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What they’re hiding

Written By: - Date published: 6:24 am, March 11th, 2009 - 40 comments
Categories: ACC, privatisation - Tags:

Interesting to see that the new ACC board chairman, John Judge, is an alumnus/affiliate member of the Business Roundtable.

That’s the same Business Roundtable that has consistently said that: “the introduction of a state monopoly, no-fault accident compensation scheme in New Zealand had been a huge mistake” and argued “for the introduction of choice and competition into accident insurance.” Hmmm.

Looks like privatisation by stealth to me.

acc-by-stealth

40 comments on “What they’re hiding”

  1. Not only that but according to his CV he is also an ex-banker as he once was a Director of ANZ.

    I’m sure that Merrill Lynch while being investigated for currency dealing fraud and the payment of excessive bonuses just before they had to be bought out by Bank if America will be happy with their boys ransacking our economy.

  2. cocamc 2

    And was he not appointed to the board of Te Papa by the Labour Government, maybe to privatise that also??
    I thought John Kay has publicy stated that he will not privatise ACC. And this scaremongering of ACC being privatised is irresponsible media. The only area that can be truly opened to competition is the Workers account

    • lprent 2.1

      The part of the phrase you missed out was “this term” according to the minons at a national party social. However that doesn’t stop them attempting to destroy the system this term. Makes it easier to make a pledge before the next election.

      • cocamc 2.1.1

        When the next election is held in 2011 then the opposition can seek answers to the privatisation question then for the second term. Why do you think they are trying to destroy the system, it appears ACC is already broken and needs remediation. I seem to remember that they need over $1 billion to meet shortfalls so change is needed.

      • Tim Ellis 2.1.2

        On the contrary, LP, I think doubling costs, scope and entitlement creep, pursuing a risky investment strategy, dragging feet on fully-funding the scheme, and going into an election promising lower levies while sitting on information that showed dramatic deficits, have gone a long way to destroying confidence in the system.

        The work account is the only account that can be feasibly opened up to competition. This wasn’t a secret. National signalled it would likely do this well before the election. The work account only constitutes a very small proportion of the ACC scheme. It simply isn’t feasible to open the earners or non-earners’ accounts, let alone the motor vehicle account, to competition, let alone privatising it. Labour knows this yet continues to spout the “privatisation by stealth” mantra again.

        If that’s not diversion tactics, I don’t know what is.

        • lprent 2.1.2.1

          So if National is not planning on dismantling the system after the 2011 election – why don’t they say so. So far National appears to be trying to do their best to undermine the system. Their press releases have been interesting because rather than isolating causes for things that must be fixed, they’re focused on condemning the system – which suggests that they want to move to the higher costs of a private system (eg aussie).

          Most of the information that I’ve seen says that the slow process of fully-funding the system was working reasonably well. The market turmoil obviously doesn’t help with investment funds. But that is the nature of markets – as many pension funds are finding. There isn’t always a bull market.

          Most of the rest appears to be increasing costs rather than massive increased entitlements. That suggests to me that NACT should focus on the cost side, but their pronouncements focus on the entitlement side. But it doesn’t appear that most ministers have shifted to actually doing the hard work of running a government yet.

          • Tim Ellis 2.1.2.1.1

            So if National is not planning on dismantling the system after the 2011 election – why don’t they say so.

            National has said repeatedly that it is committed to the principles of the ACC scheme. The reality, which Labour knows, is that the non-earners, earners’, and motor-vehicle accounts can’t be opened up to competition let alone privatised while maintaining universal, no-fault cover. That whole argument is as much as a red-herring as asking Labour to say whether it intends to raise income tax by 30% post-2011. If Labour is committed to a robust, internationally competitive economy as it says it is, then income tax can’t be raised to those levels. If National is committed to the principles of the ACC scheme, then the only account that can effectively be opened to competition is the work account.

            Most of the information that I’ve seen says that the slow process of fully-funding the system was working reasonably well.

            Governments have had a 15-year time frame to deliver this, in order to reduce the short-term impact of dramatically increasing levies that goes with moving to a fully-funded scheme. The fact that Labour was making noises about delaying fully funding the accounts by many years says that fully-funding was not a priority. In other words passing on the costs to future levy-payers. At the same time, Labour was implementing increased entitlements and promising lower levies. You just can’t do that without breaking the system entirely.

            Most of the rest appears to be increasing costs rather than massive increased entitlements.

            Increasing entitlements does mean increased costs. Yes there has been significant health cost inflation, but that is only part of the problem. ACC doesn’t have any capacity to drive down health sector costs. They have considerable purchasing power with respect to tertiary health services, but they are not a treatment provider in their own right. All treatment services are provided on contract either by public health services in the case of some hospital treatment (which is by far a minority of costs), and private health providers in the form of primary health services. In short, it is the entitelement regime that dictates ACC costs, which ACC has very little ability to reduce.

      • Bill 2.1.3

        “However that doesn’t stop them attempting to destroy the system this term.”

        Which is something of a pattern across the board. Whereas the fast and furious assault on social services and rampant privatisation of the 80’s left oppositions continuously on the back foot, largely because it was brand new, this time it all needs to be teed up.

        Apart from the attack on unions…(join your union and lose a days pay being peddled as a positive thing was a cracker)…it means stacking boards first so that there might appear to be a consensus among ‘those in the know’ come term two. Who’s going to hit the streets to save the job of a bureaucrat? It also means three years of propaganda of a ‘this possibility hurts me more than it hurts you’ line…only a possibility mind. When the execution comes around it will be portrayed as a no other option, option.

        The rolling maul.

  3. Tim Ellis 3

    Ev somehow confuses being a board member of a bank with being a “banker”, and then goes off on an anti-John Key tangent against Merrill Lynch, where Judge has never worked.

    Judge was appointed a director of Te Papa by the Labour Government, presumably because of his strong financial management skills. Clearly the ACC Minister felt that with ACC facing a major crisis with increased costs and what appears to be an unnecessary level of risk in its investment scheme and a very dramatic decline in its investment portfolio, that somebody with strong financial management skills was needed on the Board.

    • Tim Ellis seems to thing that being a patronising asshole by addressing everybody but me in response to my comment is the way to go on this Blog.

      Tim Ellis has apparently not understood that it is the banking elite which is responsible for the development fro the very products the ACC invested in and which are now causing the collapse of the entire global financial structure.

      Tim Ellis seems to have forgotten that it was Merrill Lynch who last year announced that the New Zealand healthcare system would be opened up to private insurers and as such is an actual party in the destruction of the ACC> To think that John Key and Merrill Lynch have a separated their ways is ludicrous.

      Key still sometimes meets his former colleagues. In October (2007), some of the most powerful fund managers in the City of London gathered in a smart conference room at Merrill Lynch’s London office, in the shadow of St Paul’s cathedral, to discuss the state of New Zealand’s economy over breakfast.

      The star of the breakfast was Key, the currency poacher now hoping to be elected gamekeeper.

      Sunday Star Times

      Tim Ellis doesn’t seem to understand that the banksters offloaded their crappy shit to pension funds, Insurance companies and healthcare investment funds because they where naive and gullible and thought they could trust the banking elite not to sell them shit.

      Tim Ellis doesn’t seem to understand that our banking elite does not have strong financial management skills because if they had we would not be up shit creek without a peddle while a financial tsunami is coming our way caused by the selfsame financial wizards that sold ACC their crappy investment products.

      Silly Tim

      [lprent: Tim is correct in his later comment. As far as I can see there is a disjunction between your comment and the post and the comments. Don’t thread-jack or you’ll wind up viewed like Stan.]

      • Tim Ellis 3.1.1

        Ev, I realise that you have very strong opinions, Ev, and I am trying not to be as rude towards you as you are towards me, but there is really no need to address other people like that.

        This post is not about bankers. John Judge is not a banker. He has never worked at Merrill Lynch.

        • Chess Player 3.1.1.1

          Hey, I just googled “Merrill Lynch Travellerev” and counted over 20 results….

          You do seem to have an ongoing theme, as Tim has pointed out….

          Perhaps it’s just time to move on…

          Cue: Red Rag to Bull

        • Travellerev 3.1.1.2

          Tim,

          Judge has sat on a board for ANZ and is a member of the Business round table, that makes him suspect in my opinion.

          John Key has had a long working relationship with Merrill Lynch and ML leaked last year that the NZ heath care system would be up for grabs. The fact that they were interested and apparently had insider knowledge makes them suspect.

          Our current financial privately owned system has been run into the ground by every major investment bank including Merrill Lynch and since they sold their crap to organisations such as ACC all of these banks are suspect.

          As for rudeness. You are a manipulative smarmy git and if you don’t like the way I respond to your patronising (extremely rude in my book) quasi “Oh I’m the vicitm of Ev’s rudeness” pleading for sympathy crap than you are politely invited to fuck off. Very politely of course.

          • Tim Ellis 3.1.1.2.1

            Ev,

            Judge has sat on a board for ANZ and is a member of the Business round table, that makes him suspect in my opinion.

            Yes I think we’ve established that Ev. Except you conveniently ignore that many other bank directors and former Business Roundtable members have been appointed to boards by various Governments. Given the NZBR’s broad membership, if every NZBR member was excluded from membership of an SOE or crown entity, then there would be very slim pickings indeed.

            If you want to see evidence of a real, actual banker appointed to boards, you can go no further than Sir John Anderson, whom Labour appointed variously to chair TVNZ, and Capital Coast and Hawkes Bay DHBs. Ralph Norris, also a banker and now CEO of the Commonwealth Bank, was appointed a director of Air New Zealand by the Labour Government. At the time, Norris was chairman of the Business Roundtable. This occurred at a time when the Labour Government was nationalising Air New Zealand, rather than privatising it. Norris was then appointed CEO of Air New Zealand by the Labour-appointed Board.

            I don’t see any connection between BRT+Banker=Privatisation.

            John Key has had a long working relationship with Merrill Lynch and ML leaked last year that the NZ heath care system would be up for grabs. The fact that they were interested and apparently had insider knowledge makes them suspect.

            Here you go a long way from the thread of the discussion. To my knowledge, John Judge has no connection with Merrill Lynch. Further, it isn’t correct that ML “leaked that the NZ health care system would be up for grabs”. It was an opinion briefing to their clients, and related specifically to ACC. As for whether this was “insider knowledge”, it was hardly such, since National has had a policy of opening ACC’s work account up to competition since the 1990s, when it actually implemented its policy during the 1998 reforms.

            I’m sorry you see me as patronising Ev, but if you’re going to make wild accusations it helps to get your facts straight.

        • Snail 3.1.1.3

          Tim Ellis,

          notwithstanding your pertinent point re the thread I’m using this reply button to suggest two helpful things.. EV’s link re Mr. Judge very clearly illustrates that he was a banker.. or official with ANZ.

          Additionally modern banks such as the ANZ use hedge funds to raise their ‘deposits and stuff’ returns. Merrill Lynch, formerly an investment bank solely, was all too often (perhaps commonly, regularly, says this better) the counterparty provider for such deals. As well as being hedge fund managers.

          Well, we might ask how this is relevant to Mr Judge…humn. IMO we should overlook Minister Smith’s citing of his acumen in respect of expectations for a more “secure financial” management. Bankers code for certain and specific dealings that ACC has not been party to, hitherto.

          That said, important would be public disclosure to effect transparency and accountability, as I am sure you would want to see.

  4. Janet 4

    Thanks Standard for being a long time crusader to save ACC.
    Just wait until some of those enthusiastic privatisers have family members who have serious self-inflicted accidents (such as through skiing or smashing up their flash cars) but they are insufficiently covered by their private insurers (or the private insurers have gone bust) for the hugely expensive treatment currently provided by ACC, such as rehab, house modifications, ongoing medical care, income protection etc.. They will squeal.

  5. Clarke 5

    This pretty much says it all – it looks like an edit of ACC’s TV ads:

  6. ieuan 6

    This discussion seems to miss one very important question, how are we going to pay for ACC?

    There are only really two options, increase the levies or reduce the coverage.

    The question of privatisation is just a smoke screen.

    • Tim Ellis 6.1

      That’s exactly right, ieuan. There is a third option to reducing coverage and increasing levies. That is to delay fully-funding the scheme, which Labour pretty much has forced the government to do because they dragged their feet on fully-funding. Effectively this is the equivalent to a debt-raising device as it passes the cost of current accidents onto future levy-payers. It is the exact opposite of the philosophy behind the establishment of the Super Fund to partially off-set the future cost of superannuation on future taxpayers.

      Some aspects of the ACC scheme are world-class. Many aspects of our current ACC scheme are simply gold plated, and in my view, some of the non-work related entitlements just aren’t affordable for an economy of New Zealand’s size.

      • Matthew Pilott 6.1.1

        Where should the money have come from for fully funding the scheme? Maybe it would be sensible for National to cancel those tax cuts in order to do so, if not fully funding ACC isn’t ok – after all, you’re saying Labour was dragging their feet, yet nNational’s doing exactly the same.

        You’re trying to paint Labour not fully funding as the reason there’s a problem, yet to solve the problem, it’s ok for National to not fully fund ACC.

        The real answer to the funding shortfall is to look at whether the losses are operational, or were caused by the ACC fund declining in value with respect to ACC liabilities due to a general collapse in the global market.

        To say this is due to “what appears to be an unnecessary level of risk in its investment scheme” is a bit far-fecthed, Tim. Have you got any evidence that their investment was unnecessarily ricky? It’s not like ACC lost all their money by investing in Blue Chip apartments or Bridgecorp. I doubt there were any unnecessary risks taken – you take any degree of risk and some years that risk will be realised, others it won’t.

        New Zealand just has to suffer through the bad luck that the risk is being realised when we have a National government, who choose to ignore the fact that it is a short term loss, and are choosing to make us all pay for it now when it’s clear that a normal asset/liability ratio will be returned when the markets rebound (if you’re inclined to believe this will happen). Even with the funding shortfall that was not disclosed before the election, I don’t imagine Labour would be making people pay extra for ACC out of spite, since they’re not out to foster a dislike for the system.

        • Tim Ellis 6.1.1.1

          Matthew,

          Interesting and thoughtful points.

          Where should the money have come from for fully funding the scheme?

          I believe it should come from levy-payers. Motor vehicle users pay for the motor vehicle account, employers pay for the work account, salary and wage earners pay for the earners’ account. The only taxpayer subsidy is for the non-earners account (essentially children, beneficiaries and superannuitants). It goes without saying that the Government will have to pick up the tab for increased costs in the non-earners account. I think we are on very dangerous territory for the taxpayer to start subsidising other accounts.

          Maybe it would be sensible for National to cancel those tax cuts in order to do so, if not fully funding ACC isn’t ok – after all, you’re saying Labour was dragging their feet, yet nNational’s doing exactly the same.

          The move to a fully-funded model began in 1998. The legislation gave ACC fourteen years to implement a fully-funded scheme. During almost all this time, we’ve had a Labour government. We are far behind where we should be in having a fully-funded model. I think it’s fair and reasonable to criticise Labour for that.

          You’re trying to paint Labour not fully funding as the reason there’s a problem, yet to solve the problem, it’s ok for National to not fully fund ACC.

          I haven’t argued that it’s not okay to have a non-fully funded scheme. A fully-funded scheme is honest and transparent, and doesn’t pass the cost of current accidents onto future levy-payers. By not fully-funding the scheme it allows politicians to parade about claiming that we have a wonderful, world-class scheme that is inexpensive, without pointing out that we only have this scheme because we’re passing the bill on to future generations.

          To say this is due to “what appears to be an unnecessary level of risk in its investment scheme’ is a bit far-fecthed, Tim. Have you got any evidence that their investment was unnecessarily ricky?

          Yes. ACC changed its investment criteria to require its portfolio to deliver higher risk returns. This has directly led to much more dramatic losses than a lower-risk portfolio managed by, say, Tower.

          The investment criteria is only part of the problem. The other major factor is dramatically increased entitlements due to governments increasing entitlements, particularly around sensitive claims and psychological trauma to name just a couple. Effectively by doing this the ACC have been loaded with costs that otherwise should have been incurred by the health system.

          Even with the funding shortfall that was not disclosed before the election, I don’t imagine Labour would be making people pay extra for ACC out of spite, since they’re not out to foster a dislike for the system

          Matthew, Labour knew about the shortfalls across multiple ACC accounts, yet went into the election promising lower levies and claiming National would privatise the ACC scheme. That was totally dishonest on both counts.

          • Matthew Pilott 6.1.1.1.1

            Tim, agreed that ACC should be paid for by those who recieve the benefits, and also by those who incur the risks. That’s not the full picture, though, is it?

            There are liabilities that pre-date the point at which ACC was intended to be fully-funded. ACC doesn’t run a short-term model of balancing assets and liabilities over a period of time such as a financial year. The ACC fund is the vehicle to fund those liabilities, and will, eventually, make ACC fully funded.

            Labour did not put enough money in to build this capital, and National’s doing the same. If you’re going to blame Labour for a problem, you might as well criticise National for taking actions to prolong that problem. Or you can recognise that it’s not a problem as you’re trying to make it out to be.

            If the markets had performed well, this would not be a problem – National knows this but doesn’t want us to, because it wants to blame ACC to reduce the public perception of ACC.

            Labour knows it but unfortunately ‘explaining is losing’ and the media isn’t interested in examining the cause of the funding shortfall, or national’s flawed remedy.

            I admit I wasn’t aware of a change in ACC fund investment policy but if that’s the case then you are right, they would be in a worse situation by pursuing a higher growth/high risk (not ‘rick’, sorry ianmac!) investment strategy. Unfortunately, ACC, like the rest of the world, is vulnerable to a global recession. Interestingly, some low-risk investments such as those under ING didn’t prove to be that safe.

            Name for me a single National MP who you believe thinks a privatised insurance system, or the right to sue, wouldn’t be better than a fully Public compensation scheme. I’ll then point to the rest of them, who would take the same action Smith has – deliberately lump unnecessary costs onto New Zealanders in order to foster a dislike of ACC. You only need to look at their statements and press releases on the issue to see it.

            Labour wasn’t dishonest on that count, nor were they dishonest by saying they’d reduce levies. Extend the date to fully fund ACC, and you don’t need to raise them – you only do it if you’re National, would prefer a Private system and want to make people dislike ACC – that’s also why National is using crude and misleading scare tactics such as saying what the increases to levies would need to be to fully fund ACC and all its liabilities right now, including funding the losses in the ACC fund.

          • Tim Ellis 6.1.1.1.2

            Matthew, Nick Smith in Parliament yesterday repeated that his government is fully committed to the principles of the ACC scheme.

            The Government’s plans aren’t to dump extra costs onto ACC. Rather the Government’s plans are to accurately describe what the actual costs of the current system are. That is a far cry from Labour promising lower levies before the election, knowing full well that even to maintain existing entitlements would require a substantial blow out in costs.

          • Matthew Pilott 6.1.1.1.3

            I don’t believe Nick Smith, I’m sorry to say. If you believe in the principles of ACC, then why go on National TV saying it’s not really a $1bn shortfal that levies will need to cover, but a $10bn one (“and we’ll have to try and get out of this mess somehow”), when it’s obviously nothing of the sort. That doesn’t strike me as a belief in, or committment to the principles of ACC.

            We’ll have to agree to disagree there, Tim, because with they way they’re scaremongering there’s no way you’ll convince me they’re not trying to foster a negative attitude upon ACC.

            The shortfalls don’t have to be countered by levy increases. Therefore it is not dishonest to campaign with a goal of reducing levies. Did Labour state National will privatise ACC and do so in the first term? If not, then that’s hardly dishonest either. There’s scant evidence to contradict that statement – and I believe National would if they got the chance – that’s why you wouldn’t be able to name a National MP who would prefer ACC over a private system, or a return to suing.

        • Ianmac 6.1.1.2

          Matthew: Well said post. (And I love your new word “ricky”. Much more evocative than “risky” 🙂

    • Snail 6.2

      howse about capping costs.. not one to victimize but physio’s can charge a heap.. maybe they… others… could take a leaf out of the paycut takers’ model for statrters.. and get real (for longer term prospects) on Recessionary consequences for users and communities..

  7. cocamc 7

    ieuan
    Exactly. National is working on fixing the problems left by the previous Government. and rather than admit that it is a mess the Labour party is just seeking to, as you say, smoke screen using words like privatisation

  8. Janet 8

    Even by increasing levies It’s a much cheaper scheme than any a private company could provide. Look at how much you pay for car insurance (for a maximum pay out of a few thousand). For a smaller levy you get literally millions of dollars of ACC support over a life time should you need it. One of the reasons the expenses have gone up is that medical advances in the area of rehab (such as standing wheelchairs) are now much better but also more expensive.

    But it is still a lot cheaper and fairer than any other scheme in the world. In fact a general disability levy (ie tax) could be a way of ensuring that those with similar needs can get the support ACC provides to those injured by accident.

  9. BLiP 9

    Here it comes – John Key starting to pay back his mates. Bewildered New Zealander voters thought: “well, if he can make $50 million without creating anything new or useful, he can do it for the rest of us”. If only they had realised he was pretty much gifted his fortune by his puppet masters who are now looking for a return on their investment.

  10. stan 10

    [deleted]
    [lprent: You’re just link-whoring again – which is why you’re remaining in auto-moderation.
    The rest of the comment is unrelated to the post or the comments – it is just a troll line.
    The idea about a comments section is to contribute to the debate on the post. It isn’t a place to just dump graffiti.
    BTW: Could you make an attempt to actually spell check your comments. ]

  11. Santi 11

    “You do seem to have an ongoing theme…”

    The inimitable Dutch Einstein strikes again!

  12. Iprent,

    The title of the post was “what are they hiding”.

    Eddy choose the title as an indication that there are things happening which seem arranged by amongst others:

    1 A small group of insiders (Business round table).
    2 A group known for it’s aggressive stance against the ACC.
    3 A group who has close connections to international round tables and the
    international finance world.

    It seems that Eddy is hinting at the fact that a small group of people in high places have been predetermining a policy for this country and their are executing this policy through the use of “Urgency”, Shock announcements, draconian law changes and spending cuts.

    The fact that as Tim points out a lot of these insiders have been or are still part of the finance world is telling in and of itself.

    I was merely pointing out that there is a bigger picture. The dismantling of the ACC is no an out of the blue event and neither is it an isolated case of bad financial judgement on the part of the ACC management. It is part of a global speculative investment structure which is now faltering and collapsing and the demise of the ACC only a small and insignificant side effect of the global financial collapse.

    The appointment of a man who in his professional capacity was linked to ANZ whether as a banker or in a management capacity is neither here nor there and who is a member of a small coterie of business people known for their anti ACC sentiments is just another step in a predetermined plan with a predetermined outcome.

    Added to that I point out that Tim by addressing the audience rather than me is manipulating and patronising.

    Just think how you would feel if someone said in reaction to something you wrote Iprent seems to think….. rather than Iprent you seem to think. Its a classic debating trick to ridicule and shut up and I can’t believe you fell for it.

    As for me being compared to Stan that is not really fair now is it?

    I don’t have a mainstream opinion but I sure a shit build my cases with solid research and links to relevant information.

    You may not like what I say but I don’t say things without backing them up nor do I troll.

    Added to that I use a spell checker.

    Now Santi on the other hand…

    • Tim Ellis 12.1

      The fact that as Tim points out a lot of these insiders have been or are still part of the finance world is telling in and of itself.

      If there is a conspiracy Ev, then Labour is in on it, since they have appointed many NZBR members and bankers to government boards.

      • Travellerev 12.1.1

        Quit possibly.

        It was after al Lange who signed the Reserve bank act of 1989 effectively giving control over our currency to an unelected body of bankers.

        Don Brash was the Governor who prepared the act if I’m not mistaken.
        But that was all for the best we were told because that way our elected officials could not manipulate the electorate with money and what do the common people know about money anyway. No, for that we needed specialists. “Money specialists”. LOL.

        I think it was Rothschild who said: “Give me the right to print money and I care not who makes the laws.”

        Funny that.

  13. Tim Ellis 13

    I’m afraid that isn’t true either Ev. Currency movements are generally a function of interest rate movements and relative confidence in the value of the economies. Pretty much every open economy in the world has a tradeable and market-based currency, generally openly floated. The Reserve Bank only determines interest rates, which in turn have a degree of effect on currency rates.

    The Governor of the Reserve Bank isn’t appointed or answerable to international banks. He reports to and is accountable to the Minister of Finance. Don Brash served a number of both Labour and National Ministers of Finance while he was governor. Since the RBA, no Minister of Finance from either Labour or National has attempted to significantly change the Act.

    Well before the RBA there were dramatic movements in the NZD. The move to an open, floating currency was well before the RBA.

  14. Brett T 14

    Lets make one thing clear!, it`s not the claimants fault ACC is going down the gurgler, its the idiot suits at the top of the pile and their stinking investment mentality!

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    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
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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, ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 weeks 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
    1 hour ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours 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
    7 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    5 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 ...
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    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    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, ...
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    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 ...
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    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. ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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    1 week ago