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A chance to make his mark

Written By: - Date published: 3:16 pm, November 19th, 2008 - 53 comments
Categories: International, john key - Tags:

John Key’s off on his first trip as PM tomorrow – APEC in Peru. When I saw him interviewed about this he seemed to think it would be ‘a good chance to meet other world leaders’ which, as former member of the dip corp, made me groan. You’re not a world leader just because you won an election in some wee country, John, you have to prove your worth on the international stage, as Clark did. More importantly, APEC is not just about meeting people  – it’s not a gentleman’s club, it’s not an opportunity to get some names in your autograph book – it’s about serious business.

The world is facing a triple crunch – credit, food, and oil. They’re all inter-related and global. Dealing with them effectively requires global reform of our economies. Part of this is a major re-work of the finance sector. IT is these issues that leaders will be discussing at APEC.

Now, John Key’s the ‘money-man with a heart’, it would be nice to think that he could offer some ideas to contribute to the solution. Perhaps he could take a leaf from the New Economics Foundation’s ‘From the ashes of the crash‘, which lays out 20 first step reforms, many of them concerning the organisation of the finance markets, to get us past the ‘triple crunch’ and create a Green New Deal. As a finance insider, Key could suggest how the industry needs to be reformed to prevent greedy, unaccountable gamblers putting us all at risk in return for a quick buck. You never know, his counterparts might even listen.

If he were to go to APEC and do that, actually make a difference rather than just notch up ‘pull asides’ and ‘one-on-ones’, it would really be something. He could then, deservedly, call himself a world leader.

53 comments on “A chance to make his mark”

  1. Ianmac 1

    I would have hoped that a Leader would be able to inspire his “people” (us) with a credible well structured plan for recovery, before APEC. But although John has been PM for only a few hours he must have had a year or two to have ideas, and plans. I would hope the plans are NZ centred?

  2. Carol 2

    Steve that “From the ashes of the crash” link, brings up a firefox window, starts to download a file, then freezes the browser.

    I was interested in reading about the Green New Deal.

    Did Key have anything to say about how he would be working to further NZ and/or the region’s interests at APEC?

  3. Tim Ellis 3

    SP, when you say you were previously a member of the diplomatic corps, do you mean you worked for a foreign embassy in some case (in which case you weren’t a member of the diplomatic corps, since this is reserved for people who are accredited diplomats), or did you work for MFAT in some capacity?

    [the dip corps is not just the accredited diplomats, who are foreign diplomats in NZ, a number of missions also employ New Zealanders who undertake the normal activities of diplomats – they’re not diplomats of course but they are part of the dip corps, the representatives of foreign governments engaged in diplomatic activity in NZ. Feel free to disagree with that if you like but I’m probably more qualified to make the definition. I have also worked for MFAT, as it happens, but not in that kind of role. SP]

  4. Felix 4

    Fascinating, Tim. Any interest in the post?

  5. Tane 5

    Tim, you haven’t been talking to the National Party Research Unit have you? I understand they’ve been digging through Steve’s background, so I’m just curious.

  6. Kerry 6

    I bet john boy will get a signed photo of George W to hang behind his desk in the Beehive……he can stare at the photo when hes feeling bored and think…..”what would George do”.

    What is the National Party Research Unit??? Paul Henry????

  7. higherstandard 7

    Tane

    Don’t these people have anything better to do ?

  8. Tim Ellis 8

    Not at all, Tane, I wouldn’t be able to name anybody down there let alone talk to them. But if somebody makes a statement about some qualification or expertise they have, by saying things like how they were a member of the diplomatic corps, then that is a verifiable fact. If SP did work for a foreign embassy for a few months doing a bit of research work for them, then that’s all well and good, but strictly speaking that doesn’t mean he was an accredited diplomat, which is what it means to be a member of the diplomatic corps. It’s like me saying I was a member of the medical profession when I worked as a hospital cleaner one summer as a student. If SP was employed by MFAT as a foreign policy recruit and spent time at an overseas post, then that’s fine, too.

    I don’t think there’s anything sinister in SP’s claim, but unless he has been an accredited diplomat it’s misleading to say he was a member of the diplomatic corps, and he should stop making the claim as some kind of expertise in foreign policy matters.

  9. Tane 9

    Tim, no worries, just checking. It’s just that exact same claim has come up before, turned out they hadn’t checked his CV properly.

  10. Felix 10

    I’ll take that as a no then…

  11. Tim Ellis 11

    Felix, in answer to your question I don’t agree with SP’s core premise that the world is facing a triple crunch of food, oil, and credit. Certainly there is a credit squeeze, but oil prices have tumbled as a result of considerably lower economic growth forecasts. Likewise commodity prices generally, including food prices.

    The evidence suggests that some of the food price squeezes were not because of lower food production, but because of substitute production of bio-fuels, which certainly massively increased the cost of grain and rice internationally, but food commodity prices are all down between 25-40% on their peaks in March-April.

    As for the credit crunch, I don’t have any expertise in international finance, but some of the proposals in the document that SP linked to appear not dissimilar to some of the crank, funny money, social credit calls that raise their heads fairly regularly.

  12. randal 12

    I dont give a stuff about peru
    is that where all the nuts come from or is that where all the nuts go
    so keys is going to flit off without doing anything about this plague of boy racers that has erupted since natoinal took power
    what a shyster!

  13. Felix 13

    In case you haven’t been paying attention, the “crank funny money” system of international finance has failed us on a massive scale.

    Perhaps it’s time to stop pretending that our system of finance was handed down by god and seriously consider fixing some of the inherent flaws in that system.

  14. Tim Ellis 14

    Felix, I don’t view the sub-prime crisis to be caused by market failure. It was clearly caused by greed that emerged from failed market intervention.

  15. Felix 15

    But greed is good Tim. It’s crucial to the functioning of our man-made financial system.

  16. keith 16

    “Felix, I don’t view the sub-prime crisis to be caused by market failure. It was clearly caused by greed that emerged from failed market intervention.”

    explain

  17. randal 17

    he better come back with some good deals
    !

  18. rave 18

    Would Key take a leaf from “the Ashes…” Hardly.

    The New Economic Foundation reminds me of Proudhon and Te Whiti.
    If you blame the ills of the market on money then you need to reform money by nationalising (neutralising) it. This would be the point of a state bank printing money and not charging for it. But as we will see this requires a peoples’ state to implement this reform.

    Can we get a state bank that takes the usury out of finance capital?

    The current crisis is not a market failure but a symptom of the crisis that afflicts capitalism, namely falling profits in industry which leads to surplus capital speculating to make a profit in this or that or many markets where prices get totally out of touch with real value.

    When the financial system freezes it looks as if its the problem, but the real problem is overproduction of finance capital in the first place. So a state bank by itself would be hostage to those that control the state – the big banks.

    So if you try to reform the money market without sorting out the fundamental cause of falling profits then you are fucked. Just how fucked is clear from the fact that the investment banks are sucking up taxpayers trillions until kingdom come showing that even though they have been naughty boys, we are the ones who get punished (and us gallingly by one of them JK).

    One way of getting at the causes of surplus capital that ends up in speculation is to tackle the question of land ownership and land speculation which is the no 1 area of capital speculation in NZ.

    The NEF foundation interestingly suggest community ownership of land. This is like the old Henry George movement of the 19th century for leasehold rather than freehold landuse. It was radical then but today it would be revolutionary. But its a good idea since its premised on the fact that huge wealth is generated unproductively in NZ by land speculators, including farmers, who in good times maximise their outputs which in turn are reflected in rising land values.

    But can you imagine what it would take to nationalise the land in this country? Not only hosts of fart taxers on the rampage in their combine harvesters, but every sector downstream (and upstream at the local Catholic church) from transport to to the Aussie banks, pension fund administrators and the bought media who are all hooked on the ‘good times’ generated by land speculation.

    The reason is private property rights and the right to speculate in property to privatise the social investment in infrastructure. Or more blatantly privatising state land like high country farmers. The way to open up this issue is to raise again the need for a capital gains tax that returns to the public the unearned increment in land and provides a tax base for the state to build infrastructure in public ownership without the ripoff of private partnerships. So land nationalisation, state bank, public infrastructure, become the basis of a real New Economy.

    A government of the workers would take a stand on the class divide in defence of the workers who produce the value, against all those who are parasitic on the working class by speculating in land values. That would go to the heart of a New Green Deal.
    (I think that any parroting of the New Deal especially a Green variety is parrodying it).

  19. mike 19

    “a good chance to meet other world leaders’ which, as former member of the dip corp, made me groan”

    You are such a sad sack SP. In one desperate breath you get a cheap shot in on our new PM and name drop about how brilliant you were.

    If by chance something positive is ever achieved by JK in the next 3 years will you find it in your very narrow, bitter, socialist ways to acknowledge it?

  20. randal 20

    hey mike
    I bet you didnt write that yourself
    hahaha
    and I’m not even scholasitic philologist

  21. I love how predictable our righties are, you know I only put in that reference to my former job to get you worked up (and to show I know what I’m talking about) and yet you take the bait.

  22. Tim Ellis 22

    So is it correct SP? Were you a member of the diplomatic corps, as in were you an accredited diplomat at a foreign embassy in New Zealand or a serving New Zealand diplomat at an overseas post?

  23. NX 23

    Apparently John’s been given quite a prominent speaking position – right after the Peruvian President.

    He’s going to give his insight as a former money trader – rather than a political perspective.

    I’m sure he’ll do just fine given his experience in the financial world and his ’08 campaign. He’s probably more qualified than any other NZ politician (including Cullen) to talk on this subject and he just so happens to be our new Prime Minister.

    Quite exciting really.

  24. Jimbo 24

    It’s a bit strange that few people here are prepared to acknowledge the contribution Key could make here.

    On one hand, you say that NZ is a tinpot nation and our new leader doesn’t get automatic mana from the fact that he’s just been elected. Fair enough statement.

    Then you say that HC has earned the mana (presumably through her role as leader of said same tinpot nation) over a number of years. If HC was at this conference, her mana would come from her longetivity as leader of NZ – not any particular expertise in economic matters.

    Then you say/imply that a bloke who was basically one of the leading currency traders at one of the world’s largest merchant banks won’t have anything to contribute to (and won’t be “respected” at) an economic summit during the greatest financial turmoil the world has seen in aeons. That last one is the bit I think is nonsense.

  25. Janet 25

    NX – I do hope he is not a total embarrassment to NZ. He can hardly articulate his words so who knows what the simultaneous translators will make of him. Then his lack of substance on any major issue is a liability. Or maybe they are wanting to hear about the corrupt greed of the money traders that got the world into the current mess, from someone with lived experience.

    Still if he keeps on smiling like Mickey Mouse (as someone noted yesterday) hopefully everyone will just move on politely to the next speaker.

  26. the sprout 26

    I hope that at least for those delegates attending who don’t speak English as their first language, the translators don’t tell them how poorly Key speaks.

    Perhaps he could get some speech lessons on the plane over?

  27. gingercrush 27

    Hmm well watching Sunday on TV One apparently we’re all heading that way in regards to how John Key speaks.

  28. the sprout 28

    No gc the Sunday program was about accent. No problem with that.

    Key’s problem is that he slurs, lisps and mangles his grammar. That’s a different issue entirely, and a deficit that can’t be attributed to accent.

    But certainly having a PM that speaks like that will accelerate the general degradation of NZ English.

  29. Carol 29

    Hmmmm. I do think Key’s speech is a class issue. He basically speaks in much the same way as many Kiwis today, from lower-socio-economic families. As such it does given him the veneer of empathy with “ordinary” Kiwis. Translators will just have to adjust to it. They adjust to a range of ways of articulating English.I don’t see it as a major problem internationally.

    It’s his neoliberal background and fudging of his underlying philosophy that are the main problem with him IMO.

  30. the sprout 30

    You’re right Carol on each count.

    But let’s face it, those who don’t need to rely on a translator to clean up Key’s English will think less of him for sounding like an ignoramus. Even when you adjust for class-originating language issues, they will still frown upon his inability to construct a vaguely grammatical sentence.

    That reflects a lack of logical precision and an inability for formal communication – which in turn translates to “not up to the job”. And those impressions will be spread to other ESOL delegates who aren’t aware of it.

    Whether it’s valid or not, people whose job it is to communicate but who sound like hillbillies tend to be dismissed as fish out of water.

  31. gobsmacked 31

    Anybody who thinks Key’s experience with the funny money is going to impress an audience of international leaders has clearly not been paying attention to the news – and public opinion – in those leaders’ countries.

    I just hope he doesn’t get beaten up.

    Or worse, publicly praised by George W. Bush.

  32. Tim Ellis 32

    Goodness me. The hard left really are out in force showing their true colours this morning: intellectual snobs with a genuine contempt for people from working class roots.

  33. Carol 33

    Well maybe we’ve just swapped leadership styles with the US

    The article begins:

    In the first two weeks since the election, President-elect Barack Obama has broken with a tradition established over the past eight years through his controversial use of complete sentences, political observers say.

    Millions of Americans who watched Mr. Obama’s appearance on CBS’s 60 Minutes on Sunday witnessed the president-elect’s unorthodox verbal tick, which had Mr. Obama employing grammatically correct sentences virtually every time he opened his mouth.

    But Mr. Obama’s decision to use complete sentences in his public pronouncements carries with it certain risks, since after the last eight years many Americans may find his odd speaking style jarring.

    According to presidential historian Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota, some Americans might find it “alienating” to have a president who speaks English as if it were his first language.

    “Every time Obama opens his mouth, his subjects and verbs are in agreement,” says Mr. Logsdon. “If he keeps it up, he is running the risk of sounding like an elitist.”

  34. the sprout 34

    “intellectual snobs with a genuine contempt for people from working class roots”

    No not really Tim, more a contempt for being represented by people who sound about as erudite as GW Bush.

  35. gingercrush 35

    I think John Key will do well at APEC. Being his first of many he’ll probably sit back a bit but will take time to talk to other leaders. Listening to Morning Report they reported he would speak with Canada’s Prime Minister. That is a good start. His economic knowledge is his strength and APEC is largely about economics. And at the end of the day most of those countries are heavily focused on markets and that should play to Key’s strength. The fact you all think he’ll be a disaster actually gives me strength that’ll he do a damn good job. But lets face it. To most New Zealanders its a “Ooh Prime Minister John Key shaking hands with Canadian Prime Minister”.

  36. higherstandard 36

    Get over it people we haven’t had a truly good orator in power in NZ since David Lange.

    Neither Key nor Clark are any great shakes on the public speaking front, does this make them any less effective as PMs – I doubt it.

    Regarding APEC anything useful that Key (the NZ delegation) or indeed other PMs (NZ delegations) have achieved in the past won’t occur in front of the cameras anyway, I can’t recall the hard yards in relation to the FTA with China or CER with Australia being done in front of the media.

  37. Janet 37

    Speaking clear English is essential in international fora as if you don’t, the translators will not be able to translate you correctly. And even English speakers from other countries have trouble with the NZ accent and our talking speed. Helen Clark always spoke clearly, slowly and grammatically (and of course brilliantly) although she tended to have the NZ oi vowel.

    What I find particularly interesting (and annoying) about Key”s speech is the sh sound he uses for s – as if he is intoxiated, eg Osh traylia. It is well known from his biography that his father who died when John was young was an alcoholic. So I wonder if he learnt his diction from a drunk father? This is not being judgmental or classist, just being an interested linguist.

  38. Janet 38

    The Canadian Prime Minister is a joke. He is another climate change denier and is only PM because the left in Canada are divided. He recently won another election (they have had a lot lately with their dysfunctional government and no MMP) with the lowest voter turn out ever.

    So no kudos from shaking his hand, sorry.

  39. higherstandard 39

    What you judgmental Janet, surely not.

  40. randal 40

    goodness me we are really self centred this morning
    Tim Ellis imagining that contempt for him is contempt for the whole working class
    geta grip tim

  41. Carol 41

    Janet, that “sh” for “s” sound was one identified by a linguist on a TV programme I watched. As I recall she picked it out as one in keeping with a recent change in NZ English pronunciation. I really do think that us lefties are better to focus on critiquing the content of Key’s utterances, rather than the accent/dialect.

  42. randal 42

    carol
    thought for a moment you were talking about sh sean connerry
    not chief sheeple
    m

  43. Ianmac 43

    John Key has expertise in Economics? I thought his expertise was in money markets. Is that the same thing?

  44. Tim Ellis 44

    It is well known from his biography that his father who died when John was young was an alcoholic. So I wonder if he learnt his diction from a drunk father? This is not being judgmental or classist, just being an interested linguist.

    Piss off, Janet. That is a new low in filth-selling even for you.

  45. Janet 45

    So are we all sounding intoxicated now? That’s scary.

    If we are to hear and see JK every 5 minutes in/on the media we are allowed to critique the sounds assaulting us.

    Interesting comment on scoop about the breathless media coverage sounding rather like job applications. I wonder how many of those embedded media on the cessna (or whatever it was) with JK have been affected by the hypnotic power aura around the Nat PM (for the moment). Even Muldoon became attractive with power apparently.

    Personally I prefer principle.

  46. Carol 46

    Well, as I recall, someone (Jane Clifton’s) response on that TV programme was that the recent changes in NZ pronunciation is making people sound like children. Maybe the “sh” thing is a Scottish influence as indicated by Randal.

    Hmmm… I think a politician’s speech style should be criticised if it makes their meaning sound confusing or ambivalent or incoherent (as with Bush W sometimes). But a lot of the criticism I’ve seen of Key’s speech above, seems to be focused on features of his speech that are in keeping with current trends in NZ English, and especially that of people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. So, I think we on the left need to be sure we are criticising elements that apply to Key’s speech only, and not to speech of a large section of “ordinary” kiwis.

  47. Janet 47

    There is nothing wrong with being working class or having an alcoholic parent – many of us are/have. But I’m puzzled by middle class people I know of who affect a working class accent.

  48. Tim Ellis 48

    Nonsense, Janet. It was a nasty, gutter smear and you know it. It was of the level of “Helen Clark talks like a man, she must be a lesbian”. Helen Clark can’t change her voice, and John Key can’t change his accent. It’s how they are. Personalising it, and bringing Key’s alcoholic father into the equation is one of the lowest things I’ve seen on this site. It’s vicious and disgusting, and says much more about you and your nasty, arrogant, vicious attitude than it does anybody else.

  49. Janet 49

    TE
    What’s so shameful about having a father who is an alcoholic? It seems to be a big deal with you. It’s not a moral issue, and kids can’t chose their parents.
    JK’s childhood has been reported widely in the MSM eg the SST, including that fact.

    You know, some kids have gay parents, some kids have parents who are HIV+, some kids only have one parent, some kids have parents in jail, some kids have parents who have died, some kids have two middle class parents, some kids even have parents who hit them. None of these things are slurs on the poor kids.

  50. insider 50

    Labour leader Phil Goff said this morning that it was good that Key was going to Apec as it would provide a good opportunity to meet with other world leaders and push for coordinated solutions on the global financial crisis, and to work on the Trans Pacific agreement with the US and other countries. ie building relationships counts. But what would he know, not being a highly qualified former diplomat…

    as an aside, he thinks green policy on trade (making it harder) would make the global situation worse.

    PS I think KEy’s ssh’ing is really annoying but it’s what he does. And BTW he could change it just as CLark apparantly did change her voice deliberately to a lower register. It’s called speech training. It’s probably the least of his worries, and ours…

  51. Jimbo 51

    Nasty stuff, Janet. Really scraping the barrell.

  52. Scribe 52

    Janet,

    You know, some kids have gay parents,

    True. So if we said a man had a very high-pitched or effeminate voice and suggested that might be attributed to his homosexual father, that would be OK with you? In fact, I needn’t ask the question; your comments above prove the answer is surely “yes”.

  53. Anita 53

    Scribe,

    Huh? I mean… huh?

    (Although, in truth, if you asked me I would, after I stopped boggling, make a relatively coherent argument that gender related voice pitch is a societal thing not a familial thing.)

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    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary 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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    7 days ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    7 days ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    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 If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    13 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    20 hours ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    5 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    6 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
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