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Archive for April, 2008

Who do you want answering the phone?

Written By: - Date published: 3:41 pm, April 30th, 2008 - 71 comments

Just received this parody of Hillary Clinton’s 3am ad, but with a New Zealand twist. Very funny.

Know your Nat: Judith Collins

Written By: - Date published: 3:36 pm, April 30th, 2008 - 45 comments

If National were the Government, Judith Collins would be Social Services Minister. That should be enough to send shudders down the spine of anyone who is worried about ensuring there is a safety net for the most vulnerable members of our society. Collins is rabidly anti the welfare state and a nasty piece of work. […]

The Golfball and Sickle

Written By: - Date published: 12:38 pm, April 30th, 2008 - 56 comments

Personally, I think it’s hilarious. A brilliant piece of activism that got the public’s attention and raised the issue of why we have American spy equipment on our soil. All without any real harm done and no violence. The wannabe semiotician in me loves that you’ve got a rag-tag bunch of ordinary people attacking a huge, […]

Right answer, wrong question

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, April 30th, 2008 - 3 comments

It’s not often National gets something right but their latest flip-flop, on bio-fuels, is a good policy (well, partially and for the wrong reasons). National has announced they will no longer be supporting the bio-fuel requirement in petrol because it may put up the price of petrol a few cents. The bio-fuel requirement was always […]

Herald Digipoll

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, April 30th, 2008 - 33 comments

Today’s Herald Digipoll has National up 2 points and Labour down 2, a result the Herald describes as the “Nats pulling away”. As ever you can’t read too much into a single poll, but the pattern continues to show National coming off the highs in the mid 50s it reached earlier this year and Labour […]

Tweaking the updates

Written By: - Date published: 3:45 am, April 30th, 2008 - 17 comments

Yesterday’s site issues were due to a combination of inadequate Expires (causing a lot more files being transmitted) and the web-crawlers grabbing the updated site. It blew out the memory. I’ve limited the simultaneous sessions to prevent that until I get more RAM. Bandwidth usage for this month is indicating this would be a wise […]

Aloha means hello and goodbye

Written By: - Date published: 2:28 pm, April 29th, 2008 - 59 comments

Strangely, given the fact the National Party is doing so well in the polls and looks to be the favorite heading into the election, things seem to be coming apart for them. We’ve heard a few stories about tense caucus meetings and divisions but mostly only as rumour and, in an election year, that sort […]

National on personal attacks

Written By: - Date published: 2:24 pm, April 29th, 2008 - 13 comments

Greenwoman just flicked us this:

Child beating petition falls short

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, April 29th, 2008 - 95 comments

Family First’s petition for a referendum on reversing the amendment to s59 of the Crimes Act that removed the defence of reasonable force for assault on a child (try saying that three times fast) has failed to get enough signatures. It needed 280,275 signatures and seemed to have enough but the Office of the Clerk […]

Put it on the kids’ tab

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, April 29th, 2008 - 6 comments

Some may have noted an odd series of questions in Parliament and press releases from Bill English around government borrowing over the last month. The questions purposely conflated the idea of maintaining current debt levels with increasing debt. We noted this at the time and Tane correctly picked the strategy: First, sow confusion about debt […]

On child poverty

Written By: - Date published: 10:27 am, April 29th, 2008 - 26 comments

The Child Poverty Action Group has released a report [PDF, 400k] showing there were 185,000 children living in poverty in New Zealand in 2004. That’s a big number but it is out of date and already well down from the dark days of the 1990s. It is estimated that higher employment, higher wages, paid paternal […]

7 reasons why cutting GST on food will not help

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, April 29th, 2008 - 30 comments

Scrapping GST is a classic, populist issue that sounds delicious in times of high food prices but at closer inspection – it doesn’t taste good at all and isn’t the best way to help those struggling to buy food. The cost of food and fuel has dominated the media over the long weekend and there […]

Repeating the mistakes of others

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, April 29th, 2008 - 13 comments

Remember National’s policy of charging a $50 levy on everyone convicted of or, maybe, charged with (Key keeps on mixing up the terms) an offence? Remember all the obvious problems with it enforcement, administration cost, natural justice issues, the pitiful size of the sum that would be collected? Well, it turns out we missed one. […]

Interview the leaders VI: United Future

Written By: - Date published: 4:47 pm, April 28th, 2008 - 19 comments

Thanks to ACT leader Rodney Hide for participating in our ‘Interview the leaders’ series this morning. Our next leader is the Maori Party’s Tariana Turia. The general question remains: Of which of your achievements in politics are you most proud? For the two other questions we’ve gone with Higherstandard’s question: Can you envisage a NZ […]

Clem Simich stepping down

Written By: - Date published: 3:13 pm, April 28th, 2008 - 14 comments

Clem Simich has just announced he will be stepping down at the election. As regular readers may have noticed I’m not generally a fan of National MPs, but Simich’s liberal voting record made him one of the better ones. To see Simich leaving to make room for the likes of Stephen Franks is not encouraging. […]

Buy it back

Written By: - Date published: 1:07 pm, April 28th, 2008 - 21 comments

I see that the Wellington lines network has been sold. Given the network has been in in the hands of foreign investors before I can’t see a sustainable argument for blocking the sale as the Auckland Airport bid was blocked. I do think the government should have bought it back. Electricity is too important to […]

Dunne: feathering his own nest

Written By: - Date published: 12:40 pm, April 28th, 2008 - 12 comments

Peter Dunne is once again touting his plans to introduce income splitting. It’s a policy aimed at helping out the wealthy. New Zealand Institute of Economic Research senior economist Patrick Nolan tells us that “80% of the tax gains of income-splitting would go to the top 20% of taxpayers”. Dunne was reportedly “not bothered” by […]

Pepsi vs Coke

Written By: - Date published: 11:53 am, April 28th, 2008 - 79 comments

Last week, Campbell Live ran an article about the framing of Key as slippery. It could have been an excellent piece on the merits of such attacks, the wisdom of them, and their effectiveness. In parts it was, but then Campbell did this: The shallow premise that politics is only identical brands competing for popularity, […]

Right question, wrong answer

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, April 28th, 2008 - 15 comments

Interesting to see people gradually waking up to what Fidel Castro, last year, called “The sinister idea of converting food into combustibles”. Even crazy ol’ Mike Moore writes about it today, although he is dead wrong when he calls biofuels “a populist Green response to global warming”. Environmentalists were always suspicious of biofuels, seeing them […]

Rodney Hide answers your questions

Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, April 28th, 2008 - 27 comments

We’re very pleased to have ACT leader Rodney Hide respond to your questions as part of our Interview the Leaders series. Question to all leaders:  Of which of your achievements in politics are you most proud? Making the IRD legally and culturally more accountable and responsive and getting my Regulatory Responsibility Bill to the Commerce Committee and, I […]

Upgrades

Written By: - Date published: 6:19 am, April 27th, 2008 - 73 comments

I upgraded the site tonight. There have been a lot of security fixes since we pushed a test site together in August 2007. It was only meant to be a trial (as I keep saying plaintively to the posters), and it sort of got away on us. This version is meant to be much more […]

Mistakes, I’ve made a few

Written By: - Date published: 2:22 pm, April 26th, 2008 - 91 comments

David Farrar’s three more prominent weaknesses came together in a speculator PR disaster yesterday. The weaknesses are his ego, his trick of using pictures of naked women to boost hits on his site, and his reverse midas touch, whereby every he touches turns to, well, it doesn’t turn out well. See, Farrar led the campaign […]

Fairfax reporting staggeringly awful

Written By: - Date published: 12:42 pm, April 26th, 2008 - 36 comments

This morning’s Dom Post buys into National’s “Aussie exodus” spin with a lead story claiming “A staggering one in 10 voters are considering a move to Australia” in the next twelve months. The facts, of course, are somewhat different. As we’ve shown before, as few as 0.67% of New Zealanders actually emigrate to any country […]

Helen Clark answers your questions

Written By: - Date published: 12:35 pm, April 25th, 2008 - 62 comments

We’re very pleased to have Prime Minister Helen Clark respond to your questions as part of our Interview the Leaders series. Question to all leaders: Of which of your achievements in politics are you most proud? I am proud to lead a government which has worked so hard to restore fairness, opportunity, security, and hope to many New […]

If I were National’s campaign strategist

Written By: - Date published: 11:05 am, April 24th, 2008 - 61 comments

National will not win by running on its rightwing principles and policy. For 20 years, New Zealanders have consistently said they do not want to sell public assets, they do not want weaker employment law, they do not want tax cuts at the cost of public service cuts, and they like government assistance like Kiwisaver […]

Roy Morgan

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 am, April 24th, 2008 - 32 comments

No real surprises in the latest Roy Morgan poll, but Gary Morgan’s hilariously bad political analysis continues. You’ll remember in the last Morgan poll our man Gary put the thirty percent increase in the Greens’ support down to Earth Hour, and this week he’s at it again: the Greens are down 2.5% to 6.5% – […]

Bad Comics

Written By: - Date published: 7:33 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 12 comments

So, one internet comic writer challenged another internet comic writer to draw 200 bad comics and this was the result. Awesome on so many levels. I especially like number 10. I wonder if that will be New Zealand come November.

Clark’s answers delayed

Written By: - Date published: 4:33 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 25 comments

We had hoped to have the answers for our ‘interview the leaders‘ series from Helen Clark today. I talked with the PM’s office and they explained the questions are with Clark, she’s been busy travelling, and we’ll have them as soon as they come back. So, they’ve asked for an extension and I said ‘fair […]

Does money buy happiness after all?

Written By: - Date published: 4:15 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 29 comments

In 1974, economist Richard Easterlin, published a study in which he argued that economic growth didn’t necessarily lead to more satisfaction. In poor countries, gaining the necesseties of life raised happiness but beyond those gains there was no increase. This became known as the Easterlin paradox. Just last week, two young economists presented what they […]

Flat-Earthers heart climate change deniers

Written By: - Date published: 3:19 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 4 comments

The Climate Science Coalition is the last of a dying breed; a rabid, climate change denying lobby group. Of late, they have been performing a desperate, last-ditch attempt to slow the introduction of a carbon trading scheme. And, now, it looks like they’ve received some heavy-weight support in the form of the venerable Flat Earth Society:

50 ways to help the planet

Written By: - Date published: 2:26 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 5 comments

Check out 50 ways to help the planet. My favourites? Shower with your partner Invest in your own reusable coffee cup Picnic with a marker pen

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  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
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  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
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  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
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  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
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  • EU and UK FTAs top of list for first ministerial trip since COVID-19
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  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
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  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
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  • Speech to APEC business event
    E ngā tumu herenga waka, ākina ā ngaru, ākina ā tai ka whakatere ngā waka ki te whakapapa pounamu, otirā, ki Tamaki o ngā waka Tena koutou katoa… To the great leaders assembled, who guided your waka through turbulent times, challenging waters and you continue to navigate your respective waka ...
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  • Pause on Quarantine Free Travel with Victoria extended
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  • Pukemiro School to close
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  • Speech for Predator Free 2050 Conference
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  • Visa extensions provide certainty to employers and 10,000 visa holders
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  • Border class exceptions approved for more farm workers and vets
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  • Speech at the release of Climate Change Commission's final advice
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  • Achievable blueprint for addressing climate change released
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  • Speech to release of Climate Commission final report
    A few years ago in a speech in Auckland, I compared climate change to the nuclear free movement of roughly four decades ago. And I did so for a few reasons. Firstly, because the movement of the 1980s represented a life or death situation for the Pacific, and so does ...
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  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Barrister Michael Robinson has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Robinson graduated with a BA and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1996, and commenced practice as a solicitor with Brookfields in Auckland.  In 1998 he travelled to London ...
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  • Government takes action to improve protections for subcontractors
    The Construction Contracts (Retention Money) Amendment Bill – which provides greater financial protection for subcontractors, has passed its first reading today. The Bill amends the retention provisions in the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (CCA) to provide increased confidence and transparency for subcontractors that retention money they are owed is safe. ...
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  • 1 million more Pfizer doses to arrive in July
    Pfizer has scheduled delivery of an estimated 1 million doses of vaccine to New Zealand during July, COVID1-9 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “These consignments will double the total number of Pfizer doses we have received this year to more than 1,900,000 – enough to fully vaccinate almost 1 ...
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  • Long-term home of the Independent Children’s Monitor identified
    The Independent Children’s Monitor (Te Mana Whakamaru Tamariki Motuhake), which is currently located within the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), will become its own departmental agency within Government. “Following the recommendations of several reviews, Cabinet agreed in 2019 to build a significantly expanded independent monitor for children in care,” Carmel ...
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  • Racing Integrity Board members announced
    The new Racing Integrity Board will be up and running from July 1 to ensure high standards of animal welfare, integrity and professionalism in the racing industry. Racing Minister Grant Robertson today announced the appointments to the new Board: Sir Bruce Robertson KNZM – Chair Kristy McDonald ONZM QC Penelope ...
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  • Govt crackdown on organised crime continues
    A major operation against multiple organised crime groups with international links will make a significant dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks, Police Minister Poto Williams says. “I want to take an opportunity to congratulate the Police for their role in Operation Trojan Shield. This ...
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  • Farm planning framework supports farmers into the future
    A new framework, agreed between Government and industry, will make it easier for farmers and growers to integrate future greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater regulatory requirements into their farm planning, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “The Good Farm Planning Principles Guide out today, provides guidance for how farmers can organise ...
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  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved for Canterbury
    The Government has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to the Canterbury floods. The Minister of Social Development and Employment, Hon Carmel Sepuloni says $500,000 will be made available to help with the clean-up. The flooding in Canterbury has been a significant and adverse event damaging farmland, homes, roads ...
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  • Connecting rangatahi to the soil
    A Jobs for Nature project to raise 480,000 native plants in nurseries across South Auckland will provide work for communities disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, Acting Conservation Minister Ayesha Verrall says. The Mana in Kaimahi project is being run by Te Whāngai Trust Board and will establish ...
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    5 days ago
  • Roll out of high-resolution elevation mapping begins
    The first tranche of mapping data from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)-LiDAR project is now available to the public from Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand. LiDAR data, which creates 3D baseline elevation information, will deliver multiple uses over the coming decades to councils and regional industries. “This mapping ...
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    6 days ago
  • Champions of Pacific education rewarded in Queen’s Birthday Honours
    Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said the Queen’s Birthday 2021 Honours list show that across Aotearoa New Zealand there were many champions of Pacific education. “Education is so vital to the success of Pacific people that it’s truly fitting that a number of educators have been honoured this ...
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    6 days ago
  • PM congratulates Queen’s Birthday Honours recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has added her congratulations to the New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to their communities and the country in the Queen’s Birthday 2021 Honours List. “This group represents decades of services across many areas, and those honoured highlight how many New Zealanders are going above and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Change of status for Rangiriri kura
    A change of status for Te Kura o Rangiriri sees it become a designated character school within the Māori-medium network, Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis announced today. “This kura has been providing Māori immersion learning since 2003 in the historic town of Rangiriri, so I’m delighted that it is ...
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    1 week ago
  • APEC trade ministers’ unite on COVID-19 vaccine steps and rejuvenating the WTO
    APEC trade ministers today committed to speeding up the cross-border flow of vaccines and related goods to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This followed the completion of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting chaired by Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor early this morning. “As we face the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further consultation for Melville schools
    Formal consultation is set to begin on specific options for the future of schooling in South West Hamilton, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. “Recent engagement has shown that the schools and community want a change to Year 7-13 schooling for the area.  “I am now asking the Boards of Melville ...
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    1 week ago
  • Primary schoolkids dig trees for Arbor Day
    A new Arbor Day initiative announced by Forestry Minister Stuart Nash will see thousands of primary school children get the chance to plant native trees in their communities. The initiative is open to more than 2,400 primary schools. It is a partnership between Te Uru Rākau/NZ Forest Service and the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ Upgrade Programme kept on track
    The Government is increasing its investment in the New Zealand Upgrade Programme (NZUP) to support New Zealand’s economic recovery. Over two thirds of the projects will proceed as announced despite increased costs due to COVID, with modifications being made to others. “NZUP is already supporting over 1,000 jobs with 13 ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Northern Pathway gets green light
    The Government is committed to the Northern Pathway with its preferred option being a separate structure for walking and cycling alongside the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. Geotechnical investigations and testing has determined that building a structure connected to the Auckland Harbour Bridge is not possible ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago