Back to basics

Written By: - Date published: 5:07 pm, June 11th, 2009 - 50 comments
Categories: john key, national, richard worth - Tags:

Radio NZ is playing John Key saying that, following the letter from the woman in the sexual harassment saga, he has “washed his hands” of Richard Worth. It seems likely he will move to have Worth expelled from caucus.

Good to see he chose a sensible path rather than the ‘attack the woman’ strategy the Nats’ misogynist foot soldiers (including John Armstrong, watch out for his next column) have run.

So, that’s done and dusted. Key accepts that Worth was sexually harassing this woman. It would be good if he calls off the dogs too.

Now Key just needs to tell us what stories about Worth led Key not to appoint him Speaker and answer the final question, which was the first question:

Why did he fire Richard Worth?

Update: Listening to the full piece on Checkpoint, sounds like Key won’t be moving to expel Worth from caucus at this stage but is clearly putting the pressure on Worth to resign from Parliament off his own bat.

50 comments on “Back to basics ”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    I don’t know if I would go quite that far.

    I understand that Worth had told key and sent several texts to the woman. Clearly 30-odd texts makes that statement a lie. Lying to the PM wouldn’t win him any favours. Also, the texts that were published in the Media, while not being particularly lewd in themselves, do show Worth to be a stupid plonka for even thinking he could form a romantic relationship with someone so far out of his league.

    I think both these reasons would be enough for Key to wash his hands of Worth regardless of what he thinks of the remaining allegations.

    I guess only Key could tell us. However, apparently he has been sworn to secrecy.

    Anyway, I have had enough of this whole thing. I think it is time to draw a discrete veil over what has been quite a sordid little tale.

    • Merlin 1.1

      Give it up loser.

    • gobsmacked 1.2

      I think it is time to draw a discrete veil over what has been quite a sordid little tale.

      But here’s your problem. Key wants Worth out of caucus, and out of Parliament.

      Why?

      And why should Worth go? After all, you’ve worked so very hard to “prove” his innocence. If he’s done nothing wrong, why should he be forced out?

  2. Wendy 2

    Will all you who have attacked this woman relentlessly with no evidence, just fantasies in your head and deeply ingrained misogyny, now have the decency and honour to apologise?

    • r0b 2.1

      Don’t hold your breath Wendy. I have been sickened at what some right wing nutjob commenters have stooped to. Decency and Honour are not in their vocabularies.

      Key, to his credit, has enough of these qualities, or at least enough basic common sense, not to go down that path, and has thus cut the ground out from under these creeps.

      Maybe we can get back to arguing politics now…

      • Daveski 2.1.1

        r0b will realise it pains me to say this but well said. Couldn’t agree more and refreshing to have more than a cartoonish view of Key represented.

        Worth is a leper who deserves to be and should be shunned. It will also cast a shadow over MMP (list MP’s) if he stays but he seems completely self centred.

        There’s more important issues at stake.

        And seeing I’m being so damn nice, there isn’t a place to say this but I think LP was right to persist with the in comment threads rather than the traditional linear comments. It’s much better once you get used to it.

        • r0b 2.1.1.1

          r0b will realise it pains me to say this

          Indeed, so all the more bravo for saying it.

          There’s more important issues at stake.

          Ain’t that the truth. (Which is not to say that I think those that slugged it out with the few individuals who made a huge issue of the woman in the Worth business were wrong to do so, it’s just that I sure didn’t have the patience to do it!).

          LP was right to persist with the in comment threads

          Hmmm, maybe I even agree with you there too. If the “Recent Comments” list on the right listed only comments on this post, so there was still a chronological list as well as the thread structure, that would be perfect…

  3. the sprout 3

    and why did he hire Richard Worth if he knew a lot of this in the first place?

  4. logie97 4

    Now that John has all but dismissed Harry Worth
    the interesting question must already be what sort
    of fight National will make in the future for the Blue Ribbon
    seat of Remuera. Were they always happy to see him
    beaten by Wodney, allow him to fail as a list MP and then
    put up someone credible in the seat again? Watch out
    Wodney…

  5. Merlin 5

    I think we might find that tsmithfield and Tim Ellis are awfully silent for a few days.

    They won’t apologise for their unfounded attacks on this woman. In their world, women are always to blame.

  6. Tom Semmens 6

    New Zealand is rated the least corrupt country in the world, and the immediate sacking of Richard Worth at the merest whiff of corruptly attempting to use his office to offer jobs to procure sexual favours shows why.

    John Key is guilty of appalling political management over this, which calls into judgement his ability to keep a firm hand on his government. He is not guilty of anything else.

    Phil Goff has acted with total honesty and revealed he doesn’t watch trash T.V. like “Girls of the Playboy Mansion”.

    The media has generally shown restraint in the whole naming thing.

    All in all, the only thing that gave this legs were several needless own goals from John Key.

    The people who came out of this looking really, really, really bad are the right wing online commentariat and their handlers like David Farrar and Cameron Slater, who have been revealed as members of a women hating patriarchy and social dinosaurs.

    The whole issue has starkly exposed the sneering misogyny of these people and most dispassionate observers have drawn their own conclusions from this.

  7. Rex Widerstrom 7

    Is it too much to hope for that the rest of us will now follow suit and stop obsessing over this grubby little man and his ridiculous sleaze?

    FGS if I want to read about a sorry middle-aged mans pathetic, failed attempts at sexual conquest I’ll open my diary…

  8. Cactus Kate 8

    “Why did he fire Richard Worth?”

    For the millionth time – Worth was on his last chance with Key over the private nature of his India trip early in the year when that blew up and related shrinkage from discovery he was a Director of all sorts of private companies with conflicts of interests. The Labour Honey Trap wasn’t the consideration for his removal.

    News that the NZ Police would be investigating him for allegedly even being in the same hotel as the Korean lady would have been the straw that broke the camels back. He got sacked.

    Again – name one National Party aligned blogger who has suggested that Worth shouldn’t have been sacked? None. Very few even think he should stay on as an MP. I can’t think of any who have supported even that.

    I thought that Labour’s hierarchy ordered The Standard to shut this issue down?

    • lprent 8.1

      I thought that Labour’s hierarchy ordered The Standard to shut this issue down?

      Please don’t masturbate in public. You should confine your fantasies to the bedroom.

      • burt 8.1.1

        lprent

        I don’t think Cactus has kids and she possibly lives alone, I’m not picking she will take much notice of the suggestion that she should only use bedrooms.

    • andy 8.2

      With the concerted “The Stranded” effort this weekend to heap blame on John Key and rabidly defend Phil Goff over his handling of Witness A where in the intervening period before 6th May, Witness B claims she was sexually assaulted, don’t Labour just look even more politically motivated.

      Your quote from your blog…

      Seems the letter was enough for the PM, and was happy with the contents. Key is also happy to keep the contents of said letter quiet. Seems like Goff was in the clear and Key has backed down.

      Impertinent question:

      1. Will Cactus admit that John Key has handled this like an amateur?

      2. Why does key “need’ to keep the contents of the letter private.?

      3. When will the professional victims of the right admit that Witness A has nothing to do with Worths sacking/washing of the hands, and all to do with John Keys poor handling?

      4. Will Armstrong work in the Nats press office before the end of the year?

      …..

    • Hi Cactus

      I agree with the first part of your post.

      Worth was history no matter what Goff and Choudrey said.

      I am really disturbed at the treatment she has received. It is one thing for politicians to be smeared and checked into, they are on the payroll, it is no more than what they can expect. But party activists should not be subject to this. Does everyone have to be put through the siev?

      Is politics to become an incessant battle of which member of which party can be slimed by the appropriate google search?

      If Worth was toast why not acknowledge this and move onto the next issue rather than try and slime Choudrey. Instead of that there has been this full on assault on her without an eventual goal? All sorts of suggestions have been cast about the accuracy of what she has said but there has been no proof whatsoever that what she said was not truthful. And you seem to acknowledge that what she has said was accurate, that is that Worth is a womanising piece of *&^%.

      • mike 8.3.1

        “If Worth was toast why not acknowledge this and move onto the next issue rather than try and slime Choudrey”

        This would have been the case had Goff not tried to milk it for political gain.
        He took the attack to Key – Choudrey would still be anon but for his grandstanding

    • burt 8.4

      Cactus

      If lprents eluding to your fantasies has offended you then I suggest you report it to your favourite political party leader.

      Oh, also tell lprent it’s left you feeling uncomfortable and lprent might give himself the bash.

  9. VT aka daVince 9

    Left wondering about the straitness of TS and his tribe per above, and what specifically, might have brought this about from the ‘top’.. after such diatribes, conjectures and whatevers of feign support.

    well, I’ll admit to what very likely moved cessation and withdrawal from those who really should have known better.. NRT is onto it.. I reckon.

    ps: no harm in Wendy asking for one. nor others suggesting (from experience) that she wouldn’t have gotten one, but I also reckon the informative link does the work on her behalf..

  10. tsmithfield 10

    And why should Worth go? After all, you’ve worked so very hard to “prove’ his innocence. If he’s done nothing wrong, why should he be forced out?

    I have said a number of times that Worth is an idiot and needs to go. Heck, on one of my posts the other day, I even said I hoped the woman came up with something so lewd it would force Worth out.

    So, do you agree that the reasons I cited above would be enough in themselves to motivate Key to wash his hands of Worth? Yes or No.

    • gobsmacked 10.1

      But Smithy, you fudge the issue (whether deliberately or not, I don’t know. I’ll assume you simply misunderstand).

      Key can “wash his hands” of Worth as a Minister for any old reason. No problem there.

      What he wants to do is get rid of an MP. From the caucus, and from Parliament. That is very different. He needs grounds to do the former, and can’t do the latter at all. (unless convicted etc, but that’s months or years away).

      So Key has to have good grounds for expelling Worth from caucus. The reasons have to be made public (they will be leaked anyway, and of course Worth can say what he likes to the media). And – crucially – they have to be grounds that don’t set a preceedent. Being an ex-Minister who screwed up is not a good precedent. He’ll be emptying his caucus before long.

      Sexual harrassment might be a good reason. Offering appointments in exchange for sexual favours might be a good reason. Being a plonka, as you put it, would not.

      D’ye see?

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        And, telling lies to the PM in a written statement?

        The other point is, that even the texts that were released showed that Worth was prepared to compromise himself in a way that could be dangerous for the party. For instance, telling secrets on bed pillows to someone who National would regard as the enemy.

        I honestly don’t think he is fit to be an MP on the basis of this stuff alone. How about you?

        • gobsmacked 10.1.1.1

          “telling lies to the PM in a written statement”

          Thereby admitting that Ms Choudhary should have been believed, and that Key’s investigation failed?

          Phil Goff will be beaming.

          • tsmithfield 10.1.1.1.1

            The PM had two statements in front of him.

            One from Worth
            One from the complainant.

            The one from Worth said there were only several texts. The one from the complainant said there were lots of texts, and came with the supporting evidence of lots of actual texts. Therefore, the complainants statement was more consistent, so I think Key preferred the complainants statement over Worths because the complainants was the most credible of the two.

          • gobsmacked 10.1.1.1.2

            (sorry, this should be lower down)

            But he sacked him last week, when he didn’t have the woman’s account, let alone the texts.

            This raises an interesting point, PB.

            Most people don’t follow politics that closely, and the Worth story has moved fast and it’s a bit of a blur. Following public opinion (blogs, talkback, conversations, etc), it’s struck me how many people simply don’t distinguish between the two separate women, and two separate situations.

            Here’s one example (there are plenty more):

            http://writingtotheright.blogspot.com/2009/06/richard-worth.html

            That person has got it plain wrong. So have many others.

            Worth resigned. Key was unclear (still is) about the reason. Then a completely different story took over. And that story has become the “Worth saga”.

            Key thought he could opt for silence, on day one. Big mistake.

            Myth has filled the vacuum.

        • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.2

          I’m not sure what lie you suggest he told to the PM. (30 vs several?) And why wouldn’t Key tell us this.

          I wonder if Key asked Worth for the affidavit when this blew up last week and Worth wouldn’t sign it?

          Getting the affidavit would cover Key about his ‘investigation’ of the claims. If a request for the affidavit was refused, the investigation amounted to key being suckered by Worth.

          Refusing to give a promised affidavit denying the allegations would most definitely be a sacking offense, and would explain both the lack of any public denials from Worth, and Key’s reticence about the proximate reason for Worth’s sacking.

          Just a theory, but it’s only got the one bit of conjecture in it, and it accounts for everyone’s behaviour.

          But I doubt we’ll ever know. That’s up to Worth.

          • tsmithfield 10.1.1.2.1

            There has been so much on all this. However, I remember Key saying something at the start when he got the statement from Worth that it admitted to several texts. Don’t ask me to reference it now.

            The point I was trying to make is I don’t think Key had to address his mind to the claims that were unsupported by the texts. All he had to do was consider the two accounts and which were most consistent with the evidence. Once he decided that, it would have been a simple decision as to which one he would accept.

            The fact that the complainants account claimed lots of texts and lots of texts were produced from Worth would have been enough.

          • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.2.2

            But he sacked him last week, when he didn’t have the woman’s account, let alone the texts.

  11. mike 11

    More Goff lies exposed on 3 News tonight

    * When pressed by Garner about the “see through garment” Goofy admitted that one was not actually mentioned instead an Indian garment called a Zardosi was (which is actually an embroidery technique you muppet)

    * Again when questioned by Garner Phil comes clean and admits Ms Choudary did not actually write the tabled document herself it was a labour staffer – good grief

    I actually do feel a bit sorry for this poor lady as I’m sure she didn’t imagine the hapless Goff would let her down so badly and I hope it does end here – only as I think any more damage to labour would see Phil on his bike and thats the last thing we want…

    • gobsmacked 11.1

      “Again when questioned by Garner Phil comes clean and admits Ms Choudary did not actually write the tabled document herself it was a labour staffer – good grief”

      Which was publicly stated by Goff days ago, when the document was tabled. All on the record.

      Bad luck.

    • andy 11.2

      Why is key washing his hands of Worth after the letter? Why are you always a victim of the left?

    • GFraser 11.3

      Mike, It was Key who bolloxed this whole thing up not Goff.
      Goff does not need to “lie”.
      Right through this affair Key has been hopelessly out of his depth, I guess it’s the price the nats have to pay for electing a novice m.p. to leader.
      TV3’s coverage was nothing short of disgraceful this evening, by making a big deal of the bloke who had dealt with Ms Choudary seven years ago, Garner is certainly toeing the government line.
      Duncan if you were a true political journo, would you not be persuing Worth? After all how many appointments did Worth make as a minister? How many were female? etc. etc.
      Finally Mike, Goff stated that the letter was written down by a Labour staffer during a phone call with Ms Choudary, the letter was then passed onto Ms. Choudary for her to ok. This she did. Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story eh?

  12. Ianmac 12

    It is very interesting as a spectator here. The function that TSmithfield and others play is very useful, because they put another slant on things that make you think. I don’t very often agree with their slant but would welcome them in a brainstorming session should there ever be a need. Imagine them with the best brains from the bloggers on this site hammering out on a bipatisan issue like Super, or Supercity, or indeed on a murder trial. Powerful.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    Pascals Bookie: But he sacked him last week, when he didn’t have the woman’s account, let alone the texts.

    Obviously Key is aware of something re the Korean woman that might not be criminal but never-the-less is unbecoming a minister. For instance, if he orchestrated details surrounding a government function in order to get into the womans pants, it may well be sackable even if the woman willingly consented at the time. Perhaps Worth used government money for this purpose. I think Key has already said some time ago he doesn’t want to go into the reasons right at the moment, so we should respect that.

    I don’t think Key can afford to have someone in his government who’s judgement is swayed by every second bit of skirt that crosses his path. So, I am glad to see Worth go.

    I guess you would prefer him to stay in the government to be an ongoing source of mirth, entertainment, and distraction for the government?

  14. mike 14

    moved

  15. Pascal's bookie 15

    “I guess you would prefer him to stay in the government to be an ongoing source of mirth, entertainment, and distraction for the government?”

    Err, no. I wanted him sacked about the India trip.

    And I don’t know why the other is obvious. It’s unknown, is what it is. Which is weird. Usually we get to know why Ministers get sacked.

  16. tsmithfield 16

    Pascals Bookie “And I don’t know why the other is obvious. It’s unknown, is what it is. Which is weird. Usually we get to know why Ministers get sacked.”

    A tautology. But it obviously was something serious enough to get him sacked because he was sacked.

    I think Key did say all would be made known in time, so we will just need to be patient. Perhaps what he knows could be prejudicial to any future legal proceedings against Worth, so he is keeping it quiet for now.

    • mike 16.1

      and you can be sure he won’t resurface after the dust settles re helen c

    • Pascal's bookie 16.2

      But it’s not ‘obviously’ anything to do with the Korean woman case. I thought Key actually denied that at some point.

    • felix 16.3

      Sacked? Well first he resigned and then he was sacked. I’m sure you remember the resignation, don’t you?

      Also as I’m a bit thick, could you point out the tautology? I don’t see one.

    • TS

      “I think Key did say all would be made known in time, so we will just need to be patient”

      So how about instead of smearing Neelam’s name you hold off until we know why Worth was sacked and then we can determine if Neelam’s concerns and Phil’s objections were appropriate or not.

      • felix 16.4.1

        No I think he means for everyone else to be patient so he has time to peddle his smears without the constant interruption.

  17. dave 17

    when questioned by Garner Phil comes clean and admits Ms Choudary did not actually write the tabled document herself it was a labour staffer – good grief’

    Which was publicly stated by Goff days ago, when the document was tabled. All on the record.

    Except “all” was not on the record. What was not on the record was that the statement was not taken word for word, and that no mention of a transparent garment was mentioned in the correspondence between Choudary and Worth, but Choudary saw fit to mention it in the statement. Nor did she say that she filled Goff in before the initial meeting with Worth at the cafe. She wanted people to think she was naive, not a wannabe MP who is vurrently involved in a by-electin campaign.

  18. Pat 18

    Tom S wrote “Phil Goff has acted with total honesty…”

    From The Press 5 June:

    “These texts were several invitations to go swimming, late-night texts to go out to dinner, an invitation to go on holiday in India with Dr Worth, and to wear see-through clothing,’ Goff said.

    Goff is no saint. The see-through clothing comment was pure spin designed for shock value.

  19. tsmithfield 19

    Felix “Sacked? Well first he resigned and then he was sacked. I’m sure you remember the resignation, don’t you?”

    Call it what you like. So far as I am concerned, if he was told, “resign or be sacked” it is pretty much the same thing.

    Mickey Savage “So how about instead of smearing Neelam’s name you hold off until we know why Worth was sacked and then we can determine if Neelam’s concerns and Phil’s objections were appropriate or not.”

    So is it never OK to examine the victim, Mickey? There have been documented cases of women who falsely accuse rape. Should we wait until the accused has been put through an unnecessary trial before examining whether the accuser has told the truth or not, especially when there are glaring areas of concern?

    In the case at hand there were a number of very concerning issues:

    1. Possible political motivations given that Worth has been the target of the opposition for months.
    2. Glaring inconsistencies in both the woman’s and Goff’s stories. Some more of these are pointed out above. However, I have said I am finished with this now, so I won’t comment further.

  20. Outofbed 20

    I am finished with this now, so I won’t comment further

    .THANK FUCK FOR THAT

    • tsmithfield 20.1

      There’s a lot more I could be talking about if I had a mind to. Would you like me to give some examples?

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  • The Futility of Punishment
    Hi,I was in Texas recently and couldn’t stop thinking about how in some parts of America they really like to kill their prisoners. As a society we tend to agree murder is wrong, but somewhere along the way Texas figured it’s fine if it’s after 6pm and the killing is ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • The new Beehive approach to the environment
    A persistent theme has been weaving between the Committee rooms at Parliament all this so-called “Scrutiny” week as MPs have probed Ministers and agencies about their work and plans. The question has been simply what the environmental price might be if the country begins to accelerate its infrastructure building to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #25 2024
    Open access notables Climate Change Is Leading to a Convergence of Global Climate Distribution, Li et al., Geophysical Research Letters: The impact of changes in global temperatures and precipitation on climate distribution remains unclear. Taking the annual global average temperatures and precipitation as the origin, this study determined the climate distribution with the ...
    4 days ago
  • You take nicer pictures when you’re not drunk
    Readers keeping count will know it's more than five years since I gave up booze. Some of you get worried on my behalf when I recount a possibly testing moment. Anxious readers: today I got well tested.All the way across France I've been enquiring in my very polite and well-meaning but ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Cancer
    Turn awayIf you could, get me a drinkOf water 'cause my lips are chapped and fadedCall my Aunt MarieHelp her gather all my thingsAnd bury me in all my favourite coloursMy sisters and my brothers, stillI will not kiss you'Cause the hardest part of this is leaving youI remember the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why we shouldn’t buy new planes for the PM
    Its not often that one has to agree with Judith Collins, but yes, it would indeed cost “hundreds of millions of dollars” (at least) to buy replacement aircraft to fly the Prime Minister on his overseas missions of diplomacy and trade. And yes, the public might well regard that spending ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • The Stadium Debate – What About the Transport Options?
    A few weeks ago, Auckland Council took another step in the long-running stadium saga, narrowing its shortlist down to two options for which they will now seek feasibility studies. The recommendation to move forward with a feasibility study was carried twenty to one by the council’s Governing Body for the ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 20
    Social Development Minister Louise Upston has defended the Government’s decision to save money by dumping a programme which tops up the pay of disabled workers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: It has emerged the National-ACT-NZ First Government decided to cut wages for disabled workers from the minimum wage to $2 an hour ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Where the power really resides in Wellington
    The new Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) yesterday gave a Select Committee a brutally frank outline of the department’s role as the agency right at the centre of power in Wellington. Ben King, formerly a deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Why we're still losing the fight against Methane
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    7 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    2 weeks ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
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