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Bridges and his cheerleaders

Written By: - Date published: 9:46 am, July 29th, 2018 - 112 comments
Categories: education, john key, national, same old national, Simon Bridges, uncategorized - Tags: , , ,

Reading the media leading up to this weekend’s National Party Conference I could not believe how uniform the analysis was. Basically cheerleading stuff.  Everything is fine.  National’s polling was great and it is early days for Simon Bridges.

It brought back for me strong memories of David Cunliffe’s early months as Labour’s leader.  I appreciate that the situation back then was complex but the contrast in treatment is startling …

Stacey Kirk was first up.  In as idolatry fawning  piece of writing you can imagine she reviewed his early days as a tough nut prosecutor.

It starts with this:

Politicians are routinely accused of speaking for effect, but when it comes to law and order, National Party leader Simon Bridges has walked the walk. Have his crime-fighting days warped his view?

She then reviewed his first major case and suggested that he, single handedly, put a bad bastard away for 21 years.  My 34 years in the law allows me to note that most cases are fairly predictable in their outcome, and a domestic violence case where death ensues from stabbing and there is ample evidence of premeditation and there is only one suspect is generally a foregone conclusion.  Also police do the donkey work in these cases.  The Crown lawyer  is there to present rather than formulate.

She lets Bridges conclude with as good a piece of political propaganda as you could hope for:

Now, as the current Government looks at possible areas for major reform, Labour and National are locked in a battle over how to reduce prisoner numbers and the potential outcome of building a new prison that most official forecasts suggest doesn’t come close to being big enough.

“What my experience in cases like Robertson, Reihana and others shows me is that if you have softer bail laws, sentencing laws and parole laws like some of those proposed, what you’ll effectively do is make the system work less well and you’ll see more crime, more victims,” he says.

But the “easy option” was no option.

“That doesn’t work for me, and I don’t think it works for most New Zealanders because it may mean fewer people in jails, but ultimately mean more crime on the streets.”

I should not be surprised.  Kirk has form for this sort of fawning PR piece about National.

The Herald has also lept in and provided support for Bridges, specifically about National’s recent polling.

First up was Audrey Young who a few days ago let Bridges frame his dismal polling in this way:

So did the voters like him?

“Yeah I think they did. I’d often had the remark that ‘you’re pretty good, we like you, we like what you’re doing’.”

Likeability was important, said Bridges, but it was not the only factor. Work-rate mattered and giving people a sense that you are capable of doing the big job.

“I want to make sure I keep improving. I am a work in progress. I want to evolve. I want to make sure I am rounded in my policy bearings. I want to make sure I feel sharper today that I did even a month ago, that a month ago I was sharper than I was two months ago, that I’m sharp, that I’m giving direct clear answers to the media on behalf of New Zealanders.”

She then makes these comments about his polling:

… [T]he party’s polling average last month was 45.1 per cent, compared to Labour on 42.8 per cent, the Greens on 5.4 per cent and New Zealand First on 3.3 per cent (compiled by Curia on public polls including TV1’s Colmar Brunton and Newshub’s Reid Research).

Bridges himself has pretty dismal ratings as preferred Prime Minister against Jacinda Ardern (9 per cent vs 40 per cent in the latest Reid Research poll and 12 per cent vs 41 per cent in Colmar Brunton’s).

She ignores other polling reported by the Herald that suggested that the Greens and New Zealand First were both doing fine and Labour and National were neck and neck.

Then Claire Trevett let independent political commentator John Key get away with some pretty egregiously biased political analysis in these paragraphs:

Although National’s party polling has held up around 45 and 46 per cent, Bridges is still polling low numbers as preferred Prime Minister, especially compared to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Key’s own rankings were comparatively high from the moment he took over in 2006 and peaked at around 70 per cent in some polls when he was Prime Minister, but he said it was primarily a name recognition thing.

“Of course there will always be a focus on his personal numbers, but preferred Prime Minister is, in many respects, a name recognition issue. The incumbency gives you an enormous amount of benefit in that regard.

“Personally, I don’t have any concerns at all about Simon’s current personal numbers. I think the party numbers are ultimately what really matters and the other numbers will naturally track up over time.”

The outstanding feature of each of these articles is the complete absence of a contrary view, especially important where there is comment suggesting that National’s polling may not be so rosy.

The conference itself is somewhat starting. The level of choreography is high, it is as if the top brass are afraid to let their members say anything, I wonder why.

Yesterday’s big news was the return of charter schools and the writing off of Winston Peters as a possible coalition partner.

The charter schools announcement was frankly weird. Is this the best they can do? Pretend that Labour does not support poor kids by coming up with a policy from the United States whose sole actual aim is to bust the education unions?

And you have to wonder what policy will National announce next?

As for the comments disparaging Winston Peters it is clear what National’s strategy will be, even now, to destroy the Greens and New Zealand First and then beat Labour in a drag race. Good luck with that. Clearly National still does not understand MMP.

This was reinforced by its choice of keynote speaker, John Howard, who was Australian Prime Minister a gazillion years ago and won an election by lying about the Tampa refugees. Howard marked the occasion by suggesting that National was robbed of the last election.  His intolerance of minorities clearly extends to minor parties.

Simon Bridges claims that Howard is his hero but at the same time clearly has no idea of Howard’s past. Way to inspire confidence Simon.

Bridges big speech is today.  Expect something heavy on rhetoric, decrying the lack of business confidence, and short of specifics or vision.

 

112 comments on “Bridges and his cheerleaders”

  1. Ed 1

    The media lies.
    To protect the deep srate.
    If people don’t know that yet, they’re not paying attention.

  2. tc 2

    WTF is labours reshaping of TVNZ/RNZ along more independent and socially responsible guidelines ? Hootens free soapboxes, the panel and other right sided echo chambers need sorting.

    This is totally expected from nationals Herald and shills such as trevitt, young etc.

    Wasn’t this Currans only job ? sorting out the BS published as news in our media. Ardern needs to step in and sort this out quick smart IMO.

    Start with reversing Collins call on self regulation. A body with teeth over inaccurate statements being published without critique goes a long way to stopping these PR exercises.

    Massive fines for misleading the public or expect more of the same in increasing volumes across Mediawonks as well as they’ve already chimed in with a whinge about TVNZ/RNZ.

    • Wayne 2.1

      It is not the job of Ministers to try and control the editorial comment of public broadcasters. Pretty basic public service 101!

      Nor is it sane to try and change the law to deal with ones political opponents. Last time I looked we were still a democracy.

      This level of interest in National is inevitable given it is the largest party.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 2.1.1

        “Last time I looked we were still a democracy.”

        http://www.lawsociety.org.nz/news-and-communications/news/2012/november-2012/suspension-of-environment-canterbury-elections-breaches-constitutional-values

        “Legislation introduced and passed under urgency in 2010, without public consultation, suspended Environment Canterbury elections until 2013. The Environment Canterbury (Temporary Commissioners and Improved Water Management) Amendment Bill proposes to continue the suspension of elections for a further three and a half years, to 2016.”

      • KJT 2.1.2

        “Last time I looked we were still a democracy”.

        Tax cuts for the rich, asset sales, TPPA, no CGT.

        Not to mention the suspension of voting in Christchurch, and elsewhere, because it wasn’t giving the results National wanted.

        “Democracy”, my arse.

        • Wayne 2.1.2.1

          All voted for in three successive elections.

          • Stuart Munro 2.1.2.1.1

            Yeah nah.

            You can’t claim a mandate for asset sales. The referendum showed that unequivocally.

            But, being a useless tyrannical fuck and an asset thief, you did it anyway.

            • Wayne 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Actually you did get to vote on that. The asset sales issue was probably the main issue in the 2011 election. And since National was elected it implemented its manifesto promise to sell 50% of the electricity companies. It is called keeping faith with the voters.

              • Stuart Munro

                Keep telling yourself that lie, buster.

                You sold us out you worthless sons of bitches.

                And if we had a real government you’d see jail for it.

                Where you belong, you and all your crooked accomplices.

          • KJT 2.1.2.1.2

            We didn’t get to vote on any of that. Just on the names of our dictatorship for the next three years. National knew their was a majority opposed to much of their agenda.
            Of course the man who said, “if voting changed anything it would be abolished”, was correct.

      • tc 2.1.3

        I never said anything about ministers dictating content Wayne so that’s a diversion. This is about having standards enforced regarding facts and not allowing anyone an unchecked public soapbox.

        Fawning sycophancy with no fact checking isn’t helping democracy but you know that wayne as it suits National’s dominance of the media. A dominance that’s been proven by quantifiable analysis of the media over time especially at elections.

        It’s another BS PR move designed to sway the gullible which I’ve no issue as long as it’s got the header ” Sponsored by the national party”. Just like any ad which is what they are.

        About time that got addressed in the interests of proper democracy not your ECAN styled one Wayne. But hey you’re a smart guy you know that already.

  3. Anne 3

    The government has been unusually quiet over recent weeks and I’m not sure why. They seem to have been letting their opponents off the hook on a few issues. If they don’t pull their socks up soon people will start to believe the current meme [cultivated by the Nats and their MSM supporters] that they are “weak and in disarray”.

    Watch Bridges enlarge on this theme in his speech to day!

    • One Two 3.1

      Opponents…off the hook…

      Nah it’s intentional, as they’re all on the same team…

      Same sponsors, same ideology…

      Same outcomes…

  4. Cinny 4

    Old white men endorse outgoing national party leader simon bridges.

  5. dV 5

    Is it Odd that Key isn’t there as a cheer leader?

    • veutoviper 5.1

      He is. A good idea is to check before you click.

      • dV 5.1.1

        oops.

        • veutoviper 5.1.1.1

          Sorry, but there has been quite a bit of publicity about two ‘old timers’ being at the conference – Howard and Key – both before the conference and from the conference.

          For example, Claire Trevett’s latest report entitled “National Party conference a bride short of a wedding” quips that –

          The National Party conference is something like a wedding with a nervous groom, something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.

          The blue came in the new hues of blue on the conference programme, more calm and muted shades than the bright teal preferred by former Prime Minister John Key.

          That programme cover promised the ‘new”. “new team, new ideas, new zealand ” it read, all in trendy lower case. The other ‘new’ was National’s place in Opposition rather than Government.

          The old came in the form of Key himself, as well as reassuring noises for the more traditional National supporters from leader Simon Bridges that the party would stick to the old when it came to economic policies. …

          Actually it is quite an entertaining read and has dropped the fawning of her article yesterday morning before the start of the conference.
          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12097119

          • dV 5.1.1.1.1

            Yes found that later.
            Enjoyed the heading–
            Nat short of a bride at a wedding.

            • dukeofurl 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I bet the delegates are keen for some ‘hate speech wedding cake’
              One thats all white outside and fruitcake inside.

            • greywarshark 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Could be said to be short of a sandweich at the (wedding) picnic.
              dukeofurl – Very good one.

          • Rosemary McDonald 5.1.1.1.2

            “…a bride short of a wedding” quips that –

            The National Party conference is something like a wedding with a nervous groom, something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.”

            Weird. Watching, for my sins, Our Former Leader doing what he does scenes from this movie….

            ….slithered into my mind.

            Ooooos! Maggots!

    • Incognito 5.2

      Not really, you don’t want one single cheerleader overshadowing the new Captain or, in fact, the whole Team of Players. That said, this Annual Conference is more about the cheerleaders than anything. Do we get a blue fireworks display from the Sky Tower tonight?

      Edit: I did not pre-check, obviously, but my comment stays, anyway …

      • veutoviper 5.2.1

        I agree with your ‘overshadow’ comment, and quite a few people have been surprised at Bridges’ choice to have both Howard and Key there and speaking. also see what Claire Trevett’s article says today. LOL.

        Link and quote at 4.1.1.1 above.

    • mary_a 5.3

      @ dv (4) … Don’t worry Key has been rolled out. He’s there alright as expected, in an effort to raise Natz drooping profile. What a laugh.

      • greywarshark 5.3.1

        Drooping heads, they need a water but have siphoned it off to tyhe dairy farmers and exported overseas. Are they trying to put out the California fires with our water? That will be next – siphon it off for next to nothing and sell it at huge prices loaded with toxic firefighting chemicals in emergencies.
        (If any private equitier/rentier uses this idea I want a decent percentage – will settle for anything over 10%).

  6. Kat 6

    The National party is like a swotted cockroach on its back giving the air a few final limp kicks with its spindly legs.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      You mean before it flips back over and continues as if nothing had happened?

      • Kat 6.1.1

        This particular fat cockroach will have to slim down before it can flip over and carry on.

    • Stuart Munro 6.2

      And, like a cockroach, it runs perfectly well without a brain.

      • greywarshark 6.2.1

        Yes cockroaches are not troubled by brain-driven scruples and are said to be able to survive any disaster – likely to be one of the last living creatures after fires etc.
        * Cockroaches’ ability to withstand extreme radiation exposure may come down to their simple bodies and slower cell cycles.
        Sounds like National supporters!

        https://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/fascinating-cockroach-facts/

        * A cockroach can live for a week without its head.
        * The American cockroach has shown a marked attraction to alcoholic beverages, especially beer. They are most likely attracted by the alcohol mixed with hops and sugar.
        * Because they are cold-blooded insects, cockroaches can live without food for one month, but will only survive one week without water.
        * A cockroach can hold its breath for 40 minutes, and can even survive being submerged under water for half an hour. They hold their breath often to help regulate their loss of water.

  7. AB 7

    National’s cheerleaders reputedly climbed 44% of the way up the Sky tower and declared that “the view from the top is magnificent”.

  8. AB 8

    I can recall John Howard many years ago interviewed on tv by Kim Hill and smugly defending the Iraq invasion.
    The guy is so ethically compromised you need a Dettol bath after mentioning his name.

  9. Incognito 9

    I want to make sure I feel sharper today that I did even a month ago, that a month ago I was sharper than I was two months ago, that I’m sharp …

    Simon sounds like an ad for a razorblade.

    Obviously, Simon is not sharp, he’s slick, but it would make a nice contrast with the bluntness of Judith and the empty-stomach feeling I get when I hear Paula speak.

    The National Party has always been a strictly hierarchical Ponzi scheme organisation with authoritarian tendencies, which I find hugely ironic since they proclaim to have Personal Responsibility as one of their banner values. The incongruence is clearly lost on most of their supporters too.

    • Anne 9.1

      Supporters of the National Party – and right wing parties in general – don’t have thoughts. Instead they are mouth pieces for the propaganda that rolls of the tongues of their leaders. They rarely have any input into policy because policy is the domain of the hierarchy and it is not for mere members to meddle in such activity.

      Their purpose for existing is to
      a) maintian the membership list for public consumption.
      b) donate copiously to the party coffers.
      c) turn up to events… clap and cheer when told to…
      d) support policy and declarations of intent without having a clue exactly what they are and/ or why they support them.
      e) Keep their mouths shut and leave all the talking to their leaders.

      Anyone who doesn’t agree to abide by all of the above will quickly find themselves out in the cold. Contrarian opinions are not tolerated!

      • Incognito 9.1.1

        Indeed, the group think is strong with National and its supporters but I don’t find Labour (or NZF) much better in this regard and it shows here on TS as well, sadly, I have to say.

        It is a hallmark of established power structures and also a typical trait of people in power to show an increasing bias against contrary views and contests of ideas, at least in public. A consensus approach that requires inclusion of and participation by the rank & file is my preferred option as it offers a better (the only?) chance of truly progressive politics.

        I could write a whole Guest Post on it but with Weka’s disappearance from TS this is no longer realistic …

        • Anne 9.1.1.1

          I could write a whole Guest Post on it but with Weka’s disappearance from TS this is no longer realistic …

          Why not Incognito? Plenty of us would welcome your views on this subject.

          I agree, there are aspects of the established power structures that exist in other parties – in particular NZ First – but nothing like to the same degree as National and their off-shoot ACT.

          I can attest to this because I actually joined one of those r.w. parties to check out how they tick. It was years ago but the basic premise on which they operate hasn’t changed. It astonished me how little input the members have in formulating policy or philosophical positions. They would turn up to gatherings and be told what to believe and they would accept it without a murmur. I kid you not!

          Whereas Labour is the opposite. Go to a conference or workshop and the members are fully co-opted into the decision making process. It may not be obvious to those on the outside, but Labour is way more democratic by nature than their r.w. counterparts. Of course the Greens are even more democratic, but they do have the ‘luxury’ of being a smaller party which helps to make it possible.

          • KJT 9.1.1.1.1

            Google. Authoritarian followers.

            In the West, right wing parties appeal to those who want others to do their thinking for them.

          • Incognito 9.1.1.1.2

            Thanks Anne, good comments and insights.

            I am an (political) outsider but the majority would fall in this category. It is important, to me, that parties do show, to outsiders and the public at large, that they have robust internal discussions and sound decision-making processes and that not all is dictated from above by the ‘top brass’ of the party hierarchy (e.g. Caucus). To me, this is a PR issue as much as selling policies to the public, for example.

            I like to think that this would also be reflected by the supporters of such party and that they would be tolerant of opposing/dissenting views, aim for consensus, and be willing to change their thinking …

            By and large, politics in NZ (still) is very much a tribal affair in which talking/taking down opponents, external but even more so internal ones, is viewed & practised as the only way ‘forward’. This is not conducive to progressive politics and moving forward; it is regressive, reactionary, negative, and stale status quo.

            If there were a good vehicle to submit & post Guest Posts I would try (again); I submitted one to Weka around the time she disappeared and she was going to set me up with some rights (?). I’d like to think that more people could and would write Guest Posts; the current pool of TS Authors is (too) small although we recently enjoyed a few ‘old hands’ returning to the fray, so to speak.

            NB I don’t want to put blame anywhere; we’re all short of time, it seems; I’m merely ‘musing aloud’ …

            • Anne 9.1.1.1.2.1

              Yes, I think I know what you mean about guest posts. I submitted one once at the behest of a commenter or two who were interested in my take. However, I made the mistake of listing the points (time-lines in actual fact) without a preliminary explanation, assuming whoever read it would be aware of the background. It never appeared and I suspect nobody actually got around to reading it. A bit off-putting.

              In my view, the problem with Labour is that it sometimes goes to inordinate lengths to keep internal debate on policy and philosophical issues hidden from the public. It is in response to the MSM who, with a few exceptions, are hostile to Labour and will use any hint of disagreement as a punch bag to hit them with. It was particularly apparent during the Key years.

              A good example was the 2012 Labour conference where the media set up David Cunliffe to make it look like he was planning to oust David Shearer at the conference. They did it by rounding up the various parties then editing the subsequent film footage to make it look like there was a bunfight (without the fisticuffs) in progress. I was lucky enough to witness the entire scene. Later in 2013 Cunliffe did become the leader but in quite different circumstances.

              Hence Labour is shy of admitting the ‘robustness’ of their debates behind the scenes because of the way they know it will be portrayed by the MSM.

              This is not meant to be an excuse but does explain their reluctance to admit they don’t always agree with one another.

              • Incognito

                I hear you, Anne, and it is indeed a dilemma for Labour (but not just for them). The thing is, for me, that Labour cannot expect to take people along with them simply by saying “trust us” or “don’t trust the others (e.g. National)”, which is worse. In fact, every politician and political party must engage and talk with the people, not at them (patronising) or even completely ignore them (arrogant). IMO, they should communicate with the people directly and not (mostly) through third parties such as MSM. If not, how long (better: how much longer) can we pretend to have or be a representative democracy?

            • mickysavage 9.1.1.1.2.2

              Hi very happy to consider guest posts. Will work out what happened.

              • Incognito

                Much appreciated and I will try and get your attention when the time comes but I don’t to take up too much of your time; Weka struggled with that too, which is why she wanted to give me some rights (?) I believe [I’ll go back and read her message again].

                You can reach me using the e-mail in my comments; it’s real 😉

        • greywarshark 9.1.1.2

          Don’t like consensus. It gives power to the most demented determined. In practice – try for consensus, debate the dissenting view, note the dissenting views if allowed to vote according to one’s own judgment, make decision for on 80% or more majority.

      • OnceWasTim 9.1.2

        And in the ‘olden days’, tint their hair blue, and advocate for their ability to ‘sponsor’ the arts – little polished brass name plates on theatre chairs, and an interval at those events where they can name-drop and pretend their affinity with the performers.
        Times have changed. Now they have Paula Bennett, Simon Bridges and an enterage of others ready to ‘re-image’ and undertake whatever radical surgery is necessary they see fit to remain relevant. They’d change bloody race, ethnicity, sex, gender and even history if it was possible. The humble Holy Cow – it’s shit stinks just the same now as it did when I was a child

    • dukeofurl 9.2

      That ‘advertising approach’ is straight out of the Persil playbook

      The Cannabis reform is interesting , all done and dusted before the Conference – who would likely only want ‘harsher penalties’ if they were asked ?

  10. Wensleydale 10

    Stacey Kirk’s a journalist in the same way I’m an astrophysicist. Winston Peters gave her a serve a while back, and she felt compelled to write an entire opinion piece on it.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/98117407/stacey-kirk-what-its-like-to-be-on-the-receiving-end-of-a-winston-peters-tonguelashing

    She concludes by stating “The next three years will be exhausting.” Only for anyone who expects journalists to do their jobs properly.

    • dukeofurl 10.1

      There is a year gap in her CV from linkedin when she stopped ‘working in sales’ for Thales in Wellington and started a Journalism course at Massey. That was the same time that national was new in government and took on plenty of new staff ?

  11. veutoviper 11

    If anyone can stomach it, here is a very short video (1.02 min) of john Key speaking to media at the National Party Conference on why he supports Simon Bridges.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/national-video/news/video.cfm?c_id=1503075&gal_cid=1503075&gallery_id=196328

    Is it me, or does Key look decidingly ‘under the weather’ ?

    Update – and here is cheerleader, Stacey Kirk, with a longer video and article on Key again supporting Bridges but also issuing dire warnings about the economy …
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/105838453/john-key-delivers-stark-warning-on-the-economy-endorses-simon-bridges-as-leader

    Sorry, would like to put up some quotes from it but my PC is having a ‘splutter’ day.

    • mary_a 11.1

      @ veutoviper (10) … a quick look and Key seems a bit worn out and bloated looking to me. Perhaps the burden of being a knight of the realm might be wearing him down. Either that, or he’s about to be sprung for treason and other past devious deeds!

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        Brave Knight Sir John – He has sticking power right till the end and should be a star on youtube.

    • Robert Guyton 11.2

      Key won’t say “Jacinda”.
      Jacinda.
      Jacinda.
      Jacinda.
      Jacinda.
      He knows what’s keeping them out of Government.

    • Obtrectator 11.3

      “Is it me, or does Key look decidingly ‘under the weather’ ?”

      He always did, to me. Especially in those photos of him playing golf with Barack Obama. The contrast that his dumpy slouched physique made with the President’s erect athletic posture was distressing to see.

  12. mary_a 12

    Not surprisingly the first day of Natz conference was spent slagging Labour. Obviously no constructive policies of its own to announce.

    Natz predictably vindictive as usual. At this rate, Labour should have a very good run over the next two/three elections 🙂

  13. SPC 13

    National’s committment to return to “its” charter schools is puzzling.

    This began as an ACT contribution to a coalition agreement.

    So why would there be a focus by them on resuming it?

    I suppose it is indicative of how they use their house monkey (sorry Adams@thunder) aka Epsom Tea Party as a front for policies it secretly supports but does not want to face electorate scrutiny over during campaigns (it was rumoured they wanted to use an ACT coalition agreement to move to welfare term limits if returned 2017).

    • millsy 13.1

      “it was rumoured they wanted to use an ACT coalition agreement to move to welfare term limits if returned 2017”

      There is a press release on scoop put out by Seymour that drops a big hint to that effect

  14. Robert Guyton 14

    Bridges is promising smaller class sizes.
    Bridges is promising smaller class sizes.
    Bridges is promising smaller class sizes.
    Bridges is promising smaller class sizes.
    Bridges is promising smaller class sizes.
    Bridges is promising smaller class sizes.

    National have always believed that smaller class sizes improve learning.
    Always.
    Always.
    Always.
    National: the Party with heart

    • SPC 14.1

      Someone will have to replace much of the rundown classroom stock, then provide more for this to be possible.

      Oh and rebuild teacher training numbers, after the decline under National. Which will involve teacher pay increases.

    • Dennis Frank 14.2

      A puzzle indeed, inasmuch as it is a direct contradiction of their favourite ideology (big is good). No more Think Big? Perhaps the idea here is for Bridges to acknowledge that Muldoon was wrong in a covert manner: `think small’. Gotta be subtle, so don’t expect blue billboards at the next election with THINK SMALL on them!

      Did a journo ask him why National governments have not actually reduced class sizes? I expect not. Too obvious. Gotta be subtle. I remember in the fifties the standard class size was 30. What is it now?

      • KJT 14.2.1

        36 year tens, in a machine shop, last time I was Teaching, but that was still under Labour. I doubt it has improved.

        • greywarshark 14.2.1.1

          My brother was a ‘manual’ teacher, woodwork etc. He has retired promptly, possibly early.
          The kids are difficult to teach and the job was increasingly unpleasant. He is a quiet man and the kids were just too obstreperous to bring up to standard I think.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 14.2.2

        Natioanal – forever ‘learning’.

        Sharp response to planned class size changes (May 2012)

        “However, Ms Parata admitted in the current economy “trade-offs” were required – and there would be a $43 million cap on the number of teachers through increased class sizes.”

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10806385

      • Heather Grimwood 14.2.3

        You were lucky Dennis Frank to have known class sizes in the 1950’s of 30! 40 was the legal limit. I taught 43 as a first year teacher and again several times in next 20 years including one year with eight pupils with no English or English as a second language.
        It was in the ’70’s that Labour reduced Years 1 and 13 to 15 pupils.

        • Dennis Frank 14.2.3.1

          Interesting, Heather. What year was it when you had 43 in that class? When Labour introduced that policy in the seventies, did it actually happen? Can you clarify what you mean by “Years 1 and 13”.

          I had 5 years in primary school, 2 in intermediate and 5 in college (12). So are you really suggesting that they created class sizes of 15 all the way through?? I’ve never heard of that happening.

          • Cinny 14.2.3.1.1

            When I was at primary in the early eighties class size was in the low forties.
            This was under Muldoon, I remember this, because us kids all got sweet f.a attention. Especially the ones who needed it.
            Mum encouraged me to write to the education minister, merv wellington and complain, which I did.

            Currently the larger schools in our region have around 30 students per class.

          • Heather Grimwood 14.2.3.1.2

            To DF at 13.2.3.1 : MY first year with 43 was in 1953…….I cannot exactly define the others, but they were fairly closely following.
            NZ primary schools have 8 yearly levels/steps, followed by up to 5 more at secondary school. Many Yr7 and Yr8 primary were and still are in an
            Intermediate school though increasingly these two senior primary classes are incorporated into the secondary school setup.
            15 definitely became required max for infant beginning year ( Yr1). I haven’t personal proof of the Yr 13 (final senior year of secondary school ) situation, but understood the decision was that the first and last years were regarded as to be most in need of reduced numbers. Contemporary research suggested that reduction in class size had little significance to learning success until down to15.
            I realise much more research will have been done since, and learning spaces etc changed ( pretty obviously there was NO room to move about
            in former times, hard for children and teacher alike.}
            The crowding I speak of was partly because of the postwar baby boom, when most Yr7 and YR 8 classes were still incorporated in the primary schools, until more Intermediate schools were built. New immigrants were beginning to arrive too. Hope this helps.

            • Dennis Frank 14.2.3.1.2.1

              Thanks for the details Heather. My schooling was in New Plymouth then college in Wanganui. Your 43 in 1953 is drastically more than my experience but that could be explained by a mid-fifties reduction or regional variations. Anyway unless someone presents evidence to the contrary I’ll continue to believe that both National & Labour governments have continuously maintained class sizes around 30 the past half century and their policies advocating reductions have been false promises.

    • Incognito 14.3

      What Simon means is that National will ‘build’ (better: provide) more pre-fab classes, e.g. using shipping containers as they do for prisoners (nothing wrong with bunking and/or hot-desking), and increasingly replace teachers with BYODs and fully-automated assessment of National Standards. Next thing is to force Tertiary Institutions to provide MOOCs. Yeah, the future looks bright under National.

      • Visubversa 14.3.1

        Nah – it just means that there will be more Charter Schools with kids taught by religious fanatics and/or military dropouts and wannabes.

    • greywarshark 14.4

      But what will be taught under National (in classrooms under Bridges)? Reading and writing of cvcourse.
      Problem-solving? How country’s run and collectively provides for the needs of citizens. How to work out odds on the likely part or full truth of what you hear and read every day.

      What to do when climate change mucks up a tottering economy. How to choose food and grow vegetables that you stuff yourself with instead of sugary stuff and alcohol and drugs making you porky and unhealthy and unhappy, and your teeth and brain to rot..

      These things plus learning kindness to each other are more important than advanced maths and science which are 50-50 whether they are good or bad short-run or long-run.

      All these things are badly needed, and everything should be aligned with making children more self reliant, more questioning about outcomes, and more appreciative of the arts and music, and the wonder of being alive. Then it’s harder to stick it to others, shoot animals for practice in killing things etc.

      • greywarshark 14.4.1

        https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018655303/fostering-independence-and-social-responsibility-in-children

        Fostering independence and social responsibility in children
        From Nine To Noon, 11:24 am on 26 July 2018
        Educator Joseph Driessen talks to Nine to Noon’s Kathryn Ryan about growing independent children who have a strong sense of social responsibility.

        As small human beings, children have an innate drive to want to belong, contribute and feel valued by their “tribe” or family, he says.

        Successful adults – at home, at work and in the community – have developed and practised this drive, and display a high degree of independence and social responsibility.

        He says some families have a developed skills/culture to give their children the opportunity to develop this sense of belonging, contributing and accepting responsibility.
        Other families don’t practise these skills, and the children can stay passive, resistant, and “childish” for a much longer time than needed.

  15. Hooch 15

    I’m enjoying the coverage of the conference, so much material to work with. 9 years of anti teacher sentiment and trying to increase class sizes is simply wiped from memory. John Key warning of a downturn in the global economy, something Winston already warned about and was derided for at the time. Bringing back Nationals charter schools? As mentioned by SPC above, pretty sure that was ACT policy Simon.

    Top this all off with back stage press passes for Stacey Kirk to write her cheerleading articles and remove any credibility she had.

    • Robert Guyton 15.1

      “I’m enjoying the coverage of the conference, so much material to work with. 9 years of anti teacher sentiment and trying to increase class sizes is simply wiped from memory.”
      QFT. Thank you, Hooch.

      • gsays 15.1.1

        You folks do realise that when a Tory says smaller class sizes, they mean: lower ceilings, thinner walls (no need for insulation) and the desks very close together.

  16. Dennis Frank 16

    I’m intrigued by the Labour internal polling result that the Herald guy mentions: “This gives the Coalition plus Greens a seventeen point lead over the opposition.”

    Could the govt plus Greens really be 17% ahead currently? Does this Labour polling methodology have a track record of credibility??

    • veutoviper 16.1

      Which Herald guy and article, Dennis?

      Been out and want to catch up.

    • Craig H 16.2

      UMR results are reasonably accurate.

      • Dennis Frank 16.2.1

        If so, the next Colmar Brunton will have to show a bit jump in govt support. If so, everyone will be strangely reluctant to give Winston the credit. Journos will rush around like headless chooks trying to figure out why the sudden jump.

        • Craig H 16.2.1.1

          They’ll probably link it to a baby…

          • Dennis Frank 16.2.1.1.1

            Good call. Truth in that, eh? Never under-rate the effect of human nature on politics – just seen the AM show commenting on Jacinda & baby showing up on screen coincident with the Nats leader speech (10,000 likes vs 200).

  17. Tricledrown 17

    Bridges school teacher policy was a dumb idea as it highlights Nationals poor record of cost cutting cheapskate policy on education.

  18. cleangreen 18

    Impeachable construct of yours today Micky all hats off to you.

    I was schooled from early 1950’s when we had very few Millionaires and many average middle class people during the halcyon days of a strong socialist egalitarian society where no-one want without much a everything was cheap (except vehicles).

    Now we do live in a divided society where the rich rustle to control the 90% of us at the bottom now.

    Labour are clever as they used the MMP political system to their benefit and national are still stunned by MMP removing them from power.

    By the sound that National Party meeting and speech by ‘Simple Simon Bridges’ he still thinks that his party will take over in 2020??

    Yet he has not laid out any policies that will set them up for a takeover.

    Here is just one instance where bridges fell down recently;

    We meet in Gisborne last week with some local folks fighting to restore their rail services and one of the members of the rail group told me that they met Simon Bridges and asked him to reopen the rail service from Gisborne to Napier again if he got back into power, and he said (quote) “No that will not happen”

    So we and our East Coast/HB communites have just finally got Kiwi rail to re-open the rail from Napier to Wairoa, and that is leaving the rail service just sitting there waiting to be opened to Gisborne just about 43 kms south of Gisborne and clueless Simon Bridges won’t even consider reconnecting Gisborne to rail again?

    Even Bridges is failing to consider the carbon emission lowering of using rail rather than just more trucks by fixing a one km washout between Wairoa and Gisborne is not important to him and his party!!!!

    Simon Bridges should’ve been smart not stupid and considered rail as an asset, he should consider to reopen a rail service to the most isolated City in our country to the NZ rail system?????

    This one issue now has vividly demonstrated why Simon Bridges and his National Party will fail to win back the regions again sorry man he is, as he now is openly stating now he is connected to an iwi as a ‘Maori’, and that was after the iwi’s in Gisborne had asked him to re-open the rail service frim Gisborne to Napier for freight and passengers and he turned them down!!!

    He does not have the sense to ‘capitalise on to capture the people in the provinces like NZF has. He showed his idiotic stupidity to the communities Gisborne and HB already over this single issue never mind all thwe other failings he has carried out .

    • Dennis Frank 18.1

      Ah yes, the old nursery rhyme we acted out at primary school, Simple Simon Says. That was in exercise breaks, remember? Maybe it’ll become a popular acronym as we head toward the next election: SSS we have no regional development policy.

      Or rather, we have to fake one because our regions will go NZF if we don’t. But he won’t tell the conference that. It’ll be done in caucus, eh Wayne? So your point about regional rail is well-made CG.

    • the other pat 18.2

      yeah but to fix that 1km is a major capex…..and the area must get on board with chit to move on rail…..get that on paper with commitments and it may happen….its not just co2 cutting that will do it…..its containers/freight on wagons that pay for the line that count

  19. rod 19

    Harold Wilson had the best advice for Tory Party Conferences. Cut out the speeches and just have standing ovations instead.

  20. Hooch 20

    Blimey even true blue Tova has just given a rather uncomplimentary report on bridges performance

    • Jilly Bee 20.1

      Have a great chuckle just a while ago looking at the various news outlets online and came across this headline for Claire Trevett’s piece about Soimun’s speech this arvo – it’s priceless – and the article isn’t too bad either – Claire did stress in one of her pieces yesterday that she hadn’t indulged in the drinkies supplied to the journalists at the conference as she wasn’t slavishly praising the Nats as she is very inclined to do more often than not, and if she was a little under the weather today before filing her report, well either her or her sub-editor who dreamed up the header made my afternoon.
      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12097422

  21. Robert Guyton 21

    “Within an hour of National leader Simon Bridges’ wrapping up his first party conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was peeing on his parade.”

    Sweet.

    • Grey Area 21.1

      I thought it very shabby as well. “Raining on his parade” would have been more genteel. But maybe it is an allusion to the habits of his former boss.

    • greywarshark 21.2

      I think the ‘peeing’ word should be clearly identified with the by line which was from Claire Trevett. Standard of journalism about our life-moulding politicians? Minus 5 I would say.

      • veutoviper 21.2.1

        The columnists and writers rarely write the title/headline. This is usually done by editorial staff.

  22. Pete 22

    I’ve just read on Stuff a lot of stuff from people who think that the National Party should have prior rights to certain days. On those days no-on else should say anything because the National Party has something important to say.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/105839447/bridges-and-ardern-in-battle-of-the-babies

    Just how cretinous are those people?

  23. Jackel 23

    Bridges isn’t Nationals main failing, that goes to the greasy power mongers around him that he cow tows to.

    I find the business confidence numbers curious given the fundamentals. It just goes to show where business in this country gets its self belief from. The Tories aren’t in and they’re all crying in their pretzels. That’s a weak form of self belief indeed for a nations businesses to base themselves on.

  24. swordfish 24

    From the David Cormack piece:

    Simon’s numbers were pretty terrible too. His favourability has gone into the negatives. This means more people dislike him as leader than like him. It’s got to the point where National front bench Mark Mitchell had to deny that there was any threat to Simon’s position. To have that sort of chatter break out less than five months after taking the role is David Shearer like. And Shearer’s now in South Sudan.

    Unfortunately the UMR site is down at the moment … so I can’t compare and contrast with the UMR favourability of previous leaders.

    But … looking at TV3 Reid Research’s somewhat similar Performance ratings … I see that at the same point into their respective tenures (5 months in) … both Phil Goff and David Shearer were still in net positive territory. Not strictly comparable but probably indicative. (Don’t have figures for Cunliffe)

    It’s been a laugh seeing Hooton, Audrey Young and one or two others desperately heading right back to the Clark and Bolger years to try and salvage some sort of positive vibe from Bridges ratings. As Micky implies … they sure as hell weren’t doing that during the Opposition reigns of Phil and the two Davids.

    What’s more, you’d assume from their analysis that Clark was on her notorious 2% Preferred PM rating jusssttttt before winning power in 1999. In reality, it was well before the 96 Election. Bolger, meanwhile, was competing with another more popular politician from his own Party (one Robert David Muldoon in the late 80s and one Winston Raymond Peters in the early 90s). That’s what kept Bolger’s ratings down. Sadly, Bridges doesn’t have that excuse.

    Then, further factor-in the astonishing disparity between Simon’s personal ratings and his Party’s fortunes. When Phil and the two Davids were suffering similar basement-level Preferred PM ratings to Bridges, their Party was also down in the doldrums … Labour in the 20s / 30s (same, incidentally, goes for Helen Clark in that pre-1996 period). Not so with National. Simon, in other words, is conspicuously failing to impress his own Party supporters. Indeed, to an extent that we’ve barely seen before.

    He just aint the innately popular, teflon-coated John Key figure they need to compete with Jacinda-mania (and, indeed, Neve-mania).

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12093806

  25. RosieLee 25

    Simple Simon

    Simple Simon met a pieman,
    Going to the fair;
    Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
    “Let me taste your ware.”

    Says the pieman to Simple Simon,
    “Show me first your penny,”
    Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
    “Indeed, I have not any.”

    Simple Simon went a-fishing
    For to catch a whale;
    All the water he could find
    Was in his mother’s pail!

    Simple Simon went to look
    If plums grew on a thistle;
    He pricked his fingers very much,
    Which made poor Simon whistle.

    He went to catch a dicky bird,
    And thought he could not fail,
    Because he had a little salt,
    To put upon its tail.

    He went for water with a sieve,
    But soon it ran all through;
    And now poor Simple Simon
    Bids you all adieu.

  26. Making 26

    John Howard…only the 2nd sitting Australian PM in history to lose his Seat! As for Key…over 8 years of achieving absolutely nothing!

    • greywarshark 26.1

      Surely those flaming Aussies didn’t pull his Seat out from under him? The first bright thing they have done in a century!

  27. Gabby 27

    Slick’s promising 10 new teachers for every electorate that returns a gnasty candidate. They’ll be used to staff the new charter school.

  28. Skinny 28

    The only reason old has beens Howard and Sir Teflon fronted up was to stop any rebellion and venting by the angry mob.

    Ole Winnie has a handle on it, he has seen it all before. Bridges & Bennett are useless and not leadership material. Anyone of Collins, Adams or Mitchell would clean up Bridges hand down.

    You only have to look back to last week during oral question time where Peters mauled Bridges to the point of embarrassment.

    They were a bit hasty moving on Bill English and should have waited longer before putting a knife in his back. So now they will be flat out to contain the party vote drift Left.

    • veutoviper 28.1

      I am with you on that, Skinny.

      Having Howard there and speaking as he did about the unfairness etc of the election result also allowed all of that BS to be aired at the Conference – but not by anyone in the NZ Nat party.

      Re Winston, he certainly has a handle on it. How did he manage to be on both the Nation and Q & A this weekend ?

      Winnie’s first appearance on the Nation before the Conference got underway meant his comments on Bridges and Bennett got good airing at the Conference even though Bridges was also on the Nation. His appearance last night on Q & A in its new 9.30pm Sunday night slot meant he then got the last word. No Nats on except Liam Hehir doing his darnest to hold up the Nats banner on the panel.

      And Jacinda Ardern’s timely Facebook video complete with multitasking by rocking the baby’s cradle with her foot while doing so was the cherry on top.

      LOL, well played.

  29. sam green 29

    Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
    A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
    Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
    To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
    rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

    So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
    When we come……….

    Oh dear …….

  30. R.P Mcmurphy 30

    Bridges has changed the part in his his hair from left to right in what is a display of childish infantile behaviour. unbelievable.

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    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    5 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    6 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    40 mins ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago