Buzz from the Beehive – The Covid lights turn orange and (as food prices soar) our commerce minister sees red

Here’s what our Ministers have been up to over the past 24 hours (at least, here’s what they have proclaimed, announced or disclosed in press statements).

The biggie in this bunch is the announcement regarding the Covid traffic lights – they have been turned to orange  

This means there are no limits on indoor or outdoor capacity and no seated and separated rules, as RNZ reported (although PoO imagines the size of a stadium or theatre would impose some sort of limit).  Face masks remain an important protection and are encouraged, but are still required only in some circumstances. 

But if the Covid menace is slowly fading, our wellbeing is threatened on other fronts – such as the cost of living. 

Finance Minister Grant Robertson didn’t have anything to say in an official statement after Stats NZ reported food prices were 7.6 per cent higher in March 2022 compared with March 2021.  

The job of commenting went to Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark, who said the March increase highlights the role the grocery sector is playing in driving up prices – and so the government will be taking action to curb the major grocery retailers which (he said) are earning excess profits of around $1 million a day, well above what would be expected in a workably competitive market.  

The Government will announce its response to the Commerce Commission’s recommendations on what should be done next month. Watch this space …

Latest from the Beehive

14 APRIL 2022

Nurses’ pay equity settlement

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Jobs for Nature to fund Northland Īnanga Spawning Habitat Restoration project

Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust are set to significantly scale up their work protecting īnanga spawning habitat in Northland thanks to funding from Jobs for Nature.

13 APRIL 2022

New Zealand moves to Orange in time for Easter

Kiwis will be able to enjoy the long weekend with greater freedoms across the country from 11:59pm on Wednesday as New Zealand moves to Orange.

Annual food price rise confirms need to rein in supermarkets’ super profits

Latest annual food price figures released today confirm the need to rein in the super profits of the supermarket duopoly, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said.

New resources for schools on consent, gender diversity & inclusion

Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti has today launched a number of new resources to support wellbeing, and the teaching and learning of relationships and sexuality education (RSE) in schools and kura.

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