web analytics

Who Really is Judging the Poor?

Written By: - Date published: 2:46 pm, June 3rd, 2018 - 89 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, uncategorized, welfare - Tags: , , , ,

Families living in poverty, those who rely on food banks have internalised the overt, covert and inadvertent negative discourse that keeps the poverty conversation focused on individual blame, while ignoring the systemic causes of the problem.

Two incomes not enough for Christchurch family seeking food parcels’  is a headline that speaks volumes and is indicative of a trend that shows that more and more working families are struggling to make ends meet. This trend was identified in research as early as 2006.

Various charities  have been highlighting this issue for a number of years but it’s a trend that sees no sign of abating. Working families are struggling to survive in our low wage economy (thanks Bill English). While working families have been finding it really tough, those on benefits have been on the back foot since the 1990’s.  At that time benefits were cut and set at a rate that ensured that beneficiaries would not have access to an adequate diet. (Some experts suggest that these benefit cuts led to increased social problems). Despite supposed benefit increases in 2016, beneficiaries are no better off and Labour’s 2018 budget  does not go far enough to make much difference for those most in need. Some 500,000 people are left out of full participation in society and it does not appear that situation is going to change in any hurry.

While more and more working families are struggling and beneficiaries carry on coping with their lot in constant survival mode, there seems to be more emphasis on differentiating between the deserving  and the undeserving poor.  The judgements and assumptions come thick and fast about how easy beneficiaries have it in comparison to the working poor. For example:

I do not get any assistance from WINZ for anything as I am working. I would probably be better off financially on a benefit but I want to work

This implies that the benefit is adequate, it’s not. It also implies that those on benefits don’t want to work, they do.  That said, there’s enough evidence showing that even ‘hard work’ does not guarantee people a decent standard of living.

The article ‘Two incomes not enough for Christchurch family seeking food parcels’ provides another example of judgement  that can lead others to make generalisations about those needing food:

I’ve been to a house where they’ve been like ‘great, the food’s sorted. Now we can buy the grog’. You think ‘that’s not the purpose of why we’re here’

Those kind of statements help perpetuate stereotypes and myths about not only people who use food banks, but also about beneficiaries in general and a quick perusal of the comments section in those articles (if you can stomach it) confirms that.

These judgements or statements that justify the worthiness of recipients add to the overall stereotypes that those in need experience on a daily basis.  The sad thing is that you don’t have to search very hard to find example after example of the helping professions inadvertently perpetuating these uniformed beliefs and stereotypes.  It has reached the point that even those most in need resort to similar stereotyping and shame provoking discourse about others deemed less worthy than themselves (for example see this piece of research where food bank recipients were apt to judge other recipients as less deserving).

These type of judgements are internalised and research shows how this type of commentary leads to significant stigma and shame. Not only does that stigma and shame ensure that people in need are reluctant to seek help but it also leads to significant isolation, poor mental health, suicide and disengagement from society. On top of that, many of those experiencing poverty are the same populations that are subject to multiple oppressions in the Aotearoa New Zealand context ( see Giles, 2016).

I think it is time that the helping professions; the food banks, the ‘do gooders’ and  the people who claim they’re making some difference in the lives of others, simply stop and think before they speak. They need to ask themselves whether or not what they’re saying is contributing to the current dominant, anti-beneficiary, blame provoking discourse that plagues conversations around poverty.

Those commentators need to stop differentiating between the deserving and undeserving poor. Stop making stupid statements that poor people simply need to learn more skills (budgeting, cooking, shopping, gardening) to get by. Stop telling the public that their service makes sure those getting the help actually need it. (This simply buys into the myth that those fronting up to the charities are not really in need).  And finally stop individualising what is a systemic problem. I imagine if the ‘helping’ professions took a little more care about the conversations they’re putting out there, it may go some way toward minimising the impact of the negative stereotypes that dominate discourses about poverty.


89 comments on “Who Really is Judging the Poor?”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Turn the stigma and shame around and direct it where it belongs: at the corrupt sociopaths who finance and otherwise enable the National Party. The authors of the hate speech documented in the OP.

    This isn’t happening by accident.

    • soddenleaf 1.2

      Personal responsibility. If only they took PR. That was the conclusion of a ntn podcast, after much study of criminals the guest declares they lacked PR, that society lacks this. No, not the wealthy collapsing the financial markets, but yet another bottom feeder, who seeks out the fallen, those clearly failed themselves and society, as examples of everyone else. Fact was had he studied the class of all drunks he talked about he’d find many were workibg off the evil they internalized whilst working in the financial sector. It’s not PR that’s the problem it’s society that disregards individuals for the greater growth of balance sheets. Those evil soft liberals aren’t the problem it’s the right-wing commentator pointing away from their own lack of personal culpability and at liberal progressive, who I must remind you, have be ousted from power for the last thirty years by neolib economics.

  2. Bill 2

    I wonder, in this world with its myth that one can “get ahead” if one merely chooses to, whether fucked over people have ever not internalised society’s general antipathy towards poverty and the poor?

    “Poor” is inferior and somehow lacking at the personal level (apparently).

    That judgement goes right back to the inception of liberal capitalism, and was one of the justifications used by the propertied members of society seeking to shape the world to their advantage. So we had ‘the rule’ that only those enjoying property rights could vote, because the fact they had property in a world that was guided by wholly neutral market forces, was illustration enough of their inherent superiority to those who didn’t have property.

    All that’s changed over the past near 200 years – attitudes around poverty, as your post illustrates, certainly haven’t – is that various discrete groups, that were formerly excluded from positions of formal power within capitalism have been co-opted, and arguably neutered as a result – women, workers, non-white skinned people…

    I believe there are some who would call that progress…

    • Stunned mullet 2.1

      There is little doubt that despite the conflict and other disasters over the last couple of centuries that in the main conditions for most of the world’s peoples have improved even those at the most disadvantaged, surely you have little appetite for a grea leap back in time to class war and the deprivations of a couple of hundred or more years ago.

      • Bill 2.1.1

        …in the main conditions for most of the world’s peoples have improved even those at the most disadvantaged

        That’s a crock of shit. For a start, your ideas of “improvement” are bound by western capitalist/consumerist/materialistic measures of “improvement” (and disadvantage) that have baselines that are oblivious to whatever measures various societies and cultures might have used to gauge well being or progress and what not.

        What the situation of many colonised peoples would have been today isn’t something we can even really punt at, given that so many cultures and their peoples were simply removed from the face of the planet altogether.

        And please, do yourself a favour and don’t be tempted to bang on about medical advances or technological advances, as though they would only ever have been possible in a capitalist context. Cheers.

        And not understanding the suggestion that class war is some historical artifact. Open your eyes. Look around.

        • Stunned Mullet

          I refer to the following datasets excellently presented by Hans Rosling.

          Your desperation to cling to the demonisation of all things capitalism and of the west are just but becoming a bit of bore.

          • adam

            Let’s reject logic of any strip, and call Bill a bore.

            Sheesh stunned mullet I knew you were a bit of a look at me, me, me. Even for you that comment is a loser move.

            Come on dude, if you can’t work out the capitalism has been quite destructive. You living with your head up your….

            I suppose I should put a list, or, like the others in rwjn collective, you will cry, or try to make a stupid joke.

            Puerto Rico
            South Africa
            Sierra Leone

            I’ll stop now, but the list is big.

            By the way, look up how capitalism stops technology in the name of profit.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2

        The last ‘couple of hundred years or more’ also includes the Enlightenment and the resurgence of Democracy. The ‘New Deal’ was not a Capitalist priority no matter how you slice it.

        Not to mention the way limited liability companies are used to shield the owners of capital from the consequences of their behaviour; Chomsky: “Capitalism? Show me some!”

      • millsy 2.1.3

        I don’t know about you, but Chinese, Russians and Indians being able to buy KFC, McDonalds, jeans and TV’s doesn’t count as improving conditions (which seems to be the way to measure prosperity these days). Job protections, social services have been reduced over the past 30-40 years, and rents have quadrupled.

      • WILD KATIPO 2.1.4

        Stunned Mullet ( as always ) selectively chooses examples to suit the narrative. It is no coincidence that many of those peoples in nations in continents such as Africa ,South America or South East Asia often still live in the most rudimentary and destitute fashion. And they often do so because of western banking and capitalist interests.

        One doesn’t have to take a world cruise and travel far from the tourist destinations in those country’s to see the truth. Capitalism has done virtually nothing for those peoples lives. Running water? – a luxury . Medication from introduced diseases? – Often unheard of. And they die young and they die painfully.

        What SM is always talking about are the more prosperous examples of WESTERN nations.

        Which in turn displays the usual arrogant , self righteous and inherently self satisfied exclusiveness of that particular strain of thinking.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2

      To the extent that Calvinism predates Capitalism, it also has a lot to answer for.

      • humma 2.2.1

        Whats wrong with Calvinism? I was brought up in a Calvinistic household and think the grace, love and compassion shown by Calvinism can show us something in this day and age.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          because worldly success could be interpreted as a sign of eternal salvation

          Encyclopedia Brittanica.

          • Stuart Munro

            Calvinism brought an end to pretentions of divine right – judging by the knighting of silly Billy we could use a bit more of it.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Oh, did I mention it’s a mess of arrant mumbo-pocus? The divine right was mortally wounded by Magna Carta, not the competition between sky-fairies.

        • Grafton Gully

          “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
          Matthew 5:48

    • RedLogix 2.3

      For most of human history we sharply distinguished between trusted insiders and ‘others’. Those who failed to do so tended to get wiped out violently, selecting hard for those who were naturally suspicious of strangers or the unfamiliar. It’s strongly hard-wired into us to be naturally more attached to those we are familiar with, than others we can scarcely know.

      Yet despite this over the past few hundred years we have successfully broadened categories of insider quite remarkably, gradually peeling off the labels we have traditionally stuck to entire masses of people. At a formal level at least, we now regard all of humanity as essentially one species. All humans matter, we all count and none of us are ‘others’ any more.

      And at the same time our real measurable progress towards turning this formal moral ethic into reality, over any meaningful timeframe has also been astonishing. There are no parallels anywhere in our prior evolution I can think of.

      It goes without saying that such a monumental transition has been uneven, sticky and fraught with unexpected consequence … no sane person would argue the world is anything like nirvana. But we can point to a lot of good evidence that we have been generally heading in the right direction. By every measure the entire human race is at this point in time a LOT less violent, better educated, healthier, lives longer and enjoys at least a modest standard of living their great-grandparents might only dream of.

      In this view, ancient and absolute categories of class, race, gender and culture are disintegrating piecemeal, blurring their sharp edges, no longer standing as formal markers of exclusion. Therefore grounding a political philosophy on notions of arbitrary categories in an era when these mean less and less as each decade passes, is to my mind not an effective plan.

      Because while capitalism and technology combined are rapidly all but eliminating absolute poverty, there is no question relative poverty has greatly intensified at the same time. This contradiction generates a great deal of misunderstanding and heat. Each end of the political spectrum argues with considerable justification it’s own ideological view of this paradox; I’ve watched it rage here on and off for years; it goes nowhere and leads to no effective outcome.

      It seems to me at least, that eliminating gross extremes of wealth and relative poverty is the great unsolved moral challenge facing us as a species, but real change will not flow from these stale, positional debates. We should stop wasting time and energy on them and look elsewhere.

      • JanM 2.3.1

        An excellent and thoughtful piece, thank you RedLogix

      • koreropono 2.3.2

        “Each end of the political spectrum argues with considerable justification it’s own ideological view of this paradox; I’ve watched it rage here on and off for years; it goes nowhere and leads to no effective outcome”.

        I disagree. Challenging stereotypes, indeed raising people’s consciousness to social issues, or even their own plight is a valuable social work tool. For example when using narrative therapy or indeed consciousness raising techniques with client groups, there is nothing more satisfying when you see the ‘light bulb’ moment, that leads to measurable and effective outcomes at the individual, family and group level.

        On a mass scale it is important to challenge the status quo/the dominant ideology, lest we all become tarred with the same ideological brush placing financial gain over humanity (but that’s another story). I wonder what would have happened had Martin Luther King Jr not raised peoples’ consciousness or if the feminist movement had not gained momentum through dialogue, literature and action? A narrative was created back in the 1990s and that dialogue indoctrinated young and old alike. It continues to hurt disadvantaged groups. If that narrative goes unchallenged then people will only ever see things from one perspective. Thankfully the number of writers who challenge dominant ideology is proof that having these debates does lead to effective outcomes. I.e. more and more people challenging the status quo. The’ we are beneficiaries’ movement is proof of that.

        “We should stop wasting time and energy on them and look elsewhere”.

        And what would you suggest?

        • RedLogix

          Without gainsaying the value and importance of challenging conventional narratives, I do think we tend to get cause and effect inverted; or at the least we tend to overrate the political drama, while neglecting underlying causes.

          For instance consider slavery; a fixed and largely unquestioned feature of all human economic life for at least ten thousand years, yet utterly overturned within a century of the invention of the steam engine. Of course the abolition movement had something to do with it, but an underlying shift in technology certainly enabled the change.

          As for what I suggest? Certainly the left must continue to argue against relative poverty and gross inequality. But merely intensifying, further polarising a debate that has gone nowhere in decades will be counter-productive.

          We often use the metaphor of a ladder when thinking of the economic/social hierarchy. Using this metaphor as a tool suggests possible strategies; one to reduce the steepness of the ladder with the usual structural measures such as taxation and redistribution. Another is to reduce the spacing of the rungs on the ladder with more opportunity for education, healthcare etc, measures that put the next step clearly within reach.

          In broad terms these are the conventional left wing responses; all of which are helpful to some degree, but all of which seem to have real limits. Not the least of which is that they are so easily undone by the next Tory govt that comes along.

          The other possible way to see this problem is to consider how people on each rung of this metaphorical ladder can choose to both help and be helped by those immediately around them. In most ways this is an anti-political idea so I don’t expect it to be received well, but in essence I would argue the most permanent way to reduce inequality is matter of personal ethics. Also the impact of the internet has yet to play out; it may well play the key technological role that shifts the underlying ground, much as the steam engine did over 200 years ago.

          • Molly

            “For instance consider slavery; a fixed and largely unquestioned feature of all human economic life for at least ten thousand years, yet utterly overturned within a century of the invention of the steam engine. “
            Slavery hasn’t been overturned, just repackaged. I would go so far as to say, the lack of visibility makes it even more profitable and more unlikely to be stopped than during the abolition period. And while the invention of the steam engine might have contributed, but English slave owners didn’t give up without demanding compensation, which the British Treasury only finished paying off in 2015. Ironically, the lists for compensation provide the fullest archive for British slave ownership that exists.

            “The other possible way to see this problem is to consider how people on each rung of this metaphorical ladder can choose to both help and be helped by those immediately around them. “
            The problem with this idea, is that it requires a consensus on what achievements or values are placed on each rung. That is problematic.

            Is is an achievement to have become mortgage free at the age of forty, if by doing so you have contributed to the rising housing costs for others?
            Which rung are you on if you have increased the biodiversity of your land, but have done so on minimum wage?

            • KJT

              Repackaged is right.
              In fact, a youngster being forced by threat of a 13 week standown, from WINZ, to work for an inadequate wage, for a bullying, mean and capricious employer, fits the definition of slave labour, pretty neatly.

              Or the hospitality worker, paying his employer, so him and his extended family, can get residency.

            • RedLogix

              @ Molly

              Your interest link describing British compensation to slave owners demonstrates quite forcefully how deeply embedded the slavery was in our economic systems, and how entirely normal it was for so very long. But bluntly speaking the Industrial Revolution rendered slavery obsolete; machines were typically an order of magnitude faster and cheaper. Within decades slaves had no more labour value than horses were for transport by 1910.

              For the most part, of the abolitionists had simply waited a few more decades their battle would have been largely won for them by sheer economics .. and no compensation needed.

              Consider this, while there is no question the British abolition movement established an important ethical position and won a real political battle within the bounds of the British Empire … yet chattel slavery was on the decline in most parts of the world pretty much at the same time. You can quibble a few decades here and there, but in the context of ten thousand years of historic precedent, it vanished all at once.

              It gets the precedence wrong to say that the “steam engine contributed”, the link is more fundamental than this. The Industrial Revolution enabled the Abolitionists. The technology shifted the ground, which then opened the door for a political response.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Within decades slaves had no more labour value than horses were for transport by 1910.

                In other words, free-labour was cheaper.

                Think about that for second.

                And then consider that the rich blame the poor for being poor.

              • Molly

                “But bluntly speaking the Industrial Revolution rendered slavery obsolete; machines were typically an order of magnitude faster and cheaper. Within decades slaves had no more labour value than horses were for transport by 1910.”
                As DTB mentions above, that statement requires deeper thinking. And further exploration would make it apparent that if human rights were not part of the equation when abolishing slavery, then any future instance of free or cheap labour being required to make profits, would be considered a palatable option.

                As we can see with the prevalence of slavery today.

                Compensation was required, regardless, because those who benefitted from the exploitation of others, also held positions of influence, and used that influence to ensure further enrichment.

                “For the most part, of the abolitionists had simply waited a few more decades their battle would have been largely won for them by sheer economics .. and no compensation needed. “
                This comment really needs thinking about. Those lives, those individual lives you are so blase about, were not academic lives to those living them.

                You also imply that capitalism is fundamentally responsible for the improvement of lives, but ignore the lives, communities and cultures that have been destroyed by the pursuit of profit by capital holders. Which is also ongoing. Not to mention the destruction of the environment on a global scale.

                I would concede that there have been technological and scientific advances that have improved lives, but whether capitalism has hindered or hastened the equal distribution of those benefits is an ongoing discussion. I would tend towards the hinder side, myself.

            • greywarshark

              Red Logix
              What comfortable assumptions you make. And how easily you dismiss people’s distress when a life made by their own actions is taken away from them. Doesn’t matter, in the long run it will pan out, after your time though. Unlucky you.

              Because while capitalism and technology combined are rapidly all but eliminating absolute poverty,there is no question relative poverty has greatly intensified at the same time. This contradiction generates a great deal of misunderstanding and heat. Each end of the political spectrum argues with considerable justification it’s own ideological view of this paradox; I’ve watched it rage here on and off for years; it goes nowhere and leads to no effective outcome.

              Capitalism can intensify absolute poverty, and make death seem preferable to life. That thought of yours has maggots.

              For instance consider slavery; a fixed and largely unquestioned feature of all human economic life for at least ten thousand years, yet utterly overturned within a century of the invention of the steam engine. Of course the abolition movement had something to do with it, but an underlying shift in technology certainly enabled the change.

              Slavery always involves deprivation of something. But some slaves can be very well off, indeed some could earn enough to buy themselves out. They would be the exceptions. And being released from slavery can mean losing the protection of an owner valuing you as part of his/her resources. The blacks freed in the USA after their war became like the fox in the hunt, and likely to be beaten and strung up when caught. Red Logix you are dismissive of the individual here while you look at a broad history.

              The broad history of treatment by humans of each other is not served by dismissing bad behaviour. It is more likely to be elevated when there is better understanding along with some acceptance, and a vow to do better.

              • RedLogix

                Capitalism can intensify absolute poverty,

                Well no it hasn’t. In general terms quite the opposite. Globally the fraction of people living in absolute poverty has decreased dramatically from over 94% in 1820 to about 9% in 2018. In recent decades the rate has only accelerated to the point where just 30 odd countries account for almost all absolute poverty, and 2 of them, India and Nigeria for 40%.


                This doesn’t diminish or argue away the distress and suffering of those still trapped at the very bottom of the global heap wherever they may be, but in the overall context of history such a sustained, global and enduring economic shift has never happened before. Disentangling the relative contributions of the Enlightenment, science, engineering, technology and financial expertise makes for an interesting tangential debate, but arguably none of this remarkable transition would have been possible absent any single ingredient.

                Having said this; I’ve clearly stated (something you selectively omitted) that capitalism has paradoxically intensified relative poverty, which in it’s own turn is directly correlated with entire clusters of psychological and social ills. But to discuss this crucial matter intelligently, we need to be crystal clear on the distinction here, on the enormous problems capitalism has both solved and the new ones it has created. Progress is made by solving the real problems in front of us; not replaying old ones that exist primarily as emotional echoes, relics from prior centuries.

                Specifically I would argue the left should give away framing capitalism as the enemy; it is a social tool like any other, albeit powerful and prone to both great use and abuse. But on balance it has been an essential component of 200 years of astonishing progress; the world is not going to abandon it for all it’s flaws. Therefore we should bend our energies to adapting our use of this tool to solve the problems in front of us. And that I’d argue is a far more ambitious vision than anything a battered, outdated remnant Marxism might offer.

                • Stunned Mullet

                  Nice comment RL worthy of a post and enthusiastic discussion in its own right

                • greywarshark

                  I said that capitalism canintensify poverty. That shouldn’t be disagreed with as nothing is 100%. And quoting statistics gathered about people is pretty banal. Communism certainly does intensify relative poverty. Great improvements have been made in certain countries because of capitalism. But I think you may be considering material things mainly. But as for making people’s lives seem better, there is much unhappiness in countries that rate highly on a materialism ladder. So it is a mixed blessing. And that is reflected in the saying that problems aren’t solved by throwing money at them.

                  What we need is managed capitalism which would be far different to what we have been left with today. We also have to learn to work co-operatively and learn to plan. Running a democracy as a leader and and as a supporting citizen should be an important primary school course. How to organise a group that has a goal, an idea, and how to present it and carry it out. That would be good, children would enjoy that. Capitalism encourages the idea of being a worker. Many NZs have the idea that shopkeepers are wealthy and mini-capitalists and this is because they are so used to working for others. I struck this attitude when I had a small shop.

                  Capitalism also doesn’t encourage people to be participatory citizens, but likes the representative model. “We know what’s best, and will serve you well.” With a push the citizens can force consultation but may find it merely answers questions about the plan and ignores any requests and demands that the group involved all agree with and sometimes they may be wrong but have to be properly informed and aren’t.

                  I think citizens of Waiheke Island who wanted to stop a large marina being built there, having lost a case against it, have to pay $100,000 of costs. That is capitalism. There is a demand from wealthy boat owners, or people who are footloose and sample the world from their boat. So there is money to be made and whatever the residents had, they have no right to stop it being invaded for someone’s profit. It will be up to them to prise some of the profits to go towards amenities and to say fund a concert once a year as a booby prize. And that is what unbridled capitalism gives the ordinary Joe and Josephine in the end. At present it gives them overpriced housing and the whole life plan of a huge number of NZs that they could look forward to in past decades, has been swept away by the ugly capitalism adopted, this neoliberal capitalism

                  • RedLogix

                    And quoting statistics gathered about people is pretty banal.

                    I get it; every person on struggle street is someone with a story, usually a tough one. I think all of us here can either tell their own, or listened to them first hand.

                    And that is indeed the core of my argument above; if you are going to make a difference to people’s live the best way is one on one, personal and up-close. Intimacy and understanding the unique details of each individuals life sets the stage for the most effective transformations. This is the sense in which the personal is political, lives change one at a time.

                    But the tools for understanding the broader social picture, which is what I’m addressing, are different. Here is where numbers do matter, where data is king and statisticians are the princes of the modern world.

                    We’re both presenting two different ways to engage with the same thing; each has it’s place.

                    • Ad

                      The most effective moves against poverty still remain at the collective level, and that is the only way to sustain the right kind of capitalism.

                      It’s moves like increasing benefits such as Working For Families, increasing the minimum wage, and making the Living Wage a full policy that will lift people out of poverty fastest.

                      Another is in collective wage and salary agreements. With the decline of unions, the New Zealand government is now stepping directly back into industry-wide award agreements. Believe it or not, this initiative is going to be led by Jim Bolger (!)

                      Making a difference in people’s lives is at least as hard as you suggest. But each person in deep relative poverty has a large set of issues that got them there.

                      Those issues of poverty are addressed in the collective by institutions, and often multiples of them, because it is only institutions that have the specialist capacity and longevity to bring that assistance to bear long enough and broad enough to enable people.

                      Arguing for state institutions strong enough and interrelated enough to address poverty is not an argument against capitalism. It is an argument that the only bearable kind of capitalism is one in which collectivist institutions – such as the institutions of the state – are strong enough to sustain society.

            • tracey

              Well said

          • koreropono

            RedLogix you raise some interesting points but Molly then counters some of those with valid points that I agree with.

            When you say that “people on each rung of the metaphorical ladder can choose to both help and be helped by those immediately around them” are you referring to community development and localising support at various levels? If so, I kind of agree ( there’s a whole other debate sitting here too), but in order to do that there needs to be a level of raising critical consciousness to help people move past the indoctrinated bullshit of the last 30 odd years.

            Which brings me to this point, when you say “the conventional left wing responses; all of which are helpful to some degree, but all of which seem to have real limits. Not the least of which is that they are so easily undone by the next Tory govt that comes along”. When you refer to ‘the conventional left’ I am not sure who you mean, if you’re talking political thought and agendas I don’t see either of the dominant political parties as anything other than agents of the status quo, and there is certainly nothing left about that.

            • RedLogix

              Yes that certainly fits within the very wide bounds of what I was thinking of. Essentially we need to transform the enormous challenge of relative poverty from a political battle into an ethical one. In the past decade the ground has shifted dramatically; we now have excellent hard data and research that clearly establishes why gross inequality is bad for everyone.

              With a global economy well on the way to eliminating absolute poverty (https://humanprogress.org/article.php?p=770) we now face a radical and very significant psychological transition. For all of our eovlution most humans lived in extreme poverty; life was pretty much always a zero sum game, if one person won it was usually seen to be at the expense of someone else.

              We now live in a world where this is no longer an absolute truth. An entirely new possibility arises where the more individuals do better, the more everyone does better. Adapting to this new paradigm demands a deep shift in how we view the world. I deliberately chose to draw a parallel with the abolition of slavery; the underlying shifts in both technology AND our collective ethical outlooks are very similar.

              From our vantage point in 2018 we find it hard to imagine how anyone tolerated chattel slavery; we find it morally repugnant regardless of our political outlook. Yet our ancestors, who were really no less human than us, universally considered slavery perfectly normal, desirable even, for millennia. Right here we can point to an example of a deep psychological and ethical shift within the purview of our own recent history. The human ability to adapt to new circumstance is something we can depend on; IF we approach it correctly.

              Of course the transition from slavery was not easy, the Industrial Revolution came with it’s own challenges and awfulness, but crucially we can look back to see how we clearly evolved from one ‘status quo’ to another one small step at a time. The process was complex and messy, but it didn’t involve tearing the whole mess down to rubble in the hope something nice would arise in it’s place. (The French tried but most of the rest of the world looked on in horror and determined not to repeat.)

              Because the ‘status quo’ is not so carelessly dismissed; it may well fall short of some hypothetical ideal, but it is what we have and it isn’t all bad. If it really were so god awful neither of us would be safely typing this out with full stomachs and warm feet.

              The great challenge of inequality is primarily a psychological, ethical and social challenge; the political front is necessary but not central to establishing enduring change. That means winning minds and hearts, reaching out and expanding the left’s influence, persuading and transforming across the entire political spectrum. Huddling in politically radical ghettos hurling ideological invective just doesn’t feel like an effective plan.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.3

        But we can point to a lot of good evidence that we have been generally heading in the right direction.

        This is true but is it true due to capitalism?

        Capitalists have been against the removal of slavery, legislation against discrimination on race or gender, and pretty much every other ‘progressive’ action taken.

        • KJT

          I am sure all those African, Chinese and Mexican small farmers, who have been ‘rescued from poverty by capitalism” really appreciated losing their income, and having to migrate to city slums, in the hope of work.

          Rising average GDP, is not actually a measure of poverty reduction. like all right wing stats, it ignores the reality of a few doing well, while many are worse of.

    • soddenleaf 2.4

      Personal responsibility. If only they took PR. That was the conclusion of a ntn podcast, after much study of criminals the guest declares they lacked PR, that society lacks this. No, not the wealthy collapsing the financial markets, but yet another bottom feeder, who seeks out the fallen, those clearly failed themselves and society, as examples of everyone else. Fact was had he studied the class of all drunks he talked about he’d find many were workibg off the evil they internalized whilst working in the financial sector. It’s not PR that’s the problem it’s society that disregards individuals for the greater growth of balance sheets. Those evil soft liberals aren’t the problem it’s the right-wing commentator pointing away from their own lack of personal culpability and at liberal progressive, who I must remind you, have be ousted from power for the last thirty years by neolib economics.

      • tracey 2.4.1

        Like when Simon Bridges blames ‘dud advice’ and 44% of voters nod and think “ bloody advisors”

  3. North 3

    Dear Stunned Mullet…..a bottle of ugly plonk for your thick as non-sequitur rhetorical “…..surely you have little appetite for a grea leap back in time to class war and the deprivations of a couple of hundred or more years ago.”

    Talk about missing the very essence of the post !

    I guess it’s a waste of breath to remind you that we don’t have to look back a couple of hundred years to see a real, live, enduring class war going on.

    Taking another approach, your stupidity actually underlines the point you’ve missed. So thank you I guess.

    • Stunned mullet 3.1

      Dear North good to see you’re still about and as noisome a cunt as always.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1

        North has a point. If the way the most vulnerable members of our society are treated isn’t a “class war” then the definition of “class war” needs refreshing.

        “Ferals”, “underclass”, “lazy and stoned”, “personal responsibility”, “don’t you know who I am?” Not to mention the Iwi/Kiwi racism that goes along with it.

        This is what a class war looks like.

        • TheBlackKitten

          Your comments really do annoy me as all I see is a lot of bitterness when ones opinions does not agree with your ideology 1000 percent. Why don’t you offer constructive alternatives instead of getting so bitter towards those that have different opinions to yours.
          Here I will give you some help. Tell me ONB, what would you do about poverty if you were the Prime Minister of NZ. Now please try not to be nasty and personel in your reply. You may gain some respect by doing that.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Can you point to the “nasty, personal” aspect of the comment you responded to?

            Didn’t think so.

            I’m a big fan of predistribution: raising wages (including the MW) is a number one priority. That means stronger unions and more labour inspectors. In extreme cases, Mr. Peter Talley should have his assets seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act, pour discourager les autres.

            Obviously benefits need to rise to a dignified level.

            Embed the BoRA in our constitution (such as it is), re-assert the rule of law. Enforce both far more stringently than at present.

            None of this is rocket science: all you have to do is look at the policies of countries doing a better job than we are. None of this should be news to anyone, since these are positions I’ve held and articulated for years.

            Perhaps you (somehow) managed to only read the comments I use to hold a mirror up to the National Party.

          • WILD KATIPO

            @ TheBlackKitten

            … ‘ and as noisome a cunt as always ‘ …

            I fail to see how OAB was as ” so bitter towards those that have different opinions to yours ” … compared to Stunned Mullet.

            You really must have peculiar ( and selective double ) standards, mate.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 3.1.2

        A revealing judgement – takes one to see/label one? You must be fair busting with pride.

      • Gabby 3.1.3

        Why’s that good to see stunted munter? What item of genitalia are you?

      • greywarshark 3.1.4

        stunned mullet
        Control your choice of language.

  4. Ad 4

    Well written.

    As the headline NZ unemployment heads down to 4%, at some point employers are going to have to pay New Zealanders in other firms a whole bunch more.

    Employers are also going to have to incentivise more and more; like in-work daycare, paying to get them drivers licenses, subsidized accommodation, free HOP cards to get to work, paying them to complete advanced literacy and trades training. The pressure is on employers to really persuade potential workers to commit to those work places.

    • Stuart Munro 4.1

      I’ll believe that when I see it.

      The lack of response in real wage terms to supposedly historically low unemployment levels suggest that the stats are less than bankable. A true low unemployment rate will see rises beyond government lifting of minimums.

      We’ve some way to go to restore the credibility of govt statistics after a decade of deliberate misrepresentation.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      The pressure is on employers to really persuade potential workers to commit to those work places.

      No it’s not.

      As the headline NZ unemployment heads down to 4%, at some point employers are going to have to pay New Zealanders in other firms a whole bunch more.

      More likely that they’ll complain about ‘skill shortages’ to the government and import people to keep wages down. As they have been doing for years.

      free HOP cards to get to work

      The government should get that happening now by the simple expedient of having employers pay for peoples travel to and from work to home.

      • tracey 4.2.1

        When “chef” is now one of our top “skill” shortage occupations that system is beyonf broken

    • tracey 4.3

      Why? We have had cycles of good and bad times for the last 40 years and tge only wages consistently going up are CEOs and MPs. And when the former do wrong they get million dollar payouts to leave and when MPs do wrong they get voted back

  5. AsleepWhileWalking 5

    In your first link (Two incomes not enough)

    In an average week, Kylie* and her partner might take home a combined $620 after tax. In a tough week it could be less than $300.

    The Christchurch mother said she did not receive any Government support or tax cuts to help her and her partner raise their two children, aged 8 and 5.

    These people don’t need budgeting advice, they need tax advice.

    It pisses me off that it is assumed people with low incomes should proceed through life with material disadvantage because they remain ignorant of what they can claim.

    Canada has a very successful program teaching refugees and poor about their tax system so they can get some upward mobility going. We need this too.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 5.1

      They charity *helping* them should have mentioned family tax credit. Its not judging, its discerning.

    • koreropono 5.2

      Maybe Kylie needs less support with tax advice but some support around changing her thinking. For example I wonder why she felt guilty about taking her kids for a free haircut? Was it because she thinks that only those who look homeless are deserving of it?

      Kylie “said she did not receive any government support or tax cuts” she then goes onto say “I just kind of like to do it on my own. I shouldn’t really do it the hard way but I don’t like to seek too much help”. I wonder why she chooses not to get the Working for Families Tax credits? Perhaps the answer lies in being indoctrinated in to believing that only certain kinds of people get this help? Is part of the problem that particular narratives are designed to make people feel guilty, or bad about receiving government support?

      Some of New Zealand’s more extreme right wing commentators are pretty good at making the Kylies of the world feel like bludgers if they seek support from Government sources.

      • tracey 5.2.1

        Excellent point. The villification of our poor and vulnerable has achieved its purpose self loathing silence and a desire not to be similarly tainted

  6. Zorb6 6

    Predatory lending as per the former Westpac executive and Equiticorp thief Allan Hawkins companies recently fined $720,000 ,have a huge impact on the poor.
    He should have been given another 6 years and not allowed out from 6.am to 6 p.m like when he did his last lag.
    Plenty more like him doing the same thing.Enticing the unsophisticated ,financially illiterate into ludicrous loans with eyewatering interest rates and penalties swamping people with unpayable debt.

  7. Observer Tokoroa 7

    There is no problem – but Capitalism

    No Government has to borrow money.
    no family has to struggle

    All essentials such as Housing must have capped pricing
    All Rentals must have capped pricing
    All essential food items must have capped pricing
    All Energy must belong to Government
    All Waters must belong to Government
    All Land must belong to to Government
    Air lines and their Routes belong to the Government
    All earnings above a given agreed Amount, must be returned to the Nation

    We have tried the idea of tossing every important thing to the greed of greedy. Ii has failed everywhere. Only pathetics such as Hosking and Espiner and Soper believe in crucifying the poor. Garner too.

    In return, No man or Woman shall receive anything unless they work for the good of everyone. Every worker, from Professional down to Untrained shall be responsible for their effort

    Share Holders shall not have any protection. Because Banks offer no protection to their Clients – there is no point in giving Share holders anything.

    Very Nordic – Yes. And very sane

    Just look at the mess National is in. They are positively vile. Evil in fact.

  8. TheBlackKitten 8

    Several issues contribute towards this issue and neither political party addresses them. The right wing label poverty as being lazy and the the left label it as not enough welfare when neither are the correct answers.
    The white elephant in the room that no political party addresses is that there is not enough jobs for everyone. NZ employers do not invest in any training and we are all paying international prices for food and housing which are essential living costs but we do not receive international wages. Sorry but NZ employers need a kick up the arse on issues of competitive wages and training to upskill the NZ workforce. Going to tech and getting a diploma does not give people the skills that on the job training does. All it achieves is high loans that need to be paid back and holds the young back financially. Importing migrants from poor countries desperate to stay in NZ and who will work for low wages and crappy conditions does not help the poor or improve the living standard for NZers. These issues only benefit rich business.
    We are been gouged the living daylights out of what we pay for basic essentials. I have not seen one NZ political party address the issue of why we pay the prices we do for food. Why does a bottle of milk cost what it does in the supermarket? What are the costs involved in getting milk from the cow to the supermarket? I suspect if this was investigated that you would find a lot of price gouging and ticket clipping involved.
    We now live in a global economy where third world countries that have poor working conditions have taken away a lot of unskilled work. This contributes to less jobs. Less jobs means the ones that are available can decide the terms and will offer as little as they can get away with.
    The real solution to poverty is lots of jobs with opportunity to upskill that won’t result in high students loans that will hold you back financially for the rest of your life.

    • Stunned mullet 8.1

      Don’t come here and talk sense you’ll be villified.

      • WILD KATIPO 8.1.1

        The problem is you never have. And neither has your little buddy TheBlackKitten.

        Have a read , both of you.

        Get an education for once.

        New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?

        • WILD KATIPO

          My apologies to TheBlackKitten.

          Indeed there are a few things that are correct in your above post. I consider myself corrected. However , I would be careful in future in defending the arrogance of Stunned Mullet,… whose views appear diametrically opposed to what you speak about.

    • tracey 8.2

      How would you address an aging and top heavy popukation tgat has close to, if not, negative growth, without immigration?

  9. Tricledrown 9

    Greed is a survival instinct nature is about the strongest smartest exploiting the resources.
    Those who miss out die leaving the strongest to breed to carry on the species.
    This basic instinct is the “heart” ironically of right wing monetarism.
    Civilization has not changed human behaviour to look out for the weak ,poor,disadvantaged .
    Fighting against nature’s pyramid scheme trying to undo it has been a failure harnessing it to benefit a wider spread of people is the best we can do.
    Pure capitalism Pure Communism are both failures.
    Balance of the 2 Dogmas works best.
    Ying and Yang push and pull competing dogmas delivers balance.
    Since the collapse of feudal communism capitalism has got more selfish and nasty.

  10. Observer Tokoroa 10

    Lol Stunned Mullet Lesson

    I hate teaching people anything, especially Kiwis, because they are the best and the greatest Wonderkind in the whole World. They Know and do everything.

    I am a Kiwi and I know for a fact – that as long as I can fart I am an educated New Zealander.

    But Canberra owns the Land. Yes. Get stunned Mullet. Canberra owns. the land.

    It allows or disallows people to build or not to build according to the Intentions of the Australian Capital Territory Authority.

    Or do you still think that Stalin did that . ?

    Now your good mate Hosking and Pigtails Key, will say it cause erections in there fronts and is very bad. For they want to take all the land for themselves and put it in their coffins when the (hopefully) pass on peacefully.

    I have one more little thing for you to consider Good old Mullet ?

    Would you explain, to all of us Kiwis how it is that that more and more money goes to fewer and fewer people. There are Millions of stupid econo mists strolling around doing sweet all, who never explain why money is a wayward treachery.

    It has no value because it favours fewer and fewr persons. Stick that up your treasured Mullet good man.

  11. Leonhart Hunt 11

    Really good write up, Ive been looking at how we got into this mess as it directly affected me, Its really heartbreaking to be stereotyped as a “bludger” or the most recent “drug use” (MSD testing show beneficiary drug use as 0.005%) “iphone’s” or “doesn’t want to work” (which is just stupid as the data show we do) excuse for treating my kind as less than human. Even though I am no longer unemployed I am still broken by what msd did to me and I doubt I will ever fully recover.

    Ive written before about the issues I had with MSD including being prosecuted for benefit fraud for simply living in the same flat with another person, (I plead guilty for various reasons, mostly because you can’t really oppose their judgments, MSD has a 97% win rate) was sentenced to Home D (completed) and community work (completed) as well as reparations (five grand already payed back, btw to me I consider this me paying back my unemployment benefit for the time I was on it, like a loan instead of “fraud” because no matter what they say I still maintain I did not lie on my applications over weather i had a partner or not, because I don’t.) 1/2 of the total amount, this week took another turn MSD contacted me to pay the other 1/2 of the reparations (you know that bit that the judge reduced based on means and liability) apparently MSd doesn’t agree with this, instead of challenging it in court they (according to them) have the power to recover funds that are beyond what a court has deemed. which I of course can’t pay because Im paying reparations which the amount I set at all the spare money I have, this doesn’t matter to MSD, its pay up or else.

    Oh and did anyone read the report on RNZ about ACC vs MSD prosecutions? ACC last year prosecuted 4 people, MSD 644 people, ACc handles a large fraud case load and pretty much identical situations.

    there’s good news though I have been in contact with the Hon Carmel Sepuloni, unfortunately I do not have permission to discuss what I have been talking about or her replies in any detail but “changes are coming”, hopefully they will be the ones we need so desperately because so many things in our society are affected directly by social services and we need a functioning system that is fair and accessible to all.

    • tracey 11.1

      Thanks for your comments. Gordon Campbell addressed so many welfare myths in his piece a few years ago at Werewolf. Sadly when some read tge facts they suppress it and continue on believing the dross they are tossed to keep tgem feeling confy. Bridges did it again by tossingctge 44% ‘dud advice’. A most BS of BS justification but the 44% seem pleased to have something to blame so that

      A. Nats are not held to account
      B. They dont feel foolish about being misled, again and again and again

      Fool you once shame on me fool you dozens and dozens of times, shame on you. The Nats strategy of Crosby Texter etc plays on people not wanting to admit they are wrong. Who wants to look foolish? So feed them more BS

  12. Jackel 12

    Capitalism is just a generic term that means market conditions exist at a particular place and time. It can also include predator investment banks, the debt system and money as a commodity. It’s just what you get when you let the cards fall by default. There is a non zero probability a better system exists. Why has no one thought of one. Well, better the devil you know but in time this too shall pass. Perhaps when we learn to be a bit more humane towards each other.

    • Leonhart Hunt 13.1

      No, this person is a con-person a deliberate fraudster, not undeserving poor, tenancies really need a centralised database that records all Tenancy agreements and how they ended to stop people like this, but even these people are deserving of assistance.

      • Antoine 13.1.1

        More undeserving poor, http://gisborneherald.co.nz/localnews/3167780-135/rental-nightmare-on-elgin-street

        (And yes I do understand there’s plenty of undeserving rich too)

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Where are you going with this nasty divisive crusade of yours? What’s it meant to prove other than that you’re a low-life?

          • Antoine

            I’m pointing out that the distinction between undeserving and deserving poor is still useful. Just like the distinction between undeserving and deserving rich.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              It’s useful to low-life sociopaths, sure.

            • koreropono

              @Antoine – the only people who find isolated and limited examples useful, are those who like to create stereotypes to justify the vilification of certain types of people. Those stereotypes are then used to justify the mistreatment of those groups.

              It’s a bit sad that bias leads certain kinds of people to constantly seek out information that will confirm their preconceived and bigoted ideas. I think this happens because certain kinds of people don’t have the capacity for critical thinking. I think we should pity those people, whereas others think those kind of people are just arseholes.

              • Antoine

                You can call me an arsehole and a sociopath if you like; I call it being able to tell the difference between one thing and another. If you want to discard that ability then go for it, but I think it’s part of what makes us human.


                • koreropono

                  @Antoine maybe some reading comprehension lessons wouldn’t go amiss either.

                  While stereotypical thinking is the brain’s shortcut and strategy to filter information and could be simply classified as ‘being human’, faulty ‘thinking’ develops when people don’t learn to develop other skills and processes within the brain, like critical thinking.

                  It is simplistic to assume that people can simply ‘discard’ our human inclination to form stereotypes, particularly when it is hardwired into the brain to help us manage large volumes of information. It becomes faulty and problematic when people do not develop other the skills to question their unconscious biases. It becomes problematic and harmful to others when people, such as yourself, rely on erroneous or biased information to either denigrate and vilify others or perpetuate those steretypes. Bias, whether conscious or not, means that people, such as yourself, will tend toward seeking out information that confirms their preconceived prejudices. Sure some poor people are bad, so are some rich people. Some commentators on TS are are stupid but it doesn’t mean they all are. Which category do you fall into?

                  • Antoine

                    Suggest you redirect your energy from thinking of elaborate ways to be snarky to me, to something useful


        • Leonhart Hunt

          That link shows the normal bias towards renters/poor note the comment at the end by the letting companies “5 – 10 percent of renters do this” the hard data show only 5% of rental agreements go to the TT (I cannot imagine landlords not taking this damage to the tt) so this would mean even at the lowest of what this agent says would be all cases taken to the TT, which Is simply not true.

          Completely tratshing a place is very rare, and almost always makes the news there has been only one other published case like this so far this year.

          • Antoine

            I don’t say this behaviour is common.


            • Leonhart Hunt

              I didn’t say you did, and we do need a better way of dealing with issues like this but still not undeserving of help. its pretty clear from the story linked that the person when though a mental health crisis, especially with being a “good” tenant for so long, subletting is usually not allowed in rental agreement (but not all have it spelled out) and the original tenant may not have been the one that trashed the place.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • 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
    49 mins 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
    1 hour ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    14 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    20 hours 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 ...
    20 hours 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
    21 hours 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 ...
    22 hours 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 ...
    23 hours 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
    23 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    3 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, ...
    4 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
    5 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 weeks ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 weeks ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks 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
    16 hours 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
    18 hours 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
    1 day 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
  • 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago