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Tony Abbott and the Syrian refugee crisis

Written By: - Date published: 8:49 am, September 10th, 2015 - 74 comments
Categories: australian politics, Europe, International, john key, national, Syria, uk politics, war - Tags:

Joe Hockey Tony Abbott

I posted earlier noting New Zealand’s and the United Kingdom’s change of position relating to the Syrian Refugee crisis.

Yesterday Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia known affectionately by many as dickhead also did something unusual.  He changed position from four days ago and acted in a humanitarian manner and announced that Australia would accept 12,000 Syrian refugees over four years over and above Australia’s refugee quota.  Three days ago he was not budging on refugee numbers.

The latest announcement is impressive.  On a per capita basis each year Australia is taking in three times as many Syrian refugees as New Zealand is.  It is hard to imagine how Abbott could be so much more humanitarian than smile and wave.  It makes New Zealand’s altered response look very weak.

The Australian generosity has been tempered by the selection criteria and by boorish behaviour by some Liberal politicians.  Families from persecuted minorities aka Christian families will be prioritised.  There was this classic put down of George Christiansen who is your typical conservative politician on the subject.

And backbencher Cory Bernardi reached peak idiocy by claiming that the refugees are arriving in Europe for “opportunistic” economic reasons rather than because they fear for their lives and that Abdullah Kurdi sent his family on a boat because he wanted dental treatment.  Bernardi must rely on Cameron Slater for his information.

At the same time as the announcement that Australia will take increased numbers of refugees Abbott announced aerial bombing of ISIS in Syria.  So he gets to stroke both sides of the electorate at the same time.

This appears to me to be a Crosby Textor tactic.  A local example is National’s announcement in the last budget of a $25 per week increase in the benefit for beneficiary families while at the same time onerous requirements were put on solo mothers to find work.  And the English backdown in relation to the Syrian refugee crisis is tempered by a refusal to accept any refugees currently in Europe or to take part in the European Union Refugee quota system that Angela Merkel is trying to establish as well as increased drone strikes on ISIS targets.  And the number announced sounds more impressive but it is for the total number of refugees taken over a number of years.

Paddy Ashdown has been scathing about the English announcement.  From the Guardian:

David Cameron has highly developed skills in the art of following where he should be leading. And so, after being taught an excruciating lesson in compassion, decency and leadership by Angela Merkel, and sensing himself behind opinion again, he has produced a plan to take in 20,000 refugees – over five years. Nothing better shows the PM’s tone deafness to the urgency of the situation than to announce this headline figure, and then add that it will take five years to implement.

Not only is this response calibrated more by political expediency than compassion, he has also indicated he believes the answer to the problem is more bombing. If the best part of two years of bombing with more than enough high explosive hasn’t solved this problem, how would Britain’s widow’s mite of a few extra bombs help? Military strikes against Isis are failing, not because we do not have enough high explosive, but because we do not have a diplomatic strategy on Syria that would make sense of the military action.

But let us first consider Cameron’s refugee “plan”. Not only is he offering a derisory number of places for refugees, but the prime minister chooses to help those who are already safely housed and fed in refugee camps outside Europe, rather than those who suffer (and die too) for want of these things inside Europe. Could it be that the toxic term here is not “suffering”, but “inside Europe”, because of the effect these words have on his backbench Europhobes? If so then – irony of ironies – the desperate and the destitute tramping towards us on the dusty roads of the Balkans are hostages to Cameron’s headbangers, just as he is.

The recent announcements by Abbott and Cameron could be called a win win.  There is something for bleeding heart liberals like me and raw meat for those who think the best solution is to bomb away.

That portion of the electorate who are both discerning enough to understand what is happening and principled enough to be upset are very small.  Basically activists on both sides of the political fence and a few political journalists.  So short term the damage to the base support is minimised although the cynicism created amongst the journalist class is a problem.

There is clearly a pattern here.  In Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand former positions were quickly abandoned when the focus group results were received.  In Australia and the United Kingdom military strikes against ISIS were also announced to make the rabid right feel better.  New Zealand is not in the same position.  I guess John Key will be hoping that the flag referendum will provide a sufficient diversion.

This is interesting politics.  Basically goldilocks politics where the overall position, an average of two conflicting policies, is not too hot, not too cold, and just right.

It is a sophisticated version of the compassionate conservative line that arguably won George Bush the White House in 2000.  I do not think that the left has as yet figured out how to respond.  As a matter of priority it needs to.

74 comments on “Tony Abbott and the Syrian refugee crisis”

  1. dukeofurl 1

    The same tactic was used by Cameron in UK, the so called targeting of UK national ‘Jihardis’ by drone strikes. Its all public relations with an eye on their hard core right wing constituency.
    Since we dont ( as yet) have active military operations in Iraq ( or arent being told) maybe there will be more changes to GCSB and SIS legislation being prepared ?

  2. tc 2

    Great pic, Tony and his loyal muppets who just keep on providing entertainment and with the likes of Bernadi show Oz yet again what an old fashioned xenophobic born again bunch they actually are.

    Here’s what the OZ version of Joyce said and he’s the bloke looking up on the left
    “As an accountant myself, when you see an accountant walking across the border into Hungary from Syria when his life has been destroyed I feel a sense of empathy for him,”

    So christian accountants should be fine then and these refugees are coming from a conflict Oz begged the US to let them join in on.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Haha can accountants feel empathy? Or are they like lawyers? 😀

      • tc 2.1.1

        Will not be much of that in Liberal ranks if they do not retain canning on the 19/9.

        Knives are being sharpened as ‘the infrastructure PM’ continues to poll badly and with efforts like this is it any surprise as he doesn’t enjoy great support in or outside canberra.

  3. Chooky 3

    …the refugee humanitarian crisis can not have been part of their plans or end game….i guess this is the irony of Empires…eventually the results of their warmongering have blow back ….and they are confronted with TRAGEDY and the defeated enemy peoples pleading at their gates

    …do they continue with their annihilation and risk being seen for what they are …or show compassion and realise their foreign warmongering policy was was a failure

    ‘Assange to RT: ‘US empire’ planned to overthrow Syrian govt years before uprising’

    https://www.rt.com/news/314852-assange-wikileaks-us-syria/

    “WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has opened up about his new book, ‘The WikiLeaks Files,’ speaking about the ‘US empire’ and telling RT’s ‘Going Underground’ program that Washington had plans to overthrow Syria’s government long before the 2011 uprising began.

    Speaking to ‘Going Underground’ host Afshin Rattansi, Assange referred to the chapter on Syria, which goes back to 2006. In that chapter is a cable from US Ambassador William Roebuck, who was stationed in Damascus, which apparently discusses a plan for the overthrow of the Assad government in Syria…”

    (Assad who was always the enemy of ISIS!…how do you explain that?.
    .. and thus far we are only hearing about Syrian refugees …what about the Libyan refugees?….Libya which was bombed by NATO at the behest of USA, Sarkozy and Cameron and now what was a high functioning, high standard of living country is utterly ransacked and destroyed by the West …. and taken over by ISIS)

  4. The lost sheep 4

    “I do not think that the left has as yet figured out how to respond. As a matter of priority it needs to.”

    Here’s a link regarding a report that came out mid-week on the UK Labour Party defeat. Most of it is equally applicable to the Left throughout the Western World…
    “Labour is today too often seen as an antiquated, class-based party rooted in the past…Labour is perceived as out of touch with the modern age…… the party’s identity is increasingly past its sell-by date.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-will-go-out-of-business-unless-it-sheds-its-cloth-cap-image-report-warns-10492077.html

    But of course the UK Labour Party is indeed about to lurch both to The Left and back in time. Will this prove the above report right or wrong? Here’s an interesting poll that offers little evidence that The Left are responding successfully this time…
    “While 29 per cent of people think Mr Corbyn offers the best chance of boosting Labour’s election prospects, some 48 per cent name him as the candidate most likely to harm the party’s chances – up from 33 per cent in June”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-leadership-contest-twothirds-of-people-think-jeremy-corbyn-would-be-unlikely-to-win-next-general-election-10490294.html

  5. Chooky 5

    ‘Refugee crisis: Thank God for Germany taking responsibility – the rest of Europe appears to have forgotten the age-old lessons of history’

    by Robert Fisk , ‘The Independent’

    “http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/refugee-crisis-thank-god-for-germany-taking-responsibility–the-rest-of-europe-appears-to-have-forgotten-the-ageold-lessons-of-history-10493715.html

    “Thousands of years of our history can be traced via the movements of refugees. Often, they have been welcomed, and the societies receiving them enriched. Yet the same mistakes keep being made. Robert Fisk hopes we get it right this time…

  6. Anno1701 6

    Abbott = Chickenhawk…

  7. CTNZ 7

    This is in response to your comment Mickysavage, “On a per capita basis each year Australia is taking in three times as many Syrian refugees as New Zealand is”. I agree that New Zealand should be increasing their per capita intake as we are amongst the lowest countries and with New Zealand’s annual refugee quota of 750 has not increased since it was first announced in 1987.

    However, in relation to the comparison of Australia’s intake to New Zealand’s, Australia has a much larger land scale , amount of resources and a higher GDP compared to New Zealand. Therefore, they are more suited to increase their refugee intake on the Syrian crisis.

    • mickysavage 7.1

      It does but we are the worst in the developed world per capita. And we are a very empty land.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        And we are a very empty land.

        Are you sure about that?

        We presently produce enough food for ~20m people but doing so is destroying our environment. This would indicate that our maximum population level is quite a bit less than 20m. Sure, we’ve only got 4.5m now but what is the maximum number we can support while protecting the environment? I suspect that you’ll find that it’s not much above what we have now.

        • Chooky 7.1.1.1

          +100 DTB..however imo we do have a compassionate duty to take in refugees ….20,000? ( as opposed to new immigrants….and wealthy ones at that)

        • Ad 7.1.1.2

          You sound just like the rest of the 1%.

          Just using the Pacific as our own version of a gated community.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.2.1

            The rest of the 1%?

            Which particular 1% are you talking about?

            • Ad 7.1.1.2.1.1

              Just like the super-rich who don’t want those nasties getting into the Great Pure Space of the elite. Any excuse.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Right, so as per normal, you’re talking out your arse.

                Simple fact of the matter is that NZ, and the world, is limited and we need to take that into account when we decide matters. We can’t just let people in willy nilly.

        • marty mars 7.1.1.3

          “We presently produce enough food for ~20m people”

          Where has that figure come from?

        • weston 7.1.1.4

          plus it doesnt take much imagination to see that even a mere doubling of our traffic situation would be nightmarish

          • weston 7.1.1.4.1

            austalia should take the lot after all 17000 is just window dressing like ours disigned to make us feel better cant help but feel is all total bullshit

        • CTNZ 7.1.1.5

          New Zealand could increase its refugee intake by allocating more money to refugee re-settlement and lower the intake of immigrants as we should take a moral responsibility to these refugees. Although we do not want to lower our economy during the process of denying educated immigrants because then we won’t be able to help our own citizens as well as the higher increase of immigrants.

  8. Majic Mike 8

    CTNZ weak excuses ,Gutless futile propaganda.
    Australia takes 17× the number of refugees we do,nearly 4× per head of population.
    Now with the abbot announcment ,Australia will be taking 8× per head of population that includes our pathetic increase.

  9. Tracey 9

    Also of interest is that McCully as Security Council Chair derided the other SC members (I think he meant just Russia) for not doing the right thing about Syria… yet down here in the South Pacific, the equivalent of Uk and USA (Key and Abbott) strut about lording it over their lesser weaker neighbors…. anyone else see the irony?

  10. Majic Mike 10

    CTNZ why not call Abbott you could come up with a new line of attack.
    Abbott is a communist bleeding heart liberal.
    But because Abbott is so far behind in the poles ,he has to resort to buying some votes while maintaining his right wing base by bombing Syria.
    Pork barrel politics with a healthy slice of propaganda.

  11. Steve Wrathall 11

    “…the prime minister chooses to help those who are already safely housed and fed in refugee camps outside Europe, rather than those who suffer (and die too) for want of these things inside Europe.”

    Yes, that’s right. A genuine refugee stops at the first safe country. A migrant who then turns up their nose at the modest pickings in Turkey or Jordan &c.and strikes out for the more bounteous offerings in Northern Europe is rightly described as a welfare shopper. Paddy Pantsdown scolds Cameron for not favouring the latter & incentivising more hazardous ocean-crossing.

    • Tracey 11.1

      Are you a real refugee? i ask cos you seem to have lots of insights into how real refugees should behave and think.

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        Steve’s a real something, that’s for damned sure.

        He’s an expert on how safe Jordan and Turkey are for Kurdish refugees, refers to not even being able to get replacement teeth as “modest pickings”, and calls perilous and difficult journeys “welfare shopping”.

        If I had to describe steve, I might lose composure and use all the words that upset Family First.

        • cogito 11.1.1.1

          “perilous and difficult journeys “welfare shopping”.”

          Beware beware….

          “Aylan Kurdi’s father potentially ‘people smuggler’
          An Iraqi woman says the father of a three-year-old boy whose body washed up on a Turkish beach was a people smuggler.

          A photo of the drowned toddler’s body drew international outrage and attention to the refugee crisis in Syria.

          Aylan Kurdi’s father told the media the captain of the ship jumped overboard when it hit a wave, and then capsized.

          Zainab Abbas’s two children were killed on the boat, and her cousin has translated her story to Australia’s Channel 10.

          “It was Abdullah Kurdi driving the boat,” she says. She says she was assured the trip would be safe as the driver of the boat was going to bring his “two kids and his wife” as well.

          She is now pleading for the Australian government to give her asylum.”

          http://www.3news.co.nz/world/aylan-kurdis-father-potentially-people-smuggler-2015091121#axzz3lNVtbbxE

          • McFlock 11.1.1.1.1

            still doesn’t contradict where they were from or whether he was trying to get his family out of Turkey.

            So still a perilous and difficult journey, Not welfare shopping or an afternoon jaunt on a boat.

            • cogito 11.1.1.1.1.1

              “Not welfare shopping”

              Of course not, LOL.

              “or an afternoon jaunt on a boat.”

              Just suspected people trafficking leading to multiple deaths.

              • McFlock

                Oh, not “suspected” people trafficking. Traffickers were definitely involved, even by the article you linked.

                But I’m still not clear on what your point is. Is it that smugglers might have cut their costs by having an inexperienced and desperate refugee “captain” the boat? Or that Aylan’s dad thought he’d pay for a family daytrip to Greece by smuggling a few refugees? Or that Aylan’s dad planned to drown his family and a few refugees to get away with it?

                I don’t see how those suppositions, or any other variation, affect the central point: innocent people are dying even after leaving the immediate peril of a war zone simply because the world does not have the systems in place to handle the intercontinental transit of a large number of refugees.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Economic migrants caused the unrest in the first place, so that they’d have refugees to hide amongst. No really, I seen it on Fox.

      • joe90 11.1.2

        Check out his twitter account – he’s a white nationalist.

        • Tracey 11.1.2.1

          A great reason not to read his twitter account then. He does seem to just spout stuff and run… oblivious to his own privileged situation.

          • Steve Wrathall 11.1.2.1.1

            So, no attempt to rebut my point that Europe’s open-door policy produces drownings, just like Australia’s has ended drownings by removing the people smugglers’ inventive. Just the normal vitriol.

            White nationalist? Where’s that one come from?

            • Tracey 11.1.2.1.1.1

              why ask me? I didn’t label you that?

              Have you been a refugee, you haven’t answered my question.

            • McFlock 11.1.2.1.1.2

              removing the people smugglers’ inventive

              [assuming “incentive”]

              Australia should be commended for preventing drownings with intensive maritime surveillance.

              Paying people smugglers to turn around, and detaining refugees in camps with sexual assaults and beatings, on the other hand, should be condemned.

              Concealing the problem of abuse in the camps by making it illegal for people to report those abuses is downright wicked.

              The boats are still operating. People are still trying. They just get picked up by the navy. People smugglers collect cash from the Australians, as well as the refugees.

              • Tracey

                I thought they paid smugglers to take the people back home… opening up a potential incentive to take money from people, float them across, and then get money from Australia to take them back. THATs capitaism at its best baby.

                • Steve Wrathall

                  What are the alternatives?
                  Sink the boats?
                  Tow them back to whereever, offload the people and sink them-How much will that cost in terms of operating a naval vessel?
                  Or just give up like Europe?
                  Condemn them all you want. Australia is following the least bad option.

                  • Tracey

                    I note you haven’t answered my question up there ^^^^ have you ever been a real refugee?

                    • Steve Wrathall

                      I am a citizen, voter & taxpayer and have every right to comment on public policy decisions that affect the country I live in. I do not subscribe to the identity politics that says you must belong to a duly recognised class of victim in order to have any valid opinions on the issuance of government support to that victim class. Your question is irrelevant. The evidence and arguments I have given speak for themselves regardless of who types them.

                    • Tracey

                      evidence? 1 youtube link?

                      do you understand that refugee has a specific meaning?

                  • McFlock

                    “the least bad option”.
                    Well, except for actually treating people with dignity. And keeping them safe when/if you detain them. And maybe not just shifting the problem onto neighbouring countries. And maybe not making it illegal to bring conditions in your camps to public attention.

                    But even with those inadequacies, no, it’s not as bad as (say) just shooting refugees on sight.

                    • Steve Wrathall

                      So, The “give up like Europe” option.

                    • McFlock

                      “give up”?
                      What’s to “give up”?

                      If people were simple economic migrants, as you suggest, it would be no big deal to just put them into the regular migrant process and deport unsuitable migrants.

                      Your “immigration” problem is that these people are genuinely in danger in their country of origin, and frequently in transit countries, so even emotionally-stunted liars like you know that it would be counterproductive to your goals to just send the refugees back to be killed.

                      “Give up”? No, we won’t give up. We won’t give up our humanity just because you don’t understand it. We won’t give up our concern, even if you don’t share it. And we won’t give up our bleeding hearts, even if cocks like you don’t see any money in it.

                    • Tracey

                      thnx mcflock.

                      i dont know why steve has this notion that the drowned kids are the reason for a call to increase our refugee numbers… when the calls started before these children died.

                  • weston

                    more like the most selfish and short sighted option

            • joe90 11.1.2.1.1.3

              Where’s that one come from?

              UKIP, Farage, LibertyGB, Whittle….

              • Steve Wrathall

                None of these organisations or people are “white nationalists”. Seriously, are such pathetic attempts at smear all you have when someone tries to engage in rational debate on the how letting in those who force their way into your country only enriches people smugglers.

    • dv 11.2

      Steve, so that what Key’s mother did?

    • Tracey 11.3

      “A migrant who then turns up their nose at the modest pickings in Turkey or Jordan &c.and strikes out for the more bounteous offerings in Northern Europe is rightly described as a welfare shopper. ”

      So you favour all nations, including us, paying into a fund that sets these folks up in the closest safe place away from their endangered home? You should have just said,

      But when you use terms like “welfare shopper” and “genuine refugees” it appears to be opinion rather than substantiated facts not inviting rebuttal, cos opinions, are well, opinions aren’t they, as opposed to reasoned and substantiated argument of a differing point of view.

      Like the other day when you claimed a person endangered his wife and children cos he wanted new teeth. Although you posted a link, it didn’t substantiate your claim but propagated it. Seemingly ignorant of the assertion he lost his teeth via torture…

      • Steve Wrathall 11.3.1

        How he lost his teeth is irrelevant. He was safe in Turkey and the reasons for risking his family in getting into Europe did not relate to safety but material considerations.

        • Tracey 11.3.1.1

          You were the one who brought up his teeth, so to speak. Can you post your proof that he was risking his family for new teeth? Proof, as opposed to an assertion by someone?

          Well, the West has to take some responsibility for shoving its affluence down the throats of the world for so long as the ultimate measure of happiness and success… afterall if you are right, these folks are just responding to the advertising.

          • McFlock 11.3.1.1.1

            Actualy, one tooth might be neither here nor there, but three or four in a row I’d be starting to consider that an essential healthcare need.

            ISTR Wrathall didn’t say the man wanted new teeth, he said he “wanted his teeth done”, which made it sound like he was a month late for his two year checkup.

          • Steve Wrathall 11.3.1.1.2

            So you’re not even denying that the reasons for many migrating are economic, but blaming us for being so successful economically?

            The claims come from his sister . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3e7hJRnEb8

        • mickysavage 11.3.1.2

          Typical. Attack the individual with an unsubstantiated slur in an attempt to denigrate all 7 million refugees.

          • Steve Wrathall 11.3.1.2.1

            This is the “individual” case which is being used to emotionally blackmail us into make bad decisions. It needs to be examined.

            • Ad 11.3.1.2.1.1

              The “emotional blackmail” has been good for us.
              The truth of why we feel emotional about it bears little to do with the facts at all.

              The framing of the dead boy by the MSM is simply forcing a little wedge for immigrants from the poorest into the richest countries. Sure they’re politicising it, and successfully playing our emotions like Rachmaninov on a black grand piano.

              Good. It’s done its’ job. Policy wasn’t working. Sometimes, media politics works better.

            • Tracey 11.3.1.2.1.2

              maybe our bizarre foreign policy and knee jerk rush to say yes to the USA has led us to contribute to what you choose to see as an individual case.

            • mickysavage 11.3.1.2.1.3

              So hundreds of thousands of deaths in the civil war, millions displaced and you attack a call for a humanitarian response attacking the bona fides of an individual case?

        • Anne 11.3.1.3

          Might I suggest this lowly specimen of humanity called Steve Wrathall be subjected to torture and have his teeth pulled out one after the other without anaesthetic. Lets imagine what that will do to his mouth and the probable infections he has since had to endure. Then when he flees the people torturing him – and loses his entire family in the process – then lets punish him all over again for daring to seek dentures for his no longer existent teeth.

    • McFlock 12.1

      … or someone in Libya just bought more weapons for the war there.

      Surely it’s easier to smuggle from Turkey to literally anywhere on the Med coast, rather than from Libya?

  12. Bill 13

    Well, 12 000 people over four years certainly isn’t my idea of ‘impressive’.

    As Paddy Ashdown notes of Cameron’s 20 000 over five years, it’s derisory.

    In very rough numbers, Australia has a population about one third that of the UK, so if the 12 000 Abbot speaks of is ‘impressive’, then Cameron’s 20 000 must be kind of okay.

    You might want to reflect that the UK would be looking at somewhere in the region of 250 000 if it was at all serious about refugees…so say about 100 000 in the case of Australia and maybe 25 – 30 000 for NZ.

    There’s nothing Cosby and Textor about a government making the minimal concessions it reckons it can get away with, while looking to continue on its preferred course of action (In this instance, killing people in the countries the refugees are coming from).

    So take in ‘some’ refugees (and for god’s sake don’t anyone mention the poor bastards we’ve flung into the middle of nowhere with no services or support) while ratcheting up the war crap.

    Am I to seriously believe that some liberals have been ‘bought off’ or mollified in any way by any of this shit? Because if that’s the case, then we’re fucked – well and truly fucked.

    • mickysavage 13.1

      Impressive only in that it is better than what we or the English is doing and that it is a lot more than I thought Abbott would do.

      • Bill 13.1.1

        I see where your coming from, though I just see crap and inadequate as crap and inadequate. Hmm. I guess there’s always impressively crap and inadequate?

  13. infused 14

    You should actually read some more sources. Shit loads of these people are coming purely for economic reasons.

    Also, Steve is the only one talking sense here. You all have your heads in the sand… all refugees.. jesus. far from it.

    Watch the EU over the next 10 years. It’s going to have a lot of trouble.

    • McFlock 14.1

      Watch the EU over the next 10 years. It’s going to have a lot of trouble.

      you’ve made that sort of dire prediction before.

      But your predictions are derived more from Eric Cartman than any real basis in reality.

      My personal belief is that Europe will continue on as always: a few genuine terrorist cells here, a few sad individuals appropriating the language of power to validate their own pathetic pleas for attention there. Europeans will continue on, so will European terrorists, but without Europeans shitting a global brick every time like the yanks do.

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    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr Christina Schädel Across vast swaths of the northern hemisphere’s higher reaches, frozen ground holds billions of tonnes of carbon.  As global temperatures rise, this “permafrost” land is at increasing risk of thawing out, potentially releasing its long-held carbon into the atmosphere. Abrupt permafrost ...
    1 day ago
  • How to complain about MDC’s unreasonable LGOIMA charging regime
    Back in February, the Marlborough District Council increased the mount it charges for LGOIMA requests. I used the LGOIMA to poke into this, and it seems the case for increased charges is unjustified: the supposed increase in request volumes it rests on is an artefact of the Council suddenly deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    2 days ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    2 days ago
  • Could the Atlantic Overturning Circulation ‘shut down’?
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr. Richard Wood and Dr. Laura Jackson Generally, we think of climate change as a gradual process: the more greenhouse gases that humans emit, the more the climate will change. But are there any “points of no return” that commit us to irreversible ...
    2 days ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    3 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial 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... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    3 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    3 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    7 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    7 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    7 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week ago

  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 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
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
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