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100% Clueless

Written By: - Date published: 9:33 am, May 13th, 2011 - 86 comments
Categories: Conservation, farming, john key, science, water - Tags: ,

John Key didn’t much like being called on the emptiness of our “100% Pure” advertising slogan. When confronted on BBC interview program HardTalk with the scientific evidence regarding species loss, and pollution in our rivers, he tried to dismiss it as just one person’s opinion. Key then went further, saying “He’s one academic and, like lawyers, I could provide you others who would give a counter view”.

It’s a typical clueless Key line, superficial and dismissive. So I’m very glad to see that he’s been called on it:

Key challenged to prove ‘green’ image

A leading environmental scientist has laid down a challenge to Prime Minister John Key: Find one credible expert who will back up New Zealand’s “100% Pure” image.

The challenge comes after Mr Key was grilled on BBC’s Hardtalk earlier this week over the country’s clean green image. The show’s reporter Stephen Sackur attacked New Zealand’s “clean, green” claim, citing a recent article critical of the country’s environment by scientist Dr Mike Joy, of Massey University.

The PM responded by saying Mr Joy’s article was only one view and he could easily provide a “counterview” in favour of New Zealand’s green image.

Now the author of the article is saying ‘prove it’.

“You can’t argue with the facts, the NIWA reports, the number of threatened species, all of those things are facts,” he says.

Facts? If they cared about facts they wouldn’t be Nats. So don’t expect a reply from Key. And don’t expect him to front up to any more hard interviews either. Reading his lines on Letterman is much more Key’s style.

86 comments on “100% Clueless”

  1. Key displays the RWNJ habit of viewing opinions as weapons to bludgeon the opposition with and not things to weigh up and inform.
     
    Who cares how coherent the opinion is?  As long as it backs up his prejudice he will use it.
     
     

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      More precise to say that RWNJs label facts as opinions so as to dismiss them especially when they call into question their own beliefs. Any opinions that support their beliefs will, of course, be labelled as fact even after they’ve been proven wrong by the facts.

  2. weka 2

    Yeah Key is clueless, but is the rest of NZ? Many communities in NZ have been happy to build their businesses around the clean, green tourism brand at the same time as letting their regional councils fail to enforce adequate environmental protection standards on (dairy and other) farming. Likewise, we’re quite happy to make money from the conservation estate via tourism but unwilling to fund DOC and other agencies to adequately protect the same estate. We can’t have our conservation estate and eat it too.

  3. I see Lynn your cunning plan is working.
     
    Go to google and type “clueless nz”.
     
    Then hit the “I’m feeling lucky” button.

    • lprent 3.1

      It was rocky’s idea.

      I must think about the code for tagging every reference of John Key in here. I don’t think that it’d be too hard to add such a filter into the site. And google loves this site based on how often it reads it.

      • Deadly_NZ 3.1.1

        Well you got to get the word out there somehow, but how many people really search for that phrase? There again just slipping it in to comments on MSM sites may help.

  4. Afewknowthetruth 4

    It is difficult for a man to understand something when his salary and position are dependent on not understanding it.

    Peak Oil.

    Abrupt climate change.

    Acidification of the oceans.

    The Sixth Great Extinction Event.

    Collapse of fiat currencies.

    The phony war on terror.

    Facts do not matter for governments. Promoting ideology, moulding public perception and looting the till without getting caught are the prime concerns.

  5. Tombstone 5

    Saw the interview and once again I found myself asking one simple question ‘how can anyone consider this man to be worthy of our leading our country into the future?’ It’s just one smarmy response after another from Key and it’s worn incredibly thin now. As far as I’m concerned, and the BBC interview only but highlighted it even further, the man is seriously out of touch with the real world and needs to go. If I were to rate his performance so far as PM it would be a lousy 1 – he’s failed this country something chronic.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    Yeah. Key should have painted NZ as the cesspool of the Pacific. That would have done wonders for our tourism, wouldn’t it?

    • r0b 6.1

      We can argue about what Key should have said later. This is about what he actually said.

      TS – do you approve of the PM lying? Do you approve of the PM dismissing the credibility of Dr Mike Joy?

      • tsmithfield 6.1.1

        He is the minister of tourism. His job is to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative etc. You can call that “lying” if you like. But if he’s not doing that, he’s not doing his job.

        • Armchair Critic 6.1.1.1

          He is the minister of tourism. His job is to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative etc. You can call that “lying” if you like. But if he’s not doing that, he’s not doing his job.
          Do you seriously mean “if he’s not lying, he’s not doing his job”? That must deserve to be bookmarked.

          • tsmithfield 6.1.1.1.1

            I didn’t call it lying. I said R0b could call it lying if he wanted to. I see it more as downplaying the negative information and highlighting the positive. Basically, its marketing.

            • lprent 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Problem is that he isn’t eliminating the negatives. He is trying to ignore them – a substantial difference because it doesn’t change the actual water quality. But he is pretty clueless at actually doing much. But ignoring all that…

              So if we look at the job of PM, then I guess you’d describe his lying in that role as being marketing as well? I wonder how far you’d take this interesting principle – ministers of the crown in general? Police in court cases? 

              But my guess is that your definition would only apply to right wing PM’s. 

              • tsmithfield

                He claimed he could provide a counterview. He didn’t say how credible that counterview would be. There probably are scientists in NZ with counter-views to Joy. Look at the global warming debate for instance for evidence that scientists can have widely disparaging views, even though some may not be taken seriously. So, Key wasn’t lying.

                IMO we don’t need to be hanging out our dirty washing to the international tourism community any more than we have to. Key was doing the right thing for NZ IMO.

                • Colonial Viper

                  He claimed he could provide a counterview. He didn’t say how credible that counterview would be.

                  Yeah I agree with you, Key is willing to provide shitty irrelevant non-credible references as it suits him to.

                • He claimed he could provide a counterview. He didn’t say how credible that counterview would be.

                  tsmithfield, you’ve done what I thought impossible: convinced me that I’ve overestimated Key. I’m with you now – once his comments are properly interpreted, Key’s deceptiveness is even worse than it initially appears (quite some achievement).

                • Disco

                  true but you must always be credible or else you don’t get taken seriously I guess the point is Key is losing his credibility and that is not what we need from our leader in the international community

        • Lanthanide 6.1.1.2

          So it’s the minister of tourism’s job to lie. Right, got that.
           
          If you went to a country whose tourism minister promised you could jump in any river and swim in it, and then when you got there it turned out actually you wouldn’t want to jump into most of the rivers and swim in them, would you feel cheated?

        • r0b 6.1.1.3

          They were pretty simple questions TS, they have Yes or No answers.

          Do you approve of the PM lying?

          Do you approve of the PM dismissing the credibility of Dr Mike Joy?

        • fraser 6.1.1.4

          “He’s one academic and, like lawyers, I could provide you others who would give a counter view”

          do you think thats accentuating the positive? Because i certainly dont – i call it being dismisive

          • tsmithfield 6.1.1.4.1

            “Do you approve of the PM lying?”

            Not lying. Spinning. You should know the difference. Lying would be to claim that “most scientists disagreed with Joy”. So long as he can find one dissenting academic in all the world, then he has told the truth.

            “Do you approve of the PM dismissing the credibility of Dr Mike Joy?”

            I don’t see where he has done that. He claimed that Joy is only one view. That is true. He said nothing about the quality of Joy’s view.

            Perhaps you should ask NZ tourist operators if they are pleased that Key engaged in a bit of positive spin for NZ tourism.

            • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1.4.1.1

              He said that academics are like lawyers, FFS. They just, aren’t.

              Well, outside of right wing thinktanks they aren’t.
              But *they* can’t really be called academics so the point stands;

              John key is a right royal fuckwit,
              still,
              and you’re defending him,
              still
              because birds of a feather.

              • tsmithfield

                “He said that academics are like lawyers, FFS. They just, aren’t.”

                He clearly meant that academics are like lawyers in the sense that it is possible to find other academics with dissenting opinions. Absolutely true. Look at the AGW debate for instance. Hell, dissenting views in science have often preceded step-changes in knowledge.

                “John key is a right royal fuckwit,”

                Resorted to name-calling now? Is that because you don’t have an argument? Not very pretty.

                • Gee I wish law was as clear cut as the AGW debate.  It would make the whole business so much simpler.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  “He’s one academic and, like lawyers, I could provide you others who would give a counter view”

                  The reason you can get lawyers to represent different views, is because that’s what lawyers do. It is their profession. That is fundamentally different from what academics do. The clear implication that they are similar in that way, is a lie.

                  A claim that as a general proposition one can find academics to support or oppose any view, is again, nonsense. I’m sure can you think of examples that disprove that general claim. So if his statement relies on it being true in all cases, then again, it is a lie.

                  If he can find academic counter views for the specific case, he has the opportunity now to present them, and why wouldn’t he?

                  Resorted to name-calling now? Is that because you don’t have an argument?

                  Lord knows I’ve never claimed to be pretty, but you might find that:

                  “John key is a right royal fuckwit”

                  was the conclusion to an argument.

                  • tsmithfield

                    “A claim that as a general proposition one can find academics to support or oppose any view, is again, nonsense.”

                    It depends. I doubt that there would be any serious academic that would dispute the chemical composition of water for instance. However, when it comes to an opinion of complex issues such as all the components that interact to form our environment, then there are likely to be a wide range of positions. Take the AGW debate for instance.

                    Since this is the sort of issue that the PM was discussing, then I am sure he is correct. There probably are academics with opposing views to Joy. They may well be a minority. But they probably exist. However, Key made no claim in this respect.

                    • weka

                      “I doubt that there would be any serious academic that would dispute the chemical composition of water for instance. ”

                      Well apparently Key is saying that there is. It’s scientific fact that we have more polluted rivers than we used to. Key said that in tourism terms that’s debateble.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Key made no claim in what respect? It’s unclear as to what you mean there.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Take the AGW debate for instance.

                      Go for it. Find us one credible climatologist that disagrees with AGW.

                    • terryg

                      shonkey was being highly disingenuous with his use of the term “academic”.

                      Although Dr. Joy is, indeed, an Academic, he is in fact a Scientist.

                      Replace “academic” with “scientist” and the bullshit becomes obvious.

                      Unlike Law, Science is based on observation and analysis of facts, and is REPEATABLE

                      that is, anyone with suitable skill, time and resources should be able to independently duplicate scientific results.

                • bbfloyd

                  it’s a lawyers job to dissent, or counter opposing arguments.

                  that isn’t a job description for researchers and academics in the maim.

                • Disco

                  how many jokes are there about how many scientists at the bottom of the sea? No lawyers and scientists are different. Scientists find truth, lawyers make up the truth. A bad analogy Key bad.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.4.1.2

              Not lying. Spinning.

              There’s no difference.

              I don’t see where he has done that.

              That’s because you don’t want to see. Joy has based his view on those pesky things called facts and Jonkey dismissed it as opinion.

              • tsmithfield

                There’s no difference.

                So, all politicians are liars then? There is nothing that Key said that was untrue. Do you disagree that it would be possible to find one academic in all the world who would dissent with Joy on his view.

                “That’s because you don’t want to see. Joy has based his view on those pesky things called facts and Jonkey dismissed it as opinion.”

                According to point 3 (a) of the merriam webster online dictionary an opinion can be: “a formal expression of judgement or advice from an expert”. Do you disagree with that with respect to Joy?

                • weka

                  “Do you disagree that it would be possible to find one academic in all the world who would dissent with Joy on his view.”

                  Wasn’t that the point of r0Bb’s post? That the scientist who had been dismissed by Key challenged Key to come up with a single person who would support the 100% pure thing? Well, almost. The bit you seem to be spinnning is that it just has to be an accademic that disagrees with Joy. What Joy actually challenged was this:

                  “A leading environmental scientist has laid down a challenge to Prime Minister John Key: Find one credible expert who will back up New Zealand’s “100% Pure” image.”

                  Notice the use of the words ‘credible’ and ‘scientist’, and that Joy wants Key to find someone who backs the brand based on facts.

                  • tsmithfield

                    But the point being debated is the way Key answered the interviewer. Not Joy’s subsequent outburst. In his answers in that interview he made no claims about the veracity of any dissenting opinion.

                    • r0b

                      Say TS, do you practice yoga? It’s the only explanation I can think of.

                    • weka

                      “In his answers in that interview he made no claims about the veracity of any dissenting opinion.”

                      Just to be clear here TS. You think it’s ok for the PM to claim that somewhere in the world there will be a single academic who will publically agree with Key’s assertion that there is no depression in NZ even if the academic isn’t being truthful, and even if Key’s argument is countered by many actual experts in the field, who do tell the truth, who disagree that the NZ environment is 100% pure? And that that is a valid thing for Key to do?

                      That’s just weird.

                    • In his answers in that interview he made no claims about the veracity of any dissenting opinion

                      TS, do you understand how discourse works? The discursive ‘work’ Key was doing with the comment that Joy was just one academic and he can find an alternative viewpoint was to invite the inference that what Joy claimed was, at best, debatable, and, at worst, probably incorrect. Language utterances perform work that goes well beyond the schoolboy literalism and naive logical analysis you have suggested as a way to evaluate what Key said.

                      On a more substantive matter, Key’s need to defend (quite ineptly) the ‘100% pure’ marketing is indicative of what appears to be a general view in this government – that a tourism strategy amounts to a marketing strategy. This emphasis perhaps helps to shed light on the dissolution of the Ministry of Tourism – with it’s policy and planning focus – and the funding boost to Tourism New Zealand, which is the national tourism marketing body.

                      In a sense, then, you’re probably right, TS, that Key wouldn’t have been doing his job – as now structured – if he hadn’t defended the marketing brand by completely ignoring and denying reality. The role of Minister of Tourism is now one of being a marketing prop rather than one requiring a broad vision and strategy for the future of tourism in New Zealand. That is, the job description appears to have changed.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  So, all politicians are liars then?

                  Nope, I’m sure there’s some politicians out there that don’t use spin.

                  There is nothing that Key said that was untrue.

                  Yes there was – Jonkeys assertion that Joy’s views were opinion. That was, and is, untrue. What Joy stated was basic fact.

                  Do you disagree that it would be possible to find one academic in all the world who would dissent with Joy on his view.

                  Nope, I’m certain that there are corrupt academics as well. After all, the statement that our rivers are polluted isn’t an opinion – it’s a fact that’s been determined by scientific research.

                  Do you disagree with that with respect to Joy?

                  What Joy stated was fact as determined by objective measuring, ergo, not opinion.

                  • tsmithfield

                    “Yes there was – Jonkeys assertion that Joy’s views were opinion. That was, and is, untrue. What Joy stated was basic fact.”

                    Na. He stated his opinion it was fact. If researchers could simply declare their research to be fact there would be no need for peer reviews etc would there? Even then, I doubt that facts can ever truly exist, other than concepts such as squares having four sides etc. That is because concepts are generally established as facts when enough qualified opinion is in agreement. Therefore, most facts are just an aggregate of opinion.

                    • weka

                      “Therefore, most facts are just an aggregate of opinion.”

                      You got that the wrong way round. Scientific ‘opinion’ is born of facts and research and peer review. At the end of the peer review process we end up with a theory that is largely accepted as being true i.e. the theory is not considered opinion.

                      If you measure the number of fish living in a specific river in the 1980s, that’s a fact. If you measure the number of fish living in the same river in the 2000s, that’s also a fact. You can then develop hypotheses about why the fish numbers have declined over 2 decades. At this point there will be multiple scientists and multiple research gathering information (you might do research in a lab or in the field on the effects of nutrient run off on trout breeding for instance, and someone else might survey the changes in land use around that river over that time, etc). Once you have gathered all that information together, you analyse it and see if it supports the hypothesis. That hypothesis development and testing is carried out over time, and if repeatedly supported by the evidence, it becomes accepted theory (eg trout populations decline in the presence of x nutrients at x levels in x kind of river ecosystems). Theory here means an accepted explanation of reality.

                      It’s not an infallible process, scientists do make mistakes, and sometimes scientists are coopted by commercial or other interests. But there are ways of looking at science and seeing how robust it is. Look at the scientist’s background, including any declared and undeclared bias or conflicts of interest. Look at who has been funding their research. Look at what is to be gained by supporting or refuting the hypothesis. If you have a science background you can look specifically at the individual research and whether it was done correctly.

                      So yes sometime scientists get it wrong. But that doesn’t mean that facts are simply an aggregation of opinions. The whole point of the scientific process is to weed out opinion and bias and develop fact and evidence based knowledge.

                      btw, here is what I think is Joy’s original article that the Hardtalk interviewer was referring to.

                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10721337

                      It *is* in part an opinion piece eg he says:

                      “Surely it is time to admit, even if just to ourselves, that far from being 100 per cent pure, natural, clean, or even green, the real truth is we are an environmental/biodiversity catastrophe.”

                      *but* throughout the article are facts about our environment and history that are not really in debate eg the numbers of species facing extinction is measurable fact.

                      If you really want to defend what Key did, try taking apart Joy’s article and see if his views are supported by evidence. I’m willing to bet they are.

                    • Lanthanide

                      One thing I’ve slowly learnt over time, ts, is that being a pedant to the hilt and not budging on anything, is that it doesn’t actually change anyone else’s opinion and instead they just think you’re a huge twatcock.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “You got that the wrong way round. Scientific ‘opinion’ is born of facts and research and peer review.”

                      I understand the scientific method.

                      However, I disagree. In your example of fish counting for example, this would usually involve some sort of statistical sampling. This likely could lead to differences of opinion as to whether the statistical method used was appropriate or not for example. In the end it is an aggregate of opinion that decides whether the research was properly conducted and whether the research can strengthen, weaken, or further extend some concept that the aggregate of opinion has accepted as “fact”.

                      I’m really raising a philosophical argument about knowledge here. When it boils down, the only things that can be accepted as “fact” are mathematical truths, conclusions from deductive arguments (assuming the premises have been accepted), definitional truths (all squares have four sides) and subjective existence (I think therefore I am).

                    • MrSmith

                      I think TS is trying to say, the PM lied in good faith.

                    • terryg

                      ts, clearly you DONT understand the scientific method.

                      And as for this:

                      I’m really raising a philosophical argument about knowledge here. When it boils down, the only things that can be accepted as “fact” are mathematical truths, conclusions from deductive arguments (assuming the premises have been accepted), definitional truths (all squares have four sides) and subjective existence (I think therefore I am).

                      1. we’re discussing ACTUAL THINGS and you’re obfuscating with philosophical tripe.

                      2. mathematical truths – Hilbert was doubtless pissed when Godels incomputability theorems rendered the purpose of his lifes work essentially pointless (still, I use Hilbert transforms, so thanks dead white guy)

                      3. “assuming the premises have been accepted” – if it involves assumptions, then it clearly isnt “truth” now, is it. more obfuscatory twaddle

                    • Colonial Viper

                      ts is arguing a post-modernist position – that there is nothing actually real except for how you define it and how you perceive it.

                      this goes against every day experience but he thinks every day experience is an illusion so why not make it up as you go along.

                      Apart from math and gravity of course lol

                • Disco

                  yep Key might be able to pay a down on his luck scientist to back him up or maybe the moon man

              • Chris

                “Not lying. Spinning.

                There’s no difference.”

                There is a huge difference and everyone knows it. To say differently is ridiculous. For example Labour and many many people on this site have said that the tax cuts that National put through were only for the rich. However the working poor did get some benefit from these.

                By your definition then Labour were lying because everyone who was working got some benefit. The fact that the benefit was far greater for the rich doesn’t make any difference to this. But noone has said anything like that because it’s not lying it’s spinning which is what politicans do.

                And finally to be honest trying to argue that spinning is the same as lying isn’t particularly helping your case and is taking the focus off the issue. Which is yes it’s true that John Key wasn’t technically lying, he was spinning the truth which is what he should be trying to do. Obviously noone left or right wants him to go on there and say NZ is a polluted shithole, but he was doing an absolutely terrible job of whatever it was he was trying to do.

                • weka

                  There is a difference between spinning and lying, but spinning doesn’t preclude lying (and vice versa) and in this case Key is doing both.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Philosopher Harry G Frankfurt has done some useful work in this area, (On Bullshit Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2005.) , drawing a clear distinction between lies and bullshit.

                    Lies, Frankfurt proposes, are statements made to deliberately lead a listener into believing what the speaker believes to be an untruth. The liar thus cares about truth, and cares about what others believe to be the truth. The liar is bad, of course, but still respects and recognises the importance of truth

                    The bullshitter, on the other hand, simply seeks to have a listener go along with them without regard to what the truth is at all. The truth is not something that is of relevance at all to the bullshitter.

                    The bullshitter is worse than the liar, Frankfurt concludes.

                    • weka

                      Excellent, thanks.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      No worries. I found the book of his essay a couple of years back. He’s my kind of analytic phil prof. Funny, smart and pointing out a difference between two things that I thought were pretty much the same, but are in fact, very different.

                      There’s an interview about it with him here, if you’re keen:

                • Draco T Bastard

                  For example Labour and many many people on this site have said that the tax cuts that National put through were only for the rich. However the working poor did get some benefit from these.

                  They got tax cuts but are no better off primarily due to increased GST, ACC, rising prices and decreasing government services. The rich were better off because their tax cuts far exceeded the increases elsewhere.

                  This isn’t spin – it’s basic fact.

                  • Chris

                    I completely agree with you but you missed my point. I was trying to show (badly I confess) that given the same issue you can have completely opposing viewpoints on what happened and have neither be lying. For exmple given the tax cuts National can say the poor got tax cuts too therefore they benefited. Labour can say what you said in your post, basically that the poor got no benefits. Neither are lying but they are ‘spinning’. Both sides as you would expect them to do spin it to show how great they are/how terrible the other party is. Neither in this case would be lying.

                    I probably haven’t explained myself very well again, but just to make sure you know and don’t reply only to that point I’m not saying I agree with National’s assertion that last year’s budget benefitted the poor.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      National, not taking into account other changes that they put through, would be lying by omission. It’s going to be called spin but it’s still lying.

                      Labour, and the left in general, have included all the changes (Yes, Labour acknowledged that the poor also got tax cuts) and are stating basic facts. No spin and no lies.

                    • Chris

                      OK what you said was true and fair enough and my example was terrible, so I’ll only half continue with it, but because I’m a bit slow sometimes I will continue with it a bit. Mainly because I enjoy arguing and find the fact that someone can’t see any difference between spinning and lying unbelievable.

                      Spinning is accentuating the side you want people to see/believe.

                      For example with the tax cuts/gst increase, because they are predicting future outcomes obviously there is a scale of numbers the final effect will possibly be. National obviously went along the line of most optimistic and labour went along the line of most pessimistic. The truth was somewhere in between and both had data to back up their assertions and to be honest neither was completely unrealistic.

                      I do realise that you will come back with the ‘fact’ that Nationals original assertion was untrue and therefore they were misrepresenting the truth and therefore lying, so I will provide an example from some random paper I found from two minutes of searching on google. I’ll also point out that in this paper a distinction is made between spinning and telling the truth, but more towards the point of this discussion a distinction is made between spinning and lying:

                      What usually happens in an American courtroom provides a good way of illustrating the difference between lying and spinning. When a witness is called to the stand he is sworn to tell “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” and then he is asked a series of questions, which he is expected to answer truthfully. The person in the docket could lie, but the key point is that he is required by law to tell what he believes to be the truth. The attorneys for the plaintiff and the defendant, on the other hand, are primarily interested in winning the case for their clients, not determining the full truth about what happened in the dispute at hand. Accordingly, each makes an opening and closing statement in which he spins the facts of the case in ways that puts his client in the most favorable light. The rival lawyers invariably tell two different stories, but neither is allowed to lie. The American Bar Association, for example, stipulates in its rules of conduct that “a lawyer shall notknowingly make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal. Spinning, however, is not only permissible; it is what lawyers routinely do for their clients

                      http://www.scribd.com/doc/52587401/Why-Leaders-Lie-the-Truth-About-Lying-in-International-Politics-John-J-Mearsheimer

    • Zorr 6.2

      If there is a problem with the way our country is and the disconnect between our advertising slogan and reality of environmentalism in NZ then Key should have been able to elucidate on the parts of us that are “100%” and what we are doing to bring the other parts up to snuff and how we are focusing on this.

      Key did none of these things. He sat there with a smarmy grin on his face right before plunging his head up his own arse screaming “LALALALALALALALA”

      • weka 6.2.1

        He did say which bits were 100% – the ones you can see with your own eyes. The ones you can see with a microscope or a long term study on population decline or a trip to the doctor from swimming in polluted waters weren’t included.

        And in that sense he is right. Most tourists don’t care about the environment anymore than Key does, otherwise they wouldn’t be flying here at the expense of the climate in the first place. Mostly they want a feel good experience which comes from pretty visuals and friendly locals. The fact that the river they are driving past in their campervan is polluted is irrelevant if it looks good.

    • Peter 6.3

      All he had to do was recognise the issue and talk up what we are doing about it. Instead, he went in to justification and blame. No class whatsoever.

  7. I just blogged about this here (shameless plug, but relevant. http://thekapailife.blogspot.com/2011/05/100-purer-than-others.html)

    Two massive concerns. one, that it took a journalist half a world away to ask the PM some hard questions about our environment. two, that the PM then wrote off the science that discredits our brand as ‘just one man’s opinion’. shocking.

    Where are our journalists on this stuff??? the environmental stuff is pretty easy (especially because Bl!P (sp?) listed a vast number of environmental shockers in the past two and a half years.

    put it this way. DOC (the outfit that protects the stuff that our brand, and therefore our multibillion export earner, tourism) is funded on less than the budget of a city council to protect a third of the country, the stuff that delivers our freshwater, protects us from floods, drives our brand and provides huts/tracks/bridges/visitors centres etc for all of our tourist (hint: one in ten jobs in NZ is associated with tourism). Not to mention pest control and protecting our native species. it’s worth BIG BUCKS MAN! stop whittling our most strategic asset down to nothing and hoping for the best.

    Journalists, start asking about it.

    public, start caring, before we lose what it means to be a NZer (http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/choice-bro/)… forever.

    • weka 7.1

      It’s a mistake IMO to argue for increased funding primarikly based on the conservation estate being a strategic economic asset. If that were the main reason for protecting the environment, then we’d be better off converting the national parks into sustainable forestry, especially given what’s going to happen to tourism the further we pass peak oil. Or selling the Manapouri tail race water to the Middle East (that’d ensure we didn’t put dairy farms on the edge of the lake).

      • ah true – that’s simply me trying to hone in on words that the national party might understand. Having spent two days at a Bluegreens conference and hearing over and over that the environment was a good thing, but only if it could deliver economic outcomes – i’m keen to show that can occur (see TEEB reports that came out of Nagoya).

        Personally, I’m all for the national identity stuff. It’s precious because it’s precious, it has an inherent value – we as New Zealanders all have a responsibility to protect it. It’s also who we are. despite 85% of us living in urban environments we all consider ourselves to having an inherent (“almost soulful”) connection to our bush, land and sea (see Clifton’s article above – very strong stuff from Practica on that).

        it’s just, over the last two and a half years – that’s been a hard position to take… with the exception of the excellent response on the proposal to mine national parks. “You say mine, we say ours!”.

        • weka 7.1.1.1

          The problem is that if we argue the points on their terms we lose ground. Instead we can talk about economic benefits from the land as secondary to its intrinsic ‘value’ (and value isn’t even the right word). By secondary I don’t mean that less important, but that it’s a consequence of the primary value. You can’t protect the land if you see the primary value as economic, there will always be too many conflicts, and eventually we will have to choose between people’s jobs/the economy over the environment because that is how we have taught ourselves to be in relation to the land. It’s why we are in the mess we are in now – we’ve said that the economy is more important.

          I was very interested to read that Listener article and am pleased that the connection with the land is still so prominent.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.2

          Having spent two days at a Bluegreens conference and hearing over and over that the environment was a good thing, but only if it could deliver economic outcomes…

          /facepalm

          75% of the economy comes from the environment. Fresh water, clean air, sustainable farming etc etc.

        • Deadly_NZ 7.1.1.3

          I see they are saying there’s over a trillion dollars worth of stuff under our parks and reserves. Now that’s a number ‘Trillion’ that will send the Nacts and their bankers into an orgy of speculation to destabilise our economy, sell all our assets, get re elected under an election fiddle, and say screw you to the constituents and just digs some farking big holes, and then strip mine the places they want to. And the little man will still be broke and unable to pay his bills as all that money went off shore, and the Nacts engineer the whole thing with Act and Crosby trextor.
          Now does that sound a little far fetched????

        • Deadly_NZ 7.1.1.4

          I see they are saying there’s over a trillion dollars worth of stuff under our parks and reserves. Now that’s a number ‘Trillion’ that will send the Nacts and their bankers into an orgy of speculation to destabilise our economy, sell all our assets, get re elected under an election fiddle, and say screw you to the constituents and just digs some farking big holes, and then strip mine the places they want to. And the little man will still be broke and unable to pay his bills as all that money went off shore, and the Nacts engineer the whole thing with Act and Crosby trextor.
          Now does that sound a little far fetched????

  8. simpleton 8

    No this is Key’s business experience shining through.

    His mates have run these kinds of campaigns (smoking, climate change/oil, etc) and know that facts don’t matter. Unfortunately his way of creating a perception of purity was A-grade shite. It’s more 100% than other countries.

  9. randal 9

    the only thing key has any idea bout is the rate on bonds and his client list.
    he has no class.
    only money.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    Key is a light weight salesman.

    Used to selling bad products to unsuspecting compliant clients.

  11. IrishBill 11

    I don’t think it matters if it was spinning or lying. He did such a poor job of it it looked like lying.

  12. Rodel 12

    The real shames are :1] That we have no one of Stephen Sackur’s intellect or expertise in NZ

    2] That even if we did the Nats won’t expose themselves to people of such competence on media that might be seen in NZ…. (Hone and Don probably would but that’s another story).

    • Peter 12.1

      Exactly, they’d figure out how to shut them down by cutting off their funding

  13. Tanz 13

    He still looks like he loves the job.

    John Key, in power for ten years?

  14. Bob 14

    Jonkey would not recognize an enviromental impact even if it was a stoat feeding on his neck , he would just call it Don and hope it didnt get to the jugular

  15. Can TSmithfield please give us a laugh now and support Key’s statement that we’re 100% Pure “compared to other countries”. This should be good.

  16. GP 16

    Professor Jacqueline Rowarth at Massey University and dairynz water scientist Dr Mike Scarsbrook are two names that spring to mind about defending our 100 per cent brand.

    Earlier in the week I heard him say that our water quality was ranked second in the world (after Iceland) on the Yale University Environmental Report Index. On that same report were were ranked number one in 2008.

    Key was clueless during that interview and its facts like this that he should know and be able to use to back up our brand when being interviewed about it.

  17. GP 17

    Sorry, typo, I meant “we were” ranked number one in 2008.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      We might be ranked second according to the opinion of some outfit, but I’m still not letting my children swim in any of the filthy effluent polluted creeks and rivers in the Waikato, Canterbury or Southland, thank you.

    • weka 17.2

      Dr Mike Scarsbrook, who works for the dairy industry? We should listen to him? I’m not dissing him as a scientist so much as pointing out that the dairy industry can no longer be trusted when it comes to our environment. Ditto Federated Farmers. They’ve shot themselves in the foot on this, and until they start owning up to the problem I don’t think they have any credibility.

  18. Adele 18

    Teenaa koutou katoa

    From the perspective of tāngata whenua, the waterways are thoroughly polluted. Hard science would have an extremely hard time convincing us otherwise when we witness clearly the effects of effluent and pollution on awa and moana.

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  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago