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Twyford on solutions to the housing crisis in Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 7:11 am, April 15th, 2016 - 41 comments
Categories: housing, labour, phil twyford - Tags: , , , , ,

As Nick Smith flounders about uselessly, here are extracts from Phil Twyford’s speech to the NZ Planning Institute on the housing crisis in Auckland [emphasis added at some points].


Speech to NZ Planning Institute conference

Fuelled by concern about unaffordable housing and falling home ownership, we’ve seen a vigorous public debate that has drawn in all the political parties, and a myriad of other voices from the property industry to ratepayers to Generation Zero, and planners of course are smack bang in the middle of this debate.

Two things are increasingly clear. First, pretending Auckland’s woes are inevitable or that the city is a victim of its own success, won’t wash. When our housing is less affordable than Tokyo, New York and London, and it takes 50 years to pay off the average home, something is seriously wrong.

There is no silver bullet. The mess housing is in is a result of multi-layered policy failure. Fixing the crisis is going to take bold and sustained reform on several fronts.

We need to crack down on speculators, starting off by banning non-resident foreigners from buying existing homes. Government needs to be willing to intervene in the market on an ongoing basis to deliver the volume and quality of affordable housing needed. Currently an accumulated shortfall of 30-40,000 in Auckland. Labour believes a big bold policy like Kiwibuild is needed to flood the market with high quality affordable homes.

But this morning I want to share with you Labour’s ideas on reforming the planning rules, and the way infrastructure is financed, to add to our comprehensive set of policies designed to fix the housing crisis.

Our commitment is to free up the restrictions on density, reform the use of urban growth boundaries to stop them driving up section costs, and modernise the way infrastructure for development is financed.

We believe these three changes will allow the property industry to build more and build better. It will allow the market to be more responsive to demand. Crucially it will allow more affordable housing to be built in places where people want to live.

First, we will publish a National Policy Statement under the Resource Management Act that will for example, direct Auckland Council to free up the rules on intensification in its Unitary Plan, because it is a matter of national importance.

The detail of land use rules is rightly a matter for local communities and their elected representatives in local government, but overly restrictive rules on height and density shut down housing affordability and choke off supply.

Being smart about urban growth boundaries is the next big challenge. Over the last 25 years the urban boundary, along with the density restrictions, have stopped Auckland building up and out during a time of rapid population increase. It created a pressure cooker which found its only release in skyrocketing section prices.

The big problem with the urban growth boundary is that it creates an artificial scarcity of land that drives up section prices, creating wonderful business opportunities for land bankers. We believe there are better ways to manage growth on the city fringes, particularly more intensive use of spatial planning in growth corridors.

The key to making both these measures work is reforming the inefficient and expensive way infrastructure is financed.

Currently all of the infrastructure costs within a new development, and a share of the connecting infrastructure through development contributions, are financed by the developer and directly passed on to the home buyer, and paid off through their mortgage. This adds tens of thousands to the price tag of the new home, making it even more unaffordable. Worse, the higher price of land is substantially capitalised into the value of all homes in the market.

Our policy is to finance infrastructure using local government bonds paid off through a targeted rate on the properties in the new development. Bonds are a much cheaper option than funding it through your mortgage. They allow you to spread the cost over the lifetime of the asset. It is fairer and more efficient.

Bill English and Nick Smith have been blaming the RMA for expensive housing for ten years now. After seven years in government they have not yet done anything to tackle the substantive ways that Council planning rules block development: density restrictions, urban growth boundaries and infrastructure financing.

In fact for the last several years the National Government has been on a fruitless quest to weaken the core environmental principles of the RMA. They have not yet been able to get support from the country or the Parliament for these changes, and have wasted years in the process.

Labour’s policy of a National Policy Statement could have addressed the critical issues years ago.

So, there are three practical proposals that under an Andrew Little-led government will clear away the road blocks to building more and building better. … There is nothing inevitable about the housing crisis. The solutions are all there. We just need a Government with the political will to embrace reform.

41 comments on “Twyford on solutions to the housing crisis in Auckland”

  1. tinfoilhat 1

    Good on Phil for continuing to plug away at this problem.

    The Nats have done nothing to alleviate the housing issues in Auckland apart from telling half truths, obfuscation and blaming everyone else apart from themselves.

  2. saveNZ 2

    Personally don’t think this approach is a winner for Labour.

    Homeowners are being sickened by the assault on their properties and communities. When you see how currently Auckland planners are just approving everything willy nilly so much so that a guy found out that 1/4 of his house was being demolished as it was a duplex but the council thought that the effect on his property was only minor. In Wellington the neighbours who put up a massive fence to block their neighbours views pretending it was part of a playground or the ancient Kauri tree destroyed in Titirangi and the 1 km of harbour that was stolen for ports of Auckland – you realise that actually what is wrong is the planners themselves.

    Banning foreign investors by buying existing homes is too late, how about zero homes for foreign investors, maybe they should invest in something else business related in this country? The level of community and council land being developed into retirement homes, shoddy apartments and corporate welfare shopping malls turning our cities into some sort of Thai style glitz with slum developments often with foreign money.

    The housing crisis is directly caused by government immigration policy. Increasing the population 1 – 1.5% per YEAR, but all the so called commentators just don’t want to talk about it. That is not migrants fault it is the governments fault.

    Developers develop for rich people. The new houses and apartments going up in Auckland are one of the bigger drivers of the speculation with million dollar houses being built on the SHA in some cases. It is a joke!

    As is selling off state houses. And having the cost of 1 hour of parking in Auckland the same price as minimum wage.

    And as for the underinvestment in public transport. It is deplorable. You can spread the city out as far and wide as LA but we will be condemned to smog and commuter times of hours.

    Would love the left to get real on the concerns of existing property owners and actually not go Nat Lite on the issue by thinking property developers and less regulation and foreign money will solve the problem.

    • Sabine 2.1

      it would be nice if someone would get real on the concerns of the existing homeless, four to a room flatters, precariously living in a shed/garage/car/ditch, hoping not to loose their rental to a sale etc etc etc. Cause we don’t.

      The homeowners in many cases are relatively safe, they own their properties and while they may not have a big say on what happens when their neighbor sells up they still have a safe place to stay until they decide to cash into the market in AKL. But neither dot he tenants of these buildings. And we need to start looking at communities in terms of home owners and tenants, unless we are happy to be the last homeowner in a community of ever selling houses and transient tenants.

      And again, are we talking about homeowners that own the one property they live in, or homeowners that hold three to four mortgages and hope to god and goddess that nothing happens to them and their incomes.

      So i don’t disagree with you on Council Planners doing very little to help the problem, but frankly after 8 years of National Party led Goverments Do Nothing approach to the housing crisis, the last worries that I have for my community are home owners.

      Our worries are such that the houses that have been initially sold three years ago by are still going up like clock work every 6 month for sale, that a rotting pile of wood was sold to a TV Show contestant and needs to be sold now after having been empty for 5 month with a profit. Which will lead to a very small, no section, only one car park, very little on street parking 3 bedder and an under the staircase closet being sold for something like a million – cause the tv show contestant bought and renovated a crap little starter house for 750.000$ !!!!. I am sure the homeowner will not find anything to complain about.

      What Mr. Twyford said and has been saying now for a while should be a winner, unless we are happy to throw 50+% of the population under the bus when it comes to housing.
      Consider also that it is not just young ones that are priced out, it is also a few of the 40+ age group that have lost mortgages at the beginning of 2008 – 9 during re-structuring, loss of job, illness, divorce etc etc etc that now will never be able to buy a house again in what is their home town. But then maybe home town only means something if it concerns home owners.
      All others can get ‘fudged’.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      Banning foreign investors by buying existing homes is too late, how about zero homes for foreign investors, maybe they should invest in something else business related in this country?

      Nope. People offshore simply shouldn’t own anything in NZ.

      corporate welfare shopping malls

      Why are people still building shopping malls? They belong to last century.

      Would love the left to get real on the concerns of existing property owners and actually not go Nat Lite on the issue by thinking property developers and less regulation and foreign money will solve the problem.

      QFT

      • I’d say it’s going too far to say people offshore shouldn’t own ANYTHING in New Zealand, but we have a legitimate interest in preserving New Zealand ownership of at least a majority of assets in New Zealand, so that we don’t become, essentially, a dormitory country, renting our accomodation from foreign interests to work for multinationals to buy food from multinationals in order to go back to work for multinationals, with every transaction sending the majority of money involved overseas.

        Those who do want to own property here should be interested in either living in it themselves or providing for affordable rental or lease. (subject to enforced minimum standards)

        edit: I guess I just feel like forcing foreign owners to occupy the property a significant time themselves, or making them provide affordable rentals with reasonable conditions will remove a lot of the incentive to own ALL the rental property. Perhaps I’m wrong though. 🙂

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1

          I’d say it’s going too far to say people offshore shouldn’t own ANYTHING in New Zealand

          Nope. It’s about equality under the law. If we allow some offshore people to own part of NZ then we have to allow all offshore people to own part of NZ. This will, over time, remove NZers ability to live in their own land.

          Those who do want to own property here should be interested in either living in it themselves or providing for affordable rental or lease.

          Nope as it simply doesn’t do anything for us while allowing offshore parasites to live off of the work of NZers.

          • AmaKiwi 2.2.1.1.1

            + 1

            “affordable rental or lease” means we pay foreigners rent/profits which go overseas, worsening our balance of trade. We do this so we can”enjoy the “privilege” of living in our own country!

            If we want foreigners to sell off the properties they presently own, we simply change the tax code to make it prohibitively expensive for them to retain properties here. Quadrupling the rates on foreign owned properties would do wonders for my ever escalating rates.

            It is common for countries prohibit foreigners owning property.

          • Matthew Whitehead 2.2.1.1.2

            Well, I’d disagree a little that it does NOTHING for us, having affordable and up-to-code rentals is something we do need, it’s just a question of whether the correct amount can be either owned by New Zealand capital, or are an investment the government can afford to make if we have a chance to implement your buyback of property from offshore interests. (by which I assume you mean non-resident foreigners and multinationals not doing business in NZ?) We currently have too much property, with not enough being lived in, and the property that is lived in not being up to an acceptable standard. I imagine requiring offshore speculators to rent it out or reside in it themselves (in addition to a tax on capital in NZ) would probably cool down the market a lot, but YMMV.

            I totally agree with the reasons you want to do this but I think allowing SOME amount of openness in property investment isn’t unreasonable, but possibly with practical limits on how much profit can be offshored, either by setting the standards for rentals and leases very high, or by implementing an actual cap to offshoring rental profits. Of course if that didn’t fix things sufficiently I’d agree that your proposal is the logical next step.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.2.1

              having affordable and up-to-code rentals is something we do need, it’s just a question of whether the correct amount can be either owned by New Zealand capital

              All money in NZ can easily be NZ money. Having foreign money in NZ doesn’t actually make any more resources available.

              (by which I assume you mean non-resident foreigners and multinationals not doing business in NZ?)

              By which I mean anybody not living in NZ and multi-nationals also wouldn’t be able to operate in NZ (they can sell their goods here but it’d have to be through a local distributor).

              • Right. It’s just a question of when you do the buyback whether the government feels it’s acceptable to hold onto whatever proportion of property can’t be on-sold to local investors, as that might end up being a large liability if it expands the housing/rental market by a large degree. I don’t expect that any government willing to do such a buy-back would be terribly keen on hanging onto ALL the properties it bought, although it would probably hold onto some as social housing. Some properties might be elaborate mansions for non-resident celebrities, for instance, which would possibly be impractical for the government to rent or lease.

                Interesting point on multinationals btw, I like it.

      • dave 2.2.2

        if you haven’t noticed Westfield are bailing out of the shopping mails if you look at a shopping mail they don’t make sense any longer there is nothing in them that isnt being sold on line and as the years pass they will become more and more irrelevant the only retail shop that make sense is likes of bunnings building supplies anything else is just an expensive showroom there closing mails down across America or desperately trying to find some formula to make them work

  3. ianmac 3

    Does it have to be a “winner” for the Little-lead Government? Surely it would be proof of competent well thought out Government. Lots more to come.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    First, we will publish a National Policy Statement under the Resource Management Act that will for example, direct Auckland Council to free up the rules on intensification in its Unitary Plan, because it is a matter of national importance.

    The thing to note here is that the National Government has long blamed both Auckland Council and the RMA for limitations on new house availability in Auckland.

    Now Labour has come to the same understanding as the National Party, albeit years late to the party, and officially admitted that Key and English had it right all along.

    • AmaKiwi 4.1

      And this Labour idea is another devastating blow for democracy.

      Which dictatorship should I vote for. Neither is democratic.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Labour originally complained that National’s approach was undemocratic.

        Now its decided to do yet another National Government aping act. Just add it to the list:

        Keep National’s TPPA
        Sign up to National’s spying and anti-terror legislation
        National’s Kiwi Bank pseudo-privatisation is a good idea
        Vote for the NAT’s beneficiary and their partners blaming bill

        etc.

        • Chris 4.1.1.1

          And the worst thing is that there’s absolutely no indication that Labour’s going to change, and every indication that it’s more of the same.

          What’s important here for the “head in the sand Labour can do wrong” brigade is that it’s an extremely irresponsible position for Labour to be taking. They’re sitting on around just under 30% which means they’re going nowhere but that level of support also prevents others from taking that position. The result is that Labour props up a nasty hate-driven Key-led government. And it’s no coincidence that their policies are almost identical.

  5. AB 5

    We have to tackle domestic speculators too, not just foreign ones.
    How about a direct tax on income from rental properties – say 2.5% per bedroom cumulative across your rental portfolio so at 40 bedrooms you forgo all your income from rent?
    Doesn’t cripple the middle class mum & dad who rent out a single 3-bedder to (say) augment retirement income, but targets the bigger players.
    Would trigger an orgy of evasion I guess?

    • Rocco Siffredi 5.1

      So people just buy houses and don’t rent them out. The tax is then avoided.

    • Nessalt 5.2

      And who do you think pays this tax? i’m not really keen on paying my landlord $975 per week to share a house because he is paying tax of 50% on his 6th or 7th house. people would avoid this tax on purpose because it’s so ridiculous.

      • AB 5.2.1

        Indeed – you’d have to combine it with a rent freeze. And of course do something about houses left vacant and farmed for unearned capital gain.
        Depends how determined you are to stop wealth all heading in one direction.
        Housing is a human right – becoming a petit rentier capitalist isn’t.

        • Nessalt 5.2.1.1

          Housing or owning housing?

          there is always going to be a need for landlords, without the petty envy labels.

          • AB 5.2.1.1.1

            “there is always going to be a need for landlords, without the petty envy labels”
            Possibly – do they need to be private individuals and should they be allowed (along with the banks) to create bubbles that cause a lot of suffering fro those priced out of ‘the market’. Why should housing be a market?

            No envy here mate – outrage – quite different from envy when viewed from a moral perspective. ‘Politics of envy’ is of course an empty right-wing slogan mouthed by the privileged.

  6. greywarshark 6

    savenz
    This below from your comment, is good. But banning foreign investors from buying existing homes is overdue, not too late. Action now would slowdown the ‘fever’ in property buying.

    Banning foreign investors by buying existing homes is too late, how about zero homes for foreign investors, maybe they should invest in something else business related in this country? The level of community and council land being developed into retirement homes, shoddy apartments and corporate welfare shopping malls turning our cities into some sort of Thai style glitz with slum developments often with foreign money.

    Basically the neo libs have majorly stuffed up with their economics. They have grabbed as much money as they can get, and now are uncertain what to do with it. They can hold onto it for a while because of the low inflation focus, but it is sloshing around looking for a home. Housing isn’t controlled by low inflation targets and is free to rise exponentially so they obviously want to push their money in there.

    Instead of playing fair in the economic cycle and paying a living wage, being considerate of people like themselves and also our nurturing environment and not ripping both off they do what? With their pocket money they go into sports corruption. There is money to be made from playing games with the games and past-times of the masses. On Radionz yesterday there was an Asian corporate mentioned with turnover annually of $54 billion, compared to Adidas that makes physical objects and reaches $10 billion annually. (e&oe on my figures quoted)

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/201797033
    Declan Hill on fighting sports corruption
    With two high profile sporting events fast approaching, the Rio Olympics and Euro 2016 in France, what chance is there of fans continuing to get any pleasure from watching professional sport?
    Declan Hill is one of the world’s foremost experts on match-fixing and corruption in international sports. He was the first person to show the new danger to international sport posed by the globalization of the gambling market and match-fixing at the highest levels of professional football including the Champions League and FIFA World Cup tournaments.
    Part of his first book ‘The Fix: Organized Crime and Soccer’ details his involvement with an Asian match-fixing gang as they travelled around the world to fix major football matches. His second book was called ‘The Insider’s Guide to Match-Fixing’.

    From Nine To Noon on 14 Apr 2016
    edited

  7. Olwyn 7

    I want to see intended results spelled out in black and white. I am not persuaded by a series of moves A, B and C that point toward a vaguely outlined but desirable end. It offers no criterion for measuring the success of A, B and C, or recommending their adjustment where necessary. Thus it comes across as a pitch more than a commitment. What is deemed an affordable house? If an affordable house is only affordable to those with reliable, above average incomes and parents able to stump up with a deposit, will steps be made to ensure a supply of affordable rental accommodation, including state or social housing? If people are to be pushed to the outer edges of the city, will the infrastructure necessary to a fledgling community be part of the deal? Are we aiming for a mix of rich and poor across all or most areas, or continuing the trend toward stratification based on wealth? At least some of these questions, and others like them, need to be answered to raise the above claims from a pitch to a set of practical propositions.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      +1

      All I see from the above is Labour clinging desperately on to the failed policies of the last thirty years rather than looking for and enacting the necessary changes.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      Exactly. All these fall into the category of policy gestures, nothing more. Affordable homes = 4x household income, MAX.

      So let’s look at the reality here – none of these steps is going to make Auckland home ownership anywhere near within reach for the median household income of $80K pa.

      Let alone households trying to get by on a single full time median income of $45K to $50K pa.

      The reason for this is simple – no government Labour or National, will force a fall in today’s utterly unaffordable house values.

      The policy setting this nation needs – but again, neither Labour or National will approach – is that we need to get people out of Auckland and into the regions.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    We need to crack down on speculators, starting off by banning non-resident foreigners from buying existing homes.

    No, we need to ban offshore ownership altogether so that NZers aren’t priced out of the market by people who don’t even live here.

    Over the last 25 years the urban boundary, along with the density restrictions, have stopped Auckland building up and out during a time of rapid population increase.

    Nothing wrong with the urban boundary. In fact, it’s essential as cities cannot expand indefinitely due to lack of land and the fact that sprawl itself is uneconomic. Expanding the boundaries will not help.

    That means the problem is the height restrictions which prevent cities from building upwards.

    The big problem with the urban growth boundary is that it creates an artificial scarcity of land

    No, the land really is scarce. Nobody’s creating any more of it.

    We believe there are better ways to manage growth on the city fringes

    Shut it down altogether as it’s uneconomic.

    Our policy is to finance infrastructure using local government bonds paid off through a targeted rate on the properties in the new development.

    Better idea just to have the local council create the money to build the infrastructure needed and then cover it with rates. No interest that way.

  9. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 9

    Part of the problem is the housing bubble. So, how about this for a solution:

    a) immediately cease paying the Accommodation Supplement.

    b) immediately limit rentals to 25% of income.

    Drastic huh? But think it through – all speculators would be caught with pressing mortgages and little income to service those mortgages. House prices would plunge – putting affordable housing within reach of new home buyers. Banks, with millions of unserviceable debts on their hands, would be forced to take the loss. And, there would be a huge demand, from the top, for affordable wages so landlords could get some return!

    Not that I expect anything like this to happen!

    • Stuart Munro 9.1

      Rather than relate rent caps to income, cap rents per square meter – that reduces landlords conspiring to evict low-income families and reduces the attractiveness of real estate investment which is causing the problem. Get Auckland city to institute a punitive tax on empty housing too – so investors don’t use that trick.

      We need a Solonian reform – redirecting capital from non-productive rent-seeking real estate bubbles into productive enterprise.

      No chance of that from this stupid and irresponsible government of course. They still think they’re rockstars.

    • AmaKiwi 9.2

      “immediately cease paying the Accommodation Supplement.”

      The Accommodation Supplement is one of the sneakiest political tricks ever invented. Those receiving it think it is some sort of benefit to them. They rarely appreciate its purpose is to put extra money into their landlords’ pockets, artificially driving up rents throughout lower class communities.

      Political result? Both poor and rich will scream bloody murder if we try to abolish it. But we should.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    Why does this Labour proposal not force property divestment and an end to foreign Chinese ownership of Auckland housing?

    This was a major issue that Labour raised last year, which it said was a huge deal in high Auckland house prices.

    So where is their initiative to turn this around? Why have they left this critical issue off the list?

    Are they going to follow through on what they started last year?

    • TC 10.1

      +100

      What did you expect from a fully paid member of the ABC club.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Makes me think that Labour’s Chinese sounding last names finger pointing last year was all about cynical vote winning PR and populism, not guts and not substance.

        • Visubversa 10.1.1.1

          There are streets on Auckland’s North Shore where 90% of the properties are owned by people with “Chinese sounding names”. The houses are all 5 or 6 bedroom, 6 bathroom monstrosities built to the maximum building coverage. Who will want to live in them in 20 years?

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.1

            I was living in Auckland when they were building these pieces of shite in the 2000s.

            And now they are building very similar in Christchurch. Hundreds of them 200m2 300m2 400m2 floor area houses. For top dollar buyers.

            Nothing affordable. Nothing for if you’re earning $90K pa even.

            It’s fucking nuts.

            • Ad 10.1.1.1.1.1

              We looked pretty carefully over the last three months at buying another apartment in town over the last few months, but we view the current prices as bubble-like and too risky.

              We’ve seen a lot of people who own apartments that they have leased out to hotels, simply withdraw them from hotel rental because the rental as an apartment per week is now far superior and more stable. Net effect is 0% hotel vacancy in the CBD.

              Our view is simply to offset the savings against the remaining mortgage, keep the remaining rentals yielding high, and wait for the pop of the bubble to hit. Plus count down the years to Wanaka.

              We don’t like the degree of vulnerability that this government has led us down. Even our major local landlord investors we know are pulling right back.

              • Colonial Viper

                sounds sensible. limiting your downside at this stage of the cycle is a very good idea.

  11. Ad 11

    His proposal of a National Policy Statement on housing rolls hard over the top of Auckland Council and the many vested interests who pressured them into the absurd Unitary Plan coming to vote in July. In fact it guts the powers of democracy at a local level in every metropolitan council.

    That is a massive political call against the Property Council, the banks, the real estate agents, and the ratepayer groups and their lawyers.

    Twyford will need nerves of steel and all power to him.

  12. Nice to see someone actually coming up with some solutions to solve this very serious issue. The current crop in government don’t seem to care less about it.

  13. Tanz 13

    Part of the problem is that many MP’s , from both sides, own rental properties. They are feathering their own nests, and too bad for those left out in the cold. The overseas investors are the elephant in the room, but no one in the House ever speaks that truth. It’s such a betrayal and royal sellout. What happened to a NZ that cared about its fellow humans?

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    2 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    2 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    2 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    3 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    3 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    3 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    7 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    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

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    7 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
    7 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
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  • COVID-19 updates
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  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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