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Avoid big plans and win

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, April 4th, 2017 - 27 comments
Categories: election 2017, greens, labour, nz first, Politics - Tags: , ,

Recently, Whaleoil posted General Marshall’s 1947 speech to Harvard University that outlined the full post-World War 2 reconstruction of Europe.

The plan became known as the Marshall Plan, often referred to nowadays as a highpoint of command-and-control politics in which the results were largely successful.

Are we missing something in New Zealand, even before the 2017 general election really gets going? In some sections of the voting public there is still a desire for a grand plan and an ambitious state with a strong narrative about where a nation should be going.

What if, for example, politicians of resolute idealism like Sanders or Melenchon or Corbyn could rise with a similar facility for bringing it all together in a plan, grasp the political mood like the reins of a horse, and harness that capacity for good? If they could do that, could they not then reorganize whole states as Marshall, Attlee, and Fraser did seven decades ago?

It is now a common mode on both the left and the right to turn to nostalgia for commanding leaders who form great plans with precise emotional grasp to respond to complex crises and thus achieve otherwise inconceivable policy goals. “Make America Great Again” is political poetry that would have worked well for Republican and Democrat alike:

But there is no crisis so compelling to our public that such a plan or such a leader is warranted. The facts and the framing keep shifting. Depending on where you read about it, you will discover that the Gini coefficient has been steadily rising across the developed world, because of – what? Robots? Trade with China? Ruthanasian deregulation? Sheer financial depravity? Mass and uncontrolled immigration? It might be all of the above, but one cannot know for sure: the question remains open. Same for housing: too many causes and conditions, not enough answers, and the question remains open.

But then Donald Trump says that explanation is much more simple: It’s NAFTA, and China. “We’re living through the biggest job theft in the history of the world, folks,” he says. We can fix it easily. In terms of conviction and coherence, it’s getting close to General Marshall himself.

The axial point to convince New Zealand that we should change governments is not to offer a grand plan, but to frame the right question. Trump tapped into real human need better than the other candidate did. His base was not an army of gullible slouches and racists on sofas with guns, smartphones and a brief vocabulary. He rose from a large, disenfranchised chunk of society that was promised meaning through social mobility, got little of it, and after a generation of stagnating wages still has no clear answer to the question: why, after so many years of work, am I still suffering?

Our political leaders, particularly the lefty ones, don’t need a grand plan for New Zealand. If there is anything the last six political terms has taught us, our governments are capable of managing through multiple crises without pre-announcing anything too coherent. Indeed within living memory it’s the grand plans that have done the most damage.

You also don’t get a really bold plan in a democracy without a really strong leader. By strong, I mean Lee Kuan Yew strong. I mean Erdogan strong. Chavez strong. The full expression of civil rights tends to be curtailed fast, and even with that considerable sacrifice the results are unstable. Lee Kuan Yew may well have tamed the real estate market, and who there misses chewing gum really? But Erdogan is well on the way to shifting away from any kind of functioning democracy and into another civil war. Chavez presided over the largest oil boom in history, and yet left behind a hungry, ailing, economically ruined society. Their magic as leaders is that many still idolize them as saviours.

We don’t need to take that risk here.

There’s no crisis such our population demands a new Marshall Plan or anything like it. Granted, there’s an opposite occurring in a kind of drifting, soporific, incoherent mumbling way.There are also meaty problems for government to solve. But there is no crisis worth reaching for massive plans, super-strong states, super-strong politicians, or other dynamics that require destabilizing our core.

We have instead only precisely what we need, guided by MMP: a chunk of policy wonk (Labour), a little idealism (Greens), and a sprinkling of steady-as-she-goes conservatism (New Zealand First). We have seen the risks of “Make (X Nation) Great Again”, for left and right.

What is needed in 2017 is the right question to ask.

27 comments on “Avoid big plans and win”

  1. ianmac 1

    Just what determines the votes cast for them or the others?
    I don’t think it is the policy differences.
    It has been the images of contenders.
    It has been “mistakes” blown out of proportion
    It has been family history of support.

    But what will it be this time?
    Find the single overwhelming uniting question to which the people can respond with, “YES!”

  2. weka 2

    ‘Make NZ Great Again’, lolz at all the kiwis cringing (and rightly so).

    Sure, we don’t need a Grand Plan because there is no crisis in the public’s mind big enough to warrant one this year (and I largely agree with the general premise about this years election). But there is of course a huge crisis, but it’s long and slow enough at this point that we can still pretend it’s not happening. When we do get to the point of the public mind being focussed on it we will need a plan. Not sure about a Grand one, I guess that would depend on the state of democracy in NZ. The idea of National with a Grand Plan doesn’t bear thinking about.

    I’m curious what prompted the post. Has someone said that the left should have a grand plan?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Plans are nothing; planning is everything.

      We actually do need plans – and we need to keep them continually updated. It’s delusional to think that we can achieve anything as a society without planning to do so.

      If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!

      Ask a bank for a business loan without a business plan and see how well you go. I can assure you, you won’t be getting a loan.

      So, why do people think that a society can get by without overall planning and when so many individual plans are in conflict with one another?

      The idea of National with a Grand Plan doesn’t bear thinking about.

      National has a Grand Plan, or perhaps you can call it a Grand Objective, which is to shift all of the communities wealth into the hands of themselves and their backers.

      • weka 2.1.1

        I didn’t say we shouldn’t have plans or planning (that would be ridiculous), so not sure why you have directed that at me. I responded to Ad’s idea of the Grand Plan (which is a different thing)

        Grand Plan and Grand Objective are not the same thing either, at least not in the context of this post. I took Grand Plan to be an actual strategy based around a perceived large crisis. But I agree with you about National’s objective.

  3. saveNZ 3

    One of the biggest unsaid issues in NZ is that our governments instead of making NZ no 1 place to be for Kiwis to keep our best and brightest here, have gone around to think that keep smart people here is too hard, charged them for their degrees without putting any money into investments that would keep them in this country and put in rules to keep labour cost low, contracts temporary and so forth to drive smart people out further.

    That has forced a lot of smart Kiwis to leave the country – at least most of Gen x had that opportunity to leave. The boomers didn’t have to leave because they had plentiful jobs. Now it’s much harder for Gen y to leave, because with all the neoliberalism and free trade agreements and wars leading to displacement of people, climate change many western countries have tightened up that type of migration. For NZ not being able to access work opportunities in Australia and EU has left them with less options than 20 years ago. Not just with housing but with work.

    To make up for our ‘brain drain’ the neoliberal option was to import skills shortages into our country. Often those migrants left though because they faced the same problems as the Kiwis, low wages, poor working conditions and poor job prospects in NZ once they came here.

    To overcome the GFC and to try to retain the migrants who kept leaving, the Natz fell on the idea of just importing anybody into NZ, petrol attendants, burger King workers, non english speakers, property investors, what have you anything to pretend all was well – tax havens attracted anybody wanting to launder money without anybody knowing who was doing it, and you didn’t even have to live here.

    The newest migrants came and gave short term relief for businesses in certain sectors, the banks, and employees who wanted minimum wages workers who didn’t ask too many questions. It also became clear that you could use this as a business opportunity to import more people in. The NZ passport business was born and still going strong. Sadly that has left even less jobs, less secure jobs, a massive social services problem for the future and not enough houses in the hot spots and now it’s spreading to most of the country.

    So the other day one of the poster’s was saying

    “The three other List parties are right that foreign demand and over-reliance on immigration for economic growth needs to be addressed. The left-wing parties are right that more measures taxing wealth need to be implemented to balance out the economy and cool down the housing market. ”

    I think the average Kiwis especially in Auckland are tired of that talk. We have been taxed to death already with degrees (and I had to pay 11% compounding interest on my student loans), user pays charges popping up everywhere, now to ‘pretend’ all this didn’t happen and start user pays to pay and house the last decades migration scam – sorry I think that when politicians and analysts open their mouth to voters Gen X and older, those types of dry words ring hollow with gaps in the logic and the truth unsaid.

    There is also a fairness aspect to it. How many times do politicians want to screw over their own people?

    Like the democrats in the US and Labour in the UK, who thought all this people and job movement with neoliberalism was a lovely idea and had zero impact on jobs and housing and anyone who disagreed was an uneducated racist and all that had to happen was distribute the wealth distribution a tweak and ‘overall’ we are all so much better off.

    Even today, apparently we can’t charge tourists anymore because locals need to pay instead.

    Lets face it, as well as the cows being sold off with our farms, Kiwi’s themselves are considered cash cows by governments to be milked.

  4. gsays 4

    For me the youth are the context in which many issues can be discussed.

    Inequality/poverty.
    Falling education standards.
    Housing.
    The violence visited on them by others.
    Environment.
    Water quality.
    Wages/labour conditions.
    Future of work.

    The question: what will this vote deliver to children/grandchildren?

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    …or other dynamics that require destabilizing our core.

    Or perhaps our core was destabilised 30+ years ago and that wobble is steadily increasing.

    What is needed in 2017 is the right question to ask.

    What is the purpose of the economy?

    HINT: It’s not too make a few people rich.

    • ropata 5.1

      The purpose of the NZ economy is to grow infinitely and always be in surplus so that Bill English can congratulate himself. It is all about converting human effort and natural resources into numbers in a spreadsheet as fast as possible. And minimising inconvenient costs like health, education, or the environment.

    • Adrian Thornton 5.2

      @Draco T Bastard +1
      “Or perhaps our core was destabilized 30+ years ago and that wobble is steadily increasing”

      Exactly right….as it was an internal revolution that co-oped the Labour to the dark side of the cult of neo liberalism , so it is that we need an internal revolution to remove that cancerous growth from the party now.

      BTW I would have thought that having solid answers for a New Zealand that is obviously on the brink of some sort of massive financial re-aliment would far be more important that asking questions?

      But then again Labour doesn’t seem to be in the business of having answers or solutions to real world issues that effect working people any more…so just keep asking questions…more and more questions.

  6. AB 6

    Aren’t we already living inside someone else’s grand plan?
    i.e. neoliberalism – for want of another word.
    But fair enough – we need a way of dismantling their grand plan by not announcing a new grand plan of our own. Just a steady erosion with the odd sharp punch in the solar plexus and all shrugged off with a few Kiwi-style homilies and sayings like “a fair go for the average rooster” or some such thing. A left-wing John Key would be a truly interesting phenomenon.

    • weka 6.1

      “Aren’t we already living inside someone else’s grand plan?
      i.e. neoliberalism – for want of another word.”

      Good point.

      Interesting too about how to dismantle that, and whether a Grand Plan is inherently problematic. “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house”

  7. saveNZ 7

    Big questions for Labour/Greens 2017

    Can you justify increasing development for the so called economy at the expense of the environment ,increased debt, and the democratic process and expecting local’s to pay for it because user pays doesn’t apply for business or you are ideologically opposed to put in immigration controls because the markets and free trade should decide?

    If you say that’s ok, it’s pretty much agreeing with National.

    Or is there a new strategy – of putting trust in locals to build their own houses and infrastructure, pay for a decent education and training, give decent jobs that pay decent wages and value each individual citizen, working or not, retain your own best and brightest people, give grants to locals not foreign owned businesses, tax those who turn over millions but somehow pay zero taxes…tax those who own assets but don’t live here, have real foreign policy, share ideas and have a genuine relationship not based on fear, money and trade with other countries, have a much higher minimum standards of living… Do not give NZ residency and citizenship away as though it is worthless, value foreign visitors but not allow exploitation as their reason for coming, allow migrant families to visit but on long term tourist visas to keep the NZ population static so that social welfare can still be maintained, etc etc

    • weka 7.1

      Green Party Charter,

      The charter is the founding document of The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand.

      The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand accepts Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand; recognises Maori as Tangata Whenua in Aotearoa New Zealand; and commits to the following four Principles:

      Ecological Wisdom:

      The basis of ecological wisdom is that human beings are part of the natural world. This world is finite, therefore unlimited material growth is impossible. Ecological sustainability is paramount.

      Social Responsibility:

      Unlimited material growth is impossible. Therefore the key to social responsibility is the just distribution of social and natural resources, both locally and globally.

      Appropriate Decision-making:

      For the implementation of ecological wisdom and social responsibility, decisions will be made directly at the appropriate level by those affected.

      Non-Violence:

      Non-violent conflict resolution is the process by which ecological wisdom, social responsibility and appropriate decision making will be implemented. This principle applies at all levels.

      https://www.greens.org.nz/charter

      When enough NZers vote Green, that’s what we will get. In the meantime the Greens will work with the power and tools that they have. In other words, it’s not the Greens that need convincing of these things.

      • saveNZ 7.1.1

        @ Weka – well I’m a bit concerned that all the talk of more houses, more development in Auckland (spreading elsewhere aka Wellington) is outside of the Green charter. The unitary plan has been a disaster and an opportunity wasted to gift Auckland with sustainability and affordability criteria and increase community ties.

        Chloe’s Swarbrick, Mayoral policy on rates, was to charge the same amount of rates on land with buildings as with land. A dream for Act and National.

        So that means someone living in a caravan pays the same amount as the person that has a McMansion. The Spencer family with a 10 million dollar home pay the same as a neighbour with a 3 bedroom bungalow. It’s the opposite of sustainable and fair policy.

        I actually don’t even think Chloe understood the policy, but that’s what is the danger when you are 22 and making policy. Considering the Natz favourite game seems to be (like the Republicans in the US) to put in some innocuous sounding words hidden in a policy that are anything but and pretending it will do something else. My concern is that there is too much group think and policy wonks in power – rather than examining the entire premise they are just fighting over little bits and not looking at true alternatives.

        I guess Maori are just wasting their land by not building golf courses and motels as well as anyone else that doesn’t need much. (or can’t afford much).

        Anyway, just putting that out there, so Greens can make their public speaking closer to their policy, because my perception is, they are very supportive of current development paid for by public and private developers, which ‘apparently’ according to the right wing taken up by left wing commentators has some trickle down effect and “eventually” “maybe” someone renting can afford it, but the markets will decide what’s best.

        Too close to National thinking for my liking.

        • weka 7.1.1.1

          Chloe Swarbrick doesn’t make GP policy, and afaik she didn’t run for Mayor on a GP ticket, so I’ll just leave that out of the argument.

          As for the Greens themselves, I’ve explained the issue. If people want those kind of principles enacted in NZ they need to vote Green. The Greens literally can’t do what you are suggesting until they have a much bigger chunk of the vote/support from NZers. All they can do is ride the line between principles and pragmatics. In the meantime, they will work within the constraints that they have.

          In other words, we made the Green Party what they are.

          • saveNZ 7.1.1.1.1

            It should be the Green’s moment in history to shine. At a time where environment is so mainstream and current climate events are impossible to ignore, (floods, famines and drought) i’m not the only one surprised about the lack of environmental focus on their campaigns.

            The “great Green” campaign is not terrible but could easily be any party – labour or National. It is very advertising like – could be advertising breakfast cereal. Not too late to improve it I guess.

            The Greens best campaign effort was the one that focused on the children in the environment.

            Greens voters are worried about food quality and water issues. They want to preserve things, historical buildings, culture, environment, improve poverty, save the forests, birds and nature.

            I just don’t get that sense so far from what I get from the Greens, and that is a shame because they should be cleaning up this election.

            • weka 7.1.1.1.1.1

              The Greens spend a lot of time on environmental issues. Their campaign launch today said they for this election they are focussing on getting people to know who they are as people and a party. They say that their voters already know what the GP do environmentally, which matches how I see it too. Because they’ve spent so much time on that.

              Current environmental policy,

              https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/cleaner-environment

              https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/smarter-economy (yes, that’s got environmental policy in it too, because you can’t run an economy without the environment).

              Greens voters are worried about food quality and water issues. They want to preserve things, historical buildings, culture, environment, improve poverty, save the forests, birds and nature.

              Given that’s all the things the GP work on, I’m not sure what your point is.

              “I just don’t get that sense so far from what I get from the Greens, and that is a shame because they should be cleaning up this election.”

              Have you voted for them? Will you vote for them this time?

              • saveNZ

                My point is, clearly only 11% voted for them last time and the Green issues are now mainstream and if they bothered to highlight the environmental side rather than assuming ‘everyone knows that’ they could do a lot better and actually have more control over the environment.

                Yep, voted for the Greens in the past. Did not vote for them last election but thinking of voting for them this election or Labour.

                But now I feel Greens look too much like Labour. They should be a different voice for the same agenda, of change the government, not cannibalise each other’s votes by focusing on the same social issues.

  8. Spikeyboy 8

    Any chance of some citations with regard to Chavez that dont come from Western establishment media. Chavez may not have left the upper middleclasses better off but there is no doubt that there are far less below the poverty line now. Ill provide citations if you do.

  9. Poission 9

    Avoid big plans and win

    Ah Think Little

    The satirists await.

  10. adam 10

    Thanks for the conservative analysis the Ad, far better reading you than other conservatives.

  11. Spikeyboy 11

    Anyone interested in real analysis on Chavez and Venezuela could start with the Center for Economic and Policy Research
    http://cepr.net/publications/op-eds-columns/chavezs-legacy
    Better than just regurgitating the fox news line

  12. Tamati Tautuhi 12

    National & Labour Governments have been funding themselves by State Asset Sales and Offshore Borrowings, looks like Winston NZF is the only alternative this coming Election.

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    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago

  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago