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An in Vogue Prime Minister

Written By: - Date published: 2:32 pm, February 15th, 2018 - 52 comments
Categories: jacinda ardern, labour - Tags: ,

There’s an article and photo shoot of Jacinda Ardern in the latest (US) Vogue, and various commentary is starting to be made. The Vogue article is online.

Photo from Vogue Magazine

Myself, I don’t have a problem with this, or the whole Women’s Weekly thing. I want a PM who makes time to connect with different parts of the electorate. Lots of women read fashion and women’s magazines, including women who have no other connections to politics.

Where there might be an issue is are there parts of the electorate that Ardern isn’t making time for? I found the Greens’ appearance on the cover of North and South in May last year culturally jarring.

But the issue isn’t them doing PR to well off Auckland millennials, it’s that I didn’t see the party put the same intent and effort into normalising to the mainstream an association between the Greens and the underclasses (despite their actual pro-safety net policies). There’s a connection between that and what happened with the attacks on Metiria Turei after her speech on transforming welfare last year: NZ still hates on parts of the community, and our politics reflect that. It also sanctions it, vicious circle. Labour and the government run this risk too.

There’s also criticism along the lines of is this a good use of the PM’s time? Apparently the interview and photo shoot happened on a Saturday late last year and not during the political week. It’s clear that Ardern is working hard and sacrificing much, so I can’t see the problem here.

The support for NZ designers will play well in many circles. This is Ardern doing something good and building political capital. I think this is smart if we want a second term Labour-led government with a higher majority. It’s not enough on its own, obviously we need the Labour government to do some serious politics and change, but it’s not hurting Labour’s ability to do those things.

The anti-Trump framing is very US looking for hope, but I think they are close to being right. She’s not a Sanders, but she is the liberal inverse of Trump. For the left that’s a boon (we should be making use of the fact that Ardern can pull the popular vote), but it’s also a risk. Will NZ settle for neoliberal-lite, or will we keep moving left?

There’s also a certain amount of schadenfreude with regards to the right, who endorsed nine years of Smile and Wave PR as cover for plundering the country. They have no leg to stand on in criticising Ardern or Labour for the increasing likelihood of three terms from the whole photogenic baby thing. National made this culture of politics to suit their own ends, now they can get fucked.

Even better, Ardern’s popularity comes as across as genuine. From Vogue,

Later that day in November, we head to the campus of Auckland’s Unitec Institute of Technology, where Ardern is addressing the crowd at an event dedicated to women in leadership. On the way, a schoolboy in his early teens, dwarfed by a backpack, ambles by. “Big fan, Jacinda!” the boy shouts. Her security guard doesn’t blink.

You can’t fake that feel good.

We have a feminist, progressive, very smart, articulate, young and PR-savvy Prime Minister who is leading a government that is now doing good things. On it’s own that’s not enough, we still need to move NZ left or greenwards, but it’s not nothing either,

She thanks the party faithful for all their work over this momentous year and asks them to “reflect on how exciting it is we have this opportunity for change in New Zealand.” Ardern has always maintained that she wants her brand of politics to be kinder—and you can feel that energy in the air, a kind of gracious optimism. “It’s going to take some time,” she says, “but in the meantime I hope people feel differently about their government.”

Many people have been feeling this keenly. The need for kindness has for now transcended the need to move beyond neoliberalism. NZ is catching its breath and recovering mentally somewhat from the past decade. However, while we need kindness, but we also need more than what Labour are currently offering.

Stephanie Rodgers has pointed to the need for values-based politics. It’s not enough to have a strong set of values, you have to act on them in real ways. I don’t see Labour getting that yet, and I think this is a better point of critique and holding Ardern accountable than positioning her photoshoot against perceived Important Politics.

Labour are intent on signing the TPPA-11 and they’re not going to raise benefits, to name two pressing issues.  Ardern is talking up climate action, but the government is still dragging the chain on making the big important moves. They’re happy with those things, many of us are not. The task here is to build a movement that will pull Labour left, and figuring Ardern’s positivity and PR skills into that will be important.

52 comments on “An in Vogue Prime Minister”

  1. cleangreen 1

    Correctly said Mickey,100%

    “We have a feminist, progressive, very smart, articulate, young and PR-savvy Prime Minister who is leading a government that is now doing good things. On it’s own that’s not enough, we still need to move NZ left or greenwards, but it’s not nothing either,”

    We need a warm, caring,softer,transparent, inclussive government that will give a voice to all and be n heard, but so far littlwe of this has been seen yet.

    The bloody media is still twisting the truth for the national Party and we have no voice on Radio NZ or our public TVNZ network either.

    Us in HB/Gisborne have no local reporter inside RadioNZ to meet with our groups about transport and environmental issue that they worry about so we still ahve no voice.

    Come-on Labour; – where is our voice and support for you to hear us????

    Give the power back to Clare Curran to get the Radio NZ network fixed to cover our rail issues here in truck gridlocked HB/Gisborne communities please and meet with us to discuss how we can fix our transport issues to make our environment far safer and better too.

  2. Exkiwiforces 2

    Give poor old Jandals a break, given the shit fight that the National has run down the public service, the government departments and the budget is stills some months away. Its slowly, slowly catch the monkey as i’m waiting for the next two mths budgets and remember Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  3. Carolyn_nth 3

    On the Greens, Marama Davidson, over the last year or 2, spent time outside Sth Auckland Work and Income, talking to beneficiaries and posting about it in social media.

    Mainstream media, and others just didn’t seem to pick up on it.

    • weka 3.1

      true but I was talking about the Greens doing specific work to place themselves alongside the underclasses in the eyes of the middle classes and mainstream NZ. That hasn’t happened. Labour even less so.

      • Carolyn_Nth 3.1.1

        That is a more difficult task. And there needs to be more thought on how to do that. At the moment, I think the mainstream will be hard to shift.

        Turei focused on the underclasses in some key speeches and launches over the years, but failed to get much take up from the MSM or mainstream generally.

        But, I think Davidson may have more ideas on how to get that attention.

        I think it needs stronger pressure from the margins. It’s all our responsibility.
        I’ve been on a couple of hikoi for homes focused on the areas of Auckland out towards Glen Innes. Lefties don’t come out in numbers for such demos, unlike some others like the TPPA and some environmental protests.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          I think that’s all true, but I’m talking about something else I think. I think Davidson is doing really good work (and fingers crossed she will be co-leader). I trust the Greens policy wise. Shaw is still making it clear in his speeches that welfare and fixing poverty are GP priorities. So I’m not worried about that.

          What I was more getting at is the visuals around the GP and who they are. I guess they needed North and South on board, so I’m not suggesting that they try and do a cover with a group of beneficiaries (although that would be awesome). I’m saying that neither Labour nor the Greens are presenting themselves to mainstream NZ as on the side of the underclass. So the mainstream can keep ignoring what Davidson is doing for instance.

          Had the Greens won the battle over welfare last year, I think it would have been different this year, a new door would have been opened for real change to the bludger rhetoric/cultural stuff, including normalising being on the side of poor people. Instead the Greens are still committed but too thin on the ground to make big in roads and they didn’t get enough power in govt. So I agree about the pressure from the margins, mostly on Labour but on the Greens too.

          As for Labour, seriously unimpressed with the tweet from Sepuloni today, and it makes me think most of us are right about where Labour is going on welfare.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1.1

            Sepuloni…

            +1

            The responses say it all.

            Change all their job titles to “servant”.

            • weka 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Lol. So tempted to use that in a post.

            • McFlock 3.1.1.1.1.2

              It would be an interesting experiment in nominative determinism…

              but yeah, ever get the feeling of politician capture?

              Oh hi, minister, every year we bring our most sincerest case workers to wellington to … (what? A reward, or give them training for a promotion that takes them away from dealing with people in need?)… would you like to meet them for an hour or two and have a piccy with them?

              Seriously, how were these servants graded?

          • Antoine 3.1.1.1.2

            > seriously unimpressed with the tweet from Sepuloni today

            WHat was that tweet please?

            A.

          • Psycho Milt 3.1.1.1.3

            As for Labour, seriously unimpressed with the tweet from Sepuloni today…,

            That was bizarre. Praising case managers who are “top” because they have “high expectations of clients?” That’s like praising customer service staff for having high expectations of their customers. Ur doin it wrong, noob.

            • Antoine 3.1.1.1.3.1

              I think this goes with her objective of “supporting [welfare clients] and their families to realise their potential”.

              A.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Then you need to “think” some more about how such expectations play out on Earth.

              • weka

                “supporting [welfare clients] and their families to realise their potential”

                You think National didn’t have such slogans? Or Clark’s Labour? Those of us in the system know how hollow those words can be, or worse, the weapons they can be. Sepuloni either doesn’t get it yet, and wants to take a paternalistic approach to beneficiaries, or she is like previous Ministers from both parties who think welfare is a necessary evil and the main difference is a matter of degrees (and presentation admittedly, Labour are much better at not being so overt with the anti-bene stuff).

                Her tweet is a major signal of what is about to go down with WINZ and beneficiaries. I think there will be improvements, but this is the whole point. Labour are very good at picking out the bits they want to focus on and convincing the mainstream culture they are doing something good but still entrenching poverty and bigotry further. It’s actually never stopped with Labour and here we are again. I expect Sepuloni to do better than Clark’s Labour, and certainly better than what we would have got if Shearer had been in charge, but it’s still hugely problematic because of the underlying values.

                • Antoine

                  I share your view.

                  (BTW, I was on here last year expressing some doubts about Sepuloni being likely to bring much improvement, and a number of the regulars were quick to inform me I was full of s&^t)

                  A.

                  • weka

                    Me too. Not sure what your point is.

                    Sepuloni isn’t the major issue here. It’s Labour. And the fact that NZ had the opportunity to vote for a better welfare system and chose this instead.

          • patricia bremner 3.1.1.1.4

            I think we need to sell the idea that “Greed is dangerous”

            Planting ideas of what Greed looks like. Making middle NZ want to be for generosity.

            The old question. Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?

            Having a plan!!

            The Right sure have one, and their’s is overarching.

            • Antoine 3.1.1.1.4.1

              I can see that as a long term plan (sustainability an’ all).

              In the short term, I can’t see it flying. Middle NZ already feels it’s being quite generous enough and is in no mood to be exhorted to give more

              A.

              • weka

                There’s not such thing as middle NZ, except as a myth to make arguments about how we can’t do anything.

                Mainstream NZ is made up of people with a range of politics and values. That we just had a change of govt suggests more of them are wanting to move away from greed.

                • Antoine

                  Hey, by all means fight the good fight against greed consumerism etc, I wouldn’t expect anything less from you or the Green Party.

                  This Government won’t come out with a ‘greed is dangerous’ slogan this term, though, I am quite sure of that.

                  A.

            • weka 3.1.1.1.4.2

              Good ideas! Greed is dangerous alongside different ways of being that benefit the middle classes as well.

              I can see Green is dangerous fitting in with climate change action too. But it would need to be framed well. People don’t like being called greedy 😉

            • Incognito 3.1.1.1.4.3

              Nah, danger is not off-putting enough. In fact, danger is attractive to some; it promises excitement, thrills, adventure & new experiences, risks, and, of course, rewards. The emotional impact of greed needs to be something like a maggot-invested rotting corpse emanating a stench that will never leave your nostrils and that you will never forget, so bad it is. Or greed is like a flesh-eating cannibalising parasitic disease that is like a gangrene that results in amputation and severe loss of tissue and/or life; greed is like the Black Plague. You get the picture. Desperate times need desperate measures.

  4. mary_a 4

    @ TANZ (2) … FYI Jacinda Ardern was elected by the people of Mt Albert.

    “Bring back a real PM, who cares less about empty celebrity, photo ops and magazine covers …!”

    Like John Key you mean?

    Seems like you still haven’t got over the fact National didn’t have the numbers to govern last election. Accept the result of the election and move on.

    • veutoviper 4.1

      For clarity, Tanz’s comment originally at 2 here was moved to Open Mike with a moderator warning. Took me some time to realise this; not trying to step on mod’s toes, just though I would share me findings.

  5. patricia bremner 5

    Personally I am holding judgement until after the first budget.

    The Labour Government has two partners, a coalition and a support party.

    As we are in Government courtesy of Winston Peters’ NZ First and the Greens, decisions are incremental rather than sweeping.

    It is hard to be patient after 18+ years of austerity politics. It is also easy to see some actions as frivolous, and forget theirlasting impact on the young.

    I have a clear memory of Savage and Kirk in photos, as I know some here do.
    Why is it frivolity when a woman is photographed? A little gender bias?

    We all want more for our beneficiaries and the low paid. I have not had responses to my queries as yet.

    I hope certain things haven’t gone into “the too hard basket”

    • Exkiwiforces 5.1

      Fully agree with your comments.

    • Carolyn_Nth 5.2

      Incrementalism hasn’t worked over the last couple of decades – things just keep getting worse for the underclasses long term. Something more out-there is needed.

      Labour pulled back from anything too drastic before the election. Robertson seems to have an approach of appeasing the mainstream media. e.g. when there was some negativity around tax proposals during the election campaign, Labour pulled back on it.

      I said a few times last year, before the election, that Labour centrists favoured NZ First over the Greens. They got the election result that they were ambling towards.

      • weka 5.2.1

        +1

        I’m putting up a post on the TPPA for tomorrow and feeling very angry with the more left leaning Labour voters who could have voted Green. Next election is going to be a big bloody pick a side day for the voters of NZ. We need to be prepared.

      • Ad 5.2.2

        With the Greens it was shambling.

        Anyone from the Greens who says Labour should have done better in the 2017 election might want to reflect on the percentage of the vote they each got.

        • weka 5.2.2.1

          Has anyone from the Greens actually said that? I don’t think Carolyn was either. Afaik, she’s pointing to NZF having a higher vote and the Greens having a lower one, and that suits Labour centrists.

  6. UncookedSelachimorpha 6

    Yes, looking like neoliberal-lite so far. Which is a huge improvement over the failed Key government.

    The rise in the minimum wage – a fundamental for fixing problems – was also underwhelming.

    Not ready to make brave and necessary change, and to lead, but maybe it is the coalition arrangement that limits Labour more than rotten neoliberal beliefs, not sure.

  7. McFlock 7

    It’s a bit of a puff piece, but the pic isn’t as obnoxious as the pool-key one. So that’s an improvement in that area, too.

  8. OncewasTim 8

    “National made this culture of politics to suit their own ends.” Now they can well and truly go get fucked!
    Cudda Shudda Wudda.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    at least the new PM is clearly of this century, unlike flabby coot in a suit Mr Key, and his populist forays into shower urination, ponytail pulling and such like

    and yes, the political requirement of the next couple of years is to militate for breaking the neo liberal consensus with Nats initially-a big ask-and then developing a new Corbyn style programme

    it would be disasterous if people sat back and just criticised the parliamentary politicians, rather than acting

  10. Ad 10

    Her Facebook posts are excellent.

    “Look here’s my kitchen – 3 mins
    “Look here’s some policy – 30 seconds”

    Ardern is a new comma genius.

  11. Stuart Munro 11

    I think it’s potentially helpful – embattled leaders struggle to get real change, popular ones can achieve more with less effort. But of course there is a separation between image and function that could become a worry. Where she chooses to act however, Jacinda has proven to be both astute and progressive. Think of Waitangi, and tell me that Goff or Shearer would have tried as hard or as successfully to heal the wounds. Naturally there are issues that are dear to me I’d like to see addressed – but this kind of thing is not at their expense.

    Could it be interpreted as a backhand against aspiring National leaders? Only if they’re prepared to admit they’re conspicuously lacking a certain je ne sais quoi.

    • weka 11.1

      I tend to agree. There really is no way to argue that Ardern is fluff unless one is misogynist or one is a RW spinner. One might not like her politics or her policy position but she’s not a superficial or unskilled politician. She’s also very socially intelligent hence Waitangi.

      The danger I see is that it will probably cement us into having to have charismatic or populist leaders from now on. Until the climatic shit hits the fan I guess.

      • chris73 11.1.1

        “The danger I see is that it will probably cement us into having to have charismatic or populist leaders from now on.”

        Yeah thats my worry too

        • Stuart Munro 11.1.1.1

          That’s not unreasonable – but it’s rock paper scissors. Charm is easily defeated by superior performance.

          The problem for the Gnats is that Rogergnomics meant Labour stopped fighting their corner. They’ve come to believe they can say and do any damned thing they please.

          Nick Smith is not the kind of minister you can have if you’re serious about reelection – made a mess of housing and rivers without so much as a word against him.

          The Gnats should have been proving in every ministry that they deliver a better democracy – certainly not the impression they left where I live. My mild respectable neighbours were absolutely furious with them.

        • SpaceMonkey 11.1.1.2

          Mine too

  12. newsense 12

    TV3. Run this after a piece on Christchurch protests with the lead-in “Has the honeymoon ended for the Prime Minister?” FFS. The mess in Christchurch is her fault and her talking and listening to protestors is the sign of the end of her popularity. Or completely not FOXNEWSHUB.

  13. National made this culture of politics to suit their own ends, now they can get fucked.

    ——————————

    Well said.

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    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
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    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
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    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • The police and public trust
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
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    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    7 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago