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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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    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    3 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    7 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    7 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs 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 unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
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