web analytics

Who has the ideas?

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, May 26th, 2011 - 61 comments
Categories: budget 2011, economy, election 2011, labour, national - Tags: ,

Last week we had National’s budget and Labour’s conference. A chance for both parties to set out their ideas for the future.

National of course, had the bigger opportunity. They get to turn policy in to action. The budget was the perfect showcase for their ideas and their response to New Zealand’s ongoing economic woes. Unfortunately the showcase was empty. National have no ideas, except to further contract the economy with cut after cut after cut. Among the responses, John Armstrong:

John Key and his National Party colleagues may well take a hit in the polls after the mediocre Budget. The document has had a chilly reception. Few are shouting its merits from the rooftops. … The Budget has displayed a degree of cynicism one would expect from a Government in its third term, not its first.

Audrey Young:

It is based on heroic assumptions of a strong economic economy, high wage growth and and nothing going wrong. … Overall, the Budget rates a 6 out of 10. Its savings targets feel more like wishful thinking than realism and the Government has left the really hard decisions to the public sector itself.

Patrick Gower:

Is it bold? No. Does it really address the record $16.7 billion deficit? It is a start – tinkering.

Gordon Campbell:

While Deficit Phobia provides the rationale for the austerity and privatisation measures contained in this year’s Budget, the government’s stance is a curiously passive one, overall. The largely self-inflicted problems with the revenue base are being treated as essentially self correcting. … Note the complete lack of active policies of structural change…

An anonymous Herald editorial:

A good Budget gives the country a sense that the Government has a firm hand on the tiller and can see where it is going. This Budget does neither.

A Sunday Star Times editorial (not on line):

The Budget was grey, like so much else about John Key’s government. It is neither slash-and-burn nor borrow-and-hope, but a weird sort of wasteland in between.

Bernard Hickey last Sunday set out in detail five reasons why Treasury’s “heroic” growth forecasts are not believable. Other skeptical analysis continued this week, focusing on flawed forecasts and “outlandish” figures, and Key’s KiwiSaver lies. Fair to say in summary I think that the budget has gone down like the proverbial lead balloon.

Ok then, how about Labour? They’re playing the standard opposition hand. Political junkies call for them to release their policy, but no opposition does so until close to the election, when the general public start paying attention. So the policy released this weekend at their “buoyant” conference can only be a hint of things to come. There’s a good summary in Vernon Small’s piece, “Labour rolls up its sleeves on economy”.

Naturally some commentators demanded more, such as this anonymous editorial. In a depressing display of ignorance the writer completely fails to understand, and openly mocks, the idea of a government stimulating public research and development — which was of course Labour’s main conference policy release. (It’s a hopelessly muddled piece in other ways too, calling on the government to “pick winners more carefully” while also lamenting that “Neither scientists nor public officials are well placed to predict what may come of research and development of any kind”.) Compare with Ben Clark’s excellent piece here yesterday on the importance of R&D.

Interestingly enough, John Key tried the same tactic of mocking the R&D policy. But while such buffoonery may seem to work in Parliament, with a gibbering chorous on the benches behind him, it turns out that it didn’t play so well in the real world:

Mr Key got into dangerous territory when he started mocking Labour’s proposed research and development tax credit.

Employers like the tax credit idea and not many at the Upper Hutt luncheon were laughing when Mr Key joked that they would abuse the credit by somehow engineering a trip to Fiji.

Well, it’s pretty obvious to me who has the ideas. Labour, and the Greens. It was thus in 2008 and it remains thus today. It will become more and more obvious as Labour rolls out policy in the lead up to the election. Those without ideas of their own can only taunt and mock like schoolboys. Grow up. Mockery isn’t leadership. Mockery won’t solve our problems.

61 comments on “Who has the ideas?”

  1. Bored 1

    Well, it’s pretty obvious to me who has the ideas.

    Define ideas please. Nact has a core idea, its called privatisation and market rules. They know full well what they are doing and where it will lead. And iif you are to the left, poor or underpriveleged it says one thing…”up yours cos we dont care…give us the money”.

    Meanwhile Labour and to a lesser extent the Greens see economics with motley orthodoxy, but no more realistically.

    • r0b 1.1

      Privatisation and market rules aren’t so much ideas, as the absence of them. If we want government that does nothing, we should just get rid of governments all together.

    • ZeeBop 1.2

      National isn’t those things. Its pro-money. English says we can’t afford imprisonment, and then tacks on the end that its also unethical. Well National does the same thing, the ideology is chosen
      because it aids farming profits. Those profits go to pay debt to foreigners.

      But now its coming clear, that using up soil and water, polluting, and borrowing to do so,
      and produce a product growing numbers of kiwis can’t afford isn’t so attractive.
      If farmers and home owners borrow too much money, then the tradeable sector
      competes for borrowing making it harder to build new industries.
      Ergo, don’t subsidies a product with environmental problems, debt problems, and
      holds us to ransom.

      Farming isn’t too big too fail.

      Its like your next door neighbor has decide he wants to borrow a couple of
      billion dollars, and you need start up money and find that your insurance, your
      risk premium, you ability to attract investment just got a whole lot harder.
      And then you hear your neighbor tell how its in your best interest and you
      benefit from their great prowess at taking on huge debt, now that you
      can’t afford to buy the product because of the malaise the country is now in.

  2. PeteG 2

    Yes, it’s good to have ideas, and it’s even better to be able to get support to implement them.

    There’s one idea I’d like to explore, and I’m interested to know what Labour thinks of it.

    Currently our politics seems very party centric. Does Labour have any ideas on becoming more electorate centric – keeping in touch and liasing and listening to the whole electorate more and acting on the wishes of the electorate/s rather than being focussed within their own party?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Yes, it’s good to have ideas, and it’s even better to be able to get support to implement them.

      Yeah that’s what smashing Key and English in November is all about mate 😀

      keeping in touch and liasing and listening to the whole electorate more and acting on the wishes of the electorate/s rather than being focussed within their own party?

      So which electorate is National listening to when they decided to sell off our power generation assets?

      The rich Asian electorate based in Beijing?

      • PeteG 2.1.1

        National are saying they are seeking a mandate for that. The problem is, they will be offering many things to mandate, if they get elected back in they will take it as a mandate for everything when that may not be what the electorate wants.

        Wouldn’t it be better to be able to get a mandate for each major policy separately? At any time during the electoral cycle so we aren’t so three year obsessed?

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          National are saying they are seeking a mandate for that.

          And you believe them? Like a mandate for their KiwiSaver changes – which they have already put into law under urgency.

          What a joke, from this I don’t understand why you take National claims of seeking a mandate with any credibility at all.

          Wouldn’t it be better to be able to get a mandate for each major policy separately?

          Give me an example of where this works in the world so I can understand what you are talking about.

          • Jim Nald 2.1.1.1.1

            National are still seeking a mandate for GST increases ?

          • PeteG 2.1.1.1.2

            I don’t know of anywhere in the world that it works. Yet. There are new opportunities for doing it now in a very connected society.

            Electorate blogs and polls online, also allowing post and text responses.
            Including anyone registred to vote in the electorate.
            Monthly public electorate meetings.
            Things like that.

            I’m in an electorate where there are four party representatives in parliament. Labour, National, Greens and Act. What connection do any of them have with the electorate on an ongoing basis? I have no idea – and I see that as a major deficiency.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.2.1

              What connection do any of them have with the electorate on an ongoing basis? I have no idea – and I see that as a major deficiency.

              You can post on Labour’s Red Alert and the MPs will generally reply to you online pretty promptly. National’s effort is a joke of course, and I laugh how National MP offices are sometimes kept locked – even when the staff are inside. What are they afraid of?

              There are new opportunities for doing it now in a very connected society.

              Don’t forget the bottom third of NZ’s population which is very rarely online, also hundreds of thousands of NZ’ers in rural areas who get mediocre to no broadband service.

              Basically if we think good democracy relies on the latest tech, we’ve badly missed something mate.

              • PeteG

                Red Alert is an interesting trial but it’s too party and PR centric to be a decent connect, and iot’s heavily moderated.

                National don’t have a direct equivalent. I know Kiwiblog has National connections and does attempt to guage public feelings – and influence then at times. It is one of the least moderated which is a plus with some downsides.

                The ideal would be a party independent medium but I don’t see that happening without government funding and I don’t see the current parties wanting to do it.

                Technology is one powerful way of connecting but I agree, it’s not for everyone. MSM, internet, face to face all should play a part.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Red Alert is an interesting trial but it’s too party and PR centric to be a decent connect, and iot’s heavily moderated.

                  Look, your criticisms make little sense. Red Alert is not a trial, its the Labour MPs blog. Its very well established now – a couple of years in cyberspace means its already part of the furniture – you know that.

                  And of course its Labour Party centric! Its not a chat room (as Trevor likes to remind people).

                  As for the heavy moderation – well, when you’ve guys with bad language like me on the interwebs, that’s probably a good thing!

                  • PeteG

                    Yes, it’s for party purposes, not for the electorate, so it doesn’t do what I’d like to see done.

                    MPs should work more on getting the message from the electorate rather than trying (often futilely) to control their own message.

                    • Jim Nald

                      Yes, that’s right, it’s tough for MPs to get the message from the electorate when Crosby Textor, Panic Pants and the puppet masters are controlling the messaging.

                    • PeteG

                      They should find ways of connecting more directly then.

                      Less PR personal, more real person connections.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      At least Labour Party MPs take their constituency duties seriously. Just say that you are from the unions and try and get a meeting with your local National MP.

                  • lprent

                    Yeah! Personally I think that Trevor and the other MP’s have been around those nanny moderators in the house for far too long.

                    We seldom moderate on language, but we fucken hate those arsehole trolls and we’re not afraid to express our opinion of the motherfuckers! I hate it when the comments drift off into blathering about nothing much and I try to get pretty damn personal when I correct the behavior.

                    Anyway, you get the idea. The language makes piss all difference, it is the behavior that you’re after that counts. But Red Alert use language as a marker for behavior.

                    When you’re on someone’s blog, they determine the permissible behavior. If someone wants to be a critic then they can pull their finger out of their food supply and start their own site where they make the rules. Of course they then have to figure out how to get people to the site to read it.

                    PeteG is a good critic. Not known for doing much, doesn’t appear to be capable of doing a squat without assistance, but likes to whine a lot about how he thinks that the world should be…..

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Amazing since PeteG has 15 years work experience in a technological, R&D intensive industry and has personal expertise with CNC machinery.

                      R&D: Our future

                      Although reading his post again, he could have been gardening at this company, it’s not exactly clear whether he was doing those roles himself or whether he was describing the total scope of company activities.

                      Or he could be another full of it Young NAT 24 year old.

                    • Jim Nald

                      Who is PeteG’s employer?
                      Some of us would like to get in touch.

                    • JD

                      It’s good that you’re honest about being motivated by hate Lynn.

                      People are prone to reveal much more about their personalities on the internet as they are much more uninhibited.

                    • PeteG

                      Not sure exactly what you’re aiming at here LP – do you not want any criticism of the posts? Or you only want cricism from those who let you modify their behaviour?

                      I don’t think I whine about how I think the world should be (or a blog should be). I’d guess more people here whine about me than vice versa. I admit I whine (or lament) a bit about Labour, and also a bit about National and other parties, but I don’t think I’m the biggest party whiner here by a long shot.

                      I try to discuss things to try and see how we might make our part of the world a bit better. Others seem willing to join that sometimes.

                    • lprent

                      Perhaps I should have put a humor or satire tag on that – to make it completely obvious.

                      JD and Pete – Read the comment stream I was responding, and figure it out. In particular I was taking the piss out of you Pete for pontificating without thinking.

                  • Peter Rabbit

                    “And of course its Labour Party centric! Its not a chat room (as Trevor likes to remind people).”

                    And for the purpose of communicating with the “party faithful” Red Alert does in my opinion a pretty good job. However when it comes to communicating with the wider community I believe current set up fails.

                    In saying that I do believe that Labour are making the best political in roads with their online presence however.

                  • Deadly_NZ

                    The thing is trevor can’t count he banned me for a month about 10 weeks ago and I still cant post there.

          • Alwyn 2.1.1.1.3

            The closest one gets to this would be in the binding referenda held in Switzerland and the equivalent to these in California. Whether you regard them as “working” is of course debatable.
            California passed one proposition that meant they couldn’t, in effect, increase tax rates.
            Ancient Greece had something similar as well. It was basically a referendum that sentenced Socrates to death. Would that mean that on 27 November either Key or Goff is handed the glass of hemlock and required to drink it?
            We have referenda here of course. The problem is that the MPs ignore them.
            Does anyone remember the one to reduce the number of MPs to 99? That passed with a vote of about 82% didn’t it? Now, to win a milky bar (electronic version only). Can anyone tell us which collection of turkeys we call political parties chose to support that clear result in parliament?
            On the other hand, for an easy to answer question. Can anyone tell us whether there has ever been a bunch of turkeys voting for an early Christmas?

            • PeteG 2.1.1.1.3.1

              Your last sentence sums up more of the problem. They go in to politcs to get some power, they are not going to then give that power to the people, they want their three years of doing what they want. That’s a bit harsh on some of them but it has some validity.

              Switzerland is quite conservative and slow to change, their referndum on women’s suffrage was in 1959 and only some Cantons gave women the vote then, and one Canton (Appenzell Innerrhoden) finally gave women the vote in 1991.

              I don’t think California’s propositions in practice are a good model either.

              I don’t think ruling by referendum is practical, except for a few major issues, but I’d like to see more input sought and notice taken from the electorates.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I think you could set general direction using referendums but actually determining and setting policy? Leave that to the specialists in the ministries who then advise the MPs.

                • Alwyn

                  Oh God.
                  I checked up and found that a NZ First MP did introduce a private member’s bill to reduce the number of MPs to 100! I guess that is near enough to supporting the referendum. I wonder what happened to her? Number 100 on the list for the party in the next election I suppose.

                • PeteG

                  Yep DTB, I think a representative democracy is still the best option, I’d just like to see it more representative of what the public says than it is now.

                  100 MPs would be enough if they all spent most of their time working for the people and the country and didn’t waste so much time trying to fight futile battles. It’s supposed to be a house of representatives, not a squabble house.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    100 MP’s – how many list MPs and how many electorate MP’s are we talking about here?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    100 MPs would be enough…
                    Depends upon how many people you want represented by one person. 10,000? 20k? 30k? And that just sets the electorate seats. You really need 1 list seat for 1 electorate seat to properly maintain proportionality. We’re below that ATM but the decrease in proportionality is acceptable so far. As population increases we’ll need more electorate seats and, eventually, more list seats as well.

                    So, we can’t have a fixed number any way and we need more than the “representative” number so as to maintain proportionality, ergo, we’re not going to see the number of MPs decrease any time soon but we will likely see the number increase.

          • PeteG 2.1.1.1.4

            Give me an example of where this works in the world so I can understand what you are talking about.

            Actually there is an example right here – The Maori Party. They have a policy of going to the electorate to get guidance on issues that are important to them. That’s the meeting approach, I think that can be complimented by ongoing online communication.

      • Jim Nald 2.1.2

        I hope the rich Asian electorate based in Beijing is not funding and pulling the strings of the present and former parliamentary representatives in New Zealand.

      • Cadwallader 2.1.3

        Not the “Asian electorate” the huge NZ electorate which will sweep National back in, Greens will be second and Labour may squeak in third ahead of a resurgent ACT. That, is an idea, and a good one!

    • Like asking the average swing voter who gets influenced by such things as an ability to smile and wave what structural corrections they would make to the economy to make it more sustainable?
       
      Honest there are limitations to democracy.  Some things require deep understanding and it needs to be an analysis of what is right, not what CT can sell best.

      • PeteG 2.2.1

        Do you think those in poitical parties are the only ones with a deep enough understanding and sufficient ability to analysise?

        Do you think we have an optimum form of democracy? Couldn’t it be improved?

        If the electorate was kept better informed, consulted and asked for it’s opinion wouldn’t that lead to wider understanding and better analysis?

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          Do you think we have an optimum form of democracy? Couldn’t it be improved?

          The Tories think democracy can be improved by getting rid of proportional representation.

          Well, improved for themselves anyway.

          If the electorate was kept better informed

          Yes that’s what strong, indpendent, non-commercial public broadcasting is for.

          Whooops National is cutting that back too. It looks almost deliberate PeteG, undermining the information reaching the electorate.

          Seems your National friends aren’t listening to you eh?

        • mickysavage 2.2.1.2

          Do you think those in poitical parties are the only ones with a deep enough understanding and sufficient ability to analysise?
           

          No but most people who have a reasonable understanding would have very strong political beliefs of one sort or another.
           
          Your premise suggests that the Peter Dunne approach to the economy would be best and his understanding does not go far past how to tie up his shoes properly.
          Do you think we have an optimum form of democracy? Couldn’t it be improved?
           
          Yep.  MSM could report properly on the issues.  And trolls would have something to contribute to a debate instead of regarding politics as a winner take all contact sport.
           
          If the electorate was kept better informed, consulted and asked for it’s opinion wouldn’t that lead to wider understanding and better analysis?
           
          The amount of consultation that occurs today as compared to 30 years ago is way better.  The problem is not a lack of consultation it is that we follow economic policies that have been dressed up as being “popular” but only increase inequality.
           
          As a first rule there should be no cockroach eating by children or third world diseases.  As soon as they appear taxation should be increased so that poverty is addressed.
           

          • PeteG 2.2.1.2.1

            Can’t rely on MSM, mosty is privately owned, and most is based in Auckland and Wellington on a national basis so it is too remote from most people.

            And trolls would have something to contribute to a debate instead of regarding politics as a winner take all contact sport.

            It’s funny you should say that, it’s exactly what I’m arguing against, except that it’s the parties and party people rather than people with different opinions on blogs that are the culprits.

  3. Lazy Susan 3

    To add to your list Rob, on Monday Rod Oram talking on National Radio described it as the worst budget he had seen for 15 years

  4. Charlie Parker 4

    Yes, the ideas based on borrowing, taxation and spending are something unexpected. This election is shaping up to be something completely new!

  5. neoleftie 5

    much better a ‘grey nothing much, lets transfer to next year’ budget that a out and out slash and burn Tory orthodox budget. Then again perhaps NZ will die the death of a thousand small hidden cuts where the victim doesnt even feel the collective pain or realise the cuts until too late.
    Tinkering can be undone, borrowing to keep the country afloat can be paid back i.e cullen method in the good time, if and when they come again but collecively massive cuts – slash and burn – policies over a few terms would mean the end of the left ideals.
    All i can say is that thank goodness that H1 and friends forwardly locked up all available cash on policies and programs that allowed the country a measure of breathing space so that what was left to the tories was no more than two choices – slash and burn or borrow and tinker. Better a fragile economy that cannot handle any radical internal economic impacts with the Tories at the helm than a strong vibrant economy where the Tories could alter drastically to suit their ideological bent.
    With Treasury forecasting more stable oucome ahead for the 2012- period no wonder the Tories need to mirror the centralist voter patterns and use smoke to hide their real intent from the electorate on key policy chnages that would strike a negative resonance with the public – asset sales.

  6. ianmac 6

    Will Labour/Greens pick up this idea? On Nine to Noon this morning about 9:30 there was a very interesting interview with the Australian David Brown who has become an expert in the disastrous Imprisonment record around the World, including NZ. He too noted the comment from Bill English that “our prisons are fiscally and morally irresponsible.” Even in the USA and in Britain conservatives are reducing imprisonment by about 20%. He also said that there is or will be a rejection to the public clamour to throw people in prison. The money by having people not in prison could be used to teach reading. That solo mothers should get intensive assistance for two years thus preventing mother crime and reducing the likelihood of later child crime.
    A breath of fresh air.
    Edit but link failed to show?[Fixed — r0b]
    audio link

    • PeteG 6.1

      He also said that there is or will be a rejection to the public clamour to throw people in prison.

      I’d like to see it here but there is no sign of it happening, the get tough on crime momentum seems to be still prevalent. It would take really strong leadership to stand up against and prevent incarceration escalation, I don’t expect any change over the next three years regardless of the election result.

      The major parties are scared of the lock-em-up lobby.

      • Campbell Larsen 6.1.1

        The tough on crime ‘momentum’ as you put it is just a handful of haters who could really use some therapy – as illustrated by the ‘sensible sentencing’ group.

        I assume that when you talk about ‘strong leadership’ to ‘stand up against and prevent incarceration escalation’ you are not talking about amending laws to ensure that people aren’t needlessly criminalized, reducing poverty and inequality, or spending more on education, no that’s not the National party way.

        More likely the ‘strong leadership’ that you are referring to is replacing custodial sentences with ‘punitive work schemes’.
        Why stop criminalizing people when it is far more profitable to continue to prosecute them and then set up schemes where the ‘criminals’ do ‘community work’ or make sandals or some such nonsense – run by private companies of course.

        Yet another way to usher in the NZ Inc slave state.

        • PeteG 6.1.1.1

          Both the last Labour government and the current National government have piled resources into policing and prisons and increased sentencing levels.

          I think the pressure comes from more than a few haters, why else would they keep doing this?

          I don’t see any sense in or much support for ‘punitive work schemes’. Early intervention and prevention are my preference, the problem is they are slow, difficult, complex long term solutions, far too much for the three year election cycle.

          • Campbell Larsen 6.1.1.1.1

            To put it simply ‘tough on crime’ is an electioneering platform that relies for the most part on a climate of fear. This largely irrational fear is due to on over reliance by the msm on police reports for their ‘news’.
            There are two obvious reasons for the msm ‘choosing’ to run with stories about crime and incidences thereof in preference to other news – the first being sensationalism, the second being cost (these ‘stories’ are usually just reproduced police reports, involve no investigative journalism and are thus largely free, apart from the stunningly irrelevant practice of sending someone to do a live cross from the scene at dinnertime)
            So, to précis, fear is one of the most effective emotions to manipulate people with, and that is why the totally irrational practice of pointing to the crime ‘bogyman’ and ‘toughening’ up laws continues.
            In regards to to senslessness of punitive work schemes (including work for the dole) and the lack of public support for such measures I totally agree.
            What prompted the speculation was the glaring inconsistency between the recent statement from the National party regarding ‘no new prisons’ and their policies which will result in greater levels of imprisonment. Really the only options are: put more people into the same prisons through measures like double bunking (already happening), non custodial sentences, or the most likely option, a PPP ‘solution’ which allows the Rats to claim we are saving money and also keep their ‘promise’ of not building more prisons, because someone else is doing the building.
            Changing the length of term of government is unlikely to address the problem we have in large per capital imprisonment rate however cross party endorsement of the law commissions recent report and the suggestions for drug law reform for example would be a great step in the right direction.

            • ianmac 6.1.1.1.1.1

              One of the Scandinavian countries has severely reduced its prison population and incidence of crime. Part of the deal was that MSM formed an agreement to vastly reduce the reporting of crime. Successive Governments here have used or been used to further the drive for punitive actions.
              Go soft on crime? Abolish three strikes? Reduce sentencing? Political courage needed and who is up for that.
              What would Bill English do given his “prisons are fiscally and morally wrong?”
              Or Phil Goff who has been on research projects and he knows the reforms needed.

            • PeteG 6.1.1.1.1.2

              This could be a useful trial:

              Rehab, not jail for drug court crims

              Offenders with serious drug and alcohol problems could get a chance to go to rehab instead of jail if a new drug court pilot goes ahead.

              The Law Commission recommended the establishment of a drug court pilot that would see sentencing delayed while offenders underwent rehabilitation and detoxification treatment.

              The Justice Ministry was working with other government agencies, including the Health Ministry, and would report back on the cost effectiveness and funding availability for the programme.

              If the pilot court goes ahead it is likely to be housed at the Waitakere District Court.

              Similar courts are used in many Australian states.

              Addressing the causes of offending is a sensible approach. Many with drug, alcohol and psychiatric problems are locked up and then released to repeat, again and again.

              • ianmac

                And more than half in prison are unable to read and write. Could be fixed in a similar way to drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

              • Campbell Larsen

                Lets not forget the rest of the report:
                http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/project/review-misuse-drugs-act-1975?quicktabs_23=report#node-2079

                Among the key proposals contained in the report are:

                A mandatory cautioning scheme for all personal possession and use offences that come to the attention of the police, removing minor drug offenders from the criminal justice system and providing greater opportunities for those in need of treatment to access it.

                A full scale review of the current drug classification system which is used to determine restrictiveness of controls and severity of penalties, addressing existing inconsistencies and focusing solely on assessing a drug’s risk of harm, including social harm.

                Making separate funding available for the treatment of offenders through the justice sector to support courts when they impose rehabilitative sentences to address alcohol and drug dependence problems.

                Consideration of a pilot drug court, allowing the government to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of deferring sentencing of some offenders until they had undergone court-imposed alcohol and/or drug treatment

                • Campbell Larsen

                  And the issues involved in compulsory treatment orders are to be found in:

                  NZLC R118 Compulsory Treatment for Substance Dependence: A Review of the Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Act 1966

                  http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/project/review-misuse-drugs-act-1975/publication/report/2010/compulsory-treatment-substance-dependen

                  The reports, like the recommendations do not make much sense when considered separately.

                  The use of compulsory treatment orders involve potential breaches of the Bill of Rights Act and the report makes it quite clear that this is not to be a blunt tool employed by anyone, including any proposed Drug Court.

                  • Campbell Larsen

                    Treatment centers are another name for prisons, I wonder now if that’s what the Rats have planned. There’s big money in ‘treatment’

                    I would note that nothing in the law commission’s recommendations are intended to remove more of peoples rights, and certainly not in an underhand semantic trick like that.

                    Forcing people to take psych meds or other ‘medication’ or forcing them to abstinence programs in which they are brainwashed into surrending to a ‘higher power’ is worse than just locking them up.

                    Coercion in the form of having to choose between a short sentence of brainwashing and drugs or long sentence in jail is also dangerous territory – a choice that is not a choice.

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    Paraphrasing James Lovelock, there are plenty of things that need to be done, but they are not the things that people want to do.

    Western industrial society is coming to an end, and there will major upheaval before 2015. It will be ‘all over by’ 2020, due to failure of the energy supply and environmental degradatiom. Needless to say, the industrialised food system will collpase.

    However, the last thing people want to do is reduce their energy consumption, protect the environment or produce food locally.

    Since the majority are more worried about propping up dysfuntional economic arrangements than dealing with the real future, it follows that absolute catastrophe is now a certainty for most people within a few years.

    It’s Easter Island all over again. (The Easter Islanders stripped the island of resources in a frenzy of statue building, and suffered massive population crash as a consequence).

    • Jim Nald 7.1

      Well, we have been, with Fonterra’s very vocal encouragement,
      indulging in a feeding frenzy for our sacred cows.

      While a small, minority group in the country has been doing well,
      most of us are told to continuing worshiping at the altar of a poorly diversified economy.
      And we pray and pray that we don’t slip back into third world status.

      In the meantime, more of our people cross the ditch,
      our profits cross the ditch,
      and we end up with more debt and bullshit.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      It’s Easter Island all over again. (The Easter Islanders stripped the island of resources in a frenzy of statue building, and suffered massive population crash as a consequence).

      There’s more than 2 farmable hectares of land per man, woman and child in this country. Hydrodams, gas and coal.

      There’s no reason why each household can’t get 200kWh or so of energy a month, going forwards.

      I don’t know why you’re being such a party pooper.

  8. randal 8

    nationals election plank was its our turn. it is beginning to look like that whoever deicdes whose turn it is is not the voting public.

  9. Graham 9

    When a society is facing tough financial times, it makes sense for the financial elite, who possess vast hoards of cash and assets, to bear the cost of getting things back on track, simply because they are the only ones who can.

    This unchallenged culture of greed is what caused the global financial crisis. This is why it needs to be regulated.

    Penalising a handful of beneficiaries (most of whom would love to be employed, if there were enough jobs), is going to cause social problems to escalate, costing a lot more money.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      This unchallenged culture of greed is what caused the global financial crisis. This is why it needs to be regulated.

      Sadly the regulators

      1) Have all been bought off.
      2) Have all been converted to neoliberalism: where the only good regulation is no regulation.

      The bankers have more than 200 years experience evading regulation, they can do it in their sleep these days.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    15 mins ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    19 mins ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 hours ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    5 hours ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 hours ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 hours ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    11 hours ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    11 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 day ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    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

  • 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
    4 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    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
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago