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Corporate media

Written By: - Date published: 9:58 am, April 24th, 2011 - 34 comments
Categories: business, disaster, Media - Tags: , ,

How much of the “news” that we consume and the “research” that it is based on is bought, paid for, and subservient to, corporate masters? Historically tobacco and drug companies are well known cases where corporations have poured huge amounts of money and energy into manipulating the news. How much of it is still going on? What other corporations are doing the same?

I doubt that we will ever know the full extent of corporate control of the media. But one thing we can do is raise awareness of the proven cases, such as for example the multi-million dollar ExxonMobil campaign against climate change science. Recently another attempted case has come to light:

Emails expose BP’s attempts to control research into impact of Gulf oil spill

Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show BP officials discussing how to influence the work of scientists

BP officials tried to take control of a $500m fund pledged by the oil company for independent research into the consequences of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, it has emerged.

Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show BP officials openly discussing how to influence the work of scientists supported by the fund, which was created by the oil company in May last year.

Russell Putt, a BP environmental expert, wrote in an email to colleagues on 24 June 2010: “Can we ‘direct’ GRI [Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative] funding to a specific study (as we now see the governor’s offices trying to do)? What influence do we have over the vessels/equipment driving the studies vs the questions?”.

… The documents are expected to reinforce fears voiced by scientists that BP has too much leverage over studies into the impact of last year’s oil disaster. … There is no evidence in the emails that BP officials were successful in directing research. The fund has since established procedures to protect its independence.

Other documents obtained by Greenpeace suggest that the politics of oil spill science was not confined to BP. The White House clashed with officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last summer when drafting the administration’s account of what has happened to the spilled oil. …

… Kert Davies, Greenpeace US research director, said the oil company had crossed a line. “It’s outrageous to see these BP executives discussing how they might manipulate the science programme,” Davies said. “Their motivation last summer is abundantly clear. They wanted control of the science.” … A number of scientists had earlier expressed concerns that BP would attempt to point scientists to convenient areas of study – or try to suppress research that did not suit its business. …

Of course BP wants to control the “research” and the “news” relating to the spill. Greenpeace obtained these documents relating to one aspect of their efforts. But what else are they trying? Was that the tip of the iceberg? We the public will never know the extent to which BP has been successful in its attempts.

Let’s keep all this in mind as our own government continues to offer utterly meaningless reassurances on the prospect of drilling off shore from New Zealand’s “100% pure” clean and green coastline.

34 comments on “Corporate media”

  1. Afewknowthetruth 1

    Thanks for highligting this matter.

    It goes much further. We live in an empire in which control of the masses is largely achieved via control of the media. George Orwell pointed it out nearly 70 years ago: the truth was erased, the erasure was forgotten, and the lie became the truth. He also said: ‘I had realised quite early that no incident was ever reported accurately by any newspaper’ (or words to that effect). 

    Mainstream ‘newspapers’ are not newspapers at all: they are privately owned businesses  geared to making profits out of keeping the masses misinformed, and are vehicles for pro-corporate propaganda. That is more so now than in the past, now that the owners of global corporations tell editors what they can or cannot publish, and most community newspapers have no connection whatsoever with the communty they supposedly serve. At least in the past a newspaper was owned by some local person who had a vested interest in the community he lived in. Not so now. It’s all globalised corporatism. A handful of companies own more than 90% of the western mainstream media. So when problems are admitted to, they are downplayed and corporate ‘solutions’ are offered. Of course, most of the time the coprporate ‘solution’ makes matters worse: but hey, who cares? – at least someone made some money implementing it!

    Letters to the editor which challenge what is going on are not published or are heavily edited to remove crucial points (of course). 

    And while we’re on the topic of manipulation, let’s get something quite clear: elections are media-orchestrated circuses, geared to installing puppets and opportunists who won’t rock the boat. So, we are subjected to nearly nonstop mantra relating to economic growth and GDP: in reality, economic growth and GDP are at the heart of the predicament we are in, and are most certainly not the answer: they are what are causing the meltdown of the planet we live on and causing the ever lower quality of life most people are now experiencing; try getting an article that points that out on the fornt page of a ‘newspaper’.

    I recognised how corrupt and manipulative maintream ‘newspapers’ are many years ago when the NZH refused to publish what I had wriiten pointing out irrefutable facts about gobal warming, but the following week published an article denying global warming was a problem at all, written by an NZH business editor. And the community ‘nrewspaper’ for the district I lived in refused to publish the letter I wrote pointing out we needed sustainability, not business as usual. And several years ago I recognised that National Radio is part of the ‘keep the proles misinformed’ system, when Chris Laidlaw held a ‘debate’ on our energy future which never mentioned peak oil in the entire programme. What a joke!  But people still seem to think NR is independent and trustworthy. And if anyone thinks the real issues will be highlighted by TVNZ etc. they are severely deluded. They put so much emphasis on ‘The news you need to know’ -because it isn’t.  
     
    So here we are, with environmental catastrophes occuring on a daily basis (most of them unreported),  the world falling off the oil extraction ‘bumpy plateau’ and headed for economic collapse as extraction goes into severe decline, wars for oil being ramped up all over the place, the ice metling in the Arctic and causing climate instability, the CO2 level in the atmosphere rising out of control and likely to trigger positive feedbacks (if it hasn’t already done so, 392ppm and counting) …. and most people carry on complacently detroying their own futures and their children’s futures  because they are being fed b/s by the government and the media, and do not recognise it.
       
    The future of the world will be determined by ignorance, complacency, denial and corporate control..
     

    • Unless its determined  by knowledge, responsibility, mobilisation and collective control.
      Havnt you noticed that the Arab Spring has nothing to do with what you call corporate media which is still lagging behind in putting its usual spin on events. They are falling over themselves to blog, tweet and have instant talkbacks to catch up. They are even using irony to bridge the generation gap.
      lol profit is a great driver.
      Its the social media and sort-or-weird-semifeudal-medium new kid Al Jazeera that is setting the pace and which has given some voice to the people?
      Emails are a resource for leaking not a social change agent.
      Stop bleating and start tweeting.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    The Left need its own mainstream media channels in NZ.

    • Jimbo 2.2

      ? really? TVNZ / TV3 not enough! 🙂

    • terryg 2.3

      CV, ignoring the tautology, I dont think thats going to help. The real problem is ignorance, leading to apathy. A LFGBW (yes its derogatory, but the really funny thing is it nicely summarises most of what is really important) media channel wont help there.
      I cant really see a solution, other than waiting for our own Tahrir square-style movement – not that that has really achieved a damn thing so far.
      IOW IMO things have to deteriorate to the point that even the most willfully ignorant can no longer fail to see what is so obvious to those of us with AFKTT’s level of comprehension.
      At which point we can finally respond to the oligarchs a-la RATM – fuck them we wont do what they tell us. whereupon the full force of oppression wll befall us.
      Any blacksmith will agree that you cant work cold metal. People have to be prepared to die, because that is what it will take.
      To those who think I am being overly dramatic – GROW UP! There is NO WAY the oligarchs are going to relinquish control without bloodshed, and it mostly wont be theirs.
      And that is what is required, for humanity to finally throw off the shackles of feudalism/fascism/corporatism (pick an -ism, any -ism).

      • Colonial Viper 2.3.1

        Hi terryg, in my mind I think that our current MSM is adding to the ignorance and misinformation in the general populace. A lot of people watch 3-4 hours of TV a day so why not make it good stuff?
         
        Decent interviews and news, historical/social documentaries, good political and investigative current affairs shows could do a lot to push back some of that ignorance you talk about.
         
        I agree, not all the oligarchs and upper elite will let go of their status willingly.
         
        Nevertheless I have no doubt that some will happily make the sacrifice of going from $30,000 p.w. in the pocket income to $26,000 p.w. if they see it is for good reasons.
         
        Yeah the tautology, nice spotting 🙂

        • terryg 2.3.1.1

          Hi CV,
          sorry, couldnt resist. to be a good engineer, one must be a fucking pedant.
          (hint: to tell if someone truly is a pedant, accuse them of being “pendantic” – if they correct you, they’re a pedant)
          Agree [10^10^10]!
          MSM seems to do little more than make people stupider, and its not necessary. You can literally count the number of tv shows I watch on one hand, and NONE are fiction (does Bombers work count if I only ever watch it online?)
          Jersey Shore is a microcosm of all that is wrong not just with television, but western society. without exception they are all brainless fucking morons, who’s life expectency could be measured in days sans electricity and petrol.
          My wife complains about me hiding in the laboratory all the time – the real reason is she loves watching that shit, and I hate it. I also hate having ads shouting at me.
          I truly despair, and know not what to do.
          Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage 🙁
          One bright spot – the right must absolutely HATE how those dirty fucking hippies have proven absolutely right in every matter of substance.
          captcha: prepared

          • Colonial Viper 2.3.1.1.1

            10^10^10

            Cripes that is a big number 😯

            • terryg 2.3.1.1.1.1

              you missed the factorial outside the brackets 🙂

              • Colonial Viper

                You pedant 😀

                • terryg

                  And proudly so. MATLAB only allows numbers up to 1.77*10^308, which isnt even enough to do (10^10)! or 10^(10^10).
                  I need more bits! 64-bit floating point just doesnt cut the mustard. Roll on 256-bit GPUs

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Ah, I see now, you’re one of those double precision GPGPU boys.

                    • terryg

                      modern GPUs easily beat a teraflop. I dont write software anymore though, I just push electrons.
                      Saw a fun picture the other day – a PS3 beside a 1995 supercomputer – the PS3 GPU and the supercomputer both do 1.8Teraflops. But the PS3 CPU adds another 0.2Teraflops.
                      The supercomputer was somewhat bigger, and unlike the PS3 filled the entire room.
                      Thanks mr Moore 🙂
                      CV – proof I really am a pendant: it should be (10^(10^10))! woth with BEDMAS et al. There aint no F in BEDMAS either?!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      PS3’s are great for this work – until Sony pushes out a firmware update which kills everything 🙁
                       
                      I never buy Sony any more, for the kind of stuff they do.

                      BEDMAS haha, reminds me of primary school.

                    • terryg

                      46 DC EA D3 17 FE 45 D8 09 23 EB 97 E4 95 64 10 D4 CD B2 C2 (or words to that effect).
                      Apparently that is ASCII for SHITTYSONYENCRYPTION
                      And no, I dont buy any sony (or apple) products for that reason too. I want to BUY things not RENT them.
                      Besides, I long ago used up my lifetime supply of videogaming – I gave my PS2 away years ago.
                      would you believe I do most of my maths with a pen and a 1E5 schoolbook? including actual calculations. BEDMAS and SOHCAHTOA turned out to be two of the most useful things I have ever learned, and I use them both, daily.
                      I LOVE MY JOB. just as well really, cos (har har) I dont know how to do anything else.
                       

                    • lprent

                      Strayed completely off the topic… Whilst I love talking tech, move it to OpenMike (and thank yourself that I’m relaxed this easter because I have other things to do).

          • Rex Widerstrom 2.3.1.1.2

            My wife complains about me hiding in the laboratory all the time – the real reason is she loves watching that shit

            And right there is a larger problem than the occasional attempt by big business to seed the media with a specific set of facts. That’s much, much harder to do – all you need is one leak, or one whistleblower and, as BP have found out in the story quoted in this post, you just end up with the opposite of what you intended.

            Nah, far easier than trying to tell the plebs something you want them to hear is to tell them nothing at all. And you don’t need to apply any pressure to the media to make this happen, you just have to ensure a large pile of reeking manure is available to them and they’ll start shovelling it.

            But the bottom line is, that wouldn’t work without people like Mrs g (sorry, I don’t mean to pick on her but since you’ve raised it. If it’s any consolation, my partner is distraught now “Neighbours” have moved to digital TV and she has only an analogue set).

            So long as enough people are prepared to wallow in the manure, the media will keep shovelling it. It’s kind of a conspiracy, but not of BP oil spill kind, because it wouldn’t have a hope of success without the complicity ot a majority of our fellow citizens.

            So before we expend our energy railing against the evil corpporate oligarchies, perhaps we need to turn our attention to their co-conspirators sitting beside us on the couch.

            But how…?

            • terryg 2.3.1.1.2.1

              Hi Rex,
              yup, you’ve nailed it. Soma + Circuses = pliant plebs.
              I have tried to interest her in geopolitics and current events, to no avail. She is the Yang to my Yin, wo suoyi ai ta hen duo (therefore I love her very much (apologies for grammatical errors (and nested parentheses (which are indicative of geekiness (OK I’ll stop now))))).
              its the paparazzo thing again – that exists because people keep buying their shit (and it really is shit).
              Personally I try to avoid reading/watching/listening to anything that will make me stupider than I already am.
              My compromise is to lie with my head in her lap, eyes closed, and ignore the acoustic excreta – bliss, when she runs her fingers through my hair. Hmm, earplugs would help – thanks Rex, I hadn’t thought of them before!
              As to how? hopefully minds far in excess of my feeble abilities will solve that one. let me know when you do 🙂

  3. ak 3

    The near total lack of media scrutiny of Mediaworksgate tells us all we never really needed to know r0b – compare both the seriousness of the issues and players, with the treatment, column inches and airtime given to Winnie’s alleged fib: say what you like about NACT, they know how to invest.  

    • PeteG 3.1

      The near total lack of media scrutiny of Mediaworksgate

      Not true, some of the opposition media tried to do a bit on this story but it fizzled because there was bugger all to it. For the conspiracy theorists it was Wishfulthinkinggate.
       
      Rex, hard to know what can be done about media appealing to the moron masses, there is something similar in my household, I get very bored with most TV on here. I just find something else to do that interests me more and save my credits for when there’s something I really want to watch. At least we are in unison on ignoring commercialism.

      • freedom 3.1.1

        Please educate us all as to which media outlets you are referring to,
        I for one am intrigued as to what you, PeteG, would class as opposition media

        • PeteG 3.1.1.1

          There is competition between Mediaworks, Radio NZ, TVNZ, Fairfax and APN, plus other smaller media outlets. I saw multiple items on the Mediaworks payment arrangement from TVNZ, the Herald and Stuff.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1

            There is competition between Mediaworks, Radio NZ, TVNZ, Fairfax and APN, plus other smaller media outlets.

            You gotta be joking. The appearance of competition is not the same thing as actual competition.
             
            Neither is a race to the bottom where both RNZ and TVNZ have been hamstrung by this loser Government.

            At the end of the day competition is not what the mass media market requires, it is a strong public broadcasting option which sets the baseline standard that everyone else has to work to.

          • freedom 3.1.1.1.2

            too funny Pete, boy you got some great material, do you do kid’s parties?

            you do realize they are the same Hydra

            • PeteG 3.1.1.1.2.1

              When you think the whole world is against you and won’t buy into your crap you might see it that way. There are some on the right who also think the media is all stacked against them. If they aren’t buying your stories there is a chance your stories are too trite.
               
              “The media” is everyone’s worst friend and best enemy.

              • Colonial Viper

                There are some on the right who also think the media is all stacked against them.

                Don’t make me laugh, any editor or journalist that billionaire Murdoch doesn’t like doesn’t make it back into work the next morning.
                 
                You are so full of shit.

                • PeteG

                  Ah, Murdoch doesn’t employ every journalist. You’re a bit like a blocked bovine bum yourself.

                  • RedLogix

                    The man at the top sets the tone in any organisation. Murdoch does not have to personally vet every line written by every one of his flunkies to keep them in line. That’s what his corporate hierarchy is for.

                    The fact that you might imagine differently, that you think for an instant that any of his employees could for any length of time, in any meaningful way, say anything that offends Murdoch ….tells me how little experience of real life you have.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Companies like News Corp and Fairfax hold dominating control over the news industry.
                     
                    You get a bad name for not towing the line – even if you are not working directly for them – and your career prospects quickly get curtailed.
                     
                    Which is one reason why Al Jazeera does so well recruiting top notch journalists who refuse to put up with that shit any more.

                    Further the copy that the big media conglomerates put out is reported ad nauseum through the rest of the media.

                    • terryg

                      oddly enough RT has some really good stuff too. I haven’t seen any good stuff about Russia, but wont be surprised if I do – or dont (hows that for cynicism)

                    • Smoko Joe

                      REally?  Al-Jazeera seems pretty mainstream to me, most of the time. I suspect it’s the fantastic salaries in the UAE that attract those top notch journos to the channel, along with a bit of faux jihadist street cred for some.

  4. Smoko Joe 4

    The Sunday Star-Times published the result of a poll by Colmar Brunton for WWF-NZ which asked whether people preferred oil and gas exploration be prioritised over pursuing renewable energy options. Surprise, surprise, the majority said no to this twisted question – from an NGO.  Too easy just to say the news and research is manufactured by corporate interests.  A hell of a lot of equally questionable spin comes from NGOs, which are generally far more trusted organisations than corporates.

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    The Democracy Virus: China’s authoritarian political system enables a level of social surveillance and control that liberal democratic societies cannot match. The Chinese Government makes full use of the latest digital technology to both punish – and reward – its citizens. The plans it formulates cannot be challenged, or hindered. Where ...
    5 days ago
  • The blue wall of silence
    Another day, another IPCA report on criminal conduct by policy. This time they kicked a child in the head when he was handcuffed:Police chased him and yelled out for him to stop. When he turned to face the police, he threatened them with a hammer. That's when the officers tasered ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Time for public funding of our political parties
    The investigation of two of the five parties in Parliament for fraud around their election donations has pushed the issue of party funding back into the spotlight. And while there are obvious things we can do to tighten up the donations regime - a much lower declaration threshold, realtime disclosure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Mucky rain
    While the south of New Zealand has been struggling with too much rain in recent days, here in the north we are so very short of it (though Saturday’s forecast looks promising).  Basically, we have had almost none since Christmas. As someone who relies on rain to wash the car, ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Jami-Lee Ross – National Party fall guy
    Former National Party MP Jami-Lee RossIt comes as no surprise that Jami-Lee Ross has been named as one of the defendants in the X2 $100,000 National Party donations case currently before the courts. Click bait journalists who were chaffing at the bit to discredit the former senior whip had already ...
    6 days ago
  • RNZ Must Have No Dogs In The September Fight.
    Stand Clear! Winston Peters is encouraging voters to think of RNZ as belonging to “The Media Party”. He wants them to see it as a politically partisan institution with its own, vicious attack-dogs in the electoral fight. If he succeeds, it will be, and probably should be, the end of ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7, 2020
    "You're going to need a longer runway" Gratton et al explore the ongoing effects of upward-creeping temperatures on aviation in Greece in the period since 1955 at a range of airports in that country. For longer runways impacts are measurable but with little impact on operations. For airports with shorter runways, ...
    7 days ago
  • Israel state was cracking down on Palestinian left as NZ junketeers visited Israel
    In mid-December the Israeli secret police, the Shin Beit, revealed it had arrested dozens of Palestinian left-wing activists, including members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), in the previous few months. Among those arrested was one of the central leaders of the PFLP, Khalida Jarrar.  As ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • How unsurprising
    Former National Party chief whip Jami-Lee Ross is one of the four people charged over National's multiple fraudulent donations. How unsurprising. Meanwhile, just days ago National leader Simon Bridges was trying to pretend the charges were nothing to do with his party. Yeah, right. When your chief whip effectively publicly ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • An unlawful policy
    If you've been watching FYI for a while, you'll have noticed that the police have a bad habit of demanding ID from requesters. They have apparently been repeatedly told to stop doing this by the Ombudsman, but we all know what law enforcement thinks of the law, so thye keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Burning Down The House: Will The Greens Be The Death Of The Left?
    Collateral Damage: For the Green Phoenix to be reborn, the funeral pyre so patiently assembled by its identity politicians over the course of many fractious years – but with growing intensity over the past three – first has to be ignited. The terrible probability, of course, is that, in setting ...
    1 week ago
  • Mike Hosking contradicts Stats NZ
    If you follow politics in New Zealand you've likely noticed that the right wing have been going on and on about the Coalition Government failing to reduce poverty. In fact they’ve been incessantly claiming, in the absence of any conclusive data, that poverty has been getting worse.Yesterday, NewstalkZB reported:Mike Hosking: ...
    1 week ago
  • This is unjust
    The Herald reported over the weekend that an Auckland business owner is being targeted with asset forfeiture laws over a workplace death:A workplace fatality has seen police use a law usually associated with drugs and organised crime to seize millions of dollars in assets from a business owner because of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • National wants lower wages
    Just days after talking about how people feel "squeezed" and promising tax and service cuts as a "solution", National is talking about cancelling a rise in the minimum wage if elected: National is considering scrapping the Government's planned minimum wage increase if it wins this year's election, the party's finance ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Futures Fatigue and Futures Inertia
      Nobody thinks about the next century anymore. That at least is Sci-Fi writer William Gibson’s observation (in this BBC 4 short interview, starting at 1:43:50 ). He calls it “Futures Fatigue”, but isn’t judgemental about it. Gibson notes that in the 20th century speculation about the 21st (and beyond) was common. Now ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • History repeats?
    A Labour government desperate for the numbers crawls into bed with Winston Peters. Winston ignores the law and secretly takes money under the table from someone. When it is exposed just months out from an election, he is investigated by the Serious Fraud Office. That's what happened back in 2008. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Double the fraud with National!
    When people were charged over laundering a $100,000 donation to the National Party, people were horrified. But now it turns out that its not one $100,000 donation, but two:The Serious Fraud Office prosecution of four people over donations to the National Party involves not one but two $100,000 donations - ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Another fraudulent $100K National Party donation
    So the Serious Fraud Office has another secret $100,050 National Party donation before the Courts in a major scandal that looks set to quash any chances Simon Bridges had of winning the 2020 election.Yesterday, Newsroom reported:The Serious Fraud Office prosecution of four people over donations to the National Party involves ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #7
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review...  Story of the Week... Iceberg twice the size of Washington, D.C., breaks off Pine Island glacier in Antarctica   Story Highlights: The Pine Island ...
    1 week ago
  • Updating the role of the state: the case of housing in New Zealand
    Prof Philippa Howden-Chapman Housing policy is building up to be the key election issue again. In this blog I reflect on the importance of the role of the New Zealand Government in improving access to affordable housing. I look at what the Government has been doing to increase quality public housing ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • A political vacuum?
    Writing on The Spinoff, Danyl Mclauchlan argues that we have a vacuum in our political system, in that there is no longer an anti-establishment party anymore:I think there’s a vacuum in our political system. There are obvious problems with the status quo but no real critics offering reform. It’s a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Oversubsidising polluters
    Stuff today has a piece about the government discovering it has been oversubsidising polluters for a decade under the Emissions Trading scheme:The Government is pledging to urgently fix an issue within the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), after it emerged some polluters are likely being over-compensated with taxpayer-funded carbon credits. [...] ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An unreasonable charging regime
    The Marlborough District Council, tired of public scrutiny, wants to increase the amount it charges for LGOIMA requests:The cost of requesting official information from Marlborough's government agency could almost double after a jump in "fishing expeditions". Charges could be raised from $60 to $100 an hour for information supplied by ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Finally
    When Winston Peters was caught money laundering donations and stalking journalists, the Greens were conspicuous by their silence. It was another example of how getting along with their government partners was eroding their values and their own reputation. It was obviously unsustainable, and so now James Shaw has finally spoken ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: On the possibility of laws further regulating hate speech
    I am among the most pro-free speech people I know. I don’t doubt there are others more strident than me, but I’m certainly up there. And my support for freedom of expression isn’t limited to opposition to government-imposed restrictions. It extends to a belief that employers should have limited powers ...
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus update: spread outside China and a new name
    With over 69,000 confirmed cases and 1,600 deaths, here’s your round-up of the latest coronavirus news. New disease and virus have now officially been named On the 11th February, the WHO Director General announced a new name for the disease: COVID-19 which is short for coronavirus disease 2019. The naming ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #7
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Feb 9, 2020 through Sat, Feb 15, 2020 Editor's Pick ANALYSIS-Climate change opens up 'frontier' farmland, but at what cost to the planet? Climate change could expand farmland globally by ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ mainstream media promotes racism
    After cross-examination Jones knew he would lose the defamation case he took against film maker Renae Maihi. That’s why he threw in the towel. The weight of evidence was clearly against the old tycoon with the defense presenting fifty articles to confirm Jones’ racist views.Being unable to harass somebody into ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters’ Conduct Is Neither Smart, Nor Wise.
    Sprung! Former NZ First president, Lester Gray, chats with RNZ's Guyon Espiner in the carpark of a Tauranga shopping centre. (Photo supplied anonymously to NZ First and The BFD.)IT’S CLEAR THAT an important aspect of Jacinda Ardern’s political success is her willingness to seek – and take – advice. This ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Through Together: Ethical Values for a Pandemic
    Ruth Cunningham, Charlotte Paul, Andrew Moore Public health responses to infectious diseases such as COVID-19 require us to draw on our common humanity and be explicit about our values. Recognising this will help us make good decisions in difficult situations so that, for example, the need to impose restrictive measures ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to crack down on house-hoarding
    The Helen Clark Foundation has released its report on the housing crisis, and found that house-hoarders are to blame for it:Property investors are to blame for New Zealand's high house prices, a new research paper published by the Helen Clark Foundation says. [...] McArthur said previous attempts to address housing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reported back
    The Abortion Legislation Committee has reported back on the Abortion Legislation Bill and recommended that it be passed with some amendments. Unfortunately, the latter include even more hoops to jump through for those seeking abortions after 20 weeks, including a time-wasting requirement to consult a second doctor. No-one casually seeks ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A positive consequence of Brexit
    Brexit is likely to be a disaster for the UK (how sad, never mind). But now that they're out of the EU, the latter has finaly taken the opportunity to blacklist one of their key tax havens:The Cayman Islands, a British overseas territory, is to be put on an EU ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The numbers are the numbers, except when they’re not
    I’m not quite sure of what to make of the new figures for COVID-19 (as we must now call the novel coronavirus – though I’m not sure the capitalisation is correct) from Hubei province:
    Image from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-51495484The spike yesterday is a consequence of a using a different way of ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • We need to fix defamation law
    Bob Jones has dropped his defamation case against Renae Maihi. Good. But at the same time, it perfectly exposes what the case was all about: not protecting Jones' reputation, but punishing someone who had dared to criticise him, and deterring others from doing the same. This rich pompous asshat dragged ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Splore 2020: The Listening Lounge
    As I've done for the past few years, I'm curating and presenting The Listening Lounge, the talk programme at Splore. On the morning of Saturday the 22nd at the Living Lounge stage, the korero goes like this.Yes, we're talking about drugs again, not just because I'm professionally interested in drug ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The Strange Case of RNZ Concert.
    What Were They Thinking? RNZ's CEO Paul Thompson (left) and Jim Mather, Chairman of the RNZ Board of Governors, attempt to justify the debacle arising out of their attempt to downgrade RNZ Concert to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee at Parliament on Thursday, 13 February 2020.WHAT IS ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston does dirty politics
    Winston Peters and NZ First have come under pressure in the past few months, after leaks about their secret money laundering foundation led to them being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office. And so they've retaliated, by stalking the journalists reporting on the case, and smearing them on a sewerblog:NZ ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Turia ever forgive the Labour Party?
    Dame Tariana Turia with former PM John KeyWhat is it about Tariana Turia’s grudge against the Labour Party? Not content with attacking the Government over Whānau Ora funding, which was increased by $80 million in 2019, she has now made it personal by saying that Jacinda Ardern is out of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another broken promise
    Back in 2017, right after being elected, Jacinda Ardern promised that there would be no new mines on conservation land. Since then, her government has done nothing to make that happen, and now the policy has been officially "parked" for the election:West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O'Connor says the "no new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bob Jones – old racist prick!
    So the guy who advocated for public burning and beheading feels offended because someone called him a racist!Perhaps Bob Jones hasn't heard of the very old saying; Live by the sword, die by the sword?I mean for someone who often writes opinionated nonsense about Maori; this is a ridiculous case ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s festering Neoliberalism
    The government today announced a major support package aimed at reducing homelessness. A thousand new transitional housing places, more support for people to find homes (or not lose them in the first place), all good stuff. The one problem with it is that they're going to start charging people in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Defining Issues
    Courtroom Drama: There is no off-switch in a courtroom. Neither is it possible to turn the page in disgust. Ill-formed and ill-defended opinions will be exposed ruthlessly and unapologetically. As Shakespeare put it: “Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving.” Sometimes the ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Extra support to tackle homelessness
    One of our most immediate priorities upon forming Government was to get people out of sleeping in cars, garages, or on the street and into safe and warm housing. Since then, we've made major progress towards breaking the cycle of homelessness, including expanding Housing First, building more state houses, and ...
    4 hours ago
  • Free healthy lunches in schools
    Kids learn better with a full stomach. That's why we launched our Lunches in Schools programme, which is already providing free and healthy school lunches to thousands of children so they can focus on what's important - learning. ...
    1 day ago
  • Stats show progress on child poverty
    Latest statistics show thousands of children have been lifted out of poverty, as the Government’s work to tackle child poverty takes effect. ...
    1 day ago
  • Launch of Parliament petition to remove aluminium dross
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP based in Clutha-Southland This afternoon to a crowd of over 100 people in Mataura -- Mark Patterson, New Zealand First List MP based in Clutha-Southland launched a parliamentary petition regarding the aluminium dross issue in Mataura, Southland. The petition asks that the ...
    1 day ago
  • Coalition Government brings strong economic management
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development New Zealand First Deputy Leader and Spokesperson for Finance, Fletcher Tabuteau has welcomed Statistics New Zealand’s latest report as a timely reminder of the value that this Coalition Government brings to every day New Zealanders: “This Coalition Government has meant a ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Lunches in schools
    We're taking action on child poverty, getting Kiwis into the trades, and more ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ First pledge major funding support to St. John
    Today New Zealand First made a pledge to campaign at the election to fund St John Ambulance the 90 per cent it has asked for. Government funding would allow St. John’s to achieve fully funded status.   Leader of New Zealand First, Rt Hon Winston Peters publicly declared his determination to deliver ...
    5 days ago
  • Record number of fleeing driver incidents, crashes, pursuit abandonments – again
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order Newly released Police data shows once again the number of fleeing drivers have continued to skyrocket with a record 512 incidents occurring in December – almost tripling the number of incidents occurring just ten years ago, says New Zealand First Law and ...
    5 days ago
  • Shane Jones calls on Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi to work constructively in response to Northland drought
    While the Provincial Growth Fund has provided $2 million to set up temporary water supplies in Kaikohe and Kaitaia, Regional Economic Minister Shane Jones said he is greatly concerned that there are “issues” in implementing the projects. The Minister said the immediate solution was to pipe water from a bore ...
    6 days ago
  • Rio Tinto must remove dross immediately
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP for Clutha-Southland NZ First is calling on Rio Tinto to accept its responsibilities to the Southland community and enable the immediate removal of the toxic Aluminium Dross from the Mataura Paper Mill site. New Zealand First List MP for Clutha-Southland, Mark Patterson ...
    6 days ago
  • Coalition Government announces further funding to help flood-hit Southland and Otago residents
    The Coalition Government has announced that a further $500,000 will be given to help residents in Southland and Otago to speed up recovery efforts from the floods. It follows prior government assistance of $200,000 earlier this month where the Southland Mayoral Relief Fund received $100,000 to support communities impacted by ...
    6 days ago
  • “This is a genuine crisis situation”: Minister Shane Jones talks about drought in Northland
    Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones was on RNZ’s Morning Report talking about the recent droughts in the Northland region and what the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is doing to alleviate its impact. The PGF recently announced a funding of $2 million for temporary water supplies to Kaikohe and Kaitaia, ...
    1 week ago
  • Shane Jones defends water storage and real meat, hits out at local councils and director James Camer...
    Speaking to The Country’s Jamie Mackay, New Zealand First MP and Cabinet Minister Shane Jones talks water storage, plant-based meat imitation, and superstar Hollywood director James Cameron. While water storage may have its critics, Minister Jones defended the scheme by saying: “unless we invest and continue to invest” in this ...
    1 week ago
  • Shane Jones: Iwi leaders are sell-outs for blocking water action
    Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones is accusing northern iwi leaders of selling out Māori by voting for ideologically-driven court cases rather than practical steps to increase water supply. “I just think that iwi leaders who think that water issues are going to be solved by perpetually fighting in the ...
    1 week ago
  • Government-funded security system in dairies foils robbery
    A dairy owner in St Kilda, Dunedin was delighted to hear that an attempted robbery of his establishment was foiled by a government-funded security system. Sean Lee was delighted at how well the anti-theft smoke system worked. When a knife-wielding man entered the store, the shop assistant immediately pressed a ...
    1 week ago
  • Customs nabs more than 3 tonnes of drugs bound for New Zealand in 2019
    Customs says it stopped more than three tonnes of illegal drugs coming into New Zealand last year. This includes 1,180kg of methamphetamine, 329kg of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine precursors, which could have been converted into 246kg of methamphetamine, 739kg and 6469 pills of MDMA or Ecstasy and 60kg of cocaine. Offshore, ...
    1 week ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund pays for temporary water supply in Northland
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Up to $2 million will be allocated from the Provincial Growth Fund to set up temporary water supplies in Kaikohe and Kaitaia where drought is biting hard, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Drought conditions in Northland have led to ...
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch trial new defense against fleeing drivers
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Law and Order New Zealand First welcomes the deployment of an Eagle Police helicopter in Christchurch in what is a step towards fulfilling its long-standing goal to increase the use of police helicopters for the front line, particularly in addressing the scourge of fleeing drivers. Christchurch leads ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: A Government of progress
    It may have been the first sitting week of 2020, but our Government is already in full-swing - managing a strong economy, investing in infrastructure, and working to break the cycle of homelessness. Read below for all that, and more... ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters calls Opposition “lemon suckers” during debate on gang numbers
    In a heated debate in Parliament, National's Deputy Leader Paula Bennett claimed that “nearly 1600 patched gang members have been added” since the Coalition Government took power. To illustrate her point, she altered a chart used by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to show her government’s progress in housing to instead ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech by the Rt Hon Winston Peters at Parliament’s Opening 2020 ‘We all Need Insurance’
    Speech by the Rt Hon Winston Peters at Parliament’s Opening 2020 "We all need insurance" This year New Zealanders are going to have a clear choice to make That choice is between: Optimism versus pessimism; More progress versus back to the future; Investment versus divestment; Unity versus division. New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 8 ways the Big New Zealand Upgrade will change New Zealand
    The Government has announced the biggest investment in New Zealand’s infrastructure in a generation with the New Zealand Upgrade Programme. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones slams Auckland Airport’s board over runway closures
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has slammed the Board of Auckland Airport following the airport's runway closing twice within two weeks due to maintenance. Around 2,000 passengers were affected by last week’s runway closures, according to 1NEWS. Another maintenance closure on January 24 saw two international flights and three domestic flights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Public media business case a practical step
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Broadcasting New Zealand First supports the commissioning of a business case to assess the viability of a new public media entity. “A strong media environment is critical for a healthy democracy. New Zealand First is a strong supporter of a diverse, independent media,” New Zealand First broadcasting spokesperson ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Waitangi
    This week, the focus was on Waitangi - a great opportunity to reflect on who we are, and who we want to be as a nation. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • West Coast tech firms and iwi get Provincial Growth Fund cash boost
    Pounamou and technology industries in the West Coast region are set to receive more than $2 million in Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding. This was announced by the Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau during Waitangi Day commemorations in Hokitika. He said $800,000 would be given to Development West ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF supports West Coast connectivity
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The West Coast has had a funding injection of over $1.2 million from the Provincial Growth Fund, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced at Waitangi Day commemorations in Hokitika today. The PGF projects announced are: $800,000 to Development ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Proposed new measures to improve Aotearoa’s air quality
      Improved air quality to support better health and environmental wellbeing is the focus of proposed amendments to air quality regulations, says the Associate Minister for the Environment, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  “Although our air quality is good in most places, during winter certain places have spikes in air pollution, mainly from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Water investment in Raukokore
    The remote eastern Bay of Plenty community of Raukokere will receive a Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment of $10.6 million for a water storage facility, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “This is great news for the rural community. The landowner, Te Whānau a Maruhaeremuri Hapū Trust, will use ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Better protection against late payments
    New legislation is being proposed which aims to reduce the stress and financial hardship caused by late payments to small businesses. The Minister for Small Business Stuart Nash is considering stricter rules around payment practices between businesses. “Late payments from large organisations to smaller suppliers can be crippling for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Police partnership programme with Fiji launched
    A new partnership programme between the New Zealand Police and Fiji Police will focus on combatting transnational organised crime and enhancing investigative skills, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on the first day of her visit to Fiji. The programme will see: ·       New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Joint statement from Prime Minister Ardern and Prime Minister Bainimarama
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama met today in Suva, and renewed their commitment to continue to strengthen Fiji-New Zealand relations on a foundation of shared values and equal partnership. The Prime Ministers acknowledged the kinship between Fijians and New Zealanders, one that has endured over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • $19.9 million from PGF for Kawerau
    A $19.9 million investment from the Provincial Growth Fund will help develop essential infrastructure for an industrial hub in the Bay of Plenty town of Kawerau, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “The funding will go to three projects to further develop the Putauaki Trust Industrial Hub, an industrial ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PGF funds Mahia roading package
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $8.3 million on a roading package for Mahia that will lead to greater and wider economic benefits for the region and beyond, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced at an event in Mahia today. The $8.3 million announced consists of: $7 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 18,400 children lifted out of poverty
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed new reporting showing the Coalition Government is on track to meet its child poverty targets, with 18,400 children lifted out of poverty as a result of the Families Package.   Stats NZ has released the first set of comprehensive child poverty statistics since the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 20,000 more Kiwi kids on bikes
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today announced that Bikes in Schools facilities have been rolled out to 20,000 more kiwi kids under this Government. She made the announcement at the opening of a new bike track at Henderson North School in Auckland. “Bikes in Schools facilities give kids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Benefit settings rise in line with wages as of 1 April
    Benefit settings rise in line with wages as of 1 April   Main benefits will increase by over 3 percent, instead of 1.66 percent, on 1 April with the Government’s decision to annually adjust benefit rates to increases in the average wage. The Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, said ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Foreign and Trade Ministers to lead business delegation to India
    Strengthening New Zealand’s political and business ties with India will be the focus of Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters’ and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker’s visit to India this week. The Ministers are co-leading a high level business delegation to India to support increased people and economic engagement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister champions more Pacific in STEM – Toloa Awards
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio continues to champion for greater Pacific participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers with the announcement of the Toloa Awards, with 8 recipients of the Toloa Community Fund and 13 Toloa Tertiary Scholarships. “The Toloa Programme encourages more Pacific peoples ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Submission period for whitebait consultation extended
    Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has extended the date for people to have their say on proposed changes to improve management of whitebait across New Zealand.   Submissions were due to close on 2 March 2020 but will now remain open until 9am on Monday 16 March 2020.   “I have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New international protection for frequent fliers
    The endangered toroa/Antipodean albatross has new international protection for its 100,000km annual migration, thanks to collaborative efforts led by New Zealand, Australia and Chile.   Today, 130 countries agreed to strictly protect Antipodean albatross at the Conference of Parties on the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to regulate vaping
      No sales to under-18-year-olds No advertising and sponsorship of vaping products and e-cigarettes No vaping or smokeless tobacco in smokefree areas Regulates vaping product safety comprehensively, - including devices, flavours and ingredients Ensure vaping products are available for those who want to quit smoking   Vaping regulation that balances ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Justice Minister represents New Zealand at Berlin nuclear disarmament summit
    Justice Minister Andrew Little will travel to Berlin tomorrow to represent New Zealand at a high-level summit on nuclear disarmament. This year, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) celebrates 50 years since it entered into force. “New Zealand’s proud record and leadership on nuclear disarmament is unwavering, so it’s important we are present ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister to visit Fiji and Australia
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will visit two of New Zealand’s most important Pacific partners, Fiji and Australia, next week. The visit to Fiji will be the first by a New Zealand Prime Minister in four years and comes during the 50th anniversary of Fijian independence and diplomatic relations between our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Next steps in Criminal Cases Review Commission announced
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