Cannabis, teens, and fecal matter

Written By: - Date published: 8:56 am, July 10th, 2019 - 28 comments
Categories: drugs, Social issues, tax - Tags: ,

An article in the BBC News caught my eye last night. “Teens less likely to use cannabis when it’s legal, US study finds“. The study was pretty preliminary but quite specific. 

Now I can speculate about why, and I’m sure that some will. But the prosaic explanations by a author were pretty good working theory.

Lead author of the study Mark Anderson told the Associated Press that the study, published in the medical journal Jama Paediatrics, “should help to quell some concerns that use among teens will actually go up”.

His team analysed data on about 1.4 million teenagers in the US, taken from the Youth Risk Behaviour Surveys, an annual national survey carried out by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr Anderson said it was usually harder for teens to buy from licensed dispensaries – where proof of age is required – than from dealers, which could partly explain the drop. Cannabis sold in dispensaries is also often more expensive.

Dr Anderson said that the researchers did not find a change after medical cannabis was legalised – only when the drug was legalised for recreational purposes.

And the obvious caveat applied…

Dr Anderson told the US broadcaster CNN that, because most states that have legalised cannabis did so recently, the team would need to continue to track the data and update their findings “in a few years”.

Now I have no particular love or dislike about cannabis. I simply don’t care. People have been smoking weed around me for decades and I find them to be as vague with or without. They’re somewhat less annoying than drunks, and usually way less offensive than the smokers and vapers in public spaces.

For me.. Well I’m a programmer and really really use my well-honed brain. It means that I’m kind of irritated when it can’t do what I want it to do.

Which is why getting older sucks because I can use less raw brain power to problem solve. On the other-hand it does get offset by way more accumulated guile. 

The couple of times that I tried weed, I simply couldn’t program properly for days afterwards. I’ve never gone back to marijuana or any of its cousins. I prefer the more immediate and less sustained effects of wine.

So personally I put smoking cannabis as being as dangerous to others as getting the flu or doing all night multi-user games or getting infatuated with good bottle of whiskey. You really shouldn’t try to drive, make financial decisions or program after any of those either.

There are people who have issues when they overindulge. Just as I have seen people with issues with alcohol or  various medications. But in my life I haven’t seen any evidence that cannabis users need to be criminalised for use.

Have access to counselling yes. Shoved in a cell to come off their idiotic high to prevent personal injury or being a danger to others – sure. Criminalised – no.

But there several other reasons to decriminalise – to improve the quality of supply, and to tax. For instance, this is somewhat extreme, but consider the supply chain implications from this study earlier this year on the quality of hashish in Madrid..

Street cannabis ‘contains dangerous amount of faecal matter‘. 

Traces of E.coli bacteria and the Aspergillus fungus were found by analysts who examined 90 samples bought in and around the Spanish capital.

The samples of hashish were wrapped up in plastic “acorns” were the worst offenders, reportedly because of the way they are smuggled into the country.

Some 40% of these also had the aroma of faeces, the study’s lead author said.

What the article was delicately referring to was explained further down the page.

The acorns, he said, were more likely to be contaminated because of how they were brought into the country – the cannabis is wrapped up in small plastic pellets and swallowed before the drug smugglers then “take a laxative and expel” them in a toilet. These are then sold by dealers.

Urggh… Now smoking or consuming that constitutes an extreme personal stupidity driven public health issue. Just like having preventable measles outbreaks is. But it is also a direct consequence of criminalisation. Just as the spiking of various drugs by dealers here with more addictive substances is.

And then of course there is all of that untaxed income from illegal enterprises that sucks investment away from the productive economies.

For me it is a no-brainer. We should treat most minor drugs just like we do with alcohol and tobacco. Tax them heavily. Ensure the quality of supply. Spend the revenue raised on dealing with the civil disorder issues from over-indulging dimwits, education, counselling and the inevitable socila and health consequences.

It’d be way less of an social ill than trying to do something daft like driving that trade underground

 

28 comments on “Cannabis, teens, and fecal matter ”

  1. Ad 1

    Recreational alcohol is age regulated. But its taxes are not hypothecated to its harms.

    Smoking is age regulated. But its taxes are not hypothecated to its harms either.

    As soon as you have any legal line drawn, there will still be risk taking and crime; it might be lessened, but gangs that make and distribute are so huge in New Zealand it's hard to predict.

    It would be easier to regulate the desire for marijuana's active ingredients through vaping ingredients. That way more people get the experience they want without the cancer-causing combustion part of it.

    How you would turn the above into a binding and useful referendum question is hard to imagine.

    • WeTheBleeple 1.1

      When seeking cannabis from gang-related supply, it is common for persons to instead be offered synthetics and/or P. While a relatively recent phenomenon, it is widespread.

      The gangs are not concerned with what you take, merely with how much they make.

      A black market needs to be hidden. Cannabis takes a few months to produce, uses high volumes of electricity, takes considerable space, and the return is small – in comparison to synthetics and P. Good old market forces aye.

      Take the massive police resources chasing pot growers around and apply it to the scourge of P and synthetics.

      A majority of NZ pot growers today are rural, or specifically addressing their or others medicinal needs. They are a rare breed compared to only a decade ago.

      Cannabis can be as varied from one strain to the other as valium is to caffeine. Making a call as to it's effects is anecdotal and means little to nothing. The weed I like lets me sleep easy and has no lingering effects – while hangovers severely limit functionality. The typical drunk does far more harm than the myopic stoner. Alcohol is strongly correlated with violence, sexual violence, traffic accidents, A & E intakes… Just ask the health professionals, social workers, judges, prison population…

      What specific cannabinoid profile is in the material determines effect, as does the concentration/s of metabolites in each strain. Legalisation removes the crap-shoot of trying to match metabolite profiles to medical condition/user requirements.

      A person needing to take the edge off of their day should be able to smoke/vape/consume some anxiolytic weed. Far more desirable than leaving the general public to attempt to self medicate on unknown weed strains, synthetics, alcohol, hard drugs, prescription pills and their myriad side effects…

      Mental Health affects a large proportion of our population. Those afflicted often self-medicate. Bring cannabis into both the market and health industry.

      Have knowledgeable people dispensing it.

      It's high time.

      P.S. The only place you’ll find butt smuggled weed in NZ is in the prison system.

      • Ad 1.1.1

        I would find it hard to disagree with marijuana as a sleep medicine.

        Apart from that I await the draft regulatory framework.

  2. Dukeofurl 2

    When an paper uses words like 'analysed data' and '1.4 million teens' you just know its one of those throw stuff into the air and see what happens 'studies'.

    Its not even a peer reviewed article , but a 'research letter'

    • lprent 2.1

      Always so much fun when someone selectively quotes.

      It usually means that it is a random nut trying to frame the debate. The rest of the paragraph gave the source.

      … taken from the Youth Risk Behaviour Surveys, an annual national survey carried out by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

      That was why there was sufficient data to analyse. This is the primary source for many of the child health policy decisions in the US.

      As I pointed out in the post the legislative changes are too recent to have much useful data. The only way to do the type of analysis is to look at large sets of data with previous data sets – which this is.

      It wouldn't surprise me if this appears in a peer reviewed. But it is valuable for policy inferences.

      • Dukeofurl 2.1.1

        Having looked at the entire research letter it seems state specific results are mixed

        "For instance, using data from Monitoring the Future, Cerdá et al3 found increased marijuana use among 8th and 10th graders after it was legalized for recreational use in Washington State. However, these authors found no evidence of an association between legalization and adolescent marijuana use in Colorado. Using data from the Washington Healthy Youth Survey, Dilley et al4 found that marijuana use among 8th and 10th graders fell after legalization for recreational purposes."

        Of course the US has varied laws , some 30 have medical marijuana laws (MML) while 10 have recreational use laws.

        No sure what the numbers are for MML only states , as its unlikely a teenager would be getting a 'prescription' . The letter says they considered data for both MML and recreational states

        • McFlock 2.1.1.1

          Yes, that's data frequently behaves: some places go up, some places go down, you try to make sure everyone's measuring the same thing, and then you see how things go overall.

          This is simply a report back on the initial stages of an overall longer-term assessment. The only determination so far is that the sky hasn't fallen in yet, and doesn't even look particularly shaky. Look up the author on google scholar in five or ten years for the peer-reviewed stuff.

  3. reason 3

    Keeping teens of Cannabis, Booze or other drugs is about being engaged with them and helping them participate in activities they enjoy / sports / dance/ swimming /music or whatever they like … be pleased to be their taxi, know their friends and their general where abouts ,,, be fair and consistent.

    Prohibition has never protected teens, instead it exposes them to getting a police criminal record, contact with gangs and criminals … and the potentially lethal lab made ' synthetics ' ,,, as the mark up for dealers from Synthetics is HUGE ….. in the order of 20 X more mark up than reselling Cannabis….

    Cannabis prohibition is actually a nasty cult … like all cults its based on a Big lie.

    All and any of the criminal charges teenagers or others face … are based on ' the law is an ass ' decree ….where any consumption of Cannabis has been defined as " Drug Abuse", which any thinking person can see is crap.

    Modern Science and medicine defines " Drug Abuse " … ' as continuing the use of a drug when it is damaging your health or ability to function normally in life, ie if it affects your work or relationships etc.

    And from this legal lie of drug abuse ,,,, spins more crazy abuse of our laws and rights.

    The smell of Cannabis allows the police to invoke "emergency powers " … stripping citizens of rights in a "martial law" kind of way.

    How the hell is smoking a joint … an emergency?? …. Its just another lie ,,, its abuse of drug policy.

    Being honest and fair is very important with teenagers … and at all other stages of their growth,,,, Our justice system is dishonest and unfair to the point of being a Abuse system … with a racist bias ,,, to teens and others.

    Duncan Garner was moaning about what would he tell his kids about 'legalising drugs', in the current Cannabis debate ,,,I pity his kids ,,, Dads either stupid or dishonest ,,,

    • I feel love 3.1

      Good stuff @reason, totally agree (I'm a father to a near teen and I have no fear of talking to her about anything).

      • reason 3.1.1

        Thats the way I feel Love 🙂 … it's how family should be … and it's a huge reward in getting it right as a parent .. happy secure children when young and growing … And the benefits your loving parent / child relationship provide serve them well all through their lives ,,, I'm so proud of my kids who are now young adults…. and of course half the credit must go to their mother.

        My daughter took on a hard path of study and work in the field of medicine ,,, my son the challenges of one of the engineering ranches

        I love them both dearly ….

        Attacks on young people … by so many bad settings in society, anger me greatly.

        Priests and cults winning against science and medicine should have ended long ago.

        Abuse of state powers …. as represented by people like Mike Sabin or drug squad cops …. are a far bigger threat than Cannabis.

        They are groomers …….

    • bwaghorn 3.2

      I learnt my drinking and smoking weed at a rugby club as a 14 year old . I hope things have changed but I doubt it.

      • Dennis Frank 3.2.1

        No kidding? I didn't know rugby players getting high was a thing. "Hey man, focus! Grab the ball!" "Oh yeah, it is too. Cool shape!" wink

    • Dukeofurl 3.3

      You are entirely wrong.

      Smoking a joint doesnt give teenager a criminal record in the way you suggest. Nor does underage use of alcohol.

      No need to worry about about the legalisation, as its not going to happen.

      • reason 3.3.1

        I'm entirely wrong ????? I presented over 20 different bits of information and advice,. You try to refute 1 of them …. Thats a failure of logical thought and basic english.

        Cults do that to people surprise

        According to experts …… and whats written in our laws …

        “Unfortunately, the Misuse of Drugs Act is an inadequate and harmful piece of legislation that needs a complete overhaul, as recommended by the Law Commission way back in 2011.”

        Not that criminalising people who use cannabis has stopped. Last year 1,700 convictions were handed out for cannabis possession or use, and in the last decade there were over 45,000. Young people and Māori receive a disproportionate share of those convictions.

        A conviction can affect employment, family relations, mental health, travel, insurance, housing and more – and those ongoing impacts are often completely out of proportion to the ‘crime’ itself.

        Right now, handing out a conviction and punishment is all the law can offer. Is this the best we can do?

        https://www.drugfoundation.org.nz/news-media-and-events/regulating-cannabis-is-the-best-option-to-protect-public-health/

        https://www.police.govt.nz/advice/drugs-and-alcohol/cannabis-and-law

        Cannabis laws and penalties

        Penalties associated with cannabis range from a $500 fine ( and police /criminal record ) for possession ……. to a 14 year jail term for its supply or manufacture…

        …procure or have in his possession, or consume, smoke, or otherwise use, any controlled drug;

        I'm not worried about whether your cult wins …. Cannabis will be here long long after any memory of your weird thinking exists .

        Some people never recover after being in a cult, I just hope you get better

        and post something real to me next time 🙂 .

    • tc 3.4

      Good post and great comment.

      Gooner, the hosk, lackwit Williams etc will align in a predictable manner singing for their supper.

      Just came back from the UK….joints being openly consumed all over as it's awash with Californias finest.

      We need to be progressive as the thinking members of our police know P is the evil gang driven scourge.

      The not so deep thinkers in police go on to coach AB's and excuse domestic violence.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Excellent essay and I like the way you anchored it in personal experience. Commenting further from my own experience would take too long so I'll go with this:

    The couple of times that I tried weed, I simply couldn’t program properly for days afterwards.

    I see that as a left/right brain hemispheric thing. Left performs sequential functions, such as serial info-processing. Right gives you context.

    Spacing out is essentially holistic – that's why the hippies kept talking about cosmic insights etc. Narrow daily focus binds people into tasks, escapism then becomes the refuge where the mind goes to play.

    Downside of too much holistic consciousness then becomes drowning in deep context. The oceanic effect. You were probably lucky that your shift towards that was relatively tentative in the grand scheme of things… wink

    • RedLogix 4.1

      The couple of times that I tried weed, I simply couldn’t program properly for days afterwards.

      I found the same with alcohol. Or if I did, I'd invariably come back a week later and ask "who wrote this shit?".

      I'm convinced that the legal system is not the correct system to apply to the use of drugs. (The supply of them may well be a different matter.) Certainly there is every good reason to keep drug users out of the legal system. In almost all instances it's a 'cure' way worse than the problem the drugs are causing.

      The big problem is teenagers; few parent are going to vote to let their kids smoke dope with no possible sanction. There is no doubt in my mind there is too much risk of young lives being derailed if they become habitual users; there will always be some kids who lack self-control.

      Also we need to be a lot smarter about the distinction between drugs that have relatively modest downsides like THC and psychoactives, as distinct from the opiates, meth and cocaine which are all potentially very destructive.

  5. bwaghorn 5

    ""The acorns, he said, were more likely to be contaminated because of how they were brought into the country – the cannabis is wrapped up in small plastic pellets and swallowed before the drug smugglers then “take a laxative and expel” them in a toilet. These are then sold by dealers.""

    That's some good shit!!🤣🤣

  6. Bruce 6

    Good post and I agree with Dennis, different strokes for different folks, unfortunatly prohibition plays into this. Folks are doing things because its 'bad' or cool rather than what suits them. And problems ensue. My headmaster new and as he threw me out of his school told me 'you are one of these people who smoke pot' he was right when I later discovered it , it suited me fine. I find it interesting that for you LPrent taking pot is not good for the work you do on machines that were from people who did partake, I may be wrong could be just urban myth that Gates etc were stoners. Anyone who thinks it is illegal for our own good just needs to read the Guest post, the govt has no interest in your wellbeing. Pot is illegal because of fear, fear that these freaks will impact adversly on the way they see the world should be.I feel getting out of it is as much part of a persons make up as the colour of their skin or the partners they choose. From the Yamono Indians to kava , betel, miang, and quot everyone seems to do it and to regulate which ones can be used by whom just does not seem right.

  7. Bewildered 7

    Drug use surveys like political polling are prone to large error, people, especially teenagers don’t tell the truth Similar surveys done on cocaine usage in the 90s in the US had result showing war on drugs was a huge success as usage was supposedly falling dramatically

    • In Vino 7.1

      Maybe true, Bewildered.. My take is that all those people who wail on about the serious damage that excessive intake of pot can inflict upon the brains of vulnerable young people… these people ignore the fact that none of these excessive users are exclusively on pot. These idiots are also overloading on alcohol and God knows what else at the same time. Most likely, it was not cannabis that caused the damage: it was all the other stuff the boofheads took along with it.

  8. Chris T 8

    I am pretty much the same as you.

    As long recreational doesn't interfere with medical getting through I couldn't give a rats whether recreational passes or doesn't.

    It isn't like people are getting locked up or charged for smoking a joint privately and not selling. You can even grow a couple of plants now and no one gives a crap

    Provided they work out a decent way to stop kids getting it too easy like people on the street buying kids booze for them now.

  9. Hamish Stevenson 9

    On that basis, ["harder for teens to buy from licensed dispensaries"] an argument for legalising methamphetamine. The difference is psychological addiction and physical/mental/neurotransmitter addiction. Just saying.

  10. Bruce 10

    Maybe this video is all fake, but seems credible to me, its explains why we are in the situation we need a disscusion on 'How to get there' to solve the problems criminalising cannabis has bought about. Greed and gullible politicians have a lot to answer for.



    • Dennis Frank 10.1

      It's totally legit, Bruce. I had to research the issue when I included cannabis decriminalisation in the Greens justice policy draft (I was convenor of the justice policy working group) long ago. There's history in this documentary I didn't discover back then, so please do send it to the next HTGT!

    • RedLogix 10.2

      Hemp has been legal in Australia for a while now. I'm curious to know how successful they are.

  11. McFlock 11

    Between you and me and not the boss, while cannabis is shit for coding, I find that being massively hungover really helps me find coding errors. Because I'm trying to hold my head on, I slow right down and look at each step and line individually, rather than just skimming through and thinking "ah, this is the correct coding for all the different observation values, something else must be the error source", when actually "F2E" halfway down the block should be "F23".

    I don't do it often, but it has gotten me out of shitloops from time to time.

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    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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.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 ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    5 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    5 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    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 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    6 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1

    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor

    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15

    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15

    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?

    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    7 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution

    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky

    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15

    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond

    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?

    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ

    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    1 week ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response

    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment

    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President

    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Questions from God

    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The politics of money and influence

    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity

    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • District Court judges appointed

    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins

    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended

    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
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