers people want.

      • Descendant Of Smith 13.1.1

        Forgot one while I was writing – what about all those who have transferred their properties esp the one they actually live in into a trust and have had significant tax advantage from this. Should the taxpayer now be expected to help them out – given the reduction in tax they have paid over the years as a result?

        • Jum 13.1.1.1

          Descendant of Smith,

          I hope that question has been sent somewhere for an official answer.

        • Treetop 13.1.1.2

          I heard this morning that Civil Defence do the red stickering, BUT it is up to the council to remove the red sticker. Not sure about a yellow or a green sticker.

          What influence will the stickering have on insurance payouts for the dwelling and/or land of residental property?

  14. Sanctuary 14

    I listened to one of the rare appearances of any National party minister on Morning Report this morning when Brownlee condescended to be interviewed by a real journalist. His arrogance, his distain for democratic accountability and his impatience with anyone who dares to adopt an unwelcome line of questioning was a frightening insight into the mindset of John Key’s cabinet.

  15. We just have to thank what ever god we have that we didn’t have a Fukushima in Chch, because if this http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/06/16/985938/-eSci:-Unsafe-Radiation-Found-Near-Tokyo,-Vast-Area-of-Japan-Contaminated?via=siderec is the way the Japanese government treats its people how would our lot of criminals Nact?
    Politicians are ONLY any good in a growing economy, every other scenario they are utterly useless.
    Labour and the Greeds would be equally redundant.

    God save your children

  16. Red Rosa 16

    Chrictchurch – eight months on since the Sept 10 EQ. Four months on since the Feb 11 EQ. A week on from the June 10 EQ. Winter now setting in properly.

    Cleanup and assistance left to volunteers again, after the latest shake. Admirable response of course, but surely this time the professionals can take over?

    There seems to be a real sense, throughout the city, that Parker and Brownlee are just not up to the job. No real grip on the situation, no real leadership and decision making.

    Yet on the rare occasions local opposition MPs demand accountability and action, they are condemned for ‘partisan politics’.

    Christchurch deserves better? But then you get the politicians you deserve.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      …but surely this time the professionals can take over?

      We don’t have any as it’s inefficient to have a functioning government according to the neo-liberals.

  17. A good, good interview of Brownlie by Susie Ferguson on Radion New Zealand is here.
     
    Brownlee was at his beligerent worst, worrying only about people’s equity in their homes and he refused to respond to requests to give any idea about the timing of release of information.
     
    He showed his trademark complete lack of empathy.  I hope the people of Ilam vote him out in November.

  18. millsy 18

    I have to say, right from the September 4 quake, I knew that this was going to be a big fuck up. And lo and behold, here we are.

    I have said time and time again, that the Ministry of Works and council works departments (as well as the government owned insurance companies) would have made things a lot easier to sort than the big mess we are having now. But we had to go and flog all them off, and now look, children have to take baths in plastic buckets while the EQC, the governments and the insurance companies sit on their hands.

  19. Sea bandit 19

    I listened to Brownlee talk on for five minutes No answer came forth. The man could not run a bath ,sad,b,stard

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    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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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, ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    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 ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week 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
    7 hours 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
    9 hours 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
    10 hours 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
    10 hours 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
    10 hours 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
    13 hours 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 day 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 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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