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Wrong government for the times

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, September 1st, 2011 - 44 comments
Categories: disaster, leadership, national - Tags: ,

Not even right wingers believe their own rhetoric about small government and the invisible hand of the market. When the shit hits the fan they call for the government to “do something!”. Internationally we’ve just had the huge taxpayer funded bailout of finance sector. Here in NZ we turn to the government to respond to the Christchurch earthquakes.

Case in point, newly converted fan of Big Government Fran O’Sullivan:

Economy in danger and Govt must act

Why hasn’t the National Government urgently launched a three-point action programme to deal with the serious risks to the economy resulting from the major earthquakes in Canterbury?

Why indeed.

The Canterbury quakes are proving to have a much more significant impact on this country than the global financial crisis which sparked the Key Government’s launch of a “rolling maul” of initiatives.

What “rolling maul” was that exactly? Re-announcing Labour’s infrastructure spending and the highly elusive cycleway?

How hard would it be for the Government to:

* Immediately impose a special tax aimed at higher income earners to start replenishing the Natural Disaster Fund which has been exhausted by the impact of the Christchurch quakes.

* Commandeer large amounts of stable land on the outskirts of Christchurch and launch a big state-led building programme to get people safely rehoused quickly. Do this instead of allowing developers to book obscene profits at the expense of fellow citizens who have already lost enough of their equity through the quakes.

* Tell New Zealanders – including the business community – the truth about just what it will cost in future to insure residential and commercial buildings in this seismically challenged land.

Good suggestions one and all. But Fran’s pleas are going to fall on deaf ears. The Nats have set out the minimum response of their red zone package, and are clearly reluctant to attempt anything more. Whether through incompetence, inertia, small government ideology, or simple conservatism, this is not a government of action.

These are extraordinary times. The global financial system has never recovered from the recession and further turmoil seems likely. Population demographics, peak oil and extreme weather are going to raise further challenges. And as if that wasn’t enough, NZ has to cope with the aftermath of the quakes.

We desperately need an active government. A government that looks ahead, plans for the future, and isn’t afraid of innovative responses to the problems of the here and now. A government with vision and guts. It isn’t National. We have the wrong government for the times.

44 comments on “Wrong government for the times”

  1. Bored 1

    When the shit hits the fan they call for the government to “do something!”. Nanny Nanny HELP!!!!!!!

    • David 1.1

      Dear bored. You must be getting really bored at this governments response to…well anything, if thats the best you can come up with

      • Craig Glen Eden 1.1.1

        Your comment makes no sense David Bored makes perfect sense.

      • bbfloyd 1.1.2

        why wouldn’t we be bored with watching nothing happening for three years? getting sick of waiting for some sort of meaningful leadership….

        only the thick, and terminally ossified tory could possibly believe this govt has any intention of actually governing in any useful way….

        • Bored 1.1.2.1

          Thanks gents for putting David right, he must have some buffalo hide if he has not noticed the lack of action from Jokey and crew, very tedious, ennui inducing.

          PS Does David have any useful information on the actual delivery of a cycleway?

  2. John Dalley 2

    Nanny State from Granny Key.

    • aerobubble 2.1

      Businesses in ChCh want their population to stay put. So whose driving this?
      Simply builders know if the people flee because they are getting gouged then
      they will have less work, less customers, and will flee too. ChCh is not
      going to be all that happy with National in a decade’s time. National
      played their card, they were for better businesses, but its a hollow promise.
      Much like Key’s new promise that trust him shares won’t be sold to
      overseas, its what I plan to do, buy, hold, get the bonus shares, and then
      sell to overseas for a profit. Lots of people are now knocking on the bank
      to see if they can borrow off the shares they have yet to buy. Its what
      the big companies do all the time, go to the market to borrow money off
      the assets they are about to buy! Yes, you got it, Key sells tax payers
      assets with one hand, the government banks print money to Banks who
      lend it to big investors to buy those assets, and do the equation, before
      we owned them, after a select group of investors own them.

      Greens hit it on the head, those assets should be used as collateral
      to borrow to invest in new green energy, not to be paying the interest
      off of new shareholders who used the assets to buy the companies.

      Its yet another hand out to the richest.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        Greens hit it on the head, those assets should be used as collateral to borrow…

        Nope. The government never needs to borrow as it has the full resources of the nation to command.

    • mik e 2.2

      Keys become a cult hero celeb pm leader and New Zealanders are following like sheep .When they wake up to this muppet they’ll be all Shagged.

  3. Craig Glen Eden 3

    But but Fran isnt the market going to sort this out? Oh no thats right the market is waiting to eat up NZers state owned assets instead.

    Fran journalists like you have enabled this to happen, drunk on Keys smile and wave routine you have sold New Zealanders down the road with poor journalism.
    Fran you are a disgrace your crying wolf when it is probably all to late is disingenuous.

    • tc 3.1

      Here here only commentators like hickey and oram can hold their heads up, Fran, Armstrong etc all the tv heads have been nothing but govt shills helping to swing the uninformed over to blag key’s dealing room another term.

  4. thejackal 4

    Budget 2009 announced a cut:

    Funding for industry training will reduce by $57.7m over 4 years ($11.5 million in 2012/13 and $23.1 million in 2013/14 and outyears) in response to a decline in demand, under-delivery and the TEC’s operational review.

    Then Steven Joyce gleefully announced extra funding in 2011:

    Budget 2011 will provide up to $42 million for trades training for the Canterbury region, Tertiary education Minister Steven Joyce says. Funding is being set aside for up to 1500 additional training places as part of a comprehensive cross-agency response to meet additional demand for labour for the reconstruction programme called “Skills for Canterbury”.

    The net effect of the maximum additional funding for training people to rebuild Christchurch and the Budget 2009 cut for industry training is a cut of $15.7 million for industry training. Clearly this is incompetent leadership. Because of the mass exodus of trained young people, them already being in short supply in NZ and National’s cuts to training, I think Otautahi is unlikely to be rebuilt anytime soon.

  5. Afewknowthetruth 5

    ‘How hard would it be to….?’

    Impossible.

    The present government is irrevocably tied to:

    1. the bankers’ Fractional Reserve Ponzi scheme

    2. international capitalism

    3. the fossil fuel sector

    This government will therefore continue to pursue policies that facilitate the agendas of bankers, global corporate capitalism and fossil fuel companies until it can’t, i.e. until the system implodes due to energy depletion and/or environmental collapse.

    Unfortunately, there is no credible opposition, and most people haven’t got a clue what is going on, so they believe the propaganda continuouslly churned out by spin doctors.

    Hence, every day that passes all the things that actually matter get worse.

    As conditions deteriorate we should expect to see more and more rats deserting the sinking ship, leaving the die-hard fascists in charge.

  6. ianmac 6

    Because we have short memories it seem likely that Mr Key will announce bright progressive plans for such things as Christchurch Recovery sometime soon, after leaving many wallowing in uncertainty for months. A flood of feel good will waft over all well into November.
    If you have a strangler cutting off your breath, then a relaxing of the hand will leave you very grateful to the strangler.

    • prism 6.1

      @ianmac The Stockholm Syndrome theory of political popularity! You could be right – Bob Parker was not the favourite person for repeat Christchurch Mayor with dodgy financial dealing and overspending on uncertain land development supposedly with a crony, and then the earthquake. A chance for him to smile and sound encouraging and supportive and the see saw heaves him high.

  7. Policy Parrot 7

    Interesting ideas from Fran:

    * Immediately impose a special tax aimed at higher income earners to start replenishing the Natural Disaster Fund which has been exhausted by the impact of the Christchurch quakes.
    – Absolutely – this will lower the amount the government is borrowing and overseas reinsurers will be assured by such an action.

    * Commandeer large amounts of stable land on the outskirts of Christchurch and launch a big state-led building programme to get people safely rehoused quickly. Do this instead of allowing developers to book obscene profits at the expense of fellow citizens who have already lost enough of their equity through the quakes.
    – Yes. It’s not necessarily about depriving developers of profits per se, but more about getting things under way. Why are we waiting to start the rebuild? There are plenty of companies that can build homes to a modest and modern standard, and builders and the building industry is crying out for work. Some of the Green belt will have to come into use sooner than previously anticipated (but still operating under the guise of the original land strategy), unless people really want to move out to Rolleston, Pegasus.

    * Tell New Zealanders – including the business community – the truth about just what it will cost in future to insure residential and commercial buildings in this seismically challenged land.
    – To be fair, they may not know this yet. It hasn’t been established what type of event this was, i.e. 1 in 100/200/500/1000 year event, so until that is established, there will only be an expectation that premiums will rise somewhat.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    “Commandeer large amounts of stable land on the outskirts of Christchurch and launch a big state-led building programme to get people safely rehoused quickly.”

    Sounds like an approach that would fit better with China, or Stalanist Russia.

    While CERA probably has these sorts of powers, I think it is better to see if people can make decisions on the basis of their own free choices first, rather than confiscating assets from people who may well want to keep them.

    • uke 8.1

      “…confiscating assets from people who may well want to keep them.”
       
      Hasn’t Brownlee & Co. already done something along these lines by forcibly demolishing private buildings in central ChCh against their owners’ wishes?
       
      Furthermore, in previous times of war and economic depression NZ govts have never been slow to approriate land for all manner of projects. What’s so different in this case?

      • tsmithfield 8.1.1

        Maybe. However, that is in the central city red zone where there are safety issues to consider, and buildings have to come down anyway. So it is a different scenario.

    • insider 8.2

      Rather than encouraging a cash strapped govt to pay out even more cash to take land off people, why not just ease the planning rules freeing up more land for development. Isn;t the issue that people with cash are competing for a limited supply of sections within the metro limit, which is pushing up demand and putting housing out of reach.

      Wouldn;t Govt outervention be a better solution than intervention to solve a regulatory issue?

    • bbfloyd 8.3

      ts… you can still surprise me with the sheer stupidity, and lack of any depth whatsoever with each uttering you share with us…

      if you had the barest notion of relevant historical perspective, you would know that it’s the capitalists who were grabbing huge areas of land centuries before marx wrote his books… that has only abated due to the earth being possessed of finite amounts of land…

      are you going to waste your life being a hater? ’cause you’re hating the wrong people…. the real thieves are your hero’s… always have been, and always will be, until they are forced to stop… unfortunately, most likely at gunpoint…

  9. Afewknowthetruth 9

    With respect to my previous comment about a major jolt to the global economic system being likely before the end of this year (and very pertient to the wrong government for the times)…….

    Panic button:

    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/25-signs-that-the-financial-world-is-about-to-hit-the-big-red-panic-button

    Of course, this could provide Shokey with an opportunity to tell us how he is going to ‘save us’ [via more corporate looting].

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Quoting article:

      None of the fundamental problems that caused the crisis of 2008 have been fixed. The world financial system is still one gigantic mountain of debt, leverage and risk.

      Authorities around the globe will certainly do all they can to keep things stable, but in the end it is inevitable that the house of cards is going to come crashing down.

      There’s only one way to “rescue” the present financial system and that is to negate all debt. That won’t happen though as then all the rich people won’t be rich any more. No one in power cares about the other 99% of people.

      Of course, doing that won’t actually bring about the necessary changes to bring humanity to living within the Renewable Resource Base and so we’ll still be affected by the damage that Peak Oil and Climate Change will bring about.

      • aerobubble 9.1.1

        The great depression occured in the 30s. But it was not the first global downturn.
        there were many at the end of the nineteen century. The leaders, the politics,
        knew a lot more than our class of 82 does, Thatcherism is their mantra its
        all they’ve known. So unlike the Great Depression where leaders could sell
        the idea of intravention and the ‘new’ deal, our leaders are dumbnuts.

        We are all frakked. Instead of managing our way through the crisises we
        keep digging.

  10. ak 10

    Crikey. So having shilled and hacked and subtly fomented Helenhate relentlessly for years and with 2011 supposedly in the bag, wee Franny now feels bold enough to flash her inner socialist streak. Yuk. Lipstick on a cadaver, ropy old press mutton sporting a touch of lamb and fooling no one.

  11. marsman 11

    Wrong Government for the times? Wrong Government for any time. They are incompetent, inept, mismanaging the economy and arrogant.

    • That leaves us with quite a problem, if here National is deemed to be the “wrong Government for the times”, and the polls and blogs keep suggesting that Labour is the wrong Government-in-waiting, what to do?

      • Bored 11.1.1

        Pete, there is merit in that statement, I accuse both mainstream parties of being so wedded (like yourself) to the status quo and the conventional wisdom that neither can see what they are actually confronted with.

        • Pete George 11.1.1.1

          I agree that the two main parties are very status quo orientated but much of my approach is to challenge the status quo. I’m certainly challenging the status quo in Dunedin North.

          While UnitedFuture may also seem status quo as a small party rebuilding it’s a lot more open to a variety of ideas and approaches than may be apparent. Candidates have been advised to get out and say what we want. Obviously we have to consider party but much less than in the large rigid campaign strategies.

      • kriswgtn 11.1.2

        Def not the hairpiece

      • Afewknowthetruth 11.1.3

        PG

        Don’t forget that ‘the proles’ have been kept misinformed, and have been carefully trained to behaive stupidly, so it is hardly surprising that they ‘don’t know anything’ and that they behave stupidly at every election.

        Nationally there is little that can be done at this late stage (all the major issues were identified in the 1960s and 1970s, and were ignored.). The damage has been done -to society and to the environment.

        Even at the local level there is little that can be done, since most districts councils comprise of a very large proportion of sociopaths who are there for what they can get out of it. I cannot think of one item of major policy that my local council promotes which will be of ANY long term benefit to the community.

        When it all goes down [over the coming years] people wil either have to set up very local systems within their immediate neighbourhoods or starve to death.

      • KJT 11.1.4

        Vote Green.

        • AAMC 11.1.4.1

          Only if the make a statement that the will not go into coalition with national. I’ve voted Green at every MMP election, now they’re Blue Green, I’m heading to Labour. Unless the Greens are prepared to stop trying to appear so reasonable and step up!

          • KJT 11.1.4.1.1

            I do not think it would be possible for National to have enough common policy for a coalition to be acceptable to the Greens.

            • AAMC 11.1.4.1.1.1

              I agree, so why say you’d consider it when the Nat’s ideology is supposedly so contrary to the Greens? Especially at this moment.

  12. Rodel 12

    Trotter’s column in the Press makes good points.
    Between Gerry and his highly paid ‘moderators’, Shipley & co., Sir Bob, and that nice man Roger on $10,000 a week Christchurch people haven’t yet seen clear results but are being assured that no one will lose out.
    Is it, ‘yeah right’ or ‘nah wrong?’

    And how about that Japanese prof, a specialist in the field who reckons most of the CBD buildings earmarked for demolition could be retained and strengthened for 40% of the cost of demolition and rebuilding. No-one seems to have listened to him Too busy counting wages I guess.
    Good luck Christchurch. It’s time you had some.

    • aerobubble 12.1

      But wasn’t there historical problem with the way ChCh was laid out, the perfect
      ratio was not understood by the builders and that problem would remain if
      the facades remained. We’ve come a long way from the initial property
      builders who did their bit, however magnificiently but without much
      presense of mind to the whole theme. This happens a lot in cities, the cities
      grow, the bad designs are demolished, eventually as in ChCh even the
      bigger design has to be dumped. I would bet that the 7 storey limit
      is just right for the width of the streets in the central district to be
      asthetically pleasing. Well that’s if a lot of the facades are demolished.
      As for the its all empty, nobody will return, that’s bollocks. Many of
      these new buildings are going to have to have far more extensive
      foundations and the facades will cost a lot more surely to strengthen.
      I of course am totally guessing. Most cities grow rules about what
      can go into a older site and stop just anything going up, that’s
      why Auckland is such a disaster also. Lots of buildings doing their
      own thing and no wider fit into what exists already.

  13. Jim Nald 13

    Speaking of that fine city, known once upon a time as Christchurch, ….. we will next be waving bye bye to a fifth of Canterbury University staff ….. when they canter across the Ditch:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10748773

    We weep

  14. logie97 14

    Joky Hen and his mates – champions of innovation and setters of trends…?

    ‘http://uk.news.yahoo.com/say-goodbye-to-60-watt-lightbulbs-.html

    You gotta love it, haven’t you – They have taken us backwards in yet another field.
    All the manufacturers must be hunting around the world for outlets for their neanderthal stocks. Which country can we dump on? Oh yeah, there’s somewhere in the South Pacific. An entrepreneurial government – NACT New Zealand it’s called.

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    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks 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
    9 hours 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
    11 hours ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago