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Would you step into a driverless car?

Written By: - Date published: 3:18 pm, May 11th, 2018 - 51 comments
Categories: energy, sustainability, tech industry, transport - Tags:

Would you send your child off to a party in a driverless car?

It’s quite a step putting yourself into one, but what about sending someone you love off into the world in some mobile microwave?

Who is accountable when there’s a crash?

Who picks up the bill for specialist medical care when your child gets injured inside a driverless car?

Is it better or worse on balance to have an actual human being in the car to react to things?

We know taxis and taxi drivers are regulated by NZTA, but Uber drivers claim not to be taxis and are hence very poorly regulated if at all. What happens when there’s not even a driver?

There is no regulatory framework in place at all for driverless vehicles with passengers. That means, no one can be held accountable for what goes on. But before you get to rules, you need some practical ethics.

Well, the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure has been doing some thinking about this.

 

For those who are keen on when this is going to start here, no-one is predicting fully autonomous vehicles will be rolling out this year.

As for who’s winning the driverless car race, you decide.

Skepticism is appropriate after watching the Jetsons so many years ago: I’m still waiting for my jetpack.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRKmhjZy7hw

While  companies are advancing in their development of such vehicles, I’m less concerned about the techno, and more about how this is going to impact the ethics of everyday life. Here’s a few of the guidelines from the German Ministry of Transport:

  1. The primary purpose of partly and fully automated transport systems is to improve safety for all road users (…)
  2. (…) The licensing of automated systems is not justifiable unless it promises to produce at least a diminution in harm compared with human driving, in other words a positive balance of risks.
  3. The public sector is responsible for guaranteeing the safety of the automated and connected systems introduced and licensed in the public street environment. Driving systems thus need official licensing and monitoring. (…)
  4. (…) The purpose of all governmental and political regulatory decisions is thus to promote the free development and the protection of individuals. In a free society, the way in which technology is statutorily fleshed out is such that a balance is struck between maximum personal freedom of choice in a general regime of development and the freedom of others and their safety.
  5. Automated and connected technology should prevent accidents wherever this is practically possible. (…)
  6. The introduction of more highly automated driving systems, especially with the option of automated collision prevention, may be socially and ethically mandated if it can unlock existing potential for damage limitation. Conversely, a statutorily imposed obligation to use fully automated transport systems or the causation of practical inescapabilty is ethically questionable if it entails submission to technological imperatives (prohibition on degrading the subject to a mere network element).
  7. In hazardous situations that prove to be unavoidable, despite all technological precautions being taken, the protection of human life enjoys top priority in a balancing of legally protected interests. Thus, within the constraints of what is technologically feasible, the systems must be programmed to accept damage.
  8. (…) (I)t would be desirable for an independent public sector agency (for instance a Federal Bureau for the Investigation of Accidents Involving Automated Transport Systems or a Federal Office for Safety in Automated and Connected Transport) to systematically process the lessons learned.
  9. In the event of unavoidable accident situations, any distinction based on personal features (age, gender, physical or mental constitution) is strictly prohibited. It is also prohibited to offset victims against one another.

There’s twenty of them, so that’s just a taste of what the Germans have been thinking. The full text is in the link above. When you boil them down, you start getting to Isaac Asimov’s three rules for robots, which he considered way back in 1942 – during the great accelerated world-mechanisation of World War Two:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second laws.

Driverless trains are now nothing new, in fact they are rolling them out in Sydney this year – and I’m sure they will arrive shortly in Auckland.

 

What is also underway is driverless air-taxis in New Zealand. Note they are electric. Again, they are having to invent the regulatory system when there is no driver to regulate.

 

But actual road cars? Surely this needs human judgement? Autonomous vehicles are not going to radically decrease congestion. They might make T3 lanes a bit more attractive and efficient, but if that’s the sum total of the revolution, I want my money back.

We’ve been waiting 30 years to figure out when and how the next wave of automation would be as revolutionary as the car itself. Of all the needless waste of human life and time popularized by automation over the last 70 years, driving cars is the worst. It’s going to be a massive liberation, but with liberation comes the human need for rules. So far there are none.

51 comments on “Would you step into a driverless car?”

  1. Visubversa 1

    One of the problems with driverless cars is that people will want to own them. But, as they will not want to pay for parking them when away from home, this is likely to double most journeys. Car takes one parent to work – goes home. Car takes kids to school or schools, goes home. Car takes other parent or work or whatever – goes home. End of the day – repeat in reverse. It may mean that people own only 1 car instead of 2, but there will be at least the same effect on congestion. A car is a car is a car!

    • Ed 1.1

      Yes trains and buses beat any cars.

      • Phil 1.1.1

        Those trains and buses do the same routine – go a place, go home, go a place, go home, multiple times in a day.

    • katipo 1.2

      Agreed the current path the private sector is heading down with their autonomous cars just seem to be more of the same on steroids.
      Time for a paradigm shift.

      We would be much better rolling out a city wide network of centrally controlled, publicly owned, small (3 or 4 person) electric pod-cars on their own separated guide system. Much like a more extensive version of the system they have at Heathrow Terminal 5.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ULTra_(rapid_transit)

      This system has many advantages over owning a private car (weather it be autonomous or not) and also a lot of advantages over buses & trams too i.e.
      1. The technology to build them is already proven today.
      2. They are simple and cheap to produce and use less resources to do so.
      3. Don’t need a licence to operate them – so good for kids, elderly, disabled or those going to the pub.
      4. Takes you were you want to go without stops as you are not sharing the pod with others and can operate 24/7
      5 Pods can be routed to where the need is (i.e capacity can match demand in real time) so short waiting times and no need for timetables.
      6. The small size means the guide network is cheaper to build than roads or tram lines and could even be routed directly into buildings.
      7. Better utilization compared with buses trains or even SUV’s which are often cruising around half empty.
      8. You don’t have to own the pods or have a place to store them.
      9. Being centrally controlled the entire network can be managed more efficiently don’t need wait at traffic lights, pods heading in the same direction can travel close to reduce overall drag.
      10. Being on their own guide means they way simpler than autonomous cars
      11. Can be easily scaled & expanded eg start with a small CBD system between say hospital-car park buildings-university-large buildings then expand it out as demand dictates.

    • alwyn 1.3

      A very simple question
      You say “people will want to own them”.
      Why on earth would anyone want to own one, and do you actually have any evidence that owning a car will remain a desirable thing when transport as a service will be available?

      If you can summon a vehicle that would come to you, take you to where you want to go and then leave you why would you want to own it?
      There need be no capital outlay, no insurance to pay, no storage for the vehicle, no parking charges, just a fee/km that will be much less than it costs you to run your existing vehicle.
      I would love to get rid of having to own a car and to have to bother worrying about the thing. The sooner AV are available the better.
      The only people who will want to own cars in 10 years will be petrol-heads and they will probably be banned because they will be involved in to many accidents.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1

        Why on earth would anyone want to own one, and do you actually have any evidence that owning a car will remain a desirable thing when transport as a service will be available?

        Same reasons why they want to own them now when transport as a service is already available in the form of taxis/buses and trains.

        If you can summon a vehicle that would come to you, take you to where you want to go and then leave you why would you want to own it?

        How’s that going to decrease congestion?

        There need be no capital outlay, no insurance to pay, no storage for the vehicle, no parking charges, just a fee/km that will be much less than it costs you to run your existing vehicle.

        All that is true now or, to be more precise, the insurance and storage costs and parking charges and running costs are all in the one fare – just as they will be for driverless cars.

        The only people who will want to own cars in 10 years will be petrol-heads and they will probably be banned because they will be involved in to many accidents.

        So, you’re calling people who own BMWs, Porsches and Rolls Royce all petrol-heads?

        Because I can assure you that all those people will want to keep their status symbols.

        • alwyn 1.3.1.1

          A brief comment on your points.
          “transport as a service is already available in the form of taxis/buses and trains.”
          Taxis are very expensive, compared to the estimates for an AV. Perhaps a tenth of the price. Buses, much less trains will still be more expensive. As well they don’t come to your door and let you off at your destination. You have to get to the station, or bus stop at one end and get from the stop at the other end to where you really want to go. Great fun in the rain of course. They are also slower as they have to stop frequently along the way to let other people on or off.

          “How’s that going to decrease congestion”.
          AVs, which can communicate with each other can travel much closer together. You won’t need the human requirement of a 2 second rule. They also won’t have to be parked along the roadside for long periods and you certainly won’t need them going round and round looking for a place to park. Imagine an extra lane on each road in each direction for moving vehicles rather than parked ones.

          “BMWs, Porsches and Rolls Royce all petrol-heads”.
          Of course they are. And I talk as a former Merc owner. How could you possibly consider them anything else?
          A car provides transport. Why do people think they need BMW 7 series with a chauffer just to get from the Office to the Airport? The only reason they have those cars is that it reflects their own opinion of their status. Bullshit of course but they want something to tell themselves that they matter

          • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1.1

            Taxis are very expensive, compared to the estimates for an AV. Perhaps a tenth of the price.

            Probably true but if everyone used taxies the price would come down. This is part of my point. As everyone will still want to own the price of an AV taxi is still going to be relatively expensive.

            Buses, much less trains will still be more expensive.

            Buses and trains are far, far cheaper than cars. I’d say that it’s our delusional financial system that makes it seem the other way but the reality is that when you count the actual costs of cars up they’re far more expensive. They simply don’t have the economies of scale that public transport has and they can never reach it.

            AVs, which can communicate with each other can travel much closer together.

            True but 72 cars are still going to take up more space than one bus. This is the problem and it get exponentially worse as outer suburbs feed into main roads as people head into town.

            The only reason they have those cars is that it reflects their own opinion of their status.

            True but that’s why a lot of people have cars – even the ones that don’t have BMWs and other signs egotism.

            • David Mac 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Yeah, I think there will be those that want to own them. Luxury seekers like bespoke. Speed lovers want a 500kw nuclear chip powered job. Safety heads will get the ‘Withstands being dropped from the Skytower’ one.

              I think it will be cool to not own one and just app up the one required, get the hedge trimmings to the methane plant in a little dump truck one…I needn’t go with it…. or a kayak to the coast.

              I guess some females do but it seems to be mainly guys that think we are way better drivers than we actually are. I think that’s one of the big sells for the autonomous car: “Yep, they really are better than you Buddy, better than Shumacher, Fangio and Senna combined.”

              I’d try and be guided by the facts rather than my constantly shoulder tapping emotions and trust them.

    • Me 1.4

      It’s actually looking more like car companies will be retaining ownership of cars for ease of updates and recalls and leasing them out on driverless UBER or similar themselves.

      Some people will buy and they could lease the car whenever they weren’t using it and make a little money.

  2. Stunned Mullet 2

    ‘Would you send your child off to a party in a driverless car?’

    No

    • Cinny 2.1

      +1

    • Phil 2.2

      Have you ever put your child on a plane? Because you’re entrusting their life to a robot/computer. In fact, you’re many many times more likely to die in a plane crash because of human (i.e. pilot) error than because of technical failure or malfunction. Take off and landing (historically the most dangerous parts of the journey) are now almost completely auto-piloted.

      Boston Dynamics has already built a robot that runs and jumps across rough terrain better than you can. The technology behind driverless cars doesn’t get distracted by the radio or a cellphone the way you sometimes do.

      I would rather send my child to a party in a driverless car, than in one that you’re driving.

  3. ropata 3

    AVs/EVs are a last gasp effort by the dinosaur auto industry to continue clogging up the roads. Public Transport (and cycling!) is the way of the future. Anyone who plays Sim City knows you need a decent f%@#king train system. Millennials increasingly can’t be bothered with driving licenses and the huge expense of car ownership.

    Unlike last century, car ownership doesn’t represent freedom any more.

    • greywarshark 3.1

      What about moving pavements with a division down the middle so two people can stand across-ways but be separated and can lean on an arm rest, in their own separate space, rest their laptop etc. It would be open at the sides but with a light roof. People might like to talk to their offsider, as if they were on a bus seat. Reduces cycling, there would be short stops at stations, the platform and floor of the trolley would be at same height. It would keep the price down and avoid tons of cyclists getting in each other’s way and preventing the enjoyment and safety of walking on a FOOTPATH.

  4. ropata 4

    I am not at all confident that an AI is capable of interpreting its physical surroundings from a few cameras and applying defensive driving tactics in potentially risky situations.

    e.g.

    A ball rolls into the street …
    A school bus is at a bus stop…
    Merging onto the motorway, and other cars trying to steal your space…
    Someone driving erratically nearby…

    • Cinny 4.1

      As well what if you see someone in trouble/medical emergency etc on the side of the road, could you ask the car to stop so you could help them?

    • McFlock 4.2

      Actually, those are the easiest things to do more safely with AI than humans. The anomaly is clear, the response is obvious, and the key to safety is the reaction time.

      The more difficult things are like a recent street realignment where I live, where the lane lines were crappily painted over and good luck finding your correct lane across the intersection on a dark, wet night. What to do then needs a human.

      • Katipo 4.2.1

        Those are defiantly not the easiest things to do, if they were we would all be being driven by computers by now. The crude systems available now only work on well defined motorways and require vast arrays of sensors, radar and massively complex computer software running on systems capable of doing super high-speed realtime simultaneous calculations that add a 10% overhead to the efficiency of the vehicle.

        • McFlock 4.2.1.1

          But “well defined highways” wasn’t the cases lined up – that was basic hazard avoidance by identifing anomalies. Balls coming into streets, that sort of thing. Even school buses need thestandard sign that can be used as a currently-existing cue.

          Sure, they need an array of sensors, but the problem isn’t interpreting a sudden object in the road. It’s things like identifying intersections and the give way rules. Muddy lanes vs the shitty lawn next to the muddy lane.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      Yes, the problem with driver-less cars is the people driving the other cars.

  5. ianmac 5

    When/if driverless cars are common they know a number of cars ahead and a number of cars behind and to either side. They “talk” to each other and predict problems and take actions accordingly. Not sure about the ball/cat/child on the road though.
    Maybe “owning” a car will be obsolete. Therefore all cars will know each other.

  6. Paul Campbell 6

    not one that hasn’t done millions of safe driving miles in NZ with NZ road signs and markings, driving on NZ’s side of the road, with NZ’s road rules, knows how to predict NZ’s shitty drivers and that can recognise people [deleted]

    [Take your racist tripe elsewhere Paul. One week ban.] – Bill

  7. bwaghorn 7

    Can you get plastered and then get your priceless car to take you home ?

  8. greywarshark 8

    Milkmen doing the same route morning after morning with the same horse,
    could find if they fell over, got sidetracked, that the horse moved over the same route and then home all on their own. They didn’t deliver the milk though.
    I’m sure AI could be trained to read the notes left by people and leave the required amount, alter the order, give cash change, put on hold etc.

    • McFlock 8.1

      The milk will be delivered by drone within minutes of your ordering it, your account deducted by the requisite amount…

  9. McFlock 9

    I reckon by the time I can afford one, they’ll probably be significantly safer than me driving one 🙂

    • alwyn 9.1

      What if you didn’t have to own it at all?
      Just summon one to collect you when you want to go somewhere.
      What is this primeval urge people have to own something they only use for about 4% of the time? I would estimate that the average car does about 14,000 km/year.
      At, say, 40kph this is only about 1 hour/day.
      Shared AVs, available to summon on request would, at a guess be able to get at least 10 times the usage.

  10. greywarshark 10

    I think I like the gang of the human chain, not the metal or polymer one. How’s
    your boy, did he get into the team wave and query to the person is good. Have a pseudo thing put the milk right into my hand or not leave it if it can’t be put in the requisite light shade for maximum milk quality, is like living in a laboratory
    with me the lab rat.

  11. Timeforacupoftea 11

    Never ever will I get in a driverless car.
    Times three in this house, out of three.

    Wait one moment ……. my dog would like one and would use it 24 hours per day.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Would you send your child off to a party in a driverless car?

    Yes but not until the banned human drivers. Those idiots are dangerous.

    Who is accountable when there’s a crash?

    Why insurance should be a state monopoly

    In fact, that’s why health treatment is free now.

    Who picks up the bill for specialist medical care when your child gets injured inside a driverless car?

    See above.

    Is it better or worse on balance to have an actual human being in the car to react to things?

    Worse.

    We know taxis and taxi drivers are regulated by NZTA, but Uber drivers claim not to be taxis and are hence very poorly regulated if at all. What happens when there’s not even a driver?

    Things get better but will still need to be properly regulated.

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    Autonomous vehicles are not going to radically decrease congestion. They might make T3 lanes a bit more attractive and efficient, but if that’s the sum total of the revolution

    Cars, no matter if they’re electric, self-drive or whatnot are incredibly inefficient and simply shouldn’t exist.

  14. NZJester 14

    I would never trust a driverless car. Just look at all the security holes that people are finding in hardware and software to gain access to computers including those in cars. At the Black Hat security conference in 2015, for instance, two automotive cybersecurity researchers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek showed off their work to remotely hack, control, and paralyze a 2014 Jeep Cherokee. They showed they could also disable its brakes at low speed and instead of paralyzing it they could have actually speed it up or turned its wheels.
    If a hacker can do that to a car that has an actual driver, imagine what they could do if they managed to hack a driverless car. Image what a terrorist organization could do if they turned their eyes toward driverless cars, and hacking them instead of trying to build bombs. They could potentially easily kill far more people with the press of a key to launch a virus into driverless cars than they could by exploding a bomb. There have been cases in the past too of unmanned rockets having to be blown up as they started to go off course because someone installed the wrong information into their control system. What if someone sends out an updated map with wrong information to the car and it puts the passenger in danger?
    They say computers never make mistakes, but unfortunately, the people putting the information into them are human and extremely prone to mistakes.

  15. greywarshark 15

    Think of that little girl who was kidnapped in Portugal. The grief, the searching,
    the guilt, the stress, the never-ending questions. How would you feel if you put your child or children in a driverless car and it was hijacked and your kids ransomed? There also is a duty of care. People with children are supposed to keep them close all the time. I think a child has to be over 14 before being left in custody. I don’t think leaving your children to be both supervised and driven by a driverless car would be regarded as responsible or legal.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 15.1

      Age you can leave child unsupervised is 12, yeah I agree.

      Irresponsible and invites predatory behavior.

    • Ad 15.2

      Was she kidnapped by a preprogrammed driverless car?

    • Phil 15.3

      How would you feel if you put your child or children in a driverless car and it was hijacked and your kids ransomed?

      Probably exactly the same as I would feel if my child was kidnapped and ransomed right now?

      What a bizarre world you must live in…

  16. AsleepWhileWalking 16

    I think Peachtree City has it right. Everyone has a golf cart or two and drives around in that as most trips are short distance eg to school.

    Peachtree City is designed specifically to allow this.

    Much better for kids independence (driving age for Peachtree golf carts is 16 but I think it used to be 13), less chance of serious accident, and I’m guessing a shitload cheaper than a driverless car at present.

    I find driving pleasurable so wouldn’t want to give it up under any circumstances. Occasionally I even enjoy a good parallel park, it’s even better without parking assist.

  17. Graeme 17

    It’s happening and here, both in use and development.

    The foreseeable AV future is probably something more like this,

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/business/05-02-2018/new-zealands-driverless-future-is-finally-here-and-its-coming-first-to-christchurch-airport/

    “Beyond their use in airports, Matthews says the shuttles — which currently include four different models of varying shapes and sizes — also have the potential to be used in other controlled environments, such as university campuses, retirement villages, recreational areas and tourist locations. Eventually, he hopes they can be used on New Zealand’s public roads alongside regular vehicles where the shuttles can be used as a last mile solution.”

    The developers also see potential for “linked” AVs to replace busses and light rail,

    “The potential is these vehicles can convoy and move lots of people without all the infrastructure like a railway system,” he says. “Because of their low-cost deployment and their capabilities, they’ve got the possibility of giving transport flexibility where you don’t have to go on dedicated routes like light rail would.”

    An interesting goal but I think it would need a dramatic change in attitudes of operators of the driven fleet. Linked AVs would require the same right of way that trams require without the kinetic advantage that trams / light rail enjoys.

    AVs, single and linked, are envisioned as a part of Queenstown’s public transport system in the 5-10 year timeframe. The existing diesel fleet is temporary with plans for replacement at 5 and 10 years allowing for a 2 stage transition to electric and maybe autonomous.

  18. Anon 18

    Intersection meshing: if all cars were automated there’d be no traffic lights, cars could mesh through intersections with almost no slow down required. All traffic would run a lot smoother with a lot less traffic jams.

    Also if all cars were driverless then no cars would need to be owned by anyone – a nation wide car fleet would massively reduce car parking as cars would move from one job to another. Could even encourage car pooling by charging extra for solo trips.

    And without having to do the actual driving even long commutes can still be useful for something.

    Yeah, this would be way better than trains and the ultimate in public transport access for the infirm – but it wouldn’t pad jobs for unions so smelly mouldy inefficient late trains it is. Or in the case of ChCh no public transport at all by the time ECAN’s done gutting it.

    • Ad 18.1

      I would expect that as with any capital-intensive change such as buying a car, only the rich and the freight and large-fleet businesses will move to full automation.

      The rest of us will keep driving.

      Everybody talks about a new world in the morning, as Roger Whittaker said, but don’t they know tomorrow never comes?

      • greywarshark 18.1.1

        What a great dream you guys are having. It’s Jetsons time folks. There is so little thought going into the wide social aspects of transport. But your transports of delight see things so rosily it is just a reprise of the fluffy stuff we got when computers were being introduced. It sounded then like a world where Disney birds tweeted sweet songs from every tree as erstwhile heavy-lifting employees were released from their doleful mundane jobs out into the sunshine strollin’ down the avenue.

        Now getting the dole is the job, in between demoralising repetitions of talks about how to give yourself heft over the other drop-outs for the next erratic job at ratshit wages.

      • greywarshark 18.1.2

        While people were thinking along your lines Ad, Roger Douglas and backing group came and sang another, different song, and he liked a fast pace that kept people confused.

        Tomorrow came in his time warp, and passed by us so quickly that we didn’t see it coming, and now don’t believe it ever existed, it’s being in the Now that’s the zeitgeist.

        Meanwhile we have jumped in the Tardis and it has taken us back to the 1940’s, and we are in our own science-fiction extravaganza.

  19. Me 19

    Would you send your child off to a party in a driverless car? Yes.

    I believe the cars will be tested thoroughly and I know the car will not drink, take illicit substances or text and my child will have a better chance of getting home safely.

    I can’t wait till all cars, trucks and buses are driverless.

    • greywarshark 19.1

      You are as naive as a child Me. And need others in society to do the thinking about the effects and unintended consequences of this new system.

      And by the way, when parents send a child off in a plane on their own, the flight attendant will probably be asked to care for them so they have someone adult with them to give them a happy trip and hand them to someone at the end.

      You seem hostile about society. I am sorry that you have a rather paranoid attitude to it. Bad things do happen, but most people have reasonable to good levels of morality and competence so that a sort of gated separation from others is not justified by reality.

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    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    1 day ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    1 day ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    1 day ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    2 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    2 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    2 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    4 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
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  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
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  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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