web analytics

Twelve months of living with Covid

Written By: - Date published: 8:58 am, February 1st, 2021 - 21 comments
Categories: China, covid-19, Europe, health, jacinda ardern, uk politics, us politics - Tags:

A year ago the World Health Organisation declared that the coronavirus outbreak constituted a public health emergency of international concern, WHO’s highest level of alarm.  How much has changed since then.

Before then reports were coming out of Wuhan China about the appearance of a novel virus that had caused some concern.  From the Nature website on January 20, 2020:

The world is racing to learn more about the outbreak of a new viral infection that was first detected in Wuhan, China, last month and is causing increasing alarm around the world.

As Nature went to press, officials in China had confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the virus, which causes a respiratory illness, and some 100 deaths. Around 50 cases had also been confirmed in other countries, in Asia, the United States and Europe.

Researchers fear similarities to the 2002–03 epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which emerged in southern China and killed 774 people in 37 countries. Both are members of a large virus family, called coronaviruses, that also includes viruses responsible for the common cold.

China has taken unprecedented action to try to halt the outbreak — including putting Wuhan and nearby cities on ‘lockdown’, restricting travel in and out of the cities. For now, the World Health Organization (WHO) has held off declaring a public-health emergency of international concern — the agency’s highest level of alarm — after a meeting of officials last week, but that could change.

The danger posed by the virus was underestimated at the time:

High rates of pneumonia among the first people infected had many researchers worried that the Wuhan virus was especially pernicious. Those concerns have receded slightly, as more mild cases have turned up. With some 100 deaths in more than 4,500 reported cases, the virus does not seem to be as deadly as SARS — which killed around 10% of the people it infected. But “It’s too early to be sanguine about the severity”, says Neil Ferguson, a mathematical epidemiologist at Imperial College London.

Given what happened subsequently the early estimates were optimistic.  And by March it was clear that the world was in a unique situation, not seen since the Spanish Flu in 1919.

China’s response was impressive.  It locked down cities, built new hospitals in a matter of weeks and strictly enforced the rules.

By March the alarm bells were ringing.  On March 10 WHO Director General Dr Ghebreyesus said this:

In the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has tripled.

There are now more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives.

Thousands more are fighting for their lives in hospitals.

In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher.

WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction.

We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.

Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.

Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this virus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do.

We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus.

And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled, at the same time.

WHO has been in full response mode since we were notified of the first cases.

And we have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action.

We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.

Meanwhile in America nothing happened.  The then President of the United States appeared to be incapable of dealing with the problem rationally.  Dan Obeidallah at CNBC wondered if he should be charged:

Trump knew Americans were relying on him to provide information to keep themselves and their families safe from the deadly virus. But still, he knowingly lied to the public about the risk of Covid-19. The most glaring example was one we learned about in September when the journalist Bob Woodward released audio tapes of his conversation last Feb. 7 with Trump. In that call, Trump told Woodward point blank that Covid-19 “is deadly stuff,” adding that it’s five times “more deadly” than “even your strenuous flus.”

Yet, weeks later, on Feb. 26 — with a nation desperate for information on this quickly spreading virus — Trump stood up in the White House, looked into the camera and lied to the public, saying, “I mean, view this the same as the flu.” This was days before the first American death from the virus was reported.

From there, Trump served up a buffet of lies about the risks of Covid-19, from repeatedly comparing it to the flu to a jaw-dropping one during his July 4 address to the nation in which he misled Americans with the false claim that “99 percent” of the cases were “totally harmless.”

How many of the over 400,000 Americans who died on Trump’s watch would still be alive if Trump had not intentionally misled the public about the deadly virus — likely because he believed it helped him politically?

Trump varied alarmingly between claiming it was all China’s and the WHO’s fault to there was nothing to worry about.  The deranged grouping that is the Republican Party base believed every lie and falsehood that he spun and thought that social distancing and the wearing of masks were part of the Communist takeover manifesto, not sensible policies designed to save lives.

Other nations ruled by alpha males also fared badly.  Italy was the first European nation to struggle, the UK, Brazil and Russia saw rates spike and an indifference to the disease has seen cases and deaths go up and up and up.

New Zealand’s approach was different.  We had the benefit of a small amount of time to see what was happening overseas.  And our status as a collection of islands away from transport hubs certainly helped.

And as reported by Henry Cooke in Stuff the possibilities back in March were pretty terrifying.

New research suggests up to 80,000 Kiwis could die from coronavirus without strict measures such as the country-wide lockdown.

It also shows that the lockdown may have to last far longer than a month to keep the strain on the healthcare system manageable.

But one of the paper’s authors said New Zealand’s speed at adopting a lockdown could mean we “stamp out” the disease much faster.

The modelling from the University of Auckland’s Te Pūnaha Matatini was provided to the Government before it made its lockdown decision, and builds on research overseas that has informed governments around the world in instituting dramatic lockdowns. On Sunday, initial modelling suggested as many as 60,000 Kiwis could die if stringent measures weren’t implemented.

Assuming 20 “seed cases” and a transmission rate of 2.5 the model looks at what would happen if no attempts were made to stop the spread of the disease.

It finds roughly that within 400 days roughly 89 per cent of the population would get infected, far exceeding the capability of our hospital system to cope and causing up to 80,000 deaths.

The research models that New Zealand’s hospital could deal with about 40,000 cases – so if more than 4 million people had the disease it would be vastly exceeded.

Much like the Imperial College paper which this research builds upon, the authors find that individual measures like closing schools and universities would not be sufficient to prevent large casualty rates.

Only a full mix of suppression strategies – population-wide social distancing with a lockdown and the closure of almost all businesses and schools – could keep the case numbers down enough for the healthcare system to cope, with a mortality rate of just 0.0004 per cent: About 20 people.

However the cases would spike the moment these measures were lifted, unless a vaccine had been developed in the meantime.

It is history that the Government chose to follow the scientific advice without compromise.  The team of five million dutifully fell in behind and New Zealand has, so far, not seen the spike in cases that other nations have.

Other parts of the system have gradually improved.  The quarantine system has seen a handful of glitches after over 100,000 people have been through them.  The contact tracing system is getting better and better.  The very occasional breach of the quarantine system has been tidied up.

The world is now getting to the vaccine stage and the US and the UK are scrambling to get as much as they can.  But this is no silver bullet cure.

As I said earlier in a highly connected word we are all in this together.  Rich nations getting the jump on the supply of vaccines will not help.  The disease will still sear its way through poorer nations and until the world’s population reaches herd immunity levels no one is safe.  This could take years.  Until then I cannot see any alternative other than to keep our borders closed, at least to the nations that have community transmission.

It is also a sign of failure.  Now that it is clear that some of the advanced nations’ approaches have failed they are relying on vaccines to get them out of precarious situations.  And crossing their fingers that further mutations will not render the existing vaccines obsolete.

The European Union has struggled.  Having such wide open boundaries and a variety of responses makes it almost impossible to eradicate let alone contain.  But you can see the differences in approaches and results that meant that Germany and Denmark contained the spread much better than

But looking back I think we can all agree that the decision to go hard and go early was the correct one.  And that eradication rather than management of the virus was the preferable option.

One final comment.  The nations that failed mixed up a slew of anti scientific propaganda with concern that their economies would be hurt.  One year on I believe we can safely say that the economy and community health are inseparable and related and we cannot have one without the other.

21 comments on “Twelve months of living with Covid ”

  1. Anne 1

    Third to last paragraph. A wee glitch there ms. Second sentence fades away. 😉

    It is also a sign of failure. Now that it is clear that some of the advanced nations’ approaches have failed they are relying on vaccines to get them out of precarious situations.

    What that indicates is that the so-called "advanced nations" are not advanced nations at all. It is also pertinent to note that they are all led by right-wing conservative governments.

    I'm still trying to get my head around the reasons why these types seem incapable of seeing the wood for the trees. A good historical example was their inability to recognise the inherent danger of the nuclear arms race back in the 60s,70s and 80s.

    Yes, it is partly to do with their worship of 'the money god' above all else, but there is something else more deep seated. They seem to lack the necessary imagination to be able to cognate the long term effects of ignoring major problems as they arise. CC denialism is another case in point.

    If someone can elaborate on my somewhat simplistic thesis I should be grateful.

    • Peter chch 1.1

      Your criticism of the 'Advanced nations' is a little odd.

      This virus started in China (a 'developing country' – by their own claims (when it suits them)). Maybe it escaped from a lab or maybe from abysmal live animal storage and killing, either way, this is from where it originated and where the negligence lies.

      Further, the virus was allowed to escape to ravage the world by virtue of the CCP lies, suppression of truth, and by allowing the Chinese NY mass travel to proceed so that the CCP did not lose face.

      In Europe, Africa or the Americas, lockdowns are only a time buying strategy, not a solution. Vacine alone provides a solution. These nasty 'advanced nations' that you seem to despise are where the vaccines were developed.

      And where is the virus most out of control? South America, hardly 'advanced nations'.

      But you are at least correct on one thing: yours is indeed a 'simplistic thesis '.

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        If it came from China then how come China has been so successful in stopping its spread?

      • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.2

        Why is there such a marked disparity between the transmission of COVID-19 (see the graph at the end of MS's post) in the US/UK versus NZ/Taiwan/China?

        Why have UK/US citizens (representing ~5% of the world's population) suffered 25% of global COVID-19 deaths to date?

        Wouldn't discount the influence of poor (political) leadership, a 'reluctance' to follow the science, and the flat-out cussedness of some populations/cultures, on COVID-19 health outcomes by country. Maybe it's unhelpful to consider whether or not these influences are more prevalent towards one end of the ‘left-right‘ or ‘developed-developing‘ spectrum, but it's still reasonable/important to try to understand why.

        • Phil 1.1.2.1

          Why is there such a marked disparity between the transmission of COVID-19 (see the graph at the end of MS's post) in the US/UK versus NZ/Taiwan/China?

          … Maybe it's unhelpful to consider whether or not these influences are more prevalent towards one end of the ‘left-right‘ or ‘developed-developing‘ spectrum

          For every US/UK criticism of right wing leadership you can point to, for example, Japan's centre-right government as being a pretty good demo of how to manage the crisis. They've "only" had five and a half thousand deaths. For being a large and very densely populated nation that's pretty good going.

          Then of course there's the Swedish anomaly as an example of poor leadership on the other side of the political spectrum.

        • Peter chch 1.1.2.2

          Agree Drowsy. But let's not actually give any credence to the Chinese numbers.

          But yes, 'rightist' countries like Taiwan and 'Leftist' countries like Vietnam have both done exceptionally well. May be something as simple as yhe lack of social media controls in the west, which allows conspiracy theories to flourish, something many Asian countries squash very quickly.

      • Anne 1.1.3

        That comment of yours @ 1.1 Peter chch was totally unnecessary and you misinterpreted what I said.

        It had nothing to do with China who have handled the virus extremely well. It related to those countries with right-wing govts. such as the US (under Trump) UK, Brazil and others of a similar ilk to Brazil.

        In this instance those countries were NOT advanced. They were so far behind the ball game they are now in dire straits. And that was in spite of their scientific communities whom they chose to ignore.

        Keep your snide little comments to yourself in future.

        • Peter chch 1.1.3.1

          Mickey, partly because we have had clear leadership, a population that supports our government, and our isolation and island status.

        • Peter chch 1.1.3.2

          Totally incorrect Anne. China flunked it big time by allowing the mass exodus from Wuhan during g Chinese NY 2020. This is how it spread beyond the borders of China.

          And try searching on Baidu (Chinese search engine) or looking in Weibo. You will see that there are many many pockets of Covid all over China. And Xinjiang it is pretty much out of control.

      • Liberal Realist 1.1.4

        @ Peter chch – how do you know the virus 'started in China'? Sure, China was the first nation to report SARS-COV-2 but did it originate there? Maybe, maybe not.

        SARS-COV-2 was detected in Spain in March 2019 (from a waste water sample), there's every possibility that it originated somewhere other than China.

  2. tc 2

    Watched Soderbergh's 2011 'Contagion' the other week, many parallels with the hollywood treatment of mass vaccine production which's was effectively a nasal spray.

    "crossing their fingers that further mutations will not render the existing vaccines obsolete. " is the key Micky.
    Thanks to the herd immunity and other countries failure to contain SAR-covid's had plenty of material to play the mutation game with.

    A long way to go with potentially multiple vaccine rounds and the legacy impact that recovered covid sufferers place on their health systems….looking at you america !

  3. Sanctuary 3

    I saw a piece in the paper the other day saying how we can't keep riding our "luck" with elimination, how "lucky" we were that the South African variant community case assiduously used the COVID tracer app. But you make your own luck. We weren't lucky she used the app. She used the app because our leadership has been the best in the world, fullstop. Our leaders have made us want to use the COVID app because keeping COVID out has now attained the level of a great national project, a patriotic crusade for victory in our own national tale of Kiwi exceptionalism. Being anti-lockdown and anti-vax is to be unpatriotic and not a team player, cardinal sins when it comes to COVID. In particular, in our Polynesian communities – where nationalism is less encumbered by the blushes of colonial cringe and the self-interest of membership of a globalised managerial class – have shown great responsibility in getting tested if requested and have been given via the wage subsidy and sick pay and the patriotic oppobrium that fall on the heads of any employer who refused sick leave the ability to stay home and isolate.

    it seems to me the first cracks in the national will to beat COVID are coming from the most pampered quarters, where the reliably whiney Andrea Vance – https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/124106175/faceless-bureaucrats-now-making-our-life-and-death-decisions – and the rest of the self-styled new era of social justice warriors of Stuff are proving a fine conduit for a truculent middle class that frequently finds having it's privilege checked in terms of access to MIQ beds intolerable.

    Still in a few short months we will hopefully have the vaccines and the sullen war weariness of our brittle middle class will become a stampede to get out of the country and a tidal wave of complaints about how awful the MIQ system was. But we will all be alive.

    • Incognito 3.1

      Vance raised a number of good points in her piece IMO but for balance read this Stuff article published the day before Vance’s: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/124103230/covid19-officials-reverse-decision-and-grant-man-dying-of-brain-cancer-room-in-miq [linked in Vance’s piece].

      Regarding luck being a factor in our success and having dodged a major bullet so far: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300217372/what-luck-the-weather-and-maths-have-to-do-with-us-avoiding-lockdown-so-far featuring a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science, with a PhD in applied mathematics, who “loves numbers and understanding how diseases spread”.

      • Anne 3.1.1

        From your second link Incognito:

        Maybe it’s time to build purpose-built facilities, rather than relying on hotels, he says. It might cost a lot, but less than the impact of another lockdown.

        And, besides, he points out, if we built proper facilities now, we would have them for the future.

        “Because we do expect pandemics to become more frequent – this is the third coronavirus we’ve had in 10 years.

        That makes a lot of sense. But the Govt. needs to hurry up. We're only a few months away from Winter.

        • Incognito 3.1.1.1

          Not that straightforward, I reckon. A dedicated quarantine facility will take time to build. I’d wonder what we do with a state-of-the-art facility somewhere in the wop-wops when it is not needed because there are no active/urgent cases. Does it sit empty or will it have an alternative use, e.g. a long-care treatment facility for physical/medical rehabilitation or something like that? It can’t be too essential in ordinary times, i.e. when at Level 0 (zero).

          In addition, there are some other issues to consider:

          He [a spokesperson] said there were currently no plans to establish MIQ facilities in any other locations.

          “A key constraint on adding new facilities is the essential workforce who care for returnees. We need nurses, defence personnel and police to run these facilities, and this is a limited workforce.

          “In addition to workforce supply issues, there are a number of complex issues that need to be considered when operating in a level 4 environment. This includes the limited number of suitable facilities that are in locations where there is also a suitable hospital facility and proximity to appropriate transport hubs.”

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300218612/covid19-bleak-news-for-returnees-as-cancelled-miq-vouchers-not-returning-to-circulation

          I have not heard anything from Government about planning for the future. It’ll take some review by some commission for this Government to do anything sensible it seems.

  4. Treetop 4

    The most important aspect to prevent community transmission in NZ is to control the border. Compliance of the rules has resulted in NZers having a lot more freedom than in most countries.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Georgina Kamiria Kirby
    E Te Kōkō Tangiwai, Te Tuhi Mareikura, Te Kākākura Pokai kua riro i a matou. He toka tū moana ākinga ā tai, ākinga ā hau, ākinga ā ngaru tūātea.  Haere atu rā ki te mūrau a te tini, ki te wenerau a te mano.  E tae koe ki ngā rire ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
    New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
    The Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister for Courts, Aupito William Sio, have welcomed the opening of a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court in Hamilton. The AODT Court (Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua) addresses situations where substance abuse and offending are intertwined. “New Zealanders have told ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • EU and UK FTAs top of list for first ministerial trip since COVID-19
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The visit will add political weight to ongoing negotiations with both the EU ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
    Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive Arihia Bennett MNZM has been appointed chair of the newly appointed Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “Twenty-eight people from diverse backgrounds across Aotearoa have been selected for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
    Ki ngā pou maha o te whare hauora o Aotearoa, kei te mihiTo the pillars of our health system I acknowledge/thank you Ki te ope hapai hauora o roto o tēnei rūma, kei te mihi To our health force here in the room today, I acknowledge/thank you He taura tangata, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Karangahape Road upgrades are streets ahead
    The upgrades to Karangahape Road makes the iconic street more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, attractive and environmentally sustainable, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the formal celebration of the completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project. The project included widening footpaths supporting a better outdoor dining ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to APEC business event
    E ngā tumu herenga waka, ākina ā ngaru, ākina ā tai ka whakatere ngā waka ki te whakapapa pounamu, otirā, ki Tamaki o ngā waka Tena koutou katoa… To the great leaders assembled, who guided your waka through turbulent times, challenging waters and you continue to navigate your respective waka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pause on Quarantine Free Travel with Victoria extended
    Following an assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria will continue for a further seven days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. There are now 93 cases associated with the outbreak in greater Melbourne, spread over four clusters. Contact tracing efforts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supplier Diversity Aotearoa Summit: Navigate 2021
    *** Check with delivery *** A mihi to all who have contributed to making today a success – starting with you! As you have explored and navigated government procurement today you will hopefully have reflected on the journey of our people so far – and how you can make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pukemiro School to close
    Pukemiro Primary School near Huntly will close following years of declining roll numbers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “I’ve consulted with the School Commissioner, and this decision acknowledges the fact that the few remaining students from last term are now settled at other nearby schools. “I want to thank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt acts to protect NZers from harmful content
    New Zealanders will be better protected from harmful or illegal content as a result of work to design a modern, flexible and coherent regulatory framework, Minister of Internal Affairs Jan Tinetti announced today. New Zealand currently has a content regulatory system that is comprised of six different arrangements covering some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Consultation on exemption of new builds from proposed tax rules
    The Government has today confirmed new builds will be exempt from planned changes to the tax treatment of residential investment property.  Public consultation is now open on details of the proposals, which stop interest deductions being claimed for residential investment properties other than new builds.   “The Government’s goal is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech for Predator Free 2050 Conference
    Introduction E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa   Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei i raro i te kaupapa o te rā Ko Ayesha Verrall toku ingoa No ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New stock exchange to help grow small businesses
    A new share trading market, designed as a gateway to the NZX for small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), has been granted a licence by the Government. Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, David Clark said Catalist Markets Ltd will provide a simpler and more affordable ‘stepping stone’ for SMEs to raise capital. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Visa extensions provide certainty to employers and 10,000 visa holders
    Changes to onshore visas will provide employers and visa holders with more certainty, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. Around 10,000 Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas due to expire between 21 June 2021 and 31 December 2021 will be extended for another six months to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Border class exceptions approved for more farm workers and vets
    The Government has approved border class exceptions for an additional 200 dairy workers and 50 veterinarians to enter New Zealand, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.  “It is clear from conversations with the dairy and veterinarian sectors that they are facing workforce pressures. These border exceptions will go a long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More freezers and South Island hub to support vaccine roll-out
    A South Island hub and 17 new ultra-low temperature freezers will help further prepare New Zealand for the ramp up of the vaccination programme in the second half of this year, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. The new freezers arrived in New Zealand on 27 May. They’re currently being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech at the release of Climate Change Commission's final advice
    Good morning – and thank you Prime Minister. Over the last three and half years we have been putting in place the foundations for a low-carbon Aotearoa that will be a catalyst for job creation, innovation, and prosperity for decades to come. In that future, many of our everyday tasks ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Achievable blueprint for addressing climate change released
    Report says Government making good progress on emissions reduction, but more action required Meeting climate targets achievable and affordable with existing technology Economic cost of delaying action higher than taking action now Benefits from climate action include health improvements and lower energy bills All Ministers to help meet climate targets ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to release of Climate Commission final report
    A few years ago in a speech in Auckland, I compared climate change to the nuclear free movement of roughly four decades ago. And I did so for a few reasons. Firstly, because the movement of the 1980s represented a life or death situation for the Pacific, and so does ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Barrister Michael Robinson has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Robinson graduated with a BA and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1996, and commenced practice as a solicitor with Brookfields in Auckland.  In 1998 he travelled to London ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government takes action to improve protections for subcontractors
    The Construction Contracts (Retention Money) Amendment Bill – which provides greater financial protection for subcontractors, has passed its first reading today. The Bill amends the retention provisions in the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (CCA) to provide increased confidence and transparency for subcontractors that retention money they are owed is safe. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 1 million more Pfizer doses to arrive in July
    Pfizer has scheduled delivery of an estimated 1 million doses of vaccine to New Zealand during July, COVID1-9 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “These consignments will double the total number of Pfizer doses we have received this year to more than 1,900,000 – enough to fully vaccinate almost 1 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Long-term home of the Independent Children’s Monitor identified
    The Independent Children’s Monitor (Te Mana Whakamaru Tamariki Motuhake), which is currently located within the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), will become its own departmental agency within Government. “Following the recommendations of several reviews, Cabinet agreed in 2019 to build a significantly expanded independent monitor for children in care,” Carmel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Racing Integrity Board members announced
    The new Racing Integrity Board will be up and running from July 1 to ensure high standards of animal welfare, integrity and professionalism in the racing industry. Racing Minister Grant Robertson today announced the appointments to the new Board: Sir Bruce Robertson KNZM – Chair Kristy McDonald ONZM QC Penelope ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt crackdown on organised crime continues
    A major operation against multiple organised crime groups with international links will make a significant dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks, Police Minister Poto Williams says. “I want to take an opportunity to congratulate the Police for their role in Operation Trojan Shield. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Farm planning framework supports farmers into the future
    A new framework, agreed between Government and industry, will make it easier for farmers and growers to integrate future greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater regulatory requirements into their farm planning, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “The Good Farm Planning Principles Guide out today, provides guidance for how farmers can organise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved for Canterbury
    The Government has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to the Canterbury floods. The Minister of Social Development and Employment, Hon Carmel Sepuloni says $500,000 will be made available to help with the clean-up. The flooding in Canterbury has been a significant and adverse event damaging farmland, homes, roads ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago