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We can do better

Written By: - Date published: 2:24 pm, November 23rd, 2009 - 53 comments
Categories: monetary policy - Tags: , , ,

By and large the Right are refusing to defend their neoliberal monetary policy system. The currency is causing chaos, the housing bubble is back, and the Reserve Bank is in a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ position as it tries to control inflation. But the Right treat the neoliberal doctrine like a sacred religious text, no debate will be tolerated. Only one guy’s given it a go – BK Drinkwater has responded to my post on the need for reform. It’s pretty shallow but since it’s the best the Right can put up for debate, let me respond:

Drinkwater starts off with a lengthy quote from rightwing hero Milton Friedman, who basically invented the kind of monetary policy setup we currently have but he’s fundamentally misunderstood what I’m saying. I’m saying that the Reserve Bank, like nearly every other central bank should have to consider economic factors than just inflation when setting interest rates. Other countries manage it, why can’t we?

Drinkwater says he can’t figure out if I want interest rates higher or lower. I want both. I want lower interest rates for productive investment (ie in business), a lower OCR in line with other countries to kill the carry trade, and higher interest rates on mortgages in relation to the OCR.

Let’s start at the beginning – the point of the OCR is to increase or decrease consumers’ buying power by adjusting how much they have to pay on their mortgages – if inflation is too hot, increase the OCR, that will increase mortgage rates and people will have less money to spend, reducing inflationary pressure. The problem is that our OCR is chronically too high relative to other countries causing the carry trade (=housing bubble, current account deficit, high currency) but if we lower mortgage rates any further it will cause more inflation.

What we need is a way to keep mortgage rates as high as they are (or higher) while letting other interest rates go lower. we could do it with a variable mortgage levy/savings rebate that functions to increase the interest rates on mortgages and savings. The Reserve Bank gets the choice of setting that levy (between say 1% and 3%). The OCR could be lower, letting business borrowing rates fall and killing the carry trade but mortgage rates would effectively be the same as they are, keeping inflation at bay. This levy wouldn’t be a money raiser for the government. The revenue would be used to fund something like a tax rebate on interest income or an inverse payment to savings accounts, encouraging Kiwis to save.

Drinkwater makes some other silly comments – like saying we need the carry trade to create jobs – which fall over on their own without me pushing them. Basically, he seems to think that 40 years ago Friedman created the best of all possible monetary policy setups and we can’t improve on it.

I fundamentally disagree with that. In economics you can never solve all problems at once but we can do better than this. Our current setup is causing the housing bubble, the high currency, and the current account deficit. I’m not saying let’s go back to pre-neoliberal approach, I’m saying let’s go forward to something better. The mortgage levy/savings rebate is one of a number of refinements we could make to do better. I’ll write about others soon.

53 comments on “We can do better”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    I want lower interest rates for productive investment (ie in business), a lower OCR in line with other countries to kill the carry trade, and higher interest rates on mortgages in relation to the OCR.

    Interesting concept Marty. I can’t think of a regime where a central bank stipulates higher rates of interest on residential property than it does for business.

    The interest rates that banks charge lenders is based on a range of factors, but it is basically a risk versus return profile. Lending to business is almost always more risky than lending on property.

    Already many small and medium business owners put property up as security for business lending and load up the mortgage to fund their business working capital.

    • I do not disagree with Tim and I think this shows how complex the debate is. Focusing on interest rates alone gives a distorted and incomplete picture as does focussing solely on inflation.

      There may need to be some direct control on currency. Singapore has been held up as an example. The currency is pegged so that it does not move too quickly. I am afraid I do not know what mechanism is used but this may be a tool that New Zealand needs to acquire.

      • Tim Ellis 1.1.1

        That’s an interesting perspective Micky. Currency controls are very risky for a heavily exposed economy running large current account deficits. By comparison Singapore has been running huge current account surpluses for years and despite their economy being twice the size of ours, the New Zealand currency is still more heavily traded than Singapore’s.

        Still in NZ bankers’ memories was the run on the NZD in 1984 that the Reserve Bank tried to fight and almost bankrupted the country.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 1.2

      I can’t see any benefits of high interest rates, as the main beneficiaries of this are the banks. The enemy of interest rates is inflation, since money in the bank loses value so investors look for speculative returns such as property, which in turn causes inflation and higher rates
      The trick is to encourage this investment into the tradable and away from the non tradable economy and our course raise productivity.
      I’d do everything I could to keep rates low- even if it means taxing property.

      • Bright Red 1.2.1

        ZB. the point of the mortgage levy isn’t to make mortgages higher in absolute terms, it’s about making borrowing for business cheaper without lwoering mortgage rates, which causes inflation.

        The banks wouldn’t be getting the money. The levy would be kept by the government or, as Marty suggests, paid to encourage saving.

        Treasury and the Reserve Bank had a look at the idea a few years ago, but the notion was shouted down by Granny Herald.

        “The scheme was conceived as a way of reducing any adverse impact on the tradables sector that might otherwise arise from the monetary policy measures needed to keep overall inflation pressures in check.” http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/informationreleases/monetarypolicy/mil/mil-do-feb07.pdf

        In other words, you could lower the OCR so you’re not causing the carry trade, pushing up the exchange rate and hurting exporters but you can keep mortgage rates at the same level to avoid cuasing inflation.

  2. Rex Widerstrom 2

    …the Reserve Bank, like nearly every other central bank should have to consider economic factors than just inflation when setting interest rates

    Whilst in total agreement with that statement, it presupposes that the MPA should remain in place and that an unelected (and mostly unknown) group of people — some with potential conflicts of interest (the AFP has just raided the homes of several RBA directors as a result of their private business activity) — should have control of policy lever which affects the futures of every New Zealander.

    We don’t elect them, we can’t sack them. I’ve always felt that that was somehow inappropriate in a democracy and my inclination has always been to return control of the entire economy to our elected representatives (advised, of course, by the RBNZ, Treasury et al). This would also end — hopefully — the ridiculous situation of monetary and fiscal policy sometimes pulling in opposite directions.

    But that doesn’t seem a popular view on either side of the political spectrum, with everyone having accepted the status quo (albeit some with amendments) as the best framework, so I’ve been doing a bit of reading on alternatives that encompass the existing settings but expand upon them (as you seem to have been, Marty).

    On I’m particularly impressed with was presented to the recent NZ Association of Economists conference by David A Preston: “Putting Credit Back into Monetary Policy: Reconstructing the New Zealand Monetary Policy Framework.

    He points out that one negative effect of the current policy is:

    …the massive inflow of overseas capital into New Zealand during the period of exchange rate appreciation, a high proportion of it flowing directly into the banking system.

    One irony in the period is that to the extent that OCR increases had their intended effect of pushing up domestic interest rates, including bank deposit rates, the motivation for additional capital to flow into New Zealand to feed the consumption and asset price boom if anything increased

    and he concludes that:

    the OCR, while a key economic tool, is on its own an insufficient tool of monetary control if a wider definition of monetary policy objectives is to be used… viewed from the perspective of a wider set of monetary policy objectives involving an adequate contribution to maintaining macro-economic stability and international competitiveness New Zealand monetary policy has been significantly inadequate.

    He proposes an alternative monetary policy framework encompassing:

    • A wider range of variables as part of monetary policy consideration.

    • The selection of an appropriate quantitative target or targets for measuring the extent to which policy objectives are being achieved.

    • Additional policy instruments to supplement the role of the Official Cash Rate.

    I’d be interested in the opinions of anyone who knows more than do I on the topic (i.e. just about anyone) as to the viability of what’s proposed by Preston, which seems to be an expansion of what Marty’s proposing (I hope I’m not misreading you, Marty — apologies if I am).

  3. vto 3

    I suspect the problem lies more in manwomankinds fundamental settings, not the settings of some monetary policy. Those settings of over-exuberance, fear, memory ignorance, greed. They rise to the surface no matter the levies or taxes or controls or regulations or ocr’s or whatever recent fashionable phenomona has been dreamed up to arrest whatever recent activity has been deemed now unfit.

    Your levy will do nothing to control those human traits mr marty. But good luck trying.

  4. Hi Marty: thanks for the graceful response.

    I’m a little pressed for time this afternoon, so I won’t be able to reply in full until a bit later; suffice to say there are a couple of quibbles, and a couple of points I’ll be conceding to you as well.

    Just for now, two hit-and-run points.

    1) The lengthy quote is not from right-wing hero Friedman, but from Paul Krugman; the quote is extracted from a fairly famous hit-piece on Friedman. I chose it to illustrate that even if one detests Friedman, it’s probably wise to accept he had a point about the inflation/unemployment correlation (the Philips Curve) breaking down in the long run. This has implications inflation-doves need to consider very carefully before denouncing strict inflation-targeting as a strategy.

    2) How do you reconcile your wish for higher mortgage rates w.r.t. the OCR with Labour’s shellacking of the banks over the last six months, wherein Cunliffe especially has been criticizing the banks for “not passing on” OCR cuts to homeowners? (This isn’t a knockdown argument: the point is that I’m not certain that monetary policy is the villain here: fiscal policy may have a larger effect here than you credit, and the correct prescription may be a CGT or a land tax.)

    • dred 4.1

      I don’t think marty’s proposing higher mortgage rates, he’s proposing a way to keep mortgage rates where they are while bringing down the OCR to kill the carry trade.

      All this stuff makes my head wizz a bit but as far as i can see you’re not really offering a rebuttal of his argument, you’re just constructing a strawman.

  5. vto 5

    One other minor matter mr marty – the post is based on housing being bubbled-up and too expensive. I would be interested to know why you think this the case. Most property at the moment is valued at below what it costs to build. How will you bring down the cost of building mr marty? The cost of timber? the cost of concrete? the cost of the italian tiles? The cost of the local plumber and electrician? The cost of the land? How?

  6. Ag 6

    So the Keynesian solution doesn’t work for ever, but it works for a while. The neoliberal solution doesn’t work for ever, but it works for a while.

    Economics is not a science. Economists are little better than witch doctors when it comes to the long run.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      Yep, they got physics envy real bad. Thing is, the things physics boffins study don’t change their behaviour to account for what the physicists tell the engineers to do. (quantum shmontum notwithstanding)

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    if inflation is too hot, increase the OCR, that will increase mortgage rates and people will have less money to spend,

    Actually, it increases all borrowing rates.

    What we need is a way to keep mortgage rates as high as they are (or higher) while letting other interest rates go lower. we could do it with a variable mortgage levy/savings rebate that functions to increase the interest rates on mortgages and savings.

    And then the carry trade will be dominated by mortgages…, oh, wait…

    There’s an easier way to kill the carry trade – a Tobin Tax. Set correctly (as a %age of the OCR) the carry trade will always run at a loss rather than a profit and we wouldn’t have the complexity and extra costs of multiple OCRs.

    • Rex Widerstrom 7.1

      Which was Alliance policy and which I think is still Progressive policy? It’s probably the only thing about which I have ever found myself in complete agreement with Jim Anderton.

    • snoozer 7.2

      “And then the carry trade will be dominated by mortgages”

      nah, because people lending on mortgages wouldn’t be getting all the interest that the mortgage borrower is paying eg:

      current OCR is 2.5%, mortgage rates are about 6%.

      Because the OCR is 2.5% and the Japanese one is 0%, there’s a carry trade.

      Lower the OCR to 0% and slap a 2.5% mortgage levy on mortgages (assume for the sake of simplicity that 100% of OCR cuts are passed through to mortgage rates). The mortgage rate is still going to be 6% for the borrower, serving the point of keeping inflation down. But with the OCR down at Japan’s level there’s not going to be a carry trade and that will lower the exchange rate.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1

        6% – 2.5% = 3.5%
        Are Japanese loans higher or lower than the 3.5% return from NZ mortgages?

        • snoozer 7.2.1.1

          I don’t know but if there’s a difference it’s likely to be trifling (google says mortgages in Japan at 2.4%, other loans will be a bit higher).

          The carry trade relies on differences in central bank interest rates. There has to be enough of a difference to make it worthwhile.

          • IrishBill 7.2.1.1.1

            A mortgage levy is pretty difficult politically. Which doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done and I suspect it would be better to in terms of avoiding leakage than a Tobin tax but I still think the latter is a more politically achievable goal.

  8. John A 8

    @ Tim Ellis

    Singapore has a large current account surplus because it controls the exchange rate rather than trying to use it to control inflation as New Zealand has done. Our tradables inflation is low and used to counter non-tradables at the expense of exporters.

    As for the 1984 devaluation; it was a disaster for New Zealand because Roger Douglas leaked it was going to happen during the election campaign, and the insiders ran for the door with their hot money. At that stage the Reserve Bank was supporting Douglas rather than the dollar.

    • IrishBill 8.1

      Singapore also uses compulsory superannuation with an adjustable minimum contribution rate to control inflation.

      • Tim Ellis 8.1.1

        Yes that’s true, IB. SIngapore has very high savings rates, but it is the current account surplus, meaning they’re investing more money off shore (driven by their enormous super schemes) that keeps their currency stable.

        • IrishBill 8.1.1.1

          It also means they’re not stuck with just hiking the OCR to control inflation which helps reduce their risk of becoming a target for debt which in turn limits debt-driven inflation and the current account deficit.

          I can’t think of any reason we shouldn’t have a similar Kiwisaver-based policy here. Can you?

          • Quoth the Raven 8.1.1.1.1

            Do you want forced savings IB?

            • IrishBill 8.1.1.1.1.1

              OMG! “Forced” savings! I must be the enemy of freedom!

              Until we get the anarcho-syndicalist revolution I’ll cope with any measure that makes capitalism more tolerable including the use of universal superannuation to provide economic stability. The alternative is the monetarism that currently aids and abets the transfer of wealth from the many to the elite few.

            • Quoth the Raven 8.1.1.1.1.2

              Persoanlly IB I think I would treat each person as an individual. Different people have different time preferences, priorities in thier own lives, etc and it’s for them to make up their mind what to do with the money they earned through their own labour.

              And yes you are an enemy of freedom.

              Someone below mentioned full-reserve banking – maybe just maybe you could have an open mind and look at some ideas from differing ideas to your own – don’t act like the there’s only monetarism and whatever it is you’re proposing.

    • We should not forget that Muldoon refused to devalue even though he was instructed to and made the damage that much worse. Jim McLay showed some backbone and offered to be sworn in as acting PM just so that the devaluation could occur.

      Muldoon’s actions made things much worse.

  9. ” I want lower interest rates for productive investment (ie in business), a lower OCR in line with other countries to kill the carry trade, and higher interest rates on mortgages in relation to the OCR.”

    It is an interesting concept and, while it could probally be legislated relatively simply despite protest, I can not help but think that pretty much every other discussed option would be far more effective.
    This change also has the potential to, depending on implimentation, impead with individual home ownership and vastly accelerate the rate at which individuals with property companies are able to acquire property. Esspecially because property prices would drop and it is likely that those companies would find a way to receive the lower rate.
    I can see such an approach increasing inequality and the accumulation of wealth by the upper middle class.

  10. Daveski 10

    This is why I’m going a little septic:

    But the Right treat the neoliberal doctrine like a sacred religious text, no debate will be tolerated.

    Reconcile that crappy comment with Labour’s actions in reviewing and sticking with the policy while in government. It’s a sloppy inaccurate comment at best.

    As others have pointed out, the high relative rates in NZ reflect the risk inherent in small isolated economy still largely based on commodity prices.

    Further, where’s any acknowledgement that forcibly lowering interest rates will naturally decrease for investors, not just nasty rich pricks but retired people who supplement super with savings?

    • Mertel 10.1

      Daveski: “where’s any acknowledgement that forcibly lowering interest rates will naturally decrease for investors, not just nasty rich pricks but retired people who supplement super with savings?”

      Marty: “The revenue would be used to fund something like a tax rebate on interest income or an inverse payment to savings accounts, encouraging Kiwis to save.”

      yeah, looks like he thought of that, daveski.

      • Daveski 10.1.1

        { Putting hand up }

        I missed that. So withdraw my comment and apologise accordingly!

        Mind you it does show the difficulty inherent in trying to mitigate the changes to the current system warts and all.

        I promise to read Marty’s posts most closely in the future!

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 10.2

      Do you think the right will ever break out of the low taxes and wages will save us meme?

      No sign of it yet. It seems that Bill English makes a grudging acknowledgement of the problem but when asked for a solution can only propose cuts in spending and lower wages as a panacea. This is about as sophisticated an argument as its gets for them. Maybe Brash will come up with alternative- but i’m not holding my breath.

  11. Daniel J Miles 11

    The reason we have housing booms is simple. If you put your money in the bank, your interest gets taxed. If you put your money into stocks or bonds, your dividends get taxed. If you buy a rental property and gear it, you pay no tax on your returns.

    It’s really pretty much that simple. Buying housing is more profitable because we don’t tax it properly, and as a result the value of that house is greater than it would otherwise be. Which is a problem in and of itself, but doubly so when you then want to go along and buy yourself a house not for profit, but to live in, and have to pay the premium that an investor would be willing to pay for the extra return.

  12. Tim Ellis 12

    It seems a lot of readers are of the view that a capital gains on property is a good idea.

    I’m not opposed to it. I think government should tax things that stay still, and reduce tax on things that move.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 12.1

      There’s the big 4. 1.CGT on housing, 2.stamp duty on housing purchases 3.Land Tax(Australia has all of these, we haven’t) and 4.deductibility of interest re-payments on money borrowed for property investment. You could control non-tradeable investment with any mix of the four, if you wanted to.

      • Tim Ellis 12.1.1

        Zaphod local authority rates are a land tax of a kind.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 12.1.1.1

          Not only that but you get levied 12.5% GST on them. The NZ govt makes a huge windfall by taxing a tax. If we had a annual 1 or 2% Land Tax it would be simple to collect tax those who could afford it and would suppress property prices.

  13. The Baron 13

    Marty,

    On your last post, I said that I am yet to see you, or anyone in the Labour party for that matter, pose any alternative to monetarism that is:

    – well researched
    – effective
    – achievable
    – or credible

    It is awfully easy to take free hits, and attack the people rather than the ideas (which is what you seem to be doing to BK here, and anyone that has disagreed with your yet to be articulated “alternative”) when you haven’t yet stepped up to the plate with your own solutions.

    So, I am even keener now to hear your ideas for monetary policy that is “everything to everyone”, and that does not sell us even further down the river to currency speculators… or strangle off foreign investment… or lead to crippling inflation… all of which are very real risks from this debate.

    As I have said a number of times, the Monetary Policy debate is well worth having, both here and nationally. But while monetarism is far from perfect, I still heartily believe that this is a horrible, horrible area to go play politics in. We need reasoned analysis and clear agreement on the outcomes we are seeking when setting monetary policy, not more “I hate JK cos he is evil” or “anyone who disagrees with Marty is a dumb rightie”.

    So, enlighten me Marty – what do you think our monetary policy should be achieving? Don’t forget to address:

    – well researched
    – effective
    – achievable
    – or credible

    Which is all the things that monetarism has in its favour.

    5 days now, still waiting.

    IrishBill: Tell us what to do on our own blog like this again and you’ll get a week’s ban.

    • snoozer 13.1

      man. you’re a bit of a dick eh Baron? demanding that someone who provides you with material to read and a forum to discuss in for free does the posts you want on exactly what you want within a timeframe decided by you.

      I’m enjoying commenting on these series of posts, Marty. Keep it up. In your own time.

      • The Baron 13.1.1

        Sorry Snoozer, I guess I objected to Marty having enough time to berate his objectors, but still not pose a reasonable alternative.

        If it makes me a dick for asking for a reasonable debate on this, rather than “my corner your corner” crap, then I apologise – this really isn’t the “discussion” site I thought it was trying to be, and really is the “fan boi” club it has always seemed to be.

        Keep it up snoozer – don’t think about what is at stake here, just stick to your favourite colour. Everyone loves the passionate idiot.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      Monetarism doesn’t have those in its favour at all as it based upon false assumptions.

      • The Baron 13.2.1

        Again, I’ve never said its perfect. But its fighting a phantom at the moment!

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 13.2.1.1

          I’d stick to playing the ball not the man. If you want phD standard analyses talk to Auckland Uni.

        • Draco T Bastard 13.2.1.2

          It’s far less than perfect – it doesn’t relate to reality at all as it assumes it away. If it was as good as Friedman and the others said it was we wouldn’t have gone through a housing bubble in the first place, have that collapse into a recession and having it replaced by another housing bubble (which is what’s happening ATM BTW). In a few more months I’m expecting another collapse because the underlying BS that is monetarism hasn’t been addressed.

    • Daniel J Miles 13.3

      Well, to be fair, while it wasn’t the politest way of doing it, it is legitimate to say that someone who puts forward the proposition that the system is broken should be able to give some specifics as to a superior alternative…

      You can then, of course, ignore that call, but it doesn’t do your argument any favours.

      • Daveo 13.3.1

        To be fair, the guy writes these posts in his spare time and is clearly starting a series on this topic. Coming on like The Baron and throwing a tantrum because Marty hasn’t written about everything you want is just plain rude.

        • The Baron 13.3.1.1

          Good point Daveo,

          I unreservedly apologise to Marty for my impatient and intemperate comment. I will await your alternatives with interest.

          One further comment though – regardless of the pros or cons of monetarism, the one big benefit is that we have been able to have a cross party consensus on our monetary policy for 20 years. This has given our economy stability and a degree of certainty, which I hope you will all agree is desirable.

          I hope that Goff, and all of us really, will be motivated to achieve the same degree of consensus on any alternative. To have monetary policy lurch on 6-9 year cycles could be far worse than any individual policy perscription.

          • Draco T Bastard 13.3.1.1.1

            This has given our economy stability and a degree of certainty, which I hope you will all agree is desirable.

            Not against the suffering that it’s brought with it.

  14. Herodotus 14

    I am fully supportive of a CGT.
    Agree with an earlier post re price of housing re price differential new vs existing. In my experience an existing 4 bm 220m2 house is somewhere $50-$100k cheaper than building (In Jafaland). To limit the housing bubble we have to make the build cost cheaper. There is little scope with this re land prices, regulation and materials, also not to allow prices JUST to esculate as they did 2003-5. Cent Govt has to have an input into town planing, not by default with Transit as the only submitter.
    Where was/is govt re Flatbush, Stonefields,Longbay, Silverdale & others re plan changes?

  15. Rich 15

    I want lower interest rates for productive investment (ie in business), a lower OCR in line with other countries to kill the carry trade, and higher interest rates on mortgages in relation to the OCR.

    That could be achieved with a tax on mortgage interest. If that and other measures were taken to control house price inflation, the Reserve Bank could set the OCR lower.

  16. mikesh 16

    I’ve always believed Milton Friedman advocated a 100% reserve ratio, effectively preventing banks from creating money altogether.

    As far as our situation is concerned I think I would like to interest rates determined by market forces with the money supply controlled. The current setup where banks create money ad infinitum, backed up by overseas currencies seems to me a recipe for inflation and instability.

  17. BLiP 17

    Remind me – what was wrong with the gold standard and, really, has anything improved since money started growing on trees?

    • sk 17.1

      BLiP,

      What was wrong with the Gold Standard was the deep depressions that resulted from it in the 1870’s and 1890’s. In the latter’s case, Australia’s GDP dropped by 30%

  18. sk 18

    Good post Marty, and interesting thread.

    This is a debate that must be joined. Going back to the 1990’s no one imagined the global financial system would evolve in the way it has, with system-wide currency speculation – either by deposit-taking institutions and investment banks / hedge funds in the West, or by Central Banks in the East. This has left NZ, with 100% of GDP in external liabilities and a free floating currency with virtually no foreign exchange reserves to back it, exceedingly vulnerable. The reason neoliberals do not defend it, is at some level they know it is broke. But no one has a clear idea what to do about it.

    Wholesale change is probably beyond us, as you imply Marty. But there is scope for a Baldrick approach, a series of cunning plans. Note how Goff’s speech had an immediate impact on the NZD.

    A number of possible ideas have been mentioned here, but we need a package of measures that address both external and internal speculation.

    On external measures one alternative would be for the Treasury to conduct FX intervention. This is what should have happened when Cullen proposed FX intervention, but the RBNZ under Bollard and Orr fought a brillant rear-guard action, where they kept the powers for themselves, which they have used only sparingly, and with the NZ$ back in the 70’s have now shot their wad.

    One idea I like, which has not been proposed, is for the Minister of Finance to be able to allocate the Super Fund between a NZD hedged fund and a USD unhedged fund. This would effectively allow the super fund to sell NZ$ above 70 cents say, and buy it back lower down. The current fully hedged strategy does not make sense.

    We should also be pressuring the Asian central banks to limit their exposure to the NZ$. It is unfair that countries like China and Singapore resist pressure for their currencies to appreciate by buying US$, and then recycle it into an appreciating NZ$.

    And then there are the internal measures CGT and mortgage levy would add to the armoury, but other measures could include adjusting the loan to value ratio as Singapore and Hong Kong have done.

    As Goff has said, it is time for a new approach. Doing nothing, as Key prefers, is not a good option.

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    2 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    2 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    2 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    3 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    3 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    4 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    4 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    6 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
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  • COVID-19 updates
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  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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