web analytics

Worse than I imagined

Written By: - Date published: 8:31 pm, November 15th, 2010 - 97 comments
Categories: corruption, john key, national - Tags: , , ,

So now we learn from rort-buster Pete Hodgson that Pansy Wong and her husband have been running private companies out of her taxpayer-funded electorate office. This is worse than anything I thought would be turned up by Lockwood Smith’s investigation. I don’t see how she can possibly remain in Parliament now.

Of course, it’s just the latest in a list of rorts, rip-offs, and abuses of power by National MPs this term that beggars belief. Here’s a by no means complete list:

  • housing rorts,
  • rorts of the new housing allowance system that was implemented to replace the system that was being rorted,
  • flying round in helicopters for kicks on the taxpayer dime,
  • abuses of the travel ministerial travel allowance,
  • fake blind trusts,
  • fake primary residences,
  • releasing the private details of beneficiaries to bully them,
  • failing to apologise as promised when found to have breached their privacy,
  • abuse of the MP travel allowance,
  • whatever the hell Richard Worth was up to,
  • charging private expenses to the public purse,
  • threatening submitters to select committees,
  • and now a private business operating on taxpayer funded premises.

What next? A meth lab in the National Party staff room?

This goes beyond a few bad eggs or innocent mistakes. This is a culture of National MPs abusing their power and pocketing our money.

With such widespread rorting the blame must go to the top. It is Key’s job to control this bunch of muggers and thieves. He should be firing the corrupt. Instead, he’s setting a terrible example and lowering standards. He has been caught out lying and abusing his privileges as an MP over the Tranzrail shares. He has been caught out lying about his blind trust and the interests including a winery he owns through it.

Key should be setting an example. Well, he is – a bad one. When he’s not running around trying to get in the background of photos of Obama he’s up to his ears in his own rorts.

It’s all very well for Key to belatedly follow every other political leader in calling for the MP travel allowances to be reined in but when you ask who gave his ministers permission to behave like this there’s only one person to point the finger at.

97 comments on “Worse than I imagined”

  1. Ian 1

    I reckon all the Nact MP’s are laughing at Key behind his back knowing that losing their jobs by being sacked is next to impossible.

  2. Joachim's 2

    Key is about to be stir fried, Wong is merely providing the sauce. And Hodgson is the chef. Bon apetite NAT lovers, Labour is going to make a meal out of 2011.

  3. I wonder if this means that Melissa Lee will survive? She is the only one left that the Nats can use to fill in the female asian token position of the caucus.

    BTW this is really bad and so stupid.

    Key has to demand Wong’s immediate resignation from Parliament.

    Looks like we have another by election coming up.

    Labour’s candidate for Botany is Koro Taua. He is a good guy and deserves support.

    • Eddie 3.1

      Melissa Lee… jeez the talent coming through the Nats’ ranks is really inspiring eh?

      Bakshi, Gilmore, Calder, Lotu-Iiga, King, Lee, Adams, Hayes, Bennett 2, Goudie, Dean, Hutchison, Macindoe, Peachy, Auchinvole, Shanks, McClay, Upston, Quinn, Young, etc.

      they’re going to have serious problems in coming terms as their number of MPs falls, competent seniors retire, and that lot take up space preventing better people coming through.

    • Ari 3.2

      I’m torn between hoping he does demand her resignation, (or simply fire her) for the sake of our democracy, and hoping he doesn’t so that he’s less likely to be re-elected as PM.

  4. burt 4

    This is going to get interesting.

  5. Irascible 5

    Pansy should be gone by tomorrow lunchtime if Key had any gumption as a credible leader of a Political Party. If the NACT screams for Field & Carter are an indication of what they expect a leader to do then Key MUST be seen to be living up to his crosby-textor reputation as the velvet hand in the iron glove.
    A very early general election in the offing??? In the meantime support for Koro would be welcomed.

    • burt 5.1

      You mention Taito Field. Is that because we haven’t had an inquiry with very narrow terms taking 9 months which exonerated Pansy… This National govt have certainly lifted the bar back off the ground where Labour left it. It sounds like she should be charged but precedent tells me that it won’t be in the public interest unless she threatens to stand as an independent.

      We wait, it should be interesting.

      • The Voice of Reason 5.1.1

        The language Key is using suggests you are right, Burt. He’s sticking to the line that it his her husband who has broken the rules. He’s repeated that over and over again in the last couple of days, while saying Wong is right to keep schtumm. I presume that he has Sammy Wong’s agreement to do that, in an effort to keep Pansy Wong in parliament and out of jail.

        Just a guess, but the legal situation may be that Sammy can claim that he genuinely thought he had the right to book flights through his wife’s office and avoid a conviction, while his ‘confession’ lets Pansy of the hook as well, as she will say she was unaware that Sammy was breaching the rules. Key is hoping that time, silence and her husband’s loyalty will avoid a messy end to Wong’s career.

        • pollywog 5.1.1.1

          yeah, and i bet Bronagh has no idea what’s in the ‘blind trust’ either or that if shes a trustee, doesn’t get reports to leave lying round the house for John to read before he realises what they are…

          …pull the other one, Key needs to show Wong the highway and kick her ass to the kerb but not before she’s paid back every cent of her husbands ‘misunderstanding’

        • Armchair Critic 5.1.1.2

          …as she will say she was unaware that Sammy was breaching the rules…
          That won’t work. She signed a document as a witness, so she can’t claim she was unaware that business was being conducted. Nor can she claim that she was not aware of the rules around the entitlement. Mr Hodgson has asked Mr Key questions about the matters of business being conducted and about awareness of the rules in the Cabinet Manual and the answers, as I recall, haven’t left much wiggle room.
          Mr Hodgson appears to have stitched up Mr Key and Mrs Wong very effectively. Hence the diversions about stopping the perk, and the unwillingness to talk much.

  6. Bazar 6

    “This goes beyond a few bad eggs or innocent mistakes. This is a culture of National MPs abusing their power and pocketing our money.”

    In the recent history, even the full history of NZ parliament, no labour or green MP has EVER abused their perks for personal gains or profit….

    Oh.. wait.

    Well obviously national and Act MPs are morally inferior because of the reduced transparcy they have campained and implemented since coming to power…
    Oh wait…

    Well i’m sure the opposition could do it better, we could even have Winston manage the perks, since his background is spotless when it comes to finances.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      “Well obviously national and Act MPs are morally inferior because of the reduced transparcy they have campained and implemented since coming to power”

      So, how about Richard Worth eh? What was he fired for, again?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Actually, if you’d been keeping up with NRT’s OIA research, you’d realise that NACT have reduced transparency – quite a bit in fact.

      • Bazar 6.2.1

        Well i just took a look through that NRT search’s first 2 pages.

        Nothing about national REDUCING transparency.
        Only about stats about OIA requests, and the law commission looking at proposing changes.

        How you can say that nact have reduced based on that is silly. The law commission isn’t nact, and unless nact implement what they propose, it has nothing to do with them.

        As for the spreadsheet showing low performance rates, two things.
        First its been taken in a very quesitonable way, with very questionable results.

        “This is the crudest of performance data. It does not look at the quality of responses, or take any account of the size or complexity of requests. It looks only at timeliness.”

        So that isn’t about transparancy, its about responsiveness.
        And even if it *was* about transparacy, to say its gotten worse under national, you’d need to perform the same test under labour’s rule.

        How those OIA requests were filed is unknown. But it doesn’t look methodical.

        Ultimatly the only thing i’m going to say is that its of no surprise to see that the goverment isn’t perfect with OIA. But then i said goverment, not national. I suspect it was as bad or worse under labour.

    • One does not have to delve very deeply to find these greedy Tories have only one interest,their idol Mammon . Well maybe two squeezing the workers .
      So when one has a good look at the Wong scandal what do we find but “cut the benefits ” Shipley and her shadowy husband Burton. As well know Independent (UK) journalist Jasmim Brown has said ”What a greedy lot”.

  7. tc 7

    Bazar’s right “Well i’m sure the opposition could do it better…” as Clark proved she had the measure of her ministers and stood down and/or disciplined those who crossed the line whereas with sideshow john it’s ‘aw shucks new zild’s lucky to have such hardworking MP’s like mine.’

    Trouble is shonkey they ain’t working for us but themselves and their backers…..but at least they’re consistent so there’s a positive for ya johnny boy.

    BTW when’s that outstanding and hardworking Bennett due back to abuse due process just like always.

    • Jilly Bee 7.1

      National Party signs have sprung up all over Henderson with the ‘Proud to be a Westie’ [finger down throat time] line and picture of herself advertising a constituents’ clinic on Friday 26th November. Yawn! But maybe their polling is telling them something!

  8. here’s a surprise, Tracy Watkins running Key’s line:

    “it took only the downfall of a good MP and otherwise good woman, Pansy Wong.” to get the need of the travl perk.

    yeah, poor innocent pansy wong couldn’t understand the difference between holidaying and business. It’s all the perk’s fault.

    don’t worry Tracy, there’ll be another press job in Key’s office up for grabs some time.

    • Tigger 9.1

      Ha ha, ‘otherwise good woman’ as in – ‘he stole money from pensioners but otherwise he was a good man’ or ‘he beats his wife but otherwise he’s a good man’. Honestly, Watkins, this is pathetic. We know Pansy Wong isn’t Hitler FFS. And how will Watkins cope once Wong has to resign from Parliament? ‘Oh she was a good woman despite defrauding the taxpayer for years’.

    • Jim Nald 9.2

      Watkins writes – good MP and otherwise good woman, Pansy
      Amstrong reports John Key had a good APEC
      Blind trusts are good at keeping things unseen
      Warner Bros had a good deal
      Bill English is good at making claims
      Gerry is good at managing Chch earthquake clean-up
      McCully is good at putting together RWC 2011
      Tolly is good at stirring schools and parents
      Bennett is good at coming down on beneficiaries
      Colllins is good at talking tough
      Lockwood is good at rolling back travel perks

      Care to add to the good list?

  9. vto 11

    It is because many National Party politicians chase business deals at the same time as being in Parliament. It is ingrained. They do business as much as politics. Think Creech and Key and their dairy interests. Think Jenny Shipley and all her business dealings etc.

    It feels like it is all about to spill open. Creech and Carter making decisions about agriculture when they have vested interests, for example. Not good.

    Put it all out in the open for the public to see how intertwined National is with business.

    It is wrong and smelly. And about to soak them in their own stench I hope.

    • Lanthanide 11.1

      Unfortunately there is a sector of the NZ public that likes National *because* of those business dealings. You know, all that crap about “running businesses well, so they must be able to run the country too”.

      • Lazy Susan 11.1.1

        Yeah, running businesses well such as Shipley’s premium recruitment business Momentum.

        • Joe Bloggs 11.1.1.1

          I would hardly call Momentum Shipley’s premium recruitment business.

          1. the company is not a high end executive search consultant – it’s mainstream

          2. Shipley owns less than half of one percent of the business.

          I also see in Pete Hodgson’s press release that he admits he doesn’t know Whether the companies hold a separate lease or share any services, or indeed are trading

          … which is a million miles from Eddie’s tasteless insinuations about meth labs

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.1

            the company is not a high end executive search consultant – it’s mainstream

            You mean like hiring virtually all execs for the new Auckland MegaCity CCO’s? Momentum may have hired their PA’s as well but that hardly makes them ‘mainstream’, does it?

            • Joe Bloggs 11.1.1.1.1.1

              crap – they’re the largest recruiter in NZ in terms of job placements – that alone makes them mainstream. You don’t get that way by limiting yourself to a minor tributary of the top 2% of job placements.

              As for the 20,000 shares Shipley owns – that won’t go far in a shareholders meeting when there are nearly 5million shares around the table.

          • Richard 11.1.1.1.2

            I also see in Pete Hodgson’s press release that he admits he doesn’t know “Whether the companies hold a separate lease or share any services, or indeed are trading”

            Wake up mate.

            That’s a press release.

            A press release is no evidence of what Hodgson does or does not know. If Hodgson is asking a question in a press release, he either already knows the answer, and / or he knows that the process of others trying to find an answer is going to be problematic for National.

            • Zorr 11.1.1.1.2.1

              Whereas when Jonkey makes a press release it is treated as gospel truth…

              Double standard much

              capcha: lies

              • Richard

                I certainly don’t treat anything in a press release by John Key as being gospel truth.

                Do you?

              • felix

                Zorr, I think that’s a misreading of Richard’s comment. It’s a reply to Joe Bloggs who seems to think that Hodgson’s release is an admission of a lack of info.

      • vto 11.1.2

        Yes, well they generally do run businesses well (?) and it does give them an understanding of the business environment which is often lacking in other parties.

        But it is the mixing of the politics and business which is no good. There must be a clear break between the two and it must be public viewing.

        So simple to do. So hard to give up.

        • Richard 11.1.2.1

          Yes, well they generally do run businesses well (?) and it does give them an understanding of the business environment which is often lacking in other parties.

          That’s arguable, but as far as goes it certainly seems plausible that “successful” business people would have something to offer the country when it comes to those parts of government that are like “business”.

          Although, I’m not exactly overwhelmed by National’s ability to negotiate with corporates, make wise investment decisions, maximise government income, and show executive leadership…

  10. ghostwhowalksnz 12

    Wong will resign in the usual way- to maximise her pay and announce it before Xmas but put the final day as just before Parliament sits next year. That way shes can stop turning up to the office for 2 months. The party will announce a new candidate who will conveniently have a ‘job’ as electorate agent and be the front person in the electorate

  11. MikeG 13

    It’s interesting that Key is trying to downplay the address as being a mailing address. Companies Office records show otherwise – it is also the address for the share register. That implies that the address is being used to at minimum administer the company from.

  12. Chris 14

    “Ministers Call for Perk Reform”….how about… “Ministers defend Integrity – No personal business on public business!”

  13. Sanctuary 15

    Anyone who heard Key being interviewed by Geoff Robinson (who interviews more like an astonished vicar than a angry rottweiler) would now understand why Key is so carefully handled by his minders. Key was, in a word, lame. He had no answers and his government was exposed as lackadasical, chaotic and disorganised at it’s highest level.

    Oh and Pansy Wong sharing a mail address with Jenny Shipley? It just gives us the smallest glimpse of the crony capitalism that seems to be the primary motivational engine of this government.

    • OleOlebiscuitBarrell 15.1

      Sharing a mail address is crony capitalism? Really? Are you completely sure?

    • ianmac 15.2

      Agreed Sanctuary. They complain that Phil is not succinct enough but John’s performance was as you say lame. He is hopeless when being interviewed which as we suspected, explains his refusal to front up for interviews. During the next election will he be able to not only smile and wave, but also duck and hide? I thought that Geoff was surprisingly persistent but perhaps his effort will give John another reason to dodge interviews.

      • Which once again (as commented before on the Standard) makes me wonder if Key has a drink problem. Often when watching him being interviewed on TV. he seems to be slightly tipsy . The vague look ,gigling and forgetfullness ,all the classic behavour of too much alcohol in the system.

  14. OleOlebiscuitBarrell 16

    Pansy Wong and her husband have been running private companies out of her taxpayer-funded electorate office.

    I am not defending her against the main charge against her, but it is not necessarily true to say that she is “running private companies out of her taxpayer-funded electorate office”. A company’s registered office is not always where the business is run from. The registered office is where notices to the company must be served and certain information must be kept there. Commerce need not be conducted from the registered office. For instance, many companies use their accountant’s office for this.

    • Pascal's bookie 16.1

      True enough. But you pay an accountant for the service. What reason is there for using the ( I assume) tax payer subsidised electoral office for private business matters?

      • OleOlebiscuitBarrell 16.1.1

        I doubt accountants charge for this service. They regard it as part of the relationship. That said, they wouldn’t do it for you if they didn’t do your accounts.

        • felix 16.1.1.1

          “I doubt accountants charge for this service. They regard it as part of the relationship.”

          Just in case you’ve never hired an accountant, they do charge for “the relationship” 😉

    • freedom 16.2

      Do you really see nothing wrong in a private company being registered out of a Ministerial Office ???

      It is a fundamental problem in this current commercial climate that people paid a lot of money to do a difficult job, can manage to run multiple private interests when they are meant to be sooooo busy

  15. freedom 17

    the Shipley connection is the interesting bit, especially when you recall Dame Shipley’s guided tours of South Island farmland earlier this year with Chinese investors,
    -the article seems to be untraceable in multiple attempted searches, if anyone has it i would like it.

    The Shipley connection gets more obvious, and more telling when, apart from the links to numerous parties in the current “buy the NZ dairy industry’ jumble, we recall she is on the board of a Chinese Bank
    “A division of the China Construction Bank – China’s third largest bank, which includes Jenny Shipley on its board ..”

    • marsman 17.1

      Would like to see an account of Shipley’s travel expenses which were paid for by the taxpayer,and reasons for travel. ( i.e. does she charge up private business travel? She of the ‘personal responsibility’ catch-cry.)

  16. ak 18

    You’re right Eddie, it’s by no means a complete list; but come on, fair’s fair. The media has enough to do what with lost cats and orgasm research and everything – and it’s not as if they’ve done anything really corrupt like trying to close the gaps for Maori, stop bashing kiddies, sign paintings for charity or sit in the back of speeding cars for goodness sake….

  17. Our rag, the Southland Times, published this postage-stamp sized ‘article’:

    “Links between former prime minister Dame Jenny Shipley and businessman Sammy Wong are under scrutiny as his wife, former ethnic affairs minister Patsy Wong, remains under a cloud. Labour yesterday questioned why a company in which Mr Wong and Dame Jenny are shareholders was registered at the same address as Mrs Wong’s publically funded electorate office in Auckland. Dame Jenny’s husband, Burton, was a director of the firm, Shipley and Wong, labour strategist Pete Hodgson said. Speaker Lockwood Smith refused to comment. Prime Minister John Key also refused to comment and said he would advise Mrs Wong not to answer questions.” Fairfax

    http://robertguyton.blogspot.com/2010/11/dodgy-dealings-with-dame.html

  18. randal 21

    I guess this is what Marx called an oriental despotism where those in power just do what they like.
    when they get caught out they hide behind cultural differences wchich are just those things which make it possible for them to break the law in the first place.

  19. vto 22

    Why doesn’t somebody outline all the links that National MPs have with dairying. Key. Creech. Shipley. Carter. Smith. the list goes on.

    Put it all out there for the public to easily see. In a simple format.

    Then ask how on earth these conflicted politicians can make impartial decisions on this industry when their business investments depend on their political decisions…

    It’s a no-brainer ya?

  20. Graeme 23

    any body been to this office or google mapped it?

  21. Daveski 24

    Hodgson was exceptionally careful not to fall into the basic mistake Eddie has made.

    “So now we learn from rort-buster Pete Hodgson that Pansy Wong and her husband have been running private companies out of her taxpayer-funded electorate office.”

    Hodgson did not claim that at all. He merely pointed out that this was used as an address (possibly an address for service). It is still not acceptable but neither is Eddie’s assertion which is completely wrong.

    This is not a defence of Wong – she should have lost her ministerial portfolio and did. However, there is no reason for Eddie to get his/her facts wrong when Hodgson was very careful not to do so.

  22. grumpy 25

    One should never underestimate to natural inclination of politicians to instinctively do what is morally wrong.

    • Draco T Bastard 25.1

      That’s only the natural inclination of the psychopathic ones and they’re not all psychopathic, mostly just the ones on the political right.

  23. freedom 26

    am i nuts or are some people saying they have no problem with a parliamentary office being used for private/personal commercial business.

    I for one was unaware that Politicians could openly use the offices of Parliament to receive correspondence relating to their private/personal commercial business, let alone register the location of a business for whatever purpose as being an office in the jurisdiction of Parliament.

    The conflict and innappropriateness was so glaringly obvious that i had assumed it was not done.

    Boy! Egg on my face!
    Obviously i was aware that Politicians throughout this country’s history have used insider knowledge to better their opportunities in business, including have discrete and not so discrete meetings in their offices. That is an entirely different beastie than actually registering offices of Parliament as being related to the operation of a private business. There are also numerous costs the business avoids, one shining example is if any correspondence is received at Parliament, we the taxpayer are covering the business costs of a Postal Box for the MP’s private commercial interests. The telephone and internet costs are also obvious savings for a private business.

    If the decision to register and operate from Parliament is warranted by the complexities in the day to day operation of the business, ie; requires such close regular contact with a MP that their time in Wellington would be detrimental to the business, then either the person should not be a MP or a privately staffed office elsewhere in Wellington would be the obvious decision. Though with modern technology why an office in their own Electorate could not used is beyond me. Is it a question of not wanting to employ a mangager to oversee the day to day administration whilst the MP serves. This only raises more questions as to the nature of the business.

    • felix 26.1

      The office is in her electorate – it’s her electorate office.

      But yep, I don’t know how anyone could think for a moment that this could ever be ok. Even the possibility of the appearance of corruption should keep this from ever happening.

      • freedom 26.1.1

        ‘it’s her electorate office”
        unless i am mistaken, this is still under the jurisdiction of Parliament as are all properties and services pertaining to the administration of our Government

        • lprent 26.1.1.1

          Yeah they are run and funded by parliamentary services. They barely tolerate any party activity which is why LEC’s are usually quite separate. I hate to think what they will think of running a business out of their premises.

        • felix 26.1.1.2

          Of course; I was responding to your last paragraph.

          I think you’re absolutely spot on in your analysis btw.

          • freedom 26.1.1.2.1

            true, the ‘from Parliament’ was clumsy, it is not clear i was leaning to the broader holistic Parliament entity rather than the building,

            damn it! my error rate is up this month, no doubt about it

  24. Olwyn 27

    I am uneasy about saying this because it makes me look like a conspiracy theorist, but here goes: I hope we on the left have not been thrown a piece of bait in the form of Pansy and swallowed it whole, so that we have tacitly accepted an excuse for an early election well before it is announced. Firstly, while we plebs are able to know parliament’s rules, we are less able to know how rigorously they are generally applied, and Pansy’s sins, on the face of things, do not seem significantly greater than the various other things listed, some of which seem much worse, that have been passed over with a shrug. Paula Bennett’s release of benefit details, for example. Bill English’s uncertainty as to where he lived and who he rented his Wellington home from, the National party links with dairying in Canterbury, and so on. And I also recall the disproportionate levels of excitement over carelessness when it was deemed time to kneecap Winston Peters. This involved a level of fantasy worthy of the Sopranos, with the Monaco billionaire, the pretty girls and the billionaire’s little crucifix gracing the media for days. If I am right in my suspicions then Pansy’s situation will probably involve a few House of Flying Daggers-type scenes, just prior to an election being announced.

    • Zorr 27.1

      Olwyn, this issue has already been addressed many times over in previous threads. Yes, it is a concern. But as long as Labour play their hand right they can be the ones deciding the early election because it requires a 75% vote in Parliament.

      hmmm… unless of course Brownlee can change that using CERRA – “An unstable government is bad for a Cantabrian recovery. I hereby dictate that we have an election now!”

      • Lanthanide 27.1.1

        I know you’re probably just joking, but CERRA excluded the electoral act.

        • Armchair Critic 27.1.1.1

          You know I’m probably joking, but a possible remedy would be to modify the Crimes Act to make it a crime to vote for anyone apart from National. A sentence of no less than three years imprisonment would top it all off.
          Scarily, some of the commenters here will read this and agree it is a good idea.

      • Olwyn 27.1.2

        Thanks for that Zorr – I have clearly not been keeping up with this discussion, and didn’t know that a 75% vote was needed.

  25. Carol 28

    And there’s more….
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/61881/labour-again-calls-on-wong-to-resign

    Labour says a Chinese local government website shows Pansy Wong, identified as a minister, promoting her husband’s hovercraft company.

    http://dirtydebtors.co.nz/photos/9000206/db_1685596136DDphoto4.jpg

    • freedom 28.1

      a link with context of the photo would be more useful.
      That link is merely a person in a photo, it can be used for anything and nothing

      • Carol 28.1.1

        That pic is just from the debtors website and is an image that google throws up:
        http://dirtydebtors.co.nz/description.php?descriptionID=9000206

        ODT provides some context for the image found by the Labour Party:

        http://www.odt.co.nz/news/politics/136541/labour-digs-more-info-wong

        Translated, the website lists Mrs Wong’s ministerial portfolios and talks about her meeting Chinese officials in the city of Lianyungang.
        It said Lianyungang occupied a “unique strategic position and has a tempting future, the hovercraft business invested in by her husband Sammy Wong and Terry Yang…has been developing fast”.
        The article went on to say the reputation of the city would be further promoted through the company’s product sales and the introduction of supporting facilities. The hovercraft deal has since gone sour.

        • freedom 28.1.1.1

          “Mr Key said he didn’t know any detail about the Botany office issue, but said there could well be legitimate reasons, including that it could simply be a mailing address for the businesses. ”
          quote from Carol’s link above. Thankyou Carol. Pity Hodgson didnt include the actual link.

          when i look at my reasoning earlier, I have a big question for our PM

          ‘Are you seriously saying it is ok to run a private business from a Government Office?’

          I know a lot of people who will be happy to hear that. Parliament has a lot of smart people working there, now that they are free to operate their businesses from Government premises there is going to be an explosion of productivity and income generation (joking)

          Well done Mr Key your ignoranceof democracy and bias to private enteprise have once again combined to illuminate us with your true motivations. (not joking)

  26. tc 29

    Another month another clear example of a NACT minister using their public position for personal gain…..it’s so predictable it’s become boring as it’s not really news anymore.

    The MSM in other countries would be jealous of all the juicy material being produced by these KEYstone cops excuses for ministers that would allow them to question and nag away at a gov’t that’s making no attempt to hide the fact they’re in it for themselves and their backers.

    To quote a senior journo in oz…” what the F passes for journalism over there ” to which my reply is ‘anything between the front and back pages apparently’ to which he replies ‘obviously not a great career in NZ then’……oh duh !.

  27. grumpy 30

    This looks like serious shit. Anything involving Shipley is sure to be dodgy. Key should just sack her from the party as Labour did with Carter and let the police decide whether to charge her without the sort of political interference Labour used to do.

    Looks like she might make Field look like a choirboy.

  28. ianmac 31

    News at 4:0 National Radio. Key says that he can’t do anything about the new reports about the Hovercraft promotions in her name and title, because Mrs Wong is no longer a Minister so she is not anything to do with him. (paraphrased I hope.) WOT! A great Leader soon dodges any responsibility for his troops. WOW!

  29. freedom 32

    well the Brent Edwards comments on Nat Radio’s 5pm news was obviously recorded before 3pm as he never mentioned National blocking an independant investigation into MP’s expenses, if not then the question is why this was not covered ?

  30. gobsmacked 33

    This has really stuffed up Key’s plans for next year.

    He doesn’t want a by-election. National would hold the seat, but it’s Mana in reverse: ACT would play the McCarten role, and National would have everything to lose. A low turnout and reduced majority would look bad in the lead-up to the general election.

    But he also doesn’t want to stave off a by-election by committing himself to a general election, except on his own terms. Like all Prime Ministers, he knows there’s a real advantage for the incumbent in naming the date, just a month or so beforehand.

    So there’s Option 3: keep Pansy Wong in Parliament. Keep the story alive.

    I bet the opposition would be quite happy with that.

    • Tiger Mountain 33.1

      It will be interesting to see how many more of JFK’s (John fucking Key’s) motley crew are bought to public attention. John Carters anointed successor in Northland certainly warrants a look.

  31. Hilary 34

    I have heard that Pansy was using the Office of Ethnic Affairs as her personal fiefdom which was very handy for favoured businesses. Unlikely that the media will investigate though.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • 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
    10 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
    11 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
    20 hours ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 day ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 day 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    4 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
    5 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: COVID-19 Alert Level 4
    The COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is moving fast - and to avoid what we've seen overseas - the Government's response must be to move fast too. We're committed to keeping New Zealanders safe and well-informed every step of the way. ...
    2 days ago
  • SPEECH: Green Party Co-leader James Shaw – Ministerial statement on State of National Emergency an...
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  The scale of what we face right now is unlike anything we have ever seen before. Overcoming it is our common purpose. ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters urging New Zealanders overseas to stay put
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging New Zealanders overseas to stay where they are amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are.” "This includes following the instructions ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealanders overseas encouraged to shelter in place
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging the tens of thousands of New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider sheltering in place, in light of COVID-19.  “Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying ...
    6 days ago
  • Ground-breaking abortion law passes, giving NZers compassionate healthcare
    Ground-breaking law has passed that will decriminalise abortion and ensure women and pregnant people seeking abortions have compassionate healthcare. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Package supports Kiwis to put collective health first
    The Green Party says that the measures announced by the Government today will help families and businesses to prioritise our collective health and wellbeing in the response to COVID-19. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: COVID-19 rescue package ‘more significant’ than any worldwide
    As New Zealanders brace for a global downturn due to Covid-19, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says his Coalition Government’s rescue package "more significant" than any other he's seen around the world. The Coalition is to reveal a multi-billion-dollar stimulus plan on Tuesday afternoon designed to cushion the economic blow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our response to COVID-19
    We know some people are feeling anxious about COVID-19. While the situation is serious, New Zealand has a world-class health system and we’re well-prepared to keep New Zealanders safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Demerit Points System’ will address youth crime
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill drawn from the ballot today seeks to overhaul the youth justice system by instigating a system of demerit points for offences committed by young offenders. “The ‘Youth Justice Demerit Point System’ will put an end to ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Investment in kingfish farming
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $6 million in a land-based aquaculture pilot to see whether yellowtail kingfish can be commercially farmed in Northland, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. A recirculating land-based aquaculture system will be built and operated ...
    3 weeks ago
  • 1BT grants for Northland planting
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Forestry Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced two One Billion Trees programme grants of more than $1.18 million to help hapu and iwi in Northland restore whenua and moana. “Many communities around Aotearoa have benefited from One Billion Trees funding since the programme was launched ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand reaffirms support for Flight MH17 judicial process
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahead of the start of the criminal trial in the Netherlands on 9 March, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has reaffirmed the need to establish truth, accountability and justice for the downing of Flight MH17 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF investment in green hydrogen
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister The Government is investing $19.9 million through the Provincial Growth Fund in a game-changing hydrogen energy facility in South Taranaki, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The development of alternative energy initiatives like this one is vital for the Taranaki region’s economy. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Coronavirus support for Pacific
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Minister for Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand is partnering with countries in the Pacific to ensure they are prepared for, and able to respond to the global threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19). “There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Green Party passes landmark law to ensure deaf and disabled voices heard equally in democracy
    Chlöe Swarbrick's Members Bill to support disabled general election candidates has passed into law. ...
    3 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
    The New Zealand Government is advising New Zealanders not to travel overseas due to COVID-19, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced. “We are raising our travel advice to the highest level: do not travel,” Mr Peters said. “This is the first time the New Zealand Government has advised New Zealanders ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt announces aviation relief package
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today outlined the first tranche of the $600 million aviation sector relief package announced earlier this week as part of the Government’s $12.1 billion COVID-19 economic response. The initial part of the aviation package aims to secure the operators of New Zealand’s aviation security system, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

  • ICYMI Business: Chorus and Stride hopeful
    ASB sees 6 percent GDP fall in 2020; Chorus, King Salmon and Stride reassure their profits are still on track; Augusta withdraws fund on rent relief fears; US stocks slide again; US jobs data looms ...
    24 mins ago
  • The Bulletin: When are we getting out of lockdown?
    Good morning and welcome to The Bulletin. In today’s edition: Conditions for leaving lockdown explored, nation’s first death from Covid-19 reported, and Australian govt continues to discriminate against NZers.When will the Covid-19 lockdown across New Zealand end? Short answer – when it’s actually safe to do so. Officially, the current state ...
    The SpinoffBy Alex Braae
    42 mins ago
  • Covid-19 live updates, March 30: Australia bans gatherings of more than two as it nears 4,000 cases
    For all The Spinoff’s latest coverage of Covid-19 see here. Read Siouxsie Wiles’s work hereNew Zealand is currently in alert level four. The country is shut down, apart from essential services. For updated official government advice, see here.The Spinoff’s coverage of the Covid-19 outbreak is funded by The Spinoff Members. To support this work, join The ...
    The SpinoffBy The Spinoff
    60 mins ago
  • Coronavirus: PM backs families battling to keep seniors in their bubble
    People over 70 and those with underlying health conditions faced the lockdown four days before the rest of the country - but some of the elderly still aren't taking any notice. ...
    60 mins ago
  • A photo essay on the one thing to keep you sane in the lockdown: bookshelves
    Steve Braunias presents a photo essay of the one thing that New Zealanders are holding close to their hearts during the Lockdown: their bookshelves. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's bookcase at Premier House in Wellington. The photograph which she posted this weekend on her Instagram page reveals two novels by Elizabeth ...
    1 hour ago
  • Glimmer of hope for Lake Alice victims
    Police start “initial” investigation into abuse at a notorious psychiatric hospital. David Williams reports The Government has missed a 90-day deadline for responding to a United Nations committee over torture at Lake Alice’s child and adolescent unit in the 1970s. However, in a move that might represent a glimmer of ...
    2 hours ago
  • Emma Espiner: Sunday at Countdown
    Emma Espiner makes a slow and deliberate trip to the supermarket yesterday, where she finds we are approaching social distancing in a very New Zealand way  It took me three attempts to go to the supermarket. Two days ago I saw the cheerless conga line snaking around the car park ...
    2 hours ago
  • Society’s ‘invisible bonds’ come into the light
    Dr Neal Curtis looks at all the points of implicit trust within society, and how Covid-19 is revealing how important this trust is As I stood in the queue to get into our local supermarket it was encouraging to see how carefully people were engaging in social distancing to minimise ...
    2 hours ago
  • Practise, practise, practise: The Black Fern and the law
    From growing up on the remote East Cape to becoming a Black Fern and a lawyer, Ruahei Demant wants to show young Māori that anything is possible. In the long run, Ruahei Demant wants to be a sports lawyer. But in the short term, the Black Ferns first-five is juggling her ...
    2 hours ago
  • Like being randomly pricked with a pin … and worse
    Having toughed it out alone with Covid-19 and survived, one Kiwi man learned the hard way how self-isolation really can save lives, writes Jill Herron Choosing to self-isolate early with only Sophie the spaniel as company led to a lonesome, rough ride through Covid-19 for a Christchurch asthmatic – but ...
    2 hours ago
  • Love in the times of Covid-19
    As we begin what could become a long period of self-isolation, we encounter a dilemma. On the one hand, epidemiological research and recent global events show us the dangers of not responding swiftly to Covid-19. With community spread now within our shores, it is critical that we follow government orders ...
    2 hours ago
  • The fears of community health and care workers
    Community health and care workers talk of their fear of infection  -  for themselves, their vulnerable clients and New Zealand Over the last few days, Newsroom has written several articles about the fact that thousands of home and community health care workers, who care for elderly, disabled and sick people, have ...
    2 hours ago
  • Covid-19: Petitions launched demanding ‘hazard pay’ for essential workers
    Calls are growing for extra payment for those who continue to head out to work every day, including many on very low wages.The Spinoff’s coverage of the Covid-19 outbreak is funded by The Spinoff Members. To support this work, join The Spinoff Members here.Two petitions have been circulating over the weekend ...
    The SpinoffBy Toby Manhire
    3 hours ago
  • History, hope, and Covid-19
    Covid-19 will transform society, just as the plague and smallpox transformed nations centuries ago. This time, however, we have something they didn’t, writes historian Ayelet Zoran-Rosen.Throughout history, epidemics and pandemics have been a threat to people and states. They strike societies with little or no notice, upend their social and ...
    The SpinoffBy Ayelet Zoran-Rosen
    3 hours ago
  • Christchurch, coronavirus and the ‘new normal’
    The Covid-19 epidemic is only the second time New Zealand has entered a state of national emergency. Newsroom’s Sam Sachdeva had first-hand experience of the first  - the devastating Christchurch earthquakes - and tries to make sense of how the two compare. There is so much that is new about New ...
    3 hours ago
  • The virus as a Vector for power use switch
    In another of his interviews with key industry CEOs on their response to the Covid-19 crisis, Rod Oram talks with Simon Mackenzie of lines company Vector, who expects permanent changes in where and why people consume electricity even once the lockdown ends At mid-afternoon on Wednesday, nine hours before New ...
    3 hours ago
  • Facebook hires AAP for NZ fact-checking
    In the lead-up to the general election, Facebook has launched a fact-checking service for New Zealand and the Pacific, Marc Daalder reports Facebook has contracted the Australian Associated Press' fact-checking division to serve as a certified agency to review content pertaining to New Zealand and the Pacific and rate its ...
    3 hours ago
  • Govt’s ComCom Covid-19 directions illegal and irrational
    The Consumers' Union of Aotearoa has issued a challenge against Kris Faafoi's ministerial press statement which instructed the Commerce Commission to relax its standards for supermarkets and telecommunications companies[*]. ...
    3 hours ago
  • Public gatherings restricted to two people and all foreign investment proposals scrutinised, in new ...
    Source: The Conversation (Au and NZ) – By Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra No more than two people are to gather together in public spaces, and playgrounds will be closed in the latest restrictions in the coronavirus crisis. Meanwhile the government will now scrutinise all foreign investment proposals ...
    Evening ReportBy The Conversation
    7 hours ago
  • Give people and businesses money now they can pay back later (if and when they can)
    Source: The Conversation (Au and NZ) – By Linda Botterill, Professor in Australian Politics, University of Canberra The novel coronavirus sees Australia facing major unprecedented health and economic crises. The key to preventing a downward spiral of the economy is to avoid a collapse in incomes of newly laid-off workers ...
    Evening ReportBy The Conversation
    9 hours ago
  • How Ardern’s coronavirus kindness theme can become contagious
    The South African ‘Don’t Panic Buy’ jingle. Video: ENCA/PickNSave PACIFIC PANDEMIC DIARY: By David Robie, self-isolating in Auckland under New Zealand’s Covid-19 lockdown as part of a new Pacific Media Watch series. A South African celebrity jingle that has gone viral at the end of this week could easily ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    11 hours ago
  • Government says Australia’s coronavirus curve may be flattening
    Source: The Conversation (Au and NZ) – By Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra The federal government says there are signs the coronavirus curve may be flattening in Australia. Scott Morrison told a Sunday news conference the rate of increase in cases had fallen to about 13-15% a day ...
    Evening ReportBy The Conversation
    14 hours ago
  • Broadband and data usage surges as New Zealanders reach out
    Whether to connect with friends and colleagues, catch up on news, or stave off the boredom with bingeable TV, we’ve all been on our devices a lot more than normal.Vodafone has released a summary of its traffic stats for the past six days, which compares phone calls, broadband, and mobile ...
    The SpinoffBy Michael Andrew
    15 hours ago
  • Rushed Vaping Bill During Covid-19, Grossly Unfair
    New Zealand vaping representatives have joined forces to condemn the Government continuing with its plan to rush legislation through Parliament to regulate vaping despite the Covid-19 lockdown. The Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand (VTANZ), ...
    15 hours ago
  • Locked down and locked out in Australia
    Celebrated Kiwi author and expat Ian Brodie adds his voice to pleas for the Australian government to relax welfare rules and help more than half a million vulnerable New Zealanders, writes Jill Herron. Brothers in arms, we are not. That’s the call from award-winning Kiwi author, photographer and film tourism ...
    16 hours ago
  • Review: Netflix’s addictive Tiger King will leave you feeling grubby for watching
    The new true crime documentary sensation shares many of the flaws of its own subject, writes Sam Brooks.Joe Exotic, the man at the centre of Netflix’s new documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, is a star. There’s an unnerving charisma that burns through the tattooed eyeliner, the sickly ...
    The SpinoffBy Sam Brooks
    16 hours ago
  • NZ lockdown – Day 4: First death in New Zealand from coronavirus
    By RNZ News New Zealand’s Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have confirmed the country’s first death from the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Dr Bloomfield said New Zealand had its first death today, after a woman who was initially diagnosed with influenza died. The woman ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    16 hours ago
  • Covid-19 in NZ – Sunday’s numbers charted
    How is Covid-19 spreading within the country? Newsroom is collating information as it's available to paint a picture of what's happening. There were 63 new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, down from the previous day's 83 new cases. Details of how many tests have been completed are now being released ...
    17 hours ago
  • PNG’s Health Minister Jelta Wong ‘sidelines’ Kramer in virus briefings
    Papua New Guinea will have only one press release in the afternoons at 4:00pm daily to give updates on the Covid–19 in the country in a reshuffle of information briefings. Health Minister Jelta Wong announced this when visited the office of the PNG Nurses Association accompanied by his department’s ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    17 hours ago
  • First Covid-19 death in New Zealand
    New Zealand has had its first death linked to Covid-19. The patient, a woman in her 70s on the West Coast, was admitted to hospital with what was thought to be influenza complicated by underlying health conditions. She was later diagnosed with Covid-19. The woman's family has asked for privacy ...
    18 hours ago
  • President Lú-Olo declares Timor-Leste state of emergency over coronavirus
    Pacific Media Watch The President of Timor-Leste, Francisco Guterres Lú-Olo, has declared a state of emergency to enable the government to address the global Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. The state of emergency started last night at midnight and it will run until the night of April 26. Timor-Leste’s National Parliament ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    18 hours ago
  • Cut Traffic Speeds To Reduce Pressure On Hospitals, Say Cycling Advocates
    It’s time to lower traffic speeds to reduce crashes and free up hospital beds, say cycling advocates. "This will reduce harm and ease the burden on our health workers and emergency services," says Patrick Morgan from Cycling Action Network. ...
    19 hours ago
  • Pacific coronavirus: French Polynesia Covid-19 tally rises to 34
    By RNZ Pacific The number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in French Polynesia has risen by four to 34. The update from the government said the hospitalisation rate is unchanged with one person in care. Last night a curfew was declared for the first time, forcing residents across ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    19 hours ago
  • Ohura Medieval Market Day, and the fight to keep a small town standing
    It’s a town where people often feel the rest of the country has given up on them, in the middle of a region where every place feels isolated. So how did Ohura become an unlikely centre of Medieval Combat sports in New Zealand? Alex Braae spent three days there finding ...
    The SpinoffBy Alex Braae
    20 hours ago
  • Coronavirus – analysing the data makes you think we could do with more of it
    If you want to understand some of the thinking behind the policy response to the spread of coronavirus, you might want to read the paper from the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, which is credited with accelerating the introduction of the current lockdown measures in the UK. The paper builds ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    20 hours ago
  • The Pink Jumpsuit: An essay about the bubbles we live in
    ‘It seems like someone else’s dream of my past.’ For Emma Neale, the painting ‘Wanderlust’ by Dunedin artist Sharon Singer stirs memories of her childhood, and new understandings of guilt and forgiveness.There were gifts from my father when he came home from overseas trips. Love offerings; a bit like those ...
    The SpinoffBy Emma Neale
    21 hours ago
  • Māori Party delay launch to fight Covid-19
    The Māori Party is delaying the launch of its new-look party to fight Covid-19 in Māori communities. ...
    21 hours ago
  • Resuscitating a virus-ravaged economy – the answer lies in the soil and the exports it generates
    Westpac is forecasting 200,000 jobs will be lost in NZ as a result of the response to the coronavirus pandemic.  Chief economist Dominick Stephens estimates economic activity during the four week lock-down would decline by a third, despite the government and the Reserve Bank having “done a lot to calm ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    22 hours ago
  • Renée, the Lockdown Letters #3: Help yourself to my rhubarb
    In our new series The Lockdown Letters, some of New Zealand’s best writers tell us what they’ve been up to in the days of Covid-19 alert level four. Today, Ōtaki author Renée.I have a wild tomato flopping all over the path down the back of the veg garden. I picked a ...
    The SpinoffBy Renée
    22 hours ago
  • Covid-19 live updates, March 29
    For all The Spinoff’s latest coverage of Covid-19 see here. Read Siouxsie Wiles’s work here. New Zealand is currently in alert level four. The country is shut down, apart from essential services. For updated official government advice, see here. The Spinoff’s coverage of the Covid-19 outbreak is funded by The Spinoff Members. To support this ...
    The SpinoffBy Toby Manhire
    1 day ago
  • Covid-19 scams: Here’s what you need to look out for
    Online criminals have been making the most of Covid-19 by preying on people’s fear and doubt. Here are some of the calling cards of these con artists.With most New Zealanders tucked up at home, digital devices are proving to be critical tools for staying connected with each other, making good ...
    The SpinoffBy Michael Andrew
    1 day ago
  • A visit to the supermarket
    Author and illustrator Sarah Laing draws a rite of passage in The Lockdown. Reprinted with the permission of the author from  Let Me Be Frank, Sarah Laing's blog devoted to "Reading. Writing. Parenting. Angsting." Let Me Be Frank is also the ...
    1 day ago
  • Life on paws: How to deal with your pets during lockdown
    As New Zealand adjusts to a month of lockdown, many pet owners have questions about their furry friends. Alex Casey had a chat with the SPCA – here’s what she learned. AC: My cat had a disgusting abscess on his tail and now has to get his stitches out. ...
    The SpinoffBy Alex Casey
    1 day ago
  • No shops, no launches – but the NZ book scene is finding new ways to reach people under lockdown
    Books editor Catherine Woulfe takes an energising walk around the lockdown block of New Zealand books. When the bubbles settled over us they settled over the books too. Libraries were the first to shut down, then the physical bookstores and finally, the hammer blow: online sales and indeed any notion of ...
    The SpinoffBy The Spinoff Review of Books
    1 day ago
  • Fiji: A paradise under pandemic rules
    Convincing its citizens to take lockdown seriously will be a major challenge for Fiji’s government, writes Mandy De Vries. My husband, Howie, and I are lucky enough to live on the beautiful Coral Coast in Fiji. We started a tourism operation here two years ago which was, until recently, booming. ...
    1 day ago
  • We’re better placed now than GFC or 1987
    New Zealand’s businesses and government are far better prepared for the rapidly escalating global health and economic crisis than they were for the Global Financial Crisis in 2008-09 or the stock market crash in 1987, says Rob Campbell, one of the country’s most experienced corporate leaders. “Executive teams and boards ...
    1 day ago
  • Gavin Ellis: Time for adversity journalism
    Journalism commentator and former editor Gavin Ellis says media organisations play a vital role in keeping the community informed and, if possible, safe. They also have a crucial part to play in the maintenance of public order and morale, ­ just as they did in the 1940s. With the country in ...
    1 day ago
  • We’ve been forgotten: midwife
    The country has millions of protective gowns, gloves and eyewear – midwives ask: Where are they? David Williams reports Two days into a national lockdown some midwives didn’t have any protective equipment, adding to concerns about safeguards for frontline health workers. On Friday, announcements were made by the Health Ministry ...
    1 day ago
  • What lockdown could do for your business idea
    Covid-19 lockdown provides valuable time for planning a new business, as Dr Mary-Ellen Gordon explains You have a great idea for a business. You’ve been working to get it up and going. Then, just as you were starting to gain traction, the entire country and much of the rest of ...
    1 day ago
  • Covid-19: A catch-22 for our most vulnerable
    Low-income workers whose jobs have disappeared thanks to Covid-19 will increasingly need to access benefit income. When this happens, however, they lose a tax credit for their children. As a direct result of the Covid-19 crisis, the Government has improved its rescue policies for business. We now need to see urgent ...
    1 day ago
  • First boredom, then fear
    The strange energy of preparing for level four is over, now the dystopian reality has kicked in. Danyl Mclauchlan writes an essay about home life during a ‘cosy catastrophe’.We start by setting up our home workspaces, covering the kitchen table with such a thick mass of black cables and USB ...
    The SpinoffBy Danyl Mclauchlan
    1 day ago
  • All Australians will be able to access telehealth under new $1.1 billion coronavirus program
    Source: The Conversation (Au and NZ) – By Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra Scott Morrison will unvieil on Sunday a $1.1 billion set of measures to make Medicare telehealth services generally available during the coronavirus pandemic and to support mental health, domestic violence and community services. The “Medicare ...
    Evening ReportBy The Conversation
    1 day ago
  • Covid-19 in NZ – Saturday’s numbers charted
    How is Covid-19 spreading within the country? Newsroom is collating information as it's available to paint a picture of what's happening. There were 83 new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, down from the previous day's 85 new cases. Details of how many tests have been completed are now bing released ...
    1 day ago
  • NZ lockdown – Day 3: PM Ardern chats with followers on Facebook
    By RNZ News New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke to her followers on Facebook today from her office in Premier House. Her chat lasted about 15 minutes and garnered more than 310,000 views. She discussed wage subsidies for full-time and part-time workers, personal protection equipment (PPE) supplies for ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    1 day ago
  • Effective coronavirus messages and fake news: Can we do better?
    COMMENTARY: By Bob Howarth (self-isolating in Australia after his latest trip to Timor-Leste) After days of web surfing for Covid-19 coronavirus news around the Asia-Pacific, two areas that appear to need improving in some countries are official communication and fact checking. So here’s my two cents, rupiah, kina or ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    2 days ago
  • The best binges on NEON for these extraordinary times
    Whether it’s a robot uprising, a woman catfishing into the publishing world or a bunch of lovestruck islanders, NEON has you covered. Here’s what we’re bingeing on NEON for the foreseeable future.WestworldJust in time for lockdown, there’s a buzz-worthy show with endless discussion points coming out on a weekly basis. ...
    The SpinoffBy The Spinoff
    2 days ago
  • Covid-19: Who really needs to be wearing protective gear?
    There’s been a lot of talk about PPE of late – do we have enough, is it getting to the right people, and who exactly are the right people, anyway? Here’s the latest official advice.The Ministry of Health has now circulated updated advice on the appropriate use of PPE (personal ...
    The SpinoffBy Leonie Hayden
    2 days ago
  • The face of the Covid-19 response: Who is Ashley Bloomfield?
    A month ago, not many had heard of Ashley Bloomfield. But as the Covid-19 response has ramped up, the director-general of health has become a calm, reassuring presence in a time of uncertainty and fear. Rachel Thomas profiles him, in a piece first published on RNZ.Today, Saturday, director-general of health ...
    The SpinoffBy Rachel Thomas
    2 days ago
  • To fish or not to fish – that is the question
    Jim Kayes tests the waters of social media to see how people are coping with being told to avoid their favourite pastime. “There is something ridiculously exhilarating about catching a fish. The thrill might have faded for the salty angler, but for this rookie, the novice still snagging fish hooks ...
    2 days ago
  • New PPE plan leaves community care workers without masks
    The Government yesterday reassured us there are plenty of masks for front line staff dealing with the public. Yet it seems home care workers, who provide up-close personal care for tens of thousands of people every day, won’t be given them. Yesterday two documents hit my inbox. One was a ...
    2 days ago
  • Don’t fret, folks – Hone’s sweet with the mayor so long as he sets up checkpoints and doesn’...
    Hobson’s Choice spokesman Don Brash (a former leader of the National and ACT Parties) is not alone in challenging the justification for tribes claiming to have closed roads to protect their people against Covid. Deputy Prime Minister and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters – his remarks apparently ignored by ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    2 days ago
  • Manaaki Key For Getting Though COVID-19
    Preliminary results from a survey investigating how well-equipped Māori whānau in the South Island are to stay at home for extended periods show that the majority are prepared to manage their short-term needs, but have increasing anxiety about ...
    2 days ago
  • Parliamentary Monitoring And Reporting Is Critical In Dealing With COVID-19 Responses
    "The risk of fraud and corruption is compounded during crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. When quick decisions are necessary to move vast amounts of resources, bribery, fraud and corruption abound," says Suzanne Snively, Chair of Transparency International ...
    2 days ago
  • Pacific coronavirus: Guam still region’s hot spot with 51 plus cases
    By RNZ Pacific Guam remains the Pacific pandemic hot spot with the number of Covid-19 coronavirus cases climbing above 50. On Friday six people tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total to 51. Thirteen of the cases are currently in hospital. READ MORE: Al Jazeera live updates – ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    2 days ago
  • Outrage after Indonesian politicians get priority testing for Covid-19
    By Mong Palatino Many Indonesian internet users have expressed anger over the decision of the House of Representatives (DPR) to test its 575 members for Covid-19. Indonesia has a population of more than 260 million. As of today, the country has 913 Covid-19 positive cases with 87 deaths. But ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    2 days ago
  • Latest numbers: 83 new cases, two in ICU
    New Zealand has 78 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 and five probable cases, the Government has announced today, taking the total to 451. Civil Defence Emergency Management director Sarah Stuart-Black said 12 people are in hospital and two are in intensive care, including one on a ventilator. Twelve are in ...
    2 days ago
  • Covid-19: Total tops 450
    New Zealand has 78 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 and five probable cases, the Government has announced today, taking the total to 451. Civil Defence Emergency Management director Sarah Stuart-Black said 12 people are in hospital and two are in intensive care, including one on a ventilator. Twelve are in ...
    2 days ago
  • ‘We’re ready,’ says NCD chief Parkop with Port Moresby locked down
    By Michelle Steven in Port MoresbyPacific New Guinea’s National Capital City Covid-19 Task Force team is preparing ahead should there be a possible coronavirus case during the 14-day lockdown. NCD Governor Powes Parkop told a media conference that the capital city would be in total lockdown with no public ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    2 days ago
  • Automatic 3-month Visa Extension Granted For Every Migrant
    Leading immigration lawyer Aaron Martin assesses the impact of the announcement of the epidemic notice for migrants. Immigration New Zealand announced that the government epidemic management notice relating to immigration matters comes into effect on 2 ...
    2 days ago
  • Government rules magazines and community newspapers aren’t an essential service
    Just a tiny handful of print publications will continue through the lockdown, with only daily newspapers specifically identified as being able to continue. Duncan Greive spoke to publishers of magazines and community newspapers about the impact on them and their communities.Publishers of magazines and community newspapers are reeling, after a ...
    The SpinoffBy Duncan Greive
    2 days ago
  • Magazines and community papers aren’t an essential service, leaving some small towns and elderly w...
    Just a tiny handful of print publications will continue through the lockdown, with only daily newspapers specifically identified as being able to continue. Duncan Greive spoke to publishers of magazines and community newspapers about the impact on them and their communities.Publishers of magazines and community newspapers are reeling, after a ...
    The SpinoffBy Duncan Greive
    2 days ago
  • Coronavirus: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says no change in Australia’s stance to New Zealand...
    Jacinda Ardern has pleaded with the Australian Prime Minister to make an exception to the rule that bars many of the 650,000 New Zealanders there from receiving a benefit. ...
    2 days ago
  • Morgan Godfery, The Lockdown Letters #2: I’m never sleeping
    In our new series The Lockdown Letters, some of New Zealand’s best writers tell us what they’ve been up to in the days of Covid-19 alert level four. Today, political commentator and essayist Morgan Godfery.I’M TWEETING AT 2AM.The responsible part of my brain is sending sleep signals. Inconvenient yawns. The ...
    The SpinoffBy Morgan Godfery
    2 days ago
  • A review of Attraction, the road trip novel we need right now
    Take a vicarious roadie via Attraction, the novel by Ruby Porter that was longlisted for the country’s biggest fiction prize. Released last year, it’s now a slightly eerie snapshot of Aotearoa as we were. Attraction is a New Zealand road trip novel with a heavy dose of postcolonial guilt. Whitewashing, cultural ...
    The SpinoffBy Emma Gattey
    2 days ago
  • Iwi do their thing: helping those in need
    Iwi everywhere put support plans into action, focusing on their  kaumātua, writes Kayne Ngātokowhā Peters. Iwi are ramping up support services to assist their people in need following the closure of Ministry of Social Development offices and the move to online and phone assistance from Work and Income. Central North Island ...
    2 days ago