Brownlee’s blow-out

Written By: - Date published: 11:33 pm, November 27th, 2008 - 47 comments
Categories: climate change, flip-flop, Media, national/act government - Tags:

National/ACT has only been in power a week, but the flip-flops keep coming. Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee will not confirm that that National/ACT will reversing the new light-bulb standards. This after they campaigned hard against these standards and Key repeatedly promised that under a National government people would not be told which type of light-bulbs they can use. Brownlee hasn’t confirmed that the policy will be dropped, but he is no longer confirming his party’s policy stands and that says it all. 

Campaigning on reserving the standards was a typically hollow vote-grabbing move from National; the kind of politics that encourages you not to think too hard, just be outraged. ‘Don’t let the nanny state take away your lightbulbs’ – it’s enough to stir the brain-dead reactionary in all of us.

Just as predictable as National’s pre-election bluster is their post-election back-down. The fact is there was never anything extreme about the improvement in light-bulb standards that most incandescent bulbs can’t match: the Government sets standards for all kinds of consumer goods for safety and environmental reason among others (that’s why you can’t get CFCs in your refrigerator anymore). We are actually behind the rest of the world in raising our standards and will look positively Luddite if we lower them again. In fact, the choice to buy incandescent bulbs is going to be taken away from us soon enough because China produces 70% of the world’s supply and has already banned their use domestically. So, National will move quickly to get this inevitable flip-flop out of the way so the voters forget.

Now, we can’t blame National too much for cynically exploiting this issue then back-flipping any more than one can blame a polar bear for eating baby seals; it’s just what they do and they’ll do it as long as they can do it successfully. What is disappointing, though, is that they are allowed to get away with, first, the electioneering stunt and, soon, the back-flip.

Only one group has the power to effectively expose and disarm cynical electioneering. But the media’s ping-pong excuse for objectivity failed because it can’t point out that one side of the argument is complete bollocks. Worse, we had excitable columnists comparing the light-bulb standards to the third Labour Government’s public health regulations that (among a whole slew of other things) banned cats from dairies, which National used to whip up the knee-jerk conservatives. In a bizarre reading of history, they claimed banning cats from dairies had cost Labour re-election in 1975 and light-bulbs would do the same in 2008 – they failed to ask whether National’s promise was the right thing for New Zealand or likely to be kept by a National government. The fact that parties are permitted by the way the media reports politics to get away with this kind of dishonest crap is an indictment on the industry that is meant to perform a crucial role in informing us and protecting our democracy*. 

Well, that notwithstanding, it looks like those excitable columnists’ comparison between the incandescent ban and the cat ban was valid but in a way they perhaps didn’t foresee. After all, when was the last time you saw a cat in a dairy?

*[I wonder if the media bigwigs have realised that it is this failure of duty that is driving people away from the mainstream media to the blogs for their political analysis]

47 comments on “Brownlee’s blow-out ”

  1. Quoth the Raven 1

    What a laugh these National kids are. Cue the right wing mental/linguistic gymnastics to defend National’s flip flop on fictional nanny statism. Along the lines of “they weren’t saying that SP your exaggerating consequently the grasshopper is a column” What mirth.

  2. T-Rex 2

    Maybe the media are failing to cover this for the same reason that I wish you hadn’t – They’re trying to forget that someone as uninformed as Brownlee is Minister of Energy.

    I mean it’s important to get it out in the open and all, but doesn’t it feel kind of like chewing a roofing nail?

  3. Camryn 3

    Cats are banned from dairies? Madness!

  4. Stephen 4

    Not sure where you got “A staffer for Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee has told reporters that National/ACT will not be reversing the new light-bulb standards”, cos:

    A newspaper today reported a National staffer saying the phase out would not go ahead but Mr Brownlee would not confirm that.

    Mr Brownlee said officials at the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority were doing some work on the issue.

    “We’ll be making an announcement about that in due course,” Mr Brownlee said.

    They haven’t confirmed anything, and the staffer said something different to what you claim, so I think it’s a bit premature to crow.

  5. ghostwhowalks 5

    See the announcement Paul Oliver is to leave the Herald political reporters to work for John Key.

    No surprise really as her stories were all patsies anyway. But she didnt waste any time

    her new full time job making sure the National spin gets in the Herald….come to think THAT was her full time job before the election

  6. Janet 6

    Interesting that Bob Jones is already getting cynical about the new leader he campaigned for. His column this morning is an attempt at satire about the expensive junket to see Gordon Brown. Now I wonder if the DomPost will bring back their ‘junketwatch’ column?

  7. ah, the perils of writing at 11pm, I had just cited Brownlee’s refusal to confirm the policy, then I looked at the nzpa article again an got my wires crossed. You’re right Stephen, the staffer does say the opposite, that the reversal would go ahead, but the crucial thing is that Brownlee is already backing away from it. I’ve edited the post.

    You also have to remember that nzpa didn’t ask Brownlee about this out of the blue – they got some info off the record to prompt them to seek clarification from the minister.

  8. Tim Ellis 8

    I agree with you SP, there does seem to be an inconsistency here. Interesting post. I think National voters probably do see that Brownlee should reverse the standard, as National did campaign on it up and down the country, and they should also pull back on nanny-statism where it exists.

    Have you got a link to the article? I think a lot of National voters will be really annoyed if that standard stays in place.

  9. Stephen 9

    Cheers. In any case, I doubted they’d reverse the proposed changes too, if only because it seems pretty rare that any previous government’s legislation is overturned/repealed by a new one (?), unless it’s REALLY a big deal to them e.g. the Employment Contracts Act, or the EFA.

  10. Stephen 10

    Have you got a link to the article? I think a lot of National voters will be really annoyed if that standard stays in place.

    I don’t think so, because it’s not going to have that much of effect.

  11. toad 11

    Thanks for the correction, Steve. I’d just blogged about it myself on g.blog, including that I thought you had got it wrong, before I noticed that you’d edited it.

    I suspect (hope) that Brownlee will heed the advise of EECA, and leave the standard intact. Or maybe fiddle around the edges of it to be seen to be doing something to appease those voters who bought into his political electioneering beat-up of what should be a science-based decision.

  12. Janet 12

    By the way these things add to the view that NZ is going against the world trend on climate change. In Australia this new standard is the unquestioned norm, plus they are of course very vigilant about water – low volume shower heads and toilets that only work on half flush are the norm. Australians who know about these election issues wonder why are NZers so resistant to doing anything about climate change.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    I heard Bill English talking about all this sort of stuff (shower heads, light bulbs etc) on ZB yesterday. He said they were reviewing all these standards etc with a view to simplifying the building consent process. So, it looks like the proposed standards could be given the boot.

    Personally, I have no objection to efficient light bulbs etc. The problem I have is having these things made mandatory. I am sure there would be a substantial voluntary uptake through a good marketing campiagn without the need for compulsion.

    I have used ECO bulbs before and in my experience have found that they are not suitable for all applications (taking time to get fully bright etc). In some situations the ECO bulbs could actually cause hazards because they do not provide adequate illumination immediately.

    Therefore, I think people need the freedom to use conventional light bulbs where they are more effective.

  14. insider 14

    LAbour mucked this up completely. They turned a smallish issue into a touchstone one through arrogance. The ban wasn;t even needed as the market was converting itself, so it was bad policy and politics. The state dictating what you could buy just created an issue for fear and loathing to coalesce around. Not for the first time Parker showed poor judgement for someone so senior.

    As for the fridges comparison, you usually only buy one every 10 years and in my experience new fridges tend to be better than old ones. That is not my experience with cfls and I think that many have a similar view and that is what has driven a lot of the negative reaction.

    As for people relying on blogs for analysis, there was a US Professor of media in NZ recently who said the evidence for that was skimpy. He said that while it is often claimed the landscape has changed, when you get into it you see it is the blogs that are actually highly reliant on the media for their content.

  15. Chris G 15

    If they dont stop the change in efficiency ratings, then they mislead the public in their campaigning, how long will that list be?

    insider, Evidently the way you see things, the national party does not share that same view:

    “A newspaper yesterday yesterday reported a National staffer saying the phase-out would not go ahead but Mr Brownlee would not confirm that” Dom Post today.

    If it were so clear cut, as you suggest, and say its: “The state dictating” Then why isnt brownlee taking a page from Hide and saying ‘Itll be gone by Christmas!!!’

    I thought the Nats are the masters of economics? Why then dont they share your immediate concern that the market was already changing itself?

    On a personal note, naturally I hope they let the phase out go ahead

  16. Strathen 16

    I find it amusing you seem to think there’s a proportion of people that voted for National/ACT because of light bulbs and cats. I know quite a few National voters, and none have mentioned this as an issue for voting. Even my family and mates that are builders thought the legislation was a pain in the arse, but not an election keystone.

    Their biggest gripe is how long it takes the building consent process. The posters above that touched on this and the safety issues around these bulbs in some applications are more on the money as to where I interpret voters would want this issue analysed.

    To take the debate away from the real issue so as to label it a ‘flip-flop’ shows that left commentators still haven’t grasped how out of touch with the real voters, and their reasons, they are.

  17. insider 17

    Chris

    Brownlee did say that before the election. Funny how things change once you are bound by ministerial responsibility. Note the ban still has some significant hurdles to get through which a smart bureaucracy can use to delay it – and I wouldn;t mind betting that is the outcome, delay it a few years so the market changes on its own and more products get introduced to smooth the way.

  18. bill brown 18

    It’s interesting that under the Labour government the use of incandescent light bulbs was coming under pressure due to their non-adherence to proposed efficiency standards whereas under the Nactional, Brownlee is looking at a ban of a particular type of bulb (or not) for bureaucratic reasons.

  19. Chris G 19

    Insider,

    I cant see how brownlees comment isnt from yesterday, rather than before the election. Looking at the article in todays paper it seems like the comments are from yesterday, if not very recently.

    Ill tell you what john boy said in one of the leaders debates though: “They’re banning lightbulbs!!” The sensationalism!

    Once again, I’ll point out that if it were so obvious, as it is to you, that the market was changing anyway… why isnt Gerry saying so and telling the press a more assertive statement on the lightbulb standards?

    I think they’d be plain stupid to not drop the phase-out given johnnys aforementioned rant, but you never know with the Nats. Someone at the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority might just whisper some advice in Brownlees ear.

  20. gingercrush 20

    Bah leave poor Gerry alone. You lefties are mean.

    —-

    Anyway on a serious note. I’m not a fan of those new lightbulbs because we brought several and two didn’t even last a year and in one of them it burned the lining. While the savings are admirable. I do have questions over their safety or claims of how long they last. Because as I said two did not last a year which meants whatever savings we could have made. I doubt we made any considering the lightbulbs at the time were four times the price of a standard lightbulb.

  21. bill brown 21

    GC,

    See the following for some links that should assuage some of your fears.

    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/mythbusting-half-of-new-generation-is-thermal

    (Not the Wishart ones, the others – the Wishart ones will just make your brain rot).

  22. Ianmac 22

    Strathan: “I know quite a few National voters, and none have mentioned this as an issue for voting.”
    Of course not! But the thread of Nanny-state included light bulbs and showerheads and protect your kids and um…. Just mention Nanny-state and the chunk of voters eyes light up like a 200watt lightbulb!

  23. Stephen 23

    The bulbs might not have been a single factor exactly, but it would’ve added weight to the ‘this government needs to be shown who’s boss’ feeling of some voters, and THAT was a significant factor.

  24. Strathen 24

    Ianmac – I’m not sure it’s the voters eyes that light up, but more the right commentators. Whilst I mentioned the left commentators are out of touch with the voters, the same can be applied to the right as well. I’m often dismayed at what is reported in the media and on blogs, a lot of it takes an issue and seems to grab one part of it, most often the irrelevant part. Maybe my gripe is with the commentary of all. The one-up-manship seems to take priority over the genuine debate. It’s as if everyone wants to win, rather than look at what is happening for the country.

    Stephen – Agreed. Perhaps tie it in to tall poppy syndrome. I would think your line of thought would be better for the topic of a blog article, but instead there is a prevailing need to get ‘flip-flop’ in to the commentary.

    Flip-flop is a horrible term that has been embraced by people that should know better. What does it actually mean? What are the practical applications? What are the parameters required so as to apply this term? My impression is that it can only be used to describe the right wing parties as it seems to get dismissed if an attempt to apply it to left wing parties is put forward. Following this line of thought, the term ‘flip-flop’ would probably be classed as propaganda or sensationalism. Something to brainwash the masses with.

  25. insider 25

    ginger

    Don’t believe the safety issues – the fire service has actually had fewer calls to efficient bulb events than to traditional bulb ones and there are about 10 million cfls in place. Remember when unleaded fuel was introduced? There were a spate of vehicle fires reported and the fuel blamed. Turned out vehicle fires actually reduced after PULP’s introduction but common old ignorance and superstition fuelled a media beat up. It’s just flat tyre syndrome or people ignoring the instructions and putting them in the wrong places.

    As for lifespan, bulbs fail all the time before their typical lifespan – mostly we don’t log and time it becasue the traditional bulbs have a limited life anyway. Could be electrical, could be manufacture. Make sure you don’t get the low quality ones. Or get the halogens that look and perform just the same as the old bulbs but only save 30% energy.

    Chris

    I agree with you that the NAts should stick to their promise (which I think was that they wouldn’t introduce it in 2009). Like I said, it may be that it is a bit more complex now they are in power – as it is a common standard with Aus there may be some agreed deadline (but no-one has mentioned it). Easiest option is to not do or delay the ground work meaning they can’t implement it.

  26. Quoth the Raven 26

    GC – Yes Gerry is such a nice fellow so nice in fact that he assualted a pensioner.

  27. gingercrush 27

    Oh don’t start that crap QtR. Irrelevant and totally out of order as well.

  28. this to express appreciation for bill brown’s “Nactional” — oh I do like that one. For another coalition of the willing. But that small ‘c’ suggesting that instead of willing one could suppose shilling (for who knows what shall remain unspoken).

    on the bulbs business, I like the low wattage jobs, better for my eyes. I have long thought how incandescents deal wasted heat AND light. In comparison with the others they have hitherto constituted a one-type fits all monopoly.

    choice – now there’s the thing.

  29. sweeetdisorder 29

    Swing and a miss pierson.

    As reported midday news on ZB,

    Lights out on incandescent bulbs ban

    28/11/2008 12:04:20

    The previous government’s ban on incandescent lightbulbs is being reversed.

    There have been conflicting reports today on whether the new Government would follow through on its pre-election stance.

    Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee says he has instructed the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority to prepare the paperwork to overturn the ban.

    He expects an announcement will be made early in the New Year, reversing the decision to phase out incandescent lightbulbs.

  30. Pascal's bookie 30

    Thanks sweeet.

    Now we know what the Nactonauts mean when they say they are ‘looking into it’ or ‘considering’ something.

    Puts Rodney’s little slush fund for pre ordained research into it’s proper context.

    Why don’t they just front and up and say what they are going to do straight off the bat instead of paying our money to their mates in the consultancies to spin a line?

  31. Ianmac 31

    Bet the incandescant bulbs don’t last till the next election. There won’t be a world market so the supply will just dry up.

  32. Janet 32

    Watch this policy change over this parliamentary term. Try buying one of the old light bulbs in a couple of years – or admitting to your friends and neighbours that you still use them. Will have the same status as leaving the sprinkler on your garden in a time of extreme water shortage. Something probably only Act voters do.

    Green issues are going to escalate in significance in the next couple of years and this announcement of Gerry’s will come back to bite him.

  33. Its all about choice.

    People can buy what they like under National, under Labour they had to get Aunty Helen’s permission first

  34. Felix 34

    Bloody silly banning cats from dairies.

    At one time they were compulsory and with good reason.

  35. Janet 35

    Brett
    Choice is a cultural construct.
    It’s not a level playing field.

  36. gingercrush 36

    Janet – The Greens polled nearly 7% and 7% only. Green issues while adopted in Labour and elsewhere does not mean the whole of New Zealand is turning Green. It also doesn’t mean some stupid social stigma will be attached to those that use OMG the old lightbulbs. Get real.

    People still have fireplaces and people still use coal. Do people give them social stigma? No. People still drive cars and older cars that use more emissions. Do they get socially stigmatised?No. So please don’t speak like you are everyone. Because anyone that would stigmatise someone over using old lightbulbs really needs to get themselves in check

  37. bill brown 37

    GC, suddenly you’re all over telling everyone how to think – go take a cold shower and get over yourself.

  38. RT 38

    Must be an Act convert, and they polled well below 5%

  39. Janet

    Choice is not a culture construct (what ever the &*^%$ that means)

    Choice is choice.

  40. Quoth the Raven 40

    GC – What’s environmentally unfriendly about a fireplace? Fitsimmons has a fireplace. As long as you’re burning wood there’s nothing wrong.

  41. gingercrush 41

    cultural construct – Pathetic sociology term.

    bill brown – You get over yourself or would you stigmatise someone for using old light bulbs? Yeah I think you would. Such a shame.

  42. Janet 42

    Brett
    Some people are in a position to exercise choice (because of wealth, access to resources, money, transport etc). Most people aren’t. Choice is not a neutral term. It is a concept that some people have created to justify their own access to, or desire for something, that other people can’t have (for a variety of reasons).

    GC
    Green issues are actually sustainability of the planet and support for humanity issues. Wait till President Obama gets going – being Green will not only be very cool, but finally people will realise that it is essential for our mutual survival.

  43. gingercrush 43

    Yes Green issues will become more relevant I actually don’t disagree with you there. As for Obama. Before Obama a number of states were already working on Green ideas and in America the best way is through the states though Obama will be a larger proponent of Green issues. I wouldn’t expect miracles from Obama and increasingly his team isn’t looking like change its looking like a government from the left. Which is fine but to me Obama’s whole rhetoric was a change and an America citizens can once again believe in. But when most of your team is made up of the same washington insiders as the Clinton administration I don’t see change. And also in America there are several steps where Green issues will be resisted. Unless Obama totally changes how Washington operates which I think looks unlikely. The Green movement there will only go so far. And it still requires action to be taken by the states where that will be more effective.

    Green issues likewise will be relevant here. Just because people vote National does not mean we don’t care about green issues or in sustainability. But that doesn’t mean we’ll go down the route of the Green party and implement their policies. That is something most New Zealanders haven’t voted for.

    QtR – I was using that as an example. And I used that as an example because 1 trees breathe in CO2 and 2. burning of wood still creates emissions. And 3. I believe you live in Christchurch which as you know has certain smog levels that are rather unacceptable and the council has implemented new standards in housing etc for what a person can or can’t use as energy. Thus even burning wood fireplaces have been tackled as part of that implementing. Thus by Janet’s analogy people could have been stigmatised for having wood burners. But that hasn’t happened meaning I can’t see how someone would be stigmatised for using old lightbulbs.

  44. DB,

    Choice is choice.

    Whicha choice is whicha..?

    There’s the choice of preferment(aka cultural construct (of becoming))..

    and the optional choice – can have one, can’t another – as per the intended law re out with incandescents, in with low wattage light efficiency.

    BTW: be interesting to note how incandescents are characterised since they do waste heat energy( excepting the infrared jobs at 250 watts for tiny bathrooms!)

    and the choice most folks take the word to mean, between one thing and another, both retained or available..

  45. Im always amazed how ordinary folk have fallen for Nanny State as a means of attacking the Political left. In a natural crisis like floods and slips these same people are the first to moan if “nanny state”action is not started at once.
    The wealthy and privaledged among us have done very well out of “nanny state ” but as soon as a helping hand is given to working people the rich and their mates say
    its nanny state .A simular motive is when the union movement gains something for its workers , the first in the queue to recieve are the non unionists. The left needs to capture the power of words ,and well before the next election.

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    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    3 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    5 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    6 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    7 days ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
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