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A nice little earner

Written By: - Date published: 1:37 pm, October 13th, 2007 - 60 comments
Categories: humour - Tags:

I know the Nats are leaking all over the place, but this is getting ridiculous. From our homies over at Kiwiblogblog, here’s a sneak peak of National’s draft leaflets for 2008:

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60 comments on “A nice little earner”

  1. illuminatedtiger 1

    Class! National will privatize health, education and even the fire service if they can. God help us if those nutjobs come even an inch near government.

  2. Lee C 2

    You call them kids ugly?

    Lightweights

  3. Shane 3

    And that’s what is above the radar. I hate to think what is below it.

  4. The Sprout 4

    and for a more general approach to marketing Key:
    http://thesproutandthebean.wordpress.com/

  5. burt 5

    Good one Tane, you have come a long way in the last few weeks. From nothing more than “National bad – Labour good” now you can even stick silly captions on pictures. You are a winner !

  6. Lee C 6

    This is tantamount to saying that National voters have better looking children thatn Labour voters. Fascists.

  7. burt 7

    Tane

    Back on a serious not, which part of National’s ideas about public/private partnerships in Health & Education is so offensive to the third way Labour Govt?

    Is it just me or are you guys suffering a bad case of foot-in-mouth slinging mud at National for suggesting policies that are 100% third way policies and are in keeping with the stated political direction of the Labour party?

  8. Tane 8

    LeeC: wtf???

    Burt: What the hell are you on about? I and others on this blog have stated it clearly: Privatisation in the school system is a bad idea. In fact, so has the Labour Party as I recall. Are you going to make a proper point, or argue all day with strawmen?

  9. Robinson 9

    Burt you fool – I’m pretty certain Tane isn’t a Labour supporter but anyway Labour isn’t a “third way” government they’re centre-right. PPP’s are under the radar privatisations (if you look at the way they are implemented nearly anywhere in the world they work as corporate welfarism in which business makes the money and we, the taxpayers, assume the risk) – that makes them far right. The political spectrum in this country is just fucked and has been since the rightward discursive shift in the eighties. Oh and “third way” is a marketing term – not a political stance but then I wouldn’t expect you to understand that given your far from nuanced understanding of politics…

  10. burt 10

    Tane

    Do you have children in a state school ?

    I do at the moment but won’t have next year. We are fed up with the size of the classrooms and the lack of extension that is offered to kids that are doing well. We have friends who’s kids are struggling and they are fed up with the lack of resources available to help their kids keep up. The middle however is being well catered for, teachers in classes the size of your normal state school class room have no choice but to teach to the middle.

    My wife is also an x-teacher, so before you start shooting me down for not knowing what I’m talking about you may want to get past the “national will privatise and that’s bad” position.

    The issue is quality of education and under the state system we have now it’s pretty lame.

  11. Lee C 11

    Yeah Tane,

    are you seriously trying to link voting patterns to handsomeness? What next – race, disability, sexuality?

    This is the thin end of the wedge…

  12. burt 12

    Tane

    There is a predicted primary school teacher shortage of 700 to 1,000 teachers next year. So between now and the election in 2008, what do Labour plan to do about that?

  13. Robinson 13

    Burt – one of the biggest issues in education is the lack of skilled teachers. That’s why you’ve got class size issues and an inability to nurture “special” children, part of the problem is the fact that teaching is not well paid another part of it is that it is not well respected. Privatising schools will not lead to higher pay or to greater respect – you only have to listen to the filth national supporters throw out at teachers and their “commie” union over at that other blog to see where National’s core supporters sit on the value of the people that teach our children. Once again the argument is that is ain’t that good under labour but it’d be a lot worse under national. If you want to try to make things better through the parliamentary process (I’m not sure you can) I’d suggest voting green .

  14. burt 14

    Roninson

    OK, so you say that teachers earning more under a private system is a bad thing? – If that is what you are saying it’s an interesting approach to take while defending unionisation of teachers ???

    Yet you defend the state education system for having large class rooms and scant resources for both gifted and challenged kids because of a lack of skilled teachers… well yes, that’s obvious – but why.

    Oh the reason why is because privatising schools.. yada yada yada.

    The reason is because there hasn’t been enough incentive for teachers to stay in the job or train for it. Labour have had the reigns of the training and the employment for 8 years.

    Do you have kids in a state school Robinson?

  15. burt 15

    Robinson & Tane

    Are you interested to extend this same debate to the health system?

    Perhaps you could do a post on each to stop this ‘humour’ thread from getting off track.

  16. Robinson 16

    Burt – I’m not defending the status quo. Far from it. What I am saying is privatising schools will not fix the problem, it will only make it worse. Privatisation does not increase the money available to schools (without substantial fees being charged to parants) and that means teachers will not be paid any better it just means some has to come out as profit (pushing wages down and cutting resources is often a good way to find this profit). The answer is to increase teachers wages and conditions and fund schools better and that’s what Labour should be doing because god knows national never will – they introduced bulk funding and if you really are connected to the educational system you’ll remember what happened then.

    As a rule I do not discuss my family online.

    Have you considered getting on the board of trustees for you kids’ school Burt? If you are so sure our schools can be run better you should take the opportunity that trustee system offers you to make sure they are.

  17. burt 17

    Robinson

    Rex Widerstrom makes a very interesting comment here about being on a school board.

    See: http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2007/10/privately_built_schools_in_australia.html#comment-351162

    You still haven’t provided anything other than opinion that any amount of privatising schools will make it worse…

    Yes Labour should fund schools better, but to give you the measure of the party, very recently an increase was approved for Post-Primary teachers to get 12% over 3 years. Also recently Parliament authorised a 12% increase for party expenses. It’s easy to see where the spending priorities are isn’t it. 12% over three years to address a teacher shortage and 12% immediately to face an election.

  18. Robinson 18

    Ok Burt – it’s not 12% over three years. It’s three rises of 4% and a one off cash payment in lieu of backdating – that compounds to an increase of more than 12% (I can’t be arsed doing the maths but it’s probably around the 13% mark) while this is not enough it is more than the average increase offered by National to teachers in the nineties (I think that was around 2% per year but I may be wrong – does anyone have these figures?).

    Once again I will point out that any privatisation of schools means a profit has to be derived from them. That means the school must lose some part of its funding as profit, more public funding needs to go in to provide profit, higher user pays fees must be charged or the school is run more efficiently and savings are made. Or a combination of the four. Now this means the only way we can expect more from our schools (in terms of education outcomes) through privatisation is through increased efficiency. There is simply not enough waste in the system for any kind of meaningful profit to be made. If you joined a board of trustees meeting you’d see that. Rex obviously didn’t consider the lack of stability that comes with leasing school property for example – what happens when lease renewal is approaching and the owner realises there is better money to be made developing apartments on the site? Cos that’s the problem bro – business is about making money schools are not.

    As for your comment about party spending increases? My power bill was 12% lower this month than last. And I hear that Tane has increased his alcohol intake by 12% since starting this blog, oh and by the way 12% 12% 12%… I’m beginning to sense a conspiracy. Honestly bro, arguing with you is akin to smashing one’s head against a brick wall but once again I’ll say if you want to see more funding in schools vote Green.

  19. ooo Tane you know you have made it when people dedicate themselves to being mean to you! soon they might set up the standardblogblog 🙂

  20. burt 20

    Robinson

    Once again I will point out that any privatisation of schools means a profit has to be derived from them. That means the school must lose some part of its funding as profit, more public funding needs to go in to provide profit, higher user pays fees must be charged or the school is run more efficiently and savings are made. Or a combination of the four.

    You have already acknowledged that Labour should increase funding, class room sizes are too big, teachers would be likely to earn more in private schools and there is a shortage of teachers.

    So are you saying you would rather have less private profit and that the consequences (crowded classrooms, under paid teachers, mediocre education standards, teacher shortage) are acceptable as long as Labour are in charge?

    Labour have 8 years against a promise to fix health and education, next year’s primary school teacher shortage is a record shortage and this is acceptable?

    You are either completely unconcerned about education or you can’t see past “Labour policy good – or will be good” and “National party policy bad – private profit is to high a price for quality education” – which way is it?

    BTW: I’m not saying for one moment that if the price of education rises it might require more targeted assistance or tax cuts to enable parents to pay the difference between a poorly run state system and a ‘better’ run commercial model. All parents with kids at private school are already paying twice for their childrens education. They are in fact paying for classroom capacity that is not being provided. Imagine if all the kids in private school turned up at their local “in-zone” school and demanded a seat in a class as they are entitled to do. There would be complete chaos.

  21. burt 21

    I can’t see why public funding via a subsidy for GP’s is deemed to be a good policy when public funding via a subsidy for private schools is not?

    Perhaps because we have one and not the other you seek to defend the status quo, I’d rather debate the reason why not. Over to you.

  22. Robinson 22

    Burt stop telling me what my argument is you inevitably get it wrong and I’m sick of correcting you. You win – chalk one up to obtuseness. Well done Burt.

  23. Daveo 23

    burt, i’ve come into this a bit late but you’re acting like a prat and don’t seem to listen to what robinson has been telling you. you’re also darting all over the place. why don’t we have our schools privately provided with a subsidy like we do with gps? because we haven’t made gps state employees like we should. they do it in other countries and it works very well. have you seen sicko?

    robinson also didn’t seem to be slamming labour. he was simply saying that yes there are problems in the education system as there always will be, and that labour should put more funding into education (instead of cutting taxes perhaps?). that doesn’t mean the private sector will do a better job. as he points out, the private sector has to make a profit so will tend to drive costs (like teacher salaries and education quality) down while charging more.

    i’d hoped the standard would have a better tone than kiwiblog, and largely it has, but you’re dragging it that way very quickly burt.

  24. Robinson 24

    Did I just get trolled?!

  25. burt 25

    Yep I get it. Don’t compare a 12% funding increase for political parties with a 4% 4% 4% increase for teachers. Don’t compare one example of state subsidies for a private provider vs a state monopoly. Don’t compare anything unless you compare it to how Labour want us to think it is VS how Labour want us to think National would have it.

    I’ll wait for the posts about the state of the health & education after 8 years of Labour Govt. Perhaps some statistics like average class size under the failed policies of the past vs today, average waiting list time under the failed policies of the past vs today.

    But good on you guys trying to run a good news blog for the cause of the Labour party, it’s a hard job and you really should expect to be have your ‘we know what’s best’ approach challenged from time to time.

  26. burt 26

    Did I just get trolled?!

    No, you had your views challenged. It’s called a blog, people post something and other people comment about it. Debate is the civil discourse of the ideas behind the “thing” that was posted.

    If you don’t like this idea then you need to question why you have a blog and/or why you allow comments.

  27. Robinson 27

    Um Burt you didn’t challenge my ideas – you took my arguments, misrepresented them and told me they were wrong. The fact that you did so so consistently implies you were using obtuseness as a troll tactic. It’s not “debate” unless both sides participate in good faith. I don’t believe you have.

    Oh and Burt – I don’t have a blog. I’m just commenting here.

  28. burt 28

    Robinson

    I think you just can’t face the issues. Sure you think education costs would increase under National – I haven’t tried to argue that once, yet we both seem to want better education. I’m open minded about it, perhaps it’s because I have kids falling through the cracks in the state system, have friends with kids falling through the cracks for different reasons than mine and have the benefit of a trained disgruntled teacher to draw on. That’s a lot of knowledge and experience for you to rite me off as a fool.

    Misrepresented your arguments… you mean didn’t do the good socialist thing and nod – yes Robinson you are so right – National would make schools only accessible to the elite – just like GP’s are under Labour.

  29. Robinsod 29

    yes Robinson you are so right – National would make schools only accessible to the elite

    I’m glad to see you are finally getting it. Perhaps one day you’ll also be able to string a cogent argument together too. And as for your kids falling through the cracks dude? Have you considered it might just be ‘cos they’re a chip off the ol’ block?

    Fuck it’s good to be back as Robinsod.

  30. burt 30

    Yep Robinson, they are a chip off the old block.

    You have just proven that you didn’t really read my comments earlier, if you did you would realise that you are giving me praise by calling them a chip off the old block. Something your tone would certainly imply was not your intention.

  31. Geez, you guys must be REALLY worried about the prospect of a change of government next year if you’re putting this kind of bullshit about. I thought unions were the last bastions of fairness and honesty!

    I might have to review my membership of the EPMU!

  32. Trent 32

    You guys must be really worried to make up shit like this “Fuck you and your ugly kids”. Is that the best you have to put out to the electorate. Finsec and the Green Party will love to be associated with that Tane. Do you hate voters and their children that much?

  33. Trent 33

    As a failed candidate for the Green ticket in the Northern Ward of Wellington City, will you now kindly fuck off and leave the rest of us alone.

  34. ak 34

    Annnnnnnd……. the Jack Russell award for supreme persistence to the point of personal harm in obtuse otioseness goes to burt for:

    “Perhaps because we have one and not the other you seek to defend the status quo, I’d rather debate the reason why not.”

    Have a wee spell burt; rock gently and keep on repeating “retrospective validation” and “Labour good – National bad” until help arrives.

  35. Robinsod 35

    I thought unions were the last bastions of fairness and honesty!

    No you didn’t.

  36. burt 36

    ak

    So you can’t defend the Govt policies of existing public/private partnerships and defend Labour saying “National Bad” for suggesting more public/private partnerships to solve health and education failure either.

    It’s OK I don’t mind being denigrated when you guys are having trouble defending the indefensible.

    Perhaps you would like to explain to me why it’s OK to subsidise private business like GP’s and how thats for the benefit of health care yet it’s all wrong for anything else. Or you could just denigrate me further – I know which one I’m expecting.

  37. Benodic 37

    Wow, the right really aren’t taking this challenge to their dominance on the blogosphere very well are they? You guys have no idea how scared and overly agressive you sound.

    The whole conspiracy thing’s getting tiring too. Oh, it’s the unions, it’s the Labour party, it’s a conspiracy of the fucking Green Party wgtn city northern ward local body branch. Yawn. Let’s just face it guys, a bigger better kid than that bore David Farrar has come along and you no longer have the sandpit to yourself. Get over it.

    And as for PPPs, you’ve made no convincing case that the private sector could do a better job or could reduce costs without reducing quality. Come up with some evidence and I might start taking you seriously.

    Oh, and the flyer with the kids – it’s a joke playing off the National party’s tax cuts flyers from the last election. I found it hilarious. If you don’t get it (like LeeC) or are offended (like Inventory2 and others) then honestly guys, get a life.

  38. Robinsod 38

    Burt! Ritalin!

  39. Trent 39

    Actually no, Benodic, just pointing out the stupid. And the fact you found it “hilarious” says more more about you than than anything else.

    Got to love the Local Govt results though … and tonight’s One News poll. There is a message in all of that, 49% of us don’t like being taxed hard by morons we wouldn’t personally employ.

  40. Trent 40

    “it’s a conspiracy of the fucking Green Party wgtn city northern ward local body branch.’

    And I’m sure the candidate will announce the results in due course.

  41. Robinsod 41

    Trent – it’s local body politics. Nobody gives a fuck. And what does “more more” mean? Do you h-h-have l-l-like a stutter or something? Did the kids at your school take the piss? Did you grow up bitter and feeling unloved until you realised the only w-w-way you could exact revenge on the world was by posting dumb-arse comments like There is a message in all of that, 49% of us don’t like being taxed hard by morons we wouldn’t personally employ on random left wing website?

    Well don’t worry Trent (by the way is that your real name or did you actually pick it as a handle – ‘cos bro the former ain’t your fault but…) we’ve got plenty of love even for the likes of you here – it’s ‘cos we’re socialists and we believe even the weakest (and your posts are weak bro) should be looked after. Welcome back friend.

  42. Sam Dixon 42

    Trent

    why are you telling someone to fuck off on their own blog? May I suggest that if you don’t want to here what Tane has to say you, yourself, fuck off?

    So, that’s the latest theory is it? Tane is from the Greens and The Standard is a Green Party 5th column (why they didn’t just revamp Frogblog eh?)? And I’m a former soviet spy?

  43. Robinsod 43

    And I’m Bill English pretending to be John Key pretending to be Robinsod and eventually I’ll (as John Key) be disclosed as living a lie (as Robinsod) and have to step aside for me (as Bill English) to retake the leadership. Ha!

  44. Trent 44

    Man, you guys take yourselves far too serriously. Robinson, I think I know my name – what is your point?

    And there is a message in those polls, but you miss it. Which is good.

    Sam, so what? Oh, and in Robinson’s tradition – “here” is actually “hear” or more correctly “read”. You are fine product of our education system.

  45. Robinsod 45

    Trent – I think you mean “seriously”. But at least “Robinson’s” had a possessive apostrophe. And my point about your name is that it’s a little naff – I doubt it helped with the bullying.

  46. Trent 46

    No it didn’t help with the bullying, was it intended to? I’ll let the folks know that you think that my grandfather who died in Changi after who I was named had a “naff” name. Thanks for providing an illustration of your (unwanted) “love”:

    “we’ve got plenty of love even for the likes of you here – it’s ‘cos we’re socialists and we believe even the weakest”

    My grandfather was far more nobel in his belief of protecting the weakest, he was captured by Japanese because he stayed behind to look after injured in Indonesia, he escaped Changi twice, was tourtured upon capture each time and was shot on his third escape.

    Now, I don’t tread-jack as a matter of courtesy to the host, but you took the piss out of my name. I felt the need to give you its history. My name gives me a sense of pride. If you think its “naff” then that is just fine.

  47. Robinsod 47

    Your Granddad sounds like a pretty top bloke. What the hell happened to you?

  48. Trent 48

    Nothing “happened” to me. He was fighting socialism at the time, Germany didn’t work out (East Germany in particular post WW2) and the Japanese plan never made it to New Zealand – thankfully. So I guess I hate socialism just as much as he did, instead of getting a bullet to the back of the head like him all I have to suffer is denegration on-line.

  49. Robinsod 49

    Yeah that’s right Trent – I’ve gotta be nice to you because of your pop. D’ya think he’d like you using him to try and weasel some victim points on a friggin blog? Oh and my history might not be that flash but I think your pops might have been fighting Fascism. It’s just a guess is all…

  50. Trent 50

    You are just sad.

  51. Robinsod 51

    And you are busted – what kind of a creep invokes his dead grandfather to try to gain the moral high ground on a political blog? Frankly, I’m sickened by your lack of respect for the dead Trent and I’m not so sure I want to be your friend anymore.

  52. Trent 52

    This place is pure poison. All I did was tell you about how I came to be named. Now you accuse me of involking the meory of my gradfather for some kind of polictical purpose or sympathy vote?? I did no such thing.

  53. Trent 53

    WANKER!

  54. Robinsod 54

    So I guess I hate socialism just as much as he did, instead of getting a bullet to the back of the head like him all I have to suffer is denegration on-line

    See Trent, in this comment you’re creating a parallel trope in which you invoke the suffering of your grandfather and align it with your own. It’s a classic rhetorical tactic to invoke the moral high ground and you were well aware of what you were doing. That to my mind is using your pop’s (undoubted) heroicism to give yourself a get out of jail free card. It’s called spin Trent and your’s is a particularly nasty example of it.

  55. Benodic 55

    Trent, you’re arguing with Robinsod. That’s how the guy behaves. Do you think it’s any better over at Kiwiblog?

    And if you don’t want your dead grandfather brought into the argument don’t bloody well bring him into the argument. You’ve only got yourself to blame.

    Hell, you came on here as a troll accusing a writer from this site of being a Green Party candidate for wgtn city council and attacking the blog over why it hadn’t covered the local election results. Why do you expect to be treated with *any* respect?

  56. Robinsod 56

    I like it when trolls scream…

  57. Trent 57

    He took the piss out of my name – and got an explantion as to how I came to be named so, do you have a problem with it too??.

    And no I’m not a troll. Disagreeing with an ideology is not trolling. Gee, and posing a question about an important local government election result deserves this sort of crap, you guys must be worried about something.

    You guys seriously are fuckwits.

  58. Tane 58

    Trent you walked in here throwing punches and got given a bloody nose. Don’t act so surprised.

    And no I’m not a troll. Disagreeing with an ideology is not trolling.

    Look, I just came to this thread from a day or so away, and I have to say you’re acting like a troll. You haven’t made a single constructive point on this entire thread. All you’ve done is abuse me and complain that we’re not covering the stories you’d like to see. You’re welcome to post here, but could you try to be a bit more constructive in future?

  59. Nih 59

    WANKER!

    Often, too!

    It’s good to be young and all in one piece.

  60. Trent 60

    Whatever. You are irrelevant.

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  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    2 days ago
  • Could the Atlantic Overturning Circulation ‘shut down’?
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr. Richard Wood and Dr. Laura Jackson Generally, we think of climate change as a gradual process: the more greenhouse gases that humans emit, the more the climate will change. But are there any “points of no return” that commit us to irreversible ...
    2 days ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    3 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial 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... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    3 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    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 ...
    7 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
    1 week 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

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours 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
    4 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
    7 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
    7 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
    10 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 days 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
    3 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
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  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
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