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This Government’s citizenship priorities

Written By: - Date published: 9:06 am, March 24th, 2017 - 52 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Environment, national/act government, Politics, sustainability, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

Michael Tavares is a young man who has residence in New Zealand and wants to become a New Zealand citizen so that he can be a Green Party candidate in this year’s Parliamentary election. He is a kiwi through and through. He recently married a kiwi woman. He has lived here for a number of years. He celebrates the beauty of our country and is very keen to preserve our environment.

There was one problem with his application for citizenship. He has a criminal conviction within the past three years and under the Citizenship Act could not be granted citizenship unless he persuaded the Minister of Internal Affairs that there were exceptional circumstances relating to the conviction.

He has a conviction for trespass, which on the scale of things is one of the least serious offences under New Zealand law. The circumstances of that offence are that a magnificent 500 year old Kauri was being threatened with being felled. Michael set up home in the tree for a few days to make sure that it was safe.

His offending was in keeping with all notions of peaceful non violent protest. And it was successful. The tree is still standing today doing what trees do by beautifying the area, sequestering carbon, providing a home for birds and holding Titirangi’s steep hills together. When agreement was reached with the people who wanted to fell the tree Michael climbed down and transported himself to the New Lynn Police Station and handed himself in. Greater cooperation with the authorities is hard to imagine.

He then appeared in court and pleaded guilty to the charge. But for the negative attitude of the complainants he should have received a discharge without conviction and then been granted citizenship. As it was he was convicted and put on good behaviour for 12 months. No further penalty was imposed.

Many people supported him and cheered him on.  Many people, myself included, thought that he should be given a medal rather than a conviction.  Even Helen Clark supported him and said that it was “extraordinary in this day and age that a permit would be given to fell a 500 year old kauri tree”.

In my view he is not only the sort of person that we should welcome to New Zealand. He is also the sort of person that we need in Parliament. The state of our environment is such that we need as many passionate determined protectors of the environment in Parliament as we can get.

But this Government has refused his request for citizenship.  He can apply again next year and the ban will not then apply but this is not much consolation to him as he needs to be a citizen to run for Parliament.

His treatment should be contrasted with that of another person who not so long ago applied for citizenship.

Peter Thiel is a very wealthy American. He likes New Zealand and following his grant of citizenship bought a large piece of land in the South Island presumably as a bolt hold in case post Trump America implodes.

This New York Times article provides some background. From the article:

Mr. Thiel, worth a reported $2.7 billion, was a founder of the online payments site PayPal and the data company Palantir. He secretly funded the lawsuit that killed off Gawker, the network of gossip sites that outed him, accurately, as gay.

When Mr. Trump won, Mr. Thiel emerged as a key adviser. He has spent much of the time since the election in New York, advising the transition team. His recommendations are under consideration for significant jobs.

As a byproduct, he has become famous, a fate many of his peers in Silicon Valley would go out of their way to avoid. Mr. Thiel has been reported as a possible Supreme Court justice, as a potential candidate for governor of California, and, most recently, as President Trump’s potential ambassador to Germany.

Mr. Thiel’s admiration for New Zealand is longstanding. “Utopia,” he once called it. He has an investment firm in the country that has put millions into local start-ups. He also owns lavish properties there, which his Silicon Valley friends hope to fly to in the event of a worldwide pandemic.

He is willing to help his fellow humans, as long as they are also rich.  He once described incidences of date rape as belated regret.  He has some strange views.

Even though he did not meet policy requirements, specifically he did not even live in New Zealand, he was granted citizenship by Nathan Guy in 2011.  From Radio New Zealand:

Mr Guy, who was the internal affairs minister at the time, said Mr Thiel was granted citizenship under a provision of the Citizenship Act that stated it would be “in the public interest due to exceptional circumstances of a humanitarian or other nature”.

However, he said he did not recall dealing with Mr Thiel’s application.

“As minister I tended to follow the advice of DIA officials on these issues; I’m advised officials recommended granting citizenship in this particular case.”

Thiel’s treatment was exceptional.  The only other occasions this Ministerial power was used involved two unborn babies.

These examples provide a perfect example of how this Government works.  If you are rich and right wing the welcome mat is rolled out.  If you are passionate about the environment they will do nothing.

52 comments on “This Government’s citizenship priorities”

  1. james 1

    This is a really interesting post.

    Lets look at his application on its own merit.

    So we have someone who has broken the law, so by default cannot get citizenship for a number of years.

    He pleaded guilty -which is to be commended. But there is zero doubt that he broke the law.

    “He then appeared in court and pleaded guilty to the charge. But for the negative attitude of the complainants he should have received a discharge without conviction and then been granted citizenship”

    Remembering here that what you call the complainants are indeed the victims in this case – They did nothing wrong, and they have been impacted a lot by Tavares actions.

    It is right and correct that their views get taken into account in sentencing – is this not the norm? Who are we to say how the victims are impacted?

    Anyway – he now wants to be am MP – good on him. But do you really think that is an exceptional circumstance?

    Its called consequences for his actions. He should have thought of this before he broke the law – there were other ways to protest legally (as many others did).

