What are ‘germs’?

The word ‘germ’ is a generic term for bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi and helminths. These are collectively known as microbes. Microbes as the word indicates, are very small and can only been seen under a microscope and not all of them are bad for us, in fact some are very beneficial to our bodily functions. The following article further defines germs, explores how they interact with the human body and details how to protect yourself against them. Bacteria.  Bacteria are single celled organisms that get their nutrients from the environment including people. They are the most abundant organism known to

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Member Feedback Critical to Government Covid Response

The past few months under COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have taken a tremendous toll on businesses, staff and New Zealand’s economic and social wellbeing. The end of the harsher lockdown conditions of Levels 4, 3 and 2 came too late for many businesses and for the tens of thousands of people who have been forced into unemployment. I feel for the many people who have lost jobs and for those employers who have closed their doors after many years in business or who have had to shed staff – in many cases regarded as friends – just to keep the doors

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A focus on recovery

Recovery, it is the word of the day as businesses try to return to something like normality. For many in New Zealand this will feel like enough, but I think we must go further and grasp the opportunity to truly transform our economy with sustainable growth. Shovel ready projects and other economic stimulus will be important in minimising short to medium-term unemployment, and keeping our communities intact. But in parallel, we have the opportunity to build a more productive and resilient economy, capable of generating the returns we will need to repay the mountain of debt we have provisioned. Already

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Terminating Employment (Particularly Restructuring and Redundancies) during Covid-19

This article looks at the ‘ins and outs’ of ending employment relationships during Covid-19 and its aftermath. Furlough or stand down The concept of a “furlough” is essentially an unpaid suspension of employees during a period of business crisis. This is a foreign concept to the New Zealand employment law framework. Unlike section 524 of the Australian Fair Work Act 2009, New Zealand’s employment legislation does not provide for a ‘furlough’ or ‘stand down’. The concept closest to this in New Zealand is the suspension of employees. This, however, could hardly ever be considered to be justifiable in the context

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How to survive from the stresses of modern life knowing stress is non-negotiable

Stress is basically coping with change. Our minds adapt to situational change very protectively. The default setting for the human brain is one of defensiveness, it has had to be for our survival, protecting us from predators and the natural disasters that have long dominated our ancestors’ lives. Defensiveness in this context means arousal of our fight, flight or freeze mechanism. Change is the ultimate threat to our existence and yet we have to cope with it continuously. This ability to cope in primeval times kept us safe from saber-toothed tigers and other immediate threats, but the prehistoric world did

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Covid-19 and trade of personal protective equipment

Covid-19 triggered a global hunt for personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators revealing a major weakness of the globalisation that guaranteed the availability of more convenient products. As far as PPE is concerned – e.g. face masks, gloves, goggles – this is used by healthcare workers to protect themselves and patients from being infected and infecting others. With the Covid-19 emergency outbreak, many countries faced an increasing demand for PPE due to its booming use, misuse and panic buying; insufficient stockpiles and national productions could have caused a shortage in net importers such as New Zealand. Figure 1 shows the

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