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TPP to criminalise ordinary viewers

Written By: - Date published: 2:44 pm, March 10th, 2016 - 53 comments
Categories: capitalism, Globalisation, Media - Tags: , , , ,

A lot of people out there couldn’t give a stuff about the TPP because they don’t see it affecting them. This might change their minds:

Watching US Netflix looks set to become an offence

Getting around blocks on overseas online television services such as the United States version of Netflix looks set to become an offence.

Commerce Minister Paul Goldsmith said the Government needed to change intellectual property laws to fulfill the country’s obligations under the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.

A discussion paper released by Goldsmith proposed that people would continue to be allowed to circumvent “geo-blocks” on physical items, for example regional blocks on DVDs. But the discussion paper proposes no similar exemption for breaking regional locks on digital services, such as online television services.

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment is inviting submissions on the proposals by March 30.

More to come

Update: Note that since the version quoted above, the piece has been updated to play down the threat.

53 comments on “TPP to criminalise ordinary viewers”

  1. adam 1

    And back comes pirating.

    Many better ways to do it now.

    When the services offered are sub par, what do these people expect?

    Oh wait kiwis = we do as we are told.

  2. framu 2

    “But the discussion paper proposes no similar exemption for breaking regional locks on digital services, such as online television services.”

    so how do they tell? – would they make the use of VPNs illegal? or use a similar method as the piracy three strikes approach?

    i know we dont really know the answer just yet – more verbally scratching my head here

    all this will do is encourage more piracy and the use of free tv streaming sites

    • Liberal Realist 2.1

      “all this will do is encourage more piracy and the use of free tv streaming sites”

      Agreed. It’s worth noting that free tv streaming is not illegal at present. If they make that illegal how the hell will they enforce it? Presumably they’ll force ISPs to block such sites – we all know how effect that has been to prevent peer to peer piracy.

      As for outlawing VPNs, good luck with that!

      The best way to tackle piracy is to make global content available at a fair price to all, however that approach doesn’t fit with content owners out-date business model.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        The best way to tackle piracy is to make global content available at a fair price to all, however that approach doesn’t fit with content owners out-date business model.

        QFT

        • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 2.1.1.1

          This show what sort of BS modern free trade agreements have become. Old fashioned free trade agreements were about consumers being able to get the lowest priced goods in all the countries within the agreement. That the TPPA allows ‘regional’ pricing just shows how meaningless words like ‘free trade’ have become.

  3. Malconz 3

    Ah well, that will be the end of my Netflix sub. Screw them all.

  4. aerobubble 4

    Two degrees of warming by 2030. TPP is irrelevant. Warming buckets cool faster, strong cooling storms produce faster cooling of northern continents. Warming won’t just raise our seashore but will create massive global displacement, from hotter summers and colder winters send more tv viewers are way, sitting new homes on new sofas. Netflix oh poor you, the whole notion of keeping up with tv shows shown in the US was said to be about people talking about the shows being in sync, lol, no its all about a shift to control content, limit access and so raise fees on the minority who have all that spare time for tv watching, overpaid tv and radio presenters. Most people are in their cars commuting, or something, tv is just a big con, its supposed to be the era of tv and there is sd all on freeview because of this nonsense design to hide price rises on tv shows. If we all turned off broadband tv and just sat to wait for the shows then we’d get them for free, duh. Its the 1% driving the prices up and then geting windfall profits.

    • aerobubble 4.1

      Instead of we all being picked off one by one by tv fees why dont we pharmac it, or better fund a public broadcaster to pick the best and just freeview them. We’d all get better tv if those putting thrir hands in their wallets gave the money to a free broadcaster and so reuce the outflow of money from nz, good for the economy, duh.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      Could you link to your statement on 2 degrees of warming by 2030?

      I personally think that climate change this century is going to be far more severe than punters suspect but 2 degrees by 2030 would be catastrophic

      • aerobubble 4.2.1

        yes, given chinas expansion, the trend of increasing warmer years, last 14 of 15? is a sure bet the next fifteen will.. but im no expert

      • Pasupial 4.2.2

        CV
        I haven’t read through the linked original study yet (and this is way off topic), but this Guardian piece mentions that scenario:

        University of Queensland and Griffith University researchers have developed a “global energy tracker” which predicts average world temperatures could climb 1.5C above pre-industrial levels by 2020.

        That forecast, based on new modelling using long-term average projections on economic growth, population growth and energy use per person, points to a 2C rise by 2030.

        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/10/dangerous-global-warming-will-happen-sooner-than-thought-study

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.2.1

          Thanks Pasupial.

          I think it will take a decade longer than their estimate of 2030 because they have used a projected high level of economic growth from the ‘golden era’ of the last 60 years.

          Of course anyone in the real economy that is not supported by a financial bubble will have realised that the stagnant last 7-8 years where per capita economic growth struggles to reach even 1% might very well be the new normal.

          Still 2040 for 2 deg C rise means we’re all screwed as that puts us on track for a 4 deg C rise by about 2060.

          • Stuart Munro 4.2.2.1.1

            It likely won’t be linear – ice melt suppresses temperature rises in oceans – once most of the ice goes the rise will be steeper.

            • aerobubble 4.2.2.1.1.1

              And all that trapped carbon in ice melt and release from once ice cover tundra warming… …oh but will thatbe balanced by forest growth in Antarctica

      • JonL 4.2.3

        “I personally think that climate change this century is going to be far more severe than punters suspect but 2 degrees by 2030 would be catastrophic”

        It will be. Few signs of cutting back, we’re showing about 5-7 yrs behind emissions in the temp record.the heat is pouring into the oceans – when that sink starts to fill right up, it’s all on…..I reckon 2C by 2030 will be about right, if not conservative.

        • aerobubble 4.2.3.1

          Its like talking to a child. You are forcing the climate to heat… ..child, “not me daddy”.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Notice how the corporations love globalisation – except when it isn’t on their terms.

    And Labour – you guys fucked up by being soft on the TPP. Stringent opposition would have won a shit tonne of votes as more of this bad news leaked out over time.

    But you were too busy cosying up to the corporate establishment to prove your credentials as a safe pair of hands.

  6. saveNZ 6

    Warners Bros takes legal action against Maori TV

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11603350

    Now that our government has spent 5m at least on prosecuting Dotcom on behalf of Warners et el so they don’t have to bother themselves with their own cash or lawyers by making it a criminal change instead of civil dispute, changed our employment law for them for lord or the Rings so people have less rights under contract and given them extra tax breaks, they now take exception to Maori TV….

    Roll on TPPA – lets give these guys MORE POWER than they already have to micro manage our information and use our police and court services… sarc.

    • Chooky 6.1

      pretty pathetic!…really imo it will give the rest of the world a creative boost and may even encourage a boycott of anything to do with Warner Bros and Hollywood….it may even make USA’s best and brightest creative writers move away

      …also ironic considering that much of the profits of the USA film industry is derivative on appropriating the creativity of others around the world and not necessarily making a good job of it eg Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ ( the books are way better than the films)

      … descriptor terms that spring to mind are …schmaltzy, cartoonising, vulgar overuse of visual effects, lack of subtlety

      • Stuart Munro 6.1.1

        Not to mention dwarf jokes, major plot changes, and above all crumbling masonry. The dwarves build fortresses on which armies break like water but in Moria, their capital, building standards weren’t enforced 🙁

  7. b waghorn 7

    So a company wants to stop people stealing their stuff??
    I personally have no problem with that.

    • Pasupial 7.1

      b waghorn
      No; a trade agreement that isn’t even in force yet, is used by our government to legally restrict the content available to NZ viewers. This will have the effect of encouraging pirating of viewing content (arguably theft), rather than preventing it. The people who view content via overseas sites still pay subscription fees at this time.

      • b waghorn 7.1.1

        Please bare with me I’m not being a smart Arse!.
        Netflix has blocks in place to stop nz viewers getting access to stuff they are not paying to watch, therefore they must have the right to stop people circumventing those blocks.
        Saying that making it illegal will cause more people to nick stuff shouldn’t be a case for not doing it surely ?

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          therefore they must have the right to stop people circumventing those blocks.

          What the hell kind of logic is that.

          Just because a farmer puts a gate across a road doesn’t mean he’s allowed to, or that he’s allowed to stop public access to the road.

          Corporations are using the TPP to defend their profits and maximise the money they can pull out of every consumer market.

          The Agreement is doing exactly what it is designed to do.

          Labour know full well that the TPP will increase profit extraction out of NZ by foreign transnational corporations, whether they are the banks or Hollywood.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1

            +1

          • joe90 7.1.1.1.2

            Just because a farmer puts a gate across a road doesn’t mean he’s allowed to, or that he’s allowed to stop public access to the road

            He’s not allowed to restrict access to those who have the right but he most certainly is allowed to negotiate different rates for different buyers of the stock he produces.

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Can that farmer also charge tourists travelling along the road for taking photographs of his alpacas?

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.2.2

              Not really. If he’s selling an item for $10 in one place and then turns around and tries to sell it for $100 dollars in another place then those in the latter place are going to buy from the former place. Simple free-market actions really.

              The problem is that the TPPA is making those simple free-market actions illegal. In other words, it’s operating against free-trade.

        • No.

          Netflix has blocks in place to stop people who ARE paying from accessing stuff licensed to a different country than the one they reside in. (because practice used to be to license things country by country, and for some reason nobody is negotiating international licensing for streaming services yet) Critically, they are paying the US fees, therefore there can be no arguement that any of the US content is not included in their payment or not licensed to them.

          There is absolutely no stealing involved. Netflix gets paid to deliver the content, and the license-holder gets their cut from the licensing deal. Technically, it may violate the terms of their agreement if there is to date no license to show said content outside of the US- but here is the important part- the content is still bought and paid for.

          What Pasupial is saying is that this sort of geoblocking-due-to-licensing difficulties problem is what we call a “service problem.” In that consumers are tired of licensing being done on a per-nation basis, so are voting with their feet by circumventing geoblocks, or if they can’t do that, simply pirating the content.

          If consumers aren’t able to legally access the content they want, they will either circumvent geoblocking (which they are now proposing to make illegal, despite the equivalent for disc-based content being explicitly legal) or outright pirate the content, and if both those two are illegal, it becomes a much higher incentive to pirate the content, because if you know what you’re doing, piracy is easy for the consumer, and generally has a high availability of content.

          Basically, National thinks it’s allowing content owners greater control over how their content is used by making it a crime to circumvent geoblocking. What they’re actually doing is encouraging people to pirate things instead of paying for the content, because if both actions are illegal, the comparative moral cost of piracy lowers, and then it’s an equation between “free, relatively convenient content” and “expensive, relatively convenient content once I set up a way to bill from an overseas credit card and fake billing address.”

          Regardless of whether content-owners have the right to set up restrictions like this, it’s bad business, and we shouldn’t be helping them encourage piracy by making new offenses for them to enforce their failed business model. We should be encouraging them to modernise their licensing deals to be international.

          • b waghorn 7.1.1.2.1

            Thakyou that helps

            • Matthew Whitehead 7.1.1.2.1.1

              No problem, I figured you were probably confusing piracy with circumventing geoblocks. Geoblocks are things like when YouTube says “this content is not available where you live.” They have no relation to the business model of the service using them, and are purely in place because of stupid, region-specific licenses and media company BS.

              • b waghorn

                If only my teachers had had your patience back in the day ,hell I might of got through collage.

                • I like debating with right-wingers. (at least, when it stays intellectual rather than emotive) You kinda have to have some patience to get through an exercise that masochistic. 😉

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      People aren’t stealing their stuff. They’re getting it legally and paying for it.

      It’s more that the company is looking to boost profits by limiting access and decreasing competition.

      • Bob 7.2.1

        “They’re getting it legally and paying for it”
        If they were getting it legally there would be no issue. They are getting access to content that only has rights paid for US viewing, by circumventing this people are actually hurting the artists who act in/write/produce/direct/create the shows.

        What you are advocating is akin to one person paying for Sky TV, then letting everyone else in the world to pay a nominal fee extra each for multi-room. You are still paying for the service, but well below the required rates to cover the cost of the shows on the service. Either the quality/quantity or rights paid to artists has to drop to cover for this illegal practice.

        Of course you would be up in arms if, lets say Warner Bro’s tried to pay artists less because of their drop in income, wouldn’t you? You can’t have it both ways.

        • Actually, at the moment there is nothing illegal about paying for an overseas service and circumventing geoblocking. You might be misrepresenting yourself, but you are still paying the same amount as anyone else for the service. Now, the distributor knowingly allowing you to use that content against their license is illegal, but you haven’t notified them that you would cause a problem for their license. Arguably it’s immoral because you’re violating the license-holder’s rights, but that’s if you believe it’s actually moral to distinguish licensing by country as opposed to, say, by language. (Distinguishing by country makes sense for physical products that need to be shipped to stores. It makes little sense for digital products where small changes need to be made for local regulations and billing, but not in the actual content or the service)

          This is NOT akin to getting a second house on your sky account and calling them “another room” so that you can get sky for $10 a month. This is more like Sky making a decision that they don’t want to operate outside of Auckland, and you getting them to connect up a service to a house inside of Auckland using someone else’s address (and possibly name, but with their explicit consent), and arranging to extend their cables to wherever you live yourself, and paying the full fee to Sky yourself for the service. Nobody is cheating anybody out of fees that make their business work. The only thing you’ve technically done “wrong” is give them incorrect membership information, but then again, you’ve only had to do that because they’ve made a business decision that discriminates against you as their potential customer.

      • Bob 7.2.2

        Also, “It’s more that the company is looking to boost profits by limiting access and decreasing competition”
        This is exactly the opposite of what is happening! Local companies such as Lightbox and Neon have been able to secure the rights to content in New Zealand where this content may be licensed to Netflix in the US. By circumventing geo-blocks, people are effectively helping to create a global monopoly by cutting out the NZ competition.

  8. Neil 8

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Warner Bro’s convinced their puppet John pony tail puller Key to get rid of free to air TV.

    • tc 8.1

      A state broadcaster would do just fine thanks.

    • Richard McGrath 8.2

      User-pays TV might be a good thing – the ins of thousands of Sky TV customers seem to think so.

      • Lucy 8.2.1

        The version we have is really bad but free to air has been gutted so much that something is better than nothing

      • David H 8.2.2

        Sky?? Really they charge you a fortune for what??? more AD filled rubbish. Exactly like free to air. So why would I want to pay $50 per mth for more AD riddled rubbish?

      • The future is with streaming services like Lightbox or Netflix, where you can watch what you want on-demand. Sky will either expand into that area or die soon enough.

        Arguably there’s room for differentiation around streaming vs downloading, (streaming is better for mobile access, downloading gives you more control over the content and the ability to access it if your connection is down) but that’s about it. In the future TVs are going to come with ethernet cables and hard drives, and they’ll act as streaming devices, maybe with some download capacity. Private network TV is likely to go away within a matter of decades.

  9. Richard McGrath 9

    I don’t think it’s so much circumventing the blocks on U.S. Netflix that’s the issue, but breaching copyright and evading paying royalties where they are due. If TPP helps those who have produced TV shows and deserve to be paid for it, then I’m OK with that.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      I don’t think it’s so much circumventing the blocks on U.S. Netflix that’s the issue

      That’s exactly what the issue is.

      If TPP helps those who have produced TV shows and deserve to be paid for it, then I’m OK with that.

      It doesn’t. In fact, it pretty much ensures that they’re lose income from their work because less people will be buying it.

    • When you circumvent geoblocking, you are still paying Netflix, who will either pay the license-holder royalties, or have already paid them a lump sum. Money is still changing hands.

      Now, if circumventing geoblocking is made illegal, it will encourage piracy. Why?

      Because of the economics of consumer morality and convenience. Imagine there are three costs to buying something- $C, (the money cost) $I, (the inconvenience cost) and $M. (the moral cost)

      If the content is available legally through a NZ-based streaming service, the cost works out to $C = (your subscription fee), $I = 1, (a nominal amount, setting up an account and paying the bills regularly) $M = 0. (negligible, unless you have a moral problem with any of the companies involved) For people with disposable income, they will almost always use the streaming service if it is reasonably priced, has a good array of content they want, and is convenient to use.

      If the content is only available through a US-based service, they will often use that service instead. Both tho license-holder and the distributer (netflix in this example) get paid, although the terms of their license are unknowingly breached, as they’re not supposed to be showing outside of the US. Because it’s currently not illegal for a customer to do this, this is mainly an inconvenience cost, setting up means to spoof the distributor, in top of paying them and signing up for the service, raising the $I cost. Due to exchange rates, $C is a bit higher, most likely. $M is either a small cost, or nothing, depending on whether you feel bad for breaking Netflix’s license with the license-holder.

      If circumventing geoblocks is made illegal, the $M and $I prices for US-based streaming services will rise for New Zealanders. This is a very bad thing. Why?

      Because there’s a third option, piracy. It has no $C cost at all, (so people who don’t have disposable income will pirate things they couldn’t have afforded anyway) and due to torrenting websites, $I is pretty low once you find a website that archives torrents. $M is probably quite high for most consumers, as you know nobody is getting paid for making or distributing the content, but here’s the thing- if you’re facing a high $M price for circumventing geoblocks anyway, and the content isn’t available in NZ, then you might not care about the moral cost. You might just pirate it.

      This law will upset the moral costs of paying for content, and drive more people to piracy. It’s actually straight-up bad for licence-holders, they just don’t realise it. And it’s bad for people who enjoy good content, which sadly doesn’t always get licensed to be consumed in NZ, and when it does get licensed, is often significantly delayed so that we get the content months or years later. That sort of thing simply doesn’t fly in the modern world, as for many consumers, a delay is a $I cost.

      Who is it good for that content gets licensed per-nation? Mostly lawyers, as the deals will need to be customised for each nation. Basically everyone else wins if the license-holder and distributor can agree to license things internationally instead- then it will pop up in the NZ version of Netflix without a problem.

  10. Observer (Tokoroa) 10

    Hi

    Given that American films are mostly about guns and unremitting violence, what would happen if the NZ Government were to ban the purchase and screening of such vile stuff?

    Would our Government be indicted by the American Producers?

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    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    5 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
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    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago

  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
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    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today outlined the first tranche of the $600 million aviation sector relief package announced earlier this week as part of the Government’s $12.1 billion COVID-19 economic response. The initial part of the aviation package aims to secure the operators of New Zealand’s aviation security system, and ...
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