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Bill’s big wink

Written By: - Date published: 1:51 pm, August 12th, 2008 - 44 comments
Categories: bill english, john key, national - Tags:

‘No ifs, no buts, no maybes’ – that’s the phrase Bill English chose to use when denying he had any intentions of launching a coup against John Key after the election. It’s a phrase that is burned indelibly into many New Zealander’s memories, not least of all English’s; a phrase heavy with connotations of deceit.

See, ‘no ifs, no buts, no maybes’ was the phrase Jim Bolger used before the 1990 election when promising to abolish the hated superannuation surcharge. Only months after the election, not only did National renege on that promise, it passed legislation that cut super and benefits. The phrase ‘no ifs, no buts, no maybes’ became synonymous with broken promises and betrayal. One of the MPs on the select committee that heard submissions on that legislation was a rookie backbencher called Bill English who supported the cuts but apperantly did not enjoy hearing beneficiaries and superannuitants begging for their incomes. The phrase sums up an unpleasent time for English and the first time he was part of breaking a promise as an MP.

So, what was Bill English really saying when he chose to promise fealty to John Key with ‘no ifs, no buts, no maybes’, a phrase he associates with betrayal? And who is he speaking to?

44 comments on “Bill’s big wink”

  1. IrishBill 1

    Heh, I thought the same thing. Some of our older readers may recall that the phrase became a regular taunt shouted across the chamber in the early 90’s. Bill will certainly remember it as it was as specifically attributable and coloured a phrase as “I did not have sexual relations” and “read my lips” became a few years later.

  2. monkey-boy 2

    I thought you’d be more concerned about Helen’s chances of longer-term survival at this stage of the game.
    ‘No if, no but, no maybes’ sounds much more definite than Goff’s ‘No intentions [to challenge Helen] at this time’.
    I’m actually of the opinion that Helen Clark, even if she were to win the next election, would not see out the term, and would hand it over perhaps to Goff or Cullen, and retire unhurt.
    Of course it would be electoral suicide to suggest this pre-election, so they are keeping it to themselves.

  3. Rex Widerstrom 3

    Well done Steve. I’d have thought you were too young to remember the phrase and its connotations at the time (clearly IrishBill is as crusty as I, though) so presumably you had to do a bit of research (or someone much older just tipped you off, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt 😉 )

    Now this is what blogs can do so well… contextualising and raising questions that the MSM mostly don’t have the time to do any more. And why I worry when I see reporters in the Gallery who have known no other PM than Clark. That’s not a lot of experience on which to base penetrating questions.

    So yes, I wonder if English knowingly uttered the phrase as a sort of insider code or whether something in his subconscious tapped into that particular mantra when he was put on the spot? Either way, I don’t think anyone believed a word of it.

  4. Rex. i have to admit, I knew it was a phrase from the 1990s when I read it but didn’t get the significance until someone wrote to me.

  5. Scribe 5

    SP,

    Do I need to remind you that the promises were made by Bolger based on false information on the state of the Treasury’s finances?

    And I have no doubt English used the phrase intentionally to wind up people like you (or the people who email you and feed you talking points).

  6. Lots of people write to us, Scribe, we’re popular folks.

  7. monkey-boy 7

    “we’re popular folks”

    no ifs, no buts, no maybes eh?

  8. rob 8

    Great article on Ruths new Social Engineering endeavours from the Department of Social Engineering and Development

    Isn’t it interesting as soon as questions started to be asked Labour pulled it from their Website obviously not to confident about the Public confidence don’t want to frighten the horses!!

    Wishart was to clever though and pulled it from the Google cache isn’t it great to have some one keeping Helen and Heather honest.

    So it must be said then that Labour has more hidden agendas on Social Engineering and if they aren’t hidden they certainly don’t want to much public scrutiny or news about them. Rather hypocritical to talk about the hidden agendas of others!!

    http://www.investigatemagazine.com/tgif8aug08.pdf

  9. Not exactly hidden if they are publishing it on thier department website eh?

  10. rob 10

    Killinginthenameof

    Why pull the sppech off the website within two hours after questions are asked about it if you are so proud of the Social Direction you want to take the Country in

    The order must have come from Helen and Heather dont want to sacre of the voters with the truth!!

  11. lprent 11

    Blar: You are banned. I just nuked your comments. Silly bugger didn’t even change his IP and I’m pretty annoyed by the email you used as well. As far as I’m concerned you just tried an identity fraud. Now you know why the identicons are tied to the e-mail.

    FYI: It is entirely likely that the press release was sent to Steve. God knows I get enough of them.

    Bugger off and stay away.

  12. Ari 12

    Whether it’s English or someone else, John Key is leading on borrowed time.

  13. Anita 13

    Scribe,

    Do I need to remind you that the promises were made by Bolger based on false information on the state of the Treasury’s finances?

    You need to remind me 🙂

    As I’ve said before, I’m surprised by this as I thought it was prevented by the Public Finance Act which was passed in 1989.

    Can you point to a reference for the false information? Ideally a link about how it happened despite the PRA, but I can probably work from evidence of false information.

  14. coge 14

    Ari, that’s very deep of you. Everybody is on borrowed time!

  15. fiona 15

    Does Key actually want to be PM or just win the election? How would he cope as PM – Crosby / Textor can’t feed him lines for everything. He might have to use his own voice, which on the odd occasion we hear it is less than impressive. Surely even he doubts whether he is up to it.

  16. “rob
    August 12, 2008 at 4:21 pm
    Killinginthenameof

    Why pull the sppech off the website within two hours after questions are asked about it if you are so proud of the Social Direction you want to take the Country in”

    It was a fairly comprehensive list, you seem partiularly sure it only ment that one item on the list though?

    Are you paranoid and delusional? or just ideologically stunted and looking for political point scoring?

  17. Mark 17

    I’m just wondering what the point of this (and other blogs) website is. If you’re a Labour supporter you come here to read post after post attacking John Key and thus get excited and start congratulating the writer. If you are a National supporter you come here to write smart alec comments about “Nanny State”, “Helegrad” etc. But this website is changing no one’s minds. Outside the incestuous political blogosphere and the Wellington beltway, no one cares.
    This website, Farrar’s website, NRT etc are not going to make a blind bit of difference to the swinging voter because they don’t read them and, even if they did, they will see through the blatant bias and take the whole thing with a grain of salt. So again, what is the point apart from them being an echo chamber where you feel slightly better about yourself because there are a few people who think the same way as you? I assure you, the average NZer does not care about the finer details that you (right and left) desperately dig up to show your blog reading mates.

    [lprent: I wouldn’t be too sure of that.

    Firstly there are a *lot* of people reading the site and not commenting – the lurkers. There are many more of them than the people who comment. Presumably they have a reason to read the site. You tend to find some of the arguments from the comments sections being picked up by MSM, and for that matter via family/work contacts.

    Secondly – have a look at the US political scene. It is in advance of us but we seem to be following the same kind of path for the blogs to gain importance for opinion making.

    I thought that blogs would start getting important here in 2011, but it seems to have gotten quite important in this election.

    ]

  18. r0b 18

    Is Rob (who is not r0b) all hot and bothered about this?
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10526557

    That the best you got? National is caught out in an orchestrated litany of truth, and this you think is somehow equivalent? Tee hee!

  19. r0b 19

    This website, Farrar’s website, NRT etc are not going to make a blind bit of difference to the swinging voter because they don’t read them

    I used to think that too. Changed my mind.

  20. vto 20

    It’s not quite like that mark you egg, I’m just here to convince them of the few errors of their ways.

  21. Phil 21

    Political blogging (excluding the most extreme nut jobs in either side) strikes me as a bit like sibling rivalry – you fight tooth and nail when it’s just you against them – but if someone else starts beating up your little brother, you’re the first to leap to his defence.

  22. rob. the speech was never given and the triples thing isnt labour policy… see – http://www.3news.co.nz/Dysonrejectsclaimsshespokeinsupportofpolygamy/tabid/419/articleID/66446/cat/67/Default.aspx

    personally, i have nothing against polygamy or any form of relationship between consenting adults but it’s clear labour has no policy on extending relationship rights to polygamous relationships.

    I would be surprised if there is more than a few dozen polygamous relationships in the country but I can see why people like rob are excited about this – being bigots themselves, they hope the wider public would also react in a bigoted manner to the idea. Not going to happen, of course, because it’s not Labour policy.

  23. mark’s right that the blogosphere is not mass media, but it is heavily used by the political elite and the media, a new and smarter version of talkback radio with some investigative journalism and research pieces thrown in, and material and memes from the blogosphere flows through into the wider discourse.

    There is a lot more activity on the blogs than you would think just going off comments. We get something like 50 to 100 page views per comment, and that doesn’t count RSS.

    [lprent: You mean on the days that the MSM don’t notice us and the CPU idles at an average 2% with peaks to 50%. On the days that there is publicity in the MSM for any reason, and the CPU starts averaging 10% and strong peaking at 100%. Then that multiple can really go up a lot – usually well over 500 and the bandwidth consumption starts going though the roof. Those are the days I wish I had more grunty resources …

    Oops – sysop moaning for all the wrong reasons…]

  24. Gosh how embarasing that would be for mr Wishart, pity he has no shame.

  25. pinetree 25

    ….it’s remarkable isn’t it, replace Wishart with Hager, replace “triples” with “privatisation”, issue a denial, and nail the messenger, albeit on this blog as a bigot (he may well be, who knows…)…

    Crosby/Textor play #, what, 5 is it….deny, deny, deny…attack, divert, nothig to see here, move along…

    …aside from the fact that it’s a p*ss weak nothing story….there’d be uproar amongst some on this site, with just a wee tweak of circumstance and a different party in the mix…

    Still, an interesting set of views held by officials that must have seen such a draft speech written…..not the type of c*ck up that well oiled Lab comms machine would tend to let slip through….

  26. randal 26

    i-blog…therefore I am.

  27. Razorlight 27

    Bill English. That man who led National to their worst electoral defeat in history. Yeah ok, the caucus is really going to get in behind him again.

    Come on. I am a National Party member and everyone admires Bill for the work he does and the way he has moved on from his humiliating failure. But there is no way a majority of what will be a very big National caucus will roll Mr Popular for someone as tainted as Bill. Especially when he is doing the grand job he is as Deputy.

    If in the next six years there is the need to change leader I will bet a small house deposit that Bill does not replace him.

  28. Anita 28

    Razorlight,

    So if Key needed to be replaced in the next six years who do you think would replace him? I don’t see any immediate contenders other than English.

  29. Razorlight 29

    Anita

    To be perfectly honest I do not know. The thought of Key being replaced has not entered my head nor many others on the right. Not that I speak for anyone other than myself.

    All I can say is English is in my opinion a very effective Politician. He is a hard worker and is very intelligent. But there is something about him that simply does not get the electorate excited.

    He has the capability to be an effective leader but not the charisma to attract the support. National are not stupid enough to repeat that mistake again.

  30. Kevyn 30

    Plurals in New Zealand, committed to their partners, and including those raising children, are not asking for any special privileges. Rather, they are asking for the right to be treated equally under the law. This means not only to receive the rights and privileges which couples take for granted in their everyday life, but also to accept the responsibility and obligations which are part of the package of equality.

    Is it true, as Steve intimates, that this secular Labour government will not repeal this Victorian Christian law simply because there is no more than a few dozen polygamous relationships in this country? Not enough votes in it? Or just a classic case of the squeky wheel problem. While de facto’s and homosexuals have been actively lobbying and making their voices heard on marriage law reforms bigamists and polygamists have had to stay mute in fear of being imprisoned. Did Labour simply get distracted and forget to include plurals in the marriage equality reforms? I certainaly hope so. And I hope this dummy run hasn’t frightened Labour away from finishing the job they started.

    This isn’t sarcasm. I was genuinely surprised when Labour’s extension of the full rights and responsibilities of marriage to de factos after two years didn’t adress this issue. While Steve is probably right that there very few people who are deliberately committing bigamy or polygamy there might be an awful lot who have done it accidentaly through being in an adulterous relationship for more than two years.

    Admittedly rhe run-up to an election is not the time to be discussing a policy oversight but it something that really does need to be on the agenda aftre the election. I have no idea whether the sort of people who oppose homosexual marriages would have the same opposition. Polygamy seems to have been rampant in the old testament and, to the best of my knowledge, it’s not one of the things that’s outlawed in Leviticus. Maybe conservatives will object to it because it goes against “traditional” values but I can’t see any logical or moral argument against. The only difference from a conventional marriage is the number of partners. Hardly something to afraid of.

  31. sdm 31

    I coach a sports team and have done so for many years. Groupu dynamics are interesting, to say the least. Now the parallel between politics and sport is obvious – you play to win.

    Now there is a direct relationship between unity and sucess. When things are going well, everyone seems on the same page (well, thats the impression) Lose a few games and the BS starts, the factions emerge, tensions come to the service.

    The recordings aside, the national ‘team’ is going well. Ahead in the polls, a government that looks tired, everything seems. National is therefore united.

    The question is: What happens if they lose? An equally valid question is, what happens if Labour lose? I doubt either team would stay united…….

  32. lprent 32

    You try to win, yes. The question is if you want to win the ‘war’ or a ‘battle’. In this case about the longer term future in NZ.

    The long-term problem I have with National is that I’ve never seen National do anything useful for the long-term. They usually just dick about with short-term micro-management. Lots of activity, and few substantial long-term results of any great benefit.

    Labour generally does all of the substantive changes.

    With National, the usual problem is what happens if they win. That is usually when the faction fighting really starts.

    Labour learnt the lesson of unity big time in the 80’s and 90’s. It isn’t something that is an issue now. Anyone that was going to leave has.

  33. randal 33

    the difference between sports and politics is that a win in politics usually means a term of some years while the government implements policies to govern unruly mobs of voters. sports is over when the final whistle blows and then after several concussions and a few beers sportspeople think they have the nous to play politics as well!

  34. Felix 34

    Razorlight:

    there is something about him that simply does not get the electorate excited.

    He has the capability to be an effective leader but not the charisma to attract the support.

    That’s exactly why they aren’t running him – and why they’ll install him in the job once Key has won the race.

    In case you haven’t noticed, Key has the exact opposite qualities.

  35. Scribe 35

    kitno,

    Gosh how embarasing that would be for mr Wishart…

    Not very. More embarrassing for the person who put a speech that was (allegedly) not delivered on a website.

    Journalists shouldn’t have to confirm that a speech uploaded to a Government website is the one that was delivered.

  36. Phil 36

    Sure Felix, because you don’t need to be an effective leader to run a major unit in a multi-national company…

    New Zealand has a recent history of electing uncharismatic bore-fests to the role of PM – none of Clark, Brash, English, Shipley, Bolger are in any way exciting.

    Moore, Lange, Muldoon might have been of variable quality, but they had an undeniable stage presence and personality. I suspect that we’re coming full circle in this sense – helped along by the international influence of guys like Obama and Sarkozy.

  37. lprent 37

    Phil: Are you trying to say that Key has any presence? Disagree with that – he looks very colourless.

    I’d agree that he does seem to have the variable quality though including a new level of vacillating.

  38. “Scribe
    August 13, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Journalists shouldn’t have to confirm that a speech uploaded to a Government website is the one that was delivered.”

    It’s fiarly unusual to have a speach removed from a website like that. If Ian Wishart was a real journalist not an agenda pusher pretending to be a journalist he would have enquired why, dut it sure doesn’t look like he did that.

  39. roger nome 39

    Anyone else remember the protest chant in response to National’s (more specifically Lockwood Smith’s) reneging on its promise to scrap tertiary fees (and continual increase of them)?

    No ifs, no buts, no fees, no cuts!.

    Classic.

    But you can’t go past the simple, yet effective:

    What’s the story filthy Tory? Out! Out! Out! (when we occupied the National Party offices in 1999).

  40. Phil 40

    Lynn,

    Felix was the one suggesting that Key had charisma. I was merely pointing out what I consider to be an international trend. I don’t rate Key as especially charismatic in and of himself, but in comparison to Helen…

  41. lprent 41

    On TV you mean.

    I’ve never seen Key in person or in a meeting.

    But I have seen Helen many times in person and meetings. She tends to hold peoples attention rather strongly. For some reason it doesn’t go through TV.

  42. Frank 42

    I’ve met and conversed with both personally and watched them speak publicly and can make the following observations.

    Clark is a more powerful and impressive personality but Key is more amiable in the first instance.

    Once you engage with them Clark is much more interested/interesting and is way more willing to discuss detail than John. The sense I’ve got in the few times I’ve met him is he has his patter and then runs out. Helen is also more willing to let you lead the conversation in terms of topic. I suspect this is because she is comfortably across most issues.

    Clark holds a room’s attention much more than Key. In a formal situation he does okay because his presence is handled (this is happening more and more, even in “social” situations). When they work a room the main difference is Key will wait for people to come to him while Clark will get out and start talking with people.

    On balance I’d say Clark has a lot more charisma than Key but I’m not sure that’s what the electorate wants. Key initially comes across as much more of a nice guy you’d meet at a barbecue type but only in limited bursts. After that he starts to seem like he’s running out of script and I’ve never heard him speak and had the sense he’s doing so candidly. Will Key’s persona be enough to satisfy the electorate? Who knows.

  43. Jasper 43

    John Key has all the presence of a wet lettuce leaf. In contrast, Bill stands tall and is definitely noticeable (if a bit like a cold fish)
    Has anyone else shaken Key’s hand? It has all the grip of a fern leaf.
    You can tell a lot about a man by their handshake (and some women too)

  44. Felix 44

    Phil:

    I don’t find Key to be at all charismatic either but he seems to have impressed a fairly large sector of the electorate. Perhaps you’re right and it’s his lack of charisma they like.

    As for his leadership skills I don’t believe that they’re as transferable as some would hope. Some skills are universally transferable, many are specific to environment. He’s in a very different world now and everything’s different when you have do it in public.

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    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 I was in Switzerland recently and discovered that they haven’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Reviewing the whitewash
    Back in 2015, then Ombudsman Beverley Wakem conducted a review of the OIA, Not a game of hide and seek. The "review" was a whitewash, which found no need for legislative change, and instead criticised the media and requesters - which destroyed Wakem's reputation, and undermined that of the Office ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • You Gov MRP Poll Out
    So, You Gov's MRP poll - the weird one that tries to reflect what will happen at a constituency level and which pretty much nailed the hung parliament in 2017 - is not looking too good for Labour:
    UK #GE2019 MRP seat projection:CON: 339 (-20)LAB: 231 (+20)SNP: 41 (-2)LDEM: 15 ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Accountability?
    We've known about climate change for over forty years now,and it has been a major political issue for twenty. And yet fossil fuel companies have kept polluting with impunity, while government have looked the other way and twiddled their thumbs and refused to do anything because "the economy", or just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    5 days ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    6 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    7 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    7 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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, ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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

  • New Zealand will continue to showcase ambitious climate action
    With the global climate change talks closing overnight, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said New Zealand will continue to show the world what meaningful, ambitious and lasting climate action looks like. “Lasting action on climate change demands that we keep working every single day. This is the only ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • More progress in delivering te reo Māori in schools
    600 new te reo advocates are being sought following the success of a programme that supports the Government’s plan to integrate te reo Māori into education, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Registrations for Te Ahu o te Reo Māori 2020 are now open, with courses starting from February ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Maori voice to help shape tertiary education
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced the members of Te Taumata Aronui, a group to work with Government on tertiary education policy from a Māori community and employer perspective. “Te Taumata Aronui is an opportunity for Māori and the Crown to work more closely on changes to the tertiary education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Courthouse redesign a model for the future
    The Government will invest $100 million on a new courthouse in Tauranga which will be a model for future courthouse design for New Zealand, Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced. The courthouse will be designed in partnership with iwi, the local community, the judiciary, the legal profession, court staff and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government enables early access to 5G spectrum
    The Government has given the go ahead to enable further development of 5G networks by making appropriate spectrum available. The Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has confirmed Cabinet approval for the allocation of short-term rights to an unused portion of 3.5 GHz spectrum. 3.5GHz is the first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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 days 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 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
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  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
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