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Archive for December, 2007

Two drunk backbenchers

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, December 14th, 2007 - 48 comments

A mate of mine had a rather interesting run-in last night with a couple of drunken Tory backbenchers. Here’s what happened: Last night I was at the Malthouse in Courtenay Place having a few beers with some mates when who should walk into the bar but a couple of National Party backbenchers. We struck up […]

Turning attention inward: looking at the media

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, December 14th, 2007 - 8 comments

Some interesting observations from Steven Price on DomPost editor Tim Pankhurst’s keynote address at the Jeanz conference called “The Power of Print”. His speech included this interpretation on the NZ Herald’s Electoral Finance Bill campaign: “He was a bit bemused. “Good on them,” was his attitude. But he thought it would be boring the Herald’s […]

National reopens Selwyn race

Written By: - Date published: 11:53 am, December 14th, 2007 - 2 comments

Local Nats don’t want David Carter as their candidate for Selwyn. Looks like the threats, intimidation and bullying tactics used to get him the candidacy have backfired for him. Carter (himself a three time loser to Labour’s Ruth Dyson in Banks Peninsula) has a history of bagging other candidates within his party. He said of […]

You asked for it Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, December 14th, 2007 - 17 comments

From The Herald: The Auckland City Council has scrapped its plan to build affordable housing. The last council signed a contract with the New Zealand housing Trust to build 100 homes for lower income families. The contract was worth $9 million. Mayor John Banks says it was a pet-project with the last council and one […]

NZ leads the world on climate change in Bali

Written By: - Date published: 10:05 am, December 14th, 2007 - 28 comments

Here’s a clip that aired last night on TV3. It shows NZ leading the world in our response to climate change in Bali. To quote the reporter, New Zealand is “…putting words into action… [announcing] ambitious plans to go carbon neutral”. National on the other hand has no credibility on climate change. They don’t have […]

John Key DVD – Director’s cut

Written By: - Date published: 5:45 pm, December 13th, 2007 - 17 comments

John Key is the epitome of “style over substance” and his DVD showed us just how desperately he wants to be everything to everyone. This Production Shed.TV user-submitted video explores the man behind the mask.

No democracy for the Selwyn National Party?

Written By: - Date published: 5:20 pm, December 13th, 2007 - 15 comments

Colin Espiner has a story in yesterday’s Press saying that the heads of three National Party branches in the Canterbury district supported by 35 other party members have made a formal complaint to National President Judy Kirk alleging breaches of rules by the selection committee for the Selwyn candidate for National. List MP David Carter’s […]

National and the wage gap

Written By: - Date published: 2:24 pm, December 13th, 2007 - 74 comments

I see National’s complaining about the wage gap between New Zealand and Australia again. As usual they have no answers on what to do about it other than to blindly hope that tax cuts for the rich will lead to economic growth and somehow it’ll all trickle down into the ordinary worker’s pay packet. Ever […]

Memo to all National Party staffers:

Written By: - Date published: 12:15 pm, December 13th, 2007 - 1 comment

Listen up guys and campers, there are some disturbing bits of info coming back from our ‘plants’ in the media world, including David F. I realise that the Labour govt are stuffing up to such big-time that I understand a little over-confidence is creeping in to our ranks. We don’t want anyone thinking that we […]

Style over substance: no real answers

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 am, December 13th, 2007 - 58 comments

In a continuation of Key’s “style over substance” policy approach, his consultants have found him a new buzzword – “infrastructure”. “Australia’s been more productive because they’ve invested in infrastructure… they’ve made sure they’ve got private sector capital going in there as well as the public sector investing… we need to deliver that infrastructure“ he said […]

Nats ruin the party

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 am, December 13th, 2007 - 3 comments

Well I might be drawing a long bow there but last night’s press gallery party was the worst I’ve ever been to and I suspect the Nats’ filibustering of the EFB might have to take the blame. Last year the do was a raucous good time with loads of drinking, gossip and chaos. This year […]

ODT on the Electoral Finance Bill

Written By: - Date published: 7:39 pm, December 12th, 2007 - 81 comments

Here’s an article from the ODT. It’s by Simon Cunliffe, “a senior Otago Daily Times journalist”. I’m loathe to reprint it in full but the ODT doesn’t provide full online access to articles. Perhaps the best I can do is to encourage you to subscribe to their digital edition if you enjoy the read. Electoral […]

Bush absent at Bali conference

Written By: - Date published: 5:21 pm, December 12th, 2007 - 4 comments

Al Gore has just accepted his Nobel Peace Prize for advocacy for action on climate change. In his speech he’s lauded Kevin Rudd’s immediate commitment to ratifying the Kyoto Protocol on climate change – he did it only days after assuming office. The move to ratify leaves the United States as the only developed nation […]

Classic Winston

Written By: - Date published: 3:07 pm, December 12th, 2007 - 101 comments

Winston Peters just stood up in the house. Everyone expected he was going to announce he’d paid back the $160k. Instead, he announced he’d donated the money to charity and written to Kevin Brady to tell him he was wrong. Whatever you think of the man, you’ve gotta admit he’s got style. UPDATE: According to […]

What is the price of believing?

Written By: - Date published: 1:41 pm, December 12th, 2007 - 15 comments

Oprah is a global brand, so when she went public with her campaign to support Barack Obama it was part of our news cycle. But we haven’t seen much follow-up on what it means for the Democrats and impact on the African American vote as they primaries beckon. For those taking an interest in US […]

Republican AdStravanganza

Written By: - Date published: 12:28 pm, December 12th, 2007 - 10 comments

Talking Points Memo have put together a great compilation of Republican presidential candidates’ campaign ads stripped back to nothing but key lines. It’s certainly a time-saver to have all the bullshit taken out for you. Top marks go to Tom Tancredo for managing to come across as a deranged reactionary even amongst a field of […]

Argentina gets first elected female president

Written By: - Date published: 1:09 pm, December 11th, 2007 - 13 comments

We’ve been writing about Jenny Shipley and Helen Clark (btw – yesterday was the 8th anniversary of signing Ministerial warrants for the first term Labour ministers). Now Argentina has an interesting twist – Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the first woman to be elected president in Argentina, succeeded her husband, Nestor Kirchner. From the NY Times: […]

Xmas trees & when all that glitters

Written By: - Date published: 1:02 pm, December 11th, 2007 - 11 comments

It was once a matter of personal preference. Now it’s part of the sustainability story. Do you prefer the uniform shape, colour, ease of the plastic fantastic, or was the distinctive aroma of pine sap and rustle of pine needles a defining characteristic of your Xmas experience? Well now there’s the ethical question to add […]

Dole figures at 28-year low

Written By: - Date published: 10:16 am, December 11th, 2007 - 32 comments

From the Beehive site: Social Development Minister Ruth Dyson said that in December 1999, when Labour came to power, there were 161,000 people receiving an unemployment benefit. “Over 141,000 have come off this benefit since then, with just over 20,000 people receiving it now,” she said. “These numbers haven’t been this low since 1979. In […]

Greencabs – Toyota Prius taxi fleet

Written By: - Date published: 10:06 am, December 11th, 2007 - 7 comments

There’s a new taxi fleet servicing Wellington and (in three days time) Auckland. The vehicles are all Toyota Prius hybrids and the company, Greencabs, also offsets the residual emissions making it, they claim, the country’s first carbon neutral taxi company. They tell me they’re also the cheapest in town – presumably because the fuel consumption […]

Rap battle: Howard vs Rudd

Written By: - Date published: 9:55 am, December 11th, 2007 - 7 comments

Somehow I missed this when it was originally posted. In case you did too…

Petty politicking and the Xinyao tragedy

Written By: - Date published: 5:21 pm, December 10th, 2007 - 81 comments

Reuters reports that the death toll from China’s Xinyao mine tragedy has now surpassed the 100 mark after 50 rescue workers were sent in without training and never resurfaced. According to Chinese media the cause of the tragedy was the mine management’s failure to install a gas detection system and its storage of explosives in […]

KiwiSaver enrolments pass 300,000

Written By: - Date published: 4:46 pm, December 10th, 2007 - 23 comments

I wonder if the Nats still want to bin it? Remember it was only last May that John Key told Morning Report “Oh, no. No guarantees over KiwiSaver Mark II.” Here’s the press release.

A decade since Shipley

Written By: - Date published: 4:26 pm, December 10th, 2007 - 34 comments

How remiss of us! Our pals over at Kiwiblogblog have just pointed out that we’ve just missed the 10 year anniversary since Jenny Shipley first took the reins on 8 December 1997. Some of my personal favorites from her time in the sun: The Code of Social and Family Responsibility. At the time the Wesley […]

Herald censors criticism

Written By: - Date published: 3:58 pm, December 10th, 2007 - 13 comments

From frogblog: The New Zealand Herald has censored part of a 200 word article that the Greens were asked to submit on campaign finance reform for yesterday’s edition. It deleted the opening paragraph that was critical of the Herald’s coverage of the issue, and replaced it with its own commentary at the end of the […]

Key pledges to sack prison and parole staff

Written By: - Date published: 2:29 pm, December 10th, 2007 - 53 comments

I’ve just listened to John Key’s interview on Radio Dunedin last week: powered by ODEO “I also think we need to get a lot of the bureaucracy and red tape out of the way. I don’t know if you noticed but on Tuesday a story came out saying that the core bureaucrats in Wellington [WRONG] […]

2007 Trans-Tasman MP rankings

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, December 10th, 2007 - 76 comments

So DPF’s given his predictable take on this year’s Trans-Tasman MP rankings (PDF – 150K). Now averages are one thing but more interesting is a trend that DPF conveniently ignores – While many of National’s high profile MPs are static or slipping in the rankings, Labour’s heavy-hitters seem to be lifting their game. LABOUR Clark […]

A chat and a cuppa

Written By: - Date published: 9:41 am, December 10th, 2007 - 47 comments

From Scoop: “Clark first in Rudd queue” Kevin Rudd has pledged to broaden relations with New Zealand after a flying visit by Helen Clark to put “Kiwi issues” on the new Australian prime minister’s radar. In a sign of the importance placed on relations with the new Australian government, the New Zealand prime minister flew […]

Weekend selection meetings

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 pm, December 9th, 2007 - 40 comments

Two more electorates have confirmed Labour candidates. Rimutaka was on Saturday – Chris Hipkins was selected. Christchurch Central was today – Brendon Burns was selected. I’ll post some biographical details tomorrow. UPDATE: Here’s a story from The Press on Brendon Burns. Here’s Chris Hipkins’ blog with selection speech and some personal details.

Key Karaoke

Written By: - Date published: 5:20 pm, December 7th, 2007 - 53 comments

Check out this fantastic karaoke clip from Ali Ikram on Sunrise this morning. Lyrics below: I know this song might sound like “Clocks” But I assure you that it’s not Just a bunch of random notes we composed to attract your votes Sent 10,000 DVDs so you could get to know John Key PS. if […]

John’s dead seal

Written By: - Date published: 2:40 pm, December 7th, 2007 - 128 comments

Um, why does John Key have a picture of a dead seal on his flickr page?

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    3 weeks ago
  • Preventing diabetes: What does the latest modelling evidence tell us about health gains and cost sav...
    Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Leah Grout, Dr Anja Mizdrak, Prof Nick Wilson Approximately 5.5% of NZ adults have been diagnosed with diabetes. In this blog we summarise our recent modelling work that suggests that further investment in interventions of proven effectiveness to prevent type 2 diabetes could substantially benefit ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 weeks ago
  • Who we should be really worried about this election…
    Once upon a time many of us said ‘beware the smiling assassin’ when we talked about John Key. These days, the warning should be ‘beware the smiling clown’.David Seymour’s chirpy countenance masks a grim future for Aotearoa New Zealand should he and his running mates get their hands anywhere near ...
    PunditBy Sue Bradford
    3 weeks ago
  • Today in History: Reagan returns to White House after assassination attempt, tells Americans ‘don...
    In our Today in History series, The Civilian winds back the clock to take a look at events that happened on this day in history. Today: Ronald Reagan’s return to the White House after a nearly successful assassination attempt. It was on this day in 1981 that President of the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 weeks ago
  • Collins ‘popped in’ to Anglican church to briefly threaten God before voting
    Even the private telepathic communications of National’s leader are now being leaked to the press. The leaks keep coming from within the National Party tonight, with several insiders sharing candid details about Judith Collins’ very public prayers over the weekend. When pictures emerged of Collins inside Auckland’s St. Thomas Tāmaki ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 weeks ago
  • In which two NZ judges seem to OK torture
    Today's outrage from the Independent Police Conduct Authority: police unjustifiably using a taser and pepper spray on a passenger from a fleeing vehicle: The incident took place just before midnight on 16 September 2017, when police pursued a fleeing driver through Auckland, according to an IPCA report. The pursuit ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Crusher loses control
    Judith Collins - National Party leaderOver the past year, it was surprising to see the numerous leaks that plagued former National Party leaders Simon Bridges and Todd Muller, leaks that immediately stopped after Judith Collins assumed command. It was almost as if there was a concerted effort to undermine the National ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Bringing National To Its Knees.
    Take It To The Lord In Prayer: Adding to the internal pressures applied by National’s own right-wing  Christian MPs, is the rise of the even more religiously conservative New Conservative Party. With the latter rumoured to be stripping thousands of Christian votes away from National, is it any wonder Judith ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Ardern continues to politicise Covid-19
    The Prime Minister should have spent more time preparing her press conference rooms with extra podiums where she could separate her roles as Prime Minister and Labour Party leader. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    3 weeks ago
  • Beyond the City Limits Update
    You might recall back in May that Beyond the City Limits, a locally-produced Dunedin speculative fiction anthology,* was short-listed for a Sir Julius Vogel. *Featuring my science-fiction story, Pink Unicorns Solvable in O(2) Time. The Sir Julius Vogels are the premiere annual New Zealand speculative fiction awards, and this ...
    3 weeks ago

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