An R-101 Post

Written By: - Date published: 12:08 pm, October 2nd, 2015 - 89 comments
Categories: Globalisation, helen clark, identity, spin - Tags: , , ,

Here’s a link to the R 101 reference for anyone who needs it.

Yesterday at some point I noticed that some Labour supporters were getting a bit hot under the collar because some ‘narsty’ right wingers had taken the words of one of their heroes and were then throwing those words around the net as a ‘left wing’ endorsement of negotiating a TPPA.

As others besides me have commented in various ‘standard’ threads, given that Helen Clark was and is a proponent of free trade (China, US talks…), what else would have been expected?

Should Helen Clark have said anything on domestic political affairs given her present international role? I don’t know and don’t care. Helen Clark and what she thinks, is or should be, irrelevant.

The problem, it seems to me, is the indulgence in hero worship by some Labour supporters. See, one of the downsides of placing anyone on a pedestal is that the damned things aren’t that stable. Your hero can be knocked over or even ex-appropriated and you’ll wind up painting yourself into a corner while simultaneously tying yourself up in impossible knots…

The whole rushing around trying to suggest that Helen Clark didn’t indicate what Helen Clark indicated reminded me very strongly of the insane and inane protestations that followed Philip Ferguson calling out the racism of Michael Joseph Savage. I was as goggle eyed astonished at that (Site search if you want. I’m not linking.) as I was at yesterdays back-footed nonsense. By all means identify with good ideas or inspiring things. But people, for fuck’s sake, please, kill your idols, will you?

Cutting some slack for the current leader of the Labour Party, I’m wondering what impact the milling devotees of Helen have had on his possible reaction. I’m not saying he should be cut any slack, but there you go – I’m cutting him some slack and laying the shit at the feet of all you worshipers out there.

Andrew Little clarified a leftist parliamentary approach when he apparently said that the TPPA ought to be “approached with considerable caution.” Got that? It’s worth repeating. Approach with considerable caution

Here’s my take. There’s dog-shit on the path. I do not turn around and suggest people approach with caution. Why the fuck would anyone want to approach dogshit in any fashion? So, I turn round and call out to “watch your feet”…ie, avoid the fucking stuff.

Or, there’s dog-shit through the sand where the kids are playing with their buckets and spades. I don’t tell them to dig around with ‘considerable caution’. I call out to “get yourselves away from there, there’s dogshit”.

Y’know, talking out against free trade just isn’t very difficult these days. Everyone’s doing it. Hmm – except those in NZ who would have us elect them as our governing representatives. It appears they’re still all marching in time. Now. Why should that be and what’s that telling us?

Is there any chance that any of that is down to some residual belief, nurtured perhaps by levels of on- going devotion, that one ought not to, and therefore one will not, contradict the current living deity formerly known as Prime Minister Helen Clark?

89 comments on “An R-101 Post ”

  1. whoa!!! Good post Bill.

    To succeed the left have to be, well, left.

    clark is no saint in my eyes – just a person with the foibles of a person. I hope Labour listen to the left – we apparently need them to get the ‘left’ votes and extinguish the right agenda – I hope and pray that that right agenda isn’t a labour agenda in whole or part, but who knows – not me I’m just an unruly Mana supporter.

    • lprent 1.1

      Fundamentally the view is simply different from the UN and New York and for any kind of politician who doesn’t spend time actually producing something for export.

      My view is that of a person exporting tech out of NZ. We currently have few or no restrictions onto most markets for our goods and services apart from farming.

      Farming is by and large a commodity trade which has about as much use for the stability of an economy as digging ore out of rocks. Like mining, it employs very few people directly or indirectly. The price and demand for it is completely dependent on outside factors because it carries very little intellectual property.

      It isn’t something that we want to expand in NZ as a society. It doesn’t lead us anywhere unless we do a hell of a lot of work to create a whole lot more value in it, and move it out of largely commodity sales.

      So to put a restraint of trade deal in for all of the things where we sell intellectual property, like tech which does employ a lot of people, is downright stupid. But that is what the TPP appears to do for NZ.

      Basically we get a whole pile of shitty laws and processes restricting our ability to develop new export businesses here in order to over-protect US businesses and lawyers.

      It doesn’t look like we get anything out of TPP apart from (maybe) some half-hearted access to a few markets selling some near-raw commodities. Useless for developing NZ.

    • Peter 1.2

      …. not sure she said she supported the actual agreement ….. but its better to be inside the tent

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    By all means identify with good ideas or inspiring things. But people, for fuck’s sake, please, kill your idols, will you?

    QFT

    Helen Clark was good but it was obvious that she’d come to believe in neo-liberalism as much as John Key and so she really won’t suggest a new path.

    Andrew Little clarified a leftist parliamentary approach when he apparently said that the TPPA ought to be “approached with considerable caution.”

    Actually, it should simply be dumped along with all other FTAs. We then set standards that other nations need to meet before we’re willing to trade with them. This would ensure the level playing field necessary for free-trade to work. It would also ensure that trade would never happen.

    Y’know, talking out against free trade just isn’t very difficult these days. Everyone’s doing it. Hmm – except those in NZ who would have us elect them as our governing representatives. It appears they’re still all marching in time. Now. Why should that be and what’s that telling us?

    It’s telling us that we shouldn’t vote for them as they haven’t caught up with reality yet.

  3. esoteric pineapples 3

    The best sort of leader is the one you don’t have to take much notice of, because you know they are doing a good job.

    • Grindlebottom 3.1

      They’re the ones who’re in the ideal situation to massively enrich themselves then, aren’t they? I mean, if no one’s taking any notice of them…

  4. KK 4

    That’s some selective quoting you’ve done there Bill. Little has been very clear on the TPPA – that Labour would not compromise on New Zealand’s sovereignty, and he’s spelt out five principles to say what that means – http://www.labour.org.nz/tppa

    As the Leader of the Opposition you can’t definitively oppose something you haven’t seen the text of. There is a small chance the TPPA might not compromise New Zealand’s sovereignty. Most of what’s come out suggests it will, and Little has said as much, but if you say you oppose it outright without seeing it and then it has no impact on sovereignty but delivers market access for NZ farmers then you’re a laughing stock and your credibility is down the tubes. Much better to say you are waiting to see the text but you have clear principles and you will be judging it on those principles. Then when you do oppose it people will understand why and the debate will be on those principles, rather than Labour just being against the economy. It’s smart, principled politics.

    To be honest I don’t know what else you could ask for – the progressive shift from Clark to Little should be the real story here.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      +1

    • Bill 4.2

      As the Leader of the Opposition you can’t definitively oppose something you haven’t seen the text of.

      Really?

      See, before the last UK election, the UK Labour Party was also mealy mouthing around the TTIP (UK equivalent of the TPPA) – drawing headlines like.

      Labour and TTIP: things just got worse

      In contrast, here’s Corbyn. Much more robust. Not back footed.

      I conclude by asking why there is secrecy surrounding the negotiations. Is it because there are ante-rooms on either side of the Atlantic stuffed full of highly effective corporate lobbyists doing their best to develop their own interests? Should we not instead be demanding a free trade agreement that narrows the gap between the rich and the poor, that protects the advance of public services such as the national health service, that fundamentally protects food production, and that ensures that the best standards become the universal standards, rather than engaging in a race to the bottom that results in the worst standards becoming the norm on both sides of the Atlantic? I hope that the House will reject TTIP.

      • Paul 4.2.1

        We need a Corbyn in NZ.
        Urgently.

        • James 4.2.1.1

          As a National supporter – I cannot see any downside to this.

          • Paul 4.2.1.1.1

            As a socialist, neither can I.

            • lurgee 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Forgive the length, and waffling nature of the following. It’s more me clarifying some vague ideas that have been rattling around in hat passes for my mind for a while than trying to make any sort of relevant response, though I’ll take this post as a springboard.

              I think Corbyn can succeed in Britain, but I’m not sure a Corbyn figure could succeed in New Zealand. They are very different countries and have very different electoral systems.

              Britain has a much longer and stronger left wing tradition, where as New Zealand’s left is more of a fickle beast. How many genuine, irredeemable socialists are there in New Zealand? I’m not convinced there are that many. There are a lot of socially concerned liberals and lots of people who instinctively oppose National’s combination of neo-liberalism and rural conservatism. But that’s not quite the same thing, and moving left tends to make this loose coalition fragment. After all, in New Zealand they can do that – if Labour smells too strongly of Trotsky, the wets can always vote for the fragrant Mr Dunne, or Mr Peters (he looks like he uses Old Spice) or the Greens, depending on their perversion preference. They’ll still get what they want at the end of the day – a government that reflects some of their centrist principles, built on the back of a diluted version of Labour or National.

              I think – this is all just opinion – Britain has a much larger socialist / social-democrat demographic. They are, however, deeply apathetic and disengaged. Turn out in British elections is about 10 percentage points lower than in New Zealand – a massive difference. It is unlikely, in my opinion, that there is much to be gained by campaigning for the non-voters in New Zealand. You might get a few more votes, but it would be at a huge cost – and if winning those votes meant moving left, it might also cost centre votes. Whereas in Britain, there are a lot more votes to be gained, and the archaic monstrosity of First Past the Post means there is no-where for votes to go. As a Brit, I’m quite familiar with having to vote for a party that is only vaguely representative of my opinions (take a bow, Tony Blair!) because the only alternative is much, much, worse. That’s less of an issue in New Zealand, for reasons already described.

              We saw what happened with a nominal leftie here in 2014. 25% of the vote. The ‘Missing Million’ did not show up. Hell, even many of those committed enough to vote for Goff in 2011 abandoned ship.

              Yeah, I know. The media blah blah blah and / or not sufficiently left wing blah blah bah. Be honest with yourself for a moment. Do you think the media are really, truly that bad here? Look at what Ed Miliband had to put up with, what Jeremy Corbyn has already had to endure. The NZ media are lightweight. And as for trying again even further from the left, I’m not sure repeating the same experiment, once more with feeling, is the best choice anyone has ever had. Corbyn may work in Britain (and it is a big may) – but I doubt he would here. New Zealand just isn’t the sort of country that would vote for a socialist. And voters are clued up enough to know if they vote for an allied party, they’ll likely get something they don’t want.

              What we need is a strong, charismatic centrist figure, someone with a strong social conscience to actually make a real difference (a positive one!) to people’s lives. I don’t think we can realistically hope for more than that at this time.

              But who the Hell fits that description? And even if we did have such a figure, what’s the likelihood of infighting and factioneering bringing him or her down?

              • Bill

                The problem I see with NZ isn’t so much the electorate as the parties. They occupy an mmp space but still behave in a fpp manner. So give us a fixed term parliaments act so that scare tactics ( eg – Eek! The Greens in cabinet!!) lose their potency, the mmp environment is forced onto political party behaviours and then maybe, just maybe, NZ politics can be all ‘grown up’.

              • I don’t think Labour in 2014 was rejected for being nominally left (or having a ‘nominally left’ leader – as an aside, I’m not sure what a Labour leader should be other than, at a bare minimum, ‘nominally’ left).

                First, the (economic) policies just weren’t any more left than in 2011 – in fact, my reading is that they shifted right overall (economic policies are most relevant to categories like ‘socialist’ so I emphasise those).

                Second, the perceived lack of unity and various ‘incidents’ about Cunliffe’s ‘gaffes’, supposed ‘lies’ and the like are far more likely candidates for why what happened happened. (Note National’s campaign ad – smooth competence with everyone rowing in unison versus chaotic rabble in a rowboat).

                I think you’re probably right, though, about the thinness of left wing analysis and commitment in New Zealand. Compared to Europe, New Zealand generally has a typical pioneer-frontier lack of awareness of the grinding inevitability of modern (post)industrial capitalism (which is not to say that some people and, small, groups don’t).

                The ‘pioneer spirit’ holds out the hope that hard work and ‘new opportunities’ are always present to save one from the hands of those with power. That was certainly the view of early European colonialists in New Zealand, many of whom came from a country which completely lacked opportunity.

      • Ad 4.2.2

        While I am generally a free-trader, I get pretty tired of hearing how hard X MP had to work to convince the Labour caucus internally to come to a nuanced-mildly-oppositional-sounds-kinda-principled position, when it’s easier and more convincing and more popular to be a clear speaker like Corbyn.

        Little: it simply shouldn’t be this hard to be a straight shooter.

      • Tracey 4.2.3

        Yes but hasn’t the UK had more information about hwat the TTIP contains than we have on the TPP?

        • Bill 4.2.3.1

          I’m not sure Tracy. They are both being done in secret. One may be more secret than the other. The degree of secrecy is kind of irrelevant though where the concern or demand is for openness (eg – accountability, participation, democracy), no?

          • Tracey 4.2.3.1.1

            That’s the thing Bill, I was under the impression the TTIP was much more open than TPP… and yet Mapp claims they all have to be secret to preserve negotiating positions… I guess we are way ahead of Europe with that, right Mr Mapp? Without wikileaks we would know NOTHING about TPP. I guess it is because this is a corporate deal and they always epect confidentiality on commercial grounds 😉

            “On this page you’ll find:

            a wide range of TTIP documents – including summaries, and the EU’s negotiating guidelines and opening positions
            a calendar of upcoming TTIP events – including negotiating rounds and stakeholder meetings
            videos and photos”

            http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ttip/documents-and-events/index_en.htm

            “Transparency

            Like any other trade negotiations, the TiSA talks are not carried out in public and the documents are available to participants only.

            The EU, however, has been keen to be as transparent as possible and has published some of its own position papers.

            The European Commission negotiates on behalf of the EU. Its team of negotiators provide regular briefings to the Council – where representatives of the governments of the EU’s Member States sit – and to the European Parliament. The Commission also organises frequent meetings with business and civil society.

            TiSA participants keep other WTO members regularly informed of the state of play of negotiations.”

            So, I accept it is secret but nothing like the TPP and Mr Mapp says the secrecy around TPP is not only usual but necessary.

      • KK 4.2.4

        Okay, let’s put it this way. If the TPPA has no impact on New Zealand’s sovereignty but delivers our exporters access to new markets would it be tenable (let alone reasonable) for Labour to oppose it? Granted, that’s a small likelihood from everything we’ve heard, but would Labour be in a position to oppose it? I think most people would say no, and I’m certain most New Zealanders would judge them harshly. It just doesn’t make sense to have a definitive position on something you have not seen the text of. All you can do is outline clear principles and judge the text against those when it’s released.

        As for Corbyn, he’s excited the Labour Party and the broader left and I personally like his politics, but he hasn’t yet shown he can win over the British public or manage the contradictions within his own party. Let’s wait for some evidence he can sustain the support of a reasonable base of the British public before demanding our own Kiwi Corbyn.

        • Bill 4.2.4.1

          Sorry, but you’re addressing the wrong person if you want to talk about sovereignty. As far as I’m concerned, both you and I lost that a long time ago.

          However, (just very quickly) from previous ‘free trade’ agreements.
          Safety and environmental regs/standards will tend towards the lowest common denominator.
          Downward pressure will be applied to wages (again).
          Economies of scale will mean the fucking over of the less large.
          Prices will rise.

          Opportunities for increasing profit and market share for the larger players will be hugely enhanced. That a good thing?

        • Puddleglum 4.2.4.2

          The TTPA does not exist yet so it is impossible to support or oppose it.

          What does exist is a process and, presumably, a set of objectives (which are unclear to say the least). I think it is perfectly reasonable to oppose that process and to oppose a range of possible objectives that process might be set up to achieve.

          There’s nothing remotely incautious about opposing what, in fact, we are faced with. Whether or not some arguable benefits may supposedly reside in the text of such a future (as yet unsigned, unknown) agreement seems to me quite beside the point to the position it is reasonable to adopt now.

          To say, definitively, that ‘we oppose (a) the process, and (b) a range of possible outcomes’ and that, on that basis, ‘we therefore oppose these negotiations’ seems not only reasonable but quite prudent.

          Think of the reverse position (the one pursued by the current government and, apparently, supported by Clark): ‘We support (a) a secretive process that denies public knowledge of what is at stake until it will be too late, and (b) are willing to accept outcomes that may well involve an, effectively coerced, reduction in the future ability of governments to make democratic decisions about a range of as yet undetermined matters all for the sake of a speculative and uncertain economic opportunity.’

          That position is the one that – in any sane society – should appear reckless and imprudent.

          New Zealand is a small country with very little power. It is therefore highly likely that it will get – to use a colloquialism – ‘screwed’, irrespective of any fine words or supposedly ‘legally binding’ agreements in the signed documents.

          Are none of our negotiators remotely familiar with the superseding role that raw power plays in relation to such documents? Of all countries, New Zealand should have been the one to insist on utter transparency in these negotiations.

          ‘At the end of the day’, the only power New Zealand has is global public opinion. Secrecy ensures that no such power can be exerted.

          Countries with very little actual power are simply serving themselves up on a platter in these sorts of ‘negotiations’.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Peters hits back at Helen Clark’s TPP comment

    She rarely comments on New Zealand domestic issues, but made an exception when asked by media about the TPP, which began under the former Labour Government as the P4 with Chile, Singapore and Brunei.

    “What always haunts a Prime Minister is ‘will there be a series of trade blocs develop that you are not part of?’ Because that is unthinkable for New Zealand as an export-oriented, small trading nation,” Ms Clark said.

    That shows Ms Clark’s total misunderstanding of economics. It’s the same mistake that John Key made when he said How is New Zealand going to get rich selling things to each other?. Both assume that the reason for economics is to become rich rather than to provide everyone with what they need to live a good life.

    • Pat 5.1

      agree about the measure but there are also very good reasons for trade (although not at any cost), NZ has always needed to import some technology/materials unavailable locally to provide some elements deemed vital…..we can debate the merits of those point by point but I would suggest there are some things it would be best not to do without, and to obtain those we need trade…..the question is how …and how much?

      The dog shit analogy is brilliant

      • Bill 5.1.1

        Hang on. Take a wee step back for a second. There is nothing wrong with trade. Humans have traded for…I don’t know how long.

        What is wrong with these ‘agreements’ is the framework or rules that are being slammed down on top of the already toxic rules that govern trade in a market economy.

        • Tracey 5.1.1.1

          The problem with who will benefit, the lack of transparent and reliable projections of benefits.

          I have asked Mr Mapp on numerous occasions when he expects wages to rise as a result of us having signed the TPP. Deathly silence. I have asked him to provide us with the projections (and the basis of the same) for benefits to NZ from the TPP. Deathly silence.

          For me it is NOT about being anti-trade but pro good reasons and basis for entering into these agreements. At the moment what we mostly have is a “trust us, we know what we are doing and this will benefit NZ” notion. If the GReen party said that about anything, they would be describe as ridiculous and naive and looney.

          • Bill 5.1.1.1.1

            My thinking is pretty straight-forward and also not anti-trade… (who’s been being anti-trade btw?)

            Anyway. If people are negotiating shit that can impact on me and I have no input or say, then said people can go fuck themselves and their negotiations.

            • Tracey 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Agreed.

              Mr Mapp says that anyone questioning the TPP is anti trade, and if you have opposed all FTA’s then you have no credibility, ever. He doesn’t allow that people like him who have never opposed a single FTA must be equally lacking in credibility.

              It’s how he deals with Prof Kelsey who has stated time and again that she is not anti-trade but anti investor provisions which can impact sovereignty. perhaps one subtlety too many for the ever loyal Mr Mapp?

        • BLiP 5.1.1.2

          Yep. The biggest lie in this whole debate is that the TPP is a trade deal.

        • Pat 5.1.1.3

          wasnt asserting you were anti trade Bill….my response was to Dracos comment that both Clark and Key assume the goal is to”become rich” and how thats measured.

          • Bill 5.1.1.3.1

            Yeah, I didn’t think you were. I was just taking the opportunity to differentiate between trade and the rules that govern trade. It’s only ever the rules that are problematic.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        but I would suggest there are some things it would be best not to do without, and to obtain those we need trade

        Not really, or more accurately, that’s too simple.

        As and example:
        We need computers but that doesn’t mean we need to import them. We could purchase the technology and then produce them here from our own resources. We could also develop further upon the technology that we purchased thus developing and diversifying our economy making us both more resilient as well as providing for ourselves without being dependent upon other nations.

        Now, until we do develop our own production of computers we make a small over production of what we can already produce so that we can import computers. This over production will be stopped once we can produce locally all the computers we need.

        This applies to everything.

        • Pat 5.1.2.1

          one word….rubber

            • Pat 5.1.2.1.1.1

              NZ imports its raw material for both natural and synthetic rubber….there are numerous critical elements we can neither substitute nor produce locally that are vital and there are others where it will take significant time to develop the ability to replace imports….and that is ignoring the economy of scale issues.It is doable and the time may come when it is the only option but as an economic model that the wider public would choose to support it demands a level of trade to facilitate, albeit greatly reduced

              • Draco T Bastard

                here are numerous critical elements

                Name them. Because I’m pretty sure that we do have them here or can be grown – hemp is a great source of natural oils that can be turned to many products.

                and that is ignoring the economy of scale issues.

                Economies of scale don’t really apply any more. A modern factory running at it’s optimum level has about the same economics no matter it’s size. That’s the big problem with modern economics – it hasn’t advanced any in the last two hundred years and still makes all the same assumptions – most of which were wrong in the first place and have got a whole lot worse since.

                • Mike S

                  Rare earth metals would be an example of raw materials we would still need to import.

                  Essential for various high tech products and renewable energy technology. Needed for wind turbines, batteries, solar cells, etc,etc.

                  In your example of building computers, we still need to purchase the technology. That is trade.

                  Yes, manufacturing of anything can be done here, but there are some raw materials / resources that we simply don’t have so will have to import.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Rare earth metals would be an example of raw materials we would still need to import.

                    Not necessarily. The REEs aren’t rare and have a tendency to form in volcanic soils which we seem to have an over abundance of. Haven’t been found yet but that doesn’t mean that they’re not there.

                    Essential for various high tech products and renewable energy technology. Needed for wind turbines, batteries, solar cells, etc,etc.

                    They’re not needed – they just make them better.

                    In your example of building computers, we still need to purchase the technology.

                    Actually, we probably don’t. Photo-lithography, the process used to produce ICs, has been around for ~200 years and so there’s nothing to stop us developing that process. Also, much of the research that was done in the US was done via government grant and all research done by US government grant is freely available – it’s a condition of getting the grant.

                    Yes, manufacturing of anything can be done here, but there are some raw materials / resources that we simply don’t have so will have to import.

                    I suspect that you’d be one of the people who’d be surprised by what is actually in NZ. Like the 500 tonnes of lithium that gets washed down the Waikato River every year from one of the geothermal power generators that we have. I’m pretty sure that 500 tonnes of lithium could make a lot of batteries – we just need to find a way to capture it rather than continuing to flush it down the river.

                • Pat

                  copper,zinc,lead.magnesium,manganese,nickel,titanium and bauxite….computer componentry,heavy mechanical and electrical engineering and advanced pharmaceuticals, though i note we have a limited capacity in that area.
                  As to economy of scale it still applies, perhaps even more so in light of the fact the potential market (user) is greatly reduced,,,,unless of course you believe 3D printers will be our future…a difficult proposition without the componentry.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    copper,zinc,lead.magnesium,manganese,nickel,titanium and bauxite…

                    All available here in significant deposits. Hell, we sell our titanium dioxide, which makes up 30% of our iron sands, to be used in paint.

                    computer componentry,heavy mechanical and electrical engineering and advanced pharmaceuticals

                    All of which could be produced here. In fact, we actually do make buses here.

                    As to economy of scale it still applies, perhaps even more so in light of the fact the potential market (user) is greatly reduced,,,

                    Nope. The illusions of economies of scale are a result of our monetary system which is disconnected from reality.

                    unless of course you believe 3D printers will be our future…a difficult proposition without the componentry.

                    It’s called developing our economy. We’ve pretty much stopped doing that in the hopes that the free-market will provide.

                    • Pat

                      “All available here in significant deposits. Hell, we sell our titanium dioxide, which makes up 30% of our iron sands, to be used in paint.”

                      I can find no record of viable deposits…
                      http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/mining-and-underground-resources/page-1

                      “Nope. The illusions of economies of scale are a result of our monetary system which is disconnected from reality.”

                      Economy of scale is not solely a monetary proposition, consider the tooling and production requirements for single products or small runs, hence 3D printer comment

                      “All of which could be produced here. In fact, we actually do make buses here.”
                      Buses are hardly heavy engineering, but even if they were we dont build buses here , only the bodies, all the running gear is brought in and always has been ….heavy industry , think turbine for hydro scheme or the equipment to build and run such like

                      There are many more things we could do but the reality is unless we adopt a low tech simple society we will need to import some things . We attempted a version of this in the 1950s i believe and it is a proposition worth revisiting

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I can find no record of viable deposits…

                      Back before MBIE took over the data it was actually quite easy to find it. In fact, I’ve often linked to such data in the past. SO I know that there’s ~140 significant deposits of gallium and other semi-conductor elements around Lake Taupo, I know 500 tonnes of lithium goes down the Waikato every year, I know that there’s a 20 to 25 million tonne deposit of bauxite in Northland.

                      Economy of scale is not solely a monetary proposition, consider the tooling and production requirements for single products or small runs, hence 3D printer comment

                      There are many more things we could do but the reality is unless we adopt a low tech simple society we will need to import some things .

                      And hence my comment about developing the economy.

  6. roy cartland 6

    It’s not unthinkable that she’s looking out for her own interests as well – perhaps her becoming UN Sec Gen is in NZ’s longer-term interest, she thinks, despite the putrid rat of the TPPA?

    ‘If I endorse Key’s silly TPPA, he’ll endorse me for UN Leader – yeah, that’ll work well for everyone!”

    • Bill 6.1

      Yeah, look. Whatever positioning Clark is or isn’t doing is beside the point. The point is that a lot of people got in a tizz because they identify with Clark and so wind up compelled to defend whatever she says.

      It’s cringe-worthy, painful and really fcking bad for political debate.

      • Jenny Kirk 6.1.1

        So far I haven’t come across many Labour people defending Helen’s position.
        And Andrew Little has publicly disagreed with her – but courtesy would prevent him from going full-belt at her comments – that’s just not “done” with former PMs !

        • Bill 6.1.1.1

          Seriously? You missed all the dancing on the head of a pin that was going on yesterday by some who were trying to claim that what Helen Clark had said wasn’t what Helen Clark had actually said?

          Now sure, no reason why Andrew Little should go full belt at her comments… or anything else her comments for that matter. Andrew Little’s job is to state Labour’s position.

          That point is important. The post questions whether he can in fact state a position for Labour – that’s the bit where I cut him some slack – and outlines the reasoning behind the question being asked.

          That then, just brings us on to the problems with Labour’s non-position/position.

          It’s very reminiscent of UK Labour prior to the UK election (as linked in another comment) and in stark contrast to recent UK Labour leader comments (linked and quoted in same comment). In other words, there is no reason (all things being equal) why NZ Labour can’t be in tune with what seems like a fair groundswell of opinion and opposition to the TTPA and be much more robust.

    • James 6.2

      You know Labour started this – Not Key – right?

      • Ad 6.2.1

        And Labour are better at it.

      • Tracey 6.2.2

        And you know that it isn’t about who started it anymore but about proof of projected benefits to NZ and who signs it without disclosing it to the people first?

      • lprent 6.2.3

        As a trade agreement with three smaller economies and as a free trade agreement.

        National morphed it into a restraint of trade agreement (from the NZ perspective) with the major economies of the US, Japan, Canada, and others. It appears to have completely violated the original intent. And the obvious costs to NZ over the next few decades look like they will outweigh any possible benefits.

        Moreover, it started off as being pretty transparent to anyone looking at it, to something shrouded in secrecy.

        We should just reject it. At this point that looks like it will help our economy over the next couple of decades rather than stifling it.

  7. Ad 7

    Bill, note Clark’s wording “unthinkable” is also lighting the fire under Key.
    She is saying that Key has raised the political stakes so high, that at no point can he now pull out.

    Whatever the result, Key will have to get out his Chamoix cloth and start boot-polishing that turd, smile for us live to camera, and eat it.

    She knows he on to a lose-lose job, and it reminding him and everyone of that.

    • Bill 7.1

      What? You saying that we should view all this on the basis of the likely future reputations of any given mps?

      Key won’t have to ‘eat shit‘.

      It’s we who will be gagging on the stuff.

      • Ad 7.1.1

        I generally think about the impact on Key above all else, since there’s no changing the government without changing Key. And yes I do think the deal will be obviously bad enough that many will see through Key’s usual bonhomie.

        I’m hoping for a 2% downward on Preferred Prime Minister in the next poll, partly through TPPA.

        • Bill 7.1.1.1

          I generally think about the impact on Key above all else…

          We have different perspectives then. I can only give a toss about the negative consequences for ordinary people.

      • left for deadshark 7.1.2

        It’s we who will be gagging on the stuff.

        To true Bill, good post mate.

  8. One Two 8

    Helen has more in common with those she works with and works for, than she has in common with global proletariat

    • Ad 8.1

      What’s New Zealand’s part in the “global proletariat”?

      • Bill 8.1.1

        Ad, you being all ‘zen’ with a question like that?

        The working class is global (more or less). NZ has a working class. In that respect, NZ (a goodly proportion of the population) is a part of the global proletariat, no?

        • Ad 8.1.1.1

          I just find it very hard to lump together vastly different levels of deprivation, different causes, different effects in to a term that presumes there’s a single anything. I accept there are intersecting interests, but not singularities.

          • Bill 8.1.1.1.1

            Hmm…if I understand you correctly.

            When trading is predicated on various forms of exploitation, then there will be (simplistically) the exploited and the exploiters. The exploited are the working class or proletariat. It’s not homogeneous in its expression.

            But the cause is the same everywhere.

            • Ad 8.1.1.1.1.1

              The most useful way I’ve seen expressing common interest is the illustration of New Zealand as a series of layers in a multistory building, with about 40% of NZ crammed into half of the basement, and the top 10% or so taking the top three floors of the four story block. Class exists. Upward class mobility is hard and getting harder.

              I also get that there is common interest in deprivation across the world.

              And I certainly agree there’s a bit of the Ragged Trousered Philanthropist in almost all of us, in terms of who’s exploiting whom and by how much.

              But then it begins to break down.

              The differing degrees of poverty and their causes – e.g. war, or climate change, or corporate rapaciousness, or government corruption, or law and order breakdown, or etc etc – vary in such degrees across the world that it’s hard to identify let alone form common cause.

              Otherwise we would have seen global proletariat movements surge across the world like they did in the 1840s and 1920s across the world.

              Successive crisis after successive crisis since World War Two, we have resolutely not seen a “global proletariat” rise. We’ve seen anti-colonial, anti- racist, anti-war etc movements, rise and be nation-shaping and effective.

              But specifically we have not seen great growth in union movements, working class revolutions, revolutions defined solely by wealth. Whatever the “global proletariat” is, if it still exists, it’s just not really useful as a concept anymore.

              Would be great if there was a consistent replacement for defunct Marxist theory, but there just isn’t.

              • Bill

                Without the wars and the famine, corruption and what have you, that exacerbate exploitation, there would still be exploitation. Take away the rules we have around trading (ie – the market economy) and replace them with trading rules that discriminated (both positively and negatively) in ways that are different to how the market discriminates, and it’s possible to be done with exploitation.

                I agree that what we now, at least in ‘the west’, view as global uprisings seemed to have happened when nation states were in their nascent stage. Maybe there’s a connection there?

                As for Marx class analysis, I agree it’s inadequate. I’d never use the terminology he did (eg proletariat) but since ‘One Two’ did and I knew what he was getting at…

                The most workable alternative to or reworking Marx’s class analysis I’ve come across works suggests a three tier model comprising workers, coordinators and capitalists. The coordinators are the well remunerated and relatively privileged who keep the whole shebang going and who (largely) endorse ‘the way things are’- management types, the more conservative professions doctors/surgeons etc.

                • Ad

                  I think I’ll write a post just on that third tier.
                  Clearly I’m one of them. And good at it.

                  There’s a whole taxonomy to do on “those who make it work”.
                  I’m pretty confident I can sketch roles for “comprador” bourgeoisie who do more than facilitate the status quo.

                  And needs further shading to NZ conditions, NZ politics in particular.
                  Lets see if we can stretch our legs a bit.

              • RedLogix

                Thanks for the Ragged Trousered Philanthropist reference. I’d heard of it, but needed to look it up.

                Robert Noonan’s story is a fascinating one. Where did he find the courage to swim against the tide, when most will not?

                • Ad

                  The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist is a novel written by a house painter in the nineteenth century, whose novel was never published in his lifetime and as far as I know no-one ever knew he was doing it.

                  It fictionalizes the many trades workers around him, their lives and how much of them are given over to bosses and asset owners.

                  Careful it’s I think from memory over 700 pages. But he has such passion, reality and seething sardonic prose that in some ways it’s better than Dickens.

                  • Bill

                    First overtly political book I ever got. A young teen present from my socialist, conscientious objector grandfather. 😉

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Here’s the free copy from Project Gutenberg… and thanks 🙂

                  • RedLogix

                    I have to quote this from the end of the first chapter:

                    ‘All these things,’ Owen proceeded, ‘are produced by those who work. We do our full share of the work, therefore we should have a full share of the things that are made by work.’

                    The others continued silent. Harlow thought of the over-population theory, but decided not to mention it. Crass, who could not have given an intelligent answer to save his life, for once had sufficient sense to remain silent. He did think of calling out the patent paint-pumping machine and bringing the hosepipe to bear on the subject, but abandoned the idea; after all, he thought, what was the use of arguing with such a fool as Owen?

                    Sawkins pretended to be asleep.

                    Philpot, however, had suddenly grown very serious.

                    ‘As things are now,’ went on Owen, ‘instead of enjoying the advantages of civilization we are really worse off than slaves, for if we were slaves our owners in their own interest would see to it that we always had food and–‘

                    ‘Oh, I don’t see that,’ roughly interrupted old Linden, who had been listening with evident anger and impatience. ‘You can speak for yourself, but I can tell yer I don’t put MYSELF down as a slave.’

                    ‘Nor me neither,’ said Crass sturdily. ‘Let them call their selves slaves as wants to.’

                    At this moment a footstep was heard in the passage leading to the kitchen. Old Misery! or perhaps the bloke himself! Crass hurriedly pulled out his watch.

                    ‘Jesus Christ!’ he gasped. ‘It’s four minutes past one!’

                    Linden frantically seized hold of a pair of steps and began wandering about the room with them.

                    Sawkins scrambled hastily to his feet and, snatching a piece of sandpaper from the pocket of his apron, began furiously rubbing down the scullery door.

                    Easton threw down the copy of the Obscurer and scrambled hastily to his feet.

                    The boy crammed the Chronicles of Crime into his trousers pocket.

                    Crass rushed over to the bucket and began stirring up the stale whitewash it contained, and the stench which it gave forth was simply appalling.

                    Consternation reigned.

                    They looked like a gang of malefactors suddenly interrupted in the commission of a crime.

                    The door opened. It was only Bundy returning from his mission to the Bookie.

                    For we are really worse off than slaves … and when we look at the vast bulk of humanity this is true.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      For we are really worse off than slaves … and when we look at the vast bulk of humanity this is true.

                      QFT

                      And Nationals attacks on beneficiaries and working conditions are designed to make us even worse off.

    • Bill 8.2

      Probably a predictable if ‘unfortunate’ consequence of having representative governance and representative positions being tied to many privileges.

      ‘Suddenly’ one is moving in different circles where ‘the really important stuff‘ just doesn’t gel with the everyday (ie, our) really important stuff.

      But that’s another conversation/debate. 😉

  9. BLiP 9

    If Helen Clark believes that a current Labour Party position is wrong, she should keep her mouth shut, especially when she’s standing next to John Key. It was uncharacteristically gouache. Made me wonder if Labour had put her up to it to test the waters or as an opening move in a softening up process lead to a change of position. Hmmm . . .

    While I’m in a speculative mood, I’m getting the feeling that its already game over for the TPP. Will we see an MSM celebration of our Prime Minister, fresh from the glory have having set the agenda for the Security Council, returning home triumphantly waving a signed, sealed and delivered TPP? Gordon Campbell makes a strong case for it, IMO. Yeah, I know, that post has been around for a while, but the more I think about it the more likely it seems. Hope I’m wrong.

    • Tracey 9.1

      ” I’m getting the feeling that its already game over for the TPP. ”

      Me too, Key is being to smuggishly smiley… and he has just gone all world-stage at UN, he won’t want to be seen as a loser. And yes, this is a game to him.

      Imagine if we knew the projected value of the TPP, the timelines for the benefits and the groups benefiting first/last. Such projections are possible and yet… we don’t see them and no journo asks for them

    • Bill 9.2

      Certainly Helen Clark’s nonsense took the wind out of some sails. I got a sense that some were shifting their position a tad yesterday – suddenly a morally grounded opposition became a ‘well, it could be okay if..’ type of opposition.

      As for it being a done deal, well…if not ‘today’, then ‘tomorrow’.

      • Pasupial 9.2.1

        Bill

        I still have hopes that the US congress will refuse to go along with the TPPA due to a need to deny the Obama camp a victory. But even if it’s not with this particular acronym, I have little doubt that we will one day be fitted with another imperial leash, as you say:

        “if not ‘today’, then ‘tomorrow’”

    • Gabby 9.3

      It was characteristically self-serving.

    • “Made me wonder if Labour had put her up to it to test the waters or as an opening move in a softening up process lead to a change of position. ”

      I can’t imagine her allowing herself to be manipulated like that – but she may have thought it was a good idea and that Labour would follow her lead. Labour are going to have to adjust their positioning on this I think and it won’t be pretty because if they double down into outright opposition to it (once the agreement agreed is made public) the gnats will use it to punish them – the lines and memes are already formulated ready to go, and if they do roll over and say “it’s not so bad, the best we could do”, a different but equally nasty set of lines and memes will be used. Either way they are in for a difficult time – they are between a rock and a hard place and their hands are stuck.

      • leftie 9.4.1

        Why do you think Labour are having to adjust their positioning on this? Judging by Andrew Little’s response, he sees Clark’s remarks as her personal opinion only, and he remains skeptical of the TPPA, stating he still maintains his view that it should be approached with “considerable caution.” It most certainly looks like he will NOT be following her lead.

        “Labour leader Andrew Little said there had been little rhetoric to instill any confidence the deal was worth New Zealand’s time.
        “At this particular point, what we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks is talking down expectations of what we might get on dairy and agriculture.

        “On top of that, we’ve got questions of the [intellectual property] clause, questions of Pharmac and the [investor state dispute resolution] clause, so on balance you’d say why would we have a bar of this deal?”

        He did not know how much information Clark had on the agreement, but said it wasn’t unnatural she took a view.

        “She’s the former Prime Minister for nine years, so she’s not going to lose interest in what happens in New Zealand – it’s her home country.
        “She had a good handle on international relations before, but she’s at the heart of international relations now. So of course she’s going to comment on these sorts of things,” he said.
        “But the reality is, from what we know about TPPA, and that’s very little about the content of it, we certainly know where some of the risk areas are and I maintain my view that it’s something we have to approach with considerable caution.”

        <ahref="http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/72604363/former-pm-clark-backs-controversial-trade-deal

    • Liberal Realist 9.5

      Hopefully JK and TG won’t have their deal just yet.

      According to a PBS article the US executive Obama must give congress 90 days notice before signing a trade deal under fast track. The article also states that 60 days before the deal is to be signed it must be published on a public website with a final copy published 30 days before signing. We may just see the deal before its signed after all should it not fall over?

      What I don’t understand (if the article is correct) is how does this work when the public purportedly won’t see the deal for 5 years after it’s signed?

      http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/fast-track-trade-bill-actually-says/

  10. Vaughan Little 10

    I voted Maori party in 05. your don’t go round nicking other people’s stuff.

    • ropata 10.1

      The Foreshore and Seabed issue was one of a series of missteps by Labour that put them off side with most of NZ, sadly we replaced a flawed government with one run by white collar criminals.

  11. Matthew Hooton 11

    Tim Groser has said Andrew Little’s position on the TPP is “perfectly rational”. See http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11522953
    The trade minister also points out Helen Clark’s endorsement was subject to the deal being a good one.

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    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    5 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    5 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    6 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

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    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    1 week ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    1 week ago

  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says lotteries for charitable purposes, such as those run by the Heart Foundation, Coastguard NZ, and local hospices, will soon be allowed to operate online permanently. “Under current laws, these fundraising lotteries are only allowed to operate online until October 2024, after which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

    The Coalition Government is accelerating work on the new four-lane expressway between Auckland and Whangārei as part of its Roads of National Significance programme, with an accelerated delivery model to deliver this project faster and more efficiently, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “For too long, the lack of resilient transport connections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • District Court judges appointed

    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
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    2 weeks ago

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