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Voting ban for prisoners irrational

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 am, March 19th, 2010 - 146 comments
Categories: electoral systems, law and "order" - Tags: ,

Paul Quinn’s Electoral (Disqualification of Convicted Prisoners) Amendment Bill appears to be unjustifiably inconsistent with the electoral rights affirmed by s 12 of the Bill of Rights Act. The effect would be a blanket disenfranchisement of convicted persons detained in prisons on election day.

People who are not serious offenders will be disenfranchised. Fine defaulters may be sentenced to imprisonment as an alternative sentence. I doubt that this group of people can be characterised as serious offenders such that they should forfeit their right to vote.

Under the Bill, the Electoral Act would continue to disqualify electors being detained for a period exceeding three years in a hospital or secure facility in the context of a criminal process. An example of this is where a person has been found by a Court on conviction to be mentally impaired and is detained under an order made by the Court for a period exceeding three years. If the mentally impaired person was detained for less than three years, the Bill would not disqualify the person from registering as an elector. The Bill would therefore introduce irrational inconsistencies in the law where mentally impaired prisoners detained in a hospital or secure facility for less than three years could vote while all prisoners serving sentences less than three years in prisons would be disenfranchised.

The blanket ban on prisoner voting is both under and over inclusive. It is under inclusive because a prisoner convicted of a serious violent offence who serves a two and a half year sentence in prison between general elections will be able to vote. It is over inclusive because someone convicted and given a one-week sentence that coincided with a general election would be unable to vote.

The disenfranchising provisions of this Bill will depend entirely on the date of sentencing, which bears no relationship either to the objective of the Bill or to the conduct of the prisoners whose voting rights are taken away. The irrational effects of the Bill also cause it to be disproportionate to its objective.

—————————–

The above was written by Attorney-General Chris Finlayson. Despite that, he and his National Party will be voting for this “irrational” and “disproportionate” Bill at least through its first reading. The saddest part is that, back in more enlightened days before they were captured by the kneejerking Sensible Sentencing-types, National were the ones who allowed prisoners sentenced to less than three years to vote in the first place after a court case pointed out that blanket disenfranchisement was contrary to the Bill of Rights.

Here’s hoping that the Simon Powers and Chris Finlaysons will have to will-power to stand up to the jackbooted wing of the National caucus before it’s too late.

146 comments on “Voting ban for prisoners irrational”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    It’s a blatant attempt to introduce a precedent for the introduction of Jim Crow laws from the ACT party, whose every day in government shows their utter contempt for idea of democracy. Once in place, they’ll push for it to be extended to life after release, and for all sorts of other untermenschen (beneficiaries who have been convicted of fraud, etc etc) to be included.

    • The Baron 1.1

      What are you on about?

      Your and your ilks’ hysterical over-reactions to things such as this are as humourous as they are desperate and tragic. Do you really believe that anyone in our parliament is a modern day Jim Crow? And if you do believe that, does that not say more about either your poor sense of history, or your pretty dire knowledge of NZ politics?

      • Bored 1.1.1

        As a matter of fact I do, now who was that ACT nutter who recently went on about paying people to be sterilised?

      • felix 1.1.2

        They want to take the right to vote away from a group of our citizens.

        If that doesn’t give you cause for concern, Baron, then you deserve to be tarred with the same brush as the fascists who promote such disgusting laws.

        Having read some of your previous comments, however, I imagine you’d be quietly comfortable in such company.

        • SHG 1.1.2.1

          Next thing you know they’ll be taking the vote away from children and the insane!

          • felix 1.1.2.1.1

            I assume you’re trying to make the point that because we deny the vote to those groups already we should have no problem with choosing any other group of people to exclude.

            That makes it ok then, does it?

      • Galeandra 1.1.3

        Dear Baron what is an ilk?

  2. A Nonny Moose 2

    Bene-bashing, disenfranchising youth, Women Affairs disdain, barely veiled racism, classism, now this.

    Shit, just give the vote to white dudes 45-65 earning 100K+ and be done with it. Let us know how you really stand Nat.

    Heh: antispam word – “responsibilitys”

  3. tc 3

    Surprised I am not…..this mob are sooo predictable, next week it’s bash the bene’s turn again.

  4. The knee-jerk association of democratic rights as a citizen (which one remains even when sentenced) with a retributive approach to justice is not surpising in a Government marked by a lack of intellectual clout, and an overdose of populism. Mr Finlayson is thought, by some, to be an exception in terms of intellect. One wonders if he has the intellectual courage to follow his own advice, or is he a cypher? To be fair, there were times when my own lot, when in government, might have shown the same consistency, too.

  5. Tigger 5

    Quinn’s law is designed to be a distraction – hey look over here at these vile prisoners who want some rights – no, don’t look at the whale caracasses and strip mining of the Coromandel – that’s right, icky prisoners with tattoos and rape on their mind – you don’t want them voting for those lefties do you?

    Too much to hope that the National caucus will see sense here?

    • You are right but either by planning or by accident they are running a number of diversions right now and they all smell. (Hat tip to Blip) the really odious things that are festering right now include:

      – Supporting commercial whaling
      – Mining Conservation land
      – Turning Auckland into a Corporate city
      – Sacrificing Teacher training funding for National Standards
      – Cutting night school courses so that Private Schools can get more funding
      – Raising GST for poor and giving tax cuts to the uber rich
      – Slashing public service jobs

      And there are many, many more. Diversions are fine but they need something they can be proud about.

      • Robb 5.1.1

        I thought the proposed GST rise was right across the board and all were potentially getting a tax cut of some description. Did I miss something?

        • lprent 5.1.1.1

          Potentially describes it perfectly….. Obviously the detail hasn’t been released.

          But what has been signalled is that the rich will get a big tax cut. Most, but not all, other taxpayers will get partially compensated for GST, but not for the changes in property taxation on landlords going into the rent. In other words if you rent, you’re going to be screwed over.

          Oh and Bill English is frantically dampening down expectations now treasury has had a look at the numbers. So even the partial compensation is likely to disappear. Good time to be rich eh? NACT government rewards those who fill their coffers…

          But you should really find a post that describes the forecast tax changes and comment there if you want more detailed info.

        • a human 5.1.1.2

          yeah tax cut funny

          you get 5c i get 2c

  6. BLiP 6

    First they came for the prisoners . . .

  7. Bored 7

    RW and Tigger, be cautious when thinking that this is a smokescreen distraction or otherwise (even if it is). Adolf and his lack of intellectual rigour was thought to be a joke till he took the reins. The lesson is that theres no smoke without fire and if you let this type of cumbustable smoulder you will get burnt.

    • Tigger 7.1

      Don’t mistake me thinking it is a smokescreen for dismissing it or ignoring it. When appropriate I’ll be sure to email Finlayson asking him how he could vote for something that his own advice says is an affront.

      And even it is not designed as a smokescreen, it will be used as such. Win-win for them (they get to slam prisoners AND distract from GST) and lose-lose for anyone who cares about decency and justice.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    Perhaps National believes that convicted criminals are more likely to be voting for the left than for the right.

    • Bright Red 8.1

      which would be the most corrupt reason possible for this law.

      • TightyRighty 8.1.1

        would have to agree with BR there. it’s a very strange bill to be presenting. there is no need for it really and the anomalies make it administratively stupid. and if national is doing this to remove the right to vote for potential left wing voters, then it is no better than the last government.

  9. Bored 9

    Just recalled they do this in the USA, legally disenfranchising of lots of the “wrong” sort of voters even after their release from prison. It got Bush elected.

    • BLiP 9.1

      That, plus fraud.

    • Bright Red 9.2

      convicted felons are permanently kicked off the roll in many states or for long periods after release in others. It’s a great way to stop blacks voting, expecially when you ‘accidentally’ add the names of a bunch of people who aren’t convicted felons

  10. big bruv 10

    You worried about losing votes Marty?

    • Bright Red 10.1

      clearly Chris Finlayson is worried about having a law that is irrational. Aren’t you?

      • big bruv 10.1.1

        Nope, criminals should not get the vote, come to think of it, nor should those on the DPB or the Dole.

        • BLiP 10.1.1.1

          . . . . what’s the “fapping” noise?

        • Bright Red 10.1.1.2

          while you’ve got your jackboots on, who else shouldn’t get the vote, big bruv?

          Lefties?
          Union members? (who are of course members of the biggest democratic organisations in the country)
          Public sector employees? Including Police and soldiers?
          Superannuitants/invalids? (they live off the state like people on the dole)
          People with low IQ? How low? (I suggest you take a test before answering)

          • big bruv 10.1.1.2.1

            Bright Red

            Union members: They should have the vote, after all, their union dues are used to campaign for left wing parties irrepsective of their own personal political beleiefs.

            Public Sector employees: This is an interesting one, the great tradition of the public service was that all public service workers were (or should be) neutral, given that Labour stacked the public service full of their own cronies between 99 and 08 there is a good argument to say that public sector employees should be banned from voting, however, given they pay tax I would support them retaining the right to vote.

            Superannuitants/invalids: Where did I say anything about Superannuitants not having the vote?, they have paid their tax and they have the right to have a say.
            As for invalids, well given that there are thousands and thousands of people who are on the invalid/sickness benefits who should not be there due to Dyson and Labour shifting dole bludgers onto the sickness/invalids benefit then this needs a closer look.

            People with low IQ: Of course they should have the vote, how else would Labour have any MP’s?

            • felix 10.1.1.2.1.1

              their union dues are used to campaign for left wing parties irrepsective of their own personal political beleiefs.

              Can you give an example of how this would occur?

              • The Baron

                Through their membership of the labour party and their parallel campaigns?

                Try to keep up Felix

              • felix

                But that doesn’t actually happen, Baron. You choose whether any part of your fees is spent supporting any political party by ticking the appropriate box on the union membership form.

                You’re just regurgitating the nonsense you’ve heard from retards like Bruv and Farrar.

                Keep up.

              • The Baron

                Soooo the EMPU is is not an institutional member of the labour party?

                News to me.

                I concede on the second point – thank you for correcting me.

              • Bright Red

                “Soooo the EMPU is is not an institutional member of the labour party?”

                Affliated unions like the EMPU are affliated by democratic vote of the members. They give something like a dollar a member to the Labour party a year.

            • Bright Red 10.1.1.2.1.2

              “Public Sector employees: given that Labour stacked the public service full of their own cronies between 99 and 08 there is a good argument to say that public sector employees should be banned from voting

              Public sector employees are employed by their CEOs, who are employed by the astate service commission. There is simply no mechanism for Laobur to employ thousands of people of its choosing in the public service

              “however, given they pay tax I would support them retaining the right to vote.”

              people on the dole pay tax

              “Superannuitants/invalids: Where did I say anything about Superannuitants not having the vote?, they have paid their tax and they have the right to have a say.”

              People on the dole pay tax

              “As for invalids, well given that there are thousands and thousands of people who are on the invalid/sickness benefits who should not be there due to Dyson and Labour shifting dole bludgers onto the sickness/invalids benefit then this needs a closer look.”

              Invalid/sickness numbers are increasing faster under National. There was no transferring of people from the dole to sickness/invalids. It’s just another myth.

              “People with low IQ: Of course they should have the vote, how else would Labour have any MP’s?”

              There’s no apostrophe in ‘MPs’

              • BLiP

                That pedantic MP’s callow fawning in the MPs’ lounge left me wondering about the point of MPs altogether.

              • big bruv

                “People on the dole pay tax”

                What utter rubbish, people (bludgers) on the dole earn NOTHING so how can they pay tax?.

                “There was no transferring of people from the dole to sickness/invalids. It’s just another myth.”

                Still trying to rewrite history aye Bright Red, thousands of people were transferred from the dole to invalid/sickness benefit under Labour, this is one of the reasons Labour were booted out of government.

                • lprent

                  bb: You are wrong. You pay tax on your benefits; including the dole, superannuation, sickness benefit, etc… A moments thought would provide you the reason that you pay taxes under those circumstances.

                  Damn.. stop that straining… It looks like a bad dump experience….

              • felix

                thousands of people were transferred from the dole to invalid/sickness benefit under Labour, this is one of the reasons Labour were booted out of government.

                Then you’ll have no trouble demonstrating that by reference to the relevant stats, eh Bruv?

              • J. Andal

                “People on the dole pay tax’
                What utter rubbish, people (bludgers) on the dole earn NOTHING so how can they pay tax?.

                12.5%, or the soon to be 15% GST. I know because I’m on a student allowance and it contributes heavily to the cost of food.

              • Zorr

                LMAO

                bigbruv… want proof people on the dole pay tax?
                http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/manuals-and-procedures/deskfile/main_benefits_rates/unemployment_benefit_tables.htm

                And that is just the UB.

                Feel free to maintain your RWNJ stupidity in the face of real evidence though. It wouldn’t be as much fun if you didn’t.

                captcha: read

            • RedBack 10.1.1.2.1.3

              Bigbruv’s latest gem: “given that Labour stacked the public service full of their own cronies between 99 and 08 there is a good argument to say that public sector employees should be banned from voting, however, given they pay tax I would support them retaining the right to vote.”

              -Gosh really bigbruv? How generous of you.

              I gather you would have conclusive proof…. you know pesky stats to back up that ludicrous comment.

              Maybe Labour should retaliate and ban all financial sector employees from voting because they will all obviously be facist money grabbing National/ACT voters. Mind you I don’t have any stats to back this sweeping ficticious statement up ……but I thought if I was communicating on your level bigbruv …why bother.

        • B 10.1.1.3

          So bigbruv if you are made redundant and can’t find work you are not allowed to vote? Or if your husband/wife/partner leaves you and you are left with babies or preschool children to look after so cant work you cannot vote??!!!

          • big bruv 10.1.1.3.1

            “So bigbruv if you are made redundant and can\\’t find work you are not allowed to vote?”

            Not when you are receiving the dole. If you are not contributing then you have no right to tell those who are how their tax dollars should be spent.

            “Or if your husband/wife/partner leaves you and you are left with babies or preschool children to look after so cant work you cannot vote??!!!”

            You can still vote, all you have to do is get a job and not sponge off the workers people.

            • felix 10.1.1.3.1.1

              How about redistributing those votes according to the amount of tax paid? Pay more tax, get more votes.

              What say you?

              • big bruv

                Nope, the concept of one man one vote appeals to me.

                The problem I have is letting those who do not contribute have a say, dole and dpb bludgers should not have the vote, when and if they get jobs then they can have their say like everybody else.

                • lprent

                  Nope, the concept of one man one vote appeals to me.

                  bb: Actually I believe you. Unfortunately I also get the impression that your ideal state would have one man (yourself) with the only vote.

              • felix

                Where do you believe the right to participate in democracy springs form BB? Sounds like you think it comes from being a taxpayer. Is that about right?

                Edit: What I mean is, you say “one man one vote” but you also seem to be saying “one taxpayer one vote”.

                It can’t be both.

  11. Olwyn 11

    An extreme but almost possible scenario: a supercity controlled by act-supporting businesspeople, if you can call running service utilities set up by governments and councils “business” in the strong sense, an election approaches, and suddenly droves of people who lack the right look are banged up for jay-walking, chewing gum spitting, tail gating, misuse of supermarket trolleys, etc. Just for a few days.

    It seems as if low-level think tank members from the Bush administration have found gainful employment here as policy advisers. At least we have not gone so far (yet) as to ban felons from voting for life, which some American commentators think is a policy aimed at reducing the number of black voters there.

    • Not “almost possible”, not possible at all.

      You can’t even be arrested for most of those offences, let alone imprisoned. And the idea that all these people would get their trials held so quickly is laughable.

  12. Pascal's bookie 12

    Funny.

    2 righties in-thread; both see only one reason for this.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    PB “Funny.
    2 righties in-thread; both see only one reason for this.”

    I did say that with tongue in cheek!! Remember, this is only supporting the bill through the first reading, so it may not proceed much further without substantial changes.

    From a philisophical perspective, I do wonder whether prisoners should be able to vote. After all, for every right there is often a responsibility. In this case, there is an implied responsibility to behave within the rules that a democratic society has set. By stepping outside those boundaries should an individual keep the right to vote for the system that sets the boundaries? After all, prison is a limitation of individual freedom. It is just a matter of deciding how far that limitation should extend.

    • BLiP 13.1

      Why, then, would a released prisoner – because, tshitfield, they still do get out despite your best efforts – want to be a part of a society they have had no say in?

    • Bright Red 13.2

      you’re missing all the irrational parts, ts.

      A person in for one day, election day, doens’t get to vote, a person in for nearly 3 years can under this law.

      The concept of not letting people in for more than three years vote is that they won’t be out during the term anyway and it should be part of the punishment for serious offences. But when a person on a lesser sentence is released they’re coming back into society with their debt paid, why shouldn’t they have their say on who runs that society?

    • Pascal's bookie 13.3

      Yeah, I figured you were joking. So was I. Words in jest, etc.

      In this case, there is an implied responsibility to behave within the rules that a democratic society has set. By stepping outside those boundaries should an individual keep the right to vote for the system that sets the boundaries?

      Hmmm. It’s interesting for sure. I’d say that by serving time in prison they are following the rules the society has set. The ‘do the crime, do the time’ rule cuts both ways.

      My turn: If we deprive them of the right to vote, then by what right to we continue to detain them?

    • Pascal's bookie 13.4

      I also assume you relieve them of their responsibilty to pay taxes, rates or fulfill any other contracts they would otherwise be liable for?

  14. randal 14

    all national party legislation is fundamentally irrational when it is not malfeasant.
    and it is incoherent and government ‘lite’.

  15. tsmithfield 15

    BLiP

    “Why, then, would a released prisoner because, tshitfield, they still do get out despite your best efforts want to be a part of a society they have had no say in?”

    Your argument could be applied to any aspect of imprisonment. For instance, by your argument, why would they want to be part of a society the can’t participate in? Imprisonment, by its very nature, does impose limitations on human freedoms. Why should removal of the right to vote not be one of those limitations? Why should your right to vote be any more special than your right to liberty?

    • BLiP 15.1

      Sorry to use a term you might find offensive, but, ‘prisoner rehabilitation” is greatly enhanced when those on the inside have a tangible sense of connectedness with the lives of their families and community to which they will return. Removing such links will result in increased crime. Until such time as your ilk has achieved the death penalty for every criminal, you can’t change the simple fact that by denying prisoners’ right to vote you are victimising the rest of society.

      However, if twisting democracy is your fetish for today, how about removing the right for absentee voters to participate? Long-term Aussie and UK based Kiwis have less interest in the election outcome than those actually in the country.

      BTW, you see that little “reply” button underneath each comment – you can use it to limit the spread of your bullshit from one end of the thread to another – or is taking up space your real reason for commenting? – or, perhaps, you haven’t realised yet that this blog is a little more advanced than your usual hovel? – on the other hand, and most likely, it could just be that coherence is not your strong point.

      • tsmithfield 15.1.1

        Since you seem keen on dishing out the adhominems, perhaps you would like to confirm you use the name “BLiP” because you see your self as insignificant, transitory, hardly noticeable, and a tad annoying.

        Getting my own adhom out of the way, perhaps an analogy will help you understand my point.
        If someone is red-carded in a game of soccer, for instance, for breaking one rule, they no longer participate in any aspect of the game while they are red-carded. They can’t choose just to run around as a defender at the back of the field for instance. Of course, that doesn’t stop them getting further coaching or training to improve themselves for when they can play again. They just can’t play in the game, thats all.

        Applying that analogy to the rules of society, why should someone who is “red-carded” have some special right to participate in the voting rule when they have been excluded from the others?

        • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1.1

          “Applying that analogy to the rules of society, why should someone who is “red-carded’ have some special right to participate in the voting rule when they have been excluded from the others?”

          Am I to take it from this analogy then that you are proposing that they also be relieved from paying taxes, abiding by contracts and all of the other ‘rules’?

          • tsmithfield 15.1.1.1.1

            While they are “red-carded” they are unable to generate income to pay taxes (other than what they can legitimately earn in prison). Therefore, they should have no responsibility for paying taxes while in prison. They should not be able to enter into contracts while in prison either. So, yes, they should be isolated from those rules. Of course, when they are back in the game again, the rules start applying again.

            • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1.1.1.1

              What about the income they can earn while in prison from any business they may own, or investments they might hold? Tax free for the duration?

              And if we deprive them of the right to vote, then by what right to we continue to detain them? If a prisoner has no rights then they have no obligations, by your reckoning, so what right do we have to restrict their liberty?

              • tsmithfield

                The consequence of them not keeping their obligations is the loss of their rights. The first leads to the second. A buiseness is a separate entity to an individual so any income is taxable. And they probably shouldn’t be able to generate income while in prison. Thus investment income should be confiscated.

                This is different to their basic human rights. For instance, a red-carded player still has certain rights. Just not the freedom to play in the game, thats all. Since imprisonment is effectively exclusion from the “game” of society, and since voting is one of the rules of society, then prisoners should not be able to vote.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Why is it different from these alleged basic human rights, that don’t apparently, include liberty?

                And by what right would, presumably the state, confiscate their profits, given they no longer have a vote?

              • Pascal's bookie

                And confiscating their profits is of course increasing their tax to 100%, rather than eliminating it.

                I don’t think this scheme makes much sense.

              • BLiP

                I know how it makes sense to him: if the prisoners have absolutely no rights they can be treated as slaves to work in the private prisons in which he just invested. Simple, really.

        • Bored 15.1.1.2

          TS, you mention “you use the name “BLiP’ because you see your self as insignificant, transitory, hardly noticeable, and a tad annoying”.

          I dont know who BLiP really is but I would like to think that he has the modesty and self awareness to understand that as a flash of existence in eternity we amount to little more, and in the sense of space and time we are exactly that.

          Do you think you are any more significant?

          • tsmithfield 15.1.1.2.1

            I don’t like using adhominems. However, if you look at recent posts to me, he has been dishing them out with gay abandon. So I thought it was about time to return serve.

          • BLiP 15.1.1.2.2

            Also, despite all the trial-runs in the world, all the data structure testing and prototype tweaking, blips still pop up – unexpected and in the strangest places, leaving designers, manufacturers and customers alike confounded and bemused. Sure, the temptation is to just write them off as “just a blip”, go ahead, underestimate all you like, but . . . at your peril. Just ask Toyota or Telecom. 🙂

        • BLiP 15.1.1.3

          A simple analogy for a simple mind – a bit like describing Aotearoa as just one big business.

          However, and fortunately, real life isn’t anything like a game of footy, its not some 90 minute run around the park – further, the expelled player still has full access to all the resources they had before the game started and, if so minded, can choose to stop playing altogether and take up coaching so as to have greater control of the whole season, never mind the one game.

          Your tragic “life is soccer” paradigm strengthens my position in that the absentee voters are like those players that never turn for practise or post-match shenanigans let alone stand up at the AGM for a position on the committee. They are worse than useless.

          Go on . . . have another try.

          • tsmithfield 15.1.1.3.1

            You seem to put “voting” on a plane that is higher than other rights that are withheld while in prison. I have seen nothing you or anyone has written here that would convince me that is the case. I see it as just one of the many rights that can be temporarily withheld while someone is “red-carded”. You seem to see voting as something more special.

            Yet you haven’t said anything that supervenes voting over any other right that is withheld. That is, virtually any argument you make for voting could also be made for other rights that are withheld. In other words, on the basis of your arguments, if we are not justified on withholding the voting right, we are not justified in withholding any right.

            • BLiP 15.1.1.3.1.1

              You’re skipping and dancing all over the place. Surely you’re not trying to suggest that, for example, the right to drive or the right to have a beer after work is as equal as the right to participate in democracy?

              Also, have a look at what I said earlier about how cutting links to the community increases crime. Lets set aside the prisoners for a moment and think about you: are you happy to indulge your creepy, latent S&M desire to further punish prisoners when, in doing so, you are increasing the risk of a member of your family becoming a victim of crime? If so, your fetish is more S than M

              • tsmithfield

                Let me help you get some perspective. Imagine yourself standing before a judge.

                The judge gives you two options:

                Option 1.

                Jail for three years, but you can vote.

                Option 2.

                No jail, but you can’t vote for three years.

                In all honesty, which would you choose?

              • BLiP

                False dilemma.

                Try again.

            • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1.3.1.2

              You seem to put “voting’ on a plane that is higher than other rights that are withheld while in prison.

              You did that. You imply that voting is what gives you the protections of society, and your obligations to society. That’s a very justifiable argument, anarchists will disagree of course, but it’s still a defensible claim.

              If voting is consent to be governed, then removing the right to vote, is to remove the ability to govern. You can’t have it both ways. Being in prison, just like standing on the sideline, is following the rules.

      • Rex Widerstrom 15.1.2

        how about removing the right for absentee voters to participate

        Errr… we don’t. I’d wager I’d know more about NZ politics than a random survey of voters and I’d further wager that I care more than a fair number of them too. I still have family in NZ who are personally affected by decisions of this government, including children for whom I am still legally responsible.

        Yet I can’t exercise a vote to influence the direction of the country I care about, or the futures of the people I love.

        And it pisses me off no end.

        • BLiP 15.1.2.1

          Really? I must have missed something. I’m sure there’s thousands of absentee votes collected from Australia and the UK every election?? You’re an Aussie citizen, though, aren’t you?

          • tsmithfield 15.1.2.1.1

            Sorry, seem to have run out of replies on the earlier thread.

            I think the weakness in your argument is that you equate the right to vote with democracy. However, the right to vote is only part of democracy. To me, democracy includes the right for me to participate in society on an equal basis to others in all respects. Clearly, when we imprison someone we constrain their democratic rights considerably if democracy is defined in a wider sense. If we are constricting their democratic rights substantially anyway, then why shouldn’t the right to vote also be removed since it is a subset of the wider democratic process.

            [lprent: Physical constraint with screen real estate. I think it is set to a depth of six. Too many more and long words start wrapping at a one word per line. ]

            • BLiP 15.1.2.1.1.1

              No need to apologise; its apparent we are worlds apart and a discussion for this would be better managed over a beer rather than a limited reply blog function – although, you can just go back to the last “reply” button in the thread and carry on from there. However . . .

              When a person is in prison, as you have acknowledged yourself, a person is unable to participate in society *except* through the vote – and now you want to take that away when, in doing so, you are increasing the potential for more crime to be committed. Surely, the reason for prison, inter alia, is to reduce crime, not structure the sentence so as to increase crime?

              I forget to abuse you in my last comment – you shit juggling thundercunt.

              • tsmithfield

                It might surprise you to know I am not actually a redneck when it comes to jail. I actually think that jail should be reserved for those who are a serious threat to society and should probably never be released, and that it does more harm than good to most people. I certainly am all for restorative justice, and a high level of drug and alcohol treatment which is sadly lacking in many cases, and dealing to some of the societal root causes of the problems.

                That being said, I am arguing from a point of principle, rather than whether the outcome is nice or not. You seem to accept in your last comment that there is a wider context to democracy and you see voting as the last vestige available to someone. However, you haven’t provided any evidence to elevate voting to a status where it supervenes over other democratic rights we quite willingly withhold from people when we imprison someone. Also, you make an assertion that removing the right to vote will increase crime. However, I don’t really see any argument or evidence from you to justify this proposition.

                I also disagree with you that withholding democratic rights removes someone from society. There are still ways that they can engage with society, and it should be that the state provides plenty of opportunities for that engagement. However, it just won’t be on a democratic footing while they are in prison.

              • BLiP

                Well said and, yes, I am surprised. Glad to see you’re sort of trying now.

                Fair enough you won’t accept my assertion in relation to voting as being one of the ways prisoners feel they contribute to society and, thus, are less inclined to reoffend. I cannot lay my cursor upon a suitable reference; it may well be buried in some half-remembered and turgid Greg Newbold sociology lecture – not nearly good enough for here. Alas. Kinda makes sense, though, don’t you think?

                I don’t follow your logic in relation to your point of principle. I said voting was the last vestige available to prisoners. Also, do you not agree that there exists a hierarchy of rights and that when it comes to, say, the right to drive a car, a right the prisoner loses, that right is subordinate to the right to vote? Is that really what you’re saying? Surely not. So, is a society made more democratic or less democratic if only some people can vote? In this regard, I believe the more people voting, the more democratic the society is – in fact, I reckon you should have the right to vote when you start secondary school.

                Putting my sophistry aside – momentarily – would you agree that when a government starts picking and choosing who can vote (regardless of who it is) that is a step too far, a slippery slope? My position is that it is the weakest, most vulnerable and least deserving of the right to vote who deserve the maximum protection of that right. For the sake of us all.

              • tsmithfield

                Demcracy exists because society has agreed to a framework that allows it to exist. Where the framework does not exist, or is attacked, then democracy has a hard job surviving; Afganistan, Iraq for example (regardless of what part the Americans have to play in it all).

                Consequently, adherence to the rules that make up the framework is very important for the existence of democracy. When people do not adhere to those rules (i.e. with criminal acts) then the fabric of democracy is undermined (if everyone behaved that way we would have anarchy).

                Therefore, the priveledge of voting should go to those who are prepared to sustain the fabric that enables democracy to exist.

              • BLiP

                You’ve gone back to being a twat. I’m disappointed.

                You haven’t responded to any of my points and are now trying to reframe the debate. Since when was the right to vote a privilege and since when is the situation here even remotely comparable to Iraq? The current framework for democracy works fine, crime as it is in New Zealand today is not a threat to that democracy.

                Your arguments are so weak, ill-considered and floundering around in a bucket of fail my question now becomes: what are you really up to? I can only assume that, in fact, you are attacking democracy, seeking to weaken starting with prisoners. Who’s next?

                Either that or you’re some ACT Party operative trolling around looking for PR talking points to sell the hideous policy.

                Fuck off.

          • Rex Widerstrom 15.1.2.1.2

            From the elections.co.nz website:

            If you are a New Zealand citizen you can be out of the country for three years continuously before you are no longer eligible to vote.

            No, I’m not an Australian citizen. As a result I don’t get to vote here either. Didn’t someone once say something famous about no taxation without representation? I’ve tried telling that to the ATO but they won’t take their hand out my pocket 😀

            Seriously though, I think the rule stinks. Why not have a simple test for overseas NZers to check they’ve kept in touch with local events, then let us vote?

            FFS the Italian parliament grants its expatriots their own MPs!! If we instituted that in NZ then Kiwis in the UK and Australia would surely have the numbers to justify their own seats.

            • BLiP 15.1.2.1.2.1

              Bugger. I stand corrected. Thanks Rex.

              I quite like that Italian approach – amazing considering the shambles of a democracy left behind in the hands of the mafia by the US as its parting gift from WWII. Such a scheme might actually generate even more interest in the goings on in Godzone amongst the ex-pat community, thus tugging the heart strings, luring them back home?

              • Rex Widerstrom

                Good point, and one I tried making to Labour during the half-hearted “please, for the love of God, come home and vote for us”* campaign** Labour ran a year or so ago, to no avail.

                * I may not have the actual name right 😀
                ** By “campaign” I mean “half assed website with no proper real world backing”.

            • RedBack 15.1.2.1.2.2

              Good call Rex. I was locked out of the electoral process for the 2008 election due to being absent from the country for more than 3 years. Yeah the Italian model is a good idea that needs to be looked at for NZ considering how many citzens we now have living overseas (such as ourselves). Labour could do worse than floating this as a positive idea to counter the Nat/ACT negative attack on the democratic rights of inmates. It would get my support for a kick off.

  16. SHG 16

    How nice it is to have an Attorney-General with a legal background.

    • lprent 16.1

      Like Margaret Wilson (who was the last one I remember)?

      I seem to remember that David Parker, the current shadow A-G is also a lawyer.

    • Bright Red 16.2

      scrapping the barrel there, SHG.

      Can you name a legal decision Cullen got wrong as AG?

      You, you do how they ahve a staff to advice them, eh?

      dork.

    • Cullen was the best AG that we have had for a while. And if Finlayson is so good then why does he not appreciate that his job is to protect rights and why is it that he does not seem to understand the very clear advice he has been given?

  17. Peter Johns 17

    Prisoners should not have the right to vote at all. They have given their rights up for the term of their internment. Plain & simple.

    • Pascal's bookie 17.1

      No they haven’t, otherwise you could just go in and torture them, (if you do try this of an afternoon PJ, please put the vid on youtube) or pop around to their house and take their stuff.

      But you can’t, so you’re wrong.

    • Jim Nald 17.2

      Why is the current Government so determined to erode rights and especially in this context … after pushing through silly and punitive measures, is the Government nervous about backlash and pre-emptively working to strip off voting rights that may be exercised against the Government??

      And this coming from a lawyer in the office of the AG who is the defender of the law!

  18. Peter Johns 18

    You can take away voting rights, it is a simple stroke of the pen. As for torture, a totally different issue. I will be a bit more specific then. Once you are incarcerated you lose your right to vote. As a nett positive tax paying citizen I am more than happy for prisoners to lose their right to vote.
    I wonder if the left are thinking this will lose them votes in a general election as I assume most prisoners will vote Labour/Greens?

    • felix 18.1

      What do you think about my idea of giving more votes to those who pay more tax?

    • Jim Nald 18.2

      A fair-minded citizen speaks out to defend the rule of law and argue against disenfranchisement. I would expect a party which adheres to democratic principles to speak out similarly.

    • Pascal's bookie 18.3

      As a nett positive tax paying citizen I am more than happy for prisoners to lose their right to vote.

      hahaha, what a nonce.

      Your tax has precisely zero to do with your rights, the amount of ‘say’ you get, or anything else.

      There are no such things as ‘rights as a taxpayer’. When the crown spends money it isn’t spending ‘taxpayers money’ either. These are handy little pieces of rhetoric and serve as metaphors, but they are plain false.

      The crown spends the crown’s money. It gets that money, in part, by levying taxes. You and I, (and beneficiaries too) get tax bills, which we have an obligation to pay. When we pay it the money ceases to be ours and becomes the crown’s. This is not a difficult concept.

      How much tax the crown levies, who it levies, and how it spends it’s money, are determined by parliament, which is elected by citizens and residents. It is as citizens and residents that we gain our rights, not as taxpayers. That would be stupid, (unless you a fan of pre enlightenment thinking of course, then it might seem like a good idea).

      If you put your hat on straight, you might see why disenfranchising people is a different category of thing than temporarily locking them up. Or you might not. If not, try the US declaration of independence for brain fuel. The answer won’t be spoon fed to there either, but learning is an active process, teach a man to fish, and so on.

    • RedBack 18.4

      Peter Johns: “I wonder if the left are thinking this will lose them votes in a general election as I assume most prisoners will vote Labour/Greens?”

      – Again no proof from the right to back up their generalizations. Plus I somehow doubt that the prison population of NZ is going to sway a general election one way or the other.

      “As a nett positive tax paying citizen I am more than happy for prisoners to lose their right to vote.”

      – Maybe I’m reading between the lines PJ and correct me if I’m wrong but are you seriously suggesting that the more tax you pay the more democracy you are allowed? Shall we just go back to the old days when rich white blokes were the only ones who could vote and pass legislation that favoured themselves off the back of everyone else? ….What a minute have I inadvertantly just come up with the ACT Party’s next election manifesto. Sorry about that.

  19. Ari 19

    Your right to vote is PART of your right to liberty. o_O

  20. Bored 20

    PJ, you obviously believe you are better than your fellow man, and that being nett positive is an indication of that. You really are an island of immodest. And because you have more you think you have the right to demand more.

  21. Peter Johns 21

    Bored – my shit smells just as much as yours does. I tell you what though, I am better than the people in prison. I know I should have the right to vote, not like people in prison. Is that too much for you?
    So what, I am proud to be a nett positive tax payer, you are possible on the public tit like most contributors here using your day to promote loony left dogma. I moan and bitch about tax wastage but I do not ask for anything back.

    • Rex Widerstrom 21.1

      I was in prison for a while PJ. Turns out a complaint was extracted through coercion by corrupt police (as later detailed in a second statement from the complainant).

      So I’m dying to know… were you just better than me for the duration of my incaceration, or has that superiority somehow lingered.

      Just like to know whether I need to doff my cap when you pass by.

      • The Baron 21.1.1

        So you were wrongfully imprisoned, and presumably immediately released.Hardly the best analogy. I sincerely doubt that this exclusion would apply in those circumstances.

        I’m a bit disappointed that its you trying out mock outrage and mis-applied anecdotes, Rex – you’re usually better than that.

        As for the last line, if you wanna play victim, you can doff your hat at whoever you want. The only person treating you like a disadvantaged and aggreived marytr is yourself.

        • felix 21.1.1.1

          Did you read Peter’s comment, Baron?

          He thinks he’s better than everyone in prison.

          Keep up.

        • Rex Widerstrom 21.1.1.2

          Immediately? Try after several months and spells in jail in two contries.

          How is it “misapplied”? I was in prison. PJ says ” I am better than the people in prison”. I’m pointing out that “people in prison” include the wrongfully accused but also those on remand (and innocent till proven guilty) and those who’ve committed non-violent, relatively minor offences (and thus were unaffected by the law in its present form, with the three year cut off, which is perfectly adequate).

          And yeah, I’m kinda aggrieved at the “justice” system. Sorry about that, I’ll suck it up in future, as I’m sure you’d do if your business, credit rating (business loans went belly-up while I was incarcerated), personal life etc gets destroyed and you’re dumped back out with not so much as an apology let alone compensation.

          But you’re right, I am only “playing” here, insofar as the only thing I’d doff to someone who expressed that level of prejudice against everyone ever sent to prison was my pants, Dun Mihaka style.

          • Peter Johns 21.1.1.2.1

            Twice ay, you must be 1 unlucky dude. Don’t you do situational analysis when you are in different places? You shouldn’t be allowed to vote bc you are stupid:)
            Still stand by my statement though.
            I am past giving a damm about what other people think.

            • Rex Widerstrom 21.1.1.2.1.1

              You misunderstand – there was one alledged offence, but prison in two countries as a result of extradition.

              Not my first trial though… I’ve had four of those, from six arrests. And guess what – my criminal record is as clean as yours; not a single conviction.

              Yes, I did some situational analysis, and here’s what I concluded: Either I’m the most devious mastermind the world has ever seen, and can fully expect to feature in the next Bond film (note to producers: I have a parrot, not a cat) or the system is deeply flawed and corrupt as lprent notes below. Perhaps, as he says, you need to inform yourself before passing sweeping generalisations.

              Being “past giving a damn what other people think” puts you in precisely the same frame of mind as the people whom I met in prison who I think did belong there because they too didn’t give a damn for others.

    • BLiP 21.2

      I am proud to be a nett positive tax payer

      Could there ever possibly be a better description of the archetypical 21st Century economic libertarian?

    • Bored 21.3

      Peter Johns, Yes it is too much. And as a fellow net tax payer I often observe that there but for the grace of God (I dont believe in him but) go I or any of us.

      Do you never question that none of us have a choice to the circumstances of our birth, that some of us have been more fortunate or less fortunate? Is that a reason to place oneself above another? Or is it a reason for great circumspection, and where necessary compassion?

      I happen to believe some people are just plain bad, in my book theres a lot of them in respected positions with power over others who should be in jail. And I want them kept away from me and you along with those convicted. But to use your terminolgy “their shit smells like ours too”. Do you want to dehumanise them further?

  22. Peter Johns 22

    I am not saying the system is perfect, but lets get perspective then. If you were hardly done by I am sure you were compensated and I have no time for corrupt police. Also, you could argue there are people out there who should be in prison but are not and do vote.
    Shit does happen in the world, I have an Autistic son.
    So I will modify for you my lefty chum, 99.9% of the population then, you are in the 0.1% if that makes you feel better.

    • lprent 22.1

      If you were hardly done by I am sure you were compensated…

      You are more than a little naive. To get compensation you have to bring a civil case, which usually takes several years and quite a lot of money. Of course if you’ve just been dumped in jail your finances are more than a little dead….. The most a criminal court judge could do when dismissing a case is to award you direct legal costs.

      The police effectively have the power to arrest anyone, and if they get a judge to agree – without bail. They remand you to prison while they figure out if they have a case. You can only get compensation if they give it out of the goodness of their hearts (which I’ve never heard of), or by outlaying a considerable sum and wading through the courts for many years.

      The police are a body with archaic management practices, with essentially no oversight (the IPCA is a joke and the Minister of Police has a right to be informed), and they screw up frequently. However they are protected by forcing people affected by their incompetence to have to try and get compensation through a sluggish court system. There is no effective feedback mechanism.

      I think that you need to go and get some basic training in the realities of how the police operate…

    • Rex Widerstrom 22.2

      I doubt most of the lefties on here would claim me as one of their own, Mr Johns.

      However, descriptors aside, no I was not compensated. Compensation for wrongful imprisonment in WA is purely “ex gratia” (at the discretion of the Attorney General of the day) and the present incumbent makes David Garrett look like a sodden hanky, bleeding heart liberal (ironically, he’s a Liberal).

      The present law excludes those who have committed crimes serious enough to warrant their exclusion from society for a significant period (thus, most likely violent offenders, persistent recidivists and the worst of the non-violent offenders). I’d concede there’s some argument to suggest they’ve wilfully forfeited their right – at least temporraily, for the duration of their sentence – to participate in society.

      On the other hand, prisoners who are close to eligibility for parole before an election (those serving less than 3 years, those due for release within, say, a year of an election) ought to retain the right to vote because, as mentioned above, it will help inculcate a sense of belonging to society. This in turn is an important rehabilitative step.

      And the reason rehabilitation needs to be successful has little to do with a “lefty” concern for prisoners and much more to do with the fact that, by definition, a criminal who is not rehabilitated upon release poses a threat to society.

  23. gingercrush 23

    I really think a distinction needs to be made here. As Attorney General, Finlayson’s job is to report on laws being made that inconsistent or contrary to current laws of this country. That is one of his roles as Attorney General.

    Him voting for legislation that is inconsistent or contrary to current laws of this country is because we’re under a Westminister parliament. Meaning in most cases MPs vote entirely along party lines except for when a conscience vote is allowed. MPs just can’t vote against something because they disagree with the legislation etc. If the party has decided to vote one way or another on legislation. The whole party will follow that. The best example would be laws that saw the ending of logging on the West Coast. The Labour MP clearly disagreed with the decision his party made but in the end still voted for it.

    Personally, I feel this bill should be a conscience vote. I imagine some Labour MPs would actually be in favour of this bill while, some National MPs will oppose it. But that won’t happen.

    Edit:

    Oh and Mickey we’re all well aware of your absolute love for the last government. But could you actually tell us one thing Michael Cullen did as Attorney General? Or are you simply too busy fapping off about how wonderful Michael Cullen and Helen Clark are?

    • GC

      Finlayson’s job is to report on laws that breach our bill of rights. This was the weak compromise reached when the BOR was enacted. Many of us wanted the Judiciary to have the power to rule that a law was unconstitutional. This report mechanism was a weak alternative to give the impression that rights were important.

      The theory was that a report by the Attorney General suggesting that a law was in breach would be a really important thing and would attract a huge amount of attention. The mere existence of such a report ought to have a really chilling effect on a Government’s intentions. It is a declaration that they are acting in breach of our rights.

      I am amazed that the current report is being treated with such a cavalier attitude.

      As for my admiration of Cullen. How many examples of breaches of the NZBOR under his rule can you point to?

  24. shakes head 24

    Break the law to an extent you are excluded from normal society and lose your right to participate in democracy, sounds fair to me.

  25. shakes head 25

    I did and if you break the law then pay the price. period

    Simply enough for you to understand Blippy?

  26. shakes head 26

    I’ll keep it nice and simple for ya then. break the law, go to jail, don’t get to vote

  27. felix 27

    IF WE CAN JUST PUNISH A FEW MORE PEOPLE EVERYTHING WILL WORK OUT OK.

    • Rex Widerstrom 27.1

      That should be inscribed above the entrance to every prison.

      [I was going to say “…like ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’…” but I didn’t want to Godwin the thread :-D]

      • felix 27.1.1

        Sadly I don’t think Peter Johns, Big Bruv, and a few of the others would have any problem with either of those slogans Rex.

    • Just ask Texans if they have a crime problem. They execute more criminals than any other region in the Western world and they should have, like, no crime whatsoever.

  28. felix 28

    Interestingly no-one seems interested in addressing the irrationality described by the A.G.

    Come on righties! You did read the post and understand the issue raised, didn’t you?

  29. Nick C 29

    Compulsery Student Membership is unqualifiably inconsistent with the Bill of Rights, you dont seem to care about that.

  30. hurhur 30

    What the fuck are you wittering about lynn you old man,bene’s are redistribution of taxes, any “tax” paid is notional you fuck stick.

    [lprent: expat – I see that you’re as unwitty as ever. Just been looking at your list of various ‘names’, warnings, and bans recently. I think it is time to get rid of your presence. Feeding you to the anti-spam engine. ]

  31. Descendant Of Smith 31

    I can’t see that removing the rights of anyone to vote helps democracy in any way shape or form and this proposed change seems pointless except for a desire to punish.

    Arguments about tax, withdrawal of freedom are just red herrings.

    This bill makes our country less democratic by reducing suffrage for our own citizens. It should be opposed vigorously.

    I much rather see a bill extending voting rights to other prisoners currently excluded.

    We seem to have forgotten how hard fought the right to vote was in the first place – probably because we didn’t fight it.. We should not give it up for anyone so easily.

    We should remember too that democracy is about protecting the rights of minority groups. It’s not about simply what the majority wants.

  32. sean14 32

    It’s nice to have an Attorney-General with the intellectual honesty to point out flaws in bills proposed by his own side. Just like Dr Cullen when the Electoral Finance Act was introduced.

  33. Pascal's bookie 33

    I see we are sucking at cricket again.

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  • 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: COVID-19 Alert Level 4
    The COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is moving fast - and to avoid what we've seen overseas - the Government's response must be to move fast too. We're committed to keeping New Zealanders safe and well-informed every step of the way. ...
    2 days ago
  • SPEECH: Green Party Co-leader James Shaw – Ministerial statement on State of National Emergency an...
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  The scale of what we face right now is unlike anything we have ever seen before. Overcoming it is our common purpose. ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters urging New Zealanders overseas to stay put
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging New Zealanders overseas to stay where they are amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are.” "This includes following the instructions ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealanders overseas encouraged to shelter in place
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging the tens of thousands of New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider sheltering in place, in light of COVID-19.  “Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying ...
    6 days ago
  • Ground-breaking abortion law passes, giving NZers compassionate healthcare
    Ground-breaking law has passed that will decriminalise abortion and ensure women and pregnant people seeking abortions have compassionate healthcare. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Package supports Kiwis to put collective health first
    The Green Party says that the measures announced by the Government today will help families and businesses to prioritise our collective health and wellbeing in the response to COVID-19. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: COVID-19 rescue package ‘more significant’ than any worldwide
    As New Zealanders brace for a global downturn due to Covid-19, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says his Coalition Government’s rescue package "more significant" than any other he's seen around the world. The Coalition is to reveal a multi-billion-dollar stimulus plan on Tuesday afternoon designed to cushion the economic blow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our response to COVID-19
    We know some people are feeling anxious about COVID-19. While the situation is serious, New Zealand has a world-class health system and we’re well-prepared to keep New Zealanders safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Demerit Points System’ will address youth crime
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill drawn from the ballot today seeks to overhaul the youth justice system by instigating a system of demerit points for offences committed by young offenders. “The ‘Youth Justice Demerit Point System’ will put an end to ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Investment in kingfish farming
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $6 million in a land-based aquaculture pilot to see whether yellowtail kingfish can be commercially farmed in Northland, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. A recirculating land-based aquaculture system will be built and operated ...
    3 weeks ago
  • 1BT grants for Northland planting
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Forestry Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced two One Billion Trees programme grants of more than $1.18 million to help hapu and iwi in Northland restore whenua and moana. “Many communities around Aotearoa have benefited from One Billion Trees funding since the programme was launched ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand reaffirms support for Flight MH17 judicial process
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahead of the start of the criminal trial in the Netherlands on 9 March, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has reaffirmed the need to establish truth, accountability and justice for the downing of Flight MH17 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF investment in green hydrogen
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister The Government is investing $19.9 million through the Provincial Growth Fund in a game-changing hydrogen energy facility in South Taranaki, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The development of alternative energy initiatives like this one is vital for the Taranaki region’s economy. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Coronavirus support for Pacific
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Minister for Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand is partnering with countries in the Pacific to ensure they are prepared for, and able to respond to the global threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19). “There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Green Party passes landmark law to ensure deaf and disabled voices heard equally in democracy
    Chlöe Swarbrick's Members Bill to support disabled general election candidates has passed into law. ...
    3 weeks 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to 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 welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
    The New Zealand Government is advising New Zealanders not to travel overseas due to COVID-19, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced. “We are raising our travel advice to the highest level: do not travel,” Mr Peters said. “This is the first time the New Zealand Government has advised New Zealanders ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt announces aviation relief package
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today outlined the first tranche of the $600 million aviation sector relief package announced earlier this week as part of the Government’s $12.1 billion COVID-19 economic response. The initial part of the aviation package aims to secure the operators of New Zealand’s aviation security system, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

  • ICYMI Business: Chorus and Stride hopeful
    ASB sees 6 percent GDP fall in 2020; Chorus, King Salmon and Stride reassure their profits are still on track; Augusta withdraws fund on rent relief fears; US stocks slide again; US jobs data looms ...
    47 mins ago
  • The Bulletin: When are we getting out of lockdown?
    Good morning and welcome to The Bulletin. In today’s edition: Conditions for leaving lockdown explored, nation’s first death from Covid-19 reported, and Australian govt continues to discriminate against NZers.When will the Covid-19 lockdown across New Zealand end? Short answer – when it’s actually safe to do so. Officially, the current state ...
    The SpinoffBy Alex Braae
    1 hour ago
  • Covid-19 live updates, March 30: Australia bans gatherings of more than two as it nears 4,000 cases
    For all The Spinoff’s latest coverage of Covid-19 see here. Read Siouxsie Wiles’s work hereNew Zealand is currently in alert level four. The country is shut down, apart from essential services. For updated official government advice, see here.The Spinoff’s coverage of the Covid-19 outbreak is funded by The Spinoff Members. To support this work, join The ...
    The SpinoffBy The Spinoff
    1 hour ago
  • Coronavirus: PM backs families battling to keep seniors in their bubble
    People over 70 and those with underlying health conditions faced the lockdown four days before the rest of the country - but some of the elderly still aren't taking any notice. ...
    1 hour ago
  • A photo essay on the one thing to keep you sane in the lockdown: bookshelves
    Steve Braunias presents a photo essay of the one thing that New Zealanders are holding close to their hearts during the Lockdown: their bookshelves. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's bookcase at Premier House in Wellington. The photograph which she posted this weekend on her Instagram page reveals two novels by Elizabeth ...
    2 hours ago
  • Glimmer of hope for Lake Alice victims
    Police start “initial” investigation into abuse at a notorious psychiatric hospital. David Williams reports The Government has missed a 90-day deadline for responding to a United Nations committee over torture at Lake Alice’s child and adolescent unit in the 1970s. However, in a move that might represent a glimmer of ...
    2 hours ago
  • Emma Espiner: Sunday at Countdown
    Emma Espiner makes a slow and deliberate trip to the supermarket yesterday, where she finds we are approaching social distancing in a very New Zealand way  It took me three attempts to go to the supermarket. Two days ago I saw the cheerless conga line snaking around the car park ...
    2 hours ago
  • Society’s ‘invisible bonds’ come into the light
    Dr Neal Curtis looks at all the points of implicit trust within society, and how Covid-19 is revealing how important this trust is As I stood in the queue to get into our local supermarket it was encouraging to see how carefully people were engaging in social distancing to minimise ...
    2 hours ago
  • Practise, practise, practise: The Black Fern and the law
    From growing up on the remote East Cape to becoming a Black Fern and a lawyer, Ruahei Demant wants to show young Māori that anything is possible. In the long run, Ruahei Demant wants to be a sports lawyer. But in the short term, the Black Ferns first-five is juggling her ...
    2 hours ago
  • Like being randomly pricked with a pin … and worse
    Having toughed it out alone with Covid-19 and survived, one Kiwi man learned the hard way how self-isolation really can save lives, writes Jill Herron Choosing to self-isolate early with only Sophie the spaniel as company led to a lonesome, rough ride through Covid-19 for a Christchurch asthmatic – but ...
    2 hours ago
  • Love in the times of Covid-19
    As we begin what could become a long period of self-isolation, we encounter a dilemma. On the one hand, epidemiological research and recent global events show us the dangers of not responding swiftly to Covid-19. With community spread now within our shores, it is critical that we follow government orders ...
    2 hours ago
  • The fears of community health and care workers
    Community health and care workers talk of their fear of infection  -  for themselves, their vulnerable clients and New Zealand Over the last few days, Newsroom has written several articles about the fact that thousands of home and community health care workers, who care for elderly, disabled and sick people, have ...
    3 hours ago
  • Covid-19: Petitions launched demanding ‘hazard pay’ for essential workers
    Calls are growing for extra payment for those who continue to head out to work every day, including many on very low wages.The Spinoff’s coverage of the Covid-19 outbreak is funded by The Spinoff Members. To support this work, join The Spinoff Members here.Two petitions have been circulating over the weekend ...
    The SpinoffBy Toby Manhire
    3 hours ago
  • History, hope, and Covid-19
    Covid-19 will transform society, just as the plague and smallpox transformed nations centuries ago. This time, however, we have something they didn’t, writes historian Ayelet Zoran-Rosen.Throughout history, epidemics and pandemics have been a threat to people and states. They strike societies with little or no notice, upend their social and ...
    The SpinoffBy Ayelet Zoran-Rosen
    3 hours ago
  • Christchurch, coronavirus and the ‘new normal’
    The Covid-19 epidemic is only the second time New Zealand has entered a state of national emergency. Newsroom’s Sam Sachdeva had first-hand experience of the first  - the devastating Christchurch earthquakes - and tries to make sense of how the two compare. There is so much that is new about New ...
    3 hours ago
  • The virus as a Vector for power use switch
    In another of his interviews with key industry CEOs on their response to the Covid-19 crisis, Rod Oram talks with Simon Mackenzie of lines company Vector, who expects permanent changes in where and why people consume electricity even once the lockdown ends At mid-afternoon on Wednesday, nine hours before New ...
    3 hours ago
  • Facebook hires AAP for NZ fact-checking
    In the lead-up to the general election, Facebook has launched a fact-checking service for New Zealand and the Pacific, Marc Daalder reports Facebook has contracted the Australian Associated Press' fact-checking division to serve as a certified agency to review content pertaining to New Zealand and the Pacific and rate its ...
    3 hours ago
  • Govt’s ComCom Covid-19 directions illegal and irrational
    The Consumers' Union of Aotearoa has issued a challenge against Kris Faafoi's ministerial press statement which instructed the Commerce Commission to relax its standards for supermarkets and telecommunications companies[*]. ...
    4 hours ago
  • Public gatherings restricted to two people and all foreign investment proposals scrutinised, in new ...
    Source: The Conversation (Au and NZ) – By Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra No more than two people are to gather together in public spaces, and playgrounds will be closed in the latest restrictions in the coronavirus crisis. Meanwhile the government will now scrutinise all foreign investment proposals ...
    Evening ReportBy The Conversation
    7 hours ago
  • Give people and businesses money now they can pay back later (if and when they can)
    Source: The Conversation (Au and NZ) – By Linda Botterill, Professor in Australian Politics, University of Canberra The novel coronavirus sees Australia facing major unprecedented health and economic crises. The key to preventing a downward spiral of the economy is to avoid a collapse in incomes of newly laid-off workers ...
    Evening ReportBy The Conversation
    9 hours ago
  • How Ardern’s coronavirus kindness theme can become contagious
    The South African ‘Don’t Panic Buy’ jingle. Video: ENCA/PickNSave PACIFIC PANDEMIC DIARY: By David Robie, self-isolating in Auckland under New Zealand’s Covid-19 lockdown as part of a new Pacific Media Watch series. A South African celebrity jingle that has gone viral at the end of this week could easily ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    12 hours ago
  • Government says Australia’s coronavirus curve may be flattening
    Source: The Conversation (Au and NZ) – By Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra The federal government says there are signs the coronavirus curve may be flattening in Australia. Scott Morrison told a Sunday news conference the rate of increase in cases had fallen to about 13-15% a day ...
    Evening ReportBy The Conversation
    14 hours ago
  • Broadband and data usage surges as New Zealanders reach out
    Whether to connect with friends and colleagues, catch up on news, or stave off the boredom with bingeable TV, we’ve all been on our devices a lot more than normal.Vodafone has released a summary of its traffic stats for the past six days, which compares phone calls, broadband, and mobile ...
    The SpinoffBy Michael Andrew
    15 hours ago
  • Rushed Vaping Bill During Covid-19, Grossly Unfair
    New Zealand vaping representatives have joined forces to condemn the Government continuing with its plan to rush legislation through Parliament to regulate vaping despite the Covid-19 lockdown. The Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand (VTANZ), ...
    16 hours ago
  • Locked down and locked out in Australia
    Celebrated Kiwi author and expat Ian Brodie adds his voice to pleas for the Australian government to relax welfare rules and help more than half a million vulnerable New Zealanders, writes Jill Herron. Brothers in arms, we are not. That’s the call from award-winning Kiwi author, photographer and film tourism ...
    16 hours ago
  • Review: Netflix’s addictive Tiger King will leave you feeling grubby for watching
    The new true crime documentary sensation shares many of the flaws of its own subject, writes Sam Brooks.Joe Exotic, the man at the centre of Netflix’s new documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, is a star. There’s an unnerving charisma that burns through the tattooed eyeliner, the sickly ...
    The SpinoffBy Sam Brooks
    16 hours ago
  • NZ lockdown – Day 4: First death in New Zealand from coronavirus
    By RNZ News New Zealand’s Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have confirmed the country’s first death from the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Dr Bloomfield said New Zealand had its first death today, after a woman who was initially diagnosed with influenza died. The woman ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    17 hours ago
  • Covid-19 in NZ – Sunday’s numbers charted
    How is Covid-19 spreading within the country? Newsroom is collating information as it's available to paint a picture of what's happening. There were 63 new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, down from the previous day's 83 new cases. Details of how many tests have been completed are now being released ...
    17 hours ago
  • PNG’s Health Minister Jelta Wong ‘sidelines’ Kramer in virus briefings
    Papua New Guinea will have only one press release in the afternoons at 4:00pm daily to give updates on the Covid–19 in the country in a reshuffle of information briefings. Health Minister Jelta Wong announced this when visited the office of the PNG Nurses Association accompanied by his department’s ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    18 hours ago
  • First Covid-19 death in New Zealand
    New Zealand has had its first death linked to Covid-19. The patient, a woman in her 70s on the West Coast, was admitted to hospital with what was thought to be influenza complicated by underlying health conditions. She was later diagnosed with Covid-19. The woman's family has asked for privacy ...
    19 hours ago
  • President Lú-Olo declares Timor-Leste state of emergency over coronavirus
    Pacific Media Watch The President of Timor-Leste, Francisco Guterres Lú-Olo, has declared a state of emergency to enable the government to address the global Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. The state of emergency started last night at midnight and it will run until the night of April 26. Timor-Leste’s National Parliament ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    19 hours ago
  • Cut Traffic Speeds To Reduce Pressure On Hospitals, Say Cycling Advocates
    It’s time to lower traffic speeds to reduce crashes and free up hospital beds, say cycling advocates. "This will reduce harm and ease the burden on our health workers and emergency services," says Patrick Morgan from Cycling Action Network. ...
    19 hours ago
  • Pacific coronavirus: French Polynesia Covid-19 tally rises to 34
    By RNZ Pacific The number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in French Polynesia has risen by four to 34. The update from the government said the hospitalisation rate is unchanged with one person in care. Last night a curfew was declared for the first time, forcing residents across ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    20 hours ago
  • Ohura Medieval Market Day, and the fight to keep a small town standing
    It’s a town where people often feel the rest of the country has given up on them, in the middle of a region where every place feels isolated. So how did Ohura become an unlikely centre of Medieval Combat sports in New Zealand? Alex Braae spent three days there finding ...
    The SpinoffBy Alex Braae
    21 hours ago
  • Coronavirus – analysing the data makes you think we could do with more of it
    If you want to understand some of the thinking behind the policy response to the spread of coronavirus, you might want to read the paper from the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, which is credited with accelerating the introduction of the current lockdown measures in the UK. The paper builds ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    21 hours ago
  • The Pink Jumpsuit: An essay about the bubbles we live in
    ‘It seems like someone else’s dream of my past.’ For Emma Neale, the painting ‘Wanderlust’ by Dunedin artist Sharon Singer stirs memories of her childhood, and new understandings of guilt and forgiveness.There were gifts from my father when he came home from overseas trips. Love offerings; a bit like those ...
    The SpinoffBy Emma Neale
    21 hours ago
  • Māori Party delay launch to fight Covid-19
    The Māori Party is delaying the launch of its new-look party to fight Covid-19 in Māori communities. ...
    21 hours ago
  • Resuscitating a virus-ravaged economy – the answer lies in the soil and the exports it generates
    Westpac is forecasting 200,000 jobs will be lost in NZ as a result of the response to the coronavirus pandemic.  Chief economist Dominick Stephens estimates economic activity during the four week lock-down would decline by a third, despite the government and the Reserve Bank having “done a lot to calm ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    22 hours ago
  • Renée, the Lockdown Letters #3: Help yourself to my rhubarb
    In our new series The Lockdown Letters, some of New Zealand’s best writers tell us what they’ve been up to in the days of Covid-19 alert level four. Today, Ōtaki author Renée.I have a wild tomato flopping all over the path down the back of the veg garden. I picked a ...
    The SpinoffBy Renée
    23 hours ago
  • Covid-19 live updates, March 29
    For all The Spinoff’s latest coverage of Covid-19 see here. Read Siouxsie Wiles’s work here. New Zealand is currently in alert level four. The country is shut down, apart from essential services. For updated official government advice, see here. The Spinoff’s coverage of the Covid-19 outbreak is funded by The Spinoff Members. To support this ...
    The SpinoffBy Toby Manhire
    1 day ago
  • Covid-19 scams: Here’s what you need to look out for
    Online criminals have been making the most of Covid-19 by preying on people’s fear and doubt. Here are some of the calling cards of these con artists.With most New Zealanders tucked up at home, digital devices are proving to be critical tools for staying connected with each other, making good ...
    The SpinoffBy Michael Andrew
    1 day ago
  • A visit to the supermarket
    Author and illustrator Sarah Laing draws a rite of passage in The Lockdown. Reprinted with the permission of the author from  Let Me Be Frank, Sarah Laing's blog devoted to "Reading. Writing. Parenting. Angsting." Let Me Be Frank is also the ...
    1 day ago
  • Life on paws: How to deal with your pets during lockdown
    As New Zealand adjusts to a month of lockdown, many pet owners have questions about their furry friends. Alex Casey had a chat with the SPCA – here’s what she learned. AC: My cat had a disgusting abscess on his tail and now has to get his stitches out. ...
    The SpinoffBy Alex Casey
    1 day ago
  • No shops, no launches – but the NZ book scene is finding new ways to reach people under lockdown
    Books editor Catherine Woulfe takes an energising walk around the lockdown block of New Zealand books. When the bubbles settled over us they settled over the books too. Libraries were the first to shut down, then the physical bookstores and finally, the hammer blow: online sales and indeed any notion of ...
    The SpinoffBy The Spinoff Review of Books
    1 day ago
  • Fiji: A paradise under pandemic rules
    Convincing its citizens to take lockdown seriously will be a major challenge for Fiji’s government, writes Mandy De Vries. My husband, Howie, and I are lucky enough to live on the beautiful Coral Coast in Fiji. We started a tourism operation here two years ago which was, until recently, booming. ...
    1 day ago
  • We’re better placed now than GFC or 1987
    New Zealand’s businesses and government are far better prepared for the rapidly escalating global health and economic crisis than they were for the Global Financial Crisis in 2008-09 or the stock market crash in 1987, says Rob Campbell, one of the country’s most experienced corporate leaders. “Executive teams and boards ...
    1 day ago
  • Gavin Ellis: Time for adversity journalism
    Journalism commentator and former editor Gavin Ellis says media organisations play a vital role in keeping the community informed and, if possible, safe. They also have a crucial part to play in the maintenance of public order and morale, ­ just as they did in the 1940s. With the country in ...
    1 day ago
  • We’ve been forgotten: midwife
    The country has millions of protective gowns, gloves and eyewear – midwives ask: Where are they? David Williams reports Two days into a national lockdown some midwives didn’t have any protective equipment, adding to concerns about safeguards for frontline health workers. On Friday, announcements were made by the Health Ministry ...
    1 day ago
  • What lockdown could do for your business idea
    Covid-19 lockdown provides valuable time for planning a new business, as Dr Mary-Ellen Gordon explains You have a great idea for a business. You’ve been working to get it up and going. Then, just as you were starting to gain traction, the entire country and much of the rest of ...
    1 day ago
  • Covid-19: A catch-22 for our most vulnerable
    Low-income workers whose jobs have disappeared thanks to Covid-19 will increasingly need to access benefit income. When this happens, however, they lose a tax credit for their children. As a direct result of the Covid-19 crisis, the Government has improved its rescue policies for business. We now need to see urgent ...
    1 day ago
  • First boredom, then fear
    The strange energy of preparing for level four is over, now the dystopian reality has kicked in. Danyl Mclauchlan writes an essay about home life during a ‘cosy catastrophe’.We start by setting up our home workspaces, covering the kitchen table with such a thick mass of black cables and USB ...
    The SpinoffBy Danyl Mclauchlan
    1 day ago
  • All Australians will be able to access telehealth under new $1.1 billion coronavirus program
    Source: The Conversation (Au and NZ) – By Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra Scott Morrison will unvieil on Sunday a $1.1 billion set of measures to make Medicare telehealth services generally available during the coronavirus pandemic and to support mental health, domestic violence and community services. The “Medicare ...
    Evening ReportBy The Conversation
    1 day ago
  • Covid-19 in NZ – Saturday’s numbers charted
    How is Covid-19 spreading within the country? Newsroom is collating information as it's available to paint a picture of what's happening. There were 83 new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, down from the previous day's 85 new cases. Details of how many tests have been completed are now bing released ...
    1 day ago
  • NZ lockdown – Day 3: PM Ardern chats with followers on Facebook
    By RNZ News New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke to her followers on Facebook today from her office in Premier House. Her chat lasted about 15 minutes and garnered more than 310,000 views. She discussed wage subsidies for full-time and part-time workers, personal protection equipment (PPE) supplies for ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    1 day ago
  • Effective coronavirus messages and fake news: Can we do better?
    COMMENTARY: By Bob Howarth (self-isolating in Australia after his latest trip to Timor-Leste) After days of web surfing for Covid-19 coronavirus news around the Asia-Pacific, two areas that appear to need improving in some countries are official communication and fact checking. So here’s my two cents, rupiah, kina or ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    2 days ago
  • The best binges on NEON for these extraordinary times
    Whether it’s a robot uprising, a woman catfishing into the publishing world or a bunch of lovestruck islanders, NEON has you covered. Here’s what we’re bingeing on NEON for the foreseeable future.WestworldJust in time for lockdown, there’s a buzz-worthy show with endless discussion points coming out on a weekly basis. ...
    The SpinoffBy The Spinoff
    2 days ago
  • Covid-19: Who really needs to be wearing protective gear?
    There’s been a lot of talk about PPE of late – do we have enough, is it getting to the right people, and who exactly are the right people, anyway? Here’s the latest official advice.The Ministry of Health has now circulated updated advice on the appropriate use of PPE (personal ...
    The SpinoffBy Leonie Hayden
    2 days ago
  • The face of the Covid-19 response: Who is Ashley Bloomfield?
    A month ago, not many had heard of Ashley Bloomfield. But as the Covid-19 response has ramped up, the director-general of health has become a calm, reassuring presence in a time of uncertainty and fear. Rachel Thomas profiles him, in a piece first published on RNZ.Today, Saturday, director-general of health ...
    The SpinoffBy Rachel Thomas
    2 days ago
  • To fish or not to fish – that is the question
    Jim Kayes tests the waters of social media to see how people are coping with being told to avoid their favourite pastime. “There is something ridiculously exhilarating about catching a fish. The thrill might have faded for the salty angler, but for this rookie, the novice still snagging fish hooks ...
    2 days ago
  • New PPE plan leaves community care workers without masks
    The Government yesterday reassured us there are plenty of masks for front line staff dealing with the public. Yet it seems home care workers, who provide up-close personal care for tens of thousands of people every day, won’t be given them. Yesterday two documents hit my inbox. One was a ...
    2 days ago
  • Don’t fret, folks – Hone’s sweet with the mayor so long as he sets up checkpoints and doesn’...
    Hobson’s Choice spokesman Don Brash (a former leader of the National and ACT Parties) is not alone in challenging the justification for tribes claiming to have closed roads to protect their people against Covid. Deputy Prime Minister and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters – his remarks apparently ignored by ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
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  • Manaaki Key For Getting Though COVID-19
    Preliminary results from a survey investigating how well-equipped Māori whānau in the South Island are to stay at home for extended periods show that the majority are prepared to manage their short-term needs, but have increasing anxiety about ...
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  • Parliamentary Monitoring And Reporting Is Critical In Dealing With COVID-19 Responses
    "The risk of fraud and corruption is compounded during crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. When quick decisions are necessary to move vast amounts of resources, bribery, fraud and corruption abound," says Suzanne Snively, Chair of Transparency International ...
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  • Pacific coronavirus: Guam still region’s hot spot with 51 plus cases
    By RNZ Pacific Guam remains the Pacific pandemic hot spot with the number of Covid-19 coronavirus cases climbing above 50. On Friday six people tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total to 51. Thirteen of the cases are currently in hospital. READ MORE: Al Jazeera live updates – ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
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  • Outrage after Indonesian politicians get priority testing for Covid-19
    By Mong Palatino Many Indonesian internet users have expressed anger over the decision of the House of Representatives (DPR) to test its 575 members for Covid-19. Indonesia has a population of more than 260 million. As of today, the country has 913 Covid-19 positive cases with 87 deaths. But ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
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  • Latest numbers: 83 new cases, two in ICU
    New Zealand has 78 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 and five probable cases, the Government has announced today, taking the total to 451. Civil Defence Emergency Management director Sarah Stuart-Black said 12 people are in hospital and two are in intensive care, including one on a ventilator. Twelve are in ...
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  • Covid-19: Total tops 450
    New Zealand has 78 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 and five probable cases, the Government has announced today, taking the total to 451. Civil Defence Emergency Management director Sarah Stuart-Black said 12 people are in hospital and two are in intensive care, including one on a ventilator. Twelve are in ...
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  • ‘We’re ready,’ says NCD chief Parkop with Port Moresby locked down
    By Michelle Steven in Port MoresbyPacific New Guinea’s National Capital City Covid-19 Task Force team is preparing ahead should there be a possible coronavirus case during the 14-day lockdown. NCD Governor Powes Parkop told a media conference that the capital city would be in total lockdown with no public ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
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  • Automatic 3-month Visa Extension Granted For Every Migrant
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  • Government rules magazines and community newspapers aren’t an essential service
    Just a tiny handful of print publications will continue through the lockdown, with only daily newspapers specifically identified as being able to continue. Duncan Greive spoke to publishers of magazines and community newspapers about the impact on them and their communities.Publishers of magazines and community newspapers are reeling, after a ...
    The SpinoffBy Duncan Greive
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  • Magazines and community papers aren’t an essential service, leaving some small towns and elderly w...
    Just a tiny handful of print publications will continue through the lockdown, with only daily newspapers specifically identified as being able to continue. Duncan Greive spoke to publishers of magazines and community newspapers about the impact on them and their communities.Publishers of magazines and community newspapers are reeling, after a ...
    The SpinoffBy Duncan Greive
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  • Coronavirus: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says no change in Australia’s stance to New Zealand...
    Jacinda Ardern has pleaded with the Australian Prime Minister to make an exception to the rule that bars many of the 650,000 New Zealanders there from receiving a benefit. ...
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  • Morgan Godfery, The Lockdown Letters #2: I’m never sleeping
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    The SpinoffBy Morgan Godfery
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  • A review of Attraction, the road trip novel we need right now
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    The SpinoffBy Emma Gattey
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  • Iwi do their thing: helping those in need
    Iwi everywhere put support plans into action, focusing on their  kaumātua, writes Kayne Ngātokowhā Peters. Iwi are ramping up support services to assist their people in need following the closure of Ministry of Social Development offices and the move to online and phone assistance from Work and Income. Central North Island ...
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