A beautiful mind – read it and weep

Written By: - Date published: 2:45 pm, September 9th, 2009 - 53 comments
Categories: articles, uncategorized - Tags:

An email doing the rounds of the women’s networks found its way to me today. It’s link to an article about the late Sophie Elliott, fomerly of Otago University and the essay she wrote on equity and  and equality.

Sophie may have been heading to Treasury the week she was murdered but when you read this article and the passionate introduction from her lecturers it seems clear she certainly wasn’t captured by the right when she was studying economics at Otago.

“We found Sophie’s essay stunningly to-the-point, thoughtful and mature. Jean-Yves Duclos, editor of the Journal of Economic Inequality, wrote…’It is a remarkable piece of research for such a young person. In just a few paragraphs, the paper is able to strike right to the core of welfare economics and to grasp with many of its complex and philosophical and ethical issues. Elliott certainly had a beautiful mind.’

In Sophie’s paper, the reader may find many questions to ponder. Should a policy be about the the people who deserve to be treated equally rather than those who are treated equally…..Does the propserity of one person negatively affect the fortunes of some others?…..Are market-generated outcomes necessarily unfair? If so, is the lack of compensations for this unfairness morally wrong?

We have both felt Sophie’s loss, in this awful calamity, very deeply indeed. We are proud to have been her teachers and we commend her inspirational essay to the readers of Oxonomics. There was something magical about Sophie Elliott – everybody who knew her felt it, and everybody who knew her loved here, all but for one person. Rest in peace Sophie.

What a tragic, tragic loss on so many levels.

53 comments on “A beautiful mind – read it and weep ”

  1. gargoyle 1

    Indeed a very sad loss to her family, friends and NZ…………… but why on earth do you feel the need to try and score a cheap political point ?

  2. vto 2

    “..it seems clear she certainly wasn’t captured by the right when she was studying ..”

    No, but what do you expect? Most every student bends left at that stage of life. It is later, once they have actual experience and realities which start to infiltrate that political positions change to reflect a more realistic state of play..

  3. StephenR 3

    Well ‘thank god’ she didn’t get ‘captured by the right’. :eye roll thing:

    The women’s networks should keep a closer eye on Kiwiblog posts! http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2009/07/sophies_paper.html

    Note I said posts, not comments, though the comments there are pretty good 🙂

    • Ag 3.1

      Are you folks serious? Did you read the paper? The final quotation is from Hayek and the paper seems to me to more or less follow a typical right wing line of argument (full disclosure: I did a graduate paper covering most of this stuff when I was in school), which is to point out the vast number of problems with various conceptions of equality (or equity) with the aim of removing any meaningful concept of equality from debate and letting the chips fall where they may (the final quote being from Hayek is not an accident).

      I’ve seen this strategy many times.

      Not to speak ill of the dead, but I think it is a good (actually a very good) summary of most of the positions on the issue (particularly Dworkin’s work). However, there’s nothing particularly original in it, or that counts as anything other than a summary of the literature, as far as I can see. If that’s a superb paper in the Otago economics department, then well…

      But this whole business is rather tasteless. Whatever this poor woman’s political views, it isn’t seemly to go about trying to capture her post mortem for “our side”, or indeed vilifying her for being the “enemy”. I’m sure she was a nice person whatever her political leanings (yes, even Hayek).

      • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1

        I’ve not read Dworkin, but from the paper, and wiki he seems closer to Rawls than he is to Hayek. Would that be right?

        • Ag 3.1.1.1

          Yes. Although there are a few differences (some of which I can’t remember), Dworkin’s view is more or less Rawlsian in the broad sense. He favours equality of resources against equality of welfare in the form of a hypothetical equal initial distribution of resources. The main problem is that it doesn’t really appear to work well as a theory of equality, since it allows vast inequalities of resources and welfare.

          IIRC the paper in question noted all the usual objections to Dworkin, although it’s a long time since I read Dworkin’s original paper.

  4. Ruth 4

    Is there nothing that cannot have a political label slapped on it?

    What bad taste.

  5. Ari 5

    Treasury really isn’t just a stronghold of righties. Just because they’re pretty weak on our priorities doesn’t mean they don’t snap up plenty of people who agree with us.

  6. StephenR 6

    Not having been through a Treasury appointment process i can only speculate, but seems unlikely they ask for opinions about grand macroeconomic theories from their graduate analysts and the like, just whether they’ve got the brains and attitude to handle the work that Treasury does.

  7. TightyRighty 7

    Horriffic bad taste. Harldy unsurprising though, even with the morale moral high ground claimed here over the”sewer” at kiwiblog

    [lprent: Very unfortunate typo – had me laughing for a few secs. I’ll fix it ]

    • felix 7.1

      Morale high ground?

      Are you John Key? (Not that I’d be overtly concerned if you were.)

      • TightyRighty 7.1.1

        No Grammar Dick. Im not. John Key is very busy doing a very good job. It’s only loser opposition mp’s who can take the time to constantly blog. Are you a teacher?

        • Tim Ellis 7.1.1.1

          Hey, TR, don’t let him get under your skin.

          • TightyRighty 7.1.1.1.1

            little people with their persistent nagging attention to little things that only matter in their little mind are one of the reasons this country lags behind australia. give them a voice and they think everyone listens.

            • BLiP 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Explains a lot: perhaps if more people on the right considered the difference between “morale” and “moral” something worth knowing the economy might actually be in a better place and/or those responsible for stuffing it up held accountable.

        • vto 7.1.1.2

          haha. But which is worse – being John Key or being a teacher?

          • gargoyle 7.1.1.2.1

            Felix = the Standard’s tame troll, occasionally amusing but usually just mindlessly belligerent vs anything that it perceives as being to the right politically.

            [lprent: Yeah, and also responds to my unsubtle hints. That is the only thing that prevents him from getting the warning bans that used to piss the ‘sod off so much. It is tiresome, but I leave notes on him only occasionally. The ones I have to keep doing it to get banned. Darwinian winnowing of people who waste my time. ]

        • felix 7.1.1.3

          Grammar? It’s a completely different word, cockhole.

          [lprent: careful…]

          • TightyRighty 7.1.1.3.1

            Nice one. why don’t you move to your true vocation, writing inane letters to editors that seldom get published as they rarely extend beyond two issues. Grammar and punctuation. If you can’t argue the argument, keep it to yourself grammar dick. i would call it grammatical, but it’s to small.

            • TightyRighty 7.1.1.3.1.1

              and thanks to lprent for the edit.

            • felix 7.1.1.3.1.2

              If you can’t argue the argument,…

              And the argument is what? Whether you think the post was in bad taste or not?

              Do forgive me for if I seem less than fascinated.

          • burt 7.1.1.3.2

            felix

            Are you a parking warden ?

  8. Tim Ellis 8

    I read this article some time ago. There is some quite excellent analysis in it.

    I didn’t read it as written in a left-right context at all. It certainly wasn’t left wing thinking.

  9. Tammy Gordon 9

    Wow. I’ve got a lot to learn. I didn’t mean to make a cheap shot about a young women’s lfie. I was moved by it, is all.

    • Pascal's bookie 9.1

      I don’t think there was a cheap shot in there at all Tammy, and say one thing about me, say I know cheap shots.

      If you liked a person’s ideas, and that person was passionate about them, I don’t think it’s inappropriate to celebrate that.

      There’s a bit of ‘concern trolling’ going on in this thread that’s all. (folks whose only comment is to show concern about the tone, or some other baseless nonsense)

    • gargoyle 9.2

      Tammy if you were to remove ..”t seems clear she certainly wasn’t captured by the right when she was studying economics at Otago.” it would be a fine post – that sentence cheapened it a bit from my perspective…just saying.

      • felix 9.2.1

        Oh and Tammy, the whole site would be improved by the gradual and systematic removal of any and all left-leaning political ideas and thoughts.

        • gargoyle 9.2.1.1

          “Oh and Tammy, the whole site would be improved by the gradual and systematic removal of any and all left-leaning political ideas and thoughts.”

          Indeed …especially on posts that commemorate a young life horribly cut short

          • BLiP 9.2.1.1.1

            horribly cut short

            What – taking the piss out of her death now? What a top chap you really are.

  10. Ruth 10

    Nothing wrong with celebrating Sophie’s life. What’s wrong is attempting to use her death for advantage in the political debate.

    Sophie’s death was not political ammunition. Using it in that way should quite rightly turn a few stomachs.

    I suspect you know that Pascal’s bookie.

    • Pascal's bookie 10.1

      Who is doing that Ruth? Seriously.

      All Tammy said was that it appears to her that Sophie was not captured by a right wing view of economics. What on earth is offensive about that?

      This is no piece about ‘martyrdom’ or any of the other strawmen people are reading into it. It looks to me that the piece is about Sophie’s paper, which shows in the authors view, that Sophie was not captured by right wing economic thought. I suspect that tammy thought might want to talk about that paper, but here we are, all ‘concerned’ and indignant.

      Should we just ignore what a person said and did in their life just in case it ‘poiliticises’ it?

      For goodness sake.

      And as for this:

      “I suspect you know that Pascal’s bookie”

      If you are going to call me a liar, at least have the decency to use the word, but you are wrong, I do not think Tammy is using Sophie’s death as political ammunition at all.

  11. Herodotus 11

    With a comment as “Not captured by the right” the author is displaying what is wrong with left/right thinking. An idea should stand on its own merrit. The orgins of an idea should not be tarnished by were its orgins were derrived from.
    I agree with many contributors above that all that this has done is to display the shollowness of the author in the attempt to make cheap political gain. Shame on you!

  12. Tim Ellis 12

    The real maturity that Sophie showed intellectually was that she doesn’t appear to have been captured by the left or the right in her thinking. I think it is a bit of a mistake to try and make her a martyr of the intellectual left, however, which she clearly wasn’t.

  13. RedLogix 13

    Thanks for linking to the article Tammy, it’s an interesting read. As Pb has already accurately put it, ignore the concern trolls.

    As for the left/right wing context, well it’s plain that discussions around the notion of equality was never exactly the right wing’s natural comfort zone.

  14. Daveo 14

    Man, some on the right will pounce on anything to try and score points. What a pack of hypersensitive dickheads.

    • gargoyle 14.1

      Man, some on the left will write anything to try and score points. What a pack of insensitive dickheads.

      Easy to write trite drivel isn’t it ?

  15. lprent 15

    Get a life people who are ‘concerned’. From what has been said I suspect that Sophie would have also been concerned about the gender economics. Are the ‘concerned’ going go around saying that her death had little to do with that.

    There are more pretentious political prats on this thread…

    Not everything on this blog is posted for political reasons….

    • burt 15.1

      lprent

      With all due respect, I think Tammy will learn from this. Feel free to delete my comment here while deleting your own. Baptism by fire and all that is part of the process of understanding the lay of the land. I’m not trying to wind you up when I say this so please don’t take it the wrong way; Tammy seems quite capable of standing on her own two feet.

  16. lprent 16

    She almost certainly can. However my comment was not related to that. I read comments backwards normally, usually without reading posts. I’d been wondering what in the hell was going on when I warned Felix.

    Then I get on the bus, read the post in normal mode, and find all of the pious pontificating bullshit. So you get a comment in normal mode expressing what I think. Do I have to go back to using a different login so you know the difference between moderator and commentary?

    • burt 16.1

      lprent

      Others might not agree with me but I think your comments and your moderation are easily differentiated. My comment was more saying I didn’t think you needed to defend her, noble as it is. 😉

  17. rave 17

    It seems that Tammy rightly supposed that the Treasury is of the political right. But that Sophie was not…yet.

    That seems to be the point of the comment of VTO about how people grow up and cease to be leftists because reality weighs heavy.

    Students like Sophie can explore their interests a bit at Uni and question some of the more obvious defects of capitalism. Such as welfare economics which is basically designed to reconcile the inherent inequality of capitalism with some ideal of social equity or justice.

    Now Treasury has no such brief. Its brief is to oversee the smooth operation of the economy, especially the role of the state in acting as a regulator of the market. This may extend to costing intelligence services of course which is a form of market regulation. Perhaps it was another ‘Sophie’ who leaked those costings to the sovereign citizenry.

    As an employee of Treasury I think we can safely say that Sophie’s brains and idealism would have been used against her youthful ideals.

    Whether she would have become another VTO or a Standardista or even a Marxist with an analysis of the Treasury as the high church of capitalism we will never know.

    • Tim Ellis 17.1

      rave I haven’t worked in Treasury, but in a former job for the OAG I had a lot to do with Treasury people. The current Treasury secretary was a contemporary of mine at university, and he was a Labour man. His first job was working in Bill Rowling’s office. People who went to work in Treasury were invariably the cream of the crop for all the public service and were very bright. They often had strong opinions and could express them well, from all political sides.

      Miss Elliott leaned heavily on Dworkin’s theory of equality. Dworkin’s theories wouldn’t necessarily go down well in left wing circles, particularly that luck is arbitrary and that people are responsible for their moral choices.

      Nor could you say that Sen, Roemer and Sugden are left-wing or remotely socialist. Let alone Hayek.

      I get the impression that Tammy has assumed that just because Miss Elliott’s paper discusses welfare economics, that she must therefore not be right wing.

      LP, I don’t know where you form the view that Miss Elliott must have been, or would have been, concerned with gender economics.

      • rave 17.1.1

        On the strength of Sophie’s article I think that Tammy was right, she wasnt captured by the right. But given the ideological basis of higher education she was in extreme danger of being so in the conclusions she arrives at.

        John Roemer is an analytical Marxist who tries to argue for a redistribution of income to those according to their needs, and from those according to their work. She gives him a good hearing. It is not her fault that Roemer waters down his Marxism and doesnt mention that the reason that redistribution is necessary to equalise opportunity under capitalism is that a more subtle redistribution has already created unequal opportunity – its called the exploitation of wage labour.

        Thus we can’t blame Sophie for ending up with a quote from the high priest Hayek not to meddle with the miracle of the market, like the old AA saying, please lord teach us not to try to change things that we are taught we cannot change. After all her education was circumscribed by the neo-classical dogma Karl Marx called “vulgar economics” which is founded on a religious faith in the “hidden hand”.

    • vto 17.2

      you are an assumptious tud lady rave

  18. mike 18

    “seems clear she certainly wasn’t captured by the right when she was studying economics at Otago.”

    It’s a shame she wasn’t ‘captured’ though TG – we conservatives could have locked her away from those nut job leftie uni lecturer types. Slack post..

  19. lprent 19

    TE: I didn’t know one way or another. My point was that it would have only taken about three words by Tammy or Sophie and all of sudden we’d have had indignation and pontificating about that.

    Tammy wrote a good post about the work of someone and their work. What we get is a pile of pious pontificating. FFS

    • Tim Ellis 19.1

      LP, I think what you call piousness is the genuine outrage of people who think the Left are adopting somebody as their icon, for little more reason than that Miss Elliott wasn’t overtly right wing.

      I read Miss Elliott’s paper some time ago and my head ached. It is highly technical and deals with some very complex things, and as a non-economist even after reading it a third time, I didn’t come close to understanding it any more than I would understand about quantum mechanics. What I did understand from reading it, was some of the deeply complex thinking that goes into this stuff.

      Miss Elliott was a unique talent, without a doubt. I defy Tammy or anybody else here who has praised Miss Elliott for not being right-wing to point out where in her essay this is obvious. My reading of it, and as I say it comes from an ignorant position of not being a trained economist, is that Miss Elliott’s survey of the philosophy of equality is absolutely devoid of left-right ideology. It is a discussion that deals with the moral, technical and philosophical issues around equality in economics, from a position of orthodox economic analysis.

      In my view to make assumptions about what her ideology may have been based on this essay suggests that Tammy doesn’t have any grasp of the discussion.

  20. StephenR 20

    I think it’s perceived as cheap political point scoring because it was said by a poster on The Standard, which does it’s own thing from a partisan left point of view etc, fine. But that’s why.

    Anyhoo would be happy to see a discussion of the work which I am unlikely to understand and it won’t bloody load anyway so I can’t even see if I do understand it.

  21. Nick 21

    “t seems clear she certainly wasn’t captured by the right when she was studying economics at Otago.”

    Wow, no more or no less class that you’d expect from the standard, using a murder victim to score a political point

  22. lprent 22

    Oh dear. It looks like we’ve over-pavloved the comment-writers on the right. A post on The Standard and they start rushing around looking for the needle that is jabbing in their arm.

    FFS when a post is political on the site it usually pretty damn obvious. Most of the writers are as subtle as I am. In other words they don’t bother with the concept of inference, preferring to use a jack-hammer as a more obvious tool.

    So gargoyle makes a rather stupid reading of the post and the operant conditioned cows* blindly follow. How many of you bothered to read the post long enough to think.

    * what can I say – bugger the rats, at Waikato we used cows at Ruakura for operant conditioning

    • BLiP 22.1

      The “bewildered herd”?

    • burt 22.2

      lprent

      I’m going to agree with you here. Enough repetition of the same old junk is just crap. Start swinging the ban stick around for people who are scoring cheap points. Hell Tammy said she was sorry hours ago and unless she rips the whole fricken thread down what else can she do!

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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    5 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    5 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    5 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    6 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago

  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
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