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What kind of system change do we want right now?

Written By: - Date published: 2:11 pm, March 19th, 2020 - 37 comments
Categories: food - Tags: , , ,

From the Herald article,

An Auckland woman in self-isolation has been left empty-handed after her online grocery order was cancelled without any warning.

The woman said her order at New World Stonefields comprised mostly of baby items and she was now working out how she would source her groceries

“We could have had someone else get everything for us but we’re now stuck.

There’s a conversation to be had, which the mainstream are already doing, about how to swiftly transition conventional systems into ones that can cope with the new landscape. For example, using a closed supermarket as a warehouse for online shopping. These processes take time (that Countdown example won’t be ready until sometimes in April), and smaller hacks within existing systems are being implemented too.

There’s been a new surge of panic buying in some places in NZ. Incognito mentioned in Open Mike about flattening the curve in relation to groceries, and we can be mindful here of the need for this, the relationship between our needs and supply lines. This isn’t new. In many circles conversations about how NZ only has enough food for three days in a big emergency is pretty normal (and may be part of people’s panic). But we’re not in that kind of emergency. The global system hasn’t collapsed, this is not a fast emergency despite all the stress of how quickly and often things are changing, it’s not a hard collapse. It’s that the demand has increased suddenly. That’s on the people.

Pertinent here is how many (or few) people trust society or the collective. We can and should be working on that. Lots of messaging to help people feel more secure would go a long way. How to share, how to trust, how to build security.

There’s another conversation that needs to happen too, which is the need for a cultural shift away from expecting the global food supply chain to be always the thing we rely on, and to working with our communities as our primary security. Someone in that woman’s street or wider area should be able to help with her shopping, but she is stuck because we don’t have those systems set up to be reliable either.

This isn’t always going to work of course, because humans are fallible and we’ve lost a lot of community skills in the last half century. But while I think changes to those conventional systems are needed, the wider need is to change in ways that not only meet the existing crisis but future proof us as well.

This is a particular skill set, I see it in regenerative, transition towns, permaculture sectors a lot, where it is normal to do both at the same time.  The first thing I see about that is how many people will be assuming that this is a temporary crisis and that we will go back to normal in time. I think this is unlikely and that we are entering a long period of transition, but we don’t yet know what to. Being committed to it being something good would go a long way.

In my circles I’m see the understanding that we need to start growing more food where we live. This isn’t a fear based, survivalist action. It’s a recognition that we will probably need to take some of the pressure off the food supply lines this year. People who already grow food will see growing more as a natural extension of what they do, and a proactive response to the crisis. In terms of the point above about big picture resilient design, it dovetails neatly with two things.

One is future proofing. Relocalising food supply to any extent makes society more stable, because small, complex systems are inherently more resilient.

The other is that it’s exactly what we need to be doing anyway in regards to climate change. This is the ideal opportunity to get a number of things right, and it is very easy in NZ to get a lot more people growing food. Not everyone mind, but more.

The added benefits here are that gardening is something we can do while staying at home, and for many it is a great stress relief. It also keeps us fit instead of going to the gym. The bigger, longer pictures is we can create jobs from local food growing, keep money in the community where it belongs, and foster better community connections.

The middle classes need to do some heavy lifting here. Make resources available to low income people in our communities so that they can garden. Lots of ways that this could happen right now, from tool buying/sharing, to teaching propagation. If you can’t garden, but have the funds, then pay someone else to grow food for your and your community.

If you’re in a part of the country that has panic buying this week, maybe swing past the Mitre10 or local garden centre and pick up some seeds or seedlings for the garden, and share them around.

Mod note: please take care to be kind. We’re all stressed in various ways, and some are managing and some aren’t, so let’s cut ourselves some collective slack and make everyone’s lives easier, including the mods. If you can’t be kind please at least think about respect.

37 comments on “What kind of system change do we want right now?”

  1. Grant Insley 1

    Isn't it strange how the most popular opinions and fixes revolve around someone else doing something? Then like a breath of fresh air we have a suggestion we could be more self reliant. I have several different types of garden in my modest back yard. Raised beds, pyramids, espaliered fruit trees, various hydroponic sets even a small greenhouse with a static hydroponic system. I have 4 chooks and some top bar beehives. I advise the local community gardens and share my experiences via my Photographic FB page. It's what I was taught and yes it is therapeutic. even talked my GP into setting up some plants in flexi tubs, he now recognises what a great stress reliever it is for him. Honest it's not hard if the you use the techniques that suit your ability. The best bit? ALL of my gardens are relocatable!

     

    • weka 1.1

      I reckon fruit and nut trees would be a good bet at the moment for people who don't normally garden. Bit long term for some, but very easy to do for people that have the space. Can be relocatable too!

  2. infused 2

    working from home won't stick. It's been tried. so many people just fuck around.

    • weka 2.1

      can't see the problem with that tbh, NZers work too hard as it is.

    • Brigid 2.2

      Can't agree with that.

      I found that I worked far more hours when I worked from home than I did when I worked from an office. The job is always there waiting for your attention. It does pay to have a job you enjoy of course.

      • JanM 2.2.1

        I agree

        . When I was lecturing the only way I could prepare in reasonable time was to work from home

    • KJT 2.3

      Found the opposite in fact. When I was doing an office job.

      Achieved a lot more than in the office. Especially avoiding all the pointless, meetings.

      Stopping the job from taking over my entire life, because my "office" was in the lounge, was the real issue.

  3. Rosemary McDonald 3

    "…maybe swing by and pick up some seeds…:

    Gee. Ta, weka. Now there will be all the 'nutters' in the garden centre buying up large.

    🙄

    Old People/Offspring conversation the other night went a bit sour as I pontificated quite emphatically that for the sake of Mother Earth we should not go back to our jet setting ways.

    'Stay home. Skype etc …use the tech you youngsters love to cut down dramatically on the overseas travel. Even After, don't go back to those planet fucking ways.'

    Went down like a cup of cold sick, initially.

    They'll come round.

    Just wait till I show them about the canals in Venice.

    (Link locked onto my clipboard and I can't free it )

    She's forgiving, our Mother, ain't she?

  4. Brigid 4

    Went to paknslave yesterday in Whangarei. The place was more crowded than I've ever seen any supermarket before, even more so than an Christmas. Queues of 4 or 5 at every checkout.

    Twas most strange.

    Called in at Mitrebe 10. Not a face mask to be seen. Too bad for those wanting to do some sanding etc.

    But Flip, the loverlies, have given us an unlimited connection cuz covid. Damn nice I reckon.

     

    • Did a small shop at New World tonight and weary butcher told me they had done more sales by 4pm than they did on Christmas Eve.  All the workers looked tired and well over it.

    • RedBaronCV 5.1

      Hickeys view of the new normal – largely seems to be predicated around giving Nact a share of the power .

      • RedBaronCV 5.1.1

        any suggestion of that during the GFC – sharing power – that would be a "no"

        • Incognito 5.1.1.1

          Ah, yes, but this time we have a different team in power that is kinder and more inclusive 😉

  5. bill 6

    Just a very rough and ready sketch coming off the top of my head…

    A several hundred dollar per week universal payment to every person.

    Buy what you want with that. I guess people will initially buy stuff and "smash" as they do at present.

    But with several hundred dollars in the pocket, I can think of a fair few people who will dump time consuming and stupid jobs, so maybe it won't be possible to spend any of that several hundred dollars on "smash"…because no-one's turning up to produce it in the first place.

    All those people suddenly not holding down daft jobs is a lot of people suddenly confronted with the opportunity to rediscover community.

    So (illustrative, off the cuff example), although everyone walks away from the local toilet paper factory, communities kinda reckon they quite like having toilet paper, and so the toilet roll factory gets set back in motion by workers/members of communities who organise the work in ways to ameliorate the soul destroying reality that probably accompanies current toilet roll production (anyone who has ever worked in a factory will know what that's about)

    If the urge to rush to the final destination of right wing tosh is resisted (ie – a world where all human interactions are monetised), then the several hundred dollars per week that's initially spent on smash merely becomes a vehicle away from capitalist relationships – ie, the money itself loses value because no-one is really interested in charging for anything – the food is grown, children are cared for/schooled,  infrastructure is maintained and hell, even toilet paper is produced 🙂

    And it's all done from a community perspective where individual identity is contingent upon or subsumed by something larger than self and not predicated on the dysfunctional individualistic nonsense that we're currently conditioned to.

    Alternatively, we can make like foetal in the corner, hoping and waiting for the whole shebang of last week/last month to be cobbled back together so we can carry on riding the world off a cliff of warming.  🙂

     

     

     

    • Stunned mullet 6.1

      A type of NZ kibbutzin movement ?

      • bill 6.1.1

        Exercising forms of self-empowering control and responsibility at a community level could have any number of labels and ideological sign posts attached to it. I don't really care what anyone might want to call the elevation of basic human wellbeing above an all pervasive and highly destructive chrematistic ideology.

        If you're thinking "NZ kibbutzin", then sure… whatever. Like I say, the name or label doesn't matter for me – as long as it doesn't foster an ideology that might impinge on our ability to bring into being, humane ways by which we might live, and dance, and die, and cry.

    • Incognito 6.2

      yes

  6. joe90 7

    What kind of system change do we want right now?

    One that sets this in stone.

     

     
    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

    –Abraham Lincoln September 30, 1859

    • KJT 7.1

      Funny that.

      As noted in the twin towers collapse.

      All those high paid accountants, lawyers and assorted financial wizards had to be shown by cleaners, maintenance workers and firemen that internal non structural walls are not solid barriers.

    • arkie 7.2

      Now is a great time to read Marx, which one can, online, for free!

      Capital
      A Critique of Political Economy

      Volume I
      Book One: The Process of Production of Capital

      https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/

  7. Robert Guyton 8

    Gardeners won't need to say, "I told you so!", they'll need instead to share their experience. Already, sales of seeds and seedlings are escalating. Fruit tree sales as well. Our environment centre organic food cooperative is already planning how to deliver to homes instead of opening our door, if it comes to that. I notice that our several community orchards are being visited "vigorously" and this was the intention should there ever be a crisis. It seems to me that everyone will see opportunity and confirmation of their world-view in the pandemic; the isolationists will believe their preparations have been wise, the traditionalists will welcome a return to the "simple, conservative old ways" and people like me will thrill to the potential that this is a turning-point for humanity's spiritual development smiley It'll all come out in the wash though but I'm betting things will never be the same.

    • weka 8.1

      that comment made me really happy 😀 I've been wondering what you've been up to, noticing your absence and hoping for a report. Ka tino pai.

      • Robert Guyton 8.1.1

        For you, weka.

        “Having resisted every warning and admonishment to transform and change our ways, we are now, as a collective, being forced into a cocoon ourselves, in lockdowns and self-isolation, to do the work we should have done generations ago.”

        “We are not going to break out of our collective dilemma if we cannot hear the voices of non-human creatures outside the door, and humbly accept their help. If, as it is assumed, this pandemic is a result of the woeful treatment of wild animals (60% of new human diseases are zoonotic), we have a lot of reckoning to face. It is hard for human beings, who have for generations never learned to say thank you to the planet that has hosted us all our lives, where it has never crossed our minds we had to honour life and give back, nor that we had soul work to do, legacies and tasks that we hold like a small kist in our hands, when we are born.” 

        https://dark-mountain.net/outbreak/

         

         

  8. tc 9

    Comes down to a more agrarian lifestyle IMO. We've got the land types, fertility, rain etc and as scarcity bites harder distributing resources gets even tougher.

    The old food miles again as that reduces GG and helps CC if you grow/consume local.

    CVID19 today, sars and mers were recent warning shots…what’s tomorrow ?

  9. gsays 10

    Excellent post weka,

    There are lessons from the collapse of the Soviet Union and the impact on Cuba.



    Also a systemic change I would like to see is sharing. Not barter, nor trade or exchange but sharing.

    Sharing time, wisdom, food, knowledge.

    This can be done along side the system as it exists now.

    Try it, I reckon it will accord with everyyone's nature. 

    • georgecom 10.1

      Cuba is an interesting case study. If you talk to Cubanos who are old enough to live through the special period it certainly has left its scars on them. The measures Cuba took such as urban gardening and localised food distribution helped to ensure no one starved. They redesigned their food production system. What lifted Cuba out of the special period however, and stabilised their economy, was opening up to global tourism and toward the end of the 1990s patronage from Hugo Chavez and Venezuela. The Cuban economic model was and continues to be fundamentally broken. In a sense tourism and Chavez allowed the system to continue on without fundamental change. Some change, but not fundamental. One very interesting aspect to look at is 17 minutes through the video, Miguel Salcines from the UBPC Organiponico in Alamar. A highly productive worker collective urban market garden.

  10. Tiger Mountain 11

    Stream of etc. post…Well something has to change, like dispatching neo liberalism and capitalist hegemony. Little fun in the short term for those that lose people in the pandemic. Life is an existential dilemma at the best of times, but it typically goes on for 7 or more decades for many, so this virus has essentially massively sharpened up our fight or flight mechanism and sense of mortality. 

    What is life really all about? Food miles, and a whole bunch of service related, discretionary spending is going to change alright (not picking on all you life coaches and dog walkers out there). Talk to people in your circles. Start a neighbours garden or collective enterprise of some sort. Swap skills. We already do that in some places obviously, but it is new to many others. Supermarket workers–get together on how to deal with abusive power shoppers. i.e. an operator puts hand up and all tills close until a manager has talked to the aggressive person. Take charge. The EMA is already encouraging SME employers to do silly things with leave etc. without thinking long term.

    Start small till you learn the techniques–solar charger for your phone and gadgets, and gasp–transistor radio, a pot of herbs or chillies, a lemon tree, Rig up a small rain water collection tank in the yard–for emergency drinking or garden use.

    All those corporates that scurried off to low wage corners have left NZ without even a footwear or credible clothing industry. “we created great value for shareholders but unfortunately the planet burned” as the old joke goes. Time to get serious–could Fisher and Paykel Health turn production to protective gear and ventilators?  Good post Weka.

     

    • bill 11.1

      All those corporates that scurried off to low wage corners have left NZ without even a footwear or credible clothing industry.

      That's quite a big deal. It's not as though the old machinery is sitting around gathering dust and just waiting for a brush off and a 'once over' – the arseholes trashed any machinery they might otherwise have been leaving behind.

      The other big deal is that goods we have sitting around tend to be unservicable – the days of "opening the toaster" to see what's broken with an idea of repairing it are basically gone.

      And with the possibility of repair disappearing, the ability to repair has also disappeared – ie, the simple "how" and the once 'common knowledge' work arounds…

      Actually. How many houses on an average street do you reckon contain no tools whatsoever?

      So yeah. Production, driven by fashion and ideas of disposability, has led us a merry glitzy dance up this here garden path. And now we just have to make the best of what we've got.

      edit – I could agree with the suggestion that the government mandate production from the likes of Fisher and Paykel in the very short term.

    • RedBaronCV 11.2

      Err Fisher & Paykel healthcare already do that sort of stuff and are working hard as according to their stock exchange notifications

  11. Billy 12

    God moves in mysterious ways.

  12. Adrian 13

    Had a revelation today when I walked past empty shelves of toilet paper on my way to try and buy a small bag of  non-existant flour and it was this…FFS stay away from the flour diet, it obviously gives you the worst dose of the shits imaginable.

  13. I cannot understand why several commentators, of clearly political and/or theoretical economic views have not joined this post.  Their know all wisdom is sadly missed.

    They almost always butt in, usually quite irrelevantly.

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  • 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
    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
    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, ...
    7 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
    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
    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
    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
    1 day 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 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
    6 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
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago