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A Labour Mayor for Wellington

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, December 3rd, 2015 - 47 comments
Categories: labour, local government - Tags: ,

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Deputy Mayor Justin Lester is running on a Labour ticket in next year’s local body elections. Stuff reports:

Wellington’s mayoral team may be side-by-side for now, but they’ll come head to-head in next year’s local body elections.

Deputy mayor Justin Lester has broken his poker face and announced he will stand for the mayoralty in the October elections.

Lester, who will run on a Labour ticket, will be trying to oust his boss, mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

 

“Recently, I’ve realised at local government I can have a more tangible effect on the community I live in,” the two-term Northern ward councillor said.

“I want to give back and this doesn’t feel like a job, I enjoy it and I can help out a lot of people.”

Many would be surprised by Lester running with Labour backing, but the party represented the values he stood for.

“People seem to assume that I’m centre right because I wear a tie and a suit and I run a business,” he said.

“It’s not detrimental at all because people think I’m a safe pair of hands, but at the same time I do want to show the values I stand for and that’s Labour.”

If he was to win, Lester has some big Wellington projects on the top of his to do list – the film museum, airport runway extension and a convention centre.

He also said he’d be focusing on housing, economic investment, support for small businesses and building towards a pest-free Wellington.

You can follow his campaign on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up at the campaign website.

47 comments on “A Labour Mayor for Wellington”

  1. millsy 1

    I thought Justin Lester was centre right…?

  2. Bill 2

    Am I really reading quotes of a ‘Labour ticket’ candidate being comfortable with a ‘centre right’ tag? Oh well.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Labour is a centre-right party and has been for the last thirty years. It’s unfortunate that the majority of people still seem to think that it’s a centre-left party.

  3. DoublePlusGood 3

    While Celia Wade-Brown has been abysmal (example: she’s a ‘Green’ mayor who is entirely happy allowing a weapons industry conference in Wellington), I’m really not getting the impression he’ll be any better – particularly since he wants the airport extension against all economic sense.
    I hope an actual left wing candidate shows up in time.

    • RedBaronCV 3.1

      I don’t particularly want weapons conferences in Wellington either. But when it comes to renting out council venues I’m not sure that any Mayor has that much power.
      All the council( not Mayor) could do would be to set a general policy ( no hiring for illegal purposes say) and then the officers run to that.
      But would it create a slippery slope – if a left wing council banned say arms groups a right wing council might ban all enviromental or organised labour groups.

      So I do sympathise but I’m not sure Celia is the problem.
      As to Lester , I’ve always thought he was a right winger so am surprised by the labour endorsement and urrgh to the Airport extension. It doesn’t stack up very well on economics although the articles I have seen hide this carefully and in every other way it’s a blot on the landscape. Notice how the extension is always shown as going out at the Lyall Bay end but the engineering is easier at the other end so if there was a go ahead then I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a last minute switch to the Evans Bay side.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        Yeah, very weird idea that if a mayor is elected, they get to rule the city like a dictator.

        Surely you’d hate a right-wing dictator mayor, so why should you expect a left-wing mayor to be a dictator and then be upset when they’re not?

      • tracey 3.1.2

        Agree. Unlike the CEO of one council who gets to create jobs for former Nat Ministers and then not advertise them.

        • RedBaronCV 3.1.2.1

          Yes in fact council officers take too much of this sort of spending on themselves ( the Auckland City CEO spending $0.5m on the Len Brown investigation without council authority). Coucillours should be passing policy that doesn’t allow this sort of behaviour by paid staff.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3

        Notice how the extension is always shown as going out at the Lyall Bay end but the engineering is easier at the other end so if there was a go ahead then I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a last minute switch to the Evans Bay side.

        Looking at the map I would be as that Evan’s Bay marina would want millions in compensation if the council closes the bay with an airport extension.

    • Liberal Realist 3.2

      Agreed, CWB is completely useless. Let’s hope if Lester is elected he’ll do better that CWB and I second your hope of an actual left wing candidate showing up in time!

