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Aussies may be bastards, but they believe in themselves.

Written By: - Date published: 1:41 pm, March 26th, 2016 - 31 comments
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Here in Ballarat, Victoria we are having a mini-boom in manufacturing. Yes you read that right. We’re having trouble retaining good people because of the demand. Yes you read that right.

This is because Ballarat has actively invested in providing core capacities like:

We were lucky to get an early NBN rollout in FTTP. Some local pollie likely did the lobbying and work to get us up the front of the queue.

We have a strong education sector, good public and private schools, and two universities.

From the early gold mining days Ballarat had a strong heritage of heavy metal engineering, that while its taken hits in recent times, never completely died either. Now we have at least a dozen companies building high-tech agricultural machinery, mining industry plant, brickmaking machines, railway engineering, fabrication, and the like. A month ago I poked my head in what I thought was a disused old building, and it’s full to bursting with activity.

We protected our cultural and historic street front heritage. Places like Sovereign Hill and Eureka Stockade keep a steady flow of visitors and employment in town

Attractive new sub-divisions with really nice new homes at around $1000/m2, half the price of New Zealand, are constantly being added every year. So attractive I want to buy one, even if it makes no sense for me to do so.

New land and business zones opened up by the Council, and policy to keep big employers like Heinz, Mars and IBM here in town at scale.

Constant public investment keeping the town safe and attractive. While Australia does have awful crimes, on a day to day basis we feel much safer here than in New Zealand.

The State government has a strong Regional policy to ensure core functions are not just concentrated in Melbourne. Large and important state dept’s are actively located in places like Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat.

An immigration policy that deliberately advantages people working for regional employers

Federal govt policy that has identified the industry I’m working for to have strong potential. CSIRO agreements with industry partners that work, real funds for real innovation. Ministers that actually turn up, pay attention to what we are doing and then go away and get things done.

We can cycle most places we want, the roads are wide and safe. I ride 15 min to work along a route around a lakefront, through a wild-life reserve and lagoons and then down some lightly trafficked service lanes that make perfect cycle paths.

People work shorter hours and earn more money. Ordinary people have time to go running, sports like rowing and cycling that are big, mature and attract events nationally and globally. Cafes and bars have live music, or something fun going on. The Council has just thrown a series of four free Friday evening concerts in a historic square, there’s food, really good muso’s dancing and people enjoying themselves without aggro. It’s easy to make friends.

And while the Aussies love to moan about it, the 200km/hr V-Line into Melbourne is bloody magic if you absolutely need a fix of the big smoke. Oh and the trains are designed and built here in Victoria. One of my colleagues right now was part of the design team. That’s how industry clusters work, because they attract and maintain a pool of people who have the skills, energy and experience to get things done.

If I’d stayed at home I would have been happily employed, but the projects I’m working on here are on a global scale, innovative, audacious and challenging. Here I am at the last years of my career and instead of winding down, I’m winding up. I never expected this coming to what I originally imagined might be a quiet little place of 110,000 people a bit in the boondocks. This is the sort of town that should be dying, instead its bloody thriving.

Now of course you don’t have to dig too deep to find some downsides. They exist. But also they get a LOT more attention and social support. Climate change is a thing here. We’ve had to confront an awful legacy of sex abuse crime by the Catholic Church. The specs I’m wearing are not a wholly deep shade of rosiness.

I still love my home. I miss the kiwi mountains and rivers terribly, and my remaining family especially. Eventually we will come home, I’m just too loyal not to. But the longer we stay here, the more I realise how New Zealand is being robbed of so much by a lazy political elite with no vision and less competence. And even when they do encounter a good idea, as Labour is right now with the UBI, we can’t bring ourselves to take a firm grip on it. This is one thing Helen Clark did understand, but was never able to follow through on, that cultural, social and national identity … a pride in ourselves if you like … was the essential pre-cursor to positive change.

It’s why Key’s flag change failed. It had no story, no purpose we could identify with. Ultimately it was a limp tea-towel which meant nothing to us.

New Zealand could do so much more. There is nothing stopping us implementing Labour’s Ten Big Ideas, nothing stopping a UBI, but somewhere along the lines we just stopped believing in our better selves. We settled instead for selfies with Jokey at the shopping mall.

31 comments on “Aussies may be bastards, but they believe in themselves.”

  1. Incognito 1

    Typo in the title.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Ta. It’s funny how what’s going on in your head and what’s on the screen can be two different things 🙂

      • Incognito 1.1.1

        Thomas A. Anderson would agree with you 😉

      • Observer (Tokoroa) 1.1.2

        . Great writing RedLogix

        Congratulations. !

        The thing that bothers me as a New Zealander, is the smugness that reeks through the citizens.

        They even think if a kiwi scores a try – that they are the greatest in the world in EVERYTHING. Crikey, The best at this; and the best at that; and the best …and the best…and the best. It’s sick to the stomach.

        Sport has very little to do with a successful nation. It’s just a game for teenagers. But we in New Zealand play sport while all the fundamentals of a population get pushed to the back.

        Ballarat, smallish population, knows about Education; Manufacturing; Housing and things that matter.

        Excuse me. I must go and score another try. I will do it for my country. Bugger the housing; bugger the crime; bugger the jobless; bugger the lot I’m a Kiwi. Bugger the schools without qualified Teachers.

  2. BM 2

    Australian government debt is A$405.988 billion.

    Hard to fathom especially when you take into account all the tax made from mining.

    The lucky countries bubble could burst.

    • RedLogix 2.1

      Given NZ’s govt debt is around $90b, with a population that’s about six times bigger you have to think the Australian debt is not so bad on a per capita basis.

      And yes the loss of income from mining has hurt, the WA govt especially. But then again it was the Liberals who chose policy that helped the miners minimise their tax.

      Yet the difference is this. While Turnbull enjoyed a remarkable honeymoon, mainly because he wasn’t Abbott, it’s gone off the boil with extraordinary speed. And issues like aggressive tax minimisation on the part of big global corporates is getting centre-stage attention in the political debate here. Aussies really don’t like being played for mugs.

      And that’s what my post is about.

    • Observer (Tokoroa) 2.2

      Hi BM

      Why don’t you get New Zealand fixed? You cynical, smug, self over-rated, useless Kiwi.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    What you’ve described there is exactly what Mariana Mazzucato describes in The Entrepreneurial State. That book is a must read.

    The government getting stuck in and making things happen through supporting businesses, funding R&D and building the infrastructure. Hell, Silicon Valley didn’t really exist until the US Federal government built a microchip fabrication plant there. That combined with good government support for the tech industry and it’s what we see today – a highly successful place of tech innovation (It’s just a pity that all those firms are now dodging taxes that made their success possible).

    The lesson that we should learn from this is that it’s not government becoming small and getting out of the way that gets innovation and entrepreneurship blooming as the RWNJs would have us believe. It’s the exact opposite.

    What the RWNJs ideology brings about is lack of innovation, lack of entrepreneurship and ever increasing poverty while a few people get very, very rich for being really big bludgers.

    • Ad 3.1

      I’m going to find and read that book.

    • AmaKiwi 3.2

      Productive versus non-productive investment is critical.

      $1 million spent on manufacturing is productive and good for people.

      $1 million spent on buying existing houses or farms is NON-productive. It just makes us tenants.

      The Left should slam the current government because we have sold the country and gotten nothing productive in return. A lot of what this government might claim is productive investment has been a huge waste: high speed broadband, roads instead of rail, environment destroying water schemes, charter schools.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        That’s just it. The private sector promised us that if we just left them to it they’d get all productive and make us all rich. This failed to happen because the private sector very rarely takes risks or does anything particularly productive. They’re much more into a short term sure thing. So we see over ‘investment’ into existing housing, playing the share-market and speculation on exchange rates.

        High speed broadband is, IMO, major game changer. People get to work from home (reducing the demand for roads) with anybody in the world. The product is weightless and so exports/imports and marketing are easy and cheap maximising returns.

        Then there’s the shift from going to the shops to going online to to all you shopping and getting it delivered.

        Pretty much agree with everything else you listed because everything else fits into the short term sure thing profiteering that the private sector and National do so well. Essentially, it’s all government guaranteed free-money for National’s cronies.

    • RedLogix 3.3

      @DtB

      Thanks for the book link. Absolutely I need a read of it.

      And it lines up with the mixed model economy idea I’ve been completely consistent about all the time I’ve commented here.

      Public sector = high risk, wide scale and long term

      Private sector = low risk, narrow scale and short term

      They both compliment each other, it is necessary they both function in good health for a society to thrive.

      And I’ve said it before, one really quick way of determining if something should be a private or public sector activity is to ask yourself one question, “If this enterprise failed would we as a society have to bail it out?”

  4. Incognito 4

    Good post; you almost had me sold on Ballarat and I mean that in all sincerity (and as a compliment).

    I agree that there seems to a self-defeatish streak running through NZ. Rather than selling ourselves with pride, and we should be our own biggest ‘customers’, we selling ourselves out or short, almost every time.

  5. Mark Stevens 5

    Because voting in Australia is compulsory, I would say that Australians in general are more politically aware than Kiwis or Americans. They can’t just shrug and say, “Nah, couldn’t be bothered.” They may vote informal but they have to turn up.

  6. Tautuhi 6

    In NZ we are so weak gutted we sit back and suck it up, we believe what the Roger Douglas’s and John Keys tell us and we believe what the media tells us.

  7. Ad 7

    Really encouraging post thankyou.

    Also makes me question my early retirement plan.

  8. david 8

    I live in Ballarat. There is inaccuracies in the above article.

    1. National Broadband network rollout is a JOKE. New areas and some old housing area have NBN but many areas don’t and nothing on the horizon. My suburb is 10-15 years old and I don’t have it. The cost of NBN by the Australian government is outrageous compared to New Zealand. Issues with competence.

    2. Public schools are not good. I am a believer in public schools through my experiences in NZ. The standards in public schools in Ballarat are awful, my teacher wife complains daily. I have sent my kid, mid-term , to the private school which is one of the best in Australia. The attitude of the teachers are not good, quality poor and lack professionalism. Start and finish on the bell, like the students. NZ has much better quality of teachers.

    3. Manufacturing jobs? McCain are reducing, Rivers’ distribution centre closed. Rates per house is higher than Auckland. Rates of $2400 per year on $500000 home.

    4. Public health system in NZ is better value for money.

    Saying that the quality and price of housing in Ballarat is good. Alot of commuters to Melbourne.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      The cost of NBN by the Australian government is outrageous compared to New Zealand.

      How are you carrying out the comparison?

      Start and finish on the bell, like the students.

      Exactly as it should be. When you pay someone for a forty hour week you shouldn’t then expect them to do 60.

      Rates per house is higher than Auckland. Rates of $2400 per year on $500000 home.

      My nephew has a ~$500k home and pays around $4000 rates.

      Alot of commuters to Melbourne.

      I assume that would be what the high speed rail is for.

      • david 8.1.1

        Oh I forgot.

        The V-line is limited now, it is not really high speed rail, 110 km takes 1 hour 10 minutes at the fastest or 1 hour 30 min. Technical and safety issues, messed up wheels and rail-crossing. My mate takes the bus to Melbourne, which takes longer but is free to make up for the stuff up.
        Not sure how long it is out for, out for months so far.

        I would prefer the teacher, to do the work and finish at 4 or 430 like NZ and not 845am- 330 pm and do jack all. If they work 40 hours per week, that would be great but they don’t. They work hard at the private school, we actually get some feedback on our kids. It was supposed to be one the better public schools here, ironically. Shame, I am in big believer in everybody getting an equal opportunity for advancement.
        Public service should be that, service. It should be a calling, not a make work scheme. Kids are the future.

        For the council, I would like an inorganic rubbish collection too for my considerable rates.

        Saying that, my salary is good but with the budget overspend over the years, it getting stretched in the public service over the next few years. My wife’s friends, locals, can’t get jobs after having kids, looking for years now. Training scheme after training scheme.

        Taxes are higher than NZ now. An Australian friend of mine, successful game developer, was considering moving to Wellington, NZ. For tax and progressive political reasons. Grass is greener, ironic.

        • RedLogix 8.1.1.1

          The V-line is limited now, it is not really high speed rail, 110 km takes 1 hour 10 minutes at the fastest or 1 hour 30 min. Technical and safety issues, messed up wheels and rail-crossing.

          As I said, Aussies love to moan about it. But on a clear run it is capable of doing 205km/hr which while it isn’t in the same league as the high speed European or Asian systems … is still way faster than anything NZ has.

          Compare this with the Wairarapa service I used for many years. Same distance and well over 2hrs most days. We used to call it the Hogswart Express … magic if it DID arrive on time.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.2

          The V-line is limited now, it is not really high speed rail, 110 km takes 1 hour 10 minutes at the fastest or 1 hour 30 min. Technical and safety issues, messed up wheels and rail-crossing.

          That sounds like the illness that seems to be endemic to capitalism – cost cutting. They cut costs to boost profits and then it costs more to fix up but the fixing also comes with profits.

          For the council, I would like an inorganic rubbish collection too for my considerable rates.

          Have you checked out the actual spending that the local council has and determined if you’re actually paying enough rates?
          I ask because cities have this tendency to keep rates down so as to stop complaints about high rates while the interest bearing debt that they owe goes up. When such is happening then the cities ratepayers aren’t actually paying enough rates. Try running a business where the customers only pay part of the cost of the products/services provided. And, no, I don’t usually compare business with government as the two are significantly different but when it comes to covering costs they’re pretty much the same. They cover the costs in their charges for the services or they go under.

          My wife’s friends, locals, can’t get jobs after having kids, looking for years now. Training scheme after training scheme.

          Yep, been there, done that (except having the kids bit – I was in Uni and out of the workforce). It’s a major failing of WINZ in that the training courses don’t actually teach you anything. Nothing but profit spinners for the private sector I suspect.

          Taxes are higher than NZ now.

          They always have been.

        • greywarshark 8.1.1.3

          David
          I think it likely that you jump to conclusions when judging others. Teachers may not be teaching all of their working hours, but there is such a demand for keeping records and constant testing, that there is a lot of paperwork apart from reading through the submitted work from students. It is possible that much is done at home after dinner that you would have not a clue about.

          • greywarshark 8.1.1.3.1

            David
            My edit time has vanished. Yourwife knows about teaching here and in Oz.
            But the conditions here are quite tough. I think that Oz would have been protected by the universal union strength and wider commitment to them over the years, including teachers I should think. The stopping on the bell stuff sounds very much union based.

            But then have they introduced the various programs that require internal assessment and constant reporting? Here it adds shitloads of work for the teacher. And I believe is so demanding on them that it is impossible for student and teacher to work under, there is flexible reporting going on with children’s achievement levels being boosted by a notch or notches.

      • david 8.1.2

        NBN australia, so far 58 billion dollars and counting.

        NZ scheme, correct me if i am wrong, around 1.5 billion dollars. Correcting for population size, still way cheaper.

    • RedLogix 8.2

      Hi .. thanks for rounding out some of my points.

      1. You’re right, in the interests of brevity I took a bit of a short-cut on the NBN thing. The suburb we’re in was lucky enough to get the original FTTP as contracted under Labour. I’d already commented at more length yesterday on this:

      Labour’s Ten Big Ideas

      Nationally Turnbull’s hybrid is exactly as you say, a JOKE.

      2. Because we don’t have children here I’ve no direct experience with the schools.

      3. I don’t much admire their health system either. A ‘hospital’ seems to operate more as a building housing a collection of small businesses and every encounter we’ve had with it ain’t cheap. Waiting times in A&E aren’t pretty either.

      But this is the case most places in Australia where a creeping privatisation has compromised both the education and health sector. Absolutely this is a comparison, along with our ACC system, where NZ should look across the Tasman and firmly conclude we’ve got it right.

      Yet I stand by the underlying story of my OP. Regional cities like Ballarat have taken hit’s economically over the past decades. There are plenty of enterprises shut down or greatly diminished. But equally … and this is the point … where the state has been persuaded to invest in innovation, and infrastructure both physical and social there is a rebound.

      Look at the steady growth of those new subdivisions around Lucas and Alfredton David. This isn’t a town that’s dying.

  9. Joe-90 9

    I’m not contesting anything you say about the state of Ballart, which I have no direct personal knowledge of. What I would observe is that Australia is a larger country, with a larger population, which makes critical mass for many kinds of economic activity viable, and Ballart is very close to one of its major cities, with a population not a whole lot less than all of NZ. In economic geography literature all of these features alone would account for the comparative vibrancy of its economic performance – by rights it should be like a Hamilton or a Tauranga taking an overdose of steroids, versus say a Palmerston North. While there may be commendable political decisions (e.g. the high speed rail link), these build on the overarching comparative advantages rather than forming their basis – if Ballart was 2000km further inland I think you wouldn’t be able to write the same positive things about its performance. For these kinds of reasons, notwithstanding the lack of vision of the Key government, we should still be clear about what kinds of things the next Labour led government can build on, and which will be ineffective, because our regional towns are themselves 2000km further east of Melbourne, and despite the hype, high speed broad band is only a modest part of our future (keep in mind how much economic activity will not be done digitally). I’m just trying to provide some perspective, before we bash ourselves up about things we can’t change, or jump to policy conclusions about allocating finite resources. E.g. it could well be that another billion on WFF improves the general welfare more than the same funds on say, some of Ballart’s policies applied to regional NZ. Not saying that’s the case, just trying to at some objectivity to the discussion which puts Ballart in the best possible light.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      All the points you make are good ones, but remain tangential to what I’m saying.

      In pure economic terms New Zealand is indeed best thought of as another state of Australia at either 2nd or 3rd rank in size. It’s quite reasonable to compare NZ with Victoria in some respects.

      before we bash ourselves up about things we can’t change, or jump to policy conclusions about allocating finite resources.

      But what we CAN change is our belief as a nation, that instead of letting all the important decisions, all the ‘allocation of finite resources’, be made by the so called free market, that government can and should play an active role in making those decisions for the benefit of the whole of society … not just the money end of town.

      And I was using Ballarat as an example of where it’s working. Not perfect, but working.

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  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    5 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    5 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    1 week ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    1 week ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Holy bin chickens: ancient Egyptians tamed wild ibis for sacrifice
    Sally Wasef, Griffith University and David Lambert, Griffith University These days, not many Aussies consider the ibis a particularly admirable creature. But these birds, now colloquially referred to as “bin chickens” due to their notorious scavenging antics, have a grandiose and important place in history – ancient Egyptian history, to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    2 weeks ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Tackling child poverty
    It's been a great week of progress: we've celebrated Children's Day, we've made communities safer with 1800 new police, and we've seen almost 90% of eligible schools take up Government funding to scrap school donations - taking pressure off the families of more than 416,000 students. ...
    16 hours ago
  • New measures for wood processing boost
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry The Government will further strengthen New Zealand’s wood processing sector as part of our focus on ‘value over volume’ in our forestry industry, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones will today meet with forestry representatives in Northland to signal new measures to help the ...
    19 hours ago
  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    2 days ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    4 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    4 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    4 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
    Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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