    • DoublePlusGood 1.1

      What are people supposed to do then when breaking the law is the right thing to do?

      • james 1.1.1

        The right thing to do according to whom?

        If he thought he was doing the right thing and wanted to argue that he had his chance – but pleaded guilty, understanding the implications.

        • DoublePlusGood 1.1.1.1

          The right thing according to people with principles.

          • inspider 1.1.1.1.1

            Yes well it was the wrong thing to do according to 1000 years of English law. I put that ahead of an ex American’s principles regarding a highly disputed “500 year old” tree.

        • AB 1.1.1.2

          Oh bollocks.
          Let’s take a virtue-based approach to the ethics of the situation.
          Did Mr Tavare’s actions stem from self interest? Did he acquire any personal gain from his actions – either material or pecuniary? Nope. Did he cause harm to anyone? Nope.
          Was he performing an action that he honestly and reasonably believed was in the public interest? Yep.
          So there is every reason to say that is actions were virtuous and ethical though nominally illegal. Let him stay.

          Punitive right wingers with a viciously narrow law-based or rule-based ethics are a curse

          • Andy 1.1.1.2.1

            Let’s take a virtue ethics point of view. Aristotlean Ethics qualify. They seek to answer the question “what would a Great Man of well-tempered habits do, under these circumstances?”

            I believe a Great Man would uphold the integrity of the Law, seek to have it amended by legal means, and preserve his own credibility and reputation so that he may make a positive contribution as an MP.

            The rationale you have described isn’t really Virtue Ethics. IMO it’s Consequentialist.

      • Steve Wrathall 1.1.2

        Then go ahead and break the law…and suffer the consequences. And he has.

    • mickysavage 1.2

      I think that protecting the environment is an exceptional circumstance.

      The Government thought that Thiel’s case provided one. Why not Tavare’s case?

      • james 1.2.1

        I guess different people have differing views of “exceptional circumstance”.

        I dont know enough about Thiels (somewhat more confusing and complicated) citizenship.

        Regardless – Tavare’s should have to stand up on its own merits.

        • Keith 1.2.1.1

          Confusing and complicated…..well that is one way of describing the National Party donation laundry.

          • KJT 1.2.1.1.1

            Thiel, Donated to the National party, and no doubt some useful directorships will go to retired Nat cronies, later.

            Tavare’s, hasn’t any money to offer.

            Simple.

          • McFlock 1.2.1.1.2

            seems to be the tory go-to complaint when something is wrong but suits them: it’s all too hard to understand, whatever can we do…

            • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.2.1

              +1

              It truly is amazing how often the Tories come out with the Too Hard line or its corollary Unintended Consequences.

              All just excuses for not changing things that are wrong.

      • inspider 1.2.2

        Perhaps you are in a good position to advise why his lawyer didn’t argue that in his case.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      They did nothing wrong

      Actually, they did. Sure, cutting down the tree may have been legal but it certainly wouldn’t have been moral. It is this point which allowed the tree to still be standing today.

      Which makes his actions to prevent the trees destruction also moral and right and thus the conviction wrong.

  2. ropata 2

    NZ is only “utopia” for the super rich. It used to be a decent place for everyone but pricks like Thiel and klingons like Key have exploited/sold the common wealth for their own private gain.

    • lloyd 2.1

      Ropata, you are insulting Klingons. A Klingon would make it very clear that they were taking your property (and they would probably terminate you with extreme prejudice at the same time).

      I have strongly suspected that John Key and most of the Cabinet are actually Cylons. These devious cyborgs are always trying to gain power over real humans and do this by insinuating themselves into human society. If you want analogies of political skulduggery you must check out episodes of Battlestar Galatica.

  3. Keith 3

    Peter Thiel is rich. Michael Tavares is not. End of story!

    • james 3.1

      Michael Tavares broke the law and was found guilty in a NZ court of law – Peter Thiel wasnt. End of story.

      And to prove my argument is more valid than yours – he had not of broken the law – he would prob be a citizen now – regardless of his wealth.

      [lprent: You appear to be diversion trolling. The post was about exceptional circumstances and citizenship. As a number of people have pointed out to you so far. To date I haven’t seen you deal with that, in fact you appear to be avoiding dealing with it.

      If you want others to take personal responsibility for their actions, then YOU can damn well do it here as well.

      Banned for 4 weeks for diversion trolling. ]

      • Hanswurst 3.1.1

        Michael Tavares broke the law and was found guilty in a NZ court of law – Peter Thiel wasnt. End of story.

        No, this particular story ends (for the moment) with “exceptional circumstances”. Keith’s comment takes that into account. Yours is the comment of someone who was either too lazy to read the last chapter or too disingenuous to concede that it existed.

        • inspider 3.1.1.1

          It’s not exceptional circumstances to want to run for parliament, just as “I might want to apply for a job that I have no guarantee of even getting an interview for” is unexceptional.

          If he had secured a nomination of a party subject to citizenship, then that might be close, but his personal whim is not enough.

          More importantly why did his lawyer not push for diversion or dwc. The court is not bound by the views of the victims.

          • mickysavage 3.1.1.1.1

            I understand the Green Party had accepted his nomination for its list.

            The complainant has a big say if diversion is granted. A dwc was applied for but the police and the complainants opposed it.

            • inspider 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I suppose given the time and cost he caused the police they might not have been well disposed. Perhaps he also wasn’t that apologetic.

              Simple rule, when in another country, follow the rules as much as possible.

              • I didn’t apologise, but I did hand myself in. I’d said in advance through the media that i would, and this the police weren’t I even there when i came down.
                I also pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. I wouldn’t say i could have taken any less of the police’s time except for if i had not done this thing at all.

      • Keith 3.1.2

        He broke the law, give me a break. Yep, just like an armed robbery of a gas station, eh James? All torn up that Capital Punishment was repealed?

        He protested in a 500 year old Kauri tree to save it been felled so some arsehole could play Monopoly and improve their views. Crime of the millennium if I’ve ever heard. Maybe he should have been horsewhipped instead and then deported!

        I bet the National Party were so glad that they had that turd to cling to but they would have turfed him out anyway. Not one of their type$ if you know what I mean.

        However if he had say, oh I don’t know, helped fund some business deal, one where the tax payers took all the risk, for, oh I don’t know, some cloud computing thingy run by a loyal National Party supporter and then made a few million, risk free, well maybe then Mr Tavares may have stood a chance. And if his bank account ended in 10 zero’s even better.

        But no this man who gave a fuck about the environment is dead to us. Certainly not the kind of person we want here!

  4. Anne 4

    And don’t forget Peter Thiel went on to effectively defraud the NZ tax-payer of ten million dollars. Less than a drop in the bucket for this ultra rich bastard perhaps, but money that could have been spent in NZ for the benefit of NZers. And don’t forget he also believes… women should have never been given the vote!

    And Thiel is deemed to be more worthy of citizenship than an upstanding, honest individual who is sufficiently dedicated to this country that he actually lives here!

  5. Thank you for this article. And I appreciate the kind and supportive comments.

    With or without the piece of paper, this place is my home. I love the beauty of the people and the environment here. I’m not going anywhere.

    I’ll apply again next year after June 12th. I have more of my life ahead of me than behind. I’ll be fine.

    And I’ll continue to do all i can towards creative a fairer, more sustainable society, and a cleaner environment underpinning it all.

    Thank you all again.

    Michael Tavares.

    • mickysavage 5.1

      Cheers Michael and thanks for all you have done for our environment.

      • Steve Wrathall 5.1.1

        Yes. Thanks to this clown, anyone with a tree they want removed will be a mug if they go through the proper channels (as the owners did) to get permission. Better to surreptitiously poison it and after a while, oh no, damned kauri dieback syndrome strikes again.

    • Sabine 5.2

      well said.

    • Cheers, keep up the good work, you belong here for sure, and it’ll just have to be someone else’s turn to get arrested to stop immoral actions until you’ve got your citizenship sorted. 😀

  6. Anno1701 6

    NZ doesnt like independent thinkers/actors

    we like sheep…….

  7. Ethica 7

    Peter Thiel has IT expertise and data relevant to winning elections for the National Party (and the Republicans etc)

  8. saveNZ 8

    If he did a u turn, clear felled Titirangi and put in an application to build 50,000 McMansions, export the Kauri wood, a gigantic waste water plant in the bush with a export water bottling facility and a $5000 donation to the Natz, I’m sure he will be welcomed into NZ with open arms.

    Cheat and bribe, develop and export our natural resources, that’s how you get into this country.

    • ropata 8.1

      Might have to bump up the donation to $50K but sounds about right. And he wouldn’t have to actually build anything, just have a “plan” that provides a good photo op for Nick Smith

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        Oh, he’d build something but it’d be paid for by the taxpayers and he’d make millions on it just as his cut of the taxpayer spend.

        • ropata 8.1.1.1

          And the new (probably leaky) subdivision would be quickly purchased by a foreign investment fund so that exorbitant rent could be extracted from desperate young Kiwis.

          • saveNZ 8.1.1.1.1

            Then the council aka local rate payers will be called in to pay billions for the rebuild.

            • saveNZ 8.1.1.1.1.1

              don’t forget as well, we need an extra couple of lanes built for the extra traffic at the cost of a few billion to roading contractors and a 5 year road works delay for residents.

              What, there’s now too many cars so lets tax a commuter tax on those workers using their cars travelling from Titirangi.

              Put up the waste water charges too, to pay for the infrastructure with all that extra pollution going into the sea and all.

              Someone has to pretend to develop public transport too, so a few million for consultants each year should do it, and keep that consultation going for a decade at least. In the mean time demolish some historic buildings and trees just in case they could get in the way – someone has to look like they are doing something.

              Thankfully there is such a public stink, we can spend 5 million of rate payer money on private “environmental’ lawyers and planners at $500 p/h just so we can fight the residents for a year or so, to knock down the trees and historic buildings. Fucking NIMBYS.

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  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    4 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    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
    5 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    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, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • 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

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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
    4 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
    6 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
    6 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
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    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
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago