51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版

Paul Glass on how to help save the economy

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版 has a number of suggestions for how to help save the economy. They are:

  • Move to Level 2 on Mon 11 May
  • Explain rules for L2 asap
  • Reverse 8% increase in minimum wage
  • Review all ineffective government expenditure
  • Don’t pick some sectors out for special treatment – provide the right economic framework
  • Provide clarity around rent relief, the 2nd largest expense after staff for many
  • Improve healthcare system with fewer DHBs
  • Have economic stats released more quickly

Spiritual healing??

Stuff :

New Zealand’s longest river is off limits during Level 3 for spiritual healing, creating mixed reactions from those who’ve waited weeks to get back on the water.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Fishers, rowers and kayakers aching to get back on the Waikato River after being locked inside are being asked to wait after the kīngitanga placed a rāhui on it in response to Covid-19, prohibiting food gathering and recreational activities. A rāhui was also placed on the Waipā River.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Spiritual healing for a river. Did a Taniwha shit in it?

Guest Post: The Medicine is Definitely Worse

A guest post by Barry Brill:

Since my guest post on the cost/benefit of New Zealand’s Level 451飞艇在线计划全天稳定版 lockdown, it has become evident that the benefits of Level 4 are much lower than we all thought – when expressed in terms of lives saved.

 ”Many people who die of Covid would have died anyway within a short period,” says

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版 at the University of Cambridge: “Nearly 10% of people aged over 80 will die in the next year … and the risk of them dying if infected with coronavirus is almost exactly the same.”

Sir David has produced an astonishing graph to demonstrate that no age group’s risk of dying during 2020 has been materially increased by the arrival of the new coronavirus. Let me repeat that:  Covid-19 has not increased anybody’s statistical risk of dying in this current year.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版“Many people who die of Covid .. would have died anyway within a short period,” he says.

Knowing exactly how many is impossible to tell at this stage, but Prof Neil Ferguson, the lead modeller at Imperial College London, has suggested it could be up to two-thirds.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版If our Government had decided to stay with Level 2 Alert restrictions, instead of opting for , we would almost certainly have had far fewer deaths than Sweden. That’s because Sweden has suffered 225 deaths per million of population while no country in the Southern Hemisphere has seen figures worse than 10 deaths/million. However, conservatively assuming that we mirrored Sweden, Level 2 could have seen 1,100 New Zealand deaths – of which about one-third might not otherwise have happened this year. That’s 367 extra deaths.

This does not mean that the 367 additional people who survived 2020 would have lived for very much longer. We know that they would all have been sick and would be aged around 82 on average. Let’s assume that they will now live for a further five years, on average, as a result of the Level 4 lockdown. That’s 1,835 life-years.

If saving 1,835 life-years were costless, Level 4 would have been a no-brainer for the Government. But of course it wasn’t. We all know that the price was very high, whether expressed in dollars or in lives. And some recent work at the University of Bristol allows us to estimate how high.

As , researchers have measured the lost life-expectancy from a prolonged economic dip and found that it could outweigh the benefit 51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版of a long-term lockdown in reducing premature deaths. And the tipping point, they say, is a 6.4% decline in the size of the economy – on a par with what happened following the 2008 financial crash.

A 6.4% decline would see a loss of three months of life on average across the population,  because of factors such declining living standards and poorer health care. Accordingly, an  economic decline of that magnitude would eventually cost each of 4,900,000 New Zealanders a quarter of a year off their lifespans – the equivalent of 1,225,000 life years.

Will the Level 4 decision cause a 6.4% decline in New Zealand? The best available evidence is the independent opinion of the International Monetary Fund in their World Economic Outlook of April 2020. The “show the depth of pain New Zealand’s economy will feel due to the coronavirus, forecasting a contraction of 7.2 per cent this year… The IMF believes New Zealand will see the biggest fall outside of Europe, except for Venezuela…”

So, we can now offer the first ever cost/benefit analysis for the Level 4 lockdown –

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Cost:      1,225,000 life-years lost

Benefits:      1,835 life-years saved

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版This speaks for itself. It’s crude of course, but I’m confident it’s the best attempt that’s yet been published in this country. And it’s expressed in lives-vs-lives, which helps those slow commentators who can’t be bothered to understand any other currency.

Cost-benefit analyses that come before Cabinet are usually more sophisticated. For example, they would bring in the quality (quality-adjusted life-years or QALYs) as well as the quantity of lives lost and saved. They would recognise that some portion of the coming economic pain did not not flow solely from the Government’s determination to lead the world. They would resist New Zealand being bracketed with Venezuela. But the outcome would be much the same.

The mounting evidence that “the medicine is worse than the cure” (thanks, Simon) should not be a surprise for much longer. The development of is now revealing that Covid’s true infection-fatality-rate (IFR) could be a 0.2% – not significantly different from the seasonal ‘flu that we live with each year.    

1 – Coronavirus in Trumpland

This is part 1 of a 3 part series on the Coronavirus with part 2 being “Coronavirus – China v Taiwan” and Part 3 being “Coronavirus – New Zealand v Queensland”.

The US mainstream media, Democrats and left leaning allies are all pushing the narrative that Donald Trump’s dithering and incompetence has resulted in the coronavirus taking hold and multiplying through America causing more Americans to die than were killed in the Vietnam War. Foreign media, who globally mostly tilt to the left, have gleefully gone along with this. I have already covered how the media have distorted the figures to make COVID-19 in the US look worse than what it is and this is part of the strategy of trying to sheet home as much of the blame of the virus’ spread as possible on Trump. But how complicit is Trump in the spread of the virus through the US? Did his initial ambivalence lead to fatal delays as is alleged?

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Trump made some pretty bold overly optimistic comments early on that were soon overtaken by events. But the truth is that his ambivalence was shared by almost all medical experts, media outlets usually hostile to Trump and his political opponents. In fact, it is the conduct of his political opponents (particularly in New York) that did more to spread the virus than anything Trump did or didn’t do. In the same month that Trump’s opponents accuse him of downplaying the significance of the virus, this is what a large number of key participants and Trump critics had to say at the same time about the risks of the virus:

Foremost medical expert

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – Dr. Anthony Fauci

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Just as Ashley Bloomfield, Director General of Health in NZ, has become the well respected public face of the medical side of the virus response in NZ, so Anthony Fauci has been the most respected member of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force and he has featured frequently and prominently in the President’s Press Conferences on virus related issues. Just like President Trump, Dr. Fauci has changed his views on the strength and likely spread of COVID-19 through the US.

21 January – Newsmax

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版In an interview, he said “this is not a major threat”

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版February 26, 2020 – CNBC

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版During an interview with CNBC he said, “Travel restrictions become almost irrelevant because you can’t keep out the entire world” and “When you have a pandemic that involves multiple countries, travel restrictions become almost irrelevant because you can’t keep out the entire world.”

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版February 25 – USA Today

In a briefing to USA Today he had , “You need to do nothing different than you’re already doing,”. Other media around the same time reported that Fauci doesn’t want people to worry about coronavirus, the danger of which is “just minuscule.” But he does want them to take precautions against the “influenza outbreak, which is having its second wave.”

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版February 29 – NBC Today Show

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Dr. Fauci claimed there was no need for Americans to “change anything what you’re doing on a day-by-day basis.” “Right now, at this moment, there is no need to change anything that you’re doing on a day-by-day basis,” He  in response to a question about changing lifestyle habits. “Right now, the risk is still low, but this could change.”

March 12

By now, like Trump, Fauci’s rhetoric has switched and in contrast to his February 26 remarks, he said that he believed certain travel restrictions have “absolutely” helped with the prevention of the spread of the coronavirus. “I think it absolutely has,” Fauci . “I believe if we did not do that with China early on …” Fauci also called the travel restriction involving Europe a “prudent choice.”

Prominent Democrats

Former Vice President Joe Biden – Frontrunner for Democrat Nomination for the 2020 Presidential Election

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版12 March – campaign rally

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Biden attacks Trump over the 31 January flight restriction from China calling it racist and xenophobic.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Now with the virus well and truly ensconced in the US, Biden says he now supports President Trump’s decision to stop the flights from China.

Senator Bernie Sanders (Ind. – VT) – 2020 Democrat candidate for President

9th51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版 March – Fox News Townhall

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版At the time, Sanders was the only other remaining major Democratic presidential candidate, and he conspicuously insisted at a Fox News town hall that he wouldn’t consider closing the U.S. border to prevent the spread of coronavirus as well as condemning what he called the president’s xenophobia.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi – US House of Representatives

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版February 24 – CBS affiliate KPIX San Francisco

Pelosi has been a vehement critic of Trump and his response and yet local San Francisco local TV station KPIX Pelosi’s visit to a fortune cookie factory and retailers: “we do want to say to people, ‘Come to Chinatown. Here we are. We’re careful, safe. Come join and  us.” and in another video, Pelosi told reporters, “Everything is fine here”:

New York Democrat Politicians

Given the massive coronavirus numbers in New York (and surrounding states) and how NY’s numbers have dramatically skewered figures for the whole US, it is instructive to look at the complacency bordering on negligence that was displayed by four prominent New York politicians.

New York Governor – Andrew Cuomo

Andrew Cuomo has become a darling of the media because of his press conferences and yet he has presided over the worse catastrophe in the US and indeed, NY’s per capita death rate is higher than any country in the world. Blasé attitudes and poor preparation were widespread amongst the leadership of the state and the city of New York. Here’s various comments Cuomo made in the same month he accuses Trump of negligence.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版February 10 –

“We went through this before: Zika virus, Ebola, et cetera. But let’s have some connection to the reality of the situation, catching the flu right now is a much greater risk than anything that has anything to do with coronavirus.”

March 2 – Daily Press briefing
51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Governor Cuomo , “In this situation, the facts defeat fear, because the reality is reassuring. It is deep-breath time.” Discussing the fatality rate, he said, “1.4 percent, that’s extrapolating from China and other countries. 80 percent, it’ll resolve on their own. …. I get the emotion, I understand; I understand the anxiety. I’m a native-born New Yorker, we live with anxiety. But the facts don’t back it up here. . . . What happened in other countries versus what happened here, we don’t even think it’s going to be as bad as it was in other countries.”

New York City Mayor – Bill de Blasio

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Mayor de Blasio was just as lax as Governor Cuomo

2 February –  

“People should be very clear about what this disease is and what it isn’t, and New Yorkers, I always say, are not intimidated easily. New Yorkers should go about our lives, continue doing what we do. . .”

February 13 – MSNBC Morning Joe
He said, “We have an extraordinary public health apparatus here in New York City . . . and what became clear to me was it was really about telling the people of our city, this is something we can handle, but you got to follow some basic rules. . . . This should not stop you from going about your life. It should not stop you from going to Chinatown and going out to eat. I am going to do that today myself.”

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版March 2 – Twitter

De Blasio encourages New Yorkers to attend a movie.

Also, on the same day at a press conference with Gov. Cuomo he says “We have a lot of information now, information that is actually showing us things that should give us more reason to stay calm and go about our lives”

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版10 March – MSNBC

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版In this MSNBC interview, Mayor de Blasio appears very blasé encouraging “life to go on as normal”, “transmission not that easy”, that he’s “not shutting down our schools even if we find a case” and “we cannot shutdown due to undue fear”

March 11 – CNBC
During a press conference, Mayor de Blasio  “telling people to not avoid restaurants, not avoid normal things that people do. . . . If you’re not sick, you should be going about your life.” 

New York City’s Health Commissioner – Dr. Oxiris Barbot 

February 2 –

 “The risk to New Yorkers for Coronavirus is low, and our preparedness as a city is very high. There is no reason not to take the subway, not to take the bus, not to go out to your favorite restaurant, and certainly not to miss the parade next Sunday.”

March 1 – Twitter

“Despite this development, New York has remained at low risk for contracting COVID-19, as we confront this emerging outbreak”

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版March 2 – Twitter

Dr. Barbot , “As we gear up to celebrate the Lunar New Year in NYC, I want to assure New Yorkers that there is no reason for anyone to change their holiday plans, avoid the subway, or certain parts of the city because of coronavirus.”


March 4 – NYC Health Commission Daily Briefing
51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Dr. Barbot tells reporters, “There’s no indication that being in a car, being in the subways with someone who’s potentially sick is a risk factor, because, again, it goes back to the issue of casual contact.”

March 9 – Twitter

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版“Today our city is celebrating the lunar new year parade in Chinatown, beautiful culture tradition with a rich history in our city I want to remind everyone to enjoy the parade and not change any plans due to miss information about spreading coronavirus”

US Senator for New York – Chuck Schumer

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版And finally, the fourth high profile New York politician to be causal about Chinese New Year and social distancing back when few cases were reported was Senator Chuck Schumer (D – NY), another vehement critic of Trump and his so-called “lost month of February”.

5 February – Twitter

Schumer had this to say in February during Chinese New Year celebrations in New York City, “We love the fact that so many people come from all around the globe and make our city and our country a better place.”

Mainstream Media

Various outlets of the press who are habitually hostile to Trump were similarly indifferent to the impending disaster.

CNN

21 February

CNN were more concerned with racist attacks in the wake of the ban on entry from China

New York Times

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版February 18

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版With only 40 cases in NY state, the NYT looks at the mushrooming numbers in Europe and smugly about racism and stigmatizing

Washington Post

January 31

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版In a perspective article, retired Harvard professor David Ropeik the risk of the virus

February 1

The perception that than coronavirus was common back in February.

Vox

January 31

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Left leaning Vox sent this tweet 2 days after the announcement of the formation of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force and the ban on foreign nationals coming to the US on flights from China and

Europe

The situation in Europe could easily be the subject of a separate post. Just as many prominent players in the US were complacent and underprepared for what was to come, the same could be said for virtually every European country with the possible exception of Germany.

At the EU level, as late as January 22nd51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen took the main stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos to about climate change and digitalization and made zero mention of the coronavirus

On January 27, 51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Lothar Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s center for disease control, told the broadcaster ZDF in an interview that he saw “low danger” from the coronavirus. “We expect that single cases in different countries can occur,” Wieler said. “The chance for those single cases to then spread is at this point limited.”

At the February 13 meeting in Brussels, the health ministers from EU countries received reassurance about Europe’s capacity to test for the coronavirus — a key requisite for controlling outbreaks. Andrea Ammon, the ECDC director, told them that Europe had adequate lab capacity and that the EU’s containment strategy was working.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版In the end, only Germany seems to have been somewhat prepared because of its decentralized private sector driven testing regime, well-funded hospital system, more robust track and trace systems and Teutonic discipline in adhering to social distancing. Almost all the rest of Europe, their leaders regardless of political party were caught napping and the lack of preparedness led to huge per capita deaths. Britain dithered with its lock down, never controlled its border by testing or quarantining travelers from earlier infected countries like Italy and China and its centralized bureaucratic Public Health England meant testing took a long time to increase. Switzerland didn’t close its border with heavily infected northern Italy until too late, France never closed its borders with heavily infected Spain and Italy and infected foreigners kept coming in. France was woefully under prepared with inadequate numbers of masks and PPE. Belgium was even harder hit. The Netherlands was slow to implement social distancing. What happened to Italy and Spain could be the subject of its own post.

Conclusion

Whilst early on Trump fell into the same dismissive trap that many experts, politicians in the opposing political party and many leaders across the world, he had some institutional barriers of his own to overcome. Both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were incredibly rule bound and thus very slow in approving new lab for testing and the lack of testing in the US in the early days of the virus was a factor in the growth and spread in the US. The MSM have been careful to avoid much mention of the fact that the Obama Administration had 7 years to replenish the 100 million N95 masks used up during the H1N1 or swine flu pandemic in 2009 which was a lot longer than the 3 years the Trump Administration had also waited. This made it difficult for the Federal government to support equipment needed in the states that had early large outbreaks such as California, Washington then New York and Michigan. Trump is to be commended for rallying private sector support for more masks, PPE and ventilator production and that, along with some selective use of his requisition powers under the Defense Production Act, saw production of these items to a level sufficient to cover the actual volume of patients admitted to hospitals and to ICUs. Such delays, deficiencies in testing, slow border closures, ineffective quarantining and slow production of PPE, masks and ventilators was a global problem and many countries with leaders of all political stripes were guilty of the same gaps in preparation and incorrect perceptions that Trump was guilty of.

It has been instructive to watch how the NZ media handle Jacinda Ardern versus how the US media handle Donald Trump. Let’s set aside some clear differences such as Trump’s more adversarial and at times bombastic style and Ardern’s rather more smooth, articulate and warm persona, there is really no getting away from the impact of the political leanings of each leader versus the leanings of the media covering them. Trump is a maverick who was not expected to win and has stepped on many establishment toes and whose decidedly more conservative policies run counter to the left leaning orientation of the MSM. Trump has responded to press opposition with unabashed reciprocal warfare and so both sides of this ‘conflict’ had battle lines drawn before the virus struck. It is increasingly clear that most of the US media are hell bent on defeating Trump and so the arrival of the virus with its game changing effect on society and the economy, rips out from underneath Trump one of his key electoral advantages, that of the previously strong and booming US economy that his policies have contributed towards. Sensing their opportunity to fatally wound Trump in the run-up to the November Presidential election, the MSM have taken the most negative and adversarial approach to anything Trump and his administration says or does concerning COVID-19.

Ardern faces the exact opposite situation. As a young, photogenic and charismatic progressive woman who already burnished her considerable PR skills with her response to the 15 March 2019 Christchurch Mosque shootings, she was already the subject of warm fuzzy global media attention. After the harsh lockdown and the subsequent low number of deaths (more on this in Part 3) and with her political leanings and persona in lock step with almost all the media, Ardern faces a deferential, polite and even at times supine press corps in NZ bolstered by numerous puff pieces from her left leaning fan bois and girls across the globe. While Congressional Democrats have politicised almost everything they could around this virus and used their power to obstruct and cause maximum embarrassment for Trump to further the chances of Joe Biden in beating Trump, it has been the opposite in New Zealand which also faces an imminent election and yet the body politic there seems to deal so much better in national emergencies with Simon Bridges and National giving Ardern and the coalition government a good degree of bi-partisan support on the decided upon course of action in much the same way the Labour opposition did with John Key’s National led government during the Pike River mine disaster and the Christchurch earthquakes. Much of the negative commentary of Trump needs to be seen through this almost hostile partisan lens that the media have fueled and hopefully the core Democrat message that Trump dithered and people died is counterbalanced by the knowledge that many of his advisers and opponents were equally at sea but that the such inaction on the part of key New York politicians played a part in the virus taking hold and spreading so deep and fast in New York and, contrary to media reporting, that outcome cannot be solely sheeted home to Trump – many of his loudest opponents can have much more blame apportioned to them than ever to Trump. It is sad that the desire to defeat Trump trumps even an international tragedy as huge and consequential as the coronavirus and New Zealanders, regardless of the eventual merits and long term economic impact of NZ’s policy response, at least the people, the politicians and the media there are somewhat united behind a common goal.

Cannabis tax could raise half a billion a year

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版An interesting on how a legal cannabis market could work in terms of costs, revenue and demand.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版One key takeaway is they estimate that if the legal market entirely displaced the black market, then a 25% ad valorem tax on cannabis would raise $250 million a year and GST would bring in $240 million a year so total revenue of $490 million a year.

If you spent even half of that revenue on Vote Health it would make a real difference!

The Auckland Town Hall Rich List

The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance has .

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版This is not a list of everyone earning over $70,000 (the top tax rate) or $100,000 or $150,000 or even $200,000.

It is restricted to those who earn more than a Minister outside Cabinet, or $250,000.

There are 86 staff (well 85 plus the Mayor) at the Council and CCOs earning more than a Minister. By brackets we have:

  • Six earning $500,000 or more
  • Three earning $400,000 to $500,000
  • 39 earning $300,000 to $400,000
  • 38 earning $250,000 to $300,000

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版So seven are paid more than the Prime Minister and 48 staff are paid more than the Mayor.

In the UK the Essex County Council (same pop as Auckland) has only 28 staff paid more than NZ$250k.

Does Auckland need 85 staff (and the Mayor) earning over $250,000? I don’t think so.

Guest Post: Meet a new Labour voter # 1

A guest post by David Garrett:

As most readers will know, just prior to lockdown, Andrew Little  was ramming through a Bill which would reverse a law change in 2010 which currently prevents all sentenced prisoners from voting. Labour wishes to revert to  the status quo ante, meaning that any prisoner serving three years or less would be able to vote, and thus help determine who governs the country.

Many lay people assume  that a three year sentence – which for non strike offenders  means the prisoner is eligible for parole after one year – would only be imposed on relatively low level offenders, and certainly not on  “strike” offenders who, by definition, have been found guilty of an offence of serious violence punishable by a maximum term of at least seven years. This assumption is totally wrong, 51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版 and in fact many strike offenders receive sentences of three years or less.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Our first charmer is one Caleb Kovaleski, currently serving a sentence of two years for robbery and threatening to cause grievous bodily harm. The robbery was his second strike offence. He committed his first strike – presenting a firearm at a police officer – while on bail for other offending. He was jailed for that offence and other offending for three years three months in 2016.

His second strike offending – for which he is now incarcerated – was committed just a month after his release, and while he was on parole for the first strike charges. Kovaleski is believed to have over 80 criminal convictions as an adult, with an unknown number of convictions in the Youth Court, i.e. when he was under the age of 17. He is a Nomads gang member or associate. If he doesn’t have his patch already, it is a fair assumption that his current sentence will put him “over the line” to full gang membership. In short Kovaleski is a violent thug with a long criminal history.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版The sentencing notes make rather depressing reading. No doubt on advice from his lawyer Kovaleski wrote a letter to the court expressing his great remorse for the robbery, and stating that if he could attend a restorative justice conference he would. The judge bought that line, gave him credit for it, and deducted three months from the proposed sentence. The nice judge also ordered that the sentence for the threatening to cause GBH be served concurrently with the more serious offence to give a total sentence of 21 months to be served in full, as he is a second striker.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版It is important I think to note that by coincidence, the sentencing judge was the same for both Kovaleski’s first and second strike offending. Most recently, the judge said:

“It gave me no pleasure to sentence you to prison then [his first strike offending], and it gives me no pleasure to send you to prison now. I am sad to see you back…I want there to be a day Mr Kovaleski  when it is the last day you stand before a court facing charges. When that will be is entirely up to you. ”

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版With all due respect to the good Judge, I suspect the prisoner was stifling a smirk while being told all this. I have little doubt that in two or three years time Kovaleski’s name will join the ranks of the third strikers. I would be delighted to be proved wrong.

Andrew Little thinks this man is as entitled to vote at the coming election  as I am, or the hardworking family who run the Kaukapakapa store. I strongly disagree. As the judge notes, whether this thug faces the court again is entirely up to him, as is whether he is entitled to play a full part in society, and vote at the 2023 election.

Bagrie on WCC and rates

Cameron Bagrie :

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Wellington City Council needs to get with the programme.

The increase in rates should be zero. Not 4.9 per cent, or 2.15 per cent, which whilst down from the previously proposed 9.2 per cent, is still too high.

You cannot say rates need to rise because of funding shortfalls and then pledge support to Wellington Airport. Sure, Wellington Airport might be considered a strategic investment for the region, but you are mixing your drinks saying you are short of funds and then putting money on the table for the airport. I support the airport, but not lifting rates to assist with it. Sell another asset if the airport investment is the priority.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版And we still don’t know how much of our money has gone into the airport.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Councils are facing less income from non-rate sources as an economic recession bites, just like businesses. Wellington Council debt has been rising fast.

It is missing the point.

They have balance sheet capability. As noted in Wellington City Councils 2018/19 annual report “our financial position remains healthy”.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Wellington City Council have assets close to $8 billion. They have a property investment portfolio of around $250 million. Property, plant and equipment of more than $7 billion. Councils will always have some cash on hand for liquidity and rainy day purposes; that was more than $100 million in the last financial year.

Borrowing is less than 10 per cent of assets.

Increasing taxes such as rates in a recession makes the recession deeper. Borrowing is the sensible thing to do, rather than increasing rates.

We are not talking about cutting rates, just a zero increase. Many businesses are going to be cutting prices to help drive a recovery.

Total sales and income across the economy for the business sector is around $700 billion per year. Do the maths on what it costs the economy and businesses if major parts are shut down for one month, two, and possibly more.

Quite simply they can’t afford a rates incease.

Crown Law said lockdown was illegal

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Newstalk ZB :

Crown Law documents leaked to Newstalk ZB say the Government’s lockdown was unenforceable.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Attorney-General David Parker, however, says the document was a draft – and “not the considered advice of Crown Law”.

If the Government really is trying to claim the leaked document was just a draft, and the final advice was radically different – well then surely they’d release the final advice.

Cam Slater has an . It makes it very clear that when the Prime Minister and Police Commissioner said you must do this or be arrested, this was not what Crown Law had told the Police.

The Government had the option of asking Parliament to pass a law to allow the lockdown. They chose not to do that. Why?

Some people might say, who cares. It was the right decision. Well it does matter. Imagine the hysteria if John Key had got up and closed down hundreds of thousands of businesses and it turned out he had no legal basis to do so.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Do you want a future Government to be able to close down businesses and force people to stay home, purely on the basis of press conferences rather than actual laws?

Virus expert vs Woods

Newshub :

The National Party has put up a new candidate with expertise in viruses to contest the Wigram electorate currently held by Labour MP and Science Minister Megan Woods.

Hamish Campbell has a PhD in viruses and cancer from the University of Otago and is currently the Deputy Head of Research at a facility in Australia where he oversees medical research into multiple sclerosis.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版The 40-year-old has been selected as National’s candidate to take on Dr Woods who has held the Wigram electorate since 2011. She has a PhD in New Zealand History from the same university and is currently Science and Innovation Minister.

Dr Campbell said science and technology is his “passion”, and as New Zealand grapples with a novel coronavirus that’s infected more than two million people across the globe, he said his expertise in viruses “is very topical at the moment”.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Good to see National attracting such great quality candidates. A PhD in viruses is very timely indeed.

A formidable legal challenge

Stuff :

Ashley Bloomfield might be heading to court to defend the lockdown after a legal challenge alleging he used powers he didn’t have.

Andrew Borrowdale, who formerly drafted laws for the Government at the Parliamentary Counsel Office has filed for a judicial review of Bloomfield’s actions.

Borrowdale told Stuff that the “bringing the application is not in any way intended to impugn Dr Bloomfield personally or to decry his admirable work”.

He’s asked for a court to declare that some of the powers triggering the lockdown were outside the law, and for the court to order those actions be quashed.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版The main issue at stake is whether Bloomfield used powers that were in excess of the ones given to him by the Health Act.

This is a very different lawsuit to the rather demented ones by the person on home detention.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Borrowdale is highly respected. He used to help write the laws at PCO and he is the author of commercial law textbooks.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Geddis said the case wasn’t so much about whether or not New Zealand should have gone into lockdown, but whether or not the powers that were used to trigger the lockdown existed – if they did not, Parliament could have created them before level 4 came into force.

He said it was an important legal question to settle.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版“Our constitutional and legal health is as important to as the physical health of individuals. Yes, we want the Government to keep us safe and to protect us, but that’s not a green light to not follow the laws.

“If you sweep the laws away at this moment, what’s the point of having laws?” he said. 

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版This is key. The issue isn’t whether it was a good idea to go into lockdown. It is whether it was done legally. The Government could have asked Parliament to pass a law to give it explicit powers to do what it wanted to do. Parliament obviously would have done this, just as they wrote the Government a $52 billion blank cheque for fighting this.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版But the Government chose not to seek a specific law, and this lawsuit is about whether or not existing laws were sufficient.

Finally RMA reforms

Radio NZ :

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Cabinet has approved the fast tracking of large shovel ready projects, largely by-passing the Resource Management Act.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版The announcement this morning, from Environment Minister David Parker, comes as the government continues to identify projects which could be begin sooner with a large injection of public money.

The aim is to boost the economy as it enters a sharp downturn brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版The new act, due to be passed in June, would take away the ability of the public and councils to have an input in to whether projects proceed and instead hand this power to small panels of experts, chaired by an Environment Court judge.

Excellent to see. Glad an economic crisis can finally get the Government to move on RMA reform.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版But why have this temporary. Make this a permanent change.

Defending the indefensible

Newshub :

Applications to be exempt from quarantine on compassionate grounds are considered on their merits and no blanket approach is applied, the Director-General of Health says after the High Court overruled a Ministry of Health decision.

Except they’re not, as the High Court found. The court found the Ministry three times did not look at the case on its merits and failed to use any discretion (a blanket approach).

On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters 18 such people had been granted permission, but it later emerged she had been given the incorrect number and no one – until the High Court ruling – had been granted an exemption on compassionate grounds.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版The Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield told The AM Show on Wednesday that exemptions have been granted on other grounds, however.

“We have had several hundred requests for exemptions for people who have flown into the country and are in either quarantine or in managed isolation at the airports and hotels around the place. Of those, there have been 18 exemptions granted, mostly on medical grounds. For example, people who have medical conditions so they can’t really be looked after in that hotel setting,” he said.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版 This misses the point. The problem is that the DG’s health order allows exemptions on compassionate grounds but the MOH process didn’t allow for such exemptions to be considered. They were only set up for considering requests where the person applying is sick etc.

“We have had a total of 24 inquiries or applications for exemption on compassionate grounds such as the one the judge has made a ruling on and none of those have been granted or hadn’t been until last Friday when the family took it for a judicial review.”

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Dr Bloomfield said his team works to apply specific criteria to each case “objectively” and “fairly”, which he said they do with “empathy”.

Has Dr Bloomfield not read the court ruling? His staff did not apply any relevant criteria let alone objectively or fairly.

“This was not a blanket, one-size-fits-all process. Each application was looked at on its merits and all the information. The person who went for the judicial review provided further information and I very quickly asked the team, I said ‘please go back and review. Make sure you are carefully and objectively considering the additional information in putting forward that decision.'”

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版And they still said no, because in fact they didn’t consider any of the additional information on compassionate grounds. They were only reviewing it on medical grounds.

Finlayson says Police were undermining the rule of law

Newshub :

New Zealand Police’s decision to arrest Kiwis during alert level 4 despite being advised they had little legal basis to do so “undermines the rule of law” in New Zealand, the former Attorney-General believes.

The comment from Chris Finlayson comes just hours after leaked emails to NZ Herald revealed that police were told by Crown Law that they had little to no power to enforce lockdown rules.

Finlayson, a former National MP who served as Attorney-General for nine years between 2008 and 2017, says it’s clear the police have acted beyond their powers during the coronavirus crisis. 

“We’re a society that is governed by the rule of law, which means the state can’t exercise power over people without the legal authority to do so,” he told Magic Talk host Ryan Bridge on Monday.

“Where do they get this legal authority? From the laws, and the laws should leave no one – not you, nor me – in any doubt at all about what our rights and duties are.

“I’m not surprised that Crown Law has provided that opinion, and I find it very troubling that people were arrested and certain actions taken without a proper legal basis. That total undermines the rule of law in this country.”

What happened is very serious. The Police decided to implement the wishes of the Government as opposed to enforcing the laws of the land as passed by Parliament. Those two things are very different.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Finlayson says he doubts those arrested for breaking lockdown rules will be prosecuted, as Crown Law’s advice proves police don’t have a leg to stand on.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Those arrested may have a case for wrongful arrest.

Where’s Kelvin

Brook Sabin :

Could somebody please send out a search party and locate Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis? 

I don’t mean that literally. I know where he spent last week – at Parliament – which makes his absence from the Government’s public response all the more gobsmacking. 

The tourism sector is imploding, countless jobs are being lost, and many are left with a feeling of uncertainty. …

What tourism businesses desperately need is a leader to articulate a message of hope. It needs Davis to proactively front the media, on a regular basis, to give an idea of what the Government is doing to save the sector. Because fronting the media gets the message out to operators, who are in the middle of making big decisions about their futures.

Tourism is by far the hardest hit sector, yet the Minister is invisible.

We have seen the finance, education, media and social development ministers all head to the main podium to be held to account. But not Davis.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版I know why. Davis struggles in front of the camera.

I remind people Davis is not a junior Minister. He is third ranked, ranking higher than Grant Robertson. The third ranked Minister is incapable of being trusted to hold a press conference.

Political Police?

The Herald :

A promotional video featuring the Prime Minister’s partner has been questioned over concerns it could be perceived to be “politicising” the police force.

Clarke Gayford headlined a police video in mid-April that aimed to encourage people who were looking after young kids during the lockdown.

In the video Wellington Paranormal star Karen O’Leary calls to check in just as Gayford has managed to get his young daughter Neve to sleep.

National list MP Brett Hudson questioned Police Commissioner Andrew Coster about the video during yesterday’s Epidemic Response Committee meeting.

“Do you think that a video is appropriate and does it risk politicising police?”

Of course it does. I’ve had numerous e-mails to me complaining it does exactly that.

“And people will probably appreciate that Mr Gayford has also previously been a part of Wellington Paranormal.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版“He is a well-known TV personality, in his own right, and that was the sort of connection that caused it to come about.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Gayford has only been featured in Wellington Paranormal because he is the PM’s partner.

He was not a well-known TV personality in his own right prior to his relationship with Ardern. 98% of New Zealanders would not have heard of him previously. His fishing show was on Choice TV, not TVNZ or Tv3. This is not having a go at Clarke or the show. From all accounts it is a good show which he hosts well. But it is silly to pretend he was used in the Police video because of his background in broadcasting rather than the fact he is the PMs partner.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版I’ve got no problems with Wellington Paranormal including him in their show. They are an entertainment show. But for the Police to include him in an official Police video is a very bad idea.

Did Joe Biden do it?

The allegations by Tara Reade that Joe Biden sexually assaulted her when she worked for him has got more attention since two people came forward to confirm that she told them of the alleged assaults soon after they happened.

Generally one of the best (but far from perfect) indicators of veracity in historical claims) is whether they told anyone at the time. I believe Bill Clinton raped Juanita Broaddrick primarily because she told someone about it the afternoon it happened. She also told three others shortly afterwards.

Also Reade’s mother called in 30 or so years ago to a Larry King show asking for advice for her daughter who had a bad experience with a Senator she worked for. While we don’t know exactly what happened, we can conclude that something happened back then which Reade found extremely upsetting.

So on that basis I would have regarded Reade’s claims as more likely than that of Christine Blasey Ford vs Brett Kavanaugh as Ford told no one for 30 years. Note we have no way of knowing in absolute terms. The point I am making is you tend to place greater reliance on claims where there is contemporary verification.

In Biden’s defence there is no pattern of behaviour (in terms of alleged sexual assaults) as there has been with Clinton and Trump.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Overall though my conclusion was that it was more likely than not Biden did commit some sort of sexual assault due to what Reade said to people at the time.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版So if I was ranking the probability that someone did commit sexual assault my rough order from most to least likely would have been:

  1. Weinstein/Cosby (convicted)
  2. Trump (20+ allegations, boasted on tape about it)
  3. Clinton (multiple allegations)
  4. Biden
  5. Kavanaugh

But I then read this about Tara Reade and it really does raise huge issues around her credibility. Again no one knows the actual truth except Reade and Biden. There is no process for adjudicating in a court of law so we need to weigh up issues such as credibility of both Biden and Reade to make political judgement as this is about whether Biden is fit to be President.

After reading the Medium article I now would have Biden at around the same level of probability as Kavanaugh. Ford was a more credible accuser than Reade but Reade did tell people about what she alleges happened at the time.

What will US voters make of it? Who knows.

Guest Post: Douglas and MacCulloch on Economic Recovery in the Wake of Covid-19

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Sir Roger Douglas and Professor Robert MacCulloch have published a paper on Why the Prioritization of Resources is Crucial to New Zealand’s Economic Recovery in the Wake of Covid-19.

The paper is .

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版The summary is:

The Covid-19 outbreak has not only precipitated a health emergency, but also an economic crisis, unparalleled in modern history.  For New Zealand to emerge from that crisis in a relatively healthy state, the Labour government will need to provide a clear framework for recovery, implementing policies which clearly prioritize those most affected by the societal and economic lockdown necessitated by the outbreak. To date, such prioritization has been lacking, with the Wage Subsidy Scheme unfairly advantaging big business and the professional elite, at the cost of money and resources which could have been better directed towards assisting the newly unemployed – namely workers, their families, and small business owners.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Ultimately, poorly targeted support in the form of helicopter payments, wage subsidies, or broad-based tax cuts (such as a moratorium on GST) is wasteful, and will only serve to entrench inequalities that existed prior to the pandemic.  Equally, the time and costs inherent in planning large-scale new infrastructure projects – and the fact that they offer little practical help to the majority of workers who require help now – means that they should not be regarded as a panacea, aiding economic recovery. 

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Instead, clear, innovative policies, which not only prioritize those most in need, but which also lay the groundwork for further social and economic reform in the medium to long term, are required.  For workers and their families, support can be offered via the mechanism of special risk accounts, tailored to meet their individual needs.  For small business, help can be provided by facilitating conversations between businesses, landlords, and banks, as well as providing – upon the provision of an approved business plan – forgivable government loans.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版Finally, to help manage the recovery, and ensure our younger generations are not saddled with debt, the government must also identify, and eliminate, unnecessary spending, privilege, and waste.  It can find an extra $15 billion per annum by doing so, contributing to the recovery in the short term, and – more generally – to implementing wider scale reform once the immediate crisis has been put behind it.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版The authors point out:

In 2019, the Warehouse Group made an after-tax profit of $74 million dollars.  Even allowing for some inevitable pain, good corporate management suggests that it should have been able to look after itself during the lockdown, or, failing that, should have been capable of paying back a loan once its stores reopened.  Similarly, the partners in wealthy law firms like Simpson Grierson, Bell Gully and MinterEllison have enjoyed years of high six (and sometimes even seven) figure salaries.  Why haven’t they been required to fend for themselves and their businesses?  Why, when the good times suddenly come to an end, have they gone cap in hand to the government?  And why has the government responded by treating them the same as workers and small businesses who have never enjoyed an equivalent level of wealth and who do not enjoy access to the resources they do?

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版You could argue the listed companies have a duty to their shareholders to take the subsidy if they are eligible.

Overall a excellent paper that emphasizes the importance of spending being of high quality, not scattergun.

A new level of parliamentary incompetence

Stuff :

New Zealand’s Parliament is famous for being able to pass laws quickly in a crisis.

But on Thursday it might have moved too quickly, after an error meant that the wrong piece of legislation was introduced to Parliament and then passed within hours, accidentally bringing into law a multi-billion dollar loan scheme. …

Robertson later clarified what had gone wrong, saying that the error was the result of an error made by the Parliamentary Counsel Office, which is responsible for drafting the legislation. 

“The bill that was put up by the Parliamentary Counsel Office and was tabled in the House was incorrect, and the Parliamentary Counsel Office have apologised for that,” Robertson said. 

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版The PCO is unable to table a bill. Only a Minister can table a Government bill. This shows that the Minister obviously didn’t even read the bill he was tabling.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版And this wasn’t a minor piece of legislation. It may result in $7 billion of loans, many of which may never get repaid.

National’s Covid economic recovery plan

Simon Bridges in a has announced two major policies to help businesses survive the economic carnage caused by the (necessary) responses to Covid-19.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版The first is GST refunds to businesses. The details:

  • A business can claim back any GST they paid between 1 July 2019 and 31 December 2019 up to $100,000 if revenue down over 50% across two successive months
  • An eligible business can claim back an additional $250,000 of GST over that period but as a five year loan with a 0.7% interest rate

Bridges makes the point:

Let’s face it – these businesses have been forced to shut down in the national interest.

It is in the national interest to keep them afloat.

It’s not right that small business should be left to carry so much of the economic suffering.

The wage subsidy has helped employees for 12 weeks, but it hasn’t helped businesses with zero revenue pay overheads like rent, power and stock.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版This is key. These businesses have not lost their income due to poor planning, due to not being in the right market, due to bad customer service etc. They lost their income due to the response to a pandemic.

The second policy is to increase the amount of capital expenditure that can be claimed off tax immediately rather than depreciated over many years. The limit was anything over $500 must be capitalised and depreciated, not expensed. Bridges proposes lifting it to $150,000.

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版So, if you have a company and spend $145,000 on new machinery, rather than depreciating that asset over many years, you’ll be able to expense the full $145,000 in this tax year.

This would encourage capital investment, which is excellent.

Great to see National with ambitious practical policies for helping small and medium businesses. Some of the aspects I like are:

  • The 50% revenue decline over two months means it is tightly targeted at those businesses most in need
  • Having the grant proportional to GST (and hence revenue) is better than merely based on staff numbers
  • Targeting it at smaller businesses with the $100,000 cap but allowing the five year loan for larger businesses
  • The huge lift in the level for expensing capital expenditure will incentivise investment

51飞艇在线计划全天稳定版It will be interesting to see what Labour announces in next week’s Budget.

I encourage National to keep rolling out policies like this. If the election is a referendum on who has the best economic plan going forward, this is an excellent start.

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