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UK Election

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 am, May 7th, 2015 - 45 comments
Categories: uk politics - Tags: , ,

The UK votes tomorrow. On The Guardian front page:

Preliminary results of final Guardian/ICM campaign poll shows Labour and Conservatives tied at 35% each

A hung Parliament is predicted, and the UK enters uncharted warters, guided only by a cabinet manual. Essential background reading from The Guardian:

General election 2015: Britain heading for hung parliament
What happens if no one wins the election?
David Cameron’s best hope is that SNP MPs constitutionally evaporate

From the SNP piece:

A campaign that never promised a winner has dragged itself to a climax. David Cameron looks done for on the numbers but in the atmosphere of stalemate and bravado in these last days, that does not seem to mean he will leave No 10.

He is being urged to hole up in there, like the hero of a Hollywood siege, no matter what the voters decide. For his anxious backers, the prime minister is a man born to rule and born to stay.

Add England to the list of countries that needs to get used to the idea that the “biggest” party (by whatever margin) doesn’t necessarily form a government.

45 comments on “UK Election”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Labour will do a deal with the SNP and rule easily. No crisis, unless Milliband thinks the SNP will roll over and join the Oxbridge old boys club like the Lib-Dems did for the Tories. Labour with the SNP actually has a chance to be the most radically left wing government since Harold Wilson’s in 1964. The question is do they have the foresight and fortitude to seize the opportunity to roll back Thatcherism (and save the union in the process), or will they try and defend neoliberalism, collapse the coalition, and almost certainly drive Scotland (and possibly even parts of Northern England) out of the UK?

    • higherstandard 1.1

      “The question is do they have the foresight and fortitude to seize the opportunity to roll back Thatcherism (and save the union in the process), or will they try and defend neoliberalism, collapse the coalition, and almost certainly drive Scotland (and possibly even parts of Northern England) out of the UK?”

      Anyone who can remember the basket case that was the UK prior to Thatcher is unlikely to want to return to those days.

      ‘…in early 1979 James Callaghan and the rest of the Labour cabinet to discuss whether the national situation had deteriorated so seriously that troops should be brought onto the streets and a State of Emergency declared.

      Nurses and ambulance drivers were on strike. Old people’s homes and schools were closing. The railways were not running. The electricians’ union marked the approach of Christmas 1978 by taking both BBC One and BBC Two off the air. The country was left with just ITV, to watch (the electricians waited until August 1979 to switch off ITV for 75 days).

      More seriously, rubbish was piling high in the streets, creating a health hazard. The most potent metaphor of national decay was in Liverpool. There, a factory was being turned over to storage space for the dead because members of the GMWU union were picketing the cemeteries. Contingency plans were made to bury the city’s rotting corpses at sea.’

      Sure argue over the changes that were made and whether they went too far without the necessary social welfare supports but don’t hold up the UK pre Tatcher as any kind of ideal.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/did-margaret-thatcher-really-save-britain-8566596.html

      • dukeofurl 1.1.1

        Looks like the cloth cap socialists from pre 80s UK ended up here.

        • higherstandard 1.1.2.1

          I hardly expect Seumas Milne to have anything polite to say about Thatcher… that aside unless you were living/working in the UK when Thatcher was voted in you probably can’t envisage what a shambles it was.

          The voters endorsement for change was strong and inevitably after the power went to her head and her reforms got more draconian towards the end of her time as leader she got rolled and the voters opted for change.

          Regarding the pedophile rings in the UK I agree disgraceful cover up/looking the other way from all involved the whole lot of them should’ve been shot.

        • Murray Rawshark 1.1.2.2

          And there are people who think the name Tory shouldn’t be used for FJK’s party.

      • DoublePlusGood 1.1.3

        And Thatcher improved the situation in the UK for workers how exactly? I don’t seem to remember seeing any films made about how well Thatcher was treating the workers…

      • DS 1.1.4

        You are aware that had Callaghan called an election for October 1978, rather than waiting an extra year, Labour would have won, and Thatcher would have never come to power?

        Britain’s nadir during this period was 1974-1975; by the late 1970s, the economy was on the mend, notwithstanding the Tory folklore about the Winter of Discontent (and it is folklore – Callaghan never said “crisis, what crisis”). A Labour Government in the 1980s would not have wasted the wealth of North Sea Oil on unemployment benefits and tax cuts like Thatcher did.

  2. DoublePlusGood 2

    If they had a fair proportional system like MMP, there wouldn’t be a hung parliament, and Salmond would be preparing to be deputy prime minister.

    • Bill 2.1

      Salmond would first of all have to win in Gordon and then replace Angus Robertson as the leader of the SNP in Westminster to be deputy.

      The first bit is, hopefully, only 24 hours away. The second bit? Nah.

      • DoublePlusGood 2.1.1

        My apologies, wrong leader. Still recalling Scotland failing to become independent.

    • dukeofurl 2.2

      Rubbish, total rubbish.

      Even with around 55% of the vote in Scotland that would giveSNP say 24-27 seats. A lot less than what some are predicting under FPP ( 50+)

      UKIP would get 95-98 seats and they would put the tories back and be be deputy PM if there was proportional voting

      • Alethios 2.2.1

        Though it’d be a completely different scenario and there’s no telling how it might turn out. SNP would probably get a lower number of seats, but perhaps not as much as you suggest. After all, voting for the SNP is currently limited to those living in scottish constituences – which presumably wouldn’t be the case under MMP (recall all those queries regarding whether people could vote for SNP after the sturgeon debate). The Green Party, and UKIP as you point out, would likely have a significantly higher number of seats. Then there’s all the strategic voting that’d unwind, and there’s no telling how that might turn out.

  3. Michael 3

    I really liked this short video from Owen Jones: http://gu.com/p/483k4/stw

    “With the future of Britain at a crossroads, Owen Jones makes an impassioned plea for people to vote on Thursday. He urges the electorate to blame the people with power, not those without it. Change rarely comes from the generosity of the powerful but is fought for from below, he says. Now is the time to take action, he concludes.”

    I thought that it was an important message – democracy is important, and it is important not to scapegoat the powerless: for example immigrants or people on benefits, for problems caused by the powerful. (i.e. UKIP voters) Solidarity is much more important than adhering to politics of ‘divide and conquer’.

  4. Paaparakauta 4

    The UK election may have implications for NZ housing policy given the slavish tendency of our elites to follow ideas from Mother England in selling off public housing, beginning with Tauranga and Invercargill.

    The results are exposed in a withering documentary by the BBC’s Adrian Goldberg which describes “dead zones” mainly in the Midlands and Scotland where commercial developments are consented with provisions for mixed tenants which – if built at all – are not put on the market.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/5linvestigates

    Affordable Housing & STI Catch Up 22 Mar 15
    Sun, 22 Mar 15, Duration: 48 mins

    It’s never been more difficult to get on the housing ladder, but we reveal the ten cheapest places to buy a house in the UK. The number of affordable homes has fallen by almost a third in the last three years. We examine why so few are being built ..

    Downloadable audio podcast in mp3 format

    • Bill 4.1

      I’d go further than that. If Labour stop fucking about and talk to the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens, then neo-liberalism in the UK will be dead and buried. That knocking onto the NZ political scene will be worth watching out for 🙂

      • Murray Rawshark 4.1.1

        I don’t know much about UK Labour since the war criminal neoliberal Blair. Have they changed enough that they would want to get away from the rule of the bankers? Our LP certainly hasn’t.

        • DS 4.1.1.1

          When Ed Miliband was elected Labour leader in 2010, the comment by Neil Kinnock (leader 1983-1992) was “we’ve got our party back.”

  5. dukeofurl 5

    Here is an election focussed website with a lot of information about nationwide and marginal seats polling

    http://www.may2015.com. Its backed by New Statesman

    Interestingly they say eve of election national polls have a very poor record

    http://www.may2015.com/featured/election-2015-how-accurate-have-eve-of-election-polls-been-in-the-past/

  6. Bill 6

    Owen Jones has a fairly prescient piece in The NewStatesman. As he points out, the formation of government is fairly straight forward. Give a Queens Speech that gets 50%+ support. End of story. Except…

    We are sleepwalking into a dangerous moment. If there is a left-of-centre, anti-Tory majority in parliament then the Tories must fall, however many seats they have won. Left-wing parties will have won the election and a left-of-centre government led by Labour must take office. And yet it would be deemed “illegitimate” by the Tories and most of the media. That really would be a situation with few precedents in an advanced democracy: where the opposition and media refuse to accept the democratic legitimacy of the national government.

    (my emphasis)

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/05/owen-jones-if-tories-get-more-seats-labour-get-ready-very-british-coup

    It’s worth reading the whole piece and bearing in mind the increasingly rabid reaction to Scots by swathes of the electorate in England.

    • alwyn 6.1

      The arguments about what is a “legitimate” government for Britain seem to get more and more irrational, and are being brought up from all sides.
      The SNP are equally foolish with their claim that a Government would be illegitimate unless it had the support of, seemingly, a majority of the Scottish based MPs.
      Nicola Sturgeon seems to be claiming that gaining a majority in the House of Commons is not enough. In addition it must also have a majority in Scotland, and Wales, and presumably in Northern Island and I suppose the Isle of Man.
      I wonder if she would be willing to accept an argument that a Government would have to have the support of a majority of the English MPs or be classed as a collection of bastards?
      https://commonspace.scot/articles/1243/nicola-sturgeon-uk-government-without-scottish-support-will-be-illegitimate
      I suppose we should bring in a rule in New Zealand that to form a Government you must hold a majority of the electorate seats in the South Island. That seems equally (ir)rational

      • Bill 6.1.1

        That’s not what she’s arguing at all. All she is saying is that the British Parliament should reflect the will of the British electorate…that there is no place for deliberately excluding the sentiments of Welsh, Scottish, or Northern Irish voters.

        Would the UK establishment have considered, even for a second excluding Scottish mps if those mps had belonged to the Labour Party?

        • alwyn 6.1.1.1

          You don’t seem to be making any sense.

          The Government is formed from any group of one or more parties that can command a majority in the House of Commons. At the moment that is a coalition of the Conservatives and the Lib-Dems. If they can form a majority they do reflect the will of the British Electorate.
          Of course the Government has excluded all the Labour MPs, and all the SNP MPs. It doesn’t matter which party they belong to. If they won’t support the Government they can’t be part of it, can they?

          If the same coalition that we have now can form a majority after the election they will be a completely legitimate Government. They clearly wouldn’t include any SNP MPs in such a Government. After all the SNP has announced that under no circumstances will they support a Conservative led Government.

          The views of the MPs other than these two parties wouldn’t be excluded from the Parliament. Unless of course they were like some of the Northern Ireland MPs of years ago who won in the election but then refused to take their seats.

          Would you suggest that no Government in New Zealand should be allowed to do anything that is not supported by Peter Dunne, on the grounds that they cannot do anything that is not supported by the people of Ohariu?

          • Bill 6.1.1.1.1

            Olwyn. The Tories and idiot sections of the Labour Party have been saying that the largest party forms the government and that’s an end to it.

            Sturgeon and others have pointed out that the government doesn’t belong to the largest party, but to the largest bloc.

            But since Labour seem hell bent on excluding the SNP and Plaid Cymru from any input into that largest bloc that they would be a part of, then Labour may capitulate to a Tory led government by refusing to put a Queens Speech together on the basis that the Tories won more seats in England. (Presumably, Labour, alongside the Tories, would vote down any Queens Speech by any other party in that scenario)

            The point is, it would essentially entail ignoring the expressed will of the British electorate in favour of elevating the will of the English electorate.

            • te reo putake 6.1.1.1.1.1

              “… then Labour may capitulate to a Tory led government by refusing to put a Queens Speech together on the basis that the Tories won more seats in England.”

              Not going to happen in a million years. The only thing less likely is a Labour UKIP coalition. Politicians want to be in Government. Nobody in the Labour leadership is going to seriously consider knocking back the chance to govern because of a pedantic philosophical debate over legitimacy.

              Labour spurning the nationalist parties is good electoral politics, designed to reassure southerners and to minimise the damage in the north. Whether or not that stops a complete rout in Scotland, who knows? The SNP et al are in the same place mana were in before the last election. Everyone knows they aren’t going to back the Tories, so Labour have no need to do a deal pre-election. It might be a different story when the post-election haggling starts though.

              • Bill

                Well yes and no. You’re ignoring that Miliband has basically said ‘Not going to happen in a million years’ in regards to working with the SNP and Plaid Cymru…in the process, pissing all over the electoral will of many thousands of people in advance of the vote and pissing them off no end into the bargain.

                Now sure, you can say that was all a part of electioneering, but he over did it and painted himself into a corner. If he does seek some kind of accommodation/rapprochement , the press (most of it) and the Tories will be over him like flies on shit.

                The comparison with Mana doesn’t quite stack up. With Mana we were looking at a few seats, not 40 or 50. and the clout that carries. And with Mana we were also potentially looking at Confidence and Supply or other such arrangements to secure government. That’s not necessary in the new UK context…meaning, incidentally, that if NZ had a similar Fixed Term, then Labour or who-ever wouldn’t have to worry themselves about the integrity of any potential fellow travelers or how they might reflect on any government they formed – just a thought.

                • Good analysis, Bill. However, pissing off people who aren’t going to vote for you anyway is not much of a problem and nor is being battered by the Tory press if Miliband does do a deal despite the earlier assurances. The msm are going to be going all out to destroy Miliband anyway, so no change there.

                  You’re right that the mana comparison is not perfect. Different systems, different politics and different personalities. But the nub of it is correct; mana and the SNP/PC/Greens were/are already known to be voting against the Tories and their only realistic alternative option is to support or at least not block, Labour. UK Labour will pick up way more southern seats by rebuffing the SNP than they can possibly get by cuddling up to them. So the maths says reject the SNP and others, build Labour numbers up, and see what the voters deliver.

                  Ps, I’m picking Labour to get 8 Scottish seats. A thumping, but not a total disaster. I have a hunch that the small minority of Scottish voters who usually support the Tories or the Lib Dems are going to tactical vote in the marginals to keep the SNP wins down.

                  • Bill

                    “…pissing off people who aren’t going to vote for you anyway…”

                    But, many of those people voted for Labour the last time around and, presumably, Labour would be looking to win them back at some point in the future? Can’t see that happening now.

                    Miliband should have staunchly defended the notion that British elections are about Britain and spoke of Scotland as an integral part of Britain instead of alienating Scotland, it’s voters and their preferences as ‘other’.

                    Is it not ironic that the SNP have had a far better UK wide and mature perspective this campaign than either of the two main parties who, it seems, have bent over backwards to resurrect the Independence referendum and all of the ‘Project Fear’ that went with it?

                    On predictions. There are Holyrood elections next year. I’m picking a sizable upswing in the Scottish Green vote (they’re entirely separate from the English Greens btw) to the extent they will be the largest party at Holyrood bar the SNP. Of course, there could be a mass exodus from UK Labour and the formation of a separate Scottish Labour Party, but….time.

                • dukeofurl

                  Since you have never run a political party you dont understand basic electoral maths.

                  You dont support a different party that takes YOUR votes.

                  Happens here for greens and the parallel is NZ First who takes votes from national and you do support.

                  In the UK there is only ONE vote for for local candidate, the labour leader has to be more catholic than the pope over this and ALLWAYS say vote labour. You cant have labour by voting for SNP.

                  SNP as a proportion of GB has under 5% of the total votes. Its a minor party and will be treated as such- ie take it or leave it.

                  • Bill

                    Has anyone said that Labour should have suggested people vote SNP? Nope.

                    But to tell a party of potential fellow travelers, who are bringing maybe 50 seats to the table, to ‘piss off’ when you know you can’t form a majority on your own is beyond stupid.

                    Finally, Yes, it’s true that voters won’t get Labour by voting SNP. That’s the point. What voters want – those who have the option before them in FPP – is to have Labour hauled and pushed outside the economic parameters of neo-liberalism by progressive parties (Plaid Cymru, Greens, SNP)…ie, an end to austerity – investment in services and infrastructure to boost the economy and tax take to then less painfully pay down debt instead of cuts and more cuts and more cuts…

                    • Clemgeopin

                      “But to tell a party of potential fellow travelers, who are bringing maybe 50 seats to the table, to ‘piss off’ when you know you can’t form a majority on your own is beyond stupid”

                      If Labour shows that they support or endorse SNP, Labour vote will collapse and SNP and Tories will get stronger.

                      Same way, if the Tories endorse UKIP, it will harm the Tory vote and strengthen UKIP.

                      Similarly, in NZ if Labour does pre-election deals with the Greens, Labour will lose more votes and prop up the Greens and National.

                      That is why Clarke said that the Maori party would be the last cab off the rank for coalition and National rejected NZ First before the 2008 election. That helped National vote further and got NZF out of parliament then.

                      Each party likes to get the most votes for themselves and not siphon them before the election to other parties in the same/similar block.

                      The time to seek support or coalitions or abstention is AFTER the election, not before.

                    • Bill

                      I agree that all discussions or absence of discussions should have left until after the election. But then along came Miliband…

                    • Clemgeopin

                      @Bill :“I agree that all discussions or absence of discussions should have left until after the election. But then along came Miliband…”

                      In my opinion, Milliband (Labour) was politically smart and astute in taking the stand he (they) did. I know you think otherwise.

            • alwyn 6.1.1.1.1.2

              It is alwyn by the way. There is another commentator called olwyn.

              Most of this comment I can go along with. It is only your interpretation of Sturgeon’s stated opinion that I have any problem with. She, and others in the SNP, seem to me to be arguing that if their policies are not implemented, and they are not part of the Government that Government has no legitimacy.
              The people with rather more of a valid complaint would actually seem to be the UKIP. The Conservatives seem to treat them, reasonably in my view, as if they carry the plague. According to the final Guardian Poll they have 11% support while the SNP have only 5%.
              http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/may/06/general-election-2015-britain-heading-for-hung-parliament

              As far as your third paragraph I don’t believe it at all. Ed, like all politicians, might make remarks like “not in a thousand years” about it happening but if it will make him PM you will find that he will do a deal tomorrow.
              After all remember the words of Psalm 90, one translation of which says “For in Your sight a thousand years are like yesterday that passes by, like a few hours of the night.”
              Not in a thousand years today, by tomorrow morning, after the election he’ll want to deal.

              A link with the SNP would, I think, kill the Labour Party though. The SNP don’t want to keep the UK together. They want an independent Scotland and they won’t rest until they get it. As Lange said about Douglas. “He is like rust. He never sleeps”. Such is the case with the SNP Whatever Miliband offered will never be enough. Like Oliver they will say “I want more”. Labour will never get back Scotland and will start to lose England if they try and govern with them.

              • Bill

                Sorry Alwyn…my bad.

                Sturgeons comments have to be seen in the light of what they were a reaction to – that the largest party forms government.

                The SNP aren’t actually over bothered as to whether they are a formal part of a Labour led government or not. As Sturgeon has pointed out, they enjoy more clout if they operate on an issue by issue basis.

                As for independence, well, that’s what the SNP stand for. But they seem capable of walking and chewing gum. They want the pre-referendum ‘vow’ honoured. They want an end to austerity.

                They don’t want another referendum unless there is a fundamental change in UK political realities (eg – an in/out Euro referendum where the English vote to leave but Scots vote to stay).

                The Labour Party in Scotland are already essentially dead. They did that to themselves. If the choice for UK Labour is to talk to the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens, or to allow the Tories to form a minority government, which option do you reckon will be seen as unforgivable by the English electorate?

                Finally. Independence will happen. I don’t think anyone considers there to be any ifs or buts about that now. Knowing that it’s going to happen means Scots can be fairly relaxed about it. No rush 😉

  7. Clemgeopin 7

    Nate Silver inspired result prediction, updated for 6 May.

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/interactives/uk-general-election-predictions/

    Nate Silver says this in an article : [Link below]

    “Nothing that I learned changed my forecast of the U.K. election, which will be held May 7. That’s partly because I, personally, don’t have a forecast of the U.K. election. Instead, after a less-than-brilliant performance going at it on our own in 2010, FiveThirtyEight has partnered with the three U.K.-based academics behind electionforecast.co.uk, whose forecast you can find here.

    But my visit did help me understand more about why the polls behave as they do in the U.K. and why the three academics behind our forecast — Chris Hanretty, Ben Lauderdale and Nick Vivyan — designed their model as they did. It also helped me understand more about the differences between the U.S. and U.K. election systems — and why this U.K. election is so hard to call.
    Some people still think I’m a “magic nerd.” I gained a lot of notoriety in the 2008 and 2012 U.S. presidential elections by forecasting that Barack Obama was quite likely to win even though many media accounts portrayed the races as being too close to call.

    I’m glad my predictions turned out right. But partly as a result, I’m now sometimes known as the guy who can make highly confident and precise predictions in the face of what everyone says is impossible uncertainty.

    The irony is that U.S. elections are really the exception and not the rule. Because of a fairly unique set of circumstances — the pathologies of the American political media on the one hand, and the simplicity of the two-party system on the other hand — it’s often prudent to bet fairly heavily on the favorite.

    But far more often, as I describe in the book, experts are too confident in their predictions. (This tends to hold whether they use statistical systems to make forecasts or just wing it instead.)

    And consider the challenges this year’s U.K. election presents:

    There’s still the possibility of a late polling swing, especially given the multi-party nature of the contest [etc]

    Read his fascinating and interesting article here about polls and ‘predictions’:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/six-lessons-nate-silver-uk-election/

    Also, some other interesting articles are here:
    http://fivethirtyeight.com/uk-election-2015/

  8. Clemgeopin 8

    Just like the National’s dirty politics here, see how the same Crosby Textor spin machine is advising the Tories, lying and manipulating the public opinion against Labour in this UK election.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/68345429/how-the-uk-election-mirrors-new-zealands-poll

    • Bill 8.1

      I do find it amusing that outside of Scotland, no-one is suggesting the Labour Party in Scotland is as good as dead because of… the Labour Party. Nope. It’s all a nefarious and so far successful plot hatched by the Tories 🙂

  9. Stuart Munro 9

    If Ed refuses to cut a deal with the SNP & forces another election – maybe the SNP should launch a cadet branch – the ENP – to give the poor wee Sassanachs something to hope for.

    • RedBaronCV 9.1

      I think there be plenty in regional england who would like that idea devo- max- max

  10. millsy 10

    Im still picking a narrow victory for the Tories. But we will see.

    To be fair, Labour may not be as left as we would all like it to be, but there will probably be a few things that make it through that wouldnt have made it through under Blair/Brown. Plus most of the arch-Blairites have retired.

    • Clemgeopin 11.1

      The numbers above (before they get constantly updated) are:

      Cons 278
      Labour 267
      SNP 53
      Liberal Democrats 27
      DUP 8
      Sinn F 5
      Pld Cym 4
      SDLP 3
      Greens1
      UKIP1
      UUP1
      Other 2

    • hoom 12.1

      So far those BBC commentators come across as more of a right wing circle jerk than you’d get if you put Hosking, Henry, Hyde & Hooton in a room together.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    2 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    4 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    5 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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? ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago

  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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, ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    2 weeks ago