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Unitary Plan – affordability requirements removed

Written By: - Date published: 10:12 am, July 28th, 2016 - 63 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, housing, local government, national - Tags: , , , ,

Lots of reaction to the Unitary Plan this morning. Much of it positive: Proposals will let Auckland thrive, industry expert says. Some of it focusing on the NIMBY reaction: ‘My wife is in tears, it’s pretty awful’ (expect more of this as the NIMBYs get organised).

One angle which should particularly concern lefties: Maori significance reference deleted from Auckland plan. The link is to RNZ audio but the summary is:

Treaty of Waitangi principles and cultural impact assessments for Maori sites of significance have been removed from the Auckland Unitary Plan. Mihingarangi Forbes reports on how mana whenua fare in the new scheme.

The main problem with the plan, however, has been highlighted by Labour:

Government scuppers affordability requirements

The Government must explain why the panel considering Auckland’s unitary plan removed affordability requirements at the behest of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Housing NZ, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.

“Labour welcomes the Independent Hearing Panel’s recommendations to substantially free up restrictive controls that are stopping Auckland growing up and out. The pressure is now on Auckland Council to do the right thing, and back the recommendations.

“However, it recommended removing the requirement for developments over 15 dwellings to contain 10 per cent affordable houses (report section 6.2.6). It beggars belief the Government asked the panel to scrap affordability requirements when Auckland is desperately short of affordable housing. …

WTF? What are the Nats doing removing a proposed requirement for affordable housing – exactly the housing that Auckland desperately needs!? The only people who benefit from this move are big property developers. Oh – wait…

63 comments on “Unitary Plan – affordability requirements removed”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Why the hell is the government telling a city what it can and can’t put in it’s plan for development?

    The only thing that a government should be doing is setting general rules that the cities and regions need to stick to. It should have no say in how the cities and regions achieve that.

  2. save nz 2

    Hope the penny is starting to drop for the Greens and Labour. National does not want poor people in Auckland. Unitary plan and RMA reform are not about creating affordable houses, it is about the opposite, creating more profit opportunities for them and their cronies and influencing the demographics of Auckland.

    So the opposition mocking MIMBYS (who are often National voters and potential swingers to Labour and Greens), getting involved in the housing debate and largely backing National on the unity plan being forced through, talking about falling house prices, forced land sales and so forth are really confusing the issues and giving the Natz cover for their long term plans and adding to their ability to influence the election….

    Housing is a poisoned chalice. If the opposition had stayed out of it, National would get enough rope and hang themselves. Now Greens and Labour are grabbing as many ropes as they can, to hang themselves at the same time.

    Labour does it too. If only it wasn’t so.

    And Metiria has really screwed up.

  3. save nz 3

    And as for the unity plan, it was full of barristers and planners and paid ‘experts’ influencing the results to ensure their rich clients got what they paid for.

    Not a shred of social good or real debate throughout the whole process. Just like the Super city, a charade of democracy.

  4. Pat 4

    “WTF? What are the Nats doing removing a proposed requirement for affordable housing – exactly the housing that Auckland desperately needs!? The only people who benefit from this move are big property developers. Oh – wait…”

    if you’re building for an international market then local affordability is irrelevant…….until that market collapses, then the locals may get a bargain or two

    • Ch_Ch Chiquita 4.1

      How will the market collapse if no restrictions are being put in place? There are so many rich off shore buyers out there that they could turn Auckland to a ghost town while buying and selling amongst themselves.

      • Pat 4.1.1

        won’t happen ..rich offshore investors can’t vote….the political pressure will force restrictions at some point, the only question is when and at what point will it cause an exit

  5. Sabine 5

    affordable housing is for suckers.

    the poor of AKL and other Cities in NZ can just rent beds and sleep in shifts.

    or maybe the rich can house and feed them in exchange for a 60 hour + work week.

    • AmaKiwi 5.1

      Sabine

      That was a tv show: Upstairs Downstairs.

      Nostalgia for the good old days when you could get good help.

  6. mauī 6

    As far as I know it would be fairly unusual for Councils to set affordability levels of houses in their District Plan. They often have seprate documents on key areas like sustainability strategies, and maybe an affordability strategy could be done in a similar way. Then it all comes down to how closely they follow such strategies which in my experience is not really at all. For instance covering Auckland with 180,000 new houses and shitloads of new roads, concrete and building material means sustainability doesn’t exist. The affordability thing in my view has to be set by national Government,

  7. dv 7

    SO the govt expecting the council to vote on the plan without reading it all.
    As someone calculated it will take about 55 days to read and only have about 21 days.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/82487719/aucklands-unitary-plan-would-take-55-days-to-read

  8. srylands 8

    “What are the Nats doing removing a proposed requirement for affordable housing ?”

    Because it doesn’t mean anything.

    • Stuart Munro 8.1

      More likely it is as odds with the essential evil the Gnats represent – betraying and fucking over New Zealand people at every opportunity is their raison d’etre.

    • framu 8.2

      you do spot that your arguing that words dont have meanings?

    • Lloyd 8.3

      Amazing. I agree with Srylands about something. So-called affordable housing in SHAs is a joke. We will only get affordable housing when the government pays builders to build it, then controls prices by renting out the housing at well below the current market rate. Once the government adds sufficient cheap rentals to the market, then ‘market forces’ will drop both rental prices AND house prices. – Because speculators use rentals to cover their mortgage expenses. Drop the rentals enough and the mortgages might just start to bite financially.
      “Build it and they will come.”

  9. srylands 9

    “Treaty of Waitangi principles and cultural impact assessments for Maori sites of significance have been removed from the Auckland Unitary Plan. Mihingarangi Forbes reports on how mana whenua fare in the new scheme.”
    ____________________

    These cultural impact assessments increased the cost of housing. Paying $1700 for a cultural impact assessment because you found some pipi shells on your section does not go down well.

    Anyway it is goneburger.

    • mauī 9.1

      At least some recognition of the culture that the land was taken from and profited from for generations would be appropriate. But no not in your world eh.

      • adam 9.1.1

        Come on mauī – maori only their for their nice singing, and to put on a show for guests – as far as the ‘nat’s are concerned.

        Opps I forgot, and rugby. Unless it’s Kees Meeuws, then they try and forget he played rugby, because he brought up concerns about overfishing…

    • mac1 9.2

      Srylands, you are unbelievably dismissive and unreasoned.

      You wrote “because you found some pipi shells”. Do you have any knowledge, I mean serious knowledge, of archaeology, of what can be discovered from what seems to the layman to be a few pipi shells, old bones, pottery shards, food remains, middens etc?

      Look at what a few pipi shells, for which you can read any archaeological site, can teach us.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/archaeological-finds-2015_us_5678360be4b0b958f6574ff4

      My daughter examined a few bones for her BSc Hons! Amazing what could be discovered by thoughtful analysis. You ought to try it, srylands.

      • adam 9.2.1

        Well said mac1.

        This end of history buzz needs to be put to bed.

        History is on going, and if we understand our past, we can better know our future.

        I’m going to accredit the above to both Malcolm X, and Dr Martin Luther King because both we brilliant men who understood the importance of history.

  10. Brutus Iscariot 10

    I don’t think this is a sinister development.

    Increased affordability will overwhelmingly be a function of increased supply and diversity in housing choice (courtesy of loosened stipulations/restrictions) – rather than needing to say “you must make your units worth X”. The latter would just have discouraged development and probably led to some unforeseeable distortions.

    Overall, i think the plan is pretty good in terms of its ability to bring a large supply of new housing to market, and has provided some clear direction to resolving home ownership issues in Auckland.

    • mikes 10.1

      “direction to resolving home ownership issues in Auckland.”

      The only thing that will solve home ownership issues in Auckland is a massive downwards correction in house prices by around 50% (Or a massive increase in wages, which isn’t going to happen) I think I read somewhere that a 40% drop in prices would only take us back to 2012 levels, which were already unaffordable.

      A large supply of new housing will do nothing unless it is affordable housing or unless there is a corresponding price crash which makes it affordable.

  11. Michelle 11

    Bloody thieves and they call our people thieves the biggest thieves are the state, who took most of our land by the pen. Just like our people said with the TPPA, how can you trust a government to uphold the Treaty with a trade agreement when they cant even adhere to the TOW in local body politics and other important issues like water.This is why so many Maori marched and protested against this trade agreement because we know the crown is already breaching the TOW and have been since they were elected and will continue to do so until we get rid of them.

  12. The Real Matthew 12

    So the independent panel makes a decision you don’t like.

    Despite the government having absolutely no role to play in this decision whatsoever you decide without any just cause or reason to blame this on the government.

    And you think the Mainstream Media are bad

    • framu 12.1

      “the panel considering Auckland’s unitary plan removed affordability requirements at the behest of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Housing NZ, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.”

      i dont know if this is correct or not – but it seems you didnt even read that bit

  13. James 13

    Actually – the reasons are very clear – just read the appropriate section – it is clearly explained.

    ctrl-F 6.2.6

  14. Siobhan 14

    It is interesting we are all debating ‘affordability’, when here is no agreed New Zealand definition or measure of ‘affordable’ or ’unaffordable’ housing.

    “For the purposes of the Auckland Plan, we use two complementary measures: the 30% gross income benchmark, measuring whether a household pays more than 30% of its gross income on housing costs; and the Median Multiple Measure, which compares house price to income (see Priority 4)”

    “Labour’s KiwiBuild programme will build 100,000 high quality, affordable homes over 10 years, with 50% of them in Auckland. Standalone houses in Auckland will cost $500,000 to $600,000, with apartments and townhouses under $500,000”

    Affordable to whom exactly?? Certainly not families struggling to pay the rent each week.

    Dropping the affordability clause is probably the most honest thing National has done in a long time.

    • mikes 14.1

      The internationally recognized measure is the median house price to median household income ratio. If the median house price is 3 or less times the median income that is considered affordable. The Auckland median house price is 10 times the median income. That is classed as severely unaffordable.

  15. Bob 15

    I can take a guess at the affordability requirements being scrapped based on my personal experience. My wife and I couldn’t afford to continue going to auctions to buy as it was costing us around $1,000 per property in due diligence each auction, just to be beaten out by white, middle age investors (6 properties in a row ended up going on TradeMe within weeks of the auctions closing, including one property that tested positive for ‘P’), so we decided to buy land in a new subdivision. Currently, every piece of land in the subdivision has sold except for the ‘Affordable’ lots. I was told by the Real Estate agent that no-one wants to touch them as you are not aloud to sell on at a profit in future (for 5 years from memory?) and first home buyers are saying they don’t want to take the risk of a budget blowout while building.
    Before anyone automatically thinks mo-one is buying them due to greed, imagine if you built a house, in 3 years time you get made redundant and have to sell up and move on, you will be selling below the market rates and potentially further behind financially than when you started (mortgages tend to cost more than rents, and you have made no capital gain to offset the difference). It just doesn’t make sense to buy the affordable houses unless you are 100% sure you will be there for more than the 5 years.
    It is a great theory that in my experience isn’t working in practice.

    • framu 15.1

      yeah – auctions are a real problem for first home buyers – we avoided them for the exact reasons you state

      interesting to see what the reality is on affordable sections – theres been stories of late that people looking cant even find them to start with (sections and/or completed house). No one knows where they even are or how to show interest in one. The council dont know, the govt doesnt know, the developers cant be found and arent even recorded in a list at the council offices

      somethings not quite right up in AK on the affordable thingy – seems like theres a whole bunch of stuff going no with zero oversight

    • lprent 15.2

      Yeah, I thought it was pretty unworkable in practice. It introduces a high risk level because of the inability to sell if everything goes pear-shaped.

      The instabilities in the market are great. Volatile interest rates, volatile employment agreements, lack of builders, lack of legislation on things like building control quality -> leaky buildings, health, babies, and simply the risk of a value drop etc.There are simply too many to make it possible for someone buying a first home to take those levels of risk.

      The most efficient way to build affordable homes in a pure market economy is for developer to do so. However in a time of shortage caused by high nett migration across the board and especially into Auckland, a market economy will build the housing with the highest return for the land value. ie more expensive buildings. If they are accepting all of those same risks, then developers want the biggest return possible for the dollar if building affordable homes carries the same risk levels as higher priced homes and the biggest cost is the land.

      Besides the developers are locked out of those affordable pepper potted land plots. And they generally want to do large swathes of lower cost homes on greenfield sites out in the cheaper land at the periphery of the city – where there is no public transport because the government doesn’t want to pay for it, and nor do existing rate payers.

      Basically the state needs to take a role in building affordable housing. It has the ability to carry the risks that others cannot. It also means that it changes the whole housing market, and that is exactly why we started building using housing nz and ancestors back in the 1930s.

      But as we know, conservatives are usually too stupid to read actual history. 🙂

  16. Infused 16

    Rob. You clearly show over and over again you are out of your depth and pretty much click bait every post here.

    The govt had no role.

  17. Neil 17

    “However, it recommended removing the requirement for developments over 15 dwellings to contain 10 per cent affordable houses (report section 6.2.6). It beggars belief the Government asked the panel to scrap affordability requirements when Auckland is desperately short of affordable housing. …

    Even if this section of the unity plan was implemented, it would easily be got around by limiting the build of a development to 14 dwellings therefore by-passing the need to have 10% as affordable houses.

  18. Penny Bright 18

    FYI

    28 July 2016

    ‘Open Letter’ /OIA request to Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town

    “Please provide all information relating to the NZ Property Council and all/any Auckland Council staff relating to the ‘recommendations’ from the Independent Hearings Panel and the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.”

    Please be reminded that I raised my concerns about this matter at the Auckland Council Governing Body meeting (today) 28 July 2016, and was ‘live-streamed’ so doing.

    (Scroll through to 8.30 minutes for the start of my presentation.)

    http://councillive.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/video/280716-governing-body-items-05-07-part-01

    BACKGROUND:

    Auckland Council (and some Auckland Council Controlled Organisations – CCOs) are members of the NZ Property Council.

    MINUTES OF THE AUCKLAND COUNCIL GOVERNING BODY MEETING 31 MARCH 2016:

    “10 Notices of Motion

    10.1 Notice of Motion – Cr Mike Lee – Auckland Council’s Corporate Membership in the Property Council New Zealand

    ……

    MOVED by Cr ME Lee, seconded by Cr C Casey:

    That the Governing Body, in recognition of the Council’s statutory planning role in the Unitary Plan process, and in order to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest:

    a) direct that Auckland Council’s corporate membership in the Property Council New
    Zealand be terminated as the latter is a major submitter in the Unitary Plan.

    Resolution number GB/2016/26

    MOVED by Cr AM Filipaina, seconded by Cr CM Penrose:
    That the Governing Body:

    a) agree that, pursuant to Standing Order 1.6.1, the motion under debate now be
    put to a vote.

    CARRIED

    Note: Pursuant to Standing Order 1.8.6, Cr C Darby requested that his dissenting vote against the closure motion be recorded.

    The motion under debate was put:
    A division was called for, voting on which was as follows:

    For
    Cr C Brewer
    Cr C Casey
    Cr ME Lee
    Cr D Quax
    Cr SL Stewart
    Cr WD Walker
    Cr J Watson

    Against
    Cr AJ Anae
    Mayor LCM Brown
    Cr W Cashmore
    Cr R Clow
    Cr LA Cooper
    Cr C Darby
    Cr AM Filipaina
    Deputy Mayor PA Hulse
    Cr DA Krum
    Cr CM Penrose
    Cr JG Walker
    Cr MP Webster
    Cr GS Wood
    Abstained

    The motion was declared LOST by 7 votes to 13.

    Motion

    Resolution number GB/2016/27

    MOVED by Mayor LCM Brown, seconded by Cr MP Webster:
    That the Governing Body:

    a) resolve that the minutes show the reasons why the Notice of Motion to terminate the Council’s corporate membership in the Property Council did not pass include an
    acceptance of legal advice to the Council that:

    i) the Council’s corporate membership in the Property Council does not raise a
    conflict of interest, in fact or appearance; and

    ii) proper management of conflicts of interest is enhanced if decision-making
    regarding the Council’s corporate membership of external organisations remains
    with the Chief Executive.

    CARRIED

    Note: Pursuant to Standing Order 1.8.6, Crs C Brewer, C Casey, D Quax, SL Stewart, WD Walker and J Watson requested that their dissenting votes be recorded. ”
    ________________________________________________________________________

    I understand that Auckland Council staff are responsible for ‘briefing’ Auckland Council elected representatives regarding the recommendations of the Independent Hearings Panel on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.

    Please provide the following information, under the ‘urgency’ provisions of the LGOIMA:

    1) All/any information (reports/briefing papers / minutes /memos/ emails /texts and the like) relating to the NZ Property Council and all/any Auckland Council staff relating to the ‘recommendations’ from the Independent Hearings Panel and the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.

    2) The names of all/any Auckland Council staff who attend / have attended meetings / functions / briefings of the NZ Property Council, particularly regarding the ‘recommendations’ from the Independent Hearings Panel and the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.

    3) The ‘conflict of interest’ provisions / requirements which cover Auckland Council staff involved with the NZ Property Council, and their providing ‘advice’ to Auckland Council elected representatives particularly regarding the ‘recommendations’ from the Independent Hearings Panel and the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.

    Penny Bright

    (2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate)

  19. TC 19

    Cynical and calculated.

    Stacked up against nationals beligerence on social housing with state houses being flogged and a hobbled winz this was predictable.

    Ya gotta hand it to them, they excel at comprehensive shaftings.

    • srylands 19.1

      It is not cynical. Removing this provision will have no impact on housing affordability.

      And on your second point remember that the Government is selling State houses to improve access to social housing. You make it sound like it is a bad thing.

  20. weka 20

    Some of it focusing on the NIMBY reaction: ‘My wife is in tears, it’s pretty awful’ (expect more of this as the NIMBYs get organised).

    Are we to assume then that anytime the govt or council or developer does something that affects someone’s quality of life they should suck it up and not complain because it’s for the good of the collective?

    The couple in question could probably be criticised for buying where they did knowing that this would eventually happen. Or not doing their homework. But what if they bought ten years ago? There is a line of what’s reasonable but I don’t think writing off people as NIMBY’s brings us closer to solutions that build community and wellbeing for everyone.

  21. Cricklewood 21

    What do you define as an affordable house? A price set at 3 times median income?
    I don’t think there is a hope of building an ‘affordable’ house in the current environment the industry is already stretched in terms of skilled trades. Sites overseen by builders who have nowhere near the desirable amount of experience for the role, so called certified builders signing off multiple sites without any real idea of what lies underneath mistakes are been made and we run a risk of repeating the leaky disaster already.
    Even the materials side is maxed out 3 weeks for concrete and if it rains on the day you go to the back of line . Beware any politician or beaurocrat that says we can build x 1000 more houses per year….

    • Sabine 21.1

      oh dear,

      the we can’t do it again brigade.

      Seriously there is an element within the NZ population that excells in whinging that
      We can’t do it, We are too small, We don’t have the resources, We don’t have the skills, We don’t have the people etc etc etc.

      While all they should say is We Don’t Want To as IT is not convenient for us.
      Bunch of whingers.

      • tc 21.1.1

        Yet we’ve done it before in times of less availability and global mobility of labour also we were smaller then.

        Must’ve been magic then.

      • BM 21.1.2

        Unrealistic bull shit does more harm than good.

        • Sabine 21.1.2.1

          mate if we can import
          “Cafe Managers”
          “Cafe Supervisors”
          “Chinese Fry Cooks”
          under the skill category then we can import

          “Plumbers”
          “Builders”
          “Sparkies”
          “Tile Layers”
          “Painters”
          “Masons”

          under the skill category.

          You however seem to subscribe to the “We can’t do shit cause we have not got the skills, the knowledge, the people, the will, the stomach, the imagination, the vision, and all the other things that are needed to be successfull in business.

          maybe that is the reason the only thing the National Party and its supporters can argue for is to sell the country, sell the assetts, sell sell sell until they themselves have run out of a place to live. Fucking useless and shamefully lazy lot.

          • BM 21.1.2.1.1

            Politicians and their supporters who state that the government can build 10000 homes a year in this current economic environment are delusional fuckwits who haven’t got a clue.

          • Chuck 21.1.2.1.2

            The Government has provided extra funding re- apprenticeship training for the building trades.

            An extra 5000 apprentices over the next few years, along with an extra 2500 Maori and PI apprentices 2016/17.

            The balancing act is to have a sustainable building industry, so we don’t have a boom – bust cycle in regards to employment for chippies / plumbers etc…

            However Its clear we are going to have a very large requirement for skilled trade persons for the foreseeable future.

            • Sabine 21.1.2.1.2.1

              you can import fully trained people.

              I say it again, if we can import ‘cafe managers/supervisors” on the skills category then we can import skilled trades men / women.

              and the government could be very clear to our businesses, IF ya don’t start training our future work force you don’t get no business from the Government’

              If you want to import some several million people into this country you better start building some housing unless you are happy to have New Zealand go the way of certain places in China, India, Africa, Turkey etc etc where really it does not matter if you are born in a ditch and or die in a ditch.

              there is one thing i absolutely hate about this government, namely that it is lazy. Lazy intellectually, lazy in its working ethics, lazy in its ‘goals’, and utterly ruthless when it comes to screwing the taxpayer of this country over again and again.

              • BM

                screwing the taxpayer of this country over again and again.

                What bullshit are you babbling on about now?

            • George 21.1.2.1.2.2

              Some of the trades can now take up to (and well over in some cases) 5 years to qualify in. So even at a push that’s going to be pretty impossible. The whole situation has been left too long to fester into a massive mess.

          • srylands 21.1.2.1.3

            Have you finished that rant?

            All those categories of tradesmen are migrating here in large numbers already. Have you been to Christchurch?

            I don’t know who this “we” is. Do you mean the Government? It is not the Government’s role to build residential housing. That is why it is called a housing market. Builders are perfectly free to apply to bring in any tradesmen they need.

            On the “sell sell sell” rant, what privatisation programme are you referring to? The New Zealand Government doesn’t have one. That is a shortcoming in my view. You must be thinking of some other country.

    • BM 21.2

      Beware any politician or bureaucrat that says we can build x 1000 more houses per year….

      I agree, anyone that speaks that sort of horseshit shouldn’t be let any where near the purse strings, they obviously have no idea or they’re out and out lying.

      Waste a billion or two, who cares, it’s only taxpayer money.

  22. jcuknz 22

    Listening to John Campbell last night it stuck me that ‘affordable homes’ is a fools idea.
    None of those interviewed could even afford to save a deposit, except the guy who worked in Aussie mines.
    What is really needed is more state housing at reasonable rents so that people can save their deposit. Perhaps leave rents at current levels but allocate a proportion of the rent to be a deposit … staying with the government until it is used that way.
    I am sure there are fishhooks but there must be a way to solve the problem.

    • Sabine 22.1

      you need both.

      You need State Housing for those that can’t pay market rent.
      You need affordable Housing for those that would like to buy a house, may even have a deposit but can’t afford to pay ‘market rates’ that are inflated due to exterior demand.

      and then the ones that want to buy million dollar hovels well they can go ahead and buy a soon to be submerged property on the shores of Auckland.

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    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 ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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? ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    6 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    6 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    6 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    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
  • 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, ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago

  • 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 hours 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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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    1 week 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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    1 week 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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    1 week 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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    1 week 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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    1 week 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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    2 weeks 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 ...
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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
  • 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks ago