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Unaffordable housing & the culture of greed

Written By: - Date published: 11:17 am, October 4th, 2014 - 42 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, capitalism, child welfare, cost of living, crime, democratic participation, equality, health, housing, same old national, wages - Tags:

The unaffordable housing crisis in Auckland (and elsewhere) continues, in spite of all the media coverage and government policies claiming to address the issue.  The problem is not “tinkering” by increasing the supply of dwellings.  that just plays into the agenda of the investors and speculators.  It is supported by a culture of greed, which encourages too many people see the buying of property as a way to their individual prosperity.

Housing crisis quake hit families

The catch is that getting wealthier on the backs of the poor, damages the society in which we all live: especially in terms of outcomes for things like health, education, crime, transport systems, etc.

There’s yet another article in today’s NZ Herald about the increasing problems for renters:

Families are being forced into desperate measures – paying more than half their income in rent and even living in cars – as Auckland’s rental housing crisis deepens.

South Auckland social service agencies say they are seeing more families with children living in cars, camping grounds and boarding houses in the past two or three months as private sector rents become unaffordable and state houses have become almost unavailable.

Housing stress is also spreading into middle-income families as the proportion of all renters paying more than 40 per cent of their income in rent has more than doubled in the past decade nationally, from 9.5 per cent to 23 per cent.

Last year 48 per cent of all renters who received an accommodation supplement, or 94,000 households, already paid more than half their income in rent.

The poor health outcomes will impact on all our services, and the combined impact of the failure to supply enough affordable housing and jobs with living wages mean that state funds are used to subsidise landlords and employers who pay low wages.

Most of government (and some opposition party) policies focus on building more houses.  But this even if this works in lowering the costs of rentals, it’s a long term solution, while peoples lives continue to be damaged.

Pattrick Smellie made it clear in an NBR article back in May of this year:

There is no housing shortage in Auckland, where prices continue to rise strongly thanks to investor activity, says the chief economist for the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Shamubeel Eaqub.

There was pretty good coverage of the housing issues on a Radio NZ Insight programme back in March.

Community Housing gives an explanation of the content of the programme:

Auckland’s Housing Crisis: the shortage and cost of housing in Auckland remains one of its biggest challenges – 30 March 2014

The Radio New Zealand Insight programme from 30 March 2014 includes comments from developers, bankers, local and central government agencies and Peter Jeffries, CEO, CORT Community Housing (Community of Refuge Trust).

You can access audio of the full programme here.

RNZ Insight

The first part of the programme covers problems  related to the alleged shortage of affordable housing for the buying of.  It focuses quite a bit on policies related largely to building new dwellings, and government and Auckland Council policies.

The most important bits come after about 21.30 minutes.

Greed a disease

The main government and council policies related to providing more affordable rental housing focuses on community housing and  charitable organisations.  The government and Auckland council want them to be bigger players, without providing them with adequate and stable funding, as explained by Peter Jeffries, chair of Community Housing provider, Network.

A bank economist reckons that rising interest rates will push prices down in the long term, and that building more houses won’t lower prices over short term.

At about 25.40 minutes, the Professor of Property at the University of Auckland business school, Larry Murphy, says the current housing market is complex.  The main problem for affordability is that housing is looked on as a way to greater wealth.  Murphy argues:

We have created this set of forces, socially, politically and culturally that are very hard to slow down.  And so at this stage, I think, most of the policies would be tinkering. It’s probably too harsh a word. But they are trying to modify the speed of growth in house prices.  But it’s very difficult. It’s a juggernaut that’s travelling along and there are lots of processes promoting it including population growth, income growth, people trading up in the markets; the whole set of processes. People’s expectations, drive their willingness to take on more debt, etc.

Murphy says that the moves to improve affordability by increasing the supply will be outweighed by more powerful financial and economic forces.

Meanwhile the housing bubble in Auckland remains large, with landlords just itching to raise rents to match some of the over-inflated prices people are paying for properties.  There’s been a few very uncritical artistes lately stating that landlords will soon be raising the price of rental accommodation. This NZ Herald article published last Monday is one example.

housing is a right

42 comments on “Unaffordable housing & the culture of greed”

  1. Weepus beard 1

    None of the affected people vote National, if they vote at all, so their concerns are of no importance to the current government.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Actually I think a lot of them were duped into voting National. That’s kinda the problem.

    • Chris 1.2

      People on benefits vote for National because they “like john keys”.

      • Weepus beard 1.2.1

        Heh. I wonder if people living in cars like john keys?

        • karol 1.2.1.1

          Probably just don’t vote – it’s necessary to have a fixed residential address – no wonder the numbers on the electoral roll are going down.

          • Weepus beard 1.2.1.1.1

            Undoubtedly they didn’t vote. How could you get yourself out of your car or tent after a cold and wet night and make your way with several children to make a special vote knowing that you’d be refused?

            We are returning slowly to serfdom. The difference with serfdom is that those peasants were housed.

        • sir pat 1.2.1.2

          probably would LIKe johns KEYS!!!

  2. Bill 2

    There was a link the other day, provided by DtB, where the argument made was for housing benefit to be slashed, thus forcing rental prices down and denying the tiny percentage of property owners who are landlords a certain cash cow.

    And a second argument that would see house prices drop by a couple of percent per annum, thus (among other things) taking some of the pressure off of unions in wage negotiations.

    Can’t quite remember the details and can’t find the comment with the link in it. Maybe if draco is around….

    found it /open-mike-02102014/#comment-902673 An RSA presentation.

    • weka 2.1

      If you slash accommodation supplement you have to increase base benefits, otherwise you cause further financial stress in the interim until rents readjust (how long would that take?). Problem is that AS is based on where you live and what the average rentals are in that area. This varies considerably (there is a $100 difference between the lowest area and the highest), so the State will always baulk at an across the board base benefit rise. In order to promote removing AS, there has to also be promotion of a solution to the problems that would cause.

      If you don’t raise base benefits, what happens to existing tenants when they lose their AS?

      If you do raise base benefits, what will stop landlords taking advantage of that?

      • adam 2.1.1

        But weka what happens when half the renters in auckland can’t pay their rent – landlords either need to be reasonable or mass evictions.

        Middle NZ are idiots, they are subsiding the rich, and blaming the poor for it.

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          If there’s a housing shortage I suspect landlords will choose evictions. Then there will be subsequent overcrowding.

          Don’t get me wrong, the way benefits are structured is both stupid and punitive. I just want to see the strategy for removing AS teased out a bit in terms of detail.

          “Middle NZ are idiots, they are subsiding the rich, and blaming the poor for it.”

          how so?

  3. Richard 3

    The only solution is to evict national from office by pitchfork seeing as they have sewn up the media and fair elections. Have pitchfork can travel..

    • music4menz 3.1

      Are you suggesting that the election was rigged? If so, could you provide some evidence for this? Are you suggesting that there should be a civil uprising involving violence to overturn the government?

      • Richard 3.1.1

        Interesting question?

        First question the answer is not sure on the election result. But i’ll say the votes counts were accurate the campaign was scuttled by the anti left brigade, being pro right media.

        Second answer for endorsing a takeover. No I was being sarcastic/It’s wishful thinking.

        I’d be more prepared to endorse taking all their money from them. Every cent and leave them in some low employment small town to taste the apples themselves.

        It would be kind of nice though to see the country actually head to parliament to make Key aware just how much his crap is affecting the average person. happen not a chance in hell. We have all been kept so poor we have not the time to take off work to even protest.

        However /sarc my pitchfork is sharpened and ready just incase.

  4. johnm 4

    100% right Karol
    As DTB said buying to rent and make Capital Gain is bludging, mainly of our fellow young just getting started kiwis wanting families.
    It’s kiwis favourite wealth creation activity, any wonder our wooden homes are so crazily overpriced? Aussie banks make a killing decade in decade out. Real Estate have a never ending party.
    And the losers? Our very own young just married couples diddled out of their birthright by kiwi greedies forced to be landlord bait for the rest of their lives.

    I know 7 persons doing this one had 8 houses at one point. And to add to the shame gutless NL governments won’t impose a CGT. Cunliffe proposed a slap on the wrist 15%. The greedies flocked to National the Hopeless didn’t vote at all, they know they’ll never have a stake in this country ( But will be slaves making another rich for sweet fa ), only hope? Australia.

    • karol 4.1

      Yeah. Although, One of the things I don’t think I mentioned in the post, is that part of the latest escalation is apparently because a lot of people are returning from Aussie.

      Also, while the majority of landlords are older, it’s not entirely just older people. I’m a boomer renter, and the last couple of my landlords have been well younger than me. They may be a smaller proportion, but nevertheless, the wealthiest younger people who can afford (maybe with parents help) are also doing the investor/speculator thing.

      Meanwhile, many elderly are also finding it difficult to make ends meet – many of all ages are also renters.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Cunliffe proposed a slap on the wrist 15%.

      Yep, that pissed me off as well. Especially when, a few months ago, I saw in the NZHerald a seller who was looking to realise at least $500,000 in realised profit from owning a house for 5 years – and that’s without counting the rental that they’d received from it. That sort of income needs to be taxed at the top rate and the top rate needs to be 60%+.

  5. Tracey 5

    thanks again for posting this stuff karol. much appreciated.

    i was in tauranga last week and noticed a wee explosion of community gardens of veggies and fruit trees. seemingly addressing a need for food not store bought and teaching people a new and needed skill.

    • Tracey 5.1

      never imagined a thriving nz would have to go back in time 50 years just to feed the family…

      • marty mars 5.1.1

        Community gardens and allotments are part of the answer I believe. I work with one and more and more we see people coming in and getting started in sharing or working together to grow food. Personally I believe in guerrilla gardening – just plant free food everywhere – food forests, veges, fruit, nuts, whatever – plant it and make it free for people.

        • Richard 5.1.1.1

          In Sunderland in the UK there are lots of allotments. They also get used and never have they been pushed to do it. I often used to take my Jack Russel down to their chicken coups to get rid of the rats. One of the best idea’s in the UK and frankly these days we may have to introduce something like it here.

          The NZ version I’ve seen is a pale imitation where they have say an acre of land grow on it and you can buy cheap vege’s

          Over in the UK you just apply to the council for an allotment and when space becomes available and your numbers up it will get allocated. It very small but enough for one household to grow all they want.

          Now as we home owners don’t have a tiny concrete back yard like they do and need dirt to grow on this should be open to tenants of housing blocks apartments in poorer area’s.

          It would not be on the scale of the UK, but each struggling family having the right to go to the council if they have no backyard to grow vege’s and be allocated a small section of land would be bloody marvellous I think.

  6. The NACTs were effective at shooting down the CGT because they realised that many workers are also landlords. Many would have started off by buying their state house. The Holland Government introduced the sale of state houses in the 1950s and from that point on drove the wedge of personal gain into the social solidarity of the working class.
    http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/culture/we-call-it-home/timeline

    A Workers Government would act to reverse this by building state rental houses and stopping their privatisation. A capital gains tax directed as landlords and speculators would see housing value fall to their true value – that of the labour required to build houses.

    To offset any losses to homeowners the state could buy private mortgages off the banks, with a one off capital gains tax equalling the increment due to speculation, and administer them through a single state bank at 0% interest. Owners could opt for social solidarity and convert their mortgage to rent.

    Of course the measures of state intervention in the economy to make this possible would have to extend well beyond a single state bank managing housing.
    The external debt owned to international banks and corporates would be repudiated. It is underwritten by the value produced by the next generations of workers who will become increasingly impoverished as a result.
    This debt is a tiny fraction of the expropriation of value pumped out of the country by finance capital over nearly two centuries.
    Privatised state assets would be bought back at a rate discounted by inflated ‘values’ or prices.
    Capital flight by banks and corporates would be compensated in part by seizure of their assets.
    New capital required to re-nationalise state assets and meet a boycott by international finance capital can be met by the state bank providing additional money capital backed by the total state assets and the value of commodities produced in the economy.
    Such a workers government would merely extend the heavily statised form of capitalism that was necessary to implant capitalism in NZ the 19th century, proving that the state under workers control that plans and finances the productive economy can retain socially produced value for the benefit of society and survival of nature.

    This is the alternative to the bankrupt capitalist world collapsing in a maelstrom of debt and climate chaos.

  7. coaster 7

    The average kiwi thats wants an investment chooses property because its easy to do, the asset can be maintained by most people, most couples doing this can still work and have a family whilst growing there asset for retirement.

    why would average kiwis wanting to get ahead borrow money to invest in the share market, or similar investment with the risks involed?.

    Buying a rental is safe, easy to do, easy to maintain and unlikely to be lost due to some idiot stuffing up your investment.

    when labour floated the idea of a cgt tax we scared alot of middle nz who look at buying a rental to help with there retirement, etc. Maybe starting with a cgt of 5% and slowly increasing it over time might have been better option.

    those people who buy lots of property are a totally different kettle of fish.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      I largely agree coaster.

      The vast majority of landlords are very ordinary working people doing it to provide some measure of income over an above our miserly superannuation.

      You can’t save for your retirement on our miserly wages.

      You don’t save for your retirement by gambling on our share market.

      And with many properties returning well under 5% – rentals are nothing like a ‘greedy’ get-rich-quick scheme.

      Whether you own or rent a house only makes a difference in the long-term. In the short-term both are debt-slaves to the banks.

      And finally – the difference between property investors and property speculators is that for investors capital gain is not an important factor at all. Simply because most investors have either purchased or built to hold the property for one or more decades.

      No sale, no realised gain.

      • karol 7.1.1

        The culture of greed is driven by the speculators and profiteering investors, and the banks. however, there’s also a culture enabling it that includes the idea that everyone needs to own their own house/dwelling. The latter breeds a culture of fear – if you’re not into the owning of your home, you future later life will be bleak,

        There are ways to encourage a different kind of culture, with a lot of it driven by government policy and local authority regulations.

        Actually, renting is fine if people have living wages, and there isn’t this culture of greed, home ownership-above-all-else- and fear.

        And of course, more money needs to be put into state and community housing, and the infrastructure like transport, services, etc.

        I’m currently wanting to move closer to Auckland CBD for various reasons. But these days, it looks harder than ever to rent nearer the CBD at a reasonable rate.

        And I just keep seeing endless articles saying the housing bubble in Auckland keeps increasing. This is madness.

        And I’m on a reasonable income. It must be sheer hell for many people on low incomes, in or out of work.

        I know landlords tend to be reasonable people. However, I’m losing patience with people continuing to buy into the culture that helps support massive housing inequalities.

        • greywarbler 7.1.1.1

          I am sure that others have seen articles in the glossy magazines, how-to books on how to buy rel estate and seminars with speakers with the name for being smart operators. I have seen many stories of how some young 22 year old has six houses already using leverage.

          One of the ways of breaking through this would be more state houses, and sweat equity projects for suitable people. Government providing loans for those with savings who are prospective home owners which shows responsibility with money and commitment.

          A government that wanted to see a country that was well balanced and self-supporting and able to develop innovative ways of solving any problems would find ways to deal with them. The laissez faire approach to any hard jobs is – get the bar stools and deck chairs out and wait for some business person to have a brain fart on how he/she can make money out of a deal. If you haven’t much money don’t bother to apply.

          Hone made a statement about state housing and got into trouble as a result. But the pollies didn’t want his sort staying on as an MP. He showed them up as seat warmers.
          edited

          • Murray Olsen 7.1.1.1.1

            I can’t see any way around the housing problems other than an extensive state house building program, allied to a ban on sales to foreigners. It’d also do heaps for employment and the resulting benefits would be huge. House prices and rents in Auckland and Christchurch would probably go down, so speculators wouldn’t be happy. Bugger them, they’ve been at the tit for long enough.

          • karol 7.1.1.1.2

            It is Green Party policy to build more state houses and provide the system where people can rent to buy state houses.

            It is a major part of the solution.

    • AB 7.2

      The average Kiwi most likely doesn’t have ANY investments. Apart from their Kiwisaver perhaps.
      The owners of ‘rentals’ are in most cases upper middle class, not average at all. In my technical-professional moderately high income National-voting (without exception) workplace, 4 out of 6 people have ‘rentals’ and 2 have six ‘rentals’ or more. It is done unashamedly for capital gain.
      These people have to take a bath financially before Auckland housing becomes affordable. To see any improvement in affordability these excess properties will need to be dumped back on the market because they make no sense as an investment.
      Ideally we’d also effect a cultural change where landlordism was despised as stealing the futures of the young and low-income. But I can’t see that happening after 30 years of ethical decay since the neoliberal revolution.

      • Weepus beard 7.2.1

        Nicely put.

        The cultural change you speak of happened in my household long ago.

      • CRobinson 7.2.2

        Yes it is all about the capital gain. As far as I can make out, actually managing the rentals is a lot of work, and if you care about the condition of the property and the welfare of your tenants (not all property investors are slum landlords, although some are) then the net return excluding capital gains is minimal.
        You are right to associate this activity with a socio-economic class – they have the spare cash (and borrowing capacity) and all of their friends (some of whom will be in the real estate business) are urging them to jump in to the market. There is a lot of pressure to conform.
        I like the placard, but it is the wrong way around – greed is not just a disease, it´s a sin. That is, it starts as something that you catch from others, and then you internalise the behaviour, become responsible for that behaviour and thereby yourself become a greedy person, ready to pass the disease on to others.

    • greywarbler 7.3

      @ coaster 7
      About people using houses as an investment and those who are more interested in becoming rental queens. When you buy and sell vehicles beyond a few then you are regarded as a dealer and your tax classification changes. It could be so for housing also.
      With the right approach it won’t be as satisfactory to make a living owning multiples of houses and squeezing people for rent. People who do own lots would be under close scrutiny as to maintenance, and for overcharging. When it wasn’t presented as so simple the market would start to deflate.

  8. greywarbler 8

    When you invest in a house, and make a loss, can that loss be subsidised by being debited against profits from other houses? I have the impression that that is so. It sounds like a rort to me.

    I looked up NZ Stats and it is plain from the graph on the link here how important this business sector is in the shrunken economy that we now have after Rogernomics and opening the gate wide for the benefit of the dairy farmers. There just is not the range of investment that there should be in a healthy economy. The real estate sector has the most businesses in NZ as at February 2013.

    Rental hiring and real estate services….100,000 businesses
    Agriculture forestry and fishing…………….70,000 businesses
    Professional scientific and technical
    services )………………both
    Construction )……….50,000 businesses

    (These numbers are indicative, not exact as I have taken
    them from a bar graph which can be viewed on the link provided.)
    NZ Business Stats 2013

  9. SeanExile 9

    Whats important to note here is that living in Auckland has become impossible for those on a very low income.
    They can live in Waikato etc but they struggle in Auckland.

    Why has this happened, mainly because our investment market ie the stockexchange isnt working and instead kiwi’s put their money were there is a return to be made. Had we instead had a functioning stockmarket it would have provided capital that would have allowed companies to expand overseas and creating large multinationals something NZ completely lacks. the only close thing we have is Fonterra. it would provide the so important risk capital that allow us to increase the amount of R&D spent within the country. At present our number is less than 5% of GDp while small countries who is doing well spend about 10%. 12% in the case of Scandinavia for example. In NZ growth doesnt come from corporations instead it comes from properties and services.
    But we arent alone most of Asia has done the same. Can we sustain it, yes, as long as immigration stays at present levels we can. if immigration stops we wouldnt be able to sustain it.

    The property sector is the only safe investment in NZ. Most I know own a rental or two. Over the last 4-5 years the capital gain has been spectacular. This has allowed almost everyone who owns a house to take a mortgage for a second, for a third etc. As long as the market keeps increasing with 10-12 % a year this will continue. What other market has seen these returns lately in NZ?
    When the interest rate goes up so does the rent. Now when people are starting tio see a small increase in interest rates rents will go up. Say 10% next year.

    if we want to stop our propert cycle we can simply legislate about a few things. Sharing of mortgage info among banks. So many have one mortgage with have major, all supporting their rental houses. And over the alst years the people have made great money from this and with the increase in prices banks have made a fortune to. Risk is so much smaller for them.

  10. coaster 10

    Property is a physical asset you can see, can improve, can insure, can borrow money you dont have to buy it, can make money from it via rent, once you have paid for it you own it and you cant normally loose it by an outside factor like the gec or bad fund management, can increase its worth slighly over time or at least hold its value.

    what other investments are like this that average kiwis can aspire to?.
    Noone would get a mortgage to get into the share market due to the perceived risk.

    • karol 10.1

      Why not aspire to livable communities for all, rather than focus so much on individual’/households trying to enrich themselves?

      • greywarbler 10.1.1

        karol 10.1 Why not aspire to livable communities for all,
        Good question. Intelligent responsible leaders, either/or politicians, church leaders, community minded visionaries, would have set these up by mid 20th century. That they haven’t is an example of our continual unwillingness to apply practical and timely solutions to recognisable problems. Fail NZ again.

  11. GRiM 11

    At present, we have the fractal reserve system as a mechanism for the expansion of money supply:

    gov creates money, then lends it to banks at OCR, banks then lend this out employing the fractal reserve system, for banks to make a profit and pay back government interest and capital, borrowers have to borrow:

    thus all new money entering into circulation does so via debt.

    This is fundamentally wrong.
    ——————————————————-

    increase in money supply should be directly based on increase of assets and work done, this is very easy to achieve.

    IRD already measure work done and asset creation.

    Remove all forms of tax, create new money supple based on present taxation models and introduce the supple via government expenditure.(gov not reliant on taxation, everyone and business are 20+% better off, )

    therefore as the economy increases, currency supply increases to match, infrastructure increase to support it and we actually capitalize on investments.

    Removal of taxation, but not regulations.

  12. greywarbler 13

    @ ropata
    Il thought this bit was likely to be contentious. But I think that Hazledine is right – as it seems that a Party in government can only concentrate on one idea at a time despite all the MPs and Cabinet members they have. Okay people and fair and respectful treatment are important but money is also, both need attention.

    And that’s what the cosy remuneration committees of company boards, and their sycophantic “executive remuneration consultants”, do. They put a respectable gloss on the inexorable pay increases by “benchmarking” with someone paid even more somewhere else – such as in Australia – whose next year’s salary will itself be benchmarked upwards and so on – an endless happy upward spiral.

    So who should care about this? You’d think those on the political left would care, and they do complain, but it was their preoccupation with identity politics and the beneficiary society that left the gates open and undefended when the warriors of privilege roared in and purloined the booty.

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    . . 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
    2 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, ...
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    4 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    5 days 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
    5 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks 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
    3 hours 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
    3 hours 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
    5 hours 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
    20 hours 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
    1 day 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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    7 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
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    7 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
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    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
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    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
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    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
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    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
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    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
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    2 weeks ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
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    2 weeks ago
  • More support for wood processing
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    2 weeks ago