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The Standard

It wasn’t a dirty pipe

Written By: - Date published: 8:27 am, August 15th, 2013 - 205 comments
Categories: Conservation, disaster, economy, farming, food, water - Tags: , ,

It wasn’t a dirty pipe. That is the claim made by veterinarian and farm performance consultant Frank Rowson, as reported by Stuff yesterday:

Vet links botulism to farms not pipes

A veterinarian and farm consultant doubts the recent Fonterra botulism scare was caused by a dirty pipe, and says he is sitting on material that will embarrass the dairy giant further.

This is very bad news indeed. But this material must be made public. We can’t fix the problem until we are honest about what it is.

Matamata veterinarian and farm performance consultant Frank Rowson says Fonterra should be tracing the source of the Clostridium botulinum bacterium back to farms or their own water supply.

He doubts Clostridium botulinum was caused by an old pipe at Fonterra’s Hautapu plant and said it had to get in there in the first place. …

Rowson said: “This disease originates in contaminated feed and animal manure, and research all over the world of which I am part, shows that GM feeds and the use of increased amounts of glyphosate herbicides increases the prevalence of this disease in pigs, poultry and dairy cattle, and the neuro toxin that causes the disease will pass through the food chain into milk.” …

“The dirty pipe would be contaminated by product from cows or water supply and the organism would multiply in the dirt in the pipe. Therefore they should be tracing back to farms or their own water supply.

“The most likely source is on farm in silage or grains/soy in mixed rations, all of which have glyphosate which stimulates growth of Clostridia and other pathogenic bacteria and fungi.

“That’s what gets into the pipes, otherwise, I hope it is not in their water.”

It’s understood the whey was never tested for glyphosate because Fonterra believed it is not related to the current quality issue.

This is a major threat to the biggest earner in our economy. We need to be honest about the problem and fix it. Otherwise the next scare – and there will be a next scare – will be devastating. Our farming methods must be safe and sustainable, and the government needs to act to make it so.

In other news this morning, this opinion piece in Stuff:

A good time to ditch NZ’s tainted brand

The first rule of advertising should be: Never say anything you can’t justify. Our nation’s brand is 100% Pure, a claim we can’t justify. …

I think we should ditch it, give it up as a tainted brand and come up with a new one.


205 comments on “It wasn’t a dirty pipe”

  1. BM 1

    This guy

    He’s a Greenie by the looks of that website and we all know that the Greens want to destroy our dairy industry.

    Hopefully the press are responsible and give him no more air time.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1

      A vet who wants to destroy his own customers?

      I think it more likely that your prejudice and conceit have led you astray.


      • BM 1.1.1

        Then what’s he trying to achieve then?

        The Greens have been trying to spin this Fonterra incident as being an environmental issue but it’s not it’s just negligence on behalf of a few Fonterra workers.

        Then out of no where comes this guy Frank Rowson who happens to be a member of a group of green scientists who’s goal it is to promote organic farming within NZ.

        The dairy industry in it’s current form is the epitome of evil in the eyes of greenies.

        The greens want to destroy our dairy industry, if you “sacrifice” yourself for the greater green good, so be it, it’s what any true green would do.

        • mickysavage

          Why blame the workers? Is this a right wing meme where employees are made to be responsible for everything bad that happens?

          What I can’t understand is how nothing happened after it was discovered. This points to major management failures.

          • BM

            Ok workers and management.

            The “workers” didn’t do their job properly and I assume the management tried to cover it up.

            If that’s the case both are to blame

            • mickysavage

              So your average factory worker has the ability to detect microscopic life through metal pipes and work out what they are? Do they use X ray vision to see through the pipes? Are you being serious?

              • infused

                Originally they said the pipes were not cleaned to schedule. So what are you even saying?

            • Tracey

              Are you saying managers aren’t workers?

            • Te Reo Putake

              Fonterra have already cleared the waged workers in the factory of direct responsibility and indicated that they believe it be a systems failure of some sort. They specifically said that the handling of the product was in accordance with their own procedures so no fault was being attributed to the waged workforce. That doesn’t preclude managerial failures though, particularly the poor response once it was known that there was contamination.

              • Lan

                Excellent cartoon in p17 The Listener (Slane.co.nz) with PM saying “Look at the dirty pipe over there” pointing in opposite direction perhaps towards Fonterra building, as cow in foreground drinks from dirty stream being filled with various “dirty pipes” (and sign “Warning! Water unsafe for bathing”). Well done to The Listener and cartoonist Slane.co.nz!

        • Lanthanide

          “Then what’s he trying to achieve then?”

          I should think that was pretty bloody obvious.

          • BM

            Yep, promote a green agenda at the expense of of our large export earner.

            I have no idea why trade unionist Labour wants to partner with these zealots, all green policies destroy jobs especially heavily unionized ones, putting their members out of work.

            Talk about cutting your own throat.

            • weka

              “Yep, promote a green agenda at the expense of of our large export earner.”

              As opposed to you promoting industry that shits in its own nest and eventually dies of its self-made pollution?

              I have no idea why trade unionist Labour wants to partner with these zealots, all green policies destroy jobs especially heavily unionized ones, putting their members out of work.

              lol, you need to find better lies BM. We know you have no idea, but that’s just because you are stupid. Or maybe it’s because your environmental bigotry really does prevent you from understanding that we are all dependent on the physical environment and that the physical environment has natural limits.

            • Tiger Mountain

              I call bullshit on you BM, or more correctly a shower of cowshit because that is what the major export earner and our environment is going down in.

              Time to diversify NZs economy. Green is the future if we are to have one at all. I have never been into milk and would not drink it if paid, herbicided grass mixed up with cows digestive juices in multiple stomachs, no thank you. And lay off the unionised workers, the modern dairy industry would have not made it this far without the influence of the Dairy Workers Union Te Runanga Wai U.

            • Colonial Viper

              Yep, promote a green agenda at the expense of of our large export earner.

              Uh, you do realise that a “green agenda” would boost the attractiveness and value of our dairy exports?

              • BM

                You don’t burn your existing industries to the ground.

                If the Greens we’re interested in making NZ more “green” they’d be out there working with farmers, promoting green farmer friendly initiatives, maybe offering some sort of transition to organics or partial organics subsidy as a vote grabber.
                (if they do they’re certainly not promoting it very well)

                But they’re not, all they’re doing is pointing a finger and saying “if we ever get into a position of power we will destroy you, but in he mean time we’ll just try to undermine and weaken you”.

                Work with our industries we need them for our country to survive don’t destroy them because of some ” the world’s going to end peak oil mindset”, no one can predict the future, work in the present.

                Sad thing for me, is that the true greenie hippie type were very practical people and probably could offer a lot to the NZ farming community. but I get the feeling Russel the Ocker communist and the rest of the red faction doesn’t really let them have too much of a say.

                • Tracey

                  “Sad thing for me, is that the true greenie hippie type were very practical people and probably could offer a lot to the NZ farming community”

                  Does your head ever hurt from knowing so much about every type of group and person in NZ?

                  • BM

                    Just going on what I read in Mother earth news and other magazines on alternative horticultural practices, some of the ideas were brilliant and the people very clever.

                    Haven’t read any for quite a while though.

                • weka

                  If the Greens we’re interested in making NZ more “green” they’d be out there working with farmers, promoting green farmer friendly initiatives, maybe offering some sort of transition to organics or partial organics subsidy as a vote grabber.
                  (if they do they’re certainly not promoting it very well)

                  But they’re not, all they’re doing is pointing a finger and saying “if we ever get into a position of power we will destroy you, but in he mean time we’ll just try to undermine and weaken you”.

                  Sorry for the long cut and paste, but am sick of BM’s anti-GP astroturfing.

                  Green Party policy

                  Agriculture and Rural Affairs Policy Summary

                  The New Zealand economy is largely sustained by our agricultural exports, so our economy depends on the environment. Our Agriculture and Rural Affairs Policy is about future-proofing our economy by protecting our environment.

                  The Green Party would prepare for the future by reducing our agricultural dependency on oil, agri-chemicals, and imported feedstock. We would also protect our soils and our water quality.

                  Despite our reliance on rural people and activity in our economy, our rural communities often get the short end of the stick. The Green Party would ensure that rural communities get the infrastructure and services they need (like health, education, broadband, public transport) that they are entitled to as New Zealand citizens.

                  New Zealand has a clean, green image; our Agricultural and Rural Affairs Policy would keep it real.

                  Key Principles

                  All rural production land must be managed in ecologically sustainable ways
                  Rural communities should be able to provide for the economic, educational, health and social needs of their residents.
                  The New Zealand environment must be kept GE free.
                  New Zealand must live up to its reputation as “Clean and Green” and an exporter of high quality products to maintain its export reputation

                  Specific Policy Points

                  Ensuring a fairer approach to trade

                  Strongly support mandatory country of origin labelling for all single-ingredient imported agricultural products
                  Address “food miles” by supporting farmers to reduce emissions during production and by educating overseas consumers to shift the debate from ‘food miles’ to ‘ecological footprints’

                  Reducing dependency on oil, agrichemicals and imported grains

                  Support the development of economically and ecologically viable biofuel production, especially from waste products
                  Fund more research, education and support in transition away from industrialised, fossil fuel supported agriculture.
                  Increase New Zealand’s self-sufficiency in basic foodstuffs, especially grains

                  Growing the organic sector

                  Promote the target of half of New Zealand’s production becoming certified organic by 2020.
                  Short-term loans and guarantees to producers making the switch to organics.
                  Redirect funding for research into the development of organic systems, design and practice.
                  Promote and encourage the establishment of educational opportunities in organic production.

                  Further moves towards Sustainability on Rural Land

                  Limit urban sprawl to prevent loss of prime agricultural land
                  Promote and encourage diverse farm forestry and woodlots on agricultural land
                  Investigate the benefits of an agrichar/biochar industry.
                  Encourage licensed cultivation of industrial hemp in economically depressed rural areas.

                  Reducing the use of toxic chemicals and managing chemical trespass and spray drift

                  Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from farming

                  Promote organic agriculture to increase carbon sequestration, nutrient buffering, and healthy animal gut condition.
                  Place the liability for any increased emissions over 1990 levels from the dairying and deer farming sectors with the large processing companies rather than with individual farmers.
                  Support ways of reducing methane and nitrous oxide production per hectare and per animal

                  Reducing GE and Biosecurity threats to agriculture

                  Keep genetic research organisms completely contained in a secure indoor laboratory,
                  Prohibit genetically modified and transgenic organisms that are intended for release into the environment or food chain.
                  Maintaining “zero” tolerance for all live GE derived imports.
                  Develop a Biosecurity Strategy based on a precautionary approach.

                  Strengthening Rural Communities

                  Ensure the sustainability of rural communities by:
                  Developing essential infrastructure
                  Ensuring access to basic services
                  Encouraging people to move to rural areas to work in activities that contribute to sustainable land use
                  Encouraging the development of sustainable co-operative ventures run by local producers
                  Restrict the sale of rural property to New Zealand citizens and residents

                  Promoting Rural – Urban Linkages and managing public access

                  Foster consumer supported agriculture and direct marketing of produce to local consumers
                  Support the teaching of food production, nutrition, and basic cooking and gardening skills
                  Develop a code of conduct for public use of access ways that incorporates respect and sensitivity to farmers
                  Negotiate with hapu to ensure that the approach to access issues, waahi tapu protection and resource management issues recognize Te Tiriti


                  Full policy details https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/agriculture-and-rural-affairs-policy-towards-sustainability

                  Specifically, in response to BM’s lies about what the GP actually does,

                  BM’s lies:

                  If the Greens we’re interested in making NZ more “green” they’d be out there working with farmers, promoting green farmer friendly initiatives, maybe offering some sort of transition to organics or partial organics subsidy as a vote grabber.

                  GP policy:

                  3. Growing the organic sector

                  Organic production sets the standard for sustainable land management but has received only sporadic and insufficient support for development. The Green Party views Organics as a model that can be used to guide the rest of the primary production sector in developing environmentally sustainable systems and enable Aotearoa / New Zealand to capitalise on its ‘clean green’ image. Certified organics is based on ecological sustainability and encompasses full systems and ethical trading approaches that include; biodiversity considerations, ecosystem connectedness, production inputs and sources, manufacture techniques, labour, land and water care and use, packaging, transport and trade.To realise our vision of an increasing proportion of New Zealand’s primary production being organic, the Green Party will:

                  Promote the target of half of New Zealand’s production becoming certified organic by 2025, with the remainder in the process of conversion, with a goal of 15% of farms certified organic or in conversion by 2020. As first steps towards this target, the Green Party will encourage development of minimum sustainability standards for all sectors, and the strengthening of existing ones, such as the already established industry standards, Kiwi Green and Sustainable Wine Growing New Zealand.

                  Reintroduce funding assistance for the operation of Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ), the umbrella organisation for the Organics sector, until the sector has the capacity for sufficient commodity levies or other self-funding mechanisms.

                  Encourage the development of the Organic FarmNZ small organic growers certification scheme until its membership level is self-supporting.

                  Increase current funding for organic advisory services, including support for mentoring between experienced and novice organic producers, and on farm consultation at all levels

                  Support removing the economic barriers that prevent people converting to organic management of their land (eg. supporting payment of price premiums or suspensory loans during transition to full organic certification)

                  Redirect funding for agricultural research into the development of organic system design and practice

                  Encourage development of broad educational opportunities in organic production from school and community education through to apprenticeships and post graduate tertiary levels

                  Promote and encourage the establishment of organic horticulture/agriculture courses at tertiary institutions, especially in rural areas

                  Set the New Zealand Organic Standard as the minimum standard for domestic organic production, with an organic consumer and sector selected New Zealand Organic Standards maintenance and review panel.

                  Promote consumer awareness of the different standards of organic production that exist and require clear labelling of certified organic products.

                  Encourage the development of the Maori organic sector through organisations such as Te Waka Kai Ora.

                  Assist implementation of a Maori indigenous organic certification scheme.

                  4. Other steps Towards Sustainability on Rural Land

                  Agriculture, horticulture and forestry account for significant export earnings so our economic well-being is highly dependent on the primary sector.Recent comprehensive reports demonstrate that rural land use is increasingly unsustainable, causing unacceptable damage to both the productive base and the associated natural environment, through soil erosion and loss of water quality and/or water quantity. This in turn compromises our ability to market our produce as ‘clean and green’ overseas.Primary production can work with nature to protect soil and water resources and to support the other values associated with rural land. A stronger stewardship ethos urgently needs to be developed and the responsibility for implementing this ethos must be shared by all New Zealanders. The Government needs to show leadership in this area by ensuring that Landcorp, DOC, and other state owned departments and enterprises lead the way in demonstrating sustainable farming techniques.To help achieve our vision, the Green Party will develop a strategy for environmentaly and ecologically sustainable rural land use that includes:

                  A) Promoting Sustainable use of Rural Land

                  Requiring Landcorp to implement and model sustainable farming techniques such as organic production, retiring riparian areas and areas of high erosion, conserving biodiversity, reducing synthetic fertiliser use and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

                  Increasing the Sustainable Farming Fund and ensuring it is used only to research sustainable farming techniques and/or support conversion to sustainable land uses.

                  Supporting training for careers in areas needed to aid the shift to a sustainable rural economy

                  Limiting urban sprawl to prevent loss of prime agricultural land to housing, lifestyle blocks and commercial developments. (see our Housing Policy for further detail)

                  Enhancing the role of regional councils in supporting sustainable land use including facilitating compliance with new sustainability regulations. This will include providing a role for regional councils in advising local farmers on cost-effective options for alternative land use.

                  Extending the development and implementation of sustainable land and water management plans at catchment and farm levels (eg. nutrient budgets, stocking rate limits, riparian plantings, water extraction limits, diversification of land use).

                  Providing incentives to match land use to land use capability, (eg. to encourage erosion prone hill country to be planted in suitable indigenous or exotic forest species for sustainable timber production, soil conservation, permanent carbon sinks, and biodiversity enhancement).

                  Providing incentives to use sustainable production practices and disincentives for unsustainable practices, although educational support is seen as preferable to penalties.

                  Providing incentives for maintaining or enhancing the environment, such as improving water quality by riparian plantings or by preventing soil erosion and nutrient run-off.

                  Funding the re-establishment and maintenance of wetlands, lowland forests and green corridors that enhance biodiversity.

                  Supporting an increase in the diversity of tree species grown for timber, especially encouraging those that provide high value timber and those that do not need to be treated chemically (eg. macrocarpa, cedar, totara, durable eucalyptus. See our Forestry Policy for more detail)

                  Promoting and encouraging farm forestry and woodlots on agricultural land (see our Forestry Policy)

                  Investigate the benefits and appropriateness of establishing of a agrichar/biochar industry for carbon sequestration, soil fertility and biofuel purposes.

                  Encourage licensed cultivation of industrial hemp where practical and desired by local communities. This may be particularly beneficial in economically-depressed rural areas of New Zealand which are financially dependent on income from cannabis cultivation.

                  B) Protecting rural water quality and supply

                  The Green Party is committed to a sustainable and high quality water supply. In order to ensure that water supply and quality is adequately protected the Green Party will:

                  Ensure that land use must consider water conservation through sustainable management practices.

                  Address the impacts of rural land use on water quality (See our Water Policy for more detail).

                  Make it a requirement to have a resource consent to convert land to ruminants or to intensify stocking rates. (See our Water Policy for more detail).

                  C) Reducing the use of toxic chemicals and managing chemical trespass and spray drift

                  To encourage agriculture to avoid using toxic chemicals and adopt natural non-harmful methods wherever possible and to generally improve management of toxic chemicals in agriculture, the Green Party will:

                  Develop and implement a pesticide reduction strategy to reduce pesticide use by 50% within five years, with annual monitoring and reports on progress, and with the emphasis on safer alternatives.

                  Rapidly phase out chemicals of concern where safer practicable alternatives exist.

                  Ensure that those who use, require or permit toxic substances to be used, are financially liabile for adverse effects that reasonably could have been avoided, such as caused by pesticide spray drift/chemical trespass.

                  Pass legislation to make agrichemical trespass across boundaries without consent of landowners illegal.

                  Implement rules for notifying neighbours when agrichemicals able to be dispersed through the air will be used.

                  Protect people and properties from aerial spray drift by strengthening rules around aerial spraying including:

                  Establishing a register of chemicals (e.g. 2-4-D) that are not permitted for aerial spraying to take effect immediately

                  Making aerial spraying a non-complying activity in district and regional plans. (To ensure that an application has to be made for permission to use aerial spraying methods)

                  Only permitting aerial spraying when it is the safest, least toxic, effective, feasible method of achieving the desired outcome

                  Ensuring that there is appropriate public input into the decision to allow aerial spraying.

                  Requiring a plan to mitigate aerial spray drift or contamination of waterways

                  Ensuring that there is agreement from people whose homes and living spaces are being sprayed

                  Ensuring that full information on any spraying programmes are available to the public (See our Toxics Policy for more detail)

                  • BM

                    Thank you for that.

                    I was going to alter some of my post, but OAK replied to it and I lost the ability to edit it.

                    Thing is with the greens all I see is moaning and finger pointing and accusations it’s good to read that they actually have some sort of plan in place.

                    More promotion of the positive stuff would do the green party wonders.

                    • weka

                      “Thing is with the greens all I see is moaning and finger pointing and accusations it’s good to read that they actually have some sort of plan in place.”

                      I think that’s more about your own prejudices clouding perception. Where are you getting information from? The MSM? Want to ask them about what they choose to print and why? Why not just go read the GP website?

                    • bad12

                      Nah what you see is what you want to see from your preconceived notions of the Green Party,

                      Try pulling your head out of your A/hole for once and do some basic research befor you sprout your usual utter BS…

                  • Chooky

                    +1 Weka …thanks…increasingly people will be voting Green !

                • bad12

                  BM, do you possess a body of knowledge, other than you thunk it therefor it is, that shows that the Green Party or Russell Norman are out to destroy the New Zealand dairy industry,

                  Provide us some links to prove your point or shut the f**k up with your unfounded bullshit…

                  • weka


                    Am more and more convinced BM is a paid shill.

                  • felix

                    “…the Green Party or Russell Norman are out to destroy the New Zealand dairy industry”

                    BM (and National, and Fed. Farmers, and Fonterra etc etc) think that:

                    “Let’s not allow rapid unchecked unregulated unsustainable expansion of the dairy industry”

                    is the same thing as:

                    “Destroy the dairy industry”

                    and on that basis none of them have any serious interest in the discussion.

                • Macro

                  Gezz you talk a lot of cow shit!!

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                100% pure bullshit from BM this morning. Nothing new then.

              • Chooky

                +1 CV

            • Greywarbler

              I wonder do you live in the West Coast? Those terrible greens are like broocoli – really good for you and valuable to have on a healthy person’s menu. Your ideas sound very unhealthy for you and the country you blog in – NZ. Perhaps you live elsewhere and don’t give a stuff about NZ now and in the future.

        • Tracey

          “Then what’s he trying to achieve then?”

          Er, the truth?

        • Foreign Waka

          Why is it so inconceivable hat the first rule of any corporate “protect, divert and repair” is being employed by Fonterra? What concerns me more is the fact that some farmers, who incidentally are capable of letting a foreign virus loose on an island no less, seem to belief that they not just own the land but every living hing on under and above and yes, beyond it. Based on these attitudes, it would be unsurprising that this contamination originates from a farm with less then desirable standards.
          Council should in fact test all run offs immediately for that bacteria because if it is in the water, the result would be nothing short of a nationwide disaster. The cost should be borne by the industry that caused this in the first place. Just that there is no mistake, the contamination is not fictitious and and given the retail prices of milk, we expect that these kinds of events are covered through appropriate insurance etc we have paid for through the nose.

      • DavidC 1.1.2

        He is not a vet.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          “He is not a vet.”

          Then why does BM’s link say “Frank Rowson is a Veterinarian in a large animal practice in Matamata with 39 years experience in his field.”

          And please don’t expect me to take your word for it. Link or go away.

            • DavidC

              was not a registered veterinarian and was not a member of the NZVA.

              • Chooky

                @ DavidC…..

                Straight Furrow (NZFARMER.CO.NZ)August 13,2013…reports:

                ‘Vet links GE feed,sprays to botulism’

                “In recent months,Dr Rowson has expressed concerns to MPI and FSANZ about the health impacts of glyphosate/GE feeds……..”The effects of glyphosate( combined with GE feeds) is its doing what botulism does…..

                If farmers can accept that this guy is a vet and farm consultant why cant you?

                • Populuxe1

                  Quite obviously because the Vetenary Association doesn’t and one would hope that they know what they were on about. That’s a bit like saying that just because a bunch of fools consider a homeopath to be a “doctor” means that I should too.

                  • Chooky

                    @Populuxe …just to be quarrelsome….some doctors support homeopathy because it works and so do some vets….Homeopathy in medical practices is especially commonplace in Europe where patients are offered both homeopathy and conventional treatments…but I am sure you would not approve…

                    But that is beside the point….obviously if you are right and Rowson is not a vet then ‘Straight Furrow’ has got it wrong……

                    …However Rowson may still have a point…..if you google it …glyphosate does seem to have an association with Clostridium botulinum in the scientific literature ….just one example link:


                    ……as does aspergillus niger ( common soil compost rot)…which can wreck havock in vineyards

                    • DavidC

                      Chooky. I am atending a trial in Wellington in a couple of weeks where a self styled Doctor and homeopath is on the stand for treating a woman with cancer by using herb poultices for two years. The cancer grew thru her scalp into her brain and killed her. I dont think much of homeopaths.

                    • weka

                      Let’s just hope that you have nothing crucial to do with the trial then, as homeopaths don’t use herbs. And what the fuck is a self styled doctor?

                      There is no doubt that there are alternative practitioners practicing unethically. Shall we list all the fucked and unethical things that some doctors have done and then condemn the whole profession?

                    • DavidC

                      weka. Would you have been happy if I had said “plants” instead of “herbs” ?

                      and no I have nothing to do that is crucial.
                      I am just sitting behind the three kids that dont have a Mum anymore.

                    • Chooky

                      @ DavidC on homeopathy

                      …well of course there are nut case ordinary conventional doctors also!…dont you know!?….

                      I am far from being a total advocate of homeopathy…just that it does seem to work in some cases.

                      …just as conventional medicine works in some cases( and goes very badly awry in others and the long term effects can be worse than the original complaint …

                      Obviously the ding bat doctor you refer to got it horribly wrong ……

                    • weka

                      “weka. Would you have been happy if I had said “plants” instead of “herbs” ?”

                      No, not really. If you want to condemn a whole profession the least you could do is educate yourself about what they actually do.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      “It works”.

                      No, it doesn’t. The Placebo Effect is real though.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      “…educate yourself on what they do.”


                      ‘…shaking is important…you have to shake it vigorously … if you just stir it gently, it does not work’.

                      :lol: It would be comedy genius if it weren’t such a gross and unethical fraud on the vulnerable.

              • weka

                “was not a registered veterinarian and was not a member of the NZVA.”

                Would that perhaps be because he is now retired?

                • DavidC

                  so he could be retired vet? or a lapsed vet? but not a vet.

                  • Chooky

                    @ DavidC

                    ….doesnt matter whether he was a retired vet, or lapsed vet ,or not a vet.

                    …seems like he has evidential support for what he is suggesting and his concerns are legitimate….German University Research Vet schools support the link between glyphosate and Clostridium botulism in cattle :


                  • Lan

                    Can still be a veterinary surgeon but not paying money to professional association to be “registered” which he doesn’t need if simply acting as a farm consultant (and probably earning more than in a veterinary practice)!! Just means he can’t advertise as being a practising vet. Doesn’t mean that he is not up to date on what the profession is doing and what the current “literature” is saying..

                  • Foreign Waka

                    two wrongs do not make one right. When will that finally stick?

              • Murray Olsen

                He’s a retired vet, which doesn’t mean he’s forgotten everything he learned. The extra time he has to study and think may even make him more qualified to have an opinion.

          • Chooky

            @ One Anonymous Knucklehead …on your homeopathy red herring(17 August)

            You have been proved wrong about Frank Rowson not being a vet…… HE IS A VET!….and he has legitimate arguments supported by overseas microbial and vet science research


            You are now trying a diversionary tactic by attacking and ridiculing the science for homoeopathy ….Remember the issue is NZ Milk contamination!!!!!!!….

            (However just to defend homeopathy for anyone interested….and show it isn’t completely scientifically ridiculous check this out:


            • Colonial Viper

              (However just to defend homeopathy for anyone interested….and show it isn’t completely scientifically ridiculous check this out:

              IMO you go with what treatment works for you. Fuck some double blind study done on 500 people on the other side of the world who are nothing like you anyways.

              • Chooky

                @ CV …Yeah …and the Queen Mother lived to be an enjoyable 102 with the help a homeopathic doctor….and her Gins!……if was good enough for her!…I wonder whether Knucklehead and his UK Government anti -homeopathic report writers will live as long?

                I dont use it much but I do know it worked with my eight year old ….post surgery on the removal of a gangrenous , leaking appendix ….after several days in hospital on a antibiotic drip he was sent home and lay around listless and ill until homeopathy was delivered by a friend..and the change was almost immediate( no indoctrination on my part)…..It has also worked for me overseas in India and Tibet…with common gut and respiratory ailments ( I did not have to resort to Western medicine, even although I had it in my kit)….so I would recommend people keep an open mind….sure it cant replace surgery and it is not the whole answer to medical problems….but it can work IMO….Why it works is another matter.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  It doesn’t work. Stop bullshitting.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Oh excellent, now you’re going to dictate to people what they find helpful to them and what they do not? Good-oh, you’re going to take responsibility for everyone’s healthcare choices now, I can see this working so very well.

                    Maybe you want to think it through instead of being such a faithful fundamentalist eh?

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      I’m not going to dictate to anyone, but I am going to advocate for evidence based medicine in favour of the high trust model you are promoting.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’re the one promoting the high trust, high faith model.

                      And no, you can’t dictate to all these patients, because many many have been choosing alternative medicine. And the numbers seems to be increasing not decreasing.

                      So you better do a better job of your “advocating” I reckon.

                    • weka

                      Ah, the evidence based medicine mantra, that bastion of closed-minded dogma.

                      Not sure if I can be bothered getting into it, but suffice to say that (a) homeopathy uses evidence based medicine, and (b) doctors routinely use other than evidence based medicine. I suggest you educate yourself on both those things before making gross generalisations that don’t stand up.

                      This isn’t the article I was looking for, but I do like it.

                      ‘Better than numbers…’ A gentle critique of evidence-based medicine.
                      Little M.

                      Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. milesl@ozemail.com.au

                      Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has achieved cult status in the last 10 years or so. It is an altogether admirable movement in medicine, capable of a great deal of good. Its privileged status, however, has prevented critics from being heard, and there are problems with EBM. Eight features need further discussion if EBM is not to be discredited and superseded. They are its reductionism; its unwitting paternalism; its privileging of restricted kinds of evidence; its dependence on the questionable concept of equipoise; the instability of the ‘truths’ it produces; its capacity to eliminate individuals in favour of categories; its historical arrogance; and its contempt for the wisdom and integrity of our predecessors. Evidence-based medicine is here to stay; for the moment, at least. It is sufficiently well established to withstand critique. It needs criticism if it is to survive and flourish.


                      I also like this –

                      Critique of (im)pure reason: evidence-based medicine and common sense.
                      Michelson J.

                      George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC, USA. msdjdm@gwumc.edu

                      While the goal of evidence-based medicine (EBM) is certainly laudable, it is completely based on the proposition that ‘truth’ can be gleaned exclusively from statistical studies. In many instances, the complexity of human physiology and pathophysiology makes this a reasonable, if not necessary, assumption. However, there are two additional large classes of medical ‘events’ that are not well served by this paradigm: those that are based on physically required causality, and those that are so obvious (to the casual observer) that no self-respecting study will ever be undertaken (let alone published). Frequently, cause-and-effect relationships are so evident that they fall into both categories, and are best dealt with by the judicious use of common sense. Unfortunately, the use of common sense is not encouraged in the EBM literature, as it is felt to be diametrically opposed to the very notion of EBM. As is more fully discussed in the manuscript, this active disregard for common sense leaves us at a great disadvantage in the practical practice of medicine.


                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Whoosh is the sound of the goalposts moving between homeopathy and “alternative medicine”, which could mean anything from Shamanism to Osteopathy.

                      And no-one is suggesting dictation but you, a feeble strawman at best.

                      I doubt you can come up with a decent argument against evidence based policy though, so I guess bullshit red herrings and strawmen are your only hope.

                    • weka

                      “I doubt you can come up with a decent argument against evidence based policy though,”

                      Sorry dude, but you just showed you really don’t understand EBM. There is a lot of discussion in medical circles about the limitations of EBM, including critiques of EBM as the One True Way.

                      See my links above too.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Weka, so EBM “needs criticism if it is to survive and flourish.”

                      Why are you getting so upset about me subjecting snake-oil to the same test? Raise the double standard.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I’ve never had a good experience with homeopathy actually; I tried it once for a health issue which wouldn’t resolve under normal medical treatment and things got MUCH WORSE.

                  I laughed at the time because it demonstrated to me that the homeopathic approach did have real physical effect even if they weren’t the ones promised!

                  So yes, agree with your comments. (Waiting for McFlock or NickS to throw a wobbly now)

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    It’s garbage: evidence-free faith-based drivel, just like neo-liberal market fundamentalism.

                    Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander: if economists should be required to pass reality tests why shouldn’t witch-doctors?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If medical science can give such fucking good and suitable cures to all, people would not need to choose to avoid their GP, pay privately and go elsewhere, would they.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Yes, the way our health system is set up is completely the result of medical science; none of the problems it faces can be laid at the door of faith based policy or anything, no sirree.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      well if you can’t even deliver to people on the promise of this much vaunted medical science in practical, real, terms what the fuck are patients supposed to do? Wait for you to get it all sorted out?

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      What a cop-out. Are you going to take the blame for neo-liberalism because you haven’t managed to “sort it out?

                    • weka

                      I think the point is that people who have been failed by mainstream medicine aren’t all stupid, and they end up willing to pay for private alternative health care because it works

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Or at least, it works for them.

                      Whereas OAK hasn’t figured out that the shit he advocates for might not work for them.

                    • weka

                      “Whereas OAK hasn’t figured out that the shit he advocates for might not work for them.”

                      RCTs show effect for percentage of populations. Doesn’t matter about the individuals that don’t fit into that ;-)

                    • McFlock

                      Still more reliable than rhino horn or prayer.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Really, Weka, is that what your doctor told you, that whole classes of people who don’t fit are ignored by “Western” medicine? Or is that simply the facile smear of a person who just lost a debate?

                      I note that you are desperate to move the goalposts. Homeopathy doesn’t “work” no matter how successful other “alternatives” are.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Anyone invoking the power of intrinsic or “common” knowledge in defence of Homeopathy is being disingenuous.

                      Intrinsic knowledge, herbal medicine for example, has millenia of history and provenance. Hemlock is still poisonous.

                      Homeopathy was invented out of thin air in 1796.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              :lol: What been “proved” is that you aren’t paying attention. I suggest you read my comments about whether he’s a vet or not again, but perhaps you should take English comprehension 101 first.

              As for homeopathy fraudulent quack snake oil shaken-not-stirred mumbo-pocus, there is no “science” behind it, and I didn’t bring it up; you made the ignorant assertion that “it works”, not me.

              • Chooky

                @ Yes Knucklehead ….I am sorry!!!!….I threw you in with David C and Populuxe1 ….who not only questioned the credentials of a lovely and truth questing vet ……. but Mr Pop was the first to cast stones and aspersions on homeopathy

                ……..Mt Pop said : ” That’s a bit like saying that just because a bunch of fools consider a homeopath to be a “doctor” means that I should too….”

                ( I didnt bring the subject up!…you should pay attention too!…and BTW…it works in my experience …and that is all the empiricism that counts to me)

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  What works is the placebo effect, not quack remedies.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Well the placebo effect is pretty bloody effective. And cheap. And safe.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      CV, yes it is, but it also provides much cover for the unscrupulous and exploitative to prey on the vulnerable.

                      You don’t like it when Sky City do it. Why should homeopaths get a free ride?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      you go convince the million or so people in NZ who use alternative medicine on a regular or semi regular basis.

                      good luck.

                      Especially since you have fuck all to offer them (which is why they have gone elsewhere to start with).

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Not “alternative medicine”, that is a dishonest misrepresentation of my argument, which is that evidence based policy is a good idea, and further, when snake oil is revealed, whether in economics or “alternative medicine”, it should be called out for what it is.

                      Homeopathy is fraud.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Homeopathy is fraud.

                      Well go get it banned then. Good luck.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      “Western” science. Yeah, because only Westerners are interested in replicable results supported by evidence; the rest of the world’s “science” is completely different to that, eh.

                      Or is the notion that science has “sides” patronising, borderline racist bullshit?

                      Colonial Viper, are you capable of constructing an argument without inventing lies about my position? Take whatever snake oil you prefer, just don’t expect me to respect those who dupe you out of your Father-in-Law’s money while telling cancer sufferers they can be cured with sugar pills.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You still on this ride mate? Relax and take some Rescue Remedy, you’ll feel a whole lot better.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Just catching up with last night’s ineffectual flailing and piss-weak strawmen, CV.

                    • weka

                      It’s a good illustrative story RL. If someone has tried medical treatments and they have failed, and their options are now ongoing side effects from antibiotic use or surgery, but instead they try homeopathy and the problem resolves… the thing that interests me is why the EBM view would see that as wrong. It’s a very dog in the manger approach – your healing doesn’t fit my world view therefore I’m going to undermine it every chance I get. For god’s sake, let healing be healing even when we don’t understand how it works.

                      Interesting point about homeopathy being less effective now. Makes sense. Belief is a big part of healing. This is true with drugs too, which is why the placebo rate of effect is so high in many RCTs.

                  • Chooky

                    @ Knucklehead you are a knucklehead ….I was advised by a Westerner who had lived in India for a number of years not to try Western medicine for gut problems in India ….but to use Indian doctors using Indian medicine and homeopathy.

                    …suggest you leave NZ and travel a bit…..go to India ….and try it out for yourself …there were some very sick Westerners using Western medicine

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      I suggest you stop making an ass knucklehead out of yourself with ridiculous assumptions about my travel history, and further try and understand what I mean when I point out that the Placebo Effect is real.

                      Tell me, when you used “Indian medicine” and homeopathy, how did you measure the effectiveness of the homeopathy against that of the “Indian medicine”?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      LOL the reek of western whitey cultural superiority

                    • RedLogix

                      Given that no-one has the faintest idea how or why the Placebo Effect actually works (ie zero evidence) …. then you seem to be on pretty thin ground invoking it here OAK.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Your projection is showing, Viper. I am a sometime practitioner of at least one “alternative medicine”, but that doesn’t mean homeopathy is real.

                      Have you read the evidence to the Parliamentary select committee I linked above? All the shaking not stirring stuff?

                      Go on, I dare you.

                    • weka

                      “I am a sometime practitioner of at least one “alternative medicine”,”

                      Curious now, which one?

                    • Chooky

                      @ knucklehead …( I am certainly no knucklehead…that is what you call yourself! ….now if you were to call me chooky….or chook head …what could I say? )

                      I wasnt making assumptions about your travel history…however I do think you should be a bit more open minded….and if you traveled with a backpack in India for 3 months you may find yourself using Indian medicine and homeopathy for things like diarrohea…. (I met an Englishman who was very sick with probably omoebic dysentery, he thought …who said he was passing out the lining of his intestine… and a Kiwi companion who ended up in hospital after using Bactrim(? sulphur drug ) and got dehydration from an allergic reaction…..I myself on my homeopathics had no problems…..nor in Tibet , despite my having weak lungs…my homeopathics stopped me from getting the hacking coughs prevalent

                      I have better things to do with my time when I travel than to take geeky scientific measurements and do geeky science experiments…but I do take advice from locals, also from NZers who have lived in India for years….( I know btw that Western generic copy medicine is available cheaply in India without doctor prescriptions…I didnt need to use it)

                      BTW…I believe in the placebo effect…but it doesn’t always apply

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Redlogix that’s simply untrue: there is a body of evidence about the placebo effect, and it’s negative corollary the nocebo effect.

                      You are invoking the “we don’t know everything, therefore we know nothing” fallacy.

                    • weka

                      Nah, he’s invoking the we don’t know everything, therefore we don’t know everything truth.

                    • RedLogix

                      I wasn’t suggesting for a second that there is no evidence that the Placebo Effect does not work. On the contrary … there is absolutely heaps of anecdotal and formal experience from medical practitioners to strongly confirm that is does work.

                      Pretty much the same as for homeopathy.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Chooky I’ll make my point then, which is that your anecdote is no more data than anyone else’s.

                      Incidently, “Western Medicine” is “available” without a prescription at the supermarket, or to anyone with knowledge, experience and a chemistry set for that matter, but I note that the copies you benefited from had to be invented to be copied in the first place.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Redlogix and the evidence associated with Homeopathy demonstrates that it provides no more benefit than a placebo.

                      Frankly I don’t know why I bother. If you think there’s nothing wrong with me making sugar pills, chanting over them, putting them in brown glass jars with plain “medical” looking labels on and flicking them off for eighty bucks a jar then why don’t you say so?

                      Let’s bring Don Brash back while we’re at it.

                    • BM

                      I think what it boils down is that the human body is incredibly complex and no one has any complete idea how it operates.
                      Truth be known the human body could have the ability to self heal its self by creating it’s own “medicines” or repairing any damaged tissue.
                      You may even find modern medicine is more hindrance than help.

                      Facts are we just don’t know, so to scorn and ridicule alternative ideas is the height of arrogance and really runs against what science is all about.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      No. There is a body of evidence in support of many things, like leaky building syndrome for example, but none whatsoever in support of homeopathy.

                      Have you read how you have to shake the mixture (of tap water and nothing else) just so? It’s good for a laugh.

                    • RedLogix

                      Redlogix and the evidence associated with Homeopathy demonstrates that it provides no more benefit than a placebo.

                      Given that most experienced medical practitioners have a pretty healthy respect for the placebo effect then I’m surprised you’re so dismissive of something you claim has a similar or equal effect.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Truth be known the human body could have the ability to self heal its self by creating it’s own “medicines” or repairing any damaged tissue.

                      Indeed. Anyone who has torn, broken, or cut some minor (or major) part of their body has experienced this first hand :)

                      and evidence shows that the human body clears viruses and cancer cells out of itself routinely as just part of its day to day mucking around. So its pretty nice that way :)

                    • weka

                      “There is a body of evidence in support of many things, like leaky building syndrome for example, but none whatsoever in support of homeopathy.”

                      No, what you mean is that modern, western science has no body of evidence within the strict practice of RCTs. Plenty of knowledge and evidence outside of that, both Western and non-Western.

                      You say it doesn’t work. You say it’s just placebo. But placebo works right? Can’t you see the illogic in your argument?

                    • BM

                      Yes, I’ve experienced that stuff myself the first time I fell over and scratched my knee.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No, what you mean is that modern, western science has no body of evidence within the strict practice of RCTs.

                      Yep. OAK is trying to define what is acceptable, valid knowledge and what is not.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Nope. For my response to this feeble strawman read my comment at 6:43.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Redlogix, where’s the “formal evidence” for Homeopathy?

                      The difference between a Homeopath and the doctors you’re co-opting is that a doctor won’t give you a sugar pill and tell you it cures leukaemia.

                      You spend so much time debunking and deriding economic drivel but when it comes to health care you favour a free-for-all, all opinions are equally valid approach.


                    • RedLogix

                      Redlogix, where’s the “formal evidence” for Homeopathy?

                      Oh fair enough, I was a bit loose around my wording there. What I had in mind would be a ‘formal’ clinical setting, ie the many thousands of practitioners world-wide who treat tens of millions of clients. While I agree that their collective experience is not the same thing as your traditional double-blind clinical trials with control groups and randomized placebos, etc … nonetheless it is a significant body of knowledge that cannot be so airily dismissed.

                      Homeopathy is based on a completely different model to the standard Western one; much like the Chinese medical system, or the Ayurvedic system are based on a completely different set of ideas. While the Western model focused almost exclusively on the physical body, other cultures paid more attention to the so called ‘placebo effect’ … the deeply intertwined influence of the mind upon our health. And of course the mind itself is not a simple thing to be reduced to a single word; it is a deeply complex and barely understood entity itself. Yet any experienced practitioner, from any tradition, will assure you of it’s central importance.

                      Personally I did a fair bit of reading on homeopathy about 30yrs ago. Enough to gain some sense of the underlying ideas. Over the last 20yrs I’ve seen a very experienced homeopath about four times for various matters that I couldn’t resolve otherwise. In each case I had quite remarkable and unexpected results.

                      The first visit was over an infection that had developed on my face after a mole had been removed from the centre of my left cheek. Three months later the wound had not healed at all, the swelling was now about 3cm by 1cm and starting to encroach into the eye socket area. Not pleasant at all. It just laughed at antibiotics and the doctor was talking about a second surgery to drain and excise it, with the probability of plastic remedial surgery afterwards.

                      One visit, one little sugar pill (Sulphur 30c) … and within two days it had completely resolved. All that remains is a small scar. Thank you ‘placebo effect’.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Pull the other one. Unlike Chinese or Ayurvedic healing, Homeopathy has no traditional basis: it was conceived in 1796 on the strength of nothing but a personal hunch that “like cures like”.

                      Why don’t you make them yourself? It’s easy, and you can dispense with all the ingredients except tap water.

                      Shake it baby.

                    • RedLogix

                      I assume you think I’m lying about the incident with the facial mole. For the most part these discussions proceed on a good faith basis; otherwise they completely fall apart with everyone simply accusing everyone else of making shit up. There really is no point in going there OAK unless you can demonstrate that my personal anecdote must be untrue.

                      For instance if I claimed that I was in fact a former Prime Minister of this country it would be fairly easy to prove me wrong. But in this case you really have no choice but to accept that I’m telling you the truth in good faith, or simply withdraw from the conversation.

                      Yes I’m quite aware of how homeopathic remedies are made. IIRC once you get past about 24c there are absolutely no molecules of the original ingredient left. Yet homeopaths routinely use 30c, 100c and 1m potencies. Makes no sense whatsoever from a standard scientific model perspective.

                      Yet I’m old enough to have seen many things that I know science currently has zero explanation for (like for instance the placebo effect) and I’m pretty certain that there is a great deal of new knowledge left for future scientists to discover.

                      Personally while I’ve used homeopathy a few times, it’s not my favourite or even most frequent healing mode. I think it’s very difficult to use well or reliably, and for most people in the modern world who’ve been exposed to all manner of other drugs … it simply doesn’t work all that well. Certainly the practioners claim that the responses these days are nowhere near as plain to see as they were when the pioneers like Hahnemann where first working 200 years ago.

                      And simply buying a remedy off the supermarket or pharmacist shelf and expecting it to work reliably is more hopeful than helpful in most cases.

                    • weka

                      It’s a good illustrative story RL. If someone has tried medical treatments and they have failed, and their options are now ongoing side effects from antibiotic use or surgery, but instead they try homeopathy and the problem resolves… the thing that interests me is why the EBM view would see that as wrong. It’s a very dog in the manger approach – your healing doesn’t fit my world view therefore I’m going to undermine it every chance I get. For god’s sake, let healing be healing even when we don’t understand how it works.

                      Interesting point about homeopathy being less effective now. Makes sense. Belief is a big part of healing. This is true with drugs too, which is why the placebo rate of effect is so high in many RCTs.

                    • weka

                      OAK, I was a bit disappointed this morning in your replies. Mostly they lack substance. You call arguments strawman but don’t demonstrate how; you avoid responding to specific points; and you say things like ‘homeopathy can be made at home’. How is that a criticism? I can go to the supermarket and buy some garlic and treat a bacterial infection at home. Does that mean it is a less valid treatment than if I bought a propriety garlic medicine made in a factory? WTF?

                      Honestly, you have a better intellect than this, up your game mate.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Redlogix, I think your healing story is as explicable by a placebo effect or any number of other factors as it is by the sugar pills you ate.

                      Weka, you’re cherry picking – how does my point about the provenance of most “alternative” therapies (as opposed to the bag of air underlying Homeopathy) lack substance?

                      Does my observation that if ‘EBM “needs criticism if it is to survive and flourish” then the same applies to snake oil lack substance?

                      As for the strawmen, have a look at CV’s drivel-suffused comments, full of assertions about what I think of this and that, but yet still somehow failing to address my arguments.

                      And I think the reason most people don’t make their own Homeopathic remedies is because they’d feel ridiculous and their self-deception would collapse.

                      If it did no harm I wouldn’t bother, but just like the things Don Brash believes, Homeopathy does real harm, hence the court case DavidC will attend.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      PS: RL: the sum of knowledge about the Placebo Effect is zero? Are you sure? Really sure?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey OAK.

                      I have nothing invested in convincing you of anything. I trust people to make the appropriate decisions for themselves. Shame if they no longer bow down to the medical dogma you espouse, but its not the 1950’s any more.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      CV, I espouse no medical dogma: once again you demonstrate your incapacity in the argument addressing department. Much easier to make up something I didn’t say than address what I did say, isn’t it?

                      And it is a shame if people forget the benefits that medicine brings in favour of semi-religious twaddle. And when I say a “shame” I mean the way it’ll result in more infant mortality, for example.

                    • RJL

                      I agree with OAK. Some aspects/versions of alternative medicine have a positive effect in some circumstances. After all, (at least parts of) mainstream medicine have origins in attempts to sytematically study and understand “traditional” treatments and their effect on the body.

                      However, homeopathy is the “medical” equivalent of the “hand of the free market”. Sure, people sometimes get better under homeopathic treatment, but people also sometimes get rich in a “free market economy”. It doesn’t mean that homeopathic treatment is actually effective.

                      Also the placebo effect is very well studied, and there is a lot of understanding of aspects of it, even if its exact mechanism in all circumstances is not known. It is a big deal in mainstream medicine, if for no other reason, than because of its importance in medical trials.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Won’t someone think of all the children!!!

                      Also the placebo effect is very well studied, and there is a lot of understanding of aspects of it, even if its exact mechanism in all circumstances is not known. It is a big deal in mainstream medicine, if for no other reason, than because of its importance in medical trials.,

                      Well studied and well understood are two completely different things, of course.

                      if for no other reason, than because of its importance in medical trials.,

                      Sure, as an annoying artifact to be controlled out.

                    • RJL

                      Well studied and well understood are two completely different things, of course.

                      Of course, which is why I said it was both well studied and that there was a good understanding of parts of it. And just because some parts are not well understand, doesn’t mean that “homeopathy” is the answer to those parts. Just because the correct answer isn’t known to a problem, doesn’t mean that a wrong answer can’t be identified as being wrong.

                      Sure, [the placebo effect is] an annoying artifact to be controlled out [in medical trials].

                      So, you need an understanding of what it is and how it behaves, in order to control it. Also, I am quite sure that figuring out exactly what is going on with the placebo effect, in a particular instance, so that the effect can be enhanced (and the process to do so patented) is a thought that has occurred to medical companies.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      in order to control it.

                      Did you mean to control it in the general English meaning, or from the statistical/research design point of view to control for it?

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      “An annoying artefact to be controlled out”.

                      Back on Earth, doctors and drug companies turn the Placebo Effect to their own advantage as best they can, looking for ways to enhance it (eg: with pill colour and shape etc.), nurturing a “bedside manner”, etc etc.

              • Chooky

                @ Knucklehead …oye!…. wake up you old silly!

                ……Western medicine is based in a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical multinational industry…which rorts everyone silly!…and rorts and skews the ‘science’!

                …..talk about ” fraudulent quack snake oil shaken-not-stirred mumbo-pocus, there is no “science” behind it”!….ONLY MONEY!…. and the snake charmer high priests!

                Give me a witches brew of scepticism ….and down home, anecdotal cures, from friends and ancient wisdom lore any time…particularly when it is free!….the placebo effect works even better

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Is that what you believe? Really? I think you’re lying: I think that when you come down with anything serious you’ll scamper off to see your GP or local hospital like anyone else would.

                  But I bet you’ll still be a hypocrite about it after they’ve helped you heal.

                  • RedLogix

                    I don’t think it’s hypocritical at all to make use of a range of healing modes. When I had serious appendix infection, it was off to hospital to get it removed. There are many things Western medicine is very good at treating and it would be foolishness to ignore that.

                    At the same time there are plenty of other sorts of ailments it struggles with, and people quite rightly reach out for alternatives.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      It’s hypocritical to deride and deny the efficacy of medicine and then avail yourself of it when convenient, though.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Here’s OAK, presenting the entire industry, politics and practice of “medicine” as a huge monolithic take-it-or-leave-it, or you get labelled as a hypocrite.

                      Clue: You’re not the fucking Vatican. The world has moved on from the days of what your doctor says is gospel to be followed to the letter.

                      And you wonder why more and more people choose alternative approaches.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Here’s CV, a complete failure at arguing his bullshit notions, who thinks ad hominem cuts ice.

                  • Chooky

                    @Knucklehead( you got up early!) …. Nup!….I am open minded…..(unlike you)….if one thing doesn’t work I will try another…I take responsibility for my health…. and at times Western surgery has saved lives in my family…and I am very grateful for it……but I wont take heavy duty Western drugs unless absolutely necessary…and I avoid doctors where possible ( I have managed asthma all my life without drugs)


                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Yes, you are so open minded your brain has fallen out. Suckers like you vote National.

                    • Chooky

                      @ Knucklehead …yes I vote National….smirk

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Why don’t you vote National? You support fraudulent faith-based medicine, why not fraudulent faith based-economic and social policy too?

    • yeshe 1.2

      Bowel Motion .. why, in your blissful morning ignorance, denigrate and decry this report based on what the man’s political beliefs might be?

      The dairy industry will destroy itself quite swiftly if this continues, and major parts of our economy along with it.

      Better to keep your mouth shut and be mistaken for a fool than open it and remove all doubt.

    • vto 1.3

      ” the Greens want to destroy our dairy industry”


      The dairy industry has destroyed our greenery.


    • paul andersen 1.4

      he’s a vet!!!!! and you think(??) that he wants to damage his own business? why dont you tidy your room, or mow your mothers lawns? do something useful for somebody else?

    • Lan 1.5

      Google “botulism” and dirty drinking water and deaths in cattle and horses in Australia. Just another silly “green” liquid thing for the “responsible press” to think about ..and I am just a one time Australian animal production scientist.

    • Murray Olsen 1.6

      You’re not following your idol here, BM. You’re supposed to find another expert who’ll say something else, not just make stuff up. Bad dog!! No bone for you!!

  2. We can’t fix the problem until we are honest about what it is.

    Sure. But it is so much easier to blame a dirty pipe than to look at the reasons for environmental degradation, especially when there is a threat to vested interests.

  3. One Anonymous Knucklehead 3

    “Clostridium botulinum … is commonly found in soil..”


    This being so, the poor state of the pipe can hardly be ruled out as a significant factor.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      Not necessarily. Fonterra has made tens of millions of tons of dairy product with no evidence of this happening before. Maybe the spore is relatively common in the milk feed stock, but it only becomes a problem if the processing CIP (Clean in Place) protocols fail for some reason and the spore has the opportunity to multiply in a ‘dirty pipe’.

      Clearly this needs more research.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1

        Agreed, although I think there are certain broad brush conclusions that can be drawn with regard to the “high trust” market forces safety “model”.

        I would say that though wouldn’t I? :)

    • Tracey 3.2

      BUT BM knows everyone knows that definition is not true

    • Greywarbler 3.3

      An interviewee I heard on Radionz I think last week said that the bacteria could be in dry soil which if it became airborne, picked up by wind, could then enter the milk system at some point. So that should be one of the possibilities that Fonterra are aware of. They should have procedures to deal with breaches in quality and control, not go into a tail-spin and retreat to a bunker behind a stainless-steel curtain.

      • bad12 3.3.1

        Yes, i cannot remember the exact date but there was a Professor some-one-or-other on RadioNZ National a while back saying that He did not believe that such a strain of Botulism could have remained present in the pipes,

        If my memory serves me right i think that He indicated that such spores would have had to have been introduced to dry matter to have survived…

        • bad12

          This link makes interesting reading and suggests that Fonterra is simply using the ‘dirty pipe excuse’ for convenience,


          If that don’t work as many of my links don’t, try Googling this below,

          Whey Protein and C. botulinum-experts respond/ Scoop News,…

          • bad12

            One point of interest from the link above is the assertion by one of the professors that milk products are not regularly tested for C.botulinum,

            So perhaps Fonterra has been playing an ongoing game of Russian Roulette with it’s Whey products,

            From other stuff i have read online it appears that canning food products creates a perfect enviroment for C.botulinum which may be dormant in a product to thrive and in the case of baby formula in a nice warm baby bottle such perfect conditions would be enhanced,

            Note to Fonterra, test your curds and whey for C.botulinum…

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Roundup implicated in suppressing good bacteria advantaging Clostridium botulinum

    Thanks Monsanto



    During the last 10-15 years, an increase of Clostridium botulinum associated diseases in cattle has been observed in Germany. The reason for this development is currently unknown. The normal intestinal microflora is a critical factor in preventing intestinal colonisation by C. botulinum as shown in the mouse model of infant botulism. Numerous bacteria in the gastro-intestinal tract (GIT) produce bacteriocines directed against C. botulinum and other pathogens: Lactic acid producing bacteria (LAB) such as lactobacilli, lactococci and enterococci, generate bacteriocines that are effective against Clostridium spp. A reduction of LAB in the GIT microbiota by ingestion of strong biocides like glyphosate could be an explanation for the observed increase in levels of C. botulinum associated diseases.

    • weka 4.1

      Lots of other reasons why modern people have altered gut bacteria too :-(

      The longer Roundup is used, the more shit comes out about how many problems it causes. So much for the guillability of Kiwis who believed Monsanto’s Roundup PR campaigns of the past few decades. Monsanto are the new tobacco companies.

      • yeshe 4.1.1

        I think it poses the question of what quantities of GMO’s are in the imported cattle and other ruminant feeds. The posted doc talks about soy .. well, we don’t grow soy, and about 100% of it in the world is GMO, including Australia and certainly China .. so what exactly are our cattle being fed ? That’s where the most glyphosate will come from .. it’s veritably soaked in it as the seeds are genetically modified to resist it.

        And it is so dangerous imho that Fonterra even now is not testing for it. Supposedly then glyphosate residues could be in much of the milk supply, not just the whey powders and the withdrawn labels ?

      • infused 4.1.2

        I don’t think many people believe Monsanto…

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    The investigation has only just begun, given Fonterra’s cone of silence.

    Who, what, where, when, and why have yet to be answered properly yet alone fully.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Which is why Groser has been warning of more potential international bans on NZ dairy products, especially after our cut down diplomatic service wasn’t able to calm foreign nerves. It’s a mess, and it makes us look amateur.

  6. Greywarbler 6

    The first scapegoat falls on his sword. And the possibility of wilful ignorance by Fonterra will only be exposed by a thorough investigation. Not one conducted by Shonkey obviously.

    edit –

    And this must be with judicial control. The price of sacrificing our country’s opportunities for domestic business enterprise to favour the dairy industry, is to have countrywide inspection of how well Fonterra is caring for this cuckoo industry. We want to know how our only big industry is being run, how well are our eggs-in the-one-basket being nurtured?

  7. Herodotus 7

    What confuses me is that if the cause was a dirty pipe and that it takes some time to ascertain the cause of the contamination, why was so little milk product contaminated and for such a short time period, as there is no comments from Fonterra that maintenance on the pipe occurred or that the pipe in question was cleaned. As if the cause was this pipe then production over a greater time period and volume would be contaminated yet it was limited to a few tonnes.
    This possibility gives more credence, as the contaminated milk product was so limited.

  8. RJL 8

    Of course, the Clostridium botulinum came from somewhere else. It was not spontaneously created in the pipe. Only lunatic religious freaks believe in creationism.

    A “dirty” pipe obviously implies “dirt” arriving in the pipe at some point.

    It was clearly a contaminant in the milk or potentially in the water that had been washed through the pipe previously.

    But this should not be a relevation to anybody. Various things contaminating the milk Fonterra receives is a routine occurance. The whole point of Fonterra’s processing system is to (apart from to make money) remove/destroy any contaminants. The integrity of the proccessing system has failed somewhere. Apparently, at a particular pipe for a particular time.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.1

      Technically, if the bacteria had spontaneously emerged in the pipe that would be abiogenesis, not divine interverntion ;)

      • RJL 8.1.1

        Perhaps, but if Fonterra thought they had proof of the formation of Clostridium botulinum via abiogenesis they would have published a paper about it in Nature and would now be waiting around for their Nobel Prize to arrive.

        Or actually, they would have probably studied and patented the process and be busy planning a revolution in human-designed organisms. New Zealand’s economic woes would be over!

    • weka 8.2

      “Of course, the Clostridium botulinum came from somewhere else. It was not spontaneously created in the pipe. Only lunatic religious freaks believe in creationism.”

      Yeah RJL, but don’t let a little thing like logic get in the way.

  9. jps 9

    The way Glyphosate (Roundup) works is by distorting the balance of the soil biology. It doesn’t kill plants directly. The plants are killed by pathogens that are always in the soil, but were kept in check by other microbes until the glyphosate interfered. If you put a plant in a sterile medium, glyphosate won’t kill it because there are no pathogens.

    This is why I think Frank Rowson’s theory should be investigated.

    • weka 9.1

      What do you think the mechanism for the contamination is? Given that in NZ dairy cows are mostly pastured and fed supplemently with palm kernel extract and silage, where do you think the glyphosate is coming into play? And how did the clostridium get into the milk? I think it’s a very interesting theory, but would like to see more specifics on how it might be a factor in this situation.

      • jps 9.1.1

        Good questions and I’m not sure but…

        Conventional advice to farmers is to “spray out” paddocks before sowing maize (for silage), winter or summer crops, or just re-grassing. So kiwi dairy farmers use lots directly (not us though, I’m pleased to say). Also, the main GE innovation to date is roundup-ready varieties of normal plants, which of course get heaps of roundup, and we now import a fair bit of GE stockfood for dairy cows (soy and cottonseed meal for example).

        We also know (from tests on urban-dwelling Europeans) that glyphosate itself survives in the food chain so its almost certainly in the milk. None of that establishes that there must be clostridium in the milk, but it certainly seems worth checking out.

        All very threatening to the standard business models of course, which is why this chap will be getting dumped on from a great height. But its pretty easy to farm without glyphosate, so if this is the problem (or part of it) there is an easy fix.

      • Lan 9.1.2

        Dirty water – “dirty dairying”. Dirty feed from untested places. Dirty outputs. Time to clean up dairy farming practice in New Zealand.

    • insider 9.2

      Utter crap even if stated convincingly. It is applied to and absorbed through the plant surfaces and inhibits an enzyme essential for growth. Spraying it on soil is a waste of time and money.

      Based on your comment, If you think rowsons theory should be investigated that makes it almost certainly complete nonsense.

      • jps 9.2.1

        Read my comment again insider – I said nothing about spraying it on the soil. You spray it on the plant, the plant exudes it into the soil, and the soil pathogens do the rest.

        And if you want more, use google to look up Dr Don Huber’s work. He’s the guy who ran Monsanto’s research at Purdue for decades, and is the source of my information.

        • insider

          And that is even more nonsense. It doesn’t even pass the sniff test. Glyphosate doesn’t affect ‘microbes’ it inhibits chemicals. And plants don’t miraculously exude some miracle substance as a result that allows pathogens to attack. You’re talking nonsense on a homeopathy level.

          • jps

            oh FFS! Plant roots exude all kinds of things (you might like to read up on Mycorrhiza), and when you spray them (the plants remember, not the soil) with glyphosate it changes the things they exude, which changes the soil (because the plant’s roots are in the soil), which kills the plant. Now go away and read the science and stop trying to dismiss comments on such a prejudiced basis.

            • weka


              I can’t remember the exact pathways that roundup uses, but to say that plants don’t exude chemicals from their roots to influence soil microbia just demonstrates that you (insider) have no real understanding of how plants and soil work. Don’t feel too bad though, it’s that lack of understanding that underpins much of industrial agriculture and why we are degrading soil fertility as such an alarming rate.

              • insider

                If I’d said that you might have a point, but I didn’t

                • weka

                  You said it didn’t pass the sniff test. But it does even if jps isn’t 100% correct in the mechanism Did you look up Huber’s work?

    • Populuxe1 9.3

      Glyphosate’s mode of action is to inhibit an enzyme involved in the synthesis of the aromatic amino acids tyrosine, tryptophan and phenylalanine. It is absorbed through foliage and translocated to growing points. Because of this mode of action, it is only effective on actively growing plants; it is not effective as a pre-emergence herbicide.

    • Galeandra 9.4

      jps ????

      As a non-scientific user, I’d suggest that Glyphosate kills by blocking the vascular systems of non-woody plants, leading to wilt and death, at least it does that when I use it :(

      It consequently distorts the ecology of the sprayed area by leading to proliferation of re-colonisers and resistant plants, and also by exposing soil to air and light, dehydrating it as well as causing oxidising & leaching out nutrients and , of course, an imbalance tilted towards fungal and microbial decomposers.

      On my (ex-nursery) blocks I have an impressive range of members of the nightshade family, as a consequence of years of inadvertent selection by the previous users of the land.

      From my own observation I’d add that in Taranaki it is common practice to overwinter maize blocks (for silage) with a non-flowering grass which is sprayed with glysophate in the spring then baled as silage when wilting is advanced, usually several days after. The spraying process improves the nutrient density I think by trapping the sugars in the foliage as the failing vascular system can no longer transport them to the root system. Once silage is taken, preparation for resowing of maize begins and everything is usually completed within the week.

      It is as clean an example of the green desert as it is my misfortune to see.

      • jps 9.4.1

        Yeah well I’m no scientist but I read Huber’s stuff and have simply reported what I made of it. Pop-dude above called it bullshit but didn’t challenge the notion that glyphosate changes the soil (via root exudates) which kills the plant (in some way), and that is the main point IMHO.

        That Taranaki practice is extremely scary. I can’t understand how anyone could spray glyphosate on standing grass, and then feed it to cows, and then sell the milk for human consumption. I’d heard of the aussies making hay that way, but did not realise that non-convicts were also guilty of the same crime. That is taking it to a whole new level isn’t it?

        • yeshe

          jps … and Fonterra does not test for it … just what are the levels I wonder ? Is this more of what is to come out ? That they have willingly poisoned us all for years and years ?

          Not just the Taranaki grass .. as we are importing soy and cottonseed as cattle food … it will be the greenery of the soy, not the beans, so again it/they will be drenched in glyphosate and fed to the kindest most generous vegetarian creatures on earth who pass it on to us.

          This stinks. Some humans can be so irresponsible and so stupid.

  10. DavidC 10

    “Claims made by Mr Frank Rowson recently reported in the media about the cause of the contamination are speculation and not helpful in assisting the investigation,” NZVA president Dr Steve Merchant said.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.1

      Merchant is doing PR, but Rowson is right: the botulinum had to come from somewhere. Unless you’re in the abiogenesis camp I suppose.

      • DavidC 10.1.1

        Where one guy is a vet and the other is a ??? Rowson have any qualifications at all?

        • jps

          BVetMed according to the PSGR website, with 39 years experience as a large animal vet. Whereas Steve Merchant is a pet vet!

      • McFlock 10.1.2

        My guess is that any number of different bacteria enter the milk via the teat:tank interface, and possibly the tank:truck interface. Soil, crap and dust all blowing around the area, whatever. e.coli, lysteria, salmonella, and so on.

        The problem was at the factory – as others have pointed out, the factory should be killing the bacteria down to safe levels. The opposite happened and the factory became a breeding ground for it, it was just botulism that drew the lucky straw.

        The roundup argument is at best plausible speculation on a wider issue, at worst it’s just an organic farming consultant looking for free advertising. Either way, the real problem was the systems failure at the factory.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          It may be speculation, but it seems very well informed.

          • McFlock

            Still early days yet. And there’s a wide gap between that possible mechanism and it being a contributor to the contamination on a comparable level with (as an example) an unwashed pipe. Heck, a greater contributor could be the drought boosting dust levels at milking time. Latching onto roundup for this particular contamination incident seems to be rather convenient for a consultant on organic farming.

        • weka

          “The problem was at the factory – as others have pointed out, the factory should be killing the bacteria down to safe levels. The opposite happened and the factory became a breeding ground for it, it was just botulism that drew the lucky straw.”

          No, it wasn’t botulism (botulism is an illness). It was Clostridium bacteria or spores (can’t remember which), and apparently it’s not normal to test milk for C (which begs the question of why it’s not. I assume that’s because it is very rare to find it in the food chain in NZ). I agree that the factory is responsible for killing any bacteria, whatever route they come in on, but I’m not sure that Clostridium spores are killed by pasteurisation, which is what they are using to kill the main pathogenic bacteria in raw milk. If C is rare in that setting, and they don’t test for it, then their protocols probably don’t include killing it.

          Lots of speculation there, and again we are discussing things without the relevant information.

          • McFlock

            Fair call on microbe:disease distinction.

          • Lan

            Which given all the above speculation this is perhaps why the PM is actually RUSHING to set up a PROPER enquiry about WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED..think about that then!! Could/should be interesting.

          • Treetop

            Clostridium botulism spores require a higher temperature than boiling to be eliminated. Bacteria is eliminated with boiling. When the spores are left at room temperature this is when they become deadly.

            I heard that it was the spores, also I have heard that a 50 ml vial is capable of killing a million people.

            • weka

              “I heard that it was the spores, also I have heard that a 50 ml vial is capable of killing a million people.”

              But only under certain, very specific conditions, which is why despite clostridium being common, botulism is rare.

          • bad12

            Weka, far from it as far as what i have read, pasteurization of Honey is said to actually increase the amount of C.botulinum found in the yummy stuff what the bees make,

            Apparently it’s ‘normal’ for the stuff, C.botulinum to occur in honey and it’s recommended not to give honey to babies under 1 year old,

            Then there’s this, ”the bacterial spores are more heat resistant than vegetative cells and some can withstand temperatures well above 100C for many minutes befor destruction is complete”,

            ”Clostridium botulinum is the most heat resistant pathogen known to man”,


            To get there via Google= Technology of dairy products-page9-google books result,

            From what i can ascertain there is a certain amount of C.botulinum that we humans happily munch on all the time, once over the age of 1 we appear to all extents and purposes to be equipped in the gut to deal with and to C.botulinum in ‘normal’ enviromental doses without a worry,

            At risk are those who have a seriously compromised immune systems or those under 1 year old with developing immune systems,

            Anyone canning their own food/jam has to take extra precautions as do those who smoke food/fish and vacumn seal this, although from what i can gather prolonged refrigeration does a pretty good job of knocking off C.botulinum….

            • weka

              That’s pretty much how I understand it too, although I don’t think there is Clostridium in NZ honey (it might be in imported honey though).

  11. Adrian 11

    Considering that the PSA virus in kiwifruit came from China what’s the chance that a little bit of botulism spores may have come from the same place, just by accident, eh?
    When trying to solve a mystery always look for who benefits the most.
    Who benefits the most from a devalued NZ dairy sector?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 11.1

      Why go to all the trouble of sabotaging one industry once when you can screw a whole country by introducing market fundamentalism instead?

      • jps 11.1.1

        Its just a business model for Monsanto et al:

        Pretend there is a constant war against nature
        Design, make & sell the weapons
        Advertise/promote/corrupt as required to sell the whole programme.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.2

        Why go to all the trouble of sabotaging one industry once when you can screw a whole country by introducing market fundamentalism instead?

        You know the drill.

        You take out the strengths of a society first, one by one.

        The community groups, the unions, the volunteer associations, advocacy groups, productive assets, regional centres, with the ultimate aim that you have to go crawling to the corporations to accept whatever shithouse sovereignty-sell out deal that they are willing to offer you.

        BTW its the end of the free-market era of capitalism.

        The Neo-Feudal era is starting.

  12. tricledrown 12

    Infused why not drink a cup or 2 of glyphosphate just to prove us
    wrong an infusion if you like even on the back of the round up it recommend not to grow vegetables for human cosumption for 6 months after spraying!
    So are animals that consume grass or feedstock any different!

  13. bad12 13

    From the US CDC, ”most infant Botulism cases cannot be prevented because the bacteria that causes the disease is in soil and dust, the bacteria can be found inside homes, on floors, carpet,and counter-tops even after cleaning”,

    ”Honey can contain the bacteria that causes infant botulism so children less than 12 months old should not be fed honey, honey is safe for persons 1 year of age and older”,


  14. Chooky 14

    Seems like German University Research Vet schools support the link between glyphosate and Clostridium botulism in cattle :


  15. Maggy Wassilieff 15

    Just in case you folks don’t follow what is being said about the glyphosphate/Clostridium link on Sciblog, I’m posting the following two links:



    These two scientists have had a decent look at the methodology and relevant conclusions that can be drawn from the paper that seems to be the basis of Frank Rowsan’s views.

  16. Chooky 16

    On dangers of GM crops…Prince Charles and Wales and cows and glyphosate…. academic papers:


    Seems those Greenies aren’t so crazy after all!

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    The Civilian | 23-10
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Musa Kart is a Turkish cartoonist. In February he published a cartoon criticising Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's cover-up of a corruption probe. Now, he's being prosecuted for it:Turkish prosecutors have filed an indictment against a famous cartoonist working for...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • Workers’ rights under attack
    Now that 51st Parliament has been officially opened and sworn in, the government’s first order of business is to ram through an amendment to the Employment Relations Act. These legislative changes represent a massive assault on the rights of everyday...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Assaulted for protecting olive trees
    Villagers and activists were assaulted, handcuffed and hospitalized today while protecting olive trees at the site of a proposed coal plant in Turkey.The Kolin Group wants the olive trees cut down to make way for a new coal power plant....
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Shell Oil Cowboys Caught Drilling Illegally in New Zealand
    “There be trouble in town sheriff, some cowboys is coming into town”. It could be a line from a grainy old western from our childhood (well, mine anyway) when the good, clean living people of a well to do town...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Freedom of information: How it works in Norway
    While we're all wailing and gnashing our teeth about the corruption of our Official Information Act, the Open Government Partnership has a great piece on how Norway does it better. Key to their approach is proactive publication of the metadata...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    CTU | 22-10
  • There appears to be an off button
    John Key’s ability to turn his Prime Ministership on or off as he pleases raises a number of troubling issues for the general public....
    Imperator Fish | 22-10
  • The 500 hats of Bartholomew Cubbins – the John Key edition
    It’s standard practice for Ministers and Prime Ministers to wear different “hats” in the course of their work. Work done as a Minister can obviously be separate and distinct from an MP’s ordinary functions on behalf of the constituents in their electorates....
    Occasionally erudite | 22-10
  • The many hats of John Key
    On the Left | 22-10
  • Want lower rates? Cut back on urban sprawl
    Suburban sprawl is a radical, government-led re-engineering of society, one that artificially inverted millennia of accumulated wisdom and practice in building human habitats. Charles Marohn In the recent article The Conservative Case Against the Suburbs Charles Marohn (@StrongTowns) takes on the awkward relationship...
    Transport Blog | 22-10
  • Ebola Fear outstrips risk
    It's not just that Ebola sounds like a modern day black plague and probably originated from blood sucking bats living in dark caves - reason enough for people here in the United States to react like there's a Zombie-Vampire apocalypse...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • National lets Shell drill illegally
    Back in 2012, National passed the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act. At the time, they made a lot of noise about how this was the first legislation to properly protect the EEZ, and that it would...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health about Katherine Rich’s c...
    KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health : Is he satisfied that there is no conflict of interest in the head of the Food and Grocery Council, Katherine Rich, being a board member of the Health Promotion Agency; if so,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Kennedy Graham to the Prime Minister on the Deployment of New Zealand Speci...
    Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the risks to New Zealand from any commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq would be "no greater than I think the...
    Greens | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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