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“Corrupt!”

Written By: - Date published: 4:19 pm, March 30th, 2009 - 62 comments
Categories: corruption, national/act government - Tags:

National rode to power off the back of years of rhetoric accusing the last Labour government of corruption.

Who can forget the screams from the Nats? – “Corrupt! Corrupt! Corrupt!” they cried. The boys in blue were going to deliver us a new era of transparency and accountable government.

Interesting then to see a report in today’s Dom Post raising questions over Richard Worth’s private business dealings in India while he was acting as a Minister of the Crown.

At the very least it shows a serious lack of judgement from one of John Key’s ministers over his potential conflict of interest. At worst it suggests Worth may have abused his public position in the pursuit of private gain.

Of course, it would be foolish to jump to either conclusion until more information has come to light. But it does look rather hypocritical given all their rhetoric over the last few years.

62 comments on ““Corrupt!” ”

  1. BLiP 1

    Classic National – the boundary between business and politics has become so blurred none of the MP’s can tell the difference.

  2. gobsmacked 2

    Richard Worth has opted for the time-honoured “I did nothing wrong, but I won’t do it again” defence.

    After a “conversation” with John Key (presumably one-way, and short) he’s now done what he should have done when he became a Minister, and removed his sticky fingers from Indian pies.

  3. Ari 3

    You’d think given this was essentially the sort of thing their campaign was about that they’d have plans in place not to make the same mistakes.

    Assuming, of course, they actually thought they were going to have to live up to their campaign.

  4. Ray 4

    And this story was broken by whom
    The man who hit a woman who he thought might embarrass the last PM
    I just can just see the headlines from the “Standard” if a minister had smacked anyone in the same circumstances

    Surely corruption means that the Minister gained a financial advantage, please explain?

    • BLiP 4.1

      And this story is about whom?

      The man who has so little respect for New Zealand he would rather saunter off on a tourist jaunt than attend a significant Maori Battalion comemoration.

      Such are our leaders these days.

    • Felix 4.2

      And this story was broken by whom

      Irrelevant. Discuss the story instead please.

      • r0b 4.2.1

        Well, irrelevant and also incorrect, Hodgson “hit” no one, he restrained someone he thought was going to assault the PM.

  5. gobsmacked 5

    “Surely corruption means that the Minister gained a financial advantage, please explain?”

    Therefore delete countless allegations of corruption over the last nine years.

    Cheers, Ray.

  6. Johnty Rhodes 6

    Well at least it has been dealt with. unlike Dunhoven, Winston etc. They festered for ages. Will all be forgotten in a week.

    • BLiP 6.1

      No. Richard “Dick” Worth has been dealt with. He is but a sympton of the “it” you refer to, i.e., the endogenous corruption festering within the National Party; that has still to be dealt with. But, as you sort of say, at least we’ve made a start.

      • jimbo 6.1.1

        Total crock of sh1t, that comment, BLiP.

        • BLiP 6.1.1.1

          I see National has broken another election promise – this time in relation to Pay Centres – I guess in your sad world dishonesty doesn’t equate to corruption??

  7. justthefacts 7

    Of course it is relevant who broke the story, however even if you leave that aside I do find it a bit rich for Labour party people to be beating up this non story.

    Given the epidemic levels of corruption inside the last Labour government I would have thought you guys might have decided to keep your heads down.

    Still, if you want to keep reminding the people of NZ why they kicked you out then who am I to stop you.

    Time to move on people.

    • r0b 7.1

      Given the epidemic levels of corruption

      Uh huh.

      Time to move on people.

      You wish! Honeymoon’s over, National get held to account. Good luck.

    • Chris G 7.2

      ‘non story’ enough for it to be on the news.

      oh okay..

  8. mike 8

    Great to see JK dealing with (and dealing to) the guilty ministers so quickly.
    Something you guys wish Clark could have done I’m sure…

    • the sprout 8.1

      how has John Key dealt with them mike? by saying:

      “Tut tut, that is very naughty to get caught! You might remind people of how i mislead the public over MY conflict of interest with my Tranzrail shares…”

  9. The difference between how Key has dealt with this relatively minor matter, and how Clark not just ignored but even defended Winston over his massive breaches of the Cabinet Manual show very clearly how things have changed.

    • And in the end who was it that got stung by the electoral commission, David?

    • ak 9.2

      Ahhh……David Farrar with his trademark massive breaches and key-shaped codpiece…..couture de cretin for the mass market.

      How very last year. Please leave the runway David.

    • BLiP 9.3

      Did your buddy Dr Dick plead innocence? No. He knows he’s fucked up.

      When Peters pleaded innocence, Helen Clark allowed due process. That you think this is some sort of black mark against her shows your misogyny, ignorance and/or willingness to assist in the Textor/Crosby rewrite of history.

      Back to the sewer for you!

      • David Farrar 9.3.1

        due process found Peters in breach of the Register of Interests and ipso facto the Cabinet Manual. Clark and Goff still backed Peters 100% when it was obvious to anyone not retarded that Peters knew about the Glenn donation all along, and had lied for months on end.

        • r0b 9.3.1.1

          Due process also found that ACT breached the electoral finance rules. Key and English still back Hide 100%.

          when it was obvious to anyone not retarded

          Back to the sewer for you!

        • Pascal's bookie 9.3.1.2

          Morning David. Have you fixed that abortion of a post where you claim (repeatedly in comments) that Goff was a liar for saying that if Worth was Labour party Minister he’d have been gone? You left out the Labour bit didn’t you david? Easily done seeing it was in the first para of the story you linked to. What’s that para called again, oh yeah , the lede.

          Hack.

        • BLiP 9.3.1.3

          Perhaps in your bully-boy world the presumption of innocence carries no weight. Happily this is not the case in the real world.

          Fuck off back to your sewer.

  10. the sprout 10

    and now it’s revealed Tim Grocer is implicated too.
    very professional.
    very competent.
    very honest.
    maybe they thought if it was good enough for John Key and Tranzrail it’s good enough for them too?

  11. Felix 11

    A few people here (mike, Johnty, DPF) have mentioned how it’s been “dealt with” by Key already.

    Could someone please tell me how? What has he done about it?

  12. justthefacts 12

    What he has done about it is none of your business Felix.

    Kiwi’s are telling Mr Key that they just want the new Government to move on.

    Does that sound familiar?

    • the sprout 12.1

      absolutely ROTFL hilarious.

      one minute it’s Brave Warrior Key for ‘dealing so swiftly and decisively to these corrupt ministers of his!’

      the next minute it’s ‘mind your own business, he has dealt to them but we’re keeping it a secret from the public because it’s so brave and transparent’.

      you guys could at least learn to coordinate your lies. at the moment you’re efforts are plain pathetic. hardly any wonder the wheels are falling off the
      NACT Government by PR.

      but seriously guys, keep it up. help make this an historic one term National Government.

  13. RedLogix 13

    Mr Key has been fortunate that this was such an straight-forward, open and closed case of a blatant conflict of interest, that he had the great luxury of being able to act quickly and decisively to limit the damage.

    All the same, Richard Worth has been in politics for many, many years. If with all this experience his judgement on such basic matters of public probity is still so very poor, the man is ipso facto… a liability.

    Mr Key should act to remove him from office ASAP.

    • the sprout 13.1

      And Mr Groser, what should be done with him RL – a person with much less time in government but whose reputation as Minister of Trade is crucial to our export economy?

      What would a Minister of Trade that carries a whiff of corruption do to our export chances and what should be done about it?

  14. bobo 14

    What size aircraft does Richard Worths company train pilots for? are we talking small Cessna’s or commercial passenger jets? Sounds like a security risk in light of sep 11th where students had no background checks.

    But its typical National acting in their first term as if they are a 4th term government… Key bollocking Worth is a joke when Key was less than forthcoming on the amount of rail shares he had before the election and Worth stepping down as a director of a company only to pick up the job after being a minister hardly makes any difference with holding shares, silent trusts and the like.

  15. gobsmacked 15

    This was not just a “private trip”. It’s clear the Indians were led to believe they were doing business with a Minister, not a company director:

    Punjab Newsline, 27 Feb 2009:

    In a formal ceremony held here today, representatives of Punjab and New Zealand signed two MoUs [Memorandum of Understanding] in the august presence of Deputy Chief Minister S. Sukhbir Singh Badal and New Zealand delegation led by their Internal Affairs Minister Dr. Richard Worth OBE.

    The New Zealand Minister said that the New Zealand was ideal place for aviation training as rapidly changing weather in New Zealand gives exposure to pilot to tackle change of weather.

    In the second MoU entered between Southern Institute of Technology Aviation Limited (SIT AV) of New Zealand and Patiala Aviation Club (PAC) agreed to cooperate the process of advanced pilot training Invercargill to enable pilots/students who have appropriate pilot qualification in India and to further train toward enhancing these skills in multiengine and helicopter training including aeronautical and aircraft maintenance engineering.

    • r0b 15.1

      Interesting – good find.

      • RedLogix 15.1.1

        Cripes, so Key is saying that the trip was undertaken in Worth’s capacity as a ‘private individual’, and yet the Indian media reports the exact opposite?

        Someone hasn’t been telling the whole truth to someone.

        • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1.1

          Very much looks like it.

          No doubt Key will be on the blower to the CEO of the Indian publisher; get him to print a ‘clarification’; to correct any ‘misunderstandings’. He was probably talking about the Australian Invercargill, or the reporter was a kid who was obviously just useless at his/her job or something like that.

          It’s a shame the knighthoods haven’t kicked in yet. the OBE carries only so much weight, and Worth seems to find such baubles useful, what.

    • BLiP 15.2

      Ahhh – the smoking gun. Top marks, Gobsie!

      • ak 15.2.1

        “Yup. Sounds like a ruckus kickin’ up over to Richworth Canyon, Tonto. Dang sodbuster injun-trader’s one of ours – best saddle up ole silver and we mosey yonder”

        “But what are you meaning by saying “we” sahib Key? Your own punkawallah has been telling the big fat fibs, isn’t it?”

        • BLiP 15.2.1.1

          “Don’t you be gettin awl sissy on me, Tonto. Nowz notta time ta be shrinkin’ back from our rezpozibilities an, all. No, siree, nowza time ta be reprimanding. Git the feathers ready, son.”

  16. gingercrush 16

    Hmm ooh a scandal within National. The left getting themselves all knotted. It has the potential to become a problem if Labour are able to do something about it in question time. It will be interesting to see how Key answers those questions and I think its the first thing Labour and other opposition parties have that they can potentially use against National. But I don’t think much will come of this and soon will be well forgotten. Hell I forgot Richard Worth was even a minister.

    The media of course plays a role. I don’t know how TV 3 covered this but Guyon had an excellent piece on it. If you’re right leaning you probably thought he was bias to the left (as many on the right already believe). I presume the left were happy with the report? National Radio will cover this thing in the morning. They already covered it on Checkpoint. Then of course there is question time. And likely both TV news will cover it again on their bulletins. I presume Labour and other opposition will continue to try and get questions in on this. Its not a great thing National has done. But I think Key has acted swiftly. As the report on checkpoint says, he has reprimanded Worth. Labour will make more of it. But its certainly not going to be something that is very damaging.

    We like to believe these issues have such importance for the public. But the fact over three terms Labour had such issues with their cabinet ministers and it still didn’t hurt them too much. Winston of course excepted, shows that while political damage. They tend not to be things that change voters minds.

    • Pascal's bookie 16.1

      ooh so Key’s reprimanded Worth has he? Sounds serious. Oh no that’s not right. Doesn’t sound serious at all. Sounds like a bs talking point to get through the day’s coverage. What does this reprimand involve exactly?

      I seem to recall, and please, correct an old hippie if he’s wrong, that Grandmaster Key and his Oppo’ Research Massive were quite distraught about Cabinet probity just a few short months ago.

      They made quite the fuss in fact about the idea that Ministers should live up to the highest, the highest I heard them say, ethical standards. That was what they demanded, and that what was they promised. “The highest ethical standards” was what NZers deserved, but were not getting from the former government. There were promises made ginger. Promises I tell you.

      So don’t you be talking to me about ‘reprimands’ and blowing over and it’ll all be forgotten. Promises. Highest ethical standards. Not higher. Highest. Is that what we’ve seen here? Or is it all back to ‘Labour did it to’, and ‘forget what we promised for it were all just lies’.

      No doubt burt is all over this everywhere he isn’t banned. He was very sure about the highest standards. It’s in the Cabinet Manual. Worth needs to be sacked, or he needs to explain how that Indian newspaper got it so wrong. Of course , that’s assuming National’s word is worth something. National can just admit that all their talk was just the faux outrage and c/t bs we said we it was of course. I can live with that. It’s where the defenders on this thread seem to be at.

      • gingercrush 16.1.1

        Reprimand is actually serious in political terms. And I don’t have a clue what is with your obsession on the highest standards. I could well go through all the statements Helen Clark made in 1999 when she herself would have talked about highest standards. Of course her standards got so low that she kept Peters around till the end. I agree National has fucked up. That is how the media is portraying it too. But don’t put on glasses and be so absurd in your thinking. Especially when you’re so in love with Obama that you wouldn’t have the gall to tell one of his people to resign. He sure offered hope now didn’t he. So where is it?

        • Pascal's bookie 16.1.1.1

          So it’s Labour did it too then, (as predicted in my last two para’s) and some weird shit about Obama. Sad.

      • George Darroch 16.1.2

        If we remember back to the first few years of the Clark Government, Ministers were thrown out of cabinet on a regular basis for things of this magnitude.She ran a tight ship. Until she didn’t, and it came back to haunt her.

        If Key wants to pretend he’s better than the last lot, he’s going to have to at least equal them. This is how he starts out, and we can’t expect things to go uphill from here.

        • gingercrush 16.1.2.1

          This isn’t an incident where a minister needs be thrown out. You can apply your magical rose-tinted glasses and pretend you live in an ideal world.Or you can think in proper political terms. This is not a sackable offense. It will never be a sackable offense.

          Key already reprimanded him.That is enough. It shows that Key actually did take some action. You can decide and put on your partisan blinkers if you want.But this is the real world. And in the real world for any party this isn’t something you would sack a minister for.

          • gobsmacked 16.1.2.1.1

            Using a ministerial position for a private commercial agenda is the most basic sackable offence.

            Now the case is not yet proven – there should be due process – but it certainly looks bad, based on the reports in the Indian media.

          • Pascal's bookie 16.1.2.1.2

            You can apply your magical rose-tinted glasses and pretend you live in an ideal world.Or you can think in proper political terms. This is not a sackable offense. It will never be a sackable offense.

            Key already reprimanded him.That is enough

            Arrogant much? A reprimand is nothing. It’s a telling off without consequence, done to make it look like something has been done.

  17. gobsmacked 17

    Unfortunately for Richard Worth, India has plenty of English language media online. Here’s another link (and try to ignore the confused population numbers!):

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/new-zealand-committed-to-help-farmers-of-punjab/429193/

    Note the direct quote from the Minister, doing a blatant sales pitch for his business.

    • Pascal's bookie 17.2

      Oh dear.

      “My personal commitment to Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal is that New Zealand will be committed to improve efficiency and productivity of the farmers in the state by providing them technology transfer in agriculture, horticulture and dairy sector,’ said Dr Richard Worth, Minister of Crown, New Zealand.

      “Our visa rate is 88 per cent. This will also improve in the coming days with more student and visitor visas. We will be making it easy to get visitor visa as the rules will be relaxed and same will be done for business visas to attract more investment, especially in infrastructure, construction, telecom, energy and tourism.’ he said.

      “For students who want to study in New Zealand, the Civil Aviation sector has a lot of scope. One can get a Commercial Pilot Licence in our country in only eight months at the cost of 70,000 New Zealand Dollars, around Rs 18 lakh, from Southern Institute of Technology Civil Aviation Limited,’ he added.

      emph. mine.

      But he was on the tele’ just before saying there was no conflict of interest. Colour me confused, cause it sho nuff don’t look pretty.

      Someone will be along presently no doubt, to explain. I’ll have to wait for the a.m. though. night all.

      • Quoth the Raven 17.2.1

        I like it how he uses the school attached to the company he’s a director at as an example and even mentions the price.

      • Felix 17.2.2

        That’s outrageous. Those cleverly worded stories from the liberal media make it look as if Richard Worth, (Minister of Crown, NZ) was using his official position (and MY tax dollars) to advance his own company.

  18. Irascible 18

    Amazing that the Tory bloggers can get so righteous about word processor interviews containing “allegations” about “corruption” under Labour then become protective and supportive of their own immediately Worth & Co prove that they are no virgins themselves when it comes to corruption. Key should demand his “ministers'” resignations and not just bus ticket slap them. Labour needs to hammer,hammer the offenders at every opportunity in the House and in all media. It is obvious that probity is not a word in the National government’s lexicon despite the Crosby-Textor campaigning.

  19. SHG 19

    Where’s the “Worth’s story unravels” article gone?

    [lprent: There now. It was probably pulled back for an edit.]

  20. spot 20

    Will key feel the pressure to offer up a scalp, probably, will he, I suspect not. But if needs must then hardly a talent loss.

    Be interesting to see if Lab feel they can go hard at this one, it being largely “outside” of matters policy, abut “inside” claims to fresh approach and credibility.

    I think King, or the like, should go them and see where it ends up.

    At the end of the day – Worth is, was, and always has been veeeeeery backbench material. Maybe time for him to work on another Phd.

    Keep an eye out for the “creating jobs for NZers in this recession” line that will probably get trotted out as part mitgation for Worth’s actions.

  21. gingercrush 21

    That’s fine and all PB. In an ideal world we should all think like that. But the idea that we who reply at blogs and bloggers themselves are somehow above things is blatantly absurd. How many times do right wing bloggers and those who identify right-wing accuse Labour of being corrupt and basically lying. Then how many times does the left themselves do that but this time against the right and National. So either we’re all hypocrites and very partisan or we aren’t. And of course the idea that a reprimand by itself is nothing.But it does actually mean something in political terms.

    —-

    And as for your point about National and them applying the highest standards. I don’t remember National saying that and I never expected it either. Labour will provide the questioning and will certainly test the government. And if you’re a voter of the left persuasion. This is the first time you actually have something to nail the government with. But when Goff goes on National Radio as he did five minutes ago and act all above everything. That will never work. Especially not when Sean Plunket smacks him down.

    • Pascal's bookie 21.1

      It’s not about me or bloggers ginger. It’s about Key. I’m glad you seem to agree that all his talk about how his government would be one of probity was all just a bunch of lies. Just like people on the left were saying. Were you saying so then? It seems that the only one claiming to be above it all is you mate. As always, you just seem focussed on the day’s horserace.

      A reprimand is as weak as it gets. What are the consequences?

      • gingercrush 21.1.1

        I’m not above anything and I don’t know why you make such a claim. What are the consequences? He fucks up again and he’s out. Simple as that. Of course Helen Clark wouldn’t even give Peters that till it was too late. That is why if you reprimand someone straight away. It actually works politically. If anything its you that exists on a holier than thou attitude.

  22. Observer 22

    Tane
    you talk some utter garbage at times! Like ” Richard Worth’s private business dealings in India while he was acting as a Minister of the Crown”. He was acting as chairman of a trade association and used NO public funds.

    An Indian newspaper did its homework, realised he was a Minister back in New Zealand, and used his highest title (Minister) in reporting on his visit. In India this is called being polite. By taking its words in a KIWI context, instead of an Indian one, much mischief has been achieved.

    How sad that this is the bast that can be achieved by the Centre Left as it looks for major discombooberations to latch the public’s attention to!

    • BLiP 22.1

      The fact that Worth was described as “Minister” is the Indian’s being polite!! Good grief, what a shining example of colonial patronising bollocks – “the poor golly wogs got it wrong because they were trying to be nice” – your attitude is so last century as to be insulting.

      Face it – Worth has been caught out seeking to benefit financially from his elected position, plus he’s been caught out lying to the Prime Minister.

      How sad the right seek to defend Worth and his type.

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  • What Happened to the Team?
    Last year, in the early stages of the pandemic, the Prime Minister’s “team of five million” performed well; team discipline was maintained and we all worked well together. This year, however, has been a different story; team discipline has weakened, and many people have on numerous occasions behaved badly and ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Another legal victory
    Across the world climate change activists have been going to court, seeking to make their governments act to protect future generations. And hot on the heels of victories in the Netherlands and Germany, there's been another one in France: A French court has ordered the government to make up ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Invasion Of The (Covid) Body Snatchers.
    It's Here! They're Here! We're Here! Help! It’s as if we’re all living through a Covid version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. What has become of Jacinda? Where have they taken her closest Cabinet colleagues? The people on the stage of the Beehive Theatrette look the same, but they ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 15 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Associate Professor Grant Duncan, Massey University, Auckland “The NZ Politics Daily email is very helpful in giving me a quick overview of current events and opinion. It allows me to pick out important or informative columns that I may otherwise have missed. I recommend NZ Politics Daily to anyone ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Missing From The Anti-Covid Action.
    The Invisible Man: Where has the NZ Council of Trade Unions been during the Covid-19 Pandemic? Why hasn’t its current president, Richard Wagstaff (above) become a household name during the pandemic? Up there with Ashley Bloomfield, Michael Baker, Shaun Hendy and Siouxsie Wiles? WHERE HAVE THE UNIONS BEEN during the Covid-19 ...
    5 days ago
  • “Go West, Young Virus”
    The Auckland Coronavirus Outbreak potters along, not helped by the perception that the Government is disturbingly enthusiastic about “managing the virus” or loosening the border. Health Minister Andrew Little said today he envisages 90% vaccination rates (which we don’t have) eventually leading to 5,000 cases in Auckland a week… ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #41, 2021
    How to fill a glass and thereby drink— from a fire hose So far this year, New Research has published listings for 3,291 papers concerning climate change from one aspect or another. Each edition includes two dozen or so articles describing freshly and directly observed effects of global waming. These ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: UKanians supports cuts
    The Guardian reports a study on emissions reduction policy from the UK, which found that UKanians overwhelmingly support stronger action than their government: The UK public backs a carbon tax on polluting industries, higher levies on flying and grants for heat pumps in order to tackle the climate crisis, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: “A View from Afar” on PRC-Taiwan tensions.
    In this week’s podcast Selwyn Manning and I discuss the upsurge in tensions between the PRC and Taiwan and what are the backgrounds to and implications of them. You can check the conversation out here. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s 2023 election manifesto
    This morning Health Minister Andrew Little effectively unveiled Labour's 2023 election manifesto: 5,000 cases a week in Auckland alone: Thousands of people will be infected with Covid-19 every week even with vaccination levels at 90 per cent, and hospitals face being overwhelmed once restrictions are eased and borders opened, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Don't Blame James.
    Emissions Impossible! So, don’t be too hard on poor James Shaw. His pathetic little To-Do list is, indeed, totally inadequate to the crisis. But, you know what? He’ll be lucky to get half of the items ticked-off. There’s just too many entrenched interests – not the least of whom are ...
    5 days ago
  • The “Pulpit of Strewth”
    Barry Soper is one half of one of one of those right-wing husband-and-wife duos in which the Herald seems to specialise. In today’s issue, he has a piece that doesn’t quite reach the heights (or depths) of a Hoskings-style anti-government hostility, but which does provide an interesting example of the ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the epic fails of Kris Faafoi
    Ever since Winston Peters first breathed life into this government in 2018, its own branding has been all about social justice and how we all need to be “kind” to each other. Somehow, Kris Faafoi must have missed the memo. His performance in the immigration portfolio (in particular) has neither ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 14 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Mike Treen, Advocate, Unite Union “Please continue your incredible work compiling these news digests. As someone operating in the fields of advocacy for workers and the broader social justice areas it is invaluable to be able to check what is happening in the media relating to the issues I have to deal ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Overconfident Idiots: Why Incompetence Breeds Certainty
    This is a re-post from the Thinking is Power website maintained by Melanie Trecek-King where she regularly writes about many aspects of critical thinking in an effort to provide accessible and engaging critical thinking information to the general public. Please see this overview to find links to other reposts from Thinking is Power. ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Abandoning ambition
    When Labour was first elected to power in 2017, they promised us "[an] ambitious plan to take real action on climate change". Four years and a lot of foot-dragging later, they've finally released that plan. And its not what was promised. Where to begin? Firstly, they've taken the Climate Change ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Many e-cigarette vaping liquids contain toxic chemicals: new Australian research
    Alexander Larcombe, Telethon Kids Institute   From October 1, it’s been illegal to buy e-liquids containing nicotine without a prescription from a doctor everywhere in Australia, except South Australia. But vaping with nicotine-free e-liquids is not illegal in Australia (though in some jurisdictions the e-cigarette devices themselves are illegal). Vaping ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Young adults worldwide have blunt message for governments: ‘We don’t trust you.’
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Elizabeth Marks describes herself as “a psychologist who works on difficult problems.” Her past research aimed at helping people cope with challenging health conditions, apt training, it appears, for taking on climate change issues. A few years ago, she altered ...
    7 days ago
  • Making ‘Second Age’ Hobbits Work: Amazon Series Speculation
    Time for a good old-fashioned fandom furore. The Tolkien fandom hasn’t had a proper one of those since the Great Nudity Scandal of October 2020… so it clearly must be time to pontificate from on-high about a television series we still know vanishingly little about. This time the subject ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 13 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Lara Greaves, Political scientist, University of Auckland: “I love the NZ Politics Daily emails as they help me to keep on top of current events. It’s incredibly easy to skim through and follow the links. I really appreciate these as it means that I