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Who needs strategy?

Written By: - Date published: 9:49 am, June 6th, 2018 - 39 comments
Categories: China, Economy, employment, International, Politics, us politics - Tags:

At the moment, the United States of America is headed towards full employment. Quibble about the stats if you like, but President Trump has been there long enough to make a difference irrespective of how much is directly attributable.

He also seems to be making international moves that are paying off. For the first time, the leaders of France and Germany are proposing a cross-European defence force, and there’s no way that would happened without Trump consistently questioning the role of NATO and individual national Defence contributions.

For the first time since Bill Clinton’s second term, there is going to be a summit with North Korea. President Trump is also pushing to total evacuation of US armed forces from Syria (of course that doesn’t mean he won’t intervene).

President Trump has also started to implement trade tariffs on steel and aluminium, and neither the sharemarkets nor the entire global economic order have seen their skies fall in. Of course, I hear you say, there’s still time.

Perhaps the idea that it’s necessary to have national objectives and realistic plans to achieve them, is overrated. Seems to be working for Trump.

There are plenty that argue that grand strategy forms a conceptual framework that helps determine where you want to go and how you ought to get there. The alternative is supposed to bring ad hoc, incoherent, and ultimately unsuccessful decision-making.

The thing is, Trump looks like he is making up successful strategies without waiting to write them down or fully formulating them in advance.

The almost total opposite of this more tactical form of government to President Trump, is that of the Chinese Premier Xi Jinping. The headline unemployment is also pretty strong there.

But he could not be more explicit about where China has been where it is, where it is going, and how precisely it will get there.

He set that out in his address to his own Congress just two months ago. His rollout of the Belt and Road initiative, his increasing control of resources throughout the world, the controlled expansion into the South China Sea, it’s all there in black and white.

This is quite consistent from China’s great Marxist version of modernism, which involves marshalling not only the full instruments of the state, but also the land and its rivers, the sea and its islands, and all of its international partnerships, and the people itself, towards singular ends. Very, very few countries in the world still practise this degree of autocratic sovereign drive at that scale. But there is no doubt this degree of deliberate and long term grand strategy is working for China.

If it all works, China will continue to have a growing economy, a slower-growing and wealthier population, a reliable set of resources, a durable and unassailable set of trade links a and ports and routes, and a rapidly decreasing carbon footprint.

We have our own tiny echo of grand strategy, within Minister Shaw’s plans for decreasing carbon production within New Zealand. Only the faintest shadows of its form are emerging, but it is intended to be a long term, bipartisan, all-encompassing, whole-of-nation effort to transition to a low-carbon economy and society and environment.

This is but a faint pulse of the kinds of grand agreements that were formed in New Zealand from the 1960s to the late 1970s, in our own high-modernist phase. Back in the day, great compacts were regularly formed across unions and industrial sectors, with across-the-board wage rises, and the presumption that whole industrial sectors could be corralled within one large room and changes in government policy were very carefully negotiated. Anyone remember triple time? We still see occasional heroic leaders in the High Court and Supreme Court have to directly challenge the state to get wage rises, as in the care worker case, but it is fought tooth and nail all the way against the state, rather than alongside it as part of a meeting together of state, business, and people towards one grand strategy.

What we are observing through Trump’s version of political leadership is the kind that business leaders now tend to employ; emergent strategy. This assumes that the ends as well as the means should change based on circumstances. Successful strategies should form without being fully formulated in advance – and indeed the complexity and speed of the world often makes such formulations impossible. The important thing is not to plan but to learn.

The most conscious and explicit grand strategy formed in New Zealand in recent decades was the Growth and Innovation Framework, formed in the first term of the Clark administration. You get a sense of it from the Prime Minister here.

As the name suggests, it sought to enable the entire country not only to grow, but to lift productivity and wealth through innovation. It was launched amidst great fanfare by the Prime Minister, with significant buy-in from both the business and social sectors, and from central government agencies. It proved too hard to sustain across all the government agencies, and too hard to inculcate into Ministers as a grand narrative that drove every budget and every policy rollout. Grand narratives are grand because what they narrate is the social imaginary itself, but nothing of the kind has ever been tried here since.

Instead, slightly less grand strategies have been required to respond, for example, to the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes, to the accelerated growth of Auckland, and to the management of singular resources such as fishing. Here plans are formed to respond to events, and little more. The instruments of the state itself have continued to evolve, but by no means do they rise to the level of supercoherence required to implement a grand strategy.

The key test for the Trump administration’s performance is not whether it is pursuing some long-term plan behind the scenes, but whether it is capable of allowing successful strategies to develop incrementally. Not having a grand plan isn’t stopping him from succeeding either at home or abroad.

Whereas the measures for Xi Jinping’s China are as clear as a set of Key Performance Indicators in a really large contract: is there singularity of messaging and of debate; is there sufficient resources to build all the goods ordered; is the population getting overall wealthier sufficient that they see no pressing need for democratic reform; are trade and security routes set for their necessary long term draw of resources from the world; are they continuing to succeed as a country.

The test for New Zealand’s current government, between the U.S. and China in strategic theory and in lived reality, is whether it can get out of perpetual repair mode and into something that determines our best possible future. That may or may not require a national strategy – but it sure requires something like strategy to emerge.

39 comments on “Who needs strategy?”

  1. Quibble?? You mean die laughing…

    Funnily enough its actually Trump himself who poured cold water on US unemployment figures, this is from 2016, but I’ve not heard of any fundamental changes in American data gathering so I guess it still stands

    “Donald Trump seems quite certain that the real unemployment rate is higher than the 4.9 percent that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported it to be. A lot higher.

    “Don’t believe these phony numbers when you hear 4.9 and 5 percent unemployment,” Mr. Trump said in his victory speech after the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night. “The number’s probably 28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent.”

    Mr. Trump might be bombastic, but he’s not entirely wrong.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/11/upshot/the-real-jobless-rate-is-42-percent-donald-trump-has-a-point-sort-of.html

  2. Gosman 2

    A pro-Trump post on a leftist blog. I sense trouble brewing…

  3. Gosman 3

    What were the lasting outcomes of all of these grand agreements that NZ put together in the 1960’s and 1970’s given we were in a real economic mess in 1984?

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    LOL–a love letter to the “Mango Mussolini”…

  5. David Mac 5

    Trump uses the Nike model: ‘Just Do it’.

    I see The primary advantage of leaping in boots and all and not adhering to a carefully plotted plan as the availability of adjustments along the way. The ease with which sails can be reset to suit unforeseen prevailing winds.

    Nasa did not have a path plotted for their moon mission, they adjusted Apollo’s trajectory over 600 times whilst on the journey.

    • greywarshark 5.1

      And what was Nasa’s goal for this mission? What was the point in expending squillions and denuding the planet? To satisfy curiosity, and allow scientists to punch the air saying aren’t we clever, and have an exciting, satisfying climax? Where is the cost-benefit analysis for this expenditure? Can you have a cost-benefit analysis when there probably isn’t any benefit? Questions that will never be answered satisfactorily to me.

      • McFlock 5.1.1

        Apollo gave us advances in materials sciences and engineering, was followed by Skylab and the space shuttle (as steps to a mars mission) which enabled massive advances in global climate research and solar research (leading directly to the identification, monitoring and progressive healing of the ozone hole we’d caused, and observation of global warming), and of course Hubble, which has enabled us to make great leaps in physics, not to mention GPS and the practical validation of hypotheses that, in part, enable us to discuss these things via computer.

        I for one don’t want to return to the 1950s.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1

          +111

          The benefits that we’ve got from the US Space program are so vast as to be damn near immeasurable.

        • greywarshark 5.1.1.2

          Mmm. What did the 1950s ever do for us? It was just after WW2 when the scientists had planned and built and exploded the big bombs, and were going nuclear next. Communism was the target so there could be no peace while the hatred and fear that it or fascism would swamp us.

          So NASA probably did save us by giving all the eager beavers space to aim at, and we have made great leaps, towards annihilation. Yes great things eh.
          The benefits are immeasurable, light years away. Meanwhile in Cambodia the skulls are piled high, on Hawaii the volcano shoots, in Guatemala it echoes Pompeii with people coated and concreted in ash. Can we use machinery to help the victims out, build search and rescue robots to save lives or bring victims out to their families who can grieve and bury them? Things that are sort of useful to ease our pain in living?

          Papua New Guinea – they have had a vision of civilisation that tantalises them as it comes to mine or cut something that is valuable to the world and take it from them, and then goes and leaves them a system that has no money for the medical help they need, but leaves them with a dose of syphilis. 4% of the pregnant women have it, but they have no supplies needed to check who, and act to save the babies.

          There just isn’t the room in our hearts and minds for the present and touchable, our attention is all on the fabulous lost space worlds. Read space fiction and do something for each other with the money otherwise burnt up in space.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.2.1

            Meanwhile in Cambodia the skulls are piled high, on Hawaii the volcano shoots, in Guatemala it echoes Pompeii with people coated and concreted in ash.

            Wow, that was ALL due to the SPACE PROGRAM?

            /sarc

            Yeah, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

            • greywarshark 5.1.1.2.1.1

              DTB
              I think you are lacking in imagination. Too literal to make that leap of understanding beyond outdoor physics into the physics of the mind. So instead of imagining it you have to create it in 3D or maybe 4D if that exists.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Ah, upset that you’ve been proven wrong you go full Ad hominem.

          • McFlock 5.1.1.2.2

            The work of NASA and the technology required to overcome their big problems gave us quite a few tools to help us overcome our smaller problems, too.

            • greywarshark 5.1.1.2.2.1

              Thanks McFlock
              I was reading through and had an ah-ha moment when I saw the smoke detector. But it was invented by someone else. Toys for the boys still.

              Just thinking what comes to mind. A Doc here has invented something that will help babies in poor countries – that is good. Then I remember hearing about the problems of getting cellular phones available in Africa.
              That is a story, quite exciting also demanding on the entrepreneurs.
              http://allafrica.com/stories/200809181023.html

              • McFlock

                No, a better smoke detector isn’t toys for the boys.
                It’s more lives saved.

                But there are many more benefits to space exploration than just little shit like discovering the origins of the universe.

                • greywarshark

                  I didn’t mean that smoke detectors aren’t important. I just meant that the other things are mostly not. Handy to have seeing they are there. Something I would like is a way to repair nerves so people in wheelchairs can get function back in their bodies, and then have it affordable for anyone.

                  I don’t care about the origins of the universe but am fascinated with the real living universe which is wonderful. And people are wonderful and awful and change all the time. Plenty to study and learn here.

                  The problem is that we are so stuck up with how smart we are in thinking of abstract things. We will destroy our universe getting materials to go into space. We could think of it like magic fascinating to look at, and wonder at, and get on with living in harmony instead of pumping up science to a prime level. The inventions and findings take us further away from the study of man and woman and all things, We might one day get to the stage that we would hear positive things mostly on the news.

                  That’s enough from me.

                  • McFlock

                    In the meantime we have CAT scanners and advances in prosthetic robotic limbs, as well as active research into telemedicine and remotely operated surgery (mars mission in particular again).

                    Fuck magic. That’s just technology we don’t have access to, hidden from us by some annoying jerk who’s after adulation.

                    Give everyone the apparent power of a magician – that’s what science does. We can fly high, swim deep, and have the sum of all human knowledge in the palm of our hands. Sunsets are pretty, but so are the regular steps between the elements in xray crystallography. We can walk upon the shoulders of giants, and stand in awe at how much more there is to see.

                    • In Vino

                      Romanticism at its best, and most enjoyable. But after a few elitists have tasted your joys, will they be able to get the mass of humankind to do enough to avoid the looming mass extinction?
                      If not, that beauty will die with its beholders.
                      Not that I want to rain upon a fun party..

                    • McFlock

                      Well, beauty is always fleeting.

                      But the “looming mass extinction” is unavoidable (for greater or lesser interpretations of the term) without some serious scientific advances. And we only saw it coming because of science.

                      As for only the elites seeing the beauty of the universe, how many cores does your computer have? Are you an elite?

    • McFlock 5.2

      yeah, but they had a clear objective and timeframe, with categorical pass/fail criteria.

      Trump doesn’t.

      • greywarshark 5.2.1

        Trump – a passing comet, a shooting star, a meteorite, a gas cloud, a black hole?
        The orange hair adopted as alien camouflage?

        Perhaps the personification of The Crab Nebula.

      • David Mac 5.2.2

        Yes, I guess I’m trying to say that not committing to a hard and fast plan can be a strategy in itself although in Trump’s case I fear it has more to do do with ‘Don’t put it in writing and stay light on your feet’ is the ideal stance for a polished bullshit artist to adopt.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      Quote of the Day – Planning is Everything, Plans are Nothing

      We know this for sure – any forecast about the future is wrong. All forecasts are predictions about the future, so the forecast has to be wrong. Is the forecast worthless? Of Course not. But all Plans and Forecasts must have the ability to adapt to the emerging situation

      The path is never true and needs be adjusted.

      • David Mac 5.3.1

        I enjoy those occasions when we agree Draco.

        It’s like starting a family, if we all planned to wait until we were ready to go, we’d all be 50 year olds with newborns.

    • mikes 5.4

      Yep he’s definitely a risk taker which can often pay off although it can sometimes cause a disaster (hence probably why he’s been bankrupted more than once).

      IMO it’s better than just more of the same old same old even if there are risks.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    Objective: The purpose of the operation.

    Strategy: What battles and where you fight them in order to support attaining the objective.

    Tactics: How you win the battles.

    It is a fatal to assume that Trump has no objective. Trump has an objective, it just isn’t a traditional one of the objective serving the national interest.

    Trump’s objective is to use the office of the president of the United States to massively enrich himself, and to ensure that he gets away with it. The traditional objectives of the office of the president that are supposed to serve his policy platform or the national interest have been turned on their head by Trump. Under Trump, the president is not there to serve the nation. Instead, the nation is at the service of the president, to be pillaged and ransacked for the maximum profit of the con man who became the accidental president.

    If you grasp Trump’s objective, then his political strategies and tactics make a lot more sense.

    • Bill 6.1

      I agree.

      Trump, and much more importantly, the admin behind or around him, are in the business of making sure impediments to any future enrichment of the rich are removed.

      In many ways (I’ve said this previously) his announcements and pronouncements bring a refreshing, unguarded honesty to “the capitalist project”. Not for him and his cohorts, any intelligently couched opinions for the sake of hoodwinking the fucked over.

      The fucked over are part of the idea of “greatness” he bangs on about. It will only be by and by that they discover they were, and are, to be no part of it.

      I’d like to think the left in the US has got its skates on and is preparing to take advantage of the moment “Trump’s America” comes apart at the seams, but from where I’m sitting, it looks like the Democratic Party is doing quite a good job of squelching the left (at least in terms of possible representation at the government level).

    • Gosman 6.2

      Explain his North Korean strategy in the terms you have framed it in then.

  7. bwaghorn 7

    Hasn’t Ardern done a Trump by killing oil exploration with minimal consultation . ? Political genius and courage right there . Didn’t give the vested interests time to rally just dropped an ace high full house and sat back and smiled .

    • dukeofurl 7.1

      Minimal consultation is not when you get an agreement with the government parties, its when you announce a flag referendum with out even asking any one.

      The reality was the the 2018 block offer was moving along and if it was to be stopped it had to be done then, plus interest was already low
      Big oil player quits New Zealand as offshore activity dries up
      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11948908

      When was the last time any offshore exploration found something ? 1970s?

  8. adam 8

    Who cares if they junk jobs.

    Low paid and utter crap right.

    Because the mantra is always – Jobs, jobs, jobs.

    Quality of life, peace, and no more demagogues – probable a bit much to ask the devotees of liberalism.

    • David Mac 8.1

      Ha! Yeah I think that’s a valid consideration Adam.

      We cried as our garment industry went offshore, pine for the good old days of an acre of women sitting at sewing machines at Cambridge Clothing in New Lynn.

      Nobody aspires to spend their entire working life stitching the stiffening into the collars of business shirts.

      Bring on the robots to pick Kiwifruit and the five day weekend.

  9. Tamati Tautuhi 9

    Unfortunately NZ has not had an Economic Growth Strategy, we had the Old National Farmers Party under Holyoake/Marshall etc with the subsidies and livestock incentive schemes to produce more product we couldn’t sell.

    Then we had the Mad Dog Muldoon schemes with his Think Big projects where he knew better than Treasury, followed by the Lange & Douglas with the Cash Up the Assets program, which was carried on by the National Government.

    Then we went through the Labour Knowledge Wave Economy Period, the Financial Hub of the South Pacific aka Panama Papers under John Key.

    Then the latest strategy has been Mass Immigration, Dirty Dairying, trash the environment and the Auckland Housing Ponzi Scheme with New Zealanders borrowing up a storm competing with Asian buyers to get on the property ladder.

    Unfortunately if a country doesn’t have a road map or a clear plan of what they are doing how will it actually get to it’s desired destination ?

    The Magic Bullets above have failed the average New Zealander ?

  10. Macro 10

    The US unemployment rate continues a trend which began under the Obama Admin. There are a number of factors for this trend in declining unemployment numbers, one of which we see here in NZ also. That is an increase in older workers leaving the work force, and the number of younger workers entering the work force decreasing. This is a purely demographic factor and has little to do with economic policy.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_the_United_States#/media/File:USA_by_Sex_and_Age_2015-07-01.svg
    Note the bulge in the graphic of “baby boomers” all at retiring or approaching retirement age.
    Furthermore pay rates remain below typical levels when the unemployment rate is this low. These are junk jobs.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
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    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    4 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    5 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
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    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
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    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    5 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Saving lives
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
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    6 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    6 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
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    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
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    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
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    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
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    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

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 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
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago