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Why Supplementary Member sucks

Written By: - Date published: 7:08 pm, September 9th, 2009 - 64 comments
Categories: MMP - Tags: , ,

National and the business elite led by former Telecom chairman Peter Shirtcliffe (who led the pro-FPP campaign back in the 1990s) want to replace MMP with a voting system called Supplementary Member. SM is kind of a halfway house between FPP and MMP. Rather than the total number of seats a party has in Parliament being determined by its share of the party vote as in MMP only the list seats are proportional in SM. This does not lead to a proportional Parliament. It basically guarantees a huge majority for a party that wins both a lot of electorates and a large share of the party vote.

Now, before you righties get all excited, consider what that would have meant in 1999. Here, I’ve worked out what would have happened if the 1999 and 2008 election results had been under SM, with the same number of list and the electorate seats won by the same parties:

SM scenarios

Yeah, righties, 2008 would have been more fun eh? 65 seats for National, plus four for ACT. Imagine the agenda they could push through with those numbers. But consider what the Left would have been able to achieve after 1999 if Labour had 63 seats and the Alliance and Greens were chipping in another nine. Rigging the system doesn’t look so fun now, eh?

SM fails to achieve the aim of the majoritarians who want to get rid of MMP because they don’t think minority voices should be heard in Parliament or think that (somehow) MMP lets a 5% party can hold the country to ransom. If the last election result had occurred under SM, all the parties currently in Parliament would still be there, albeit some of them half the size. SM still has the ‘confusing’ elements of MMP, like two votes and lists.

At the same time it fails to satisfy the basic fairness test of a good electoral system. The guiding principle of a democratic electoral system must be that your vote has an equal weight in the make-up of Parliament as anyone else’s – if you support a party that 35% of people support that party should have 35% of the seats, if you support a party with 10% support it should have 10% of the seats. Nothing else is fair. SM isn’t a proportional system. It favours major parties and small parties whose support is concentrated in a few seats.

Supplementary Member sucks. It’s MMP for me.

64 comments on “Why Supplementary Member sucks”

  1. toad 1

    But I’d still like a supplementary member. I must have used the one I was born with too much when I was younger, because it doesn’t work as well as it used to any more.

    Oh, and back to the electoral system, SM is really just the anti-democratic FPP system in disguise. It is not proportional and not representative. Supplementary member sucks.

  2. burt 2

    toad

    Cut down the amount of green you consume, it will do wonders for the standing member.

    On the electoral system – I agree this is bollox. I’m no fan of MMP but I think it is better than FPP (which I think is a complete crock devised at a time when it was the only practicle option due to administrative constraints of that time). If we change anything then we should be making the system more based on PR and less on geographic boundaries.

    • burt 2.1

      felix

      Just to save you making a comment, where I say “PR” I’m meaning proportional representation not public relations.

    • toad 2.2

      Actually, burt, I haven’t done dak since the mid 80’s. Let’s not get into stereotypes here,

      And good that you think FPP is a crock of shit. SM is just a facade for FPP, because it still lets governments form without the mandate of a majority of electoral support. What electoral system do you favour burt?

    • burt 2.3

      toad

      STV seems like a better system to me, but I’ll confess I’m no expert. I’ve seen a few different proportional systems in use in a few different countries and one thing that hits me between the eyes every time is; When amendments are made to functional systems, or hybrid systems are devised, to cater for local considerations the resultant system is usually a crock as well. Voting systems are by their nature scientific and trying to change them is a job for scientists/engineers/statisticians not politicians.

      I’d remove the electorate vote because I genuinely think that it was derived to cater for the administrative capabilities of the time it was invented. That being related to no easy methods of national communication, administrative difficulties in counting votes on a large scale etc. IE: 600 odd years ago most people had no idea what Joe Bloggs politician from more than 100 miles away stood for – not so today. The issue in this for some people would be the removal of the Maori seats however in a “real” proportional system I can’t see why that would be a concern (cue wild allegations of being racist)

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Rigging the system doesn’t look so fun now, eh?

    Gerrymandering: Something National pulled off quite well under the previous FPP system.

    • burt 3.1

      Actually something both major parties pulled off quite well at different times.

      • toad 3.1.1

        Ah (or Aaarhh!) – with supplementary member you get an extra one to pull off,

        But however much pulling you do, we all get Rogered in the end.

        • Marty G 3.1.1.1

          wow, you really can’t help yourself, eh toad 🙂 great to see you having fun though

          captcha: apparently …. yeah, apparently toad’s got members on the mind

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        Actually, I can’t remember labour doing that at all. I’ll have to look through the books. It’s what happens when the politicians are allowed to set the electorates.

      • mickysavage 3.1.3

        Sorry Burt name the election when Labour did this. It always used to lose the tight ones under FPP even when it gained more votes than National.

      • burt 3.1.4

        Draco

        I wouldn’t expect a one-eyed Canterbury supporter to remember the Crusaders cheating either – The Blues on the other hand cheat every single game eh.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.4.1

          Wouldn’t know burt – I don’t watch rugby or any sport for that matter. What I am trying to do is remember my uni course which mentioned it and the books I’ve read about it.

          And I’m not a Labour supporter as I’ve said many times before.

      • burt 3.1.5

        michysavage

        I tell you what, you find an example where boundary changes have been made and allegations of gerrymandering were not made and (irrespective of which party changed or made the allegations) then we can have a reasonable debate about it. With perhaps one or two exceptions, every time the boundaries have changed somebody feels aggrieved. I’m sorry I can’t help you with your selective memory via convictions for gerrymandering of the Labour party. Furthermore history tells me that even if they were found to have been guilty of such they would have simply validated themselves and told us to move on – supported by people who put “their team winning” ahead of the rules.

        • Pascal's bookie 3.1.5.1

          So once again burt says something and is up to everyone but burt to justify his position.

        • burt 3.1.5.2

          Meanwhile PB has no issue with the same unsubstantiated comment made about National. But that’s different eh PB.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.5.2.1

            But it’s not unsubstantiated burt, it’s just going to take me awhile to go through the books.

        • mickysavage 3.1.5.3

          Good try Burt.

          The best evidence of a gerrymander is where a party gets less votes than its opposition but still wins the election.

          Name a time where Labour has succeeded in doing this or even tried to do this.

          Go on, I challenge you. Name a time. Otherwise your words are wasted and irrelevant.

        • burt 3.1.5.4

          Pascal’s bookie

          From my reading on the subject gerrymandering has never been proven by either camp. It has been alledged frequently by both camps. If I’m wrong and there are proven concrete examples then please list them. Otherwise stop resorting to ad hominem attacks because you don’t have a better argument.

          • Pascal's bookie 3.1.5.4.1

            What on earth are you talking about burt.?I never accused anyone of being a proven gerrymanderer. I don’t know what it would take to ‘prove’ gerrymandering, but I’d say social credit got shafted in the manawatu region in the 80’s.

            I was just saying that once again you are asking others to do your research for you. And that’s not ad hom.

        • burt 3.1.5.5

          mickysavage

          I think you have failed to understand the nature of FPP. What you are describing is a result of having electorates and is one of the main reasons why I think the electorate system is crap. To suggest that because [xyz] party received less votes but won more electorates is only a result of gerrymandering makes the assumption that the electorate system can be perfect which is just naive in the extreme.

          • mickysavage 3.1.5.5.1

            Good try Burt

            You originally said

            “Actually something both major parties pulled off quite well at different times.”

            You then said

            “From my reading on the subject gerrymandering has never been proven by either camp.”

            So which is it?

          • burt 3.1.5.5.2

            oh micky your so sad…

            Both parties accuse the other of it every time boundaries change – is that too hard for you to understand ? Look I’ve asked Draco for proof and I’ve said I have no proof only recollection that every time the boundary changes somebody squeals.

            However clearly you have concrete examples where you just know National did it and clearly you know Labour never did or you wouldn’t be making such a cock of yourself showing you don’t understand the problems of the electorate based system.

            • mickysavage 3.1.5.5.2.1

              Burt

              Well you first said they both did it and then you said that it had never been proved against either party. Do you see that these statements are inconsistent?

              The 1978 and 1981 election results were that Labour outvoted National but lost. I have never seen the reverse happen.

              A gerrymander is where you get less votes but win. National are therefore better at it than Labour.

              Prove me wrong if you like. Name me one occasion where Labour’s power was disproportinate to its vote.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.5.5.2.2

              A gerrymander is where you get less votes but win.

              That’s oversimplified. A gerrymander is when the political party in power sets the boundaries of the electorates so that there’s always more of their voters in the electorates than any one else’s essentially guaranteeing a win.

            • felix 3.1.5.5.2.3

              oh micky your so sad

              Jeez burt, now all I can think of is

              oh mickey you’re so sad
              you’re so sad you blow my dad
              hey mickey!

              Thanks for that.

    • burt 3.2

      Draco

      Sorry to do this;

      Prove it!

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        Sorry, looked through all my books and it’s not there so it will have to remain unsubstantiated 🙁

        We will have to say that the reason why National won so many elections from 1936 on was because of an inherent imbalance in the electoral voting system due to population voting patterns and stay away from actual allegations of impropriety.

      • burt 3.2.2

        Draco

        Cheers for that. The way I see it proof of gerrymandering would result in a conviction for corruption and as Taito Field is the first ever ‘proof’ of corruption then it’s all he said/she said. Every time a boundary changes people squeal, so perhaps I choose my words poorly in my initial response to you initial call of gerrymandering. It would have better if I had said ‘Are you sure it’s only National ?’

        The electorate system has a lot to answer for. ‘Safe’ seats that yield large majorities for either party represent a large loss of votes in that anything more than a majority of 1 is a wasted vote. My understanding is that STV addresses this which is why I vastly prefer that system. The MMP list vote goes some way to address this however for some reason people seem to be more concerned about getting an extra MP or two in parliament because of an overhang than they are concerned about parliament being representative. Add to that the issue that the parties choose the list order rather than the results of the voter choice and MMP is (IMHO) largely paying lip service to proportional representation. Additionally anomalies are introduced in the form of political parties being able to make the parliamentary majority anyway they like irrespective of actual voter choice.

        Oh, and thanks for calling muppetsavage on his expedient definition of gerrymandering.

  4. Steve 4

    SM would definitely be a step back, but would still rather it than FPP. STV I don’t think will ever be used nationally due to perceived complexities. I’d like to see MMP tweaked so that electorates use PV with preferences allocated till someone gets 50%+1. Whatever the options are, there are some pretty big interests that want to see us back to the days of old and the public needs to be aware of their motives so it is not a case of turkeys voting for an early Christmas

    • Ari 4.1

      STV is still an electorate-based system, and it is barely better in single-winner elections. The thing STV is okay for is multi-winner elections where you’re picking four or five people at once.

      • toad 4.1.1

        Agreed, Ari. For STV to work well, you need to have large multi-member electorates – say 25 electorates electing 5 members each. The problem with that is that the South Island, while having 20 MPs, would have only 4 electorates.so many South Island voters could end up with all their elected representatives living a very large distance from them and being very disconnected from their issues. Perhaps not so much of a problem with today’s electronic technology, but still a problem.

  5. Mike Collins 5

    Completely agree – SM sucks. MMP is much better but could do with some tweaks – like lowering the threshold and getting rid of Maori seats.

  6. Gooner 6

    National and the business elite led by former Telecom chairman Peter Shirtcliffe (who led the pro-FPP campaign back in the 1990s) want to replace MMP with a voting system called Supplementary Member.

    Yet on the other hand you show a graph that says the Left had 72 votes under SM in ’99.

    You guys really are getting silly these days with all sorts of conspiracy theories and global doom. It’s quite sad.

    • Daveo 6.1

      How is any of that a conspiracy theory? Business has been quite clear about why it opposes MMP – because requiring majority support to get things done gets in the way of their hard right economic agenda.

      Read Fran O’Sullivan’s column, then watch Peter Shirtcliffe on the linked youtube video and tell me that’s not the case.

      • Gooner 6.1.1

        Daveo, who said anything about business opposing MMP? This is about business supposedly wanting a change to SM.

        Marty came up with a “theory” that the great Peter Shirtcliffe wants SM. In ’96 he wanted FPP, but apparently now he wants SM.

        I think you guys don’t know at all what he or business wants because you despise them and never handled them at all well in the 9 years you were in power. So how can you now know what they want?

        • Marty G 6.1.1.1

          It’s not a theory, check out Fran’s writing on the issue and Key’s statements.

          They want SM because it’s anti-pluralist, it would probably kill the minor parties or at least consign them to irrelevancy (notice that in both examples, a major party has a clear majority).

          And National thinks it can hold on to the electorates, thereby guaranteeing victory.

          It’s hardly conspiratorial to think that people look out for their interests and that the interests of the elite won’t always be, indeed often won’t be, the interests of the wider population

    • Tim Ellis 6.2

      Very prescient comments, Gooner, and let’s not forget that politicians from both Labour and National, including Ms Clark and Mr Goff, were opposed to MMP. They wanted to retain FPP. The move to MMP was as much a plague on both the Labour and National houses, supported by smaller parties than anything else.

    • Ari 6.3

      Perhaps we just think SM is bad even if it would have given the left a bigger majority. In fact, perhaps we think that’s part of WHY it’s bad. 😛

    • Clarke 6.4

      You guys really are getting silly these days with all sorts of conspiracy theories and global doom. It’s quite sad.

      One word – Muldoon. A National Party wingnut with no economic credentials and an authoritarian streak a mile wide, who spent nine long years in power attempting to turn the country into a banana republic, whilst remaining in power with just over 40% of the vote thanks to FPP.

      As is apparent from National’s current behaviour, there are still far too many people on the right who think that attaining the Treasury benches amounts to a democratically-elected dictatorship. Excuse us if we don’t want to make it easier for the wingnuts to repeat Muldoon’s excesses.

      • toad 6.4.1

        Actually, Clarke, it was worse than that. In each of the 1978 and 1981 elections Muldoon formed a government under FPP with less than 40% of the votes and with a lower number of votes than Labour.

  7. Tim Ellis 7

    Interesting points you’ve raised, Marty.

    One factor which we will never know in retrospect, but is significantly large in my view to destroy your argument about what “would have” happened in 1999 or for that matter 2008, is the equalising effect that voters have on the outcome.

    In 2008 National was polling for an outright majority. Voters didn’t like it. They didn’t want to give National so much power. Likewise Labour in 2002 was looking for an outright majority, and voters adjusted accordingly.

    You’re quite right that SM does give individual political parties more opportunity to have an outright majority. But if Labour had had an outright majority in 1999, why would they have gone into government with anybody else? Why wouldn’t they have gone on their own? The example of Ms Clark throughout her nine years in government shows that she only tried to get enough votes to get an absolute majority. She wasn’t interested in forming a broader coalition and the headaches if she could have avoided it.

    Mr Key, on the other hand, didn’t need the Maori Party in government to form a majority. Why did he bring them into Government? Because he was looking longer term to a time when he might need the Maori Party in the future. Because he didn’t want to have to rely just on the Act Party to form a government.

    I like the fact that SM ensures that small parties get a voice, but they do not become so powerful in government as to wag the dog, as happened in 1996 and 2005.

    • Ari 7.1

      Tim:

      Voters can’t adjust for an overall majority for major parties under SM, it’s simply too complicated. They need to know who would win which electorates, which is hellish to predict for more than one at a time, and you get ridiculous compound errors trying to do it.

      • Tim Ellis 7.1.1

        Can’t they, Ari? I think they can. It just gets harder to do, and there are more variables at play, but my memory of most elections under FPP was that the winner was reasonably well known leading up to the election. There have been close elections under FPP, and the really only close election we had under MMP was in 2005, where marginal shifts in voting behaviour could make a big difference.

        I don’ tknow how much consciousness a voter has of the wider group when they go into a polling booth, but I’m sure there have been studies on it.

        Back in the bad old days of FPP the battleground was only in marginal seats. Everybody knew where the safe seats were, and the shift of six or seven seats either way determined the government. Mos tof the media focus was on those few seats and individual voters in those seats could determine the shift of the government. I beleive that under SM the same thing would happen.

    • Clarke 7.2

      I like the fact that SM ensures that small parties get a voice, but they do not become so powerful in government as to wag the dog, as happened in 1996 and 2005.

      I think what you meant to say, Tim, was that you’re happy to disenfranchise the 8% or so of voters who would be completely unrepresented under Supplementary Member. A spot of intellectual honesty would go a long way if you intend to argue for this unbalanced system.

      I like the fact that SM ensures that small parties get a voice, but they do not become so powerful in government as to wag the dog, as happened in 1996 and 2005.

      Again, the actual words you’re looking for are “I prefer to see elections rigged rather than won.”

      • Tim Ellis 7.2.1

        Clarke, MMP “disenfranchised” everybody who voted for the Christians in 1996 and NZ First in 2008, among the many other times when voters for small parties that didn’t bump past the threshhold, so let’s not pretend MMP is a pure system that provides a voice to everybody. I didn’t say I was happy to disenfranchise anybody, any more than you just said you’re happy to disenfranchise smaller parties that don’t make it back into Parliament. If you want to use ad hominem debating tactics like that then fine, but have some consistency of argument while you are doing it.

        Nice of you to put words in my mouth, though, just in case I didn’t know what I meant. While I’m at it, what you really meant to say was that I meant to say that I work in National Party research, that I’m Roger Douglas half brother, and that I’m the spawn of the devil. Thanks for playing.

        • Marty G 7.2.1.1

          A voting system should attempt to minimise the wasted vote and be proportional as much as possible – MMP does this better than SM can… and MMP could do it better if the threshold were lowered.

          Now, explain to me how a 5% or 10% party can hold the other 95% or 90% to ransom. It can’t. The wagging the tail thing is a myth. What it really says is ‘major party in government can’t get a majority for its policies, so lets rig the system instead’

        • toad 7.2.1.2

          Tim, you are talking crap

          It wasn’t MMP that disenfranchised the voters who voted for Christian parties in 2008 – it was the fact that those parties didn’t get enough votes.

          The Kiwi Party got 0.54% of the vote and the Family party 0.35%. Even if the 5% threshold were abolished (and I believe it should be) those parties would not have been represented following the 2008 election because they simply didn’t attract sufficient votes.

          • BK Drinkwater 7.2.1.2.1

            Toad:

            If the 5% threshold were abolished, the Kiwi Party would have had 1 MP in 2008. It’s the magic of Sainte-Laguë.

            • Pascal's bookie 7.2.1.2.1.1

              That is some kind of magic. I wonder if the Kiwi Party’s member would approve?

              I’m all in favour of letting the nuts in to parliament if they can get the votes. It might stop the other parties dogwhistling them at least.

        • Clarke 7.2.1.3

          Clarke, MMP “disenfranchised’ everybody who voted for the Christians in 1996 and NZ First in 2008, among the many other times when voters for small parties that didn’t bump past the threshhold

          Yes, it’s a given of our current 5% MMP threshold that the people who voted for those parties have no direct representation. But your argument seems to be that we should aggravate the situation by making the electoral system even more unbalanced.

          I think it’s interesting that the Right is simply walking away from the basic inequity in a Supplementary Member system, and arguing for – as ZB puts it further down the thread – “strong government rather than good government.” An unfortunate authoritarian leaning, methinks.

          … that I’m Roger Douglas half brother, and that I’m the spawn of the devil

          Not what I said or what I intended – I was merely trying to point out what I saw as the logical inconsistencies of your statements. My genuine apologies if I phrased it badly and offended, I certainly wasn’t setting out to do so.

    • Tim

      “The example of Ms Clark throughout her nine years in government shows that she only tried to get enough votes to get an absolute majority. She wasn’t interested in forming a broader coalition and the headaches if she could have avoided it.

      Mr Key, on the other hand, didn’t need the Maori Party in government to form a majority. Why did he bring them into Government? Because he was looking longer term to a time when he might need the Maori Party in the future. Because he didn’t want to have to rely just on the Act Party to form a government.”

      Not true.

      You imply Key is more inclusive. He is not. He is following the example set by Helen.

      How about 2005? Coalition with Progressives, NZ First, United Future and support of sorts with the Greens even though it was not required.

      Good attempted rewrite of history.

      • Tim Ellis 7.3.1

        I’m sorry if you think I rewrote history micky, and of course I’m aware that the Labour Party included New Zealand First and the United Party to form a government. Labour excluded the Greens and the Maori Party however, and I think you’re the one playing games with the past if you describe otherwise.

        • mickysavage 7.3.1.1

          Tim

          Why do you wingnuts think that if you lie often enough people will think it is true?

          You say

          “Labour excluded the Greens”

          What is the Labour led Government Cooperation agreement with the Greens then? The link follows.

          http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/labour-led-government-co-operation-agreement-greens

          Of particular note it says

          “The Green Party agrees to provide stability to a Labour/Progressive coalition government by co-operating on agreed policy and budget initiatives and not opposing confidence or supply for the term of this Parliament.”

          So throw a few words back at me and persuade me how this is excluding the Greens.

          • Tim Ellis 7.3.1.1.1

            Interesting perspective, micky. Your revisionism might be shared by some in the Labour Party, but I doubt if you ask many commentators or many Green Party people whether the Greens thought they received much from 2005, that many of them would agree with you.

            How about this: “The Greens have helped Labour govern with their vote on matters of supply and confidence since 1999, but have always been shut out of ministerial jobs.”

            Or: “Some commentators have noted that despite having the Greens’ support after the 2005 election, Labour left the party out of a formal governing coalition, instead assigning ministerial responsibilities to New Zealand First’s Winston Peters and UnitedFuture’s Peter Dunne.”

            Or how about a speech from Jeanette Fitzsimons, where she said: “There used to be a view that the Green vote would inexorably climb at each election until we became government, so election 05 was a reality check. It was character building stuff losing 3 MPs, shut out of government in favour of parties with which Labour had much less in common…”

            Or how about the valedictory speech from Nandor Tanczos, where he referred to Labour fobbing the Greens off?

            Or how about this, from Stuff: “The party threw in with Labour before the 2005 election and was devastated to be shut out of Government as Labour cobbled together deals with NZ First and United Future – both of which ruled out working with the Greens.”

            Or this, from the Herald: “The Greens adopted the same policy in 2005, only to be shut out of government as Labour put together deals with New Zealand First and United Future – parties that, paradoxically, were supported by National-leaning voters. Their only consolation was a few policy gains based on their agreement to abstain on confidence and supply.”

            National has a cooperation agreement with the Greens as well. By your measure does this mean that the Greens are supporting the National Government?

  8. Clarke 8

    National and the business elite led by former Telecom chairman Peter Shirtcliffe (who led the pro-FPP campaign back in the 1990s) want to replace MMP with a voting system called Supplementary Member.

    Shirtcliffe should be honest about his intentions this time around – his billboards should read “one dollar, one vote!”, which is clearly what he’s aiming to achieve.

    • Mike Collins 8.1

      I don’t agree with systems that aren’t proportional such as FPP and SM, however you need to be careful about what you assume regarding the intentions of those who do support such systems.

      I don’t doubt for a minute the sincererity of people such as Shirtcliffe. He has consistently been of the view that strong government (via decision making capacity) is important for the country. If you have this view it is logical to support FPP or SM or something of that nature.

      I support MMP because for me democracy is about giving voice and allowing a contest of ideas. That to me is much more important than electing a government that can ram things through.

      I would however appreciate if people’s motivations weren’t always questioned simply because one disagrees with the views others may hold. It is not at all clear to me that what Shirtcliffe is trying to achieve is “one dollar, one vote”. I think your imagination may be a little overactive Clarke. Be sure to check for monsters (or Shirtcliffe) under your bed before you go to sleep tonight. 😉

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 8.1.1

        Strong government and good government- huge difference.

        National have admitted that its good to take everybody’s good ideas and incorporate them into policy. They adopted the Greens’ Home Insulation policy, the Maori Party’s Foreshore policy and are desperate to deal with Labour over the ETS.

        If they had an outright majority there is no way their supporters would even let Key think about supporting these things. He’d be wedged in by Nats archaic ideology.

        Sounds like a good advert for MMP as far as I can see.

      • Clarke 8.1.2

        It is not at all clear to me that what Shirtcliffe is trying to achieve is “one dollar, one vote’.

        Remember, Shirtcliffe also helped fund the campaign against the EFA as he apparently didn’t see any benefit in making the sources of election funding transparent. And it’s hard to deny the impact of lobbying money New Zealand when the Road Transport Forum are busy donating $95,000 to political parties, and the country’s transport policies are turning on a dime – no pun intended – as a result.

        But perhaps you’re right – maybe Shirtcliffe is genuinely motivated and thinks that a stronger, less representative government that takes money secretly is genuinely better for New Zealand. I mean, it’s certainly worked out that way in Afghanistan …

  9. Swampy 9

    Whatever you can say about MMP will never change the fact that the Greens Party lied about it to the people of New Zealand.

  10. RedLogix 10

    Brian Rudman has an excellent piece in the Herald.

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    . . 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
    8 hours 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 ...
    8 hours 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
    23 hours 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
    24 hours 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
    1 day 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, ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks 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
    13 mins 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
    10 hours 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    5 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    5 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    6 days 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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to 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 welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
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    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
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    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
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    1 week ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
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    2 weeks ago