Corporal punishment bullshit

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, May 16th, 2010 - 33 comments
Categories: child discipline, polls - Tags: , ,

Family First have a history of trying to make political capital out of stacked questions. They’re are at it again, distorting the results of a survey question to push for bringing back corporal punishment in schools. They are aided and abetted by some spectacularly bad journalism, here’s the worst example:

Bring the cane back in schools

Half of New Zealanders support the reintroduction of corporal punishment in schools, according to a national survey of 1000 people.

No they don’t.

The poll, by Curia Market Research, asked: “Do you think a school should be able to choose to use corporal punishment, if the board, parents and principal wish to have this as an option for school discipline?” Fifty per cent agreed, 44 per cent disagreed and 6 per cent were undecided.

Right. So what actually happened was that only 50% of respondents can be talked into considering corporal punishment even if the board, parents and principal want it. The question has been set up so that to oppose corporal punishment you have to feel strongly enough about it to overrule the board, parents and principal. Leading question much? If you want to ask if schools should be allowed to use corporal punishment without writing your own answer, here’s how you do it:

“Do you think a school should be able to choose to use corporal punishment?”

From the leading question to the ludicrous headline “Bring the cane back in schools”? No. I have a better idea. Bring the quality back in reporting. Fat chance it seems. This reporter cited the original question, and so should have been able to work out that the conclusion that Family First are pushing was rubbish. Some other reports do the same, some just repeat the nonsense conclusion:

TVNZ: In a poll which asked 1,000 people if a school should be able to choose to use corporal punishment as an option for school discipline. 50% responded yes, 44% said no and 6% didn’t know.

Radio NZ: The lobby group Family First says a survey shows half of New Zealanders support the reintroduction of corporal punishment in schools.

International: Support For Corporal Punishment In Schools – Poll

Family First NZ says that half of NZ’ers support corporal punishment in schools, and the events of the past week may have pushed that support higher.

And so on. This is part of an ongoing Family First campaign to try and link school violence and corporal punishment. From 2009, for example:

School violence blamed on removal of corporal punishment

A big increase in the number of primary school children suspended for violent acts is being blamed on the removal of corporal punishment in schools. Figures from the Ministry of Education show a 88 percent increase in suspensions of eight-year-olds from 2000 to 2008 for assaults on classmates, a 73 percent rise for seven-year-olds, a 70 percent increase for six–year-olds while the suspensions over the same period had increased by 33 percent for five-year-olds.

“It is significant that as schools have removed corporal punishment, schools have become more violent,” Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said today.

Right, two things. First, notice how McCroskie is making claims about schools, but the data applies only to primary schools. In secondary schools (2008) we have a very different picture:

Suspension rates in New Zealand schools have hit an eight year low, Education Minister Chris Carter announced today. The figures have been published in the Ministry of Education’s annual Student Engagement Report, which tracks suspensions, stand-downs, expulsions and exclusions. … The age standardised suspension rate has decreased by 17 per cent since 2000 including a 6.1 per cent reduction from 2006 to 2007.

So with their strongest case Family First can only argue in favour of beating primary kids. Nice. Second thing. Their strongest case is still crap. An increase in suspensions since 2000? More violence in primary since they removed corporal punishment? So when was corporal punishment abolished exactly? Newsflash, corporal punishment has been illegal in schools since 1990. So, what, it took the kiddies ten years to notice that they weren’t getting whacked any more? That’s an absolutely watertight case of cause and effect. Not.

The fact that the underlying argument for bringing back corporal punishment is complete crap only emphasises the duplicity of Family First pushing their agenda driven distortion of the survey, and the pathetic reporting of the issue to date. Lift your game journos. Family First are fruitcakes (yes that’s a technical term). Stop taking anything they say at face value.

33 comments on “Corporal punishment bullshit ”

  1. Kevin Welsh 1

    It never fails to amaze me that in a modern society, the only answers you ever get from Family Fist is to assault someone, and the lengths they will go to to prove that this is the answer to everything.

  2. schrodigerscat 2

    Interesting, looks like you go to Curia to tell them what you want, and they will frame a question to get that result.

    And he calls that bullsh*t market research and polling.

    curia inquisition leading questions …

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      There was a comment in an article in the Listener saying exactly that. Saying that David Farrar runs Curia, a polling company that’ll get poll results to prove your PoV.

  3. Kaplan 3

    Farrar, really does have his fingers in a whole lot of undemocratic crap lately doesn’t he.

  4. mach1 4

    Heck, I can name some of the sadistic arseholes who enjoy a reputation as great educators but were nothing more than violent criminals who routinely assaulted children with weapons.The injuries those pricks inflicted on children ranged from whelts and bruises that lasted weeks through to head injuries and injuries to childrens genitals.

    I’ll even draw a bow between corporal punishment and sexual offending. In 1969 as a fourth former at Hamilton Boys High School I was assaulted by the deputy head on a Friday. He was arrested the following week and charged with sexual misconduct involving a fellow fourth former and never returned to the school.
    If you look at websites connected with the school you’ll find that any reference to the prick has been expunged but the pedophile went on to teach in a polytechnic and to represent staff at a national level. The boy bunting arsehole even found fame as an historian of note.

  5. Bring the quality back in reporting.

    Have you read news reports from forty or fifty years ago?

    When was the golden age of New Zealand newspaper journalism back to which you hark?

  6. Peter Martin 6

    ‘When was the golden age of New Zealand newspaper journalism back to which you hark?’

    It coincided with the golden age of kids never playing up in schools.

  7. philu 7

    you can also see distorted ‘research’ from farrar/curia in the decision to pull the rug from under tuhoe..

    (and chris finlayson..but that’s another story..finlayson is maybe as angry as many in tuhoe..but for different reasons..)

    i cover that dodgy-research question in this piece/op-ed..

    http://whoar.co.nz/2010/commentwhoaron-things-banksboagralstonfarrarand-lets-not-forget-bhatnagarehthe-horse-people-of-the-auckland-apocolypseeh/

    “..and anyone looking for the reasons key did the dirty on tuhoe..

    ..need look no further that the ‘focus-groups’ run by farrar in that centre/ghetto of auckland white-flight the north shore..

    surprise..!..surprise..! .they all leant in with the panic/racist point of view..

    ..is that the result farrar ..and those who ‘advise’ him wanted/were angling for ?

    ‘cos..y’know..!..i cd gather a bunch of racist north shoreites..(lots of sth africans in the mix there..?..farrar..?..)..and come up with the same result..

    whereas anyone not from that demograph..looks at the historical-facts/that case for tuhoe..and goes..’fuck..!..they were ripped-off/screwed-over..eh..?..

    ..why not give them back the ureweraweras..?..at the very least..?..

    (i mean..are white middle-class/rich-folks wanting to flock there to build ‘beach-houses..?

    no..!..’cos the settlers/colonialists stole all the tuhoe ‘good-land/coastal-access..eh..?

    ..and pushed them back into the bush )

    (i mean..even chris finlayson ..keys’ attorney-general sees no problem with returning..in some form..’ownership’ for tuhoe.

    ..and as a stickler for procedure..i am picking he is spitting tacks over key pulling the rug from under him

    ..in such a pre-emptory/sudden/direction-changing manner..)

    of course..when considering farrar..(nationals’ chief-spinner’)..it pays to take into account that he runs the rightwing blog..kiwiblog..

    ..and if you go there..(i wd advise donning full-body protection before entry..i always do..)

    ..there you will find a forum for the most vile/racist attitudes towards maori..and any idea of any restitution for past wrongs..

    ..and farrar ..while censuring/banning those critical of the vile ideas peddled in that little sewer..

    never demurrs and these racists..and their racist-poison..

    ..they are enabled/have free-rein to say whatever they like about maori..(or as they say..’maari’ )

    ..that could not be a clearer indication of where farrar is coming from

    ..and i wonder if key realises he has likely been ‘played’..by darker/racist forces within the national party/this govt..)..

    ..he has been ‘played’ by the reactionaries

    ..aided and abetted by the centre-of-white-flight-chosen ‘focus-groups’ ”

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  8. Galeandra 8

    ROB Everyone spins!! You cite the significant decrease in suspensions/standowns in secondary as evidence without appreciating the situation behind the statistics at all. In my experience a lot of difficult/dangerous students are still allowed to attend because schools are seriously discouraged from suspending & expelling by the MoE.
    I think corporal punishment would actually make things really worse: I can’t see immature and volatile young ruffians willingly bending over any day soon, but that is an opinion quite aside from moral or legal considerations.
    To take official data on surface appearance is quite futile. Witness the nonsense talked about literacy outcomes at various levels: everyone chews happily on the tables of outcomes without ever considering what the data actually consist of ie how exactly it was derived. Let me assure you that stand-downs don’t measure student behaviour anymore than a record of achieving ‘Literacy’ in Level 1 NCEA English tells me that a school leaver will be a competent reader in an adult workplace.

    • Frank 8.1

      As a recently retired secondary school teacher in an all boys school in the South Island I can vouch for the report by Galeandra that the MOE pressured schools to desist from suspensions in order to fit in with Govt. policy. I had boys commiting serious crimes in my classes. (2006/07) They were protected from civil law charges in that they had, at the time, not attained the age of 16 years. But, the school refused to suspend them and put them back in my classes.
      The evidence for increased suspensions when corporeal punishment is removed is well documented. I believe that suspension numbers were fudged by only reporting those that were suspended from the school grounds. In school suspensions I believe were not counted.
      Corporeal punishment is more effective at curbing unwanted behaviour than giving a boy a holiday at home and it keeps him in the classroom

  9. felix 9

    While we’re at it, can we stop referring to this sadistic freak as “Family First”?

    It’s just one guy after all. No need to give his views more weight than any other one guy.

    • QoT 9.1

      I do sometimes ponder just how easy it must be to set up a bogus Concerned Citizens organisation, put out a few inflammatory press releases, and BOOM! become the media’s go-to person on the basis of absolutely nothing. I mean, if Bob McCoskrie can do it …

  10. Yeah family first, cops second, army third. Recipe for stability in the new social order.
    Captcha, pointless, first time its been wrong.

  11. fatty 11

    Family first should be called delusion first.
    I’m sure Jesus is real proud of Bob and his mates, advocating smacking children and locking people up for longer.
    Thats what Jesus would be wanting if he was living here right?
    Instead of helping people, as Jesus did for most of his life, they point the finger and make life more difficult for those in need.
    Bob do something useful with your life, you hurt people and you are detrimental to your religion.

  12. BLiP 12

    Have I got this right – to stop violence in schools, we need more violence? Brilliant.

  13. Descendant Of Smith 13

    As a third former at NPBHS I was caned a lot. My tally was 1st term 48, second term 42, 3rd term 24. That was only the caning from the teachers mind you – this didn’t include the caning from the prefects with bamboo.

    This caning all occurred in the boarding context. In 5 years at that school I was caned once in the fifth form for playing soccer in the hallway with a rubbish bin.

    My misdemeanors were simple ones that any third former should have known better about:
    I was small
    I wore glasses
    I came from a small town
    I played soccer at a rugby school – this was particularly important to the hockey players cause it diverted attention away from them
    I was bright
    I stood up for myself – particularly verbally
    Someone has been at the school previously from my own town who was a bit thick so therefore I must have been by association
    I was on a scholarship
    My parents didn’t go there

    and so on.

    The only thing caning taught me was about how some people – teachers and prefects included abused the power they had. In many respects I was resilient and didn’t suffer greatly from this. There were plenty of others who did suffer though.

    When as a 13 year old you are sent along to the teacher to be caned by the prefect running prep that night and the teacher asks you why have you been sent and you say ” The prefect told me to come along and ask to be caned” and that teacher canes you, without any hesitation, you know there is something quite wrong with the adults in that place.

    This doesn’t even remotely come near to the bullying that occurred either.

    I was talking to a mother once who has a son in jail for murder. He like me went to boarding school, his school was Te Aute. She sent away a quiet nice kid. The only change in behaviour she noticed when he was home was he ate his food fast. She just put that down to growth spurts.

    It seems clear that part of his struggle with violence later in life was a reaction to this bullying and in responding based on what he had learned through these years.

    Since he has been in jail for murder he has talked about the bullying from prefects and seniors and how this was condoned by certain teachers. His experiences are not dissimilar to mine and others I was at school with.

    My observation over the years is that it is not the bullies at school who have problems with violence later in life – it is those who are set upon and bullied. My resilience – I make a point of staying calm and not getting angry – is often the exception.

    For the most part it will further vicitimise people like myself who had done little wrong but were not of the chosen ones.

    For those who come from violent homes it will do nothing but reinforce violence as being OK. If you think that caning is any more a punishment than the hidings we got (they get) from our fathers you would be quite delusional. Compared to being held up in one hand and thrashed with a hand or a belt caning was nothing to many of us.

    Comparing the welts and seeing if blood was drawn was the norm.

  14. To stop violence in schools, we need a zero torleance policy of violence.. The teachers need to set an example.

    I dont see how hitting kids will send them the message that violence is wrong.

  15. 350ppm 15

    What would the headline have been if the question was: “Do you think a school should be able to choose NOT to use corporal punishment, if the board, parents and principal DO NOT wish to have this as an option for school discipline?’

  16. RobtDavies 16

    A well researched piece by a namesake, and yes, a glaring example (as if one were needed) of the almost endemic flaws in New Zealand’s mainstream media. Never did I think that at 27 I’d have developed quite enough cynicism toward the “repeaters” playing with their iPhones to start actively avoiding the television from 6pm onwards, and to see now that the laziness once restricted to *the* television media has spread across to *our* Radio NZ, good God, resistance seems futile.

    People who take Family First seriously might once have been dismissed as fringe. Now, apparently, they’re legitimate enough to commission research (did they really?) and make spectacularly broad statements accusing one-in-two Kiwis of small mindedness, statements our “liberal” (?) media take seriously enough to repeat to every Tom, Dick and Harry as if they came from the mouth of Christ himself.

    All of this has come about because of our appetite for instant, as opposed to considered, reporting. News isn’t newsworthy if it can be reported on almost immediately after it occurs. TVNZ and its competitors spend millions posting their dapper up-and-comers all over the show – here and abroad – for the obligatory live cross or extra special “breaking” news feed. There’s no time for analysis, reflection, understanding of context. Godsake, by the time you’ve indulged all that nonsense the other bugger has been running with the hysteria for a good day or so, and will probably win a Qantas award for their trouble.

    Where does that leave you?

    Best get on top of the story early on. After all, 50% of Kiwis think bringing the cane back to school will teach the ne’er-do-wells a lesson and save teachers from working under the constant threat of attacks by protractor.

    • Turn off the TV 16.1

      Where that leaves me is here, getting my news from blogs rather than the TV 🙂

  17. A Nonny Moose 17

    Rule by Fear, small minded person.

  18. Coz 18

    O.k I am hearing alot of anti-caning enthusiasts out there. I have kids and a I am concerned not because the re-introduction of the cane back into schools, but more because of what is the alternatives to making the school a safer place, where I know that my boys are safe to learn. It is documented that the negative behaviour is rising, and that the bullying has risen to an all time high, not only that but how the bullying is being carried out. Are people aware of the sorts of activities that go on outside of school time on school grounds organised by students because they know teachers have their hands tied therefore do nothing, besides the fact they are shit scared.. Give me some alternatives, I do not hear anything better coming from this argument, just alot of hot wind, albeit from possibly kids still at school. I myself attended boarding school and had my stripes, the point is 380 of us brothers lived happily within that very staunch school, boundaries were very clear. My best school years enjoyed there. I want some alternatives from out there, because what I see is that the cane is a bloody good deterrent if nothing else…..

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    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    7 days ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 week ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    1 week ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that 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 our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago

  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
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    2 weeks ago

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