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A photo finish

Written By: - Date published: 4:50 pm, December 21st, 2007 - 45 comments
Categories: humour, labour, national - Tags: , ,

I have glimpsed the future. I know how Election 08 will play out. It will be a thriller, going down to the wire. The election home straight, like that at Flemington in Melbourne, is a test of champions. In the end it is about class and staying ability. Helen Clark starts the year well off the pace. John Key canters along in front. Slowly but surely, however, Clark gathers him in. Key starts to feel the pressure. He races greenly, pulls hard at the bit, showing his lack of experience, stamina and preparation. Right on the line, Clark appears to nab him. The result is not clear and there is an anxious delay. But after what seems an inordinate amount of time, the numbers are confirmed. Clark has made it, by a short neck – known as a Hide. The Green stable belies their odds and feature strongly in the finish. The old brumbie Turry’s Fury has also rattled home gamely. They’ve helped the Labour thoroughbred to her fourth successive title. Winston’s Way crumbles in the run home and is immediately transferred to the knacker’s yard. The roaring of the crowd drowns the wailing of the hollow men.

45 comments on “A photo finish ”

  1. outofbed 1

    And John keys “owners” buy a new horse for next time

  2. East Wellington Superhero 2

    You are wrong.
    I’ve been talking to the people of eastern Wellington and they are sick of Labour.
    I’ve talked to many folk who normally vote Labour who have said they want to get ride of this government.
    Helen Clark will lose.

  3. Dan 3

    The result is correct: the style is wrong. Helen Clark and her team will roar past as Kiwi did in the Cup, because Labour has a philosophy and a sense of community. People will not vote for a party that has no policies, and relies on expensive billboards.
    Go Helen! $100 on the nose!

  4. the sprout 4

    whoah there EWS, i know superheroes aren’t known for their sense of levity but Tillerman’s piece isn’t intended as reportage, even by the Herald’s standard (hint, read the opening sentence).
    but feel free to keep talking to your “people and “folk”, they’re probably very grounding for you.

  5. r0b 5

    Labour are the underdogs, but the playing field is level. I’ll take them odds.

  6. the sprout 6

    me too r0b. but i’m glad the Blues feel like they’re in the race this time.

  7. r0b 7

    Indeed sprout, you could even say that they’re feeling their oats a bit…

  8. the sprout 8

    true. and colic soon to follow.

  9. Santi 9

    You guys should share some of the Jamaican Gold you seem to be smoking. Or is it Colombian Red Crest?

    Barring a miracle (touch wood) the socialist Labour Party is on its way out.

  10. r0b 10

    On it’s way out to parrrrrty! Jah mon!

  11. Monty 11

    Good Xmas loot has been coming thru the gate, including a bottle of “vintage Bollie”.

    This will be kept at a constant temperature then chilled nicley to celebrate the long long reign of John Key in about October 2008. For my socialist ex labour supporter fireman friend I have a bottle of Meths bought for $3.99 at Pak’n’save.

    Ahhhh – i will savour and enjoy the long awaited Chanpagne. Nine years has been to long to wait.

  12. Heard the saying “You can’t flog a dead horse”?

  13. the sprout 13

    “enjoy the long awaited Chanpagne”

    Monty, is that some kind of anti-freeze?

  14. outofbed 14

    Monti & Santi The polls left vs right are neck and neck.
    Lets debate some National policy and we will see a shift and it won’t bet to the right.
    So put the Anti freeze on ice and open a bottle of champagne now!!and celebrate Nationals High poll rating while you have the chance

  15. Monty 15

    19 points is the sort of lead that gives me comfort when the socialists (spit the filthy mongrols) were desperate for parity in the polls in the lead to Christmas. Hardly wat I would call neck and neck. I am sure Helen in her desperation would be wanting the polls to be much closer.

    Now I will sit back and watch the fun as Winston (on cue) goes feral against Labour as he tries to dis-associate himeself from them and as he tries (in vain) to seek out the role of Kingmaker come post election 2008. Nothing will save his sorry arse this time around.

    Also – I note my earlier spelling mistake – I am as bad as Jimmy Sleep – But I can blame the rotten 1970’s catholic education system for not beating me enough for not knowing my spelling.

  16. outofbed 16

    monty do you understand mmp ?

  17. But I can blame the rotten 1970’s catholic education system for not beating me enough for not knowing my spelling.

    But you can thank them for you having the decency to feel guilty about it. There’s hope for you yet.

  18. Mike Porton 18

    Zen – 10 Hail Marys.

  19. gobsmacked 19

    I’d like to wish everyone on here a Merry Xmas. Especially our visitors from the right. Have a good one, guys, because at the next one you’ll be raising a glass to Helen’s 4th term, or bitterly railing against John Key for his year of U-turns and the new vanilla government.

    The Sydney Morning Herald has an interesting perspective on this, featuring our own David Farrar, who quietly admits that the voters don’t actually support National policies!

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/right-has-no-idea-in-left-world/2007/12/21/1198175341998.html

  20. that’s a nice quote uncky dave in the SMH Uncky Dave, looking forward to using it lots:

    “His strategy is ‘don’t rock the boat’,” says David Farrar, a popular conservative blogger who has worked for four Nationals prime ministers and opposition leaders.

    “A year ago he tried to shut down traditional areas of controversy – nuclear ship visits and climate change, for example. The Nationals have been ahead in every poll this year and they are likely to win the next election” – due by next November – “but that’s because Labor is old and tired and not because of any upswelling of support for the Nationals’ agenda.”

  21. Phil 22

    Hey G,

    I think it’s a little early for either side to be acting smug about Chistmas ’08, dont you think?

    The SMH does raise a good point though… internationally, all the things ‘we’ wanted to do post-80’s – essentially producing a country more responsive and capabale of dealing with international ‘shocks’ – the right has done already.

    On the other hand, whats left for the left?
    When you’ve got an economy ticking along nicely (as we are appear to be at the moment) it must be a hard sell convincing the public that there are social ill’s that need state-assisted fixing.

  22. Dan 23

    Exactly Phil! Why change when the economy is going so well. The SMH article will no doubt be dissected by many, but the reality is Rudd got in on policies Labour has pushed here for three terms. No wonder David Farrar and co are worried.

  23. you’ll have to do a lot better than that phil. you get Whittacker’s chocolate for christmas too?

  24. ak 25

    Thanks gobbo – top find. When even the top tory muckraker is agreeing with what we’ve been saying for months, it’s worth reprinting:

    Farrar: The Nationals have been ahead in every poll this year and they are likely to win the next election” – due by next November – “but that’s because Labor is old and tired and not because of any upswelling of support for the Nationals’ agenda.”

    As usual, Fukuyama’s spot on in his global analysis. Poor wee NZ led the charge into the minor dark age of the nineties (thanks to the incredible blatant subterfuge and betrayal of Douglas, Prebble et al) and instead of the promised “Switzerland of the South Pacific”….well, suffice to say we’re still recovering.

    Labour’s done a good job of carefully rebuilding; no further evidence of their success is needed than the fact that their opponents have comprehensively embraced all their efforts – so much so, that the danger for Labour now is that the “Key factor” will outflank them on the left (nb “underclass” speech and current low-key (pun intended)overtures to Maori).

    The challenge now, as so well identified by Downer, is to ignore the past year’s stumbles and artificial reactionary baying, build on the record to date, and provide a bold visionary programme to further reduce inequalities – again leading the world by nurturing the innate optimism and common sense tradition that has built our proud nation.
    It’s a golden opportunity for us all and I pray that Helen’s up to it after a tough year. At the very least, the true tory agenda will be revealed: National’s hyenas will not endure much more “me too”.
    Read the skies, Labour, Greens and Maori: when the smiling snake embaces, lead your people towards the light.

  25. Santi 27

    Dan said “..but the reality is Rudd got in on policies Labour has pushed here for three terms.”

    Does that include tax cuts and not overtaxing the populace, even those socialist Labour claims to represent? Bollocks!

  26. Phil 28

    Dan,
    Why change when the economy is doing so well?
    Well, the PERCEPTION is that the benefits of the last few years growth have been disproportionately reaped by the government – hence the shift toward National in the provincal areas last election, and the positive response they got to tax cuts.

    Sprout,
    National isn’t going to be the only one-trick-pony in the next election. Outside of environmental issues (which pulls the rug right out from under the Greens) Labour is looking like it’s “playing it again, Sam”
    If, and I conceed its a great big IF-with-cheeries-and-whipped-cream-on-top, National makes legitimate and real concessions on the environment, Labour has nowhere to go that voters will respond to.

  27. play with your Reindeer santi, they love you

  28. Phil 30

    ak,

    I like the use of you phrase “minor dark age of the nineties” – very evocative but totally misleading.

    I content that the miserable state we were in pre-reforms would have led to a much worse nineties than the one we got. We were in such a hopeless position that it got to the point where the credit cards of our foreign diplomats were nearly called upon to help bail out our currency.

    Remember also that these painful reforms were voted for by the public! When the traditional left element wrestled back power from the economic bloc of Labour between 87 and 90, they were convincingly trounced by the Nat’s at the next election, and failed to return to power for a decade.
    That, by my reconing, is hardly a howl of public disapproval for those policy platfroms.

  29. Gobsmacked, the only comparison between the Howard and Clark govts is longevity. Clark’s govt is as old and worn out as Howard’s and the only policies they can come up with are highly unpopular (anti-smacking and EFB).

    The EFB marks the end of the Labour govt. Key doesn’t have to do anything.

    A govt is seldom voted in, they are usually voted out. Also, there is more to govt than ideology or policy. The govt is responsible for day to day running of the country and things which pop up unannounced. Sometimes it is better not to have too many pre-conceived ideas. As a person Key has a large potential popularity base. Coming from a state house, a large proportion of the electorate can identify with him.

    The only decision we as the electorate have to make is whether or not to give Key a working majority, or require him to negotiate through the Maori Party or Act. My bet is that it will be the Maori Party.

  30. outofbed 32

    I am glad that the left is so remarkably upbeat
    When all said and done the Nats are still the same team as they were under Brash, Same people same ideas same agenda.

    Its one thing to register your disapproval with the Gov when some pollster rings you up at tea time
    but quite another to actually tick National.
    When push come to shove I think we can be quietly confident of centre/left Gov for the foreseeable future

  31. ak 33

    Phil: “…these painful reforms were voted for by the public!”

    Nah Phil, 90 and 93 were payback for the Douglas gang betrayal and Bolger “Keyed” the sentiment nicely. In 96 Winnie pulled another Doug/Preb betrayal. The last three elections are payback for the ACT/BRT agenda that National carried on with.
    But hey, if you’re right, and privatisation and “trickle down” are so well supported by the public, why won’t National put ’em up right up there? Seems even tory strategists know that the only way to import this recycled trash is by stealth.

    Kent: “My bet is that it will be the Maori Party.” Heh heh. The One Law for All/Abolish Maori Seats Smiling Snake party supported by their victims. Talk about wishful thinking – would love to have a wee flutter on that one Kent!

  32. Phil 34

    If you listen closely to Pita Sharples, you can hear some “blue” in him.
    The risk in that combination all falls on the Maori party side. National wouldn’t have anything to lose, assuming they had backing from ACT and UFNZ if push came to shove.

    For the Maori party, they would be a shoe-in for Maori and PI portfolios plus maybe another and some associate roles, which they are never in a million years going to get under Labour. They would have the opportunity to work as a moderating influence on policy, rather than as an extreemist (or at least viewed as extreemist) position.

    MMP around the planet is filled with examples of this kind of working coalition. I think it would be an interesting experiment, at the very least.

  33. Dan 35

    Pita Sharples blue!! Get a life!
    Along with the tax cuts proposed by all parties, the biggest move will be a capital gains tax on speculative investment. It will make houses more affordable and reduce inflation. It will be the point of difference that Labour needs to defuse the rantings of the right.

  34. ak 36

    Phil: “For the Maori party, they would be a shoe-in for Maori and PI portfolios”

    Too right Phil – kapai-deadly as we used to say in the works.

    And Pita for Deputy PM.

    In a Labour-led government: the most progressive government the western world has yet seen – building on a proud history of fearless social advancement and principle, and once more putting godzone at the vanguard of the historic trend towards inclusion, emancipation and univeral fraternity.

    Too fanciful? Nah Phil, it’s just that my grandkids deserve the best – and your depressing fantasy is just too pessimistic to envisage at this time of the year.

  35. DS 37

    “Remember also that these painful reforms were voted for by the public! When the traditional left element wrestled back power from the economic bloc of Labour between 87 and 90, they were convincingly trounced by the Nat’s at the next election, and failed to return to power for a decade.
    That, by my reconing, is hardly a howl of public disapproval for those policy platfroms.”

    Someone please shoot me before my brain melts at having to read another word of this garbage. The *only* remote example of the public approving the reforms was in 1987, and that was iffy at best (Lange was riding the anti-nuclear wave, while the stockmarket crash was still a few months away). 1990 was an emphatic rejection of Rogernomics; the public were desperate for the pain to stop, and were prepared to go with an apparently moderate National Party promising a return to normality and a Decent Society (my, my, doesn’t that sound familiar?). Of course, they got a sadistic maniac as Finance Minister instead. In 1993 National (thanks to an economic upswing) managed to squeak home with 35% of the vote; Labour got 34%, the Alliance got 18%, and NZ First got 8%. Hardly a ringing endorsement, is it?

  36. ak 38

    Gaaaad yes DS, and God bless you! I’d forgotten the disgusting details of National’s gerrymandering past – to all believers in the inherent goodness of humanity, go and watch “The Castle” again, renew your faith in your fellow man and woman and return to fight the good fight that has carried us so far!

    And Tories: may you discover deep in the roots of your Christmas trees, more money than you can spend in a million years.

  37. ak,

    It was Brash who promised removal of the Maori seats and ended up in the ‘removal’ business himself. Key has come forward hard against many of the things that Brash represented and has not endorsed the get-rid-of-the-seats idea.

    The Maori Party is basically a right of centre party. They are essentially conservative. Theirs has always been a party that National has been most likely to ally with. It was a National minister, Sir Douglas Graham, who in the 90’s was instrumental in implementing Treaty payouts. No Labour party minister is more closely aligned to such activity as he is.

    Tell you what, it’s worth a flutter.

  38. Pascal's bookie 40

    Conservative is a funny old word.

    It gets used a lot these days as a label for a bunch of policies that might be more accuratly labelled as reactionary. Though I’m not suggesting that’s what anyone here is doing.

    For example if you think about what your basic ‘conservative’ platform is in the states, going by the administration, the Repub candidates, and what is said in places like the National Review, then the following things are “conservative’ in the States:

    – A strong Executive branch that doesn’t need to answer to the congress, can abrogate treaties signed by previous presidents and ratified into law by congress, and can withold any and documents from oversight as it pleases. (see torture, geneva, sunny gauntanamo, numerous ‘signing statements’)

    – Tax cuts as a matter of principle, even in war time.

    – A foreign policy predicated on the idea that the US can and must establish itself with, and thereafter maintain itself with, ‘full spectrum dominance’. Everything, everywhere is an American interest and no other power or collection of powers can be allowed to challenge the US. (see PNAC, Iraq, Iran, Missile shields)

    – Pandering to religious bigots who think that any and all social problems stem back to the fact that most Americans, if their actions are any guide, do not believe in a particular style of Christian belief. (see various thinktanks, social engineering policies about who is allowed to get married, revisionist and false ideas about the influence of Christianity on the Republic and so on)

    None of this is ‘conservative’ in any real sense of the word. Particularly in the States, which is a nation founded on Enlightement principles, with a constitution set up to be genuinely conservative in the sense of being slow to change and deliberative in it’s politics. What they’ve got from the repub’s is a radical reaction against the Liberals, that lacks the defining conservative characteristic of hesitating to change longstanding traditions. By any measure the Liberal reforms of the early and mid 20 century should be being held in some regard by real conservatives. Creative destruction, roll back, unitary executive and the like are not conservative ideas.

    So the idea that the Maori party is ‘conservative’ is true, for some meanings of the word, and not for others. The same can be said for the Labour Party, the Green Party and the National Party.

    In fact I would argue that it is the Labour Prty in NZ that is most truely ‘conservative’ in the old, preservationist and pragmatic sense of the word. In this sense reforms like Civil Unions are progressions of the law based on principles of equity and pragmatism. If these structures work for many why should not the benefits be spread to all, sort of thing.

    Conservatives don’t hate change, they just hate change based on passion, (which includes religious passion, nationalist passion, and fear), and change that doesn’t take into account the reasons for the thing you changing being they way it is, (nb Welfare reform, Maori seats, privatisation etc).

    No-one can argue that the Clark govts have been radical in any economic sense, in fact the criticisms they get from both the Left and the Right have been that they are too conservative and reform resistant.

    God that was long, rambling and moved off topic in a major way. But I’m not going to delete it and say what i intended to say when I started typing, instead I’ll just post it, and promiss not to comment again untill the New Year or so.

    Have a good one all, in whatever way you traditionally spend the season, be it conservative or radical, liberal or otherwise.

    bookie

  39. absolutely pb, there is precisely nothing that’s actually ‘conservative’ about neo-conservativism, it’s actually quite a radical departure from traditional conservative principles.

  40. Kent 42

    Oh, dear, who’s deconstructing the meaning of conservative then? I just thought that it meant people more inclined to preserve the status quo rather than change it, compared to progressives who wish to enact change.

    Oh, well, happy new year anyway, bookie.

  41. DS 43

    “The Maori Party is basically a right of centre party. They are essentially conservative. Theirs has always been a party that National has been most likely to ally with. It was a National minister, Sir Douglas Graham, who in the 90’s was instrumental in implementing Treaty payouts. No Labour party minister is more closely aligned to such activity as he is.

    Tell you what, it’s worth a flutter.”

    The fly in your ointment is that grass-roots Tory and Maori supporters hate each other (hint: who do Maori Party supporters tend to give their party vote to?). An enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend deal between National and the Maori Party would be suicidal for both parties.

  42. r0b 44

    I’m going bush. Back in February.

    Merry Christmas to friend and foe alike!

  43. Amateur Scrabbler 45

    Interesting thread…

    Surprisingly nobody has explicitly mentioned that the political spectrum is multi-dimensional. Social and economic are the two convenient perpendicular axes.

    That aside, liberalism and conservatism have lost pretty much any real meaning.

    When you reform a market towards freeness is is ‘liberal’. Same as when you reform a market towards statism. Both these things are ‘liberal’. Likewise, resisting a change towards a free market is technically ‘conservative’, and resisting a change towards statism is ‘conservative’ also.

    The terms are by-and-large nonsense when taken out of their traditional context of benefiting the landed (conservative – keeps things good (the same) for the aristocrats) versus benefiting the proles (reform for the worker’s benefit).

    And I am talking about the big picture of democracy here. Kings and subjects, moving very slowly over hundreds of years towards direct democracy, with input from the majority (the serfs/proles/scum).

    Changes to the social-economic matrix from the dark ages until around the mid to late 1900s were by-and-large designed to benefit the proletariat. These were all due to popular unrest – not aristocratic charity, as some may wish to believe.

    Now this all becomes confused when the free-market/globalisation gains currency as the way-of-living de jour…

    The conservatives then wanted to liberalise the markets, now that a globalised economy seems like a good thing for them… (?!?)

    So…

    People just need to be honest and say whether they want their economic policy change to benefit capital or labour.

    Now Labour (big L) is by-and large honest about it’s intentions. National not so much. There is often an Orwellian doublespeak, that as workers you can benefit from Policy X as the part-owner (shareholder) of some capital. In fact, the West is an ‘ownership society’ right?… with all that this idea implies.

    ‘Freedom’ is also another doublespeak favourite. You’re ‘free’ to spend your extra $5 to $10 dollars a week tax cut on uncapped doctor’s bills, or unsubsidised tertiary education. Joy!

    The obfuscation unfortunately works on a lot of people.

    Just a little history and sociology lesson for big-picture challenged… 🙂

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    4 days ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    4 days ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    6 days ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
    Barbados is planning to remove the queen as head of state and become a republic in time for the 55th anniversary of its independence in 2021: Barbados has announced its intention to remove the Queen as its head of state and become a republic by November 2021. [...] Reading ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    6 days ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz What is the impact of temperature increases in the tropics? ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is...
    Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
    A key part of our electoral funding regime is a requirement for some transparency around donations, on the basis that if we can find out who has bought our politicians (typically after we have voted for them) then everything is alright. There are a lot of problems with that regime ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
    When Parliament introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme, it was worried that carbon prices might get too high. So it introduced a "fixed price option", allowing polluters to pay the government $25 in the place of surrendering credits. The result was predictable: after we were thrown out of international carbon markets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
    The government will finally be requiring large New Zealand companies to disclose their climate change risks: New Zealand finance companies will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced. The policy will force around 200 large financial organisations in New Zealand to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Tackling the hard issues – trust and relationships
    By Claire Grant, Genomics Aotearoa Communications Manager Community consultation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of research programmes in New Zealand, and with that comes the art of relationship building. Engagement between scientists and user-groups is certainly nothing new. But as stakeholder involvement becomes more of a requirement for science, ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Equality Network – September Newsletter
    Read the Equality Network newsletter here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The Left’s Lost Allies.
    Rebels In A Wrong Cause: The truly frightening thing about Jami-Lee Ross’s and Billy Te Kahika’s success in persuading thousands of New Zealanders that Covid-19 is just another trick, just another way of stealing away their power, is realising just how many of them once marched at the Left’s side. ...
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Low-Hanging Fruit
    In a couple of months, the 53rd Parliament will meet in Wellington, and approximately 120 MPs will be sworn in, many of them for the first time.They will all have political goals, some aligning with their party platforms, some not, some complex, and some simple, but they will gain one ...
    1 week ago
  • Closing the Gap thinks that Labour’s proposal to raise the top tax rate is great but………
    Media Statement For Immediate Release 10th September 2020 The income and wealth inequality lobby group, “Closing the Gap” thinks the Labour proposal a great start says Peter Malcolm, a spokesperson for the group. But they need to be aware of what many of the rich do and of what do ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: No nonsense
    ACT is pushing a "no-nonsense climate change plan". What does it involve? Repealing the Zero Carbon Act and Emissions Trading Scheme, reversing the fossil-fuel exploration ban, and allowing mining on conservation land. In other words, repealing any policy which might actually reduce emissions. Which is the very definition of nonsensical. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • My Climate Story: Coming full Circle
    This blog post is a follow up to my recap of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Training I recently participated in. One of the exercises we were asked to complete was to write about our respective "Climate Story". This is a slightly updated version to the one I had submitted during ...
    1 week ago
  • A bill to criminalise wage theft
    Wage theft is a problem in New Zealand, with a widespread practice of forcing employees to work without pay, and regular cases of underpayment and exploitation. One reason why its such a widespread problem is impunity: rather than a crime, wage theft is merely a tort, dealt with by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Liam Hehir: What the voting age debate tells us about our disconnected political media
    New Zealand’s media and online politics often reflect the values of liberal and progressive agendas. According to Liam Hehir, the current proposals to lower the voting age to 16 years – which the media overwhelming supports – is indicative of a wider mismatch with society, which is not good for ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Why Pay Taxes?
    My wife and I, through a combination of good luck and good management, have managed to retire in comfortable circumstances. We celebrate our good fortune by making relatively small but regular donations to a range of good causes – to rescue services like the rescue helicopters, St John’s Ambulance and ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Now everyone’s a statistician. Here’s what armchair COVID experts are getting wrong
    Jacques Raubenheimer, University of Sydney If we don’t analyse statistics for a living, it’s easy to be taken in by misinformation about COVID-19 statistics on social media, especially if we don’t have the right context. For instance, we may cherry pick statistics supporting our viewpoint and ignore statistics showing we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More timid bullshit from Labour
    Over the weekend, Labour released its welfare policy: an increase in benefit abatement thresholds. And that's it. Faced with clear evidence of ongoing hardship among beneficiaries and a call from its on Welfare Expert Advisory Group to raise core benefits by between 12 percent and 47 percent, Labour's response is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Police Kill as Part of their Social Function
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (Bogota; 09/11/2020) The murder of Javier Ordoñez in the neighbourhood of Villa Luz in Bogotá, Colombia at the hands of two policemen brings to the fore the issue of police violence and its function in society. First of all we should be clear that we are ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #37
    Story of the Week... La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS...  Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Story of the Week... Humans exploiting and destroying nature on unprecedented scale – report Animal populations have plunged an average of 68% ...
    1 week ago
  • The 2019 measles epidemic in Samoa
    Gabrielle Po-Ching In November 1918, the cargo and passenger ship Talune travelled to Apia, Samoa from Auckland, carrying a number of passengers who had pneumonic influenza. From these passengers stemmed the biggest pandemic Samoa had ever seen. With around 8,500 deaths, over 20% of the country’s population at the ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Shifting all Isolation/Quarantine Facilities to a Single Air Force Base: The Need for a Critical Ana...
    Prof Nick Wilson*, Prof Michael Baker In this blog the arguments for and against shifting all COVID-19 related isolation/quarantine facilities to a single air force base at Ōhakea are considered. The main advantage would be a reduction in the risk of border control failures, which can potentially involve outbreaks ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • The difference between Green and Labour: a tale of two Finance Ministers
    So the Greens co-leader James Shaw recently made a mistake. In his role as Associate Finance Minister approving funding for “shovel-ready” projects, he fought hard for a private “Green school” to get funding to expand their buildings and, therefore, their student capacity. There are many problems with what he did: ...
    Cut your hairBy calebmorgan
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – The missing election policy on free dental visits
    Over the last three years there have been growing calls for the government to provide dental services under the health system – universal free dental care. This is because at the moment there’s an anomaly in which teeth are regarded as different from the rest of the body which means ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #37
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 6, 2020 through Sat, Sep 12, 2020 Editor's Choice With California ablaze, Newsom blasts Trump administration for failing to fight climate change Trinity River Conservation Camp crew members drown ...
    1 week ago
  • Letter to the Editor
    Dear Sir, As we head into the run up to the upcoming election I feel it is my duty to draw your attention to the lack of fun we are currently forced to ensure by the Adern regime. In their efforts to keep the nation’s essential workers, health compromised people, ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Participating in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training
    It finally happened: about 13 years after first watching Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” (AIT) in 2007 when it became available in Germany, I recently completed the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training! Participating in this particular training had been on my to-do list for quite some time but it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Dysfunctional Design
    Windows 95 is famous for requiring the shutting down the system by clicking ‘start, like stopping your car by turning the ignition key on. Why are so many interfaces so user-unfriendly? The Covid app to register your entering premises can be so clumsy. Sometimes I have signed in, sat down ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Can we trust the polls?
    Is the 2020 election result really the foregone conclusion that the polls and commentators are suggesting? Josh Van Veen suggests otherwise, pointing to some of the shortcomings of opinion polling, which could ready some politicians to say “bugger the pollsters” on election night.   In November 1993, opinion polls foretold ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • The UK wants climate action
    Back in 2019, six select committees of the UK Parliament established a Citizen's Assembly to investigate how to respond to climate change. The Assembly's deliberations were forced online by the pandemic, but it has finally reported back, and overwhelmingly supports strong action: Taxes that increase as people fly further ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • In the US, the End of Days.
    I am feeling a bit impish today and so for no particular reason I thought I would share this thought, which I first posted over on twitter: “Hurricanes, wildfires, floods, heatwaves, street protests, armed vigilante militias, a lethal pandemic and a corrupt authoritarian using the federal government for partisan and ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Government too slow in deploying military to assist with Covid-19 response, former defence minister ...
    Wayne Mapp (Photo: Tsmith.nz via Wikimedia) A former Minister of Defence says the government was too slow to involve the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) in New Zealand’s response to Covid-19. But Wayne Mapp, a National MP from 1996-2011 who served as Minister of Defence for three ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • Underwhelming
    Transport is our second biggest polluter after agriculture, making up 17% of our national emissions. Cars and trucks emit 15 million tons of CO2 every year. So, if we're serious about tackling climate change, we need to eliminate this entirely. Public transport and better urban design will be a key ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Five things we know about COVID-19, and five we don’t
    Five things we’ve learnt 1. We know where the virus ultimately came from We know that the virus originally came from bats, and most probably a species of horseshoe bat in South East Asia. However, the spike protein in SARS-CoV-2, which allows the virus to attach to cells and infect ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Stewardship land is conservation land
    The Greens' greatest disappointment while in government this term has been the failure to implement a ban on mining on conservation land. Promised by Jacinda Ardern immediately after gaining power, it had long been assumed that the problem was NZ First (who have a long history of environmental vandalism). But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The price of Green co-operation just went up
    If they get into Parliament, everyone expects the Greens to form a coalition with Labour. But James Shaw has said that that might not be the case, and that they might instead choose to sit on the cross-benches: The Greens are prepared to forego a coalition or confidence and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Swimming with whales: you must know the risks and when it’s best to keep your distance
    Chantal Denise Pagel, Auckland University of Technology; Mark Orams, Auckland University of Technology, and Michael Lueck, Auckland University of Technology Three people were injured last month in separate humpback whale encounters off the Western Australia coast. The incidents happened during snorkelling tours on Ningaloo Reef when swimmers came too close ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Driving Out The Money-Changers Of Reactionary Christianity.
    Den Of Thieves: They describe themselves, and the money-making rackets they dignify with the name of church, “Christian”, but these ravening wolves are no such thing. The essence of the Christian faith is the giving of love – not the taking of money. It is about opening oneself to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Could academic streaming in New Zealand schools be on the way out? The evidence suggests it should b...
    David Pomeroy, University of Canterbury; Kay-Lee Jones, University of Canterbury; Mahdis Azarmandi, University of Canterbury, and Sara Tolbert, University of Canterbury Academic streaming in New Zealand schools is still common, but according to recent reports it is also discriminatory and racist. Also known as tracking, setting and ability grouping, streaming ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A Time To Begin Again.
    A New Holy-Day: Perhaps, by accepting this gift of Matariki from the first arrivals in Aotearoa, we late arrivals, shorn of our ancestors’ outlandish fleeces, can draw strength from the accumulated human wisdom of our adopted home. Perhaps, by celebrating Matariki, we can learn to take ownership of our colonial ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s tax trauma victims and how they might help the Greens
    If there was any doubt left, we can surely call it now. Time and date. End of. Finito. Perhaps you thought you saw a flickering eyelid or a finger move? You were wrong. Labour has given up on tax reform for the foreseeable future. One of the key remaining left/right ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 weeks ago

  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
    PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast Unemployment to peak at 7.8%, down from 9.8% forecast in the Budget Year-to-June accounts show tax revenue, debt and OBEGAL better than forecast Global forecast downgraded as COVID-19 second waves and uncertainty grows Balanced plan to support critical public services, manage debt and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
    The Kāpiti Coast town of Ōtaki will receive $1.4 million in Government funding for two projects providing scores of jobs for locals while improving community facilities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Māoriland Charitable Trust will receive a $900,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant to upgrade the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme
    The Provincial Growth Fund will provide $11.88 million to fund fencing and waterway projects nationwide that will improve the environment and create jobs in their communities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “These projects will create more than 100 jobs nationwide with work starting within the next couple ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
    As part of the COVID-19 recovery, the Government has strengthened its procurement rules to ensure its annual $42 billion spend creates more jobs, uses more sustainable construction practices and results in better outcomes for Māori and Pasifika, Government Ministers announced today.   Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says the $42 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Timaru’s Theatre Royal to be upgraded and new heritage facility built
    The Government is supporting a major upgrade of Timaru’s iconic Theatre Royal and the construction of a new connected Heritage Facility museum and exhibition space with $11.6 million from the Government’s Infrastructure Fund, Jacinda Ardern announced today. “We heard the call from the community and the council. The Theatre Royal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • District Court judge appointed
    Chrissy Montague (formerly Armstrong), barrister of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Wellington, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Montague commenced practice in Auckland in 1987 and went into general practice dealing with Wills, Estates, Trusts, Conveyancing, Relationship Property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Approval given to Commercial Film and Video Production Proposal
      A Proposal to provide for the development and operation of commercial film and video production facilities in areas of Christchurch has been given the go ahead. Hon Poto Williams, Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, has approved the Proposal, which was prepared and submitted by Regenerate Christchurch. Minister Williams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting a thriving wānanga sector to benefit Māori learners
    As part of the Government’s focus on building closer partnerships with Māori and enhancing the quality of, and access to, Māori medium education, a payment of $8 million will be made to Te Wānanga o Raukawa in partial recognition of its Waitangi Tribunal claim (WAI 2698), Associate Education Minister Kelvin ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature boosts efforts to restore Kaimai-Mamaku
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has announced a $19 million investment over four years in an important forest restoration project involving a partnership between the Department of Conservation, iwi/hapū, the Bay of Plenty and Waikato Regional Councils, community conservation groups and organisations such as Forest and Bird across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand first in the world to require climate risk reporting
    New Zealand will be the first country in the world to require the financial sector to report on climate risks, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The changes build on the huge progress this Government has made to tackle the climate crisis. “Today is another step on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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