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Trade retaliation

Written By: - Date published: 1:21 pm, August 3rd, 2016 - 50 comments
Categories: China, exports, john key, national, trade, useless - Tags: , , , , ,

McClay and Key have made a total mess of the Chinese steel fiasco:

Gordon Campbell on Todd McClay’s faulty memory

As NZF leader Winston Peters was saying yesterday, McClay’s obvious difficulty in getting his story straight is part of a wider credibility problem with this government. Time and again, whenever an issue arises the initial response by government is to deny or diminish the problem – nothing to worry about here, everything’s OK, move on. In McClay’s initial version, China’s threat to retaliate if we pursue dumping allegations over their steel was only ‘hypothetical’ – and was intimated to be a media creation that people shouldn’t take seriously.

Then, hang on. In line with the usual pattern, as embarrassing details emerged into daylight, the story changed. Oh, McClay had somehow ‘forgotten’ he was briefed on this issue only a week beforehand. Then, a bit later: oh, actually MFAT has been working on this issue for the past few months. Over which period, supposedly neither McClay and/or officials had thought to adequately brief Prime Minister John Key. McClay has apologised to the PM for that alleged lapse.

It has been a classic protect-the-leader response. Note: McClay apologized to Key for exposing him to criticism, and not to the New Zealand public for repeatedly misleading them. That’s the first rule in these kind of scandals: protect the leader at all costs.

Currently, the Key government is still locked in re-assurance mode. Allegedly, no threat of retaliation by the Chinese exists …

Well then, what a strange coincidence:

Zespri confirms Chinese officials issue risk notice over kiwifruit

Chinese authorities have followed through on their controversial threats to clamp down on imports of kiwifruit into the country.

It comes after China threatened to slow down New Zealand dairy, wool and kiwifruit exports, to retaliate against New Zealand for initiating a preliminary inquiry into cheap Chinese steel allegedly being dumped here.

After the threats were revealed, Prime Minister John Key publicly castigated Trade Minister Todd McClay for covering up the threats. He sought and received assurances China would not go through on them.

But on Tuesday, despite the assurances, China was revealed to have issued a risk notification and strengthened inspection and quarantine processes on New Zealand kiwifruit entering China ports. …

The Nats are in a difficult spot here, no doubt about it. The weak steel is a serious issue and it should be investigated. But their usual tactics of deny and lie have been caught out yet again. We need competent government on this issue – are we going to get it?

Vernon Small:

50 comments on “Trade retaliation”

  1. Ad 1

    Would be great to see some of our Ministers doing some actual political work for a change. Like standing up to China.

    Come on John, stand up to them.

    • Michelle 1.1

      He needs to walk his talk and ‘get some guts’

    • Olwyn 1.2

      Surely with a trade agreement it is more about paying attention from the outset. It is one thing to explain that we cannot use such-and-such steel because it does not meet NZ standards and another to subject China to media howls of “sub-standard steel from China” when the deal has been done and the road or bridge is half built.

      • Ad 1.2.1

        Fully agree this sits in the first instance with NZTA and Fletchers.
        In particular their collective procurement, quality control, risk and audit, materials insurance, testing framework, completion bonding, and subcontractor control frameworks etc etc.

        But when all that fails – and trust me I know the infrastructure business reasonably well – it’s time to turn to politics. That’s NZTA’s job, not the contractors’. NZTA has the responsible Minister.

        China’s Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, China Development Bank, and many others, may keep touting to have infrastructure jobs coming their way, but they will be treated like cheap subbies unless they understand the post-Christchurch safety framework with full Directors’ liabilities that is now in place.

        More broadly than New Zealand, it’s not anybody’s job but China’s job to prove their companies and their materials should be hired for jobs globally. This taint will go round the world real fast.

  2. McFlock 2

    I have serious doubts about the leadership abilities of our prime minister – apparently none of his subordinates feel the need to advise him of important issues, instead preferring to fuck it up by themeselves.

    • ianmac 2.1

      Surely Key was aware of this problem much much earlier than stated. I bet Key said to McClay,”Lie low. It will not be important.”
      Then when the truth started emerging it became, “You naughty boy Todd. You should have told me and if you say that you did tell me, remember that I and only I choose who will stay in Cabinet.”

      • McFlock 2.1.1

        Yeah.

        I’m just really tired of the excuse that he didn’t fuck up because he made idiots responsible for the job and they fucked up.

        When did incompetence become an excuse for failure?

        • Ch-ch Chiquita 2.1.1.1

          And I wonder how much each and every such incompetent idiot is being paid.

      • North 2.1.2

        Yeah…..ya gotta let King John have a way out…….but I reckon there must be some real disquiet in that caucus. And Judith’s on the prowl. Can’t help herself. Control freak. Nasty.

    • Repateet 2.2

      Don’t doubt his leadership ability when his style of lying is so successfully learned by his underlings.

  3. save nz 3

    We need competent government on this issue – are we going to get it? – Nope!

    The Natz are quite happy to have weak steel, when people die, they can just blame someone else for it.

    They got away with leaky building.

    At the end of the day, the Natz and in particular John Key are the worst negotiators possible for NZ. Time and time again, they come back from some overseas visit or trade deal only to report back they got nothing, Zilch, zip, zero and instead signed away some right or another costing the country billions for a magic bean, have crap goods streaming in or low wages workers, or actually just a golf game or handshake to feel they are important. No wonder the Natz are popular overseas. They really are the village idiots.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      +1

    • srylands 3.2

      “Time and time again, they come back from some overseas visit or trade deal only to report back they got nothing, Zilch, zip, zero ”

      Can you give an example?

    • srylands 3.3

      Perhaps you could run through the list of the trade agreements negotiated by the current government, and compare the outcomes to those achieved by the agreements concluded under the last Labour Government.

      https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/trade/free-trade-agreements/

      I can’t see any differences. Perhaps you could give three examples. Or are you simply making shit up?

      • Gangnam Style 3.3.1

        # examples, ok, off the top of my head…

        Bending over backwards to Warner Brothers & selling out NZ workers when Peter Jackson pretended he was going to move his entire production over seas, yeah right!

        & 2 times coming back from the UK & Australia with diminished rights for New Zealanders living in those countries, hows that?

        • Chuck 3.3.1.1

          “Bending over backwards to Warner Brothers & selling out NZ workers when Peter Jackson pretended he was going to move his entire production over seas, yeah right!”

          The Govt sorting out a deluded union about to wreak the NZ film industry more like it.

          “& 2 times coming back from the UK & Australia with diminished rights for New Zealanders living in those countries, hows that?”

          You are confusing the last Labour Government signing away rights for kiwis.

          The current Government is on the ball though…

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/77065181/Australia-opens-doors-to-citizenship-for-Kiwis-following-breakthrough-agreement

          • Gangnam Style 3.3.1.1.1

            Yeah that’s precisely what unions do, destroy jobs :eyeroll: It was all a con on the part of Jackson & Warners, but whatevers, only the deluded believe otherwise.

            & no, the National Govt have been in for 8 or so years now, so again OWN IT! The “Labour did it too” meme is tired & meaningless.

            • Gosman 3.3.1.1.1.1

              Name me one worker who has been adversely affected by the outcome of the deal around the Hobbit? If you can’t name somebody then please explain to me exactly how a worker could be adversely affected.

        • Gosman 3.3.1.2

          When did Australia change the rules around New Zealanders living in Australia receiving benefits ? I believe it was when Helen Clark was PM. Did she do anything to stop this?

          • Halfcrown 3.3.1.2.1

            You are correct Gosman Clark 2001, and being the author of it did not do anything about it. However this current shower of shit has also not addressed the problem in the last 8 years.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.3.1.2.2

            A centre-right racist politician called John Howard pandered to centre-right hate speech around immigration. This happened in Australia. I’m not sure what Helen Clark could have done to solve centre-right bigotry.

            • Gosman 3.3.1.2.2.1

              Hold on. People are criticising National for not being able to get other nations to do something yet you think Labour not getting them to do it is okay because it is a little difficult. Me thinks you might have a case of double standards.

              Btw Labor was elected to power in Australia in 2007. Clark was still in power at this time. Why couldn’t she influence a center left party?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                People…you might…

                There’s only one of me. I note your argument is based on you putting words in my mouth, and what else to expect, considering your well-earned reputation for lying.

      • dukeofurl 3.3.2

        Saudi Arabia- Gulf States

        “New Zealand is in negotiations to conclude five free trade agreements, with another process towards negotiations underway”

        Theres a bigger list of FTA concluded but not in force- TPA death spiral

      • save nz 3.3.3

        TPPA so good for dairy and the country – ha ha ha – Even JK could not lie well enough to proclaim a good deal there. Funny enough now instead of milk sales we now have farm sales under National… And instead of $8 for milk solids what is it $5 or is it even less?

        Going to the UK to sort out NZ working Visas and get our youth a good deal…

        Going to OZ to sort out the imprisoned Kiwi’s who were being deported…

        Sending Collins to the anti corruption summit (held by Cameron who has a family tax haven in Panama) and now we are being investigated by the EU for corruption and dodgy tax havens set up by John Key’s sometimes family lawyer…

        Every time JK goes to lobby for Helen Clark her chances drop further.

        • save nz 3.3.3.1

          Importing in pollen with PSA virus after being told it was very dangerous to biosecurity to do that!

    • esoteric pineapples 3.4

      +1000

    • Me 3.5

      +10
      Hope you don’t mind, I’m reposting “At the end…idiots” on my Facebook page. Never a truer statement.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    We need competent government on this issue – are we going to get it?

    Nope because they’re too gutless to say to China: We’d like to do this investigation to clear up the matter and put in place processes to ensure that it doesn’t happen again but, as you’re opposed to this, we’ll just be stopping all trade with China.

    • Michelle 4.1

      Our PM is very gutless and when he goes overseas he is like a little lamb going to be the slaughted

  5. doc 5

    shining example of free trade at work, you got the big boots you get the best from free trade….

  6. dukeofurl 6

    We double down and do a ban on all chinese steel until the strength certificates can be individually verified.

  7. adam 7

    One day, and two ministers exposed for incompetence. Housing and now this.

    Where are the media calling for heads, where are the cartoons, where is the laughing at these muppets when they walk down the street?

    I think we are now into fully laugh at a national MP mode. I mean yes you could get angry, and you could shout. But seriously.

    The only response to this level of incompetence – laughter, these guys are so bad you gotta laugh at them.

    • Keith 7.1

      I worry because this amount of incompetence means National tends to resonate with voters and goes up in the polls!

      Still the oblivion of lying will be interesting. Who will fluff their lines this time?

  8. xanthe 8

    eeek first time i have seen zespri porn on the standard 🙂

  9. The Chairman 9

    “The Chinese had expressed their extreme displeasure at New Zealand inquiries into cheap Chinese steel allegedly dumped on the local market.”

    What about our displeasure (not to mention the potential risk to life) from being the recipients of inferior steel?

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Apparently that doesn’t matter to either the Chinese or our government.

      • The Chairman 9.1.1

        It’s looking that way.

        As far as the Government is concerned, they could be doing far more.

        ACRS New Zealand head Stephen Hicks had first-hand experience of the UK regime, and said it was the “wild west” in New Zealand.

        Dr Hicks said the gold-plate standard in steel quality was Europe and the UK, where no steel could be used structurally unless it was certified, and all testing had to be audited by a third party.

        In the face of a resistant Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), he said unfortunately it came back to political will.

        “How it would look would be that the government mandates the performance requirements in the product standards, saying these tests have to be repeated three or four times, and those tests have to be done or overseen by a third party organisation.”

        He said the other crucial catalyst would be customer demand – and the government was key there too because it could require all road builders to use only properly certified steel.

        http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/299574/nz-the-'wild-west'-of-steel-testing

        • save nz 9.1.1.1

          Exactly look at Pike River!! A death mine. Nobody held accountable!!!
          CTV building, another death building. Nobody held accountable!!!

  10. joe90 10

    Tories huh…

    Theresa May has been warned by China not to risk driving away Chinese investors as the country’s official news agency questioned the British government’s delay in approving the controversial new Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant.

    Xinhua news agency said China understood and respected Britain’s requirement for more time to think about the deal, but it dismissed fears that China would put “backdoors” into the technology used on the project, that might present threats to UK national security.

    It said: “China can wait for a rational British government to make responsible decisions, but cannot tolerate any unwanted accusation against its sincere and benign willingness for win-win cooperation.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/aug/01/china-warns-uk-over-suspicious-approach-to-hinkley-point-deal

    • save nz 10.1

      That deal is the joke of the century. While China puts through solar power they sell power at 3 times the rate to the UK and put the UK in eye watering debt. Why bother with military force when China can just turn the lights off in Britain! Ha Ha.

      Or mother nature can do it for them, aka “The Japanese nuclear plant stricken by a deadly tsunami two years ago is facing the dire issue of containing radioactive waste water, as operators rush to repair yet another possible disaster.

      The March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami left the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant stricken, badly damaging its reactors, which serve to cool nuclear cores.

      Now contaminated groundwater containing radioactive strontium, a byproduct of nuclear fission, is leaking from damaged reactor structures at an alarming rate of 75 gallons per minute.”

  11. SimonM 11

    I don’t think it will come to much. There’s no way Beijing would want to damage their man in Wellington, Don Key, when he’s already doing such a great job for them.

  12. Sabine 12

    i think the hardest part is finding someone ‘competent’ within the National Party.

    the incompetent ones are constantly on tv touted as heros of the realm.

    but then, they may call it incompetence where i call it an all around ‘we can’t give a fuck’ attitude to anything that concerns this country.

    housing for the people? We can’t give a fuck we have ours.
    food for kids in schools? we can’t give a fuck we’re not hungry.
    surgery for sick people? we can’t give a fuck we are not sick.
    safe steel for our buildings? We can’t give a fuck cause we are not going to upset the chinese.

    see, its only incompetence if you look at it from our side.

  13. gsays 13

    An unintended consequence of the race to the bottom.

    ‘spose this means we are sure of be buying more cheap Chinese locos

  14. NZSage 14

    There’s a lesson to be learnt here.

    If China can ignore the supposedly free trade agreement they have with NZ perhaps we can stick two fingers up the the TPPA when and if it commences.

    • RedLogix 14.1

      For a very long time the Chinese have more or less done whatever they liked in terms of international trade. Especially around fixing their currency artificially low while everyone else’s has been floated.

      The lesson has been there to learn for quite some time.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      International law isn’t followed by the major players unless it suits them to do so. We’ve seen this time and time again over the years.

      The lesson is that international law isn’t worth the paper that it’s written on.

      • Instauration 14.2.1

        Yep – opine duality and hypocrisy
        China sells steel to international markets at less than the cost of production = “Dumping”
        New Zealand sells KG of milk fat to international markets at less than the cost of production = “difficult trading conditions”

  15. Neil 15

    NZ Herald readers may be surprised to learn that there is in fact a steel fiasco, as that publication have refused to report on it.
    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/07/28/guest-blog-neil-watts-dont-mention-the-steel/#comment-347165

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    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    7 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago