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We need more than capital gains tax to address inequality

Written By: - Date published: 2:41 pm, March 25th, 2019 - 46 comments
Categories: Amy Adams, capital gains, equality, greens, labour, national, tax, uncategorized - Tags: , ,

Since publication last month of the Tax Working Group’s final report, there has rightly been considerable comment on the unfairness of a tax system that lacks even a capital gains tax (CGT).

However, to me, the most significant comment of the 130-page report is that the expert group considers the introduction of a CGT as “likely to have (only) a minor impact on income inequality”.

“A material reduction in income inequality through the personal tax system would require broader income tax changes, including an increase in the top marginal tax rate,” the report states, adding that this was outside the group’s Terms of Reference – though quite why remains a mystery.

This in no way suggests that the introduction of CGT should not proceed – all 11 members unanimously agreed that such a tax should be introduced in some shape or form (the three minority members accepting that CGT should be introduced, but had qualms about complexity issues).

The report made a cogent and virtually unarguable case that it is absurdly unfair that income from capital gains is untaxed while all salary and wage income is taxed.

A tax system without a CGT “reduces the fairness of the system” as well as making it regressive because it benefits the wealthy who own the vast proportion of capital assets. This has the effect of “reducing the proportion of tax paid by the wealthiest members of our society”.

The absence of a CGT increased perceptions of unfairness in the tax system as well as reducing its integrity by creating opportunities for “tax minimisation” and avoidance.

The report’s analysis of our tax system highlights two important facts, which are not new, but are unequivocally laid out – that Aotearoa has one of the least progressive tax systems in the OECD and, partly as a result of that, we have one of the least equal societies among that club of wealthy nations.

An OECD 2014/15 graph in the report (Fig 3.3, pg 32) shows Aotearoa ranked eighth lowest among the 35 members in terms of reducing inequality via both taxes and transfers.

The report also notes Aotearoa has one of the lowest top marginal tax rates in the OECD and that high income earners pay only 31% of their total income in tax (and that excludes their tax-free capital gains), while the lowest quartile pay 23% of their income. That means someone on $200,000 would get $138,000 in the hand while someone on $40,000 would get $30,800.

However, suggesting higher taxes rates has become anathema to modern democracies because Right Wing, neoliberal lobby groups have been hugely successful, through the use of clever, emotional catch-cries like “nanny state” and “tax relief”, in arguing tax cuts are good for society.

If going to the electorate on a platform of introducing a CGT is assessed as fraught with risk, suggesting that there should be a higher marginal income tax rate might be deemed a death wish, despite it being clearly in the best interest of the vast majority of voters who would get better education, healthcare and welfare.

Similarly, if higher marginal rates are anathema, imagine what would happen to a government that re-introduced gift or estate duties. Yet these were the tools that in the past allowed us to have a more equal society that gave all a better, if not equal, opportunity. That equalising of opportunity allowed more people to achieve their potential and that, in turn, helped underpin Aotearoa’s economic strength.

I can already hear Amy-I-have-only-got-six-properties-not-eight-Adams screaming she has worked hard for her wealth. Still the question has to be asked: why should some people be given a huge advantage by having a wealthy parent?

Even with the modest proposals of the TWG, National and the Right have painted the TWG’s recommendations as a “monster” and “an attack on the Kiwi way of life”. This despite the report clearly stating that whichever package is adopted, it should aim to be essentially tax-neural – ie tax collected will be offset by personal income tax cuts for all.

In terms of reducing inequality, the report says that the best way to improve the lot of very low-income households is via welfare transfers – ie increasing benefits or family tax credits. To improve incomes for selected low and middle income groups, then changing tax rates is the better option.

The best way to increase the progressivity of personal income tax is to lift the tax-free threshold. Even without raising the top marginal rate, progressivity could be increased by increasing the second marginal rate paired with increases in the tax-free threshold, the report said. That would mean no increase in average tax rates for higher income earners.

That would seem a political non-starter because it would sock it to lower-middle income earners, the group that both Labour and National profess to appeal to.

In Australia, people pay a similar rate of tax as here until they earn $90,000. From $90,001 to $180,000 they pay 37% and on anything above that they pay 45%.

In the UK you pay 40% marginal tax from £46,351 to £150,000 and 45% on anything above that.

At the 2017 election the only party advocating a lift in marginal tax rates was the Green Party (disclosure: I worked for the Green’s last year and in 2014).  Their proposal was a 40% rate on income over $150,000 – quite modest compared with the UK and Australia.

The evidence from TWG report is clear – we have an unfair, regressive tax system that doesn’t address inequality or equal opportunity issues.

It would be great if Labour went to the electorate in 2020 with something akin to the Green’s 2017 proposal. But in light of the howls of outrage at even the proposed CGT, and Labour’s apparent reluctance to go hard on this, I’m not holding my breath.

(Simon Louisson reported for The Wall Street Journal, AP Dow Jones Newswires, New Zealand Press Association and Reuters and briefly was a political and media adviser to the Green Party.)

 

46 comments on “We need more than capital gains tax to address inequality”

  1. soddenleaf 1

    This is a battle between the1% and the 4%, the top and the bottom. Well that’s according to a farmer on Nat.radio. That he did want to pay for a few cents an hour increase to the 4%, given how he is not the 1% as he works a hard for ever 0% of not paying CAT. It’s real hard work watching capital appreciate.

    Where was he when Key increased GST raising taxes on 4% whose entire income goes buying things with GST, no room to appreciate the hard working capital gain of others.

  2. soddenleaf 2

    A CGT set at Zero incentivizes paying employees less, as shareholders maximize capital gain. Those employees leave for higher paying Australia where there is no such incentive. Then your farmers and others have a skill shortage. yeah, people telling them how unskilled they are at setting up themselves to have employee problems.

  3. vto 3

    Doesn’t addressing inequality need far more than tweaking the tax system??

    It needs to tweak minimum wage rates – up.

    It needs to abandon measures that impact the poor more – like cigarettes prices.

    It needs to address employment issues, so that working people have stronger rights and more pleasant lives e.g. proper holiday and break rules

    It needs to discourage the constant increase in capital values, which is encouraged by the banks to lend against of course.. duh. There is no benefit to high capital values. Lower capital values reduce the “rent” cost of everything, which positively impacts those on lower incomes.

    It needs to re-balance the chasing of cheats – $30 million by beneficiary cheats; yet $3,000 million by white collar tax cheats.

    All economic and other settings need adjusting so that more of the country’s wealth gets pushed down, rather than up. My own business, and I would suggest everyone else’s business, would do better if more wealth was pushed down rather than up. It simply = more buyers.

    Why can’t people see that a more equal society, with a very strong foundation of prosperous working people, makes for the best type of society and nation?

    I dont understand why people don’t see this – I think they imagine that with some large capital it is easy enough to escape to some place away from the working poor, but such a sentiment is so shallow and unworthy, and plain false, that I think it dried up before the first tide came in long ago.

  4. Ad 4

    The sharper political question is :

    “Is it still worth the government pursuing a Capital Gains Tax when better social equity and mobility gains are achieved by other policy means which also burn through less political capital?”

    I find it hard to be convinced of the “fairness” of a full new tax when we were promised the earth about GST two decades ago, and it just turned into a total government rort for themselves.

    • soddenleaf 4.1

      Fairness. Companies are worth more, so shares cost more, and owners sell out earlier. NZ has many problems, one being fewer smaller companies grow to become big ones. Farm families have to work far harder to buy the farm, as they cost more. Workers are carrying those who would have paid CGT, and so are enticed to oz where there is no incentive. Housing is oz is falling in price, it’ll take longer to happen here, and that means cost of housing is higher for longer. And then there is the fairness argument, is it fair the tax system advantages those with wealth with more wealth.
      How about the overseas experience? Would young NZ stay and build the nz economy rather than give their best to overseas companies, who are paying capital gains taxes?

      It’s absurd we have a 0% CGT.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        So now you can define “fairness”.
        The Tax Working Group failed to.
        The faster way to rebalance the tax system is through massive tax cuts to the poorer tax brackets. That is what the Greens have advocated, and I’d be pretty keen on it myself.

        This is more and more looking like another tax grab by the state, using undefined emotive words like “fairness” as a smokescreen for the IRD to establish another beach-head.

        • soddenleaf 4.1.1.1

          Tax grab you say, though it’s only impacts those with massive wealth who have been clipping unproductive capital gains growth because their private tax grab underwritten by massive political support to anti CGT politicians. Your tax grab is somebodies incentive to privately tax the other 99% from capital value inflation. My house costs more, my living costs cost more as the owners need to pay more for their homes, the spiral effects of private taxes are exactly the same as higher govt taxes, well worse we look richer but are mostly all poorer while wealth gets wealth from wealth without any productive growth. In fact depressed productivity as skilled workers are forced overseas to earn enough to buy into your ponsi tax grab for the few, a 0% CGT. It’s a rort and everyone who doesn’t think so is deluded.

  5. cleangreen 5

    Ad.

    Some tax money needs to be funneled into better lives for residential communities also as everyone pays taxes and deserves some relief and equality.

    The Labour lead Government needs to make all our lives better’ but we see now that in Cities in NZ urban areas, where ‘heavy traffic’ noise, vibrations, and air pollution are presently destroying the lives of residents alongside those ‘roads to hell, all we see is that is where low income people are being housed and the more affluent communities are saved from 24/7 traffic noise,vibrations, and air pollution,.

    So we are getting like we saw in America, now, with slums appearing in “undesirable” areas of our cities where high traffic flows are and heavy noise and pollution exist.

    But Europe has done very well to make their residential areas safe, healthier areas with a much higher amenity valued comfortable places to live.

    These are some of their mitigation measures;

    * ban diesel engines from any city residential areas now.
    * have strict testing of exhaust systems and exhaust air quality emissions..
    *provide noise barriers and vegetation to soak up any remaining air pollution.
    *Lower the road speeds through residential areas.
    *Place quiet residential signs on those roads.

    • Ad 5.1

      Seriously this is a tax discussion.
      At least try.

    • timeforacupoftea 5.2

      *from next week under 25 year olds can only buy and drive electric cars and trucks.

      Saves under 25 year olds paying tax on fuel and they can save the planet for the wee buzzy bee’s they breed etc.

      I am really keen on a transaction tax of around 2% = No GST, No Income Tax, virtually no IRD, no accountants, no cash – only card transactions,

  6. Sabine 6

    on thing we could discuss and maybe should,

    is helping people to work for themselves.
    Why do we not have more business creation, and not big business, but true small mom and pop businesses?

    Maybe it has to do with the commercial leases that are just way way out of reach for anyone. Maybe it has to do with the compliance costs that are easier absorbed by a multi nationals rather then a small local shop. maybe it has to do with how we collect taxes on businesses. Maybe it has to do with the fact that government offers absolutely no help to anyone who wants to create a business if it is below a certain size and involves more then just some payment from winz to buy a van if one can even get that help.

    Maybe we should just all admit that we don’t actually want to pay our way. We just want to use the roads, the schools, the hospitals but don’t want to pay for the upkeep of any of it. Maybe we should just admit that we like voluntary firefighters, voluntary ambulance drivers, voluntary this and voluntary that, bakes sales here and there – but only in a commercial kitchen at a cost – so that we , us hard done by individuals, don’t have to lift a finger or the purse and pay our way.

    maybe a CGT is exactly the thing to do to start taxing those that would rather free load on the back of the minimum wage earner who has no lobby to lobby for him/her.

    • beautox 6.1

      The lack of a CGT is an incentive to business creation. Putting one in place is really not going to help this..

      Also many Mom and Pop businesses use the family home to run their business, and can thus claim some (quite legitimate) tax expenses. However the proposed CGT appears to affect this arrangement, which will also act as disincentive to business creation, especially the small kind. It should be noted that virtually all businesses start small.

      On a related matter, shouldn’t we be applying CGT to lotto wins? One moment this ticket is worth a couple bucks, next minute it’s worth hundreds of thousands, with no labour requited. That sounds exactly like the kind of capital gains folks hate…

      • soddenleaf 6.1.1

        Nz companies may start quickly yet they don’t grow big, as a CGT helps owners sell up earlier, and forces many overseas to earn as Cgt incentivizes low wages.

  7. David Mac 7

    Lasting and bipartisan equality will come via refining our talents and fine tuning opportunity.

    The opportunity to go from shop floor to boardroom. The opportunity for gifted lads from the provinces to attend prestigious schools. Shane Jones has the right theme…but geee….the prospect of leaping out of bed to plant 800 seedlings on a mountain-side is not pushing my hot buttons. It needs some opportunity, a future embroidered in. Plant for 2 weeks and then study for 2 weeks in the field or get work experience with a forestry processing gang., driving with an owner/driver log hauler. A future, some opportunity, a worthwhile reason to show up and apply ourselves.

  8. Pat 8

    Sadly in a global economy our tax rates are determined offshore…we are so tied to globalisation (and we are not alone) that to move on wealth/inheritance tax ( crucial to redressing inequality) would create capital flight….some may say so what, but depending on how intense it is it may be an issue.

    • soddenleaf 8.1

      Capital flight. But what about bigger companies that will result as owners can’t sellout so early. How about less young flying overseas coz the tax system favors the already wealthy, so they need to get rich growing another countries GDP. How about the productivity crisis that caused by lower wages as owners concentrate on cracking down on wages, or the skill shortage as staff work for leaner companies in oz where they have to pay for more productivity to stay viable.

      • Pat 8.1.1

        There are potential positive and negative outcomes to the implementation of wealth taxes, or even highly progressive taxation but it must be accepted that the short term impact is highly likely to be very negative, especially in the absence of capital controls….it would be a very brave politician (and probably short lived) that made the attempt.

        It is difficult to be contrarian from a position of weakness.

        • soddenleaf 8.1.1.1

          It’s weak to backup claims of negative impacts since doing so would inevitably fall flat. A CGT will not impact for years as assets are assessed at inception and so any conservative economist knows no profit no capital gain. So if their were negatives like masses extra tax bills from say house prices appreciation in the immediate after mouth the extra wealth… …yeah like our homes are set for windfall house price growth. And, you’ll note how I argue existing companies are over value due to the artificial incentuve of a 0% CGT that out competitor aren’t paying and invite owners to target CGs. Seriously are you suggesting that high wages general would hurt your business model?

          • Pat 8.1.1.1.1

            Read what I wrote and perhaps you will understand your reply is completely off topic

            • soddenleaf 8.1.1.1.1.1

              We will be almost the last nation to introduce a CGT. We are supposed to trust you that it would be so adverse. Your position is naive at best.

              • Pat

                Oh dear…i never mentioned CGT…CGT is at the margins,,,you work yourself up for little…and even with opportunity miss the point.

                • soddenleaf

                  So your point is that a CGT has nothing to do with the current debate over “wealth/inheritance taxes”, are you serious? Capital flight is likely? didn’t happen when a CGT was introduced elsewhere, and as our tax rates carry a risk premium due to the 0% CGT, as asset values are higher, the statement that our tax rates are set overseas is ludicrous.

  9. arkie 9

    How about lifting the tax threshold to the minimum wage; ramp up the tax rates to compensate; index them all to inflation; the question would be how and to what level a negative tax/UBI is paid.

    • SPC 9.1

      If the intent is to help those on lower incomes, one brings in a low income earner rebate (which is why one should retain a lowish c10 cent rate)

      Sure take the lower threshold (10.5 to 10 cents cents) “towards” the MW ($20 an hour/$40,000) as CGT revenue grows – this allows workers to share in the tax cut equally.

      Rather than inflation adjust the current thresholds, I think we can improve on current settings.

      1. 10 cents to $24,000*/30,000**
      2. 20 cents to $48,000 ($220* to $820** less tax per annum on $48,000)
      3. Declare an intent to reduce the over $48,000 (c$24 an hour and will one day be MW) tax rate down to the company tax rate of 28 cents (currently 30cents to $70,000).
      4. Apply the 30 cents rate $70,000 to $100,000.
      5. Lift the top rate from 33 to 35 cents and apply over $100,000 (might make the lift in top threshold from $70,000 tax nuetral).

      • arkie 9.1.1

        People on low incomes pay consumption tax at a higher proportion, unless we get rid of GST removing other tax burdens on everyone up to the minimum wage. This is better than using a CGT to try and redistribute.

  10. David Mac 10

    Apparently, when you’re rich enough to buy anything you want the numbers just become a scoreboard.

    Lets create a transparent scoreboard for them, a no BS measure of the good they do for our society in return for their lavish nourishment.

    Publish the personal tax liability of wealthy people. Rather than sliding envelopes under the table to Simon they can contribute to our country in a public holistic manner. Let them outdo each other and foster gossip with their media quoted IRD chits.

    The Aston guy that paid $10 tax last year…he deserves all he has coming.

    Make paying tax a sign of success, the done thing amongst those that really care.

    I wish I was paying a million in tax a year…

    • bwaghorn 10.1

      Fuck yes I would love to be in the top tax bracket

    • Ian 10.2

      political donations are not tax deductable .. Paying tax is a sign of success.Get off your arse and rather than making a wish,lets Do It .

      • tc 10.2.1

        If paying taxes is a sign of success then why do the wealthy avoid it like the plague ?

      • left_forward 10.2.2

        Some people are genuinely disdvantaged Ian… ‘getting off one’s arse’ is always a pre-requisite (with the exception of property traders!), but for many people this in itself does not guarantee success in our currently inequitable economic environment.

        Success for all depends on the way we as a collective society set social policy and arrange incentives and taxes. Hence why CBT is an important first step, so those rich pricks who don’t get off their arses, make tons of money out of property trading and don’t pay taxes, are finally made to contribute, alongside the lowly waged who are contributing so much more tax (proportionally to their income) in sharp contrast.

        After CBT must come significantly higher tax contributions in the higher wage brackets (I am included in this group and will be happy to contribute more).

  11. prometheus 11

    The Capital gains tax proposals as they are exempting family homes will have an interesting effect : the provincial new zealand will wind up subsidising Auckland house owners.
    The retirement commissioner wants us to save for our retirement, suggesting a couple have assets of $1 million when retiring.
    Consider two very similar houses say an older villa, one in Invercargill you can buy for around $200,000 bought by a tradesman with a small morgage to pay off.
    the near identical house in Auckland will cost you $800,000. a similar tradesman buys it with a huge mortgage to pay off. Assuming they both had similar savings to start with. Both work and pay off their mortgage aiming to retire with that million dollar goal.
    The Invercargill owner will pay off the mortgage quickly and put further savings into shares, property, investment trusts etc. to achieve his million.
    The Aucklander only has to pay off the morgage. He can sell and take his million and retire to a lower cost area.
    The Invercargill owner might move to a warmer climate but he will have to pay capital gains tax of 30% on any gain on his investments , if he liquidates his holdings.
    We should either include all property or have an exemption for say the first million for a couple or half that for an individual.

  12. Macro 12

    It would be great if Labour went to the electorate in 2020 with something akin to the Green’s 2017 proposal. But in light of the howls of outrage at even the proposed CGT, and Labour’s apparent reluctance to go hard on this, I’m not holding my breath.

    My hope as well, but I’m not holding my breath either.

  13. chruskl 13

    According to wikipedia, big earners in NZ pay lower income tax rates than in any other OECD country except Singapore:

    NZ 33%
    Australia 47%
    Austria 55%
    Belgium 50%
    Canadia 59%
    Denmark 56%
    Finland 54%
    France 49%
    Germany 48%
    Iceland 46%
    Ireland 52%
    Israel 50%
    Japan 56%
    Netherlands 52%
    Norway 39%
    Singapore 22%
    Slovenia 50%
    South Korea 42%
    Spain 45%
    Sweden 57%
    Taiwan 40%
    UK 47%
    US 50%

    Please explain, Jacinda.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tax_rates

    • Wayne 13.1

      The nominal top marginal rates only tell a portion of the story, in fact not even the major part.

      A better measure is the percentage of the economy that is paid in tax. In NZ that is about 30%, but in the US it is around 20%. The reason for the difference is the enormous number of deductions available in the US, so almost no-one actually pays 50%. Whereas in NZ most people on higher incomes do pay 33% marginal rate.

      The NZ tax system is internationally notable for its overall simplicity and the tight controls on the amount of deductions available.

      • chruskl 13.1.1

        Is that so? You seem keen to focus on comparisons with the US, but why don’t you tell us about Germany, Sweden and other high-performance European countries with lower levels of inequality than NZ? Are high earners able to get out of paying tax so easily in those countries?

        • tc 13.1.1.1

          Note Wayne leaves out Aus…..y’know the one his govt was sooo keen to catch up with.

          The country with a cgt and restrictions on foreigners ownership of residential property to name just 2. Distraction and diversion .

          • Wayne 13.1.1.1.1

            tc

            Australia gets less tax than NZ as a percentage of GDP. There are more exemptions in their tax system than in NZ. Also they are slightly worse on inequality than NZ, so their tax system is not the answer.

            Chruski,

            The Scandinavians do tax more than NZ and have lower inequality. It is entirely up to the government (actually Labour) whether it wants to campaign on that basis.

            • chruskl 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Australia is worse on inequality than NZ? What’s your evidence for that, Wayne?

              Here’s the GINI coefficient for the two countries, according to the CIA: (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2172rank.html)

              NZ 36.0 (putting us in between El Salvador and Benin)
              Australia 30.3 (same as the Netherlands)

              So you were saying …?

              • Wayne

                Pretty old data there.

                The OECD (2016) has NZ at 0.35 (measured in 2014), and Australia at 0.33 (measured in 2016). I don’t tend to link, but I got the data from a 2016 OECD report, which will be way more accurate than the CIA fact book. As soon as you see a figure of 0.36 and 0.30 you know it is not accurate. The two countries are simply not that different.

                Admittedly it does show NZ more unequal than Australia, but basically the two countries seem to have a similar spread of wealth and income when you visit, which I do regularly. Though overall NZ is clearly less well off than Aus, which is evident at every single level. About 25 to 30% less.

                • chruskl

                  Ah, so irrespective of which data we look at, we’re faced with the evidence that Australia does NOT have higher inequality than NZ – both sources show the opposite, in fact.

                  Thanks for pointing out how old the CIA data were (didn’t notice that!).

      • Sabine 13.1.2

        its not simple our tax system – well that is a way of putting it. It is lacking in transparency and ordinary workers can’t even write of their cost of transport to and from work. but you and Gareth Morgan surely have quite a few things to deduct. 🙂

        I would very much like to see how the tax costs for the individual items are

        unemployment tax
        sickness benefit
        retirement tax
        acc levy
        income tax

        right now all of that is hidden under ‘income tax’ – very convenient for men like yourself and those that don’t want people to understand that literally all and any benefits are prepaid services. I.e. anyone who works and pays taxes has a right to certain benefits should they come into need. And if people were to understand that they pay for their unemployment benefits and their sickness benefits then the goons in your party might have to shut up about the ‘useless beneficiaries’ that are bludging off the government as the ‘bludger’ would know that they only receive what they have prepaid. But then what would your conservative posse have left in order to gain traction? Nothing really.

  14. UncookedSelachimorpha 14

    I think a Minister for Egalitarianism (or similar, better name) would be a great idea. This ministry could regularly research and publicise statistics on inequality, social mobility etc, and assist developing policy. Plus, reducing inequality should be a stated goal of government.

    Making ‘reducing inequality’ an actual goal is the first step to getting somewhere.

    • Dennis Frank 14.1

      Yes, I agree that reducing inequality ought to be a strategic goal for government. Labour is unconvincing around this, but to be fair they aren’t in control.

      I also agree with financial transactions taxation. Add in the long-term Green prioritisation of pollution taxes. We just need total reform. Reduced income taxation of employees, taxation design based on appropriate behavioural incentivisation…

  15. Pat 15

    Oh dear…i never mentioned CGT..and CGT was specifically excluded from this thread..

    “We need more than capital gains tax to address inequality”

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    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? ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    6 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, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    7 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    19 hours 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
    23 hours 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days 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
    7 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
    7 days ago
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