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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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    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    5 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    5 days ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    6 days ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • More bad faith
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
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    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    1 week ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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