      CWBs tenure has been marked by caving to special interest groups against the majority view. An example is the Island Bay cycleway. I’m all for cycleways when they make sense but what’s going on in Island Bay is moronic – it’s an expensive cycleway to nowhere – the problems are the same just moved up the line to Berhampore where it ends. Consultation was a farce and the pro lobby wielded undue influence IMO. CWB also lives in Island Bay, go figure…

      The WMD conference was the last straw for me personally. CWB isn’t left wing or green, she’s an incompetent ‘trougher’.

      While we’re at it can we also get rid of councillor Andy Foster? Everything and anything that guy touches with regard to transport is a complete screw up. See parking spaces drawn in a lane which is in use on Victoria street as an example of Fosters work.

      • Rosie 3.2.1

        I’ve always been a keen supporter of CWB but no more! She will not get my vote again, nor will Justin Lester, for reasons pointed out below.

        My issue with her is that she has proved to be rather hypocritical in terms of her environmental goals and has put profit before people time ad time again. Her support of ongoing mass scale development of northern suburbs greenfeilds sites has been unfortunate. See below about creating car centric neighbourhoods, at a distance from amenities. “Walking to the dairy” is only for someone who is very fit, has a spare hour and doesn’t have any injuries or disability preventing their mobility. Green spaces are disappearing and so are the habitats of wildlife, such as mallards (their numbers are in decline, ref fish and game) spur winged plovers and frogs. We were helping to raise ducklings, but now their mothers can’t even bring to us as their way has been blocked by retaining walls.

        The lovely frog song in the evening has completely disappeared as their swampy area was drained to make way housing. There are no trees.

        Yet, she will go on TV and say how far ahead we are in Wellington at providing housing for the future. No very far ahead with the community though. All this work is carried out on a non notified basis.

  4. Nigel Gordon 4

    He says the centre-right tag is “not detrimental”, and he’s totally right – it won’t. However his values and his actions demonstrate he is a progressive Labour candidate.

    • Rosie 4.1

      “However his values and his actions demonstrate he is a progressive Labour candidate.”

      Not in my experience. He’s totally on the side of the developers. See my post at 7.

  5. Ad 5

    Really good to hear that Labour brand rolled out proudly.

    Gives a positive signal to those considering standing in cities around the country that it’s worth having the brand and the team behind you if you’re going for it.

    What he actually said was “People seem to assume that I’m centre right because I wear a tie and a suit and I run a business”.

    High quality work pajamas are the best camouflage for getting major change done, I can assure you.

    • tracey 5.1

      Like the stuff said about Shaw.

      • weka 5.1.1

        And Norman before him.

        I don’t know Lester though, is he really centre right or centre left?

        • Ad 5.1.1.1

          Standing for local government is so thankless I’m just grateful he appears to have a functioning cerebral cortex and the ability to roll out of bed.
          Particularly if you are Labour, which is like announcing you’re gay to the ladies of the 1932 Eastbourne Anglican Rose Society.

  6. Many would be surprised by Lester running with Labour backing, but the party represented the values he stood for.

    “People seem to assume that I’m centre right because I wear a tie and a suit and I run a business,” he said.

    Is that because so many people are still clinging to the mistaken belief that Labour are a centre left party?

  7. Rosie 7

    Justin Lester has been very helpful to us in regard to public transport. We asked him to advocate on behalf of northern burbs getting the same deal for the low cost weekend bus fares trial, and he came through on that one, which was great.

    On the down side, we have had a year of hell on the development where we live as a result of the badly behaved developers that run it. I’ve met with officials at the council, had countless phone calls and emails which I’ve documented and quite a bit of that has been with Justin.
    Things are seriously out of hand of The Development (it’s not a neighbourhood, neighbourhood would imply community spirit and some kind of character). I’ve dealt with the Police more times in my life than ever before, Worksafe and WCC due to the problems we are dealing with. None of the issues have been resolved.

    He has expressed his empathy with our situation but says “his hands are tied”. It has been exhausting as there is no interest from Justin in addressing an issue in which WCC is a major stakeholder. It’s been really disappointing.

    Funnily enough I have a right wing councillor from another ward meeting with me tomorrow to discuss just how bad things are here.

    Even as an Ohariu Labour member I can’t bring myself to vote for Justin again. Not after this year.

    • savenz 7.1

      @Rosie

      Sounds like Auckland. Everything is about development – the bigger the better.

      Bizarrely in the Cosby Textor style much of the development is unaffordable and taking away from existing amenity, while maintaining how we need to lower standards and regulation to ‘create affordable houses’. (i.e. make greater profits for developers).

      New builds are less affordable, larger, poorly built and badly designed within the site and community, often reducing the amenity of other houses.

      In Auckland we have the added problem of massive immigration which “apparently” has nothing to do with the housing crisis. Likewise the cost of building which has nothing to do with the crisis. Only freeing up land for development with minimal resource consent conditions or notification seems to be the goal. Not actually building something decent on it, for residents reflective on the average wage of a Kiwi working in this country and that integrates good urban design.

    • savenz 7.2

      @Rosie

      Sounds like Auckland. Everything is about development – the bigger the better.

      Bizarrely in the Cosby Textor style much of the development is unaffordable and taking away from existing amenity, while maintaining how we need to lower standards and regulation to ‘create affordable houses’. (i.e. make greater profits for developers).

      New builds are less affordable, larger, poorly built and badly designed within the community, often reducing the amenity of other stock.

      In Auckland we have the added problem of massive immigration which “apparently” has nothing to do with the housing crisis. Likewise the cost of building which has nothing to do with the crisis. Only freeing up land for development with minimal resource consent conditions or notification seems to be the goal. Not actually building something decent on it, for residents reflective on the average wage of a Kiwi working in this country.

      • Rosie 7.2.1

        I think there might be similarities between the cities in regard to the obsession with development. They are driven by the same greed for profit and disregard for people and the environment.

        And yes, the housing on this development (bar our house which we got a reasonable price three and a half years ago) is phenomenally expensive. Out here in the sticks, we have several MDH projects either under way or as plans ready to go. These areas are no where near any bus routes (luckily the bus stop is across the road from us), so people will be forced to travel by car to get to work.

        The developers are making a killing. It’s their family farm land and they got their consents ages ago. They will sell a unit, one of a group of 30, with only enough land for a patio, 124 square metres inc single garage for $494,000. Thats right, almost half a mill for a little unit. Granted the price has gone up twice in two years. First they were $465K, then $485K and now $494K

        On the large sections they build ginormous family homes in the $800K range. You can no longer get a 3bdr/1 bth home on land around here. If you want that you only have the MDH option on no land which will set you back $575K

        Granted, most of the designs are good, and the quality isn’t bad at all.

        Cynically, they have jumped on the “affordable housing” bandwagon and have set aside a area of land that is over the hill from the rest of the development and faces south east. Once again no where a bus route.

        It kind of has to been seen to be believed but I’m not putting up links to the site as I don’t want be outed. I am currently under threat from one of the builders because I made complaints to the council about them. I’ve seen what happens to other residents who speak out and it’s not nice.

  8. b waghorn 8

    If we’re going to have politically aligned mayors then we might as well get rid of the mayors and just have the constituency MPs do the job .
    Its a slippery slope to one party taking all the power IMO.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    what is it about local government that encourages such wallies?

    it is not over subjective to identify someone with their social being–an SME operator is simply more likely to be aspirational and pro growth and business friendly, which is not necessarily in the interests of the majority of residents and ratepayers

    in the supercity one thing to watch is how over time the council changes the proportion and amount of rates paid by the commercial sector compared to residential, what will Justin’s view be on that for instance?

  10. Rosie 10

    PS. No to a convention centre and no to the airport runway extension.

    As to the “focus on housing”, I would believe that. It should read “focus on dodgy developers” though. WCC has bent over backwards to support developers without any regard for the environment, no planning for climate change, and no regard for amenities for residents. The developments of the northern burbs are very car centric and miles away from anywhere.

    Justin Lester was one of the councillors who voted for the SHA accord. Rules are already loose enough regarding development in Wellington without throwing more rules out.

  11. Clean_power 11

    Mr Lester does not stand a chance, and he will not be the next Mayor of Wellington.

    After the antibodies generated by Celia and her profligate administration the city is ready for a face from the centre-right, not Labour’s Lester.

  12. savenz 12

    another conference centre????

    God do these politicians live in reality?

    Cities are actually purposed to be for those that live there, you know residents who pay the rates. His goals….

    ” If he was to win, Lester has some big Wellington projects on the top of his to do list – the film museum, airport runway extension and a convention centre.

    He also said he’d be focusing on housing, economic investment, support for small businesses and building towards a pest-free Wellington.”

    Yep, focus are all on neoliberal ‘things’, real estate, ‘economic investment’, small business and a pest free Wellington (are they going to fumigate the beehive?)

    What about caring vibrant community that values people and the environment and makes Wellington the best place to live for residents, not wasting money on grandiose projects like conference centers, having something actually for the community, kids playgrounds, libraries, social networks, a goal of zero homelessness….

    Nope – but his goals are in line with both the Natz and Labour so I guess he has found the right ticket, don’t invest in people, invest in foreigners and real estate…

    Sadly though.

    • Kiwiri 12.1

      “another conference centre????”

      what else should be suggested then?

      a monorail?

    • Rosie 12.2

      Yes, you would think that the irrational obsession with conference centres was purely a National Government thing but no, sadly not.

      We already have perfectly good conference centres in the CBD.

  13. savenz 13

    Is part of the Green Labour collaboration to improve the relationship?

    It looks more like a Natz strategy to split the votes.

  14. RedBaronCV 14

    Be interesting to see if Nicola Young is still going to stand.(the local Nact type) . Originally I think Justin was going to stand as deputy mayor on her ticket but she was unlikely to win so maybe the 30% of RW will throw their weight behind Justin. Unfortunately supporting the runway, film museum and convention centre all involve giving ratepayer funds to private business. As far as I am concerned they can fund their own businesses.
    If the deals were that good the council wouldn’t be getting anywhere near them – socialising losses.

  15. Petertoo 15

    The only thing that was green about Celia Wade-Brown were the suckers that thought she was. Anyone who thinks Lester is red will see red when they analyse what he stands for. How can a dyed in the wool neo-liberal who readily advocates the privatisation of profits and socialising of the losses, a crony capitalist ex card-carrying member of the Property Council and an employer who uses weasel-words when it comes to discussing paying of his employees a living wage have Labour endorsement. Oh yeah – the name Grant Robertson and the location of Wellington says it all.

    • Rosie 15.1

      Petertoo. Are you able to expand on this comment about Justin Lester?

      “ex card-carrying member of the Property Council”

      I would be interested in this history. It might explain his reluctance and refusal to advocate for residents who are having major issues with dodgy developers.

      Thanks in advance if you’ve got the info.

      • Petertoo 15.1.1

        Here it is Rosie: https://nz.linkedin.com/in/justin-lester-ab613623. He was on the Wellington Executive.

        • Rosie 15.1.1.1

          Thanks Petertoo. This is interesting and worrying in terms of the refusal to advocate for residents affected by dodgy developments:

          “Director of Property and Investment Management at Wellington commercial property firm JLL
          – Executive member of the Wellington branch of the New Zealand Property Council”

          There are some other more community minded roles, like involvement with SPCA, Onslow historical society. etc. Thats all good.

          I’m going to look more into what the NZ Property council does and what investments JLL have.

          Thats really helpful. Ta. 🙂

          • Rosie 15.1.1.1.1

            Furthermore, the NZ Property Council is pro the extension of the airport runway. No wonder Justin Lester has this project in his sights. It would be very convenient to certain interests if he were Mayor:

            http://www.propertynz.co.nz/index.php/news/wellyreport/

            PS, there is nothing “ex” about his place on the executive…..

            • Petertoo 15.1.1.1.1.1

              If Lester is still on the executive of the Property Council, how often has he declared a conflict of interest and not voted for the likes of Site 10, SHA’s, District Plan Changes etc.? Do you have any idea Rosie?

              • Rosie

                Not sure if he has declared a conflict of interest Petertoo. I mentioned it to the councillor I met with yesterday to discuss development issues and he seemed to be interested in having a look into it.

                From memory Justin Lester voted for all sites earmarked under the SHA accord. There was only a handful of counsellors that didn’t.

                And regarding conflict of interests. The person who is the manager of city planning and design, and has been in that position for almost 15 years was formerly married to the developer of the subdivision I live on. How convenient being married to such a person when you’re getting consents for a swathe of non notified basis residential development eh?

                This person did actually declare a conflict of interest in regard to this but it does not stand – the mayors office directed my complaints about our development to this very person. When I responded saying that puts me at risk as I’m under threat from a contractor of the developer AND the fact that you have referred the matter to this very person is a clear case of conflict of interest.

                The mayors office denied there was a conflict of interest.

                I have all this documented.

                There are very real problems with the relationship WCC has with residential and commercial development.

  16. Philj 16

    Right, left, centre… Time to ditch these outdated labels for what they are… Misinformation. Just tell me what issues you stand for and let the voter decide.

  17. Sirenia 17

    Justin Lester and Celia Wade Brown were both strongly in favour of the Living wage for council workers. Nicola Young and the other National/Act aligned candidates were and remain strongly against it, yet are happy with ever increasing wages for some of the already well paid council officers such as the right wing chief executive Ken Lavery. Lavery advised against the Living Wage for the lowest paid such as secuirity officers. There are some very strong and powerful right wing offciers in the WCC and they have made things very hard for Celia and the others on the left.

    • RedBaronCV 17.1

      Yes Nicola was telling election meetings last time that a living wage was totally unaffordable. It seemed to escape her that a small drop/standstill for the upper wages would have more than paid for it and left some over for the ratepayers.

      I can believe that about some officers too, there seems to have been some selective briefing of councillors and a real lack of interest in finding ways to support items that clearly have been voted for if they are non right wing.

      As to the convention centre, there was one proposed that required a large ratepayer subsidy. The briefing papers were less than adequate as they didn’t even cover possible revenue loss from existing wellington venues.

      FWIW with respect to conventions I think the council would be better to package it’s existing venues, (some of which are restored /historic) ensure that they are all as green as possible and then market them if possible as green/sustainable venues with great tourist/shopping pursuits/family friendly outings on the doorstep and go after the smaller high value conventions for companies that are looking for a green solution to offset long distance travel costs and who want to combine the conference with a perk holiday for the staff. After all conference attendees get the boring day inside it’s the partners and kids out spending money.

    • Rosie 17.2

      Yes, and that was excellent that JL and CWB were strong on the living wage. Nicola Young was truly awful saying the poorly paid can depend on benefits to supplement their income , duh, Nicola, thats counter productive to creating financial independence and it burdens taxpayers. Thought you guys didn’t like that sort of thing.

      You do realise however, JL doesn’t pay his own staff the living wage?

      • Sirenia 17.2.1

        I thought JL did but another councillor who is not standing again, doesn’t

        • Rosie 17.2.1.1

          I heard it was him, but if he does pay a living wage then that’s excellent. Guess we won’t know for sure unless a staff member publicly speaks and out praises their boss for paying living wage.

          Maybe he pays well above minimum but not quite living wage, who knows.

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    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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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? ...
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week 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
    3 hours 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
    4 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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