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A break from the honeymoon

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, November 18th, 2008 - 60 comments
Categories: Media, national/act government, spin - Tags: , ,

While most of the big media are giving John Key his criticism-free honeymoon (“OMG! A solo mum! An Asian! And a gay chap!”) the good old ODT has seen through the centrist spin:

Prime Minister-elect John Key showed a clear intention yesterday to move the National-led government more to the Right of the political spectrum than had previously been signalled.

His new Cabinet, which will be sworn in tomorrow, shows a bias to the Right despite moves during the election campaign to position National as a centrist party.

Meanwhile, over at Pundit.co.nz Tim Watkins has some hard questions about National’s coalition deals that you won’t see being asked anywhere else.

It’ll be interesting to see whether the media’s honeymoon continues through Key’s first 100 days, when he’s hoping to put through some pretty radical reform on issues like tax, superannuation, climate change, the RMA and workers’ rights. It’s times like these that we need a critical media the most.

60 comments on “A break from the honeymoon”

  1. theaveragekeywi 1

    I thought that it was a ‘Master stroke of Diplomacy’?

    that was a bit sarcastic. I especially liked: “the Maori Party did not win support for a single piece of legislation. They got National not to abolish the Maori seats, a concession they’d won before the election, and a promise-nothing review.” – pundit

    I hate citing captchas but I got: went corrupt

  2. bobo 2

    The honeymoon will last into fall next year until some serious policy comes out, until then we will get xmas pudding recipes from JK, more photo op pics with ethnic minorities, fluffy animals, it’s like the msm is in Womens Weekly mode till then.

  3. Tim Ellis 3

    I was puzzled by the claim that it was a move to the Right, since there weren’t any examples of the moves to the Right, and I wish she would elucidate just what those moves are.

    She seems like a pretty balanced journalist though. Just a few days ago she wrote that Labour’s lack of depth was “palpable”.

  4. randal 5

    tim ellis
    that post bore no relarionship whatsoever to the opening blog
    who are you?

  5. Lampie 6

    love the lets start another ministry, hire more people to cut government numbers, love it.

  6. Tim Ellis 7

    Tane wrote:

    Dene Mackenzie’s a dude.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/blog

    So he is!

    Randal, you’re getting silly again.

  7. Felix 8

    “…The honeymoon will last into fall next year…”

    When did we start calling it “fall”? Did I miss a meeting?

  8. Stephen 9

    Anyone going to reply to Tim’s first paragraph? Like DPF said, biffing Williamson and Smith isn’t exactly moving to the right…

  9. gingercrush 10

    No but biffing aside Williamson only means more stabbings in the back.

  10. higherstandard 11

    Thin end of the wedge Felix next they’ll start removing u’s here and there and replacing s’s with z’s – bloody yankee english.

  11. Tigger 12

    Felix – didn’t you get the memo? We follow the US wherever, whenever now… Though not sure Power will fancy following Obama and his leftie, socialist mates….

  12. bobo 13

    Autumn , Fall, never knew America owned the term, I was born in the uk …. So shud I be speaking keewee mate wuth the propurr englush ?

  13. Pascal's bookie 14

    “So shud I be speaking keewee mate wuth the propurr englush ?”

    Yis.

    Re the move to the right. Key campaigned on centrism and defined that largely with reference to marginalising ACT. Both the maori Party and ACT bring 5 seats to the table. ACT got a better deal. Everyone talks about how ‘he didn’t need the mP’ but by the same token, he didn’t need ACT.

    Ergo, by the definition of centrism Key used while campaigning, he’s moved to the right.

  14. Lew 15

    bobo: Most years I’d say you were right. I think this one will be different, because of the economies, etc. But bear in mind that the media not bagging the new government outright doesn’t mean there’s a honeymoon on – it’s not impossible they just won’t have done anything worth bagging yet.

    So far the worst concrete decisions I’ve seen are making Rodney Minister In Charge Of Provatising Logal Government (which I think will be duly bagged) and the appointment of the horrifically partisan Lockwood Smith as speaker, over others who have actual legal training and/or bipartisan support. But that’s a leader’s prerogative, I suppose.

    Oh, and b hapi wer not speking UroEnglish: http://www.etni.org.il/farside/euroenglish.htm 🙂

    L

  15. gingercrush 16

    I’m not sure legal expertise is a requirement. Margaret Wilson arguably a fine legal academic really didn’t suit the role of speaker. I’m not sure myself in regards to Lockward Smith. But we can’t be any worse than the Australians. I watched their question time last week and its shocking the way they do question time. And the speaker puts a stop to any noise whatsoever. That and the actual answers are just rambling.

  16. bobo 17

    Lew – I agree but it seems almost a novelty factor for the MSM as it’s been so long since National were in government, the reader needs to be re-introduced to the old party members and the new ones. The job losses won’t hit till the end of our retail summer season and that’s when policy ideas will be put forward by Roger Douglas with his white board AMWAY style presentations to the press with or without party approval. National will play the good cop bad cop with ACT which will be entertaining to say the least 🙂

    Parliament will seem like an 80s retro “It’s Academic” gameshow with Lockwood as speaker 🙂

    Lockwood:- “Please Mr Goff ! refrain from calling the Prime minister a liar, or I will have no other option than to deduct 20 points from Labour’s score”

  17. I think at this stage, we have to wait and see….John key has talked one way while his Cabinet appointments show a blend of moderation and those who want to fall off the Right side of the Earth.

    No Right Turn looks at how Rodney Hide may approach Local Government.

    It will be interesting to see if the wider government would support legislation forcing local government to sell any commercial operations – driven by a religious conviction that private business is ALWAYS better (ignoring all evidence to the contrary – it can only be a religious conviction).

    I’m thinking Key will moderate those excesses…..be the Good Cop to all these bad Cops.

    But we’ll see. Plans have way of coming unraveled if enough people don’t want them ravelled.

  18. randal 19

    no tim ellis
    that was posted after your irrelevant meaningless splodge which you stil have not explained
    you are silly if
    a) you think people will not pick you up on yourmeaningless posts
    and
    b) dont go back to check up on what you have written
    so dont say I am going silly again because I never was silly in the first place
    got it?

    LPRENT he is trying to build a case against me so his mates can all e-mail you and say I am disagreeing with him
    nortee nortee

  19. Quoth the Raven 20

    The media should always be critical. There should never be any honeymoon period. But with the vacuous minds of the Espiners of this land, focusing on trivialities, personalities and steadfastly refusing to engage their minds in any crtitical thinking, we won’t have a main stream media worth a damn.

  20. gobsmacked 21

    If you want more in-depth treatment of politics, try the Maori media, such as Marae and Native Affairs (Maori TV). With Sharples and Turia in the government, these Maori programmes are likely to move from the margins to the centre of political coverage. And they will be fascinating to watch.

    Hat-tip to Frogblog for pointing out this section of the agreement:

    The Maori Party agree to be bound by collective responsibility in relation to their Ministerial portfolios and their Associate Minister responsibilities. When the Maori Party Ministers speak about issues within their portfolios and Associate Minister responsibilities, they will speak for the government and as part of the government, representing the government’s position in relation to these responsibilities. (my italics)

    So for example, the new Associate Minister of Corrections will soon be defending the hardline National/ACT legislation on sentencing, crime, gangs etc. He has no choice in the matter.

    His name is Pita Sharples.

  21. randal 22

    qtr
    you are right on the button
    100 days is one of those journalistic cliches that journalists are paid to write like an advertorial
    you can see who are the lackeys and the hacks by whoever supports this bit of paid flackery
    as for the epsinners of this world its about time TVNZ hada good cleanout and got rid of some of this dull deadwood that threatens to gum up the whole democratic process from their cushy little beehive numbers
    rotation anyone?

  22. Tim Ellis 23

    randal,

    I’m not building a case against you. You’re a parody of a radical left-winger, and I find you amusing.

  23. Lampie 24

    he finds you amusing too Tim, like Noddy

  24. Billy 25

    Noddy finds randal amusing?

    That figures.

  25. Wil 26

    the spam filter needs tweaking here. That spambot ‘tim ellis’ is spewing irrelevant spam on these pages again. Irritating little piece of script.. needs norton av shoved up its arse..

    ..

    Pundit.co.nz piece very good:

    “Why has the party that was meant to be looking forward to a brigher future chosen to dredge up two of the most divisive issues from the past decade of New Zealand politics bulk-funding and the Foreshore and Seabed Act?”

    The resurrection of these issues will be the smokescreen to help key steal a second term. And of course these issues will dominate the msm then.

  26. Ianmac 27

    Whenever I have watched interviews on Maori TV I have been very impressed. I usually found the gold by accident as the Listener does not tell you much. With the quality of the questions and the time to hear the answers, I found out more about individuals including Helen and John than all the other shows put together. Outside Maori TV, it is Brent Edwards on National Radio who expresses the most depth and neutrality. Go Brent!

  27. Carol 28

    I think Native Affairs can be good on Maori TV, and I agree about Brent Edwards.

  28. George 29

    “Now, more than ever we need a critical media”

    What a load of tripe. We needed it during the last government, and when finally we got it, it was accused of being the lapdog of the VRWC. Your short term memory would be laughable, if it weren’t for how obvious the selectiveness of it is.

  29. Janet 30

    Tony Ryall and his health sector lackeys have just been going on about the mythical growing bureaucracy monster. I suggest he starts by not having any staff (bureaucrats) in his office, and manages his own appointments, takes his own minutes and answers his own correspondence. The backbench Nat MPs could voluntarily decide they do not need PA or secretarial help. After all they are just ‘bureaucrats’ too.

    They could do away with more bureaucrats by not having a National Research Unit or PM’s department.

    Or is it do as I say not as I do?

  30. Carol 31

    hmmm. Well on TV One tonight there was an item covering the criticism of NACT revisiting the carbon tax, after they’d strongly when it was proposed by the Labour led government.

    Then later there was a promo for Close Up, with Paul Henry saying that we were about to get a new government, with a real chance of some “forceful” decisions that would start to prevent the appalling amount of child abuse in the country. I wonder how fighting abusive “force” with some other sort of “force” will work out? I’m watching TV3 on the latest high profile case instead.

  31. randal 32

    thank you Wil

  32. Sarah 33

    The cabinet announced yesterday is in no way a greater move to the right than what was previously signalled. Both Maurice Williamson and Lockwood Smith got the boot, seriously undermining the whole idea of a conservative stronghold on the party’s cabinet.

    Say what you will about Paula Bennet, Steven Joyce and Pansy Wong, but they certainly do not bring the party more to the right.

    Your eyes must have lit up when you saw that headline. Shame it’s not true at all.

  33. Janet 34

    I don’t think Sarah’s read Nicky Hagar’s Hollow Men.

  34. Quoth the Raven 35

    2008 Roger Award Finalists Named.
    This is timely as we’re likely to get shafted by these guys even more now.

  35. ak 36

    It’s times like these that we need a critical media the most.

    Pono, Tane. And as if in answer to your plea on this important political occasion, in a quintessentially poignant vignette which depicts with horrific clarity the state of our media, on our premier media news show our Quantas Award-winning “best political reporter” eats paper to the gleeful delight of his equally-competent and deep-thinking colleagues……

  36. Mr Shankly 37

    Carol and Ianmac – Just beaause you agree with Brent Edwards does not mean he is neutral!

  37. Carol 38

    Mr Shanky. I said nothing about Edwards being neutral, or even that I always agree with him. What I do like is that Edwards does very good in depth, and often critical analysis.

    It’s pretty hard for anyone to be totally neutral. IMO, what is more important is that people are encouraged to look critically at the news and media generally.

  38. the sprout 39

    i agree, it’s really only RNZ and a few of the bloggers that can be consistently relied on to actually scratch the surface of most political stories (unless an msm outlet gets a story handed to them on a plate, which doesn’t really constitute investigative journalism, does it).

    absolutely we need a criticial media, but that need is never going to be serviced by corporate media when being critical is not in their commercial interest.

  39. Phil 40

    Gobsmacked,

    So for example, the new Associate Minister of Corrections will soon be defending the hardline National/ACT legislation on sentencing, crime, gangs etc. He has no choice in the matter.

    So, let me get this clear… according to general consensus on the ‘blogging left’ ACT, through its associate ministerial positions, will influence policy. The Maori Party, through its associate ministerial positions, will become a mouthpiece for a National-ACT hard-right policy…

    Do you see where I’m going with this?

  40. IrishBill 41

    Phil, if you compare the coalition documents ACT has negotiated a much better deal than the MP both in terms of concessions and in terms of autonomy from National. That means they are getting more done than the Maori party and are more free to attack National and to promote their agendas. It’s not apples with apples.

  41. gobsmacked 42

    Phil

    A minister must speak for the government’s policy in the minister’s portfolio. Simple as that. So the question is: what is the policy?

    National’s plans for the first 100 days were included with the published National-Maori agreement. There is no word in the agreement of any change to those plans. They include a series of measures which Sharples has previously opposed.

    If Pita Sharples changes the draconian “law and order” policy that was a core part of National/ACT’s campaign rhetoric, to something saner, that will be a huge achievement. It will also, of course, create a huge backlash from people who voted for National on this classic “hot button” issue.

    It’s not going to happen. Still, I’d be delighted to be proved wrong. Good luck Pita.

  42. the sprout 43

    exactly IB – the gains for ACT are hardly comparable with the trinkets the Maori Party have been given.

    powers to possibly effect a veto are a rather pale shadow of the power to propose and enact.

  43. Phil 45

    IB,

    Pull the other one old man – ACT got “review” after “review” after “review”. They are also bound by the same “follow gov’t policy in your associate role” requirement, so saying they are ‘more free to attack National’ is not credible.

    GS,
    The Maori Party wanted more done in rehabilitation, and ACT want 3-strikes. There is plenty of room for National, politically, to do both.

  44. IrishBill 46

    Phil, they are not required to follow the cabinet manual.

  45. Tigger 47

    Yep, that Varnish piece by Gordon C is superb. I actually felt like cheering after I read it – it shines light on some dark little corners…

  46. Mr Shankly 48

    Er…. Carol did you read what you actually agreed about Brent Edwards? I believe he is interesting to listen to and has some indepth analysis but he is very left wing as are most political commentators and media in New Zealand – despite what some on this site express.

  47. randal 49

    shankly
    they might be left wing or right wing for all I know or even calathumpians but they are told to express their owners point of view and have become increasingly insisitent and strident of late with uncalled for attacks on the outward going government who may in all likelihood be back in some form next november
    anyway
    people on this site unlike others are free to express any opinion they like
    even you

  48. gobsmacked 50

    “he is very left wing as are most political commentators and media in New Zealand”

    Name them.

  49. Mr Shankly 51

    randal you probably have a point that post election the tide has turned – or are commentators pro government

    gobsmacked
    – chris trotter
    – brent edwards
    – willie jackson
    – dene mackenzie
    – lialle harre
    – duncan garner
    – vernon small
    – matt mccarten
    – sandra lee
    – barry soper

  50. gobsmacked 52

    Shankly

    Half of those people aren’t even employed as political journalists. You might as well say “David Farrar” or “Matthew Hooten”. The hired talking heads aren’t the media gatekeepers. They are there because they are left or right.

    It’s utterly absurd to compare (for example) hours of Leighton Smith / Danny Watson / Larry Williams every day, with a few minutes of Barry Soper on Newstalk ZB. (even if Soper is “left”, a debatable point)

    You’re just proving how weak your claim was.

  51. Pascal's bookie 53

    Good old Duncan Garner. Did he ever get around to doing a segment on a budget in the last three years without begging for a tax cut.

    He doesn’t lean left or right, he leans gotcha and trite.

  52. Mr Shankly 54

    Am I just paraniod? I know your answer – no need to reply! But most papers, news channels and radiobroadcasts have a left wing bias!

  53. gingercrush 55

    Um lol.

    Duncan Garner, Brent Edwards, Vernon Small and Barry Soper are journalists. They may well have left leanings but that doesn’t mean their ability to report the news is compromised. Though Garner is incredibly crap at making predictions.

    Is Dene a commentator or journalist?

    Willie Jackson works in media but he has never hidden his left views and hasn’t been asked to.

    Laila Harre, Sandra Lee, Matt McCarten and Chris Trotter are commentators. And commentators rarely are non-partisan and nor should they.

    —-

    Linda Clark for years was TVNZ’s political reporter and she had left leanings. But never did she compromise herself.

    Guyon and Colin Espiner and Audrey Young you would call right leaning. Now others may disagree but most of the time they give pretty balanced coverage. The thing with journalism is its often not the reporters who are the problem. Its the editorial team behind newspapers, television and radio. Its them that shape the political leanings of media.

    If I had to choose. Newstalk is right wing, National Radio leans left but always offers mostly balanced news. TV3 tilts left but their coverage seems to look for critical issues in politics and if a member of a party does something wrong they tend to be highly critical. I think you could say TVNZ has increasingly developed political persuasions to the right. New Zealand Herald leans right while Independent Newspapers are overall pretty centrist. And Otago Daily Times likely tends to the left.

  54. gobsmacked 56

    Two main TV channels. Two main newspaper groups (and websites). Two main commercial radio stations.

    TV – not so much biased, just very shallow. Which usually helps the right.
    Newspapers – clearly pro-right
    Commercial Radio – ditto.

  55. bobo 57

    The Herald is leaning so far right its laying down. It will be interesting to see when Garth George the Victor Meldrew Troll of NZ opinion columns starts to moan at the new gov.

    Duncan Garner and Barry Soper left ??

  56. Carol 58

    Mr Shanky: yesterday @10.37pm.

    Well I didn’t actually state I thought Edwards was neutral. I guess it could be said I did say he was more neutral than most, in agreeing with Ianmac who said:

    it is Brent Edwards on National Radio who expresses the most depth and neutrality. Go Brent!

    I was thinking more that I agreed that I liked his indepth analysis. I also do agree with Ianmac, that Edwards is more neutral than alot of other political reporters. I don’t see him as being very left wing. Actually, he doesn’t come across as obviously left wing at all to me.

    But note also in responses to your last question I said I thought total neutrality is impossible.

  57. Irascible 59

    I received this comment from the Sunday Star Times Editor today. Amazing that the election result was preordained.

    I would like to introduce myself, I am Mitchell Murphy and I have just taken up the post of Managing Editor at Fairfax Media Sundays. I know that former Sunday Star-Times editor, Cate Brett was a strong supporter of the reader panel and took a personal interest in panel surveys and comments. As an experienced editor and journalist I also recognise the benefits of working with a dedicated reader panel to poll and engage with Sunday readers.

    You may be interested to know that the mysundayview reader panel picked the outcome of the 2008 general election well in advance. Your mood for change was noted in response to our May politics /budget survey and your comments preordained the election. (48% supported John Key, 31% supported Helen Clark)

  58. Ianmac 60

    Carol: “I was thinking more that I agreed that I liked his indepth analysis. I also do agree with Ianmac, that Edwards is more neutral than a lot of other political reporters.”
    And what seems remarkable is that when Sean Plunkett is with Brent on Morning Report, Sean tries to intimidate Brent into changing tack, but to his credit, Brent sticks to his guns and won’t deviate from what he was apparently going to say. Sean is a bully!

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    5 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    6 days ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    7 days ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    7 days ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
    I am a member of the working poor and so still need state welfare to make rent. So I had booked an appointment for yesterday with my caseworker at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) to apply for a transition to work grant. However the current health advice in New ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • A good first step
    Today the government announced a financial package to deal with the effects of the pandemic. So far, it looks good: an initial $500 million for health to deal with immediate priorities, wage subsidies for affected businesses, $585 a week from WINZ for people self-isolating who can't work from home, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: COVID-19 Alert Level 4
    The COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is moving fast - and to avoid what we've seen overseas - the Government's response must be to move fast too. We're committed to keeping New Zealanders safe and well-informed every step of the way. ...
    10 hours ago
  • SPEECH: Green Party Co-leader James Shaw – Ministerial statement on State of National Emergency an...
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  The scale of what we face right now is unlike anything we have ever seen before. Overcoming it is our common purpose. ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters urging New Zealanders overseas to stay put
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging New Zealanders overseas to stay where they are amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are.” "This includes following the instructions ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealanders overseas encouraged to shelter in place
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging the tens of thousands of New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider sheltering in place, in light of COVID-19.  “Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying ...
    4 days ago
  • Ground-breaking abortion law passes, giving NZers compassionate healthcare
    Ground-breaking law has passed that will decriminalise abortion and ensure women and pregnant people seeking abortions have compassionate healthcare. ...
    1 week ago
  • Package supports Kiwis to put collective health first
    The Green Party says that the measures announced by the Government today will help families and businesses to prioritise our collective health and wellbeing in the response to COVID-19. ...
    1 week ago
  • Winston Peters: COVID-19 rescue package ‘more significant’ than any worldwide
    As New Zealanders brace for a global downturn due to Covid-19, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says his Coalition Government’s rescue package "more significant" than any other he's seen around the world. The Coalition is to reveal a multi-billion-dollar stimulus plan on Tuesday afternoon designed to cushion the economic blow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our response to COVID-19
    We know some people are feeling anxious about COVID-19. While the situation is serious, New Zealand has a world-class health system and we’re well-prepared to keep New Zealanders safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Demerit Points System’ will address youth crime
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill drawn from the ballot today seeks to overhaul the youth justice system by instigating a system of demerit points for offences committed by young offenders. “The ‘Youth Justice Demerit Point System’ will put an end to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in kingfish farming
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $6 million in a land-based aquaculture pilot to see whether yellowtail kingfish can be commercially farmed in Northland, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. A recirculating land-based aquaculture system will be built and operated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1BT grants for Northland planting
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Forestry Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced two One Billion Trees programme grants of more than $1.18 million to help hapu and iwi in Northland restore whenua and moana. “Many communities around Aotearoa have benefited from One Billion Trees funding since the programme was launched ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand reaffirms support for Flight MH17 judicial process
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahead of the start of the criminal trial in the Netherlands on 9 March, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has reaffirmed the need to establish truth, accountability and justice for the downing of Flight MH17 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF investment in green hydrogen
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister The Government is investing $19.9 million through the Provincial Growth Fund in a game-changing hydrogen energy facility in South Taranaki, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The development of alternative energy initiatives like this one is vital for the Taranaki region’s economy. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coronavirus support for Pacific
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Minister for Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand is partnering with countries in the Pacific to ensure they are prepared for, and able to respond to the global threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19). “There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party passes landmark law to ensure deaf and disabled voices heard equally in democracy
    Chlöe Swarbrick's Members Bill to support disabled general election candidates has passed into law. ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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