Bryan Gould: An impartial press

Written By: - Date published: 11:25 am, June 29th, 2014 - 34 comments
Categories: accountability, david cunliffe, labour, making shit up, Media, news, Politics, spin, uk politics - Tags: , , ,

Bryan Gould workingReposted from Bryan Gould’s website.

Bryan Gould was a British MP, contender for the British Labour party leaders position, and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waikato. This article was first offered to the NZ Herald as an opinion piece. For some reason they declined to print it.

The leader of the British Labour Party, Ed Miliband, is undoubtedly competent, and he enjoys the support of his party, but his poll ratings are abysmal – and that is welcome relief to a Conservative-led Coalition government, whose performance in office has been less than stellar and for whom Ed Miliband’s troubles are the only thing going for them.

The overwhelmingly right-wing British press has played a significant role in this scenario. They lose no opportunity to show the Labour leader in a poor light, as witness the media frenzy when Miliband was filmed making a mess of a bacon sandwich during a television interview.

A bacon sandwich? A minor affront to good manners or good taste, you might think, but hardly a hanging offence. But the press knew what they were doing. The episode offered a chance to reinforce an image of incompetence – and a politician, particularly one of Jewish origins, eating a bacon sandwich would offend significant numbers of voters from different religious groupings.

In New Zealand, the episode may occasion a wry smile; we all know that the British press is notoriously biased. Our own press may have their own allegiances but they manage to maintain (don’t they?) a reasonable degree of impartiality in their political reporting.

Which is why there are some disturbing features about the press treatment of the supposed “scandal” (as it is regularly referred to) of Donghua Liu and David Cunliffe. There can be no doubt that this supposed saga was deliberately designed by National Party strategists to do the maximum damage to the Labour leader, and that the bullets they fashioned were duly fired, as they knew they would be, by the national media.

Let us rehearse how the saga developed. A perfectly appropriate letter written by David Cunliffe on behalf of a constituent in 2003 was discovered by National’s Immigration Minister a month or two ago. It was then held back until after David Cunliffe had been lured into denying that he had ever advocated for Donghua Liu – something he had no reason to remember and which a search of his records had failed to reveal. The letter was then released with the intention of showing that Cunliffe, in making that denial, was either a liar or a fool.

That same Donghua Liu then alleged that he had donated over $100,000 to the Labour Party; that allegation had been signalled in advance by the Prime Minister from New York. “There is more to come – wait and see,” he said, and in doing so revealed that he knew that the allegation – true or otherwise – was coming and that he was confident that it would be headlined by the media, as it duly was.

The allegation has, of course, crumbled following proper investigation. But, another day, another headline – this time the shocking revelation that Donghua Liu had given $2000 in 2007 to a Hawkes Bay rowing club whose members included the daughters of a Labour politician.

How is it that this minor gift, an unsubstantiated allegation made by a convicted criminal, and an innocent letter written by a constituency MP doing his job, were magnified to dominate the political agenda for so long? How did the Prime Minister know in advance that a story that had little or no substance would be so useful in damaging the Labour party and in diverting attention from the much more significant story of Maurice Williamson’s , Judith Collins’, and his own links with various Chinese businessmen?

And how can the media as a whole be proud of their role? Is this what is meant by and is to be expected from an even-handed treatment of the political debate? Or does it show that our press is prepared to offer its services to one side of that debate, by giving maximum coverage to a story deliberately engineered to show the other side in a bad light?

The defence offered will always be that a free press must be allowed to make its own judgments of the newsworthiness of particular stories and that there are other outlets that take a different and equally partisan approach. But can we be happy when supposedly responsible journalists so deliberately use their privileged access to our most important news outlets to shape the news, thereby serving the interests of just one party and reflecting the political preferences both of themselves and of the major corporations that own the papers they work for?

And, on the day when the Herald prominently promotes the carefully-timed, pre-election hagiography of John Key written by one of its senior leader-writers and political journalists, we are surely entitled to ask, how close is the nexus between that paper and the National Party? Is our press really so different when it comes to the political treatment of bacon sandwiches?

 

34 comments on “Bryan Gould: An impartial press ”

  1. dimebag russell 1

    the press there is no good but where is the alternative?
    no playpower.
    no OZ.
    no fun.
    no nothing.
    the left or what ever has to be more creative.
    there is a lot at stake here and the trajectory has to lose its own momentum.
    time to raise a new regiment of hippeis to break the iron bands of conformity imposed by the present state of capitalism.

  2. cogito 2

    Great piece, thanks Bryan. As an ex-Pom, I always followed you in your UK Labour Party days.

    One of the saddest things about NZ is the lack of REAL political analysis on the main tv channels – unlike the BBC etc – no Panorama, or Question Time…. no Sir Robin Day, Brian Walden et al to really grill politicians and show them up for their hypocrisies and double standards. Instead we have political lapdogs and attention seekers who are more concerned with their own careers than with shedding light.

    • Once was Tim 2.1

      True – but I fear that’s a rather romantic notion of the BBC at the moment. At least there are still people within willing to fight for its mandate – whereas here, in little ole aspiration JK NewZill, the 4th Estate have given up.
      Ekshly …. I’d go further. There seem to be a number of budding jonolists in our media who’re are clamouring to go get a job with ‘Auntie’ so they can “get across” all those wonderful stories – except that Auntie is fast becoming ‘Granny’ too (going forward).

    • Chooky 2.2

      +100 …great post!…always admired Bryan Gould …tragedy Tony Blair got in

  3. Kat 3

    The whole Donghua Liu affair has backfired so badly on the Herald and National that in pure poetic irony Labour could now pick up a fair proportion of sympathy support. No wonder Key and his henchman Joyce are this weekend warning of voting complacency by right leaning voters.

    • Ant 3.1

      The problem is that it hasn’t backfired. National know that they can influence a large group of voters whose perceptions are totally shaped by the media ruckus at the beginning of a smear, they never witness the unravelling.

      Hit and run smears rely on journalists that are 50% lazy and 50% complicit, if journalists exercised any scrutiny or criticality these smears would automatically backfire on National. National have been using this method for years and it’s been working.

      • poem 3.1.1

        Not this time. Its been unsuccessful. So yeah, it has backfired but the fallout against national hasn’t been seen YET. If real journalism existed in this country, john key would have been history long ago. So stop with the cop outs, it has nothing to do with reporters being lazy, they are just doing the job for national, or more appropriately, john key.

      • It’s certainly backfired on the Herald, and it may actually shield Labour a little from further dirty tricks campaigns, but we’ll see if it’s actually hurt National or helped Labour at all in upcoming polls- I doubt it will be possible to tell given Labour’s current trend of increasing political disengagement.

    • poem 3.2

      +1Kat.

  4. David 4

    I think you may be giving a bit too much credit to National for the Liu saga, Labour should have better protected the leader by doing some basic research before leaving him looking absolutely ridiculous.
    The British media reflect British society which is why the Sun, Times, Telegraph do ok and the Guardian is on life support. They don’t risile from humiliating posh boy Cameron either, British sense of humour is all it is and expected from its robust print media.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1

      Basic research ?
      Not finding a letter that was on a computer from 11 years ago ( the days of floppy disks if that)

      While the Herald doesnt do basic research on the value of donations alleged to be given to Labour, but its deputy editor does look a cemetery records to find the local of Keys fathers grave.

      Some of us are going to have a field day with Roughans book , checking the facts given up by Key

      • phillip ure 4.1.1

        i’ve said before i think labours’ big screw-up there was not to wheel out mike williams from day one..

        ..to say:..”i was the money-man then..i wd have known of donations of this size..

        ..there is no way i could not have known of donations of this size..(we aren’t national..!..)

        ..and this is complete and utter bullshit..

        ..cd you plse produce some evidence of this plse..”

        ..that wd have closed down that saga on that day one..

        ..and wd have had the media going back to liu/key..demanding evidence..

        ..(‘mike williams said…etc etc..and he wd know..surely?..so where is the evidence..?’..)

        ..that is why i am so puzzled nobody in the labour inner-circle also realised this..

        ..and did that..

        ..and that is why i was asking every day..in this forum..as that ‘saga’ dragged on and on..

        ..’where the f. is mike williams..?..he cd clear this up in a minute..!’

    • Tracey 4.2

      yes david, your version explains the nats having the letter weeks in advance and key announcing it from the usa so smugly.

      • poem 4.2.1

        And that David Cunliffe was only warned about it a half an hour before it hit the headlines and the NZ Herald REFUSED labour a copy of Liu’s statement.

      • Once was Tim 4.2.2

        Speaking of smugness – I just did my daily constitutional.
        Courtenay Place (2 Homeless/Beggars), thru’ to the Te Papa markets – others looking for a bit of cash for a trip to the local fast food … Then on past MFC where the Natzi were having a get-together – dripping in smugness, fashion crime, and the nouveau-riche …. then on to New World City where I expected to see another person begging for a few dollars. Guess what? Sure enough there was a new face begging (one, not unlike others I encounter, with mental health issues – dosed up and kicked out from his regular shelter for the day)
        A Brighter Future? I think not.
        (btw …. those fashion crimes were bloody awful too!)

    • Sigh. They DID do “basic research”. Unless you have perfect records of all your correspondence with a filing system which would perfectly identify a single pro forma letter mis-spelling the subject’s surnamed from 11 years ago …

      • Once was Tim 4.3.1

        +1
        …. and I’ve got a $4m document management system designed by a committee of non-technical people; redesigned as the project proceeded to provide extra bells and whistles; and programmed by a shitload of truly aspirational newbees.
        Should do the trick eh? We can’t call it NovaDoc – but think of an acronym!

  5. Saarbo 5

    Excellent.

    This may well have backfired on National. I have noticed that other media now asking the tough questions of National, both coran dann and Susan Wood were noticeably a bit tougher on National on this mornings Q&A. We will see how long this lasts I suppose.

  6. ianmac 6

    Well said Bryan. Disturbing and so difficult to counter.

  7. Tracey 7

    In 1975 rupert murdoch ordered his newspaper editors to metaphorically “kill Whitlam”. Why would he have allowed his editor more independence over tge years, given the success in 1975.

    To those who suggest editors are not influenced by ceo or owners, have a read of the following (you will need to have you eyes open).

    http://m.smh.com.au/national/murdoch-editors-told-to-kill-whitlam-in-1975-20140627-zson7.html

  8. dimebag russell 8

    I failed to mention at the start that the media need constant lashing.
    they are hired hands.
    not movers and shakers.
    They need to be bashed up over every false move, corrected and bossed by the people and since the interweb arrived it is now possible.
    otherwise they get too big for their boots and begin to think they are somebodies.

  9. swordfish 9

    Bryan Gould: “The leader of the British Labour Party, Ed Miliband, is undoubtedly competent, and he enjoys the support of his party, but his poll ratings are abysmal…”

    Yep. And that tells us something too about the constant MSM narrative in New Zealand that Cunliffe’s poor Preferred PM ratings mean Labour/the Left can never win the Election.(part and parcel of this strange ‘Presidentialisation of politics that the local media have foisted on us in recent years – even to the extent of conflating Key with National (National’s ratings often referred to as “Key’s support”) and Cunliffe with Labour).

    The reality is that Preferred PM ratings really don’t mean shit.

    Miliband is well behind Cameron as Preferred PM and yet the British Labour Party has almost always led the Polls since the last British Election. At the moment, here in NZ, you simply have Nat supporters overwhelmingly preferring Key (over 90% of them), Labour voters preferring Cunliffe first and foremost (42%), but closely followed by “Not Sure” (37%) with very few going for Key (6%). Green voters, too, express a high “Not Sure” response, followed by Norman, followed by Cunliffe (again, Key receives just 6 % support as PM from Greens). (all Fairfax-Ipsos Statistics). Although I haven’t yet checked, I suspect it’s the same for Miliband – British Labour supporters far more likely to be “Not Sure” on Preferred PM than supporting Cameron. That’s, to some extent, natural when the Opposition leader is relatively unknown and untested. The Election campaign proper, of course, will often lift those ratings (as it certainly did for Helen Clark in 1996, for instance). So, the fact is, in both NZ and the UK, you consistently have a sizeable chunk of Labour supporters who, despite being unsure on Preferred PM, continue to choose Labour in Opinion Polls.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Milliband has been drifting to the centre more and more under media pressure. Compare the kinds of “real red” speeches he was seeking when he was seeking the Labour leadership. (!)

  10. Delia 10

    Many in the Press are just horrible people. As long as they get a headline that is OK. They rarely attack John Key because that would make them unpopular with the rich folk who employ them. Morals out the window years ago. Look at the difference in the television media in the 1990’s compared with today when they show old film on Q&A. The interviewers actually appear to scare the politicians. No politician has anything to fear from the media nowadays, unless you are Cunliffe, Shearer…Craig as well, who Key does not want. Why do we read or listen to any of it?

  11. swordfish 11

    Yeah, isn’t it always the way ! I was on the New Statesman’s comment thread supporting Ed against his Blairite/Third Way-leaning brother, David, back at the time of their leadership election (I think most other commenters assumed I was a Brit).

    Ed was promising to move the Party’s broad direction heavily away from the ugly Blairite-cum-Thatcherite excesses of the late 90s / early Zeros towards something a little closer to real Social Democracy. How things have changed.

    Arguably something not entirely dissimilar has happened to Cunliffe’s Labour Party here, under pressure from both the MSM and the ABCs. Then again, maybe, as some have implied, it was all a deliberate strategy – start off Red to secure the core activist / supporter base, then move into Light-Blue territory to win over “Centrist” swing-voters, thus implicitly giving the one-fingered salute to a hefty chunk of the Missing Million. As Jack Vowles has argued: Ideological / Policy convergence between the two major parties = lower turnout (particularly for the young and poor).

  12. swordfish 12

    That was a reply to CV, incidently (Lap-top playing up big-time). And there was me a few weeks ago relentlessly taking the piss out of various Tory Tr*lls for not being bright enough to use the Reply button. Oh the irony !

  13. Liberal Realist 13

    Good post Bryan Gould.

    The Donghua Liu saga is yet another, perhaps the most naked, example of NZ MSM’s transparent bias in favour of the National government.

    I can’t bring myself to call these chumps Journalists. They’re not. Sensationalist at best, ‘Rabid Faux Fox’ at worst. Sound bites, served up for consumption seems to be all we get from NZ MSM.

    Look at Gower in NYC / DC for example. The unobjective git huffing and puffing about how JK has some ‘big calls’ to make regarding NZ’s ‘moral support’ for The United States military interventions in the Iraq? Gower appears to be in a long grovel to be JK’s next press secretary. Garner is not much better than Gower although I suspect he’s a bit more intelligent, hence better at hiding his bias. Fairfax sensationalists are no better. Vance et al can hardly be called objective. Seeing Fairfax is majority owned by Gina Rhinehart that’s not a surprise. The Herald has thrown all vestige of objectivity when they chose to run with DHL’s unsubstantiated claims of $100k donations to Labour.

    This lot must get sore knees given all of the prostrating they do to their pin up boy Key, how does he do it?

  14. Stuart Munro 14

    Korea had this media integrity issue in the Park years. The survivors of Chun Do Hwan’s oppressions launched a newspaper capitalised by public subscription which did stirling work in fighting fascism for several decades. It was called the Hankyoreh – and though it has had to be rescued since Lee Myung Bak did his considerable best to destroy it, it remains a way of preserving an alternative narrative to that of the Murdochracy, that governments have unwisely allowed to develop disproportionate influence.

  15. Papa Tuanuku 15

    If a bunch of Labour supporters were actively criticizing labour position holders, it would be all over the headlines.

    What then of the item on Prime News tonight? A national party member of the ‘taxpayers union’ walks across the road from the national party conference and does an interview at the bottom of cuba street.

    Shouldn’t this be blown up into a story of staunch national party members and supporters attacking their own party?

    • McFlock 15.1

      nah – looking at the online report the non-parliamentary ACToids seem to be under the impression that NZ don’t have rural fires, so DoC shouldn’t send staff to Aus for training with the main event.

  16. philj 16

    xox
    Q. “This lot must get sore knees given all of the prostrating they do to their pin up boy Key, how does he do it?”
    A. A bottle of wine from JK to the sickophant so caled journalists at Christmas and a friendly phone call, just to keep in touch. Its really simple.

  17. JA Messer 17

    George Monbiot’s column in today’s (July 1st) Guardian ‘The real enemies of press freedom are in the newsroom’ should be required reading for all NZ journalists working in the media – and everyone concerned by the ‘political monoculture’ which afflicts the NZ press.

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    National: The Party of ‘Law and Order’ IntroductionThis weekend, the Government formally kicked off one of their flagship policy programs: a military style boot camp that New Zealand has experimented with over the past 50 years. Cartoon credit: Guy BodyIt’s very popular with the National Party’s Law and Order image, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • A friend in uncertain times

    Day one of the solo leg of my long journey home begins with my favourite sound: footfalls in an empty street. 5.00 am and it’s already light and already too warm, almost.If I can make the train that leaves Budapest later this hour I could be in Belgrade by nightfall; ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • The Chaotic World of Male Diet Influencers

    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    6 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    6 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    6 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    7 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    1 week ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but important read. IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the Greens had egg on their faces. At the time, Christopher Luxon said ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    1 week ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Government moves to ensure flood protection for Wairoa

    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced his intention to appoint a Crown Manager to both Hawke’s Bay Regional and Wairoa District Councils to speed up the delivery of flood protection work in Wairoa."Recent severe weather events in Wairoa this year, combined with damage from Cyclone Gabrielle in 2023 have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • PM speech to Parliament – Royal Commission of Inquiry’s Report into Abuse in Care

    Mr Speaker, this is a day that many New Zealanders who were abused in State care never thought would come. It’s the day that this Parliament accepts, with deep sorrow and regret, the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.  At the heart of this report are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government acknowledges torture at Lake Alice

    For the first time, the Government is formally acknowledging some children and young people at Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital experienced torture. The final report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State and Faith-based Care “Whanaketia – through pain and trauma, from darkness to light,” was tabled in Parliament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government acknowledges courageous abuse survivors

    The Government has acknowledged the nearly 2,400 courageous survivors who shared their experiences during the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State and Faith-Based Care. The final report from the largest and most complex public inquiry ever held in New Zealand, the Royal Commission Inquiry “Whanaketia – through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Half a million people use tax calculator

    With a week to go before hard-working New Zealanders see personal income tax relief for the first time in fourteen years, 513,000 people have used the Budget tax calculator to see how much they will benefit, says Finance Minister Nicola Willis.  “Tax relief is long overdue. From next Wednesday, personal income ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Paid Parental Leave improvements pass first reading

    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden says a bill that has passed its first reading will improve parental leave settings and give non-biological parents more flexibility as primary carer for their child. The Regulatory Systems Amendment Bill (No3), passed its first reading this morning. “It includes a change ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Rebuilding the economy through better regulation

    Two Bills designed to improve regulation and make it easier to do business have passed their first reading in Parliament, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. The Regulatory Systems (Economic Development) Amendment Bill and Regulatory Systems (Immigration and Workforce) Amendment Bill make key changes to legislation administered by the Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • ‘Open banking’ and ‘open electricity’ on the way

    New legislation paves the way for greater competition in sectors such as banking and electricity, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly says. “Competitive markets boost productivity, create employment opportunities and lift living standards. To support competition, we need good quality regulation but, unfortunately, a recent OECD report ranked New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says lotteries for charitable purposes, such as those run by the Heart Foundation, Coastguard NZ, and local hospices, will soon be allowed to operate online permanently. “Under current laws, these fundraising lotteries are only allowed to operate online until October 2024, after which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

    The Coalition Government is accelerating work on the new four-lane expressway between Auckland and Whangārei as part of its Roads of National Significance programme, with an accelerated delivery model to deliver this project faster and more efficiently, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “For too long, the lack of resilient transport connections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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