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Too much of a Good Thing

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, January 24th, 2011 - 42 comments
Categories: exports, farming, wages - Tags: , ,

Higher commodity and food prices, we are told are a Good Thing. Our exporters (ie. Fonterra and foreign oil companies) get more money. But we consumers have to pay more to buy the same products, so are we better off? And what about the poor saps overseas who are paying more for less, or the really poor saps who are priced out of the market?

When you hear ‘rising export prices’ what you’re actually hearing is ‘inflation’ – nothing more is being produced but it is costing more money, that’s inflation by definition. As consumers, we pay more for the same amount (if we can afford it). It’s only good for the producer because their input costs aren’t inflating as fast as their prices.

Which brings us to the big input cost: wages. In theory, we should be compensated for higher food costs because our food exporters will increase activity, hire more people, and, so, push up wages across the country. This is how the gain for the country from higher export prices is meant to be spread through-out the economy. In fact, it’s not happening.

There is a concerted effort – from the government down – to deny workers wage increases. Apart from obviously contradicting the supposed goal of closing the wage gap with Australia, this means that the real value of most workers’ wages is falling (even ignoring the GST increase).

The corporate media is cheering on these wage cuts – we’re told we all have to do our bit in these tough times. But that just means the ‘benefits’ of higher commodity prices are limited to the exporters. Everyone else faces higher prices and lower wages.

The international story behind higher commodity prices is that there are more mouths to feed and more cars to fuel but the cheap oil is gone and food output isn’t keeping up. The disastrous grain harvest in Russia, the loss of crops in Queensland, and an expected poor rice harvest in Thailand are pushing up prices for these staples and also made the grain that feeds much of the world’s dairy cattle more expensive.

High oil and food costs are pricing the world’s poorest people out of the market. Food and petrol price riots have brought down the government in Tunisia and its neighbouring governments fear they may be next. Zimbabwe is experiencing fuel shortages because its foreign suppliers have insufficient supply. Riots are spreading around the third world and the death toll is rising. This is the real cost of that Good Thing – rising commodity prices.

42 comments on “Too much of a Good Thing ”

  1. IrishBill 1

    Which brings us to the big input cost: wages. In theory, we should be compensated for higher food costs because our food exporters will increase activity, hire more people, and, so, push up wages across the country. This is how the gain for the country from higher export prices is meant to be spread through-out the economy. In fact, it’s not happening.

    To be fair, the Dairy Workers Union have been instrumental in making sure that dairy workers get a fair go. Not that it couldn’t be more.

    • Marty G 1.1

      Good news but my point is about wages for the rest of us. This austerity mantra means most workers are taking pay cuts, and being tricked into getting angry st workers who demand more. So, the country’s income is rising but most aren’t benefiting, just paying higher prices

      • KJT 1.1.1

        83% rise in labour productivity since the 70’s. Greater rises than that in the costs of food and housing. 15% rise in wages. The median wage rise is a lot less.

    • The Baron 2.1

      Wow thanks Eve – that show looks really shit.

      • Armchair Critic 2.1.1

        I never even look at links to youtube, Baron, on the basis that all links to youtube are shit.
        I’m sure there are some exceptions, but not enough for me to bother.

        • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1

          You’re missing out on a lot of thought provoking and useful videos, as well as a lot of entertainment.

          • Armchair Critic 2.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, I’m regretting that comment now.
            I have observed that commenters who post links without much of an explanation as to what the link will tell me or why I should follow it tend to be a waste of time, especially where the link is to youtube. Exception – music videos.
            It occurred to me that maybe it’s the appeal to authority of youtube videos that riles me. Essentially, to appear on TV you need to be sufficiently “important” – youtube is like TV (moving pictures and sound on a small screen), so to be on youtube you must also be important. Except the flaw in the logic is anyone can get onto youtube, there’s no editorial control at all.
            Or maybe I’m reading too much into it.

            • McFlock 2.1.1.1.1.1

              what irks me is that often youtube links are used in the same way as links to nutjob webtext (of all colours of the rainbow), but it takes a wee while to figure out that the monologue / whatever is nutty. On a text website you can scan to the meat of the author’s discussion and pick up obvious stupidities and leaps of logic.

              If I’m moderately pressed for time I skip most of the video links, with maybe a mental note to catch up later if the comment summary seems coherent.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.2

        Keiser is pretty good. His show where he also talks to Australia’s Assoc Prof Steve Keen is worth checking out.

      • travellerev 2.1.3

        I don’t know why I bother Baron because you are one of the most dim witted people to have ever graced this blog but there you go.
        Max Keiser has excellent credentials to be saying the things he is saying even though he is saying them online and not in a fancy TV studio. At least that makes him free to say what he needs to say. Fancy TV studio’s belong to the corporate Media and if you speak your mind in them you end up on the street as Keith Olbermann found out last week.

        Funny how Max Keiser talks about the Wall street scheisters eh? Oh oops I forgot you love our very own Wall street bankster turned Prime minister to bits.

    • M 2.2

      Unexpected PO, unexpected peak credit, pumping blood into a corpse LOL.

  2. Dilbert 3

    This is why I believe that only way that fair distribution of necessities like food/water/oil is able to occur is for them to be placed under the control of a global organisation like the United Nations.

    • Bazar 3.1

      “Fair” for who?
      “Fair” for those who have the most numbers? Then china deserves most of the worlds oil.
      “Fair” for those who own it, then they should be allowed to do with it what they please.
      “Fair” for those who need it most, then america should enjoy that resolution as they get oiled piped in.

      Or how about “Fair” for those who lead the global organisation, which China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States would love, since they have Veto power over anything they don’t like.

      The best way to transfer weath is to either trade for it on terms acceptable to both parties, or just take it by force.
      Having someone else tell you what you can and can’t do is negotiations by force. There is nothing fair about that.

      • Marty G 3.1.1

        Fair on a per capita basis is the only true fair, if you believe in the fundamental of humanity. The yanks don’t need it more just because they are able to pay more – which is the trouble with markets in general: they should maximise utility by getting a good to those who value it most but actually it goes to those who can afford to pay the most

        • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1

          Having stayed with my ex’s family in a small town in Wisconsin for 3 weeks – my god they waste gasoline. They would make at least 4-5 separate trips in the car per day to run errands or the like, instead of condensing them down into 1 or 2 trips. This behaviour seemed pretty normal.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.2

        Having someone else tell you what you can and can’t do is negotiations by force. There is nothing fair about that.

        This is a naive view of the intracacies of power in relationships i.e. all relationships.

  3. Nick C 4

    “When you hear ‘rising export prices’ what you’re actually hearing is ‘inflation’ – nothing more is being produced but it is costing more money, that’s inflation by definition”

    No it’s not. Inflation is an increase in the general price level. If we’re talking about a few comodities such as dairy and oil, that could be nothing to do with inflation and be a manifestation of changing supply and demand for those goods: I.e. higher levels of demand from overseas.

    • Marty G 4.1

      Does that mean you don’t use the term ‘ wage inflation’? it is inflation when it takes more money to buy the same value. You can have inflation in specific goods as well as the general price level. These commodity rises will drive the increase the general price level.

    • Marty G 4.2

      Your final sentence makes no sense. Do you think that inflation happens by magic? It is created by demand/supply imbalances

      • Bazar 4.2.1

        “When you hear ‘rising export prices’ what you’re actually hearing is ‘inflation’ – nothing more is being produced but it is costing more money, that’s inflation by definition”

        http://economics.about.com/od/helpforeconomicsstudents/f/inflation.htm

        Read it for what inflation is, and what causes it.
        That indeed can be taken as inflation, but your definition is incomplete.

        Honestly the price of goods going up IS a good thing. It’ll create wealth, and promote expantion in the industry helping supply to catch up to demand.

        People dieing because they are being priced out of the market not so good, but thats reality.

      • Nick C 4.2.2

        No, because an increase in the scarcity of one or two goods does not equal inflation. Strawberrys are more expensive during the off season because they are more scarce and have to be imported. No one would say that is proof of inflation occuring. Increases in aggregate demand cause inflation, but one good does not equal aggregate demand.

        “It is created by demand/supply imbalances”

        There is of course considerable debate amoung economists about what causes inflation, and there is no consensus. Plenty of economists will argue that inflation is mostly a monetary phenomenon.

        • Marty G 4.2.2.1

          “Strawberrys are more expensive during the off season because they are more scarce and have to be imported. No one would say that is proof of inflation occuring.”

          actually, seasonal inflation and deflation occurs, but is adjusted out in the seasonally adjusted figures because it doesn’t represent an underlying change in the price level of a good or basket of goods.

          “Increases in aggregate demand cause inflation, but one good does not equal aggregate demand”

          a)one good is part of aggregate demand, especially when those goods are oil and food b) you can have inflation in a single good or service – you’re familiar with the term wage inflation, surely. It refers to inflation in the price of labour. There’s also an inflation index specifically for food and for a number of groups and sub-groups of goods and services.

          you’re confusing the CPI, the headline inflation figure, which is a change in the general price level with inflation, which can and does refer to nominal price increases in any good or service or basket of goods and services.

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.2.2

          There is of course considerable debate amoung economists about what causes inflation, and there is no consensus. Plenty of economists will argue that inflation is mostly a monetary phenomenon.

          And yet we have the Reserve Bank tasked with controlling inflation and pretending that it can do so without knowing where it actually comes from, but who are still willing to sacrifice peoples’ jobs by the thousands to do it.

          Economists, on the whole, should be regarded as storytellers and fortune tellers, good for light entertainment only.

          Nick, I don’t think you know much about this area of fortune telling apart from what the textbooks say, is that fair? And has been pointed out to you already, you haven’t really organised the interconnections between the different concepts in your head yet.

          • KJT 4.2.2.2.1

            I find it difficult to take modern economics graduates seriously when the are not even aware of such giants in economic theory as Keynes, Marx or even Schumpeter, let alone the New Deal and other economic events which contradict their rather narrow Neo-liberal education.

      • travellerev 4.2.3

        Actually it is created by irresponsible and fraudulent banksters and investment gamblers to cover their fraudulent tracks. Watch Max Keiser and learn.

  4. Colonial Viper 5

    If we’re talking about a few comodities such as dairy and oil, that could be nothing to do with inflation

    Technically correct, but if specific commodities and items are being affected, it will still impact the CPI.

    • mcflock 5.1

      particularly if those few commodities are at the root of the production chain for a large number of other products.

  5. Afewknowthetruth 6

    The mess we are in now has been coming for 50 years -Hubbert drew attention to peak oil in the 1950s, Carson drew attention to environmental degradation in the 60s, Meadows and company highlighted the resources/population time bombs in the 70s, Hansen drew attention to abrupt climate change in the 80s. We were off course for decades, headed straight for ‘the iceberg. We hit it around 2006.

    Now the ship is actually sinking we have criminals and clowns in charge who say there are no such things as icebergs, ships with holes in them don’t sink, and that we are headed for a ‘better, brighter future’ ….. blah, blah, blah… when in fact we are headed for collapse of western-style living arrangements.

    These are very good times when compared to what is on its way.

    Pretty damned scary really – especially the disruption of the stable climate conditions our food supply is dependent on. Then then are the bees … or rather lack of, acidification of the oceans, depletion of aquifers…

    The scariest one is the ignorance and apathy of the general public.

    We are yet to witness Peak Mayhem. That will probaly be preceded by Peak [official] Lies.

    • Bob Stanforth 6.1

      Im sorry, I have to ask – are you a productive member of society, or do you stay in bed all day, awaiting Armageddon?

      BTW, cant wait for Peak Mayhem, that sounds AWESOME! 🙂

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Uh , when you know trouble is coming down the pike you work pretty hard to position yourself for it. That means that hiding under the covers from Peak Oil like our current leadership is will not help.

      • Afewknowthetruth 6.1.2

        The scariest one is the ignorance and apathy of the general public.

  6. Tanz 7

    You can’t blame the National govt for this, much as you would like to. I await the great speech coming up, it should be good…State of the National…roll on.

  7. Tanz 8

    How come then, Labour never removed GST from food when it had nine years to do so, or at least on fresh fruit, as they’re advocating now? Wages have been low in NZ for decades, so you can’t lay the blame on National, now can you. Not all of it, anyway.

    We have been working for peanuts for ages, I was lucky once to get a fifty cent an hour payrise. This was three years ago. amd I was told to scape and bow basically, to the corporate management. No wonder people leave their jobs, it’s all take and no give from most bosses, these days!

    • Marty G 8.1

      “How come then, Labour never removed GST from food when it had nine years to do so”

      how come Holyoake didn’t introduce a flat tax? Just because Labour didn’t do everything it could ever possibly want to do in 9 years doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. Indeed, you seem to be conceding that GST off food is a good idea, since the only argument you put up against it is so weak.

      “Wages have been low in NZ for decades, so you can’t lay the blame on National, now can you. Not all of it, anyway.”

      actually, wages starting falling when the neoliberal revolution started. They recovered during the 2000s under Labour’s stornger workplace laws and are now falling. (you can see various graphs of this in our archives under wages)

      Of course, the recession is the excuse but I’m glad to see you concede that National bears part of the blame too.

      “We have been working for peanuts for ages, I was lucky once to get a fifty cent an hour payrise. This was three years ago. amd I was told to scape and bow basically, to the corporate management. No wonder people leave their jobs, it’s all take and no give from most bosses, these days!”

      And yet you’re supporting a government that is weakening the bargaining power of workers through its policies (90 days/fire at will law, anti-union laws, piddling minimum wage increases, high unemployment) and, so, making it easier for bosses to give small or no payrises.

      I actually think you’re right at the edge of a breakthrough here, Tanz. You realise that bosses, if they can, will push down our wages. Therefore, to get the wages we deserve we need to be negioating from a stronger position – two things will do that for us:

      1)uniting together and bargaining as a group because an individual is easily replaceable, a group isn’t (ie join a union),
      2) a playing field where the rules are fair and not tipped all in the advantage of the boss (ie. a government that improves your work rights, doesn’t take them away)

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        You realise that bosses, if they can, will push down our wages.

        And of course, its even more than that. Management has a responsibility to owners and shareholders to absolutely minimise the wage bill. Particularly in NZ where short sighted bottom line minded management seems to be rather common. Leaving money on the table for employees when it could go instead to investors and owners is a dereliction of management responsibility.

        Force wages down and keep them down. Take steps to make workers accept lower wages, no matter how grudgingly. Make it riskier for workers to leave for a better position elsewhere (90 day right to fire). Divert a larger and larger share of GDP to the top 1-2% of the population, and less and less to everyone else. Make no effort to retain the best workers onshore, just an executive elite. Install a Government who supports this overall programme without reservation.

        Its one way Westpac can afford to ship $6.2M in profits back to Australian shareholders from NZ every week.

        • KJT 8.1.1.1

          Partly it is down to the cult of managerialism in the Anglo Saxon countries. The incentive to managers and directors is to push staff wages down to allow room to increase their own renumeration.
          It has happened in both public and private enterprises. Ports, telecoms and power companies being a prime example where managers cut wages and service for short term gain. Usually to the long term detriment of the enterprise and its shareholders.
          Germany, Scandinavia and Japan seem to manage to retain good management without the extravagant salaries of NZ, Australia the USA and UK.
          In fact extremely high management salaries correspond, in most cases, with the worst performing enterprises.

      • Tanz 8.1.2

        I don’t support this govt, Marty G. Not while Smile and Wave is leading it, anyway. No substance at all, just loads of smiling. However, I think National is more aligned to my conservative, rightish views. Wish that English was in charge. Fat chance ! But I won’t vote the Nats, this year, no way.

        • Lanthanide 8.1.2.1

          We can only hope that Hide won’t win Epsom then.

        • fraser 8.1.2.2

          so… are you saying that if key wasnt leader and english was, the nats would be heading in a direction that addressed your concerns outlined in comments above?

  8. Well, once we are forced to stop being so reliant on oil and all that it does for us, we will have the lovely Cuba to draw upon as an example of what to do. Organic farming, working with the land instead of against it and using traditional and more efficient means to produce food. We are also going to have to lower our standards as a society. However, that will be more difficult in the Capitalist society that reigns the USA and Canada. If anyone is interested in watching, what I think is, a good documentary, check out “The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil”. It gives me some semblance of hope.

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    Barry Soper is one half of one of one of those right-wing husband-and-wife duos in which the Herald seems to specialise. In today’s issue, he has a piece that doesn’t quite reach the heights (or depths) of a Hoskings-style anti-government hostility, but which does provide an interesting example of the ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the epic fails of Kris Faafoi
    Ever since Winston Peters first breathed life into this government in 2018, its own branding has been all about social justice and how we all need to be “kind” to each other. Somehow, Kris Faafoi must have missed the memo. His performance in the immigration portfolio (in particular) has neither ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 14 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Mike Treen, Advocate, Unite Union “Please continue your incredible work compiling these news digests. As someone operating in the fields of advocacy for workers and the broader social justice areas it is invaluable to be able to check what is happening in the media relating to the issues I have to deal ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Overconfident Idiots: Why Incompetence Breeds Certainty
    This is a re-post from the Thinking is Power website maintained by Melanie Trecek-King where she regularly writes about many aspects of critical thinking in an effort to provide accessible and engaging critical thinking information to the general public. Please see this overview to find links to other reposts from Thinking is Power. ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Abandoning ambition
    When Labour was first elected to power in 2017, they promised us "[an] ambitious plan to take real action on climate change". Four years and a lot of foot-dragging later, they've finally released that plan. And its not what was promised. Where to begin? Firstly, they've taken the Climate Change ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Many e-cigarette vaping liquids contain toxic chemicals: new Australian research
    Alexander Larcombe, Telethon Kids Institute   From October 1, it’s been illegal to buy e-liquids containing nicotine without a prescription from a doctor everywhere in Australia, except South Australia. But vaping with nicotine-free e-liquids is not illegal in Australia (though in some jurisdictions the e-cigarette devices themselves are illegal). Vaping ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Young adults worldwide have blunt message for governments: ‘We don’t trust you.’
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Elizabeth Marks describes herself as “a psychologist who works on difficult problems.” Her past research aimed at helping people cope with challenging health conditions, apt training, it appears, for taking on climate change issues. A few years ago, she altered ...
    7 days ago
  • Making ‘Second Age’ Hobbits Work: Amazon Series Speculation
    Time for a good old-fashioned fandom furore. The Tolkien fandom hasn’t had a proper one of those since the Great Nudity Scandal of October 2020… so it clearly must be time to pontificate from on-high about a television series we still know vanishingly little about. This time the subject ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 13 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Lara Greaves, Political scientist, University of Auckland: “I love the NZ Politics Daily emails as they help me to keep on top of current events. It’s incredibly easy to skim through and follow the links. I really appreciate these as it means that I am exposed to a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • The Data and Statistics Bill and the OIA
    The government introduced a new Data and Statistics Bill today to modernise and replace the 45-year old Statistics Act. Part of the Bill re-enacts the existing confidentiality regime (with one exception), which while a secrecy clause isn't an especially controversial one. Another part is aimed at removing "outdated" (inconvenient) limits ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Graham Adams: The debate over the $55 million media fund erupts again
    RNZ’s Mediawatch and a video clip viewed 42,000 times keep the topic of the Public Interest Journalism Fund fizzing. Graham Adams reports.   A week ago, the NZ Taxpayers’ Union posted a short video clip of the exchange in Parliament between Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins in which the National ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Multiple sclerosis: the link with earlier infection just got stronger – new study
    Scott Montgomery, UCL For most of the time since the first description of multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1868, the causes of this disabling disease have remained uncertain. Genes have been identified as important, which is why having other family members with MS is associated with a greater risk of developing ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Hit hard by the pandemic, researchers expect its impacts to linger for years
    Sora Park, University of Canberra; Jennie Scarvell, University of Canberra, and Linda Botterill, University of Canberra   The impacts of COVID-19 on Australian university researchers are likely to have consequences for research productivity and quality for many years to come. According to an online survey of academics at the University ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Covid and free speech
    by Don Franks Some commentators have likened the struggle against Covid 19 to the world war experience. To those of us not alive in those times, that comparison can only be academic. What the anti virus battle reminds me of much more is an industrial strike. In my twenties and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • “Angry Blowhards”
    In today’s Herald, their excellent columnist, Simon Wilson, takes to task those “shouty” people whom he further describes as “angry blowhards”. They are those whose prime reaction to the pandemic is anger – an anger they seamlessly (and perhaps unwittingly) transfer from the virus to the government. The basis for ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Looking Forward To 2022.
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    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Covid mandates, and the Covid pill
    The cliché about “living with Covid” will not mean life as we’ve known it, Jim. Vaccination is fast becoming a condition of employment, and also a requirement to participate in aspects of social life, such as travel, attending bars, cafes, and concerts etc. These protective measures enjoy a high level ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 12 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Prof Alan Bollard, Professor of Practice at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington; Chair of the Infrastructure Commission: “NZ Politics Daily” provides a great public service – a quick and unbiased way to check policy announcements and analysis every morning.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: A submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2)
    I have made a submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2).In preparing it, I looked at the Hansard for the first reading debate, and got name-dropped as someone likely to make a submission. So, of course I did. I focus on a small bit of the ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: More tales from the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme
    You may have read last week that two years after the publication of regulations for medicinal cannabis – and three years after the enabling legislation – two local products from a local manufacturer have finally met the minimum quality standards for prescription. You may also be interested to know that ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Real action requires government
    Over the weekend someone pointed me at a journal article on "The Poverty of Theory: Public Problems, Instrument Choice, and the Climate Emergency". Its a US law journal article, so is a) very long; and b) half footnotes (different disciplines have different norms), but the core idea is that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Not doing our bit
    Last month the US and EU announced they would push an agreement to cut methane emissions by 30% (from 2020 levels) by 2030 at the upcoming climate change conference in Glasgow. The good news is that New Zealand is looking at joining it. The bad news is that that won't ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Delta’s Week Of Doom.
    Classic Shot: Are the Prime Minister’s formidable communication skills equal to the task of getting her government’s anti-Covid campaign back on track?IF JACINDA ARDERN thought last week was bad, the week ahead promises to be even worse. Sixty community cases of Covid-19, one of the highest daily totals so far ...
    1 week ago
  • Urgent measures needed to allow the safe re-opening of Auckland schools
    Dr Rachel Webb, Dr Jin Russell, Dr Pip Anderson, Dr Emma Best, Dr Alison Leversha and Dr Subha Rajanaidu* In this blog we describe the range of urgent measures that are needed to facilitate a safe return to schools in Auckland and other regions of the country where there is ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Children live online more than ever – we need better definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ scree...
    Kathryn MacCallum, University of Canterbury and Cheryl Brown, University of Canterbury   The pandemic has fundamentally altered every part of our lives, not least the time we spend on digital devices. For young people in particular, the blurred line between recreational and educational screen time presents new challenges we are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Putting Aotearoa on the map: New Zealand has changed its name before, why not again?
    Claire Breen, University of Waikato; Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato; Robert Joseph, University of Waikato, and Valmaine Toki, University of Waikato   Our names are a critical part of our identity. They are a personal and social anchor tying us to our families, our culture, our history and place in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Yes, of course festival organisers will follow the law on vaccination
    On Tuesday 5 October the New Zealand Government announced that proof of COVID-19 vaccination would be a requirement to attend large events this summer.It took a few days for event owners to absorb the information and understand the implications. By the end of the working week, most of the big ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 11 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jim Hubbard, Cartoonist “NZ Politics daily is a go to for cartoonists, or should be.  Political reporting enmasse like this gives cartoonists and political junkies a smorgasbord to get their teeth into. Essential and I daresay vital reading for those who care about the future of NZ.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, October 3, 2021 through Sat, October 9, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: VFX Artist Reveals how Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power the ENTIRE World, Will you fall ...
    1 week ago
  • The Night of Parmenides: accepted
    A bit of good news on the writing front. My 3900-word short story, The Night of Parmenides, has been accepted by SpecFicNZ for their upcoming Aftermath anthology, to be published in early 2022. This is my first published short story to be explicitly set in my home-town of ...
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, the Politician, and the gang member
    . . . . . References Newshub Nation: Gang leader Harry Tam denies Winston Peters’ claims he helped infected woman breach COVID boundary, sparking Northland lockdown Te Ao News: ‘Apologise!’ Mob leader slams Peters’ Covid, Northland allegations Stuff media: Covid-19 – Search for contact of Northland case ‘extraordinarily frustrating’ CNBC: ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Rapid kits, responses, and openings: watch motivations, or catch something worse with Covid…
    Last week was probably a high point for many armchair “experts”, fresh from their high after some deep inhaling of the various musings and fumings, of an actually very smug, and very insualted John “Things all work for me…” Key, former Prime Minister and FOREX trader, had blitzed the ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Bollocks
    It would appear we have an unwelcome presence in town.Positive wastewater results had been detected in Hamilton and Palmerston North on October 6 and 7. There are 26 cases in hospital, seven of these are in ICU or high dependency units (HDU).One of the people in hospital is in Palmerston ...
    1 week ago
  • World-leading?
    So, the Herald has found someone, as we can see from today’s issue, who is able to explain why we should not claim to have been “world-leading” in our response to the covid epidemic. It seems that we have been kidding ourselves when we celebrated our low total number of ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Why Is Labour So Frightened Of “Mr Stick”?
    Force Multiplier: Why are Ardern and her ministers so loathe to put a bit of stick about? The “emergency” legislation eventually enacted to authorise the measures needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic failed to confer upon the New Zealand Government the unequivocal authority that subsequent events showed to be so ...
    1 week ago
  • The Need for an Updated Strategic Approach to Covid-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker* The NZ Government appears to have drifted into an unclear strategic approach to Covid-19 control. In this blog we outline one potential way forward: a regional strategic approach that considers “regional suppression” and “regional elimination”. To maximise the success of this ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Mairon: The Actual Source for the Blasted Name
    Long-time Tolkien geeks – or those bemused enough to run across a certain internet phenomenon – might know that ‘Sauron’ is not actually the real name of the Lord of the Ring. ‘Sauron’ is just an abusive Elvish nickname, meaning ‘the Abhorred.’ Sauron’s actual name, at least originally, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Forced Re-entry
    The elimination of Covid strategy is not so much defeated but changing circumstances means that policy has to evolve. Our elimination stance was never sustainable or at least it would not be until the rest of the world also eliminated Covid-19. Elimination of the virus was a strategy we adopted ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Repeal this unjust law
    Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled on National's unjust "three strikes" law, and found that the sentence it required was (in the case in question) so disproportionate as to "shock the conscience" and violate the Bill of Rights Act ban on disproportionately severe treatment or punishment: The Supreme Court has ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Preparing for the flood
    The Christchurch City Council has published new "coastal hazards" data, indicating which places are under threat from sea-level rise. And its not good news: Parts of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula are likely to become unhabitable [sic] as the city council figures out how to adapt to sea level ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Virus, Not The Government
    I wonder if Mike Hosking ever reads the paper in which he appears so regularly? If he does, he might have noticed a report in today’s Herald about the problem that could face churches in Auckland if a vaccine passport becomes mandatory for those wishing to attend church services. The ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 8 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Bill Ralston, Media consultant and columnist: “NZ Politics Daily provides an invaluable service for journalists, politicians, businesspeople, decision makers and the public at large by providing an easily accessible, exhaustive, link to every significant political story in the country’s media that day. It’s a gem of a service ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • Open letter to Michael Barnett, Julie White, et al
    . . Congratulations,  Mr Barnett, Ms White, and your business colleagues. It appears that we will end up having to “live” (ie, get sick, end up in hospital, perhaps in ICU, intubated on ventilators, and possibly dying as our lungs fail) with covid19. But at least businesses will open up. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago

  • Red tape cut to boost housing supply
    New building intensification rules will mean up to three homes of up to three storeys can be built on most sites without the need for a resource consent New rules will result in at least 48,200 and as many as 105,500 new homes built in next 5-8 years Bringing forward ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Nationwide business partnership grows conservation jobs
    Further Government support for New Zealand’s longest-standing sustainable business organisation will open up opportunities for dozens of workers impacted by COVID-19 to jump start a nature-based career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Partnering to Plant Aotearoa, led by the Sustainable Business Network (SBN), is a collaboration with iwi, hapū and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand increases climate aid contribution
    Government commits $1.3 billion over four years to support countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change At least 50 percent of funding will go to the Pacific as it adapts to the impacts of climate change The increase means New Zealand now meets its fair share of global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Super Māori turnout for Super Saturday
    Māori have put a superb effort into mobilising to get vaccinated over Super Saturday, with thousands rolling up their sleeves to protect themselves, their whānau and communities from COVID-19, Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says. “It was absolutely outstanding that 21,702 Māori got vaccinated on this one day alone with 10,825 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Language assists Tagata Niue to thrive
    Despite the uncertain times we face with the challenges of COVID-19, our cultural knowledge, values and language remain constant, helping us progress towards goals in life, said  the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. This year, the Niuean community in New Zealand decided on the theme, “Kia tupuolaola e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
    The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled. “I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
    Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Harvey graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1992 and commenced employment as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland that same year. In 1997 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
    New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation. “Reducing waste is one of the issues all New Zealanders – especially younger Kiwis - care deeply about,” Environment Minister David Parker said today “New Zealand is one of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today meet with more than 30 national Māori organisations in an online hui, kicking off the process to develop a plan for New Zealand to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration). The previous National Government signed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
    Whai Kāinga, Whai Oranga will open on 20 October, to receive applications for investment through Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Te Puni Kōkiri The $730m fund combines investment from Budget 2021 ($380m) and the Māori Infrastructure Fund ($350m) - the largest investment seen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
    Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall. A coalition of around 25 businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
    Taiaha hā! Taiaha hā! - Te kairangi o te reo hoki mai ki taku tikanga, ki taku taumata, ki taku reo, ki taku ao. He reo whai tikanga, he reo whai mana, he reo whai tangata koe. Ki te whāngaihia te reo Māori he ao tēnā, ki te kore he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major contract awarded to power NZ Battery investigation
    A consortium of specialist firms has been awarded a major contract to advance the New Zealand Battery Project’s feasibility investigation into a pumped hydro storage scheme at Lake Onslow, the Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods has announced. “This contract represents a major milestone as it begins the targeted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Additional Funding for Foodbanks and Social Agencies
    The Government has approved $13.55m from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund to support foodbanks and social sector agencies, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “Foodbanks and social agencies across Auckland are doing a great job supporting their communities and the Government is today providing them with more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Generating a new generation of guardians
    The Government is supporting a Whakatōhea-led project undertaking landscape scale restoration in forests and around vulnerable rivers within the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “The Whakatōhea Tiaki Taiao project will employ four people to undertake pest and weed control, ecosystem restoration and monitoring over three ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Parts of Waikato, Northland staying at Alert Level 3
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 and Northland will remain in Alert Level 3 for a few more days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Auckland remains at Alert Level 3, Step 1. “Based on the latest public health information, ministers have decided that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New courthouses for Tauranga and Whanganui
    The Government is moving ahead with new courthouses in Tauranga and Whanganui, which the Justice Minister says provide an opportunity to redesign court facilities that help put victims at the heart of the justice system. “These courthouses are part of the 10-year infrastructure investment plan to restore and modernise Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech on the launch of the consultation on the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi o te ata. Earlier this month Save the Children wrote to me with their most up to date analysis on the impact of climate change. What they said was that children born in Aotearoa today will experience up to five times as many heatwaves and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Opportunity to shape NZ’s first Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today. The Emissions Reduction Plan will set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Convention on Biological Diversity COP 15, Virtual High-Level Segment
    Kia ora koutou katoa. I want to thank China for hosting this critically important Conference of the Parties. We are all here for the same reason. Biodiversity loss, and the ongoing degradation of nature, are accelerating at an unprecedented rate. These losses are causing irreparable harm to our planet’s ability ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government books show resilient and strong economy
    The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast, even as recently as the Budget in May. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • ​​​​​​​Health system is ready for assisted-dying law
    The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. The law received 65.1 per cent support in a public referendum held alongside last year’s general ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Taking a lead in threat to curious kea
    Reducing lead poisoning of kea, the world’s only alpine parrot and one-time New Zealand bird of the year winner, is the goal of a two year project being backed by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says.  “Lead poisoning is a serious threat to this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government provides certainty to working holiday and seasonal visa holders and employers for summer
    The Government will extend Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas for six months to provide more certainty to employers and visa holders over the coming summer period, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. “This offers employers and visa holders the certainty they’ve been asking for going ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Lower card fees good for businesses, consumers
    The Bill to help lower the cost of the fees retailers get charged for offering contactless and debit payment options is another step closer to becoming law, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark said today. “COVID-19 has changed the way we spend our money, with online and contactless ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mandatory vaccination for two workforces
    High-risk workers in the health and disability sector to be fully vaccinated by 1 December, 2021, and to receive their first dose by 30 October School and early learning staff and support people who have contact with children and students to be fully vaccinated by 1 January, 2022, and to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Fund allows more Pacific community led vaccinations
    The Government has made $1.1 million available through ‘The Prepare Pacific Community Vaccination Fund’ to directly support Pacific community-led initiatives towards increasing vaccinations, said Associate Minister of Health, Aupito William Sio. “The best way to protect our communities from COVID-19 is through vaccination. “We need to explore every avenue to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Small business at heart of economic recovery across APEC region
    The Minister for Small Business says support for small and medium enterprises will remain ongoing as the Asia-Pacific region moves through response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Stuart Nash today chaired a virtual summit from Wellington for the APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM). “APEC Ministers responsible ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Restrictions on abortion medication lifted for health practitioners
    Abortion services can now be provided in primary care, meaning people can access this care from someone like their trusted GP and in a familiar setting, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “By lifting some restrictions on the funded medications used for early medical abortions, more health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record day for Māori vaccinations
    More than 10,000 vaccinations were administered to Māori yesterday, the highest number in the vaccine campaign so far, Associate Minister of Health (Maori Health) Peeni Henare announced. There were 10,145 doses administered across the motu yesterday this is almost equivalent to the population of Hāwera. The doses are made up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on Joint Cooperation in Agriculture between Ireland and New Zealand
    8 October 2021 - Dublin, Ireland Agriculture plays an important role in the economic, social, environmental, and cultural wellbeing of Ireland and New Zealand. We are focused on increasing the productivity, inclusivity, and resilience of our respective primary sectors. As agri-food exporting nations, we also share a commitment to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Northland to move to Alert Level 3 tonight
    Northland will move to Alert Level 3 restrictions from 11:59pm tonight following recent information on the risk presented by the positive case initially tested in Whangarei earlier this week and confirmed in Auckland yesterday, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. The person is now in an Auckland Managed Isolation Quarantine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister's Christmas Card Competition
    It’s that time of year again! If you’d like to help design the Prime Minister’s official Christmas card, here’s how to take part: Draw, paint, sketch or craft an image you’d like to see on the front of this year’s Christmas card. It can be anything you want – a traditional ...
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