web analytics

Against the atheist bus campaign

Written By: - Date published: 12:11 pm, December 11th, 2009 - 105 comments
Categories: religion - Tags:

uk_atheist_bus_imageI’m sorry, but I just can’t see the point of this atheist bus campaign. New Zealand is one of the most secular countries in the world. Religion here is seen as a private matter and apart from a few fringe idiots we don’t have a problem with political religion.

Kiwis just don’t have the temperament for that sort of thing. In fact, the best way to discredit a political cause is to associate it with religion. That’s why the religious extremists behind the smacking lobby had to dress up their latest campaign as a ‘march for democracy’, and even then they only got a handful of supporters.

The fact is the vast majority of Christians in New Zealand are decent, tolerant people who see religious belief as a private concern. They don’t bother me about my beliefs and I don’t bother them about theirs. That’s as it should be.

We don’t need imported culture wars. It’s not the Kiwi way.

105 comments on “Against the atheist bus campaign”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    I heard that guy on national radio this morning, and was thinking “um, NZ is probably the most secular first-world country in the world, what exactly are you trying to achieve here?”.

    It seems like a rather stupid thing to do anyway. It’s not actually going to make anyone change their mind about anything. Atheists will laugh and say “haha, stupid theists”, while theists will either be offended or ignore it.

  2. IrishBill 2

    As a longtime atheist myself I agree this is unnecessary, counterproductive and dull. I’d prefer to see a campaign against the free-market theists. “There’s probably no invisible hand” would be the best thing written on a bus. Ever.

  3. ieuan 3

    ‘It’s not the Kiwi way.’

    And here’s me thinking the kiwi way is to have a good robust debate about things rather than quietly hiding them.

    It’s a free country people, I don’t think they need the permission of the writers at the Standard to run their campaign.

    I’ve donated $20 to help them their message out (which is ‘it’s OK to not believe in a God’ – if your asking).

    • Eddie 3.1

      Dear oh dear. No one’s trying to deny you the right to put up a billboard. Knock yourself out. I just don’t think it’s particularly productive or helpful.

      • ieuan 3.1.1

        Actually you said ‘it’s not the kiwi way’.

        Maybe you would like to explain what the ‘kiwi way’ is?

        • Eddie 3.1.1.1

          Importing culture wars, trying to impose your private religious beliefs on other people. Kiwis generally have better things to do than proselytise, and that’s the way I like it.

          • ieuan 3.1.1.1.1

            Your reading a hell of a lot into a fairly simple, straightforward message.

            Then again the writers at the Standard are great at adding 2+2 and getting 5.

            • Eddie 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I find it hard to believe this campaign is not connected to the wave of militant atheism inspired by Dawkins and Hitchens that’s grown up as a response to Christian fundamentalism in the US and to a lesser extent in Britain.

              • Pascal's bookie

                militant?

                Nah. Strident perhaps, or hectoring.

              • snoozer

                militant is Dawkins’ term I think.

                I’m a fan of Dawkins’ writing. But I don’t see what good this campaign does. It’s insulting, rather than educating.

              • The Baron

                Sorry Eddie, we evidently forgot that hectoring and telling people what to believe is the sole preserve of you and the Labour party.

                The amount of injustice, intolerance, bigotry, hatred, agression, discrimination, war, famine and death has been caused by religion throughout history is a tragedy. Some of us consider a small stand against that as something important – sorry that you find it so offensive, because it came from “over there”.

                And then to close things off with your own import – a kiwi take on “unamerican”, to back up your case. If that ain’t hipocrisy, I don’t know what is!

          • Deus ex Machina 3.1.1.1.2

            Sure, your thoughtful, intelligent, intellectual liberal would allow us all the arrive at our own religious, or non-religious, beliefs after careful meditation and perhaps discussion on the subject. That’s as it should be.

            But for a great many people their religion is a matter of cultural default. they go with the stream. They will be aware of alternatives but know nothing about them, and likely have neither the tools, time nor inclination to bother about the matter. Such ‘religion’ is worthless – like voting National because ‘Labour’ is Socialist, and “Socialist” sounds creepy, or because that was the way your father voted.

            This advertising campaign is intended to rattle that mind-set. It is aimed at those who would call themselves ‘Christian’, ‘Moslem’ etc. because that was how they were brought up, but who might harbour doubts about it. It’s saying to them, “It’s OK to think these thoughts. There’s another, quiet mainstream that thinks that way too.” It’s just an invitation to take the first step on a journey to a ‘true’ religious or non-religious view of the world for anyone who wants to take it.

  4. Tammy Gordon 4

    I was just invited to join this campaign on Facebook. I won’t be. One of the things that seems so incredibly pointless and mindbooglingly harmful throughout history, is the intent of organised religion to impose its views on other people with different views. So as an atheist (and I resent even having to name my beliefs, to me it’s like declaring that I don’t believe in the Giant Pumpkin) I’m fundamentally – no pun intended – opposed to proselytising.

    • I had to laugh Tammy when I read your post.

      I am a Christian myself but had always thought if I was a atheist what would be the point apposing a belief when you don’t believe its foundation concept exists as you have nicely said. Pumpkin analogy was good by the way.
      Just goes to show even those who don’t agree can agree.

  5. outofbed 5

    Does an atheist bus know its destination?

  6. Gosman 6

    So we’re one of the most secular countries in the world eh?

    So why does our National Anthem implore a supreme deity for protection?

    Why is our Head of State intricately linked with a State sanctioned faith?

    Why are religious rites actively encouraged in national institutions?

    I say until these abhorent behaviours are stopped campaigns like the one on the buses are not just acceptable, they are vital.

    • Eddie 6.1

      It’s my view that none of that symbolism really matters compared to the bigger issues. I’d support getting rid of it, but I’m not going to waste my time or money doing so. But like I say, if it really matters to you then knock yourself out.

  7. felix 7

    …apart from a few fringe idiots we don’t have a problem with political religion.

    Yeah, but why do you have to view this through a political lens? You might as well ask ‘what’s the point’ of any number of endeavours which don’t address a specific political concern. The latest Dimmer album for instance – what’s the point?

    As ieuan says, “it’s OK to not believe in a God” is a valid message and it might be one that a lot of people benefit from hearing.

    • Gosman 7.1

      Oh my god!

      A topic we are in agreement on.

      Perhaps the end of the world is ny after all. 😉

    • Eddie 7.2

      The reason I bring politics into it is because this movement is largely inspired by the rise of political Christianity in recent years. But I doubt there are many people out there who don’t see atheism as legitimate. We’re not in bloody Texas.

      • Gosman 7.2.1

        I disagree. Even in NZ Atheist and Humanists are seen as reather bizarre and fringe.

        The Humanist movement is always fighting to get the same sort of official involvement in various state activities whereas the Religious organisations are actively courted.

        • Eddie 7.2.1.1

          Not my experience, we’ll have to agree to disagree.

          I don’t know why the humanist movement would want official involvement in state activities anyway.

    • IrishBill 7.3

      Felix, I like the new Dimmer album. Somewhat ironically I’m particularly fond of “Bless”. Regarding the validity of the messages, yes it’s valid but it’s promotion in this manner risks giving the batty christians more oxygen.

      • felix 7.3.1

        Yeah I like it too. I was just saying that because something doesn’t have an obvious political context is a stupid reason to dismiss it. Most worthwhile things in life don’t.

        However I’d go further and suggest that we do have a problem with extreme religious nutters in politics in NZ, and that problem is the same as the problem with the other types of fringe nutters in politics – that supposedly “centrist” or “moderate” politicians give them the time of day.

        As for the oxygen, that’s probably a good point. I’d note that they seem to breathe ok without it though.

  8. The fox 8

    I kind of see your point about it not being the Kiwi way and all, but try telling that to the likes of Wishart who imported the culture wars very successfully a long time ago. Cultural isolationism is no excuse for ignoring the global memes of the fundamentalists. This campaign may seem a little self indulgent but at a time when rational science is being rabidly attacked by creationists, shrugging your shoulders and saying nothing to with us is a bit of a lame response really.

    • Eddie 8.1

      I’d support the campaign if it was somewhere like Arkansas where the god squad are an actual threat. New Zealand? Not so much.

      • Gosman 8.1.1

        Every where there are visible presence of Religious people and symbols actively involved in State sanctioned activity it is a threat.

        • Eddie 8.1.1.1

          I don’t take such an extreme position. No one’s forcing me to believe anything or do anything against my will. It’s not ideal, but hardly worth worrying about.

          I’m also not sure whether the western view of secularism is all that chop anyway. Amartya Sen has some interesting things to say about this. But that’s a whole different argument that I don’t have time for.

          • Gosman 8.1.1.1.1

            Yet it was you who started this topic.

            For someone who has little interest in something you sure have expended an awful lot of effort on it.

          • Con 8.1.1.1.2

            No one’s forcing me to believe anything or do anything against my will. It’s not ideal, but hardly worth worrying about.

            So because you weren’t religiously indoctrinated as a child, you have no sympathy for those who were, or who still are suffering in this way? That certainly is less than ideal.

            • Eddie 8.1.1.1.2.1

              I was referring to religious symbolism like the Parliamentary prayer or the mention of God in our anthem. I doubt anyone has ever become a Christian as a result of the Parliamentary prayer.

              • felix

                Nice strawman, Eddie, and by “nice” I mean “preposterous and infantile”.

                The religious traditions and symbolism woven through the very fabric of our society may seem harmless enough on their own (parliamentary prayer for example) but they don’t exist on their own. They form a self-reinforcing mechanism in which each supports the validity of the next.

                For those indoctrinated at a young age into religious belief these symbols are constant reminders, on both conscious and subconscious levels, of the correctness of that indoctrination and when functioning correctly the illusion is that no indoctrination has taken place.

                I don’t for a moment believe that you don’t already understand how this works.

              • A Nonny Moose

                I doubt this sort of campaign is speaking to the fundamentalists, but more to the people who haven’t used church on a weekly basis in their lives. We are socialized from the beginning of our lives to accept god/religion in our every day lives before we have even formed an opinion on our own personalities.

                Baptized as a baby – you don’t get a choice. Religious instructions at school – you don’t get a choice. God/prayer in school/national anthem – you don’t get a choice.

                It’s not fair that religion should get a free pass as the moralization of our society. Some people live by tradition or honest fear of questioning. They should be let known, in the kindest of way, that it’s OK to question.

                Calling it wussy? Well, an atheist doesn’t really want to succumb to the thundering levels of rhetoric that theists are allowed.

                Oh, and Atheism Bingo 101: atheism is not a belief – it is a lack thereof.

              • Eddie

                Dude, I’m not defending Christianity or the use of Christian rituals by the state. My position on this is apathy. I’m sorry if I don’t see the odd bit of symoblism as a grave injustice, but I just don’t.

                Maybe it’s a matter of different life experiences colouring our reactions to these issues.

              • felix

                With all due respect Eddie, nothing you’ve said today would characterise your position as apathetic.

                When you say things like:

                I doubt anyone has ever become a Christian as a result of the Parliamentary prayer.

                you’re actively defending the use of religious symbolism and ritual by the state, and on extremely flimsy grounds.

              • Eddie

                I’ll make it clear then – I don’t think the state should favour one religion, and I oppose the mixing of church and state. I don’t think symbolic issues like the Parliamentary prayer are worth dying in a ditch over.

              • felix

                Again with the strawmen, Eddie.

                No-one’s suggesting “dying in a ditch”. It’s some billboards on buses.

                And you’ve spoken out rather strongly against them so far.

              • Eddie

                You’re conflating my comments about billboards with my comments about the Parliamentary prayer. Different issues.

                The prayer shouldn’t be there as it technically contravenes the separation of church and state, but in my view the prayer is just symbolism and I’m not going to waste my time trying to remove it (like I would, say, enforced church attendance or the teaching of creationism).

                My view on the bus ads is explained in the post. People’s private religious beliefs are their own and I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business.

              • felix

                No-one’s suggested dying in a ditch on either issue, Eddie. It’s a strawman which ever way you want to apply it.

                If anyone it’s you who seems to be conflating them. I don’t see anyone else here claiming that the billboards have anything to do with parliamentary prayer.

                No-one’s suggested that parliamentary prayer will turn people into christians either. In fact it’s hard to see anyone else even mentioning parliamentary prayer, hence another strawman.

                My view on the bus ads is explained in the post. People’s private religious beliefs are their own and I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business.

                But that doesn’t wash in light of your further commentary, Eddie. If you’re quite happy having religious ritual, symbology and iconography embedded deeply into the culture then it’s absurd for you to take a stand against these billboards and still pretend to be an uninterested bystander.

                You’ve picked a side whether you know it or not.

              • Eddie

                This is getting tedious. The prayer and the billboards are different arguments from different sub-threads in this discussion.

                Regarding the prayer, there’s a difference between being ‘happy’ with something and thinking it’s stupid but not worth wasting time and effort on. My view is the latter.

                Regarding the billboards, like I’ve said a hundred times, I think people’s personal religious beliefs are their own and I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business.

              • felix

                Regarding the prayer, there’s a difference between being ‘happy’ with something and thinking it’s stupid but not worth wasting time and effort on. My view is the latter.

                Who is suggesting otherwise, Eddie? You made up the ‘dying-in-a-ditch-over-parliamentary-prayers’ bit yourself. Get over it.

                Regarding the billboards, like I’ve said a hundred times, I think people’s personal religious beliefs are their own and I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business.

                But they’re not just “personal” beliefs, Eddie, they’re deeply embedded social constructs supported by layers and layers of assumptions.

                As I have to spend large parts of my life dealing with people and institutions who are working within the framework of these assumptions and constructs it most certainly is my business.

                You’ve been arguing all day that people shouldn’t waste their time challenging these assumptions, Eddie, and you brought it up with the post. That’s not the way uninterested apathetic bystanders generally spend their time.

  9. OOB; nice haiku, though a little bit EJ Thribbish!

    Actually I
    Am of the opinion
    That the bus stops here.

    My only complaint about the campaign is that it’s so wussy. ‘There is no god, enjoy your time alive’ would be more apposite, I reckon.

  10. ieuan 10

    ‘The fact is the vast majority of Christians in New Zealand are decent, tolerant people who see religious belief as a private concern.’

    Like the Family First’s and Larry Baldocks of the world?

    Didn’t they just force a $9M referendum on us that asked a stupid question that something like 90% of people supported?

    How do they fit into your nice little view of kiwi Christians Eddie?

    • Eddie 10.1

      Baldock and co are not the vast majority, they’re a fringe minority who have to hide behind words like ‘democracy’ to push their ideas, and even then only get a handful of supporters.

      If you’re looking to undermine the likes of Baldock you need to wedge them from mainstream Christians and make it clear what a fringe character he is. Nothing about this billboard campaign will achieve that.

      • ieuan 10.1.1

        Like the 300,000 who signed their petition? That fringe minority, that handful of supporters?

        • Eddie 10.1.1.1

          I don’t think you can plausibly argue they were signing anything to support political religion. They were reacting to the myth that the police would be breaking down the doors of good parents and confiscating their children over a light smack. The organisers were fringe extremists, the people signing were only guilty of ignorance and fear.

  11. Bill 11

    Methinks these pussyfooting atheists are ‘probably’ agnostics.

  12. Janice 12

    I heard a little old lady the other day refer to Bishop Brian and his 700 obedient sons as “the Density Church”. I wonder if the sons are going to be seconded to clear the banners off the buses. I can’t see the point of discussing it, many years ago most of the people in the world considered the earth flat, it didn’t make it so.

    • outofbed 12.1

      Its not ?

      • felix 12.1.1

        Turtles all the way down I’m afraid.

      • Pascal's bookie 12.1.2

        Don’t listen oob, It’s a fucking plot mate, first they tells you it’s ball shaped and they show you pretty pictures. Next thing you know it’s ‘leap years’ and there’s an extra fucking ‘day’ added to the calender. Is it a holiday? Is it fuck.

        • ieuan 12.1.2.1

          Miles off topic but: Bang on, I’ve never understood why leap year day is not a holiday. If you’re on a salary you work it for free.

  13. Bill 13

    One potential upside might be if some kids from fundi families who have been trained to take the existence of god as a given and taught that everyone thinks ‘thus’ and are ‘protected’ from any and all contrary view points read the bus and paused for thought or had that seed of doubt silently planted in their mind….

  14. tc 14

    God forgives and saves sinners……..in fact he’s saving a few for a boys weekend away woo hoo.

  15. randal 15

    god lives and he loves YOU!
    dont worry be happy.

  16. I’m a bit perturbed that commenters here are focussing on the effect on Christians. I’d prefer a world sans all religious faiths, Christian, Muslim, Pixie, whatever.

    And while I’m at it, why are the Scientologists still allowed a tax free status? Not even close to being a religion in any spiritual sense.

  17. randal 17

    ieuan.
    even better.

    • ieuan 17.1

      You might be happy with your God being a ‘she’ but if that was the case it would stuff up every organised religion out there. They pretty much all have the man as the centre of the universe and the woman as a second class citizen.

      That’s the nice thing about religion, it’s always been a power game, just ask Brian Tamaki.

  18. Draco T Bastard 18

    I’m wondering if I should donate to them. I don’t think it’s a great idea but at the same time I understand why the message needs to be out there.

  19. outofbed 19

    No, buy someone a goat for xmas instead

  20. Camden Whelk 20

    If you take out the imported culture wars there is bugger all left to the Kiwi Way. We are an English-speaking European-descended post-Enlightenment Global Western culture. The only thing that makes us unique is our connection with Maoritanga, and the original owners might like that back at some stage. Everything else is imported.

  21. Scott 21

    What is the problem with this campaign? If religious groups are allowed to promote their beliefs, then why shouldn’t atheists be allowed to?

    I personally think religious belief is completely irrational. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to see a sign or billboard that supports and gives comfort to my view?

    When I can walk down Queen Street without some proselytising fool trying to give me books, and when people peddling religion stop banging on my front door, then maybe I’ll be able to agree this campaign isn’t needed.

    Besides, what do religious people have to fear? My kind are all going to hell anyway.

  22. Ag 22

    A more telling blow against NZ religion would be struck by having the billboard accuse Brian Tamaki of wearing a hairpiece.

  23. Rex Widerstrom 23

    Atheist buses? That cannot end well.

  24. Eclipse 24

    Looking at the number of responses this thread has attracted (which I haven’t read all of), I can’t help but feel the campaign is already achieveing its primary purpose – encouraging debate

  25. Westminster 25

    I agree, although the recent section 59 debate may have created the first few cancerous cells of a militant Christian tumour. Nevertheless, I think it’s premature to be battling culture wars like this right now.

  26. Adam Jarvis 26

    I think many people are taking the thrust of Eddie’s post too far. Leaving aside the contradiction in tone between his claim that the signs are simply unnecessary and “We don’t need imported culture wars. It’s not the Kiwi way.”, i’ll go with the first interpretation.

    He doesn’t think it is needed. New Zealand is apparently a highly secular country with no problems with religion to speak of. I disagree.

    People have brought up our dear Bishop and Larry Baldock. What about the exclusive brethren (and others) attempt to hijack our democracy only 2 elections ago? What about the not insignificant proportion of our country that votes for the party espousing ‘Christian family values’? Ray Comfort hails from New Zealand!

    While I could go on, I realise these things are relatively minor. We do have a mostly secular country. The need for this campaign pales in comparison to the need for it in the states. Yet, we could do with a dose less religion on the national stage. That alone, justifies the small inoffensive message that it is, in fact, ok not to believe in a deity.

    Even if the campaign were to have no effect nationally, I would still support it. This might be the first time many indoctrinated kids are exposed to this point of view. If some kids become, at the very least, more accepting of non believers (and perhaps less likely to accept religious BS), it is money well spent.

  27. NickS 27

    Lawl, the poll on Stuff for this got utterly Pharyngulated:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/oddstuff/3149823/Theres-probably-no-God-coming-to-a-bus-near-you

    Beware the minions of Myers.

    • Adam Jarvis 27.1

      Oh come on… PZ would never do such a thing 🙂

      Clearly 86.7% of New Zealanders don’t believe in God. Exactly the same proportion who like beating their children.

      Coincidence? I think not. This is clear evidence atheism leads to child abuse.

  28. Connie Mist 28

    I work in a profession (social work) where it is “normal” to open a meeting with a prayer and close with a hymn.

    Any I protest I may make must be silent lest I am accused of insensitivity; I welcome the bus campaign to offer a platform for debate…

  29. illuminatedtiger 29

    As long as it boils the blood of the Exclusive Brethren and Destiny Church I’m all for it!

  30. Craig Ranapia 30

    I’m a devout Catholic.

    I enjoy my life, and things I worry about are worth the investment of emotional capital and not the result of faith-based neurosis.

    I also avoid patronising atheists of my acquaintance as unhappy neurotics who need to find God and cheer the fuck up because one religious principle I do my best to live is “do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

    And as I’ve said elsewhere, if you want to be noxiously reductive and patronising towards millions of people, how about this:

    ALLAH PROBABLY DOESN’T EXIST. NOW STOP BLOWING SHIT UP, AND CHILL OUT.

    Islamic fundamentalism deserves to be challenged and exposed, but not by soundbite patronage of a billion human beings whose fundamental beliefs I don’t share, but are no faith-based Borg Collective by any stretch of the imagination.

    • ieuan 30.1

      ‘one religious principle I do my best to live is “do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

      That’s the ‘golden rule’ and while adopted by most religions is not a ‘religious’ principle, it is far more universal than that.

      Bit sad if the only atheists you have met are ‘unhappy neurotics’, maybe most atheists you know would rather not tell you about their non-religious stance and given the rest of your comments it is no surprise.

  31. Richard 31

    Did you hear the one about the agnostic dyslexic insomniac?
    He lay awake at night wondering if there really is a Dog.

  32. rave 32

    There’s definitely no kiwi way.
    captcha: ridiculous

  33. Craig Glen Eden 33

    God this discussion was boring!

  34. Camden WHELK MAKES THE POINT THAT: ‘If you take out the imported culture wars there is bugger all left to the Kiwi Way. We are an English-speaking European-descended post-Enlightenment Global Western culture. The only thing that makes us unique is our connection with Maoritanga, and the original owners might like that back at some stage. Everything else is imported.’

    Hmmmm… it’s been an interesting recent development in a couple of schools I know that staff are required to stand for recitation of karakia and join in singing waiata before daily briefings, and and students in assembly are also required to join in the singing of waiata.

    Lyrics translated as all about dawns and mountains and such, with a bit of ‘Great Spirit’ thrown in. Pantheism perhaps.

    Now, what should we put on the sides of our school buses?

  35. Unfortnately, this is one of the side-effects of the vitriol and militancy of the hardcore Christian fundamentalist lobby. It does tend to spark off equally vocal antagonistic responses. Actually, I felt that hoarding was a model of restraint, compared to other pro-secularity messages that I’ve seen. And hey, we live in a pluralist society of mixed and happily co-existent religious and secular philosophies. So give them their right to free speech and expression.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 hours ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 hours ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    21 hours ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    2 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    3 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    5 days ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    5 days ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    6 days ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    7 days ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    3 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    1 week ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    37 mins ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has wished students the best of luck for this year’s NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which start tomorrow. Around 140,000 students will have participated in 119 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams by the end of the exam period on 3 December. “I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago