An Introduction: Matthew Whitehead

Written By: - Date published: 2:23 pm, October 25th, 2017 - 39 comments
Categories: notices, The Standard - Tags:

While others step back, new faces will step forward.

I’m Matthew Whitehead, and have been contributing guest posts for a while courtesy of our friend Weka, and was recently extended an invitation to contribute more directly here at the Standard, and I thought it would be appropriate to introduce myself briefly before blasting anything else in front of your eyeballs. I normally talk as little about myself as possible when writing, because between an almost pathologically humble father and inherently introverted nature, too many I-or-me-statements feel like either bragging or self-obsessed, but I’ll try to push through that discomfort so I can give you a sense of who I am.

Like everyone who’s politically active, I have my pet issues, ranging from the direly important like climate change, to the relatively non-urgent but still impactful, like electoral reform. I’m a current member of the Green Party, a blogger twice-over, (I started out doing explanations of how feminism is necessary for and impacts men) writer of several unreleased fictional stories, and former insurance industry drone. In terms of my personal life, I’m also a millenial (I got told during the campaign it was great to see “young people” volunteering for politics while door-knocking, even though I’m over 30) and invisible. Sorry, I mean bisexual. It can be easy to confuse the two. As someone who’s had mental health issues, I also talk about that from time to time, although like a lot of people who have issues with their health, I struggle with feeling like my problems are “not so bad,” even when I’m completely unable to leave the house due to them.

I’ve been a long time on-and-off part of the Comments section here at the Standard, since before the beginning of the last National government, initially under my political pseudonym Ari, and later under my real name. For those familiar with another Whitehead formerly in public service, yes, that’s my family.

I’m also trained as a programmer, am an enthusiast on the subject of voting systems, no seriously ask me anything, a modeler of elections, (my twitter feed has a fair amount of graphs of election probabilities on it from 2017, which correctly called NZ First deciding the government even after wrongly assuming the Māori Party would stay in due to those favourable electorate polls) science fiction enthusiast, (aren’t we all nowadays?) a liberal whose social opinions have been grounded in intersectional feminism, and on the economic end of the political spectrum, a not-entirely-ironic supporter of luxury gay space communism, no seriously, ask me about how we could make a dyson swarm to provide ridiculous quantities of energy in the long term. I constantly read books on my phone, and am descriptivist linguist and German-speaker. And yes, understanding German culture and history does inform my opinion on what’s going on in the USA right now. I don’t mind being contrary, (I may have claimed the new 2017 bird of the year was the “National Party of the bird world” on Twitter, for example) but think the label “contrarian” is for old white men trapped in the body of younger white men who never listen to anyone.

Feel free to say hi, or ask me further questions, especially on things I haven’t covered, and expect my first serious posts soon.

39 comments on “An Introduction: Matthew Whitehead”

  1. r0b 1

    Go Matthew! Welcome!

  2. roy cartland 2

    Great news, Matt. Have enjoyed your comments and occasional posts over the last few years. Looking forward to more of your scrupulous analysis.

  3. Karen 3

    I have always enjoyed your posts and comments so you becoming a regular contributor is great news. I always thought you were wrong about your reading of Māori Party poll results though!

    • Matthew Whitehead 3.1

      What, that the polls showed a favourable chance of the Māori Party winning two electorates?

      I wanted to incorporate electorate polls into my models, but I always thought they were super-risky propositions as they tended to be 400-person surveys over a ridiculously long time period. It simply may not be feasible to poll electorates in the future, I guess. Generally you can trust polls within their limitations, but I will admit that the confidence on those was so bad they weren’t worth their distance in throwing. Hindsight! Next time I’ll simply make assumptions about electorate winners seeing it’s simpler than researching poll numbers and about as accurate.

  4. Ad 4

    Good.

    I like what you write.

    What are your professional qualifications and experience?
    Trying to get a sense of where to avoid arguing with you.

    • Matthew Whitehead 4.1

      Programming and linguistics formally, although I have a fair level of expertise in data analysis, electoral systems, political science, philosophy, (you best know what you’re saying if you say “begs the question” 😉 ) fiction writing, and intellectual property law. (that last one being a requirement for people looking to self-publish)

      Argue with me on anything you want, so long as your points are salient. XD

  5. Anne 5

    Look forward to your take on the issues of the day Matthew. We’ll have to be careful when commenting that readers don’t mix them up with a certain other Matthew.

    Btw, the Kea a “National Party” bird? Never! Far too intelligent. I’ll have you know I voted for the Kea. 😡

    • Matthew Whitehead 5.1

      My analogy was that it destroys and steals property for no good reason other than its own enjoyment, which I maintain is not entirely unfounded.

      I am a Ruru fan myself, but voted strategically for the Keruru given its excellent campaign. I am willing to concede given how ridiculous 2017 has been that the Kea is actually an appropriate Bird of the Year. 😉

      • Andre 5.1.1

        Keas destroying property can give enjoyment to others.

        A long while ago at Treble Cone, someone in a new BMW convertible parked next to me. I was about to warn him about keas, then he pulled a major dick move on some other people, so I didn’t bother. Then I hurt myself skiing and came down early. The keas had already gone in through the roof and had a go at everything soft inside. It was a fun hour watching them finish off the entire inside of that car.

        • Patricia Bremner 5.1.1.1

          Andre for shame!! He would have it insured ofcourse.

        • OnceWasTim 5.1.1.2

          There ya go! I think there’s a lesson in all of that eh possum?
          I’d have done the same – except possibly if they’d given me the opportunity of an open petrol tank.

        • Matthew Whitehead 5.1.1.3

          To be fair, the National Party also destroys people’s lives to give enjoyment to others such as beneficiary-bashers, so I think you’re still arguing my case. 😉

          It’s amusing how strong a correlation there is between certain brands of car and certain unacceptable behaviour, huh?

          • Patricia Bremner 5.1.1.3.1

            Hello Mathew, yes you are right about the car brand. The owner was probably getting dividends from his insurance shares as well. Welcome aboard.

          • ropata 5.1.1.3.2

            Nope, #TeamKea is the Labour Party

            What?! #TeamKererū has been robbed! #TeamKea is an illegitimate govt and held the country to ransom. 93% of NZers didn’t vote for them, it’s fake news, and there’s an $11b hole in their budget. Good luck governing with an opposition as fat as the kererū. #BirdOfTheYear— Luke Fitzmaurice (@FitzmauriceLuke) October 23, 2017

  6. ankerawshark 6

    Hi Matthew,

    Thanks for stepping up. I look forward to your contributions.

  7. seeker 7

    Am still feeling sad that r0b is retiring but am really glad that “new faces” are stepping
    forward Matthew, thankyou.

    • Matthew Whitehead 7.1

      Yeah, I will miss hearing from r0b as well, but he deserves a break after all his hard work.

  8. Nice. All the best Matthew – great to see you will be posting more.

  9. mickysavage 9

    Welcome Matthew. I have always enjoyed your writing. Great to have you on board.

  10. Sam aka clump 10

    Hi

  11. Jilly Bee 11

    Hello Matthew, looking forward to reading your posts, with interest. You mentioned that a member of your family was involved in public service. Just wondering out loud to my self whether it was Stan Whitehead a past Labour MP for Nelson. He was the local MP when my husband emigrated in 1962 (a Ten Pound Pom) and was sent to Nelson as a Cabinetmaker & Joiner and voted for Stan while he spent two years there (must have been the 1963 general election).

    • Matthew Whitehead 11.1

      It wasn’t Stan Whitehead, as I mentioned public service, not Parliament, although I can see why you’d slot that under public service, I meant it in terms of the public service. To my knowledge there’s no relation because on the Whitehead side I’m a second-generation New Zealander, ie. my dad immigrated from Manchester by way of Australia. (I think I’m like a sixth-generation New Zealander on my mother’s side? They both met in Christchurch, when they were still married)

      It’s actually my dad you’re looking for- John Whitehead.

  12. tracey 12

    Welcome aboard

  13. eco Maori/kiwi 13

    Many thanks Matthew for steping up to the challenge and fill in the gap that rob left. I’m sure we will enjoy your work Ka Pai

  14. lprent 14

    Have fun. Especially dealing with a certain grumpy cynical old sysop in the backend.

    My kindly public online personality facade is just a inventon of intensive focus groups. Wait until you read the backend…

    Welcome. 😈

  15. mosa 15

    Matthew your writings and contributions have always engendered my respect and i am delighted that you will be contributing to this site in a more ” prominent ” position.

    Kind regards

    Mat with one “T “

  16. Cinny 16

    Awesome news Matthew, good stuff.

  17. gsays 17

    Ditto from me, I find your missives engaging, informative and easily read.
    Thanks for stepping up.
    Good luck.

    • Matthew Whitehead 17.1

      Don’t think I’ve ever been accused of being EASY to read before, that’s a new one. Usually it’s “stop being so verbose, Matt.”

  18. cleangreen 19

    Matthew can you answer the question below please;
    “What is your policy on ‘regional HB/Gisborne rail’ please”?
    ( since you are a green party member) we assume you are rail friendly?
    Incidentally also my son was living in Germany for 11 yrs as a born Kiwi, and speaks fluent German.

    Sam also is a fan of regional rail freight/passenger services as I as a ‘past green party member was.

    Sam and my wife are now NZF members as NZF are strong on rail in their policy platforms for regional rail.

    Sam wanted our Gisborne rail service re-opened as truck gridlock is destroying the environment and the lives of many in Napier as te trucks (2400) each day bring truck freight to Napier Port now since rail closure by National has made our lives unbearable.

    Question for you;
    What is your policy on ‘regional HB/Gisborne rail’ please?

    We have proven our rail freight viabily before the rail was washed out at the one km section at the Gisborne end by a $12 00 dollar economic/environmental/social 2013 viability report that was prepared by BERL economics Lt’d expert Ganesh Nana.

    We found that national stold the maintainence funding to keep 16 track workers maintaining our rail and that caused the washout of a one km section that closed our gisborne/napier rail in 2012.

    We are the worst most “isolated” region in NZ without a rail service now.
    Gisborne is more than 212 kms from the nearest bg city and major port in our regions that produce over 36% export products today.

    • Matthew Whitehead 19.1

      I can’t answer on Gisborne specifically, but I know the GP is keen on a number of regional passenger rail projects to build demand for public transport between the regions, or between the regions and cities. If there’s a viable freight line in the area that’s certainly a good prerequisite to considering a passenger service, although it’s harder to make those economical. (easier if you start considering the opportunity costs if there’s congestion on road routes people are coming through instead, but I assume that’s not the case between Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne? Usually any road congestion happens near large cities or on holiday routes at certain times of the year)

      It might be a logical branch service or future extension of the GP’s proposed Ruahine Runner service between Manuwatu and Hawke’s Bay. Honestly, I’d flick Julie Anne a message on social media asking if they’re considering it, she’s generally really open with discussing this sort of thing. The Green Party is really accessible with policy questions like this because they value supporters more than anything else.

      The GP policy is generally to consider public transport projects on the same cost-benefit basis as roading projects, or vice-versa, essentially an evidence-based approach. Previously road users have been “compensated” in BCR formulas for their time lost driving, effectively subsidizing people wasting their time in cars, which is pretty ridiculous. This does mean, however, that there might be vital roading projects or other public transport priorities that would come first before rail to Gisborne if it’s less economical.

      Also, guten Morgen to Sam. 🙂

      • cleangreen 19.1.1

        Thanks Matthew,

        yes we were always close up with Julie Anne and she has been to gisborne over several years speaking in front of Local Councils about re-opening the rail, and last year her party pledged to re-open the Gisborne napier rail services again.

        We were very close also to NZF and Winston, as they were always fighting for all regional rail.

        We have for 17yrs (while a green Party member then) been fighting for improvements of the Gisborne service, as several private companies had removed a lot of sidings cutting off customers so we need these improvements and sent today a letter to our new “minister of rail” Phil Twyford for his input again.

        I add this letter for your advisement of what we need now done to get our rail back to “viability, using the old Labour/NZF/greens policy of including “environmental/economic and socially responsible planning.” and to purge all the national “sleeping cells” management from our Government agencies Joyce had installed for National’s future use against us all.

        TO; Hon’ Phil Twyford. Labour MP. Minister of Transport.
        • Phil Twyford: Minister of Housing and Urban Development; Transport
        https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/other/new-government-ministers-revealed/ar-AAu0w2X

        25th October 2017.

        Dear Phil.

        Firstly our community sends our congratulations on your new position as our new Minister of Transport.

        Here below also is a copy of what we sent you 20/10/17 and to your colleges.

        We are so happy you were offered and accepted the position of Minister of Transport now in Government.

        We wish to begin the discussion with you about the recovery and resurrection of the Gisborne Napier rail freight and passenger services as we had asked of you when you attended the meeting with us back on 22nd march 2012 in Gisborne when we drive you around the area showing you the rail lay out there and locations where rail spurs were needed to be returned into eight customers then willing to use Kiwi rail freight services to Napier.

        In Napier we meet with Stuart Nash several times a year about transport matters, and he refers to me as ‘the rail man.’

        You may recall in Gisborne in March 2012 that the rain was falling very hard later before we saw you off at the airport that day.

        Two days of heavy rain after that day is what caused the washouts on the line and you went to bat for us and wrote your article in the Labour press later in 2013

        After March 2012 you was on the Kiwi rail financial reporting procedure as a member of the Transport Select Committee, and you witnessed Kiwirail admit the rail washouts were caused by the loss of funding to maintain the culverts and drains, that the washouts had resulted. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1302/S00183/kiwirail-admits-lack-of-maintenance-led-to-wash-out.htm

        See below your 2013 Labour press release for review,

        Very sincerely we are very positive that you are now our ‘Minister of Transport’, so we offer our local support for the ‘on the ground improvements’ that can now be made to restore the rail services to a high standard as we have a lot of local expertise here to make it a success.

        We would be keen to see a new position as “Minister of Rail”, as we now own the rail system so return of a rail minister is needed.

        You was great under the last time you was shadow transport spokesperson, and accepted our invitation to come to Gisborne in march 2012 then for discussion about rail.

        Please read our blog as below about certain Managers positions that we consider should be reviewed, as several bad managers are now inside some agencies dealing with transport should be given your serious consideration.

        We will ask you to accept an invitation again to come back to Gisborne & Napier again after the long five years since your last rail visit.

        Wouldn’t it be fitting if you returned to Gisborne to reopen the rail services that the first labour Prime minister Michael Joseph Savage began from Wairoa in 1937 and completed in 1942?

        We have much to catch up on.
        A very warm regards to you,

        —————————————————————————————————–

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1302/S00183/kiwirail-admits-lack-of-maintenance-led-to-wash-out.htm
        Thursday, 14 February 2013, 1:35 pm
        Press Release: New Zealand Labour Party
        Phil Twyford
        Transport Spokesperson
        14 February 2013
        KiwiRail admits lack of maintenance led to wash-out
        KiwiRail has admitted that its failure to maintain old and damaged culverts was behind the wash out that closed the Gisborne-Napier line, while cuts to its maintenance budget are putting the network at further risk, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says.
        “Across the country KiwiRail missed its target of replacing 71 old culverts last year, and only replaced 49. This is cause for alarm.
        “The Gisborne-Napier wash-out shows what happens when essential maintenance work is not carried out.
        “KiwiRail cut and deferred $200 million of network maintenance last year. At the very time it needs to be upgrading its network and improving efficiency, the Government’s unrealistic ‘Turn Around Plan’ is putting enormous stress on the organisation and forcing it to cut maintenance.
        “KiwiRail has told Parliament’s transport committee it has 12,197 rail line culverts around the country and has done a risk assessment identifying 53 high priority culverts but ‘…in spite of every effort to mitigate risk, some incidents of wash out may still occur…’
        “National’s plan for rail is not workable. KiwiRail has missed its financial targets for two of the last three years. It is being forced to make cuts that are a false economy.
        “At a time when the Government is wasting billions of dollars on its ‘motorways of madness’, it makes no sense to cripple the national rail line.”
        ENDS

        ———————————————————————————————————
        25th October 2017.
        Public COMMUNITY letter

        UPDATED;
        TO all Executive MP’s/Ministers of the new labour Lead Government.
        Firstly we congratulate all your wise choices that has given us a ‘new dawn’ of change to a warm, caring, inclusive, considerate Government for our future.

        Our message blog (below) has been sent to you for real change for today to consider.

        Please seriously consider those points for our regional communities environmental & social wellbeing for our future please.

        We must have this new Labour lead Gov’t to swiftly purge all former National cling-on’s from all government positions and agencies and SOE’s such as Kiwi rail as these National cling-ons were placed inside kiwi rail and it’s own board to kill our rail system off and isolate the management from public contact, this we know as we have emails from kiwi rail management saying the public have been excluded from contacting all Kiwi rail management last year. Top Board of Kiwi rail appointees by National were Paula Rebstock must be fired now as she was so toxic to Kiwi rail’s survival. One senior Manager inside Kiwirail has given our community deep concerns is a man Mr David Gordon. – He is a man who will not meet any community groups when we have asked for meetings, we had had no response at all.

        David Gordon Kiwi rail Operations Manager is becoming unable to work with for our communities, as he prefers to work in a separate manner so we have no consultation with this man as we always had previously with all former managers & past CEO Jim Quinn, but now all Managers are denying us any contact. The same can be said of Kiwi rail CEO Peter Reidy. At no time has Peter Reidy accepted any meeting or consultations with our community groups.

        NZTA/Kiwi rail/Ministry of Transport all must loose their top National Party placed management and be replaced by labour Lead appointed administrative positions.

        A new Minister of rail must be announced by Labour lead government to protect our own Rail company again and setup to restore our regional freight and passenger rail services again.
        The Ministry of the Environment Management must loose all national party appointees also.

        The Parliamentary commissioner for the Environment must re-instate a labour chosen appointee as national have just chosen a former national MP as the new commissioner for the Environment so that is such a bad move and must be stopped.

        “Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment” (PCE) is one of the most important agencies Labour must return full funding to provide complete public services to and conduct regional studies on all environmental issues of concerns to all communities again as labour had set up this agency when last in Government.

        Also included must be similar changes in all Regional Government Management positions as those National appointed managers were becoming un-cooperative with the communities they are supposed to serve.

        We must re-instate the Ministry of Transport as “principal advisory” to Government again, as it was during the last labour Government.
        National had deliberately reduced Ministry of Transport to a door stop for government policies under National and have deliberately advanced NZTA as ‘king of transport’ which is wrong as NZTA is only simply an ‘RCA’ or a (road controlling agency)

        Next we need to return all Government documents to the Former labour government policy platforms & positions regarding the insertion of the “policies for agencies to have regard for “Environmental and Social policy planning” inside all documents supplied to public, Local, and central governments.

        This will ensure we move to save our society’s environment, health and regional wealth of our NZ Nation again after a painful nine year loss to us all.
        A very warm regards to you,

        • Matthew Whitehead 19.1.1.1

          Best of luck, despite being a Wellingtonian and determined city-dweller, I am 100% behind the concept of regional rail and bus services, and improved transport for the regions. We can’t forever rely on driving everywhere, even if we can make electric cars running on renewable energy a practical option for regional drivers.

          I also think with both Julie Anne and Shane Jones as transport associates, we’re going to see strong advocacy within that ministry for regional public transport. It’s too bad we didn’t have the numbers to ask for the primary role in Transport, or even to snag energy as well, but that’s something to work on in 2020.

          Kia ora.

  19. cleangreen 20

    Matthew correction
    BERL report was a $12 000 dollar report not 1200 dollars as said before. (It was not cheap)

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    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    3 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
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    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
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    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
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    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
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    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
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    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
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    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
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  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
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