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.

        • KK 4.2.2.1

          How popular would it be to oppose the TPPA outright without seeing it if it turned out to be worth billions to the New Zealand economy with no impact on our domestic sovereignty? Are you seriously saying Labour should definitively oppose a deal it hasn’t seen and doesn’t know any of the detail of?

      • 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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  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    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.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    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
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    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…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    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!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    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
    2 weeks 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: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    14 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
    16 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
    16 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
    17 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
    18 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
    19 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
    23 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 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 - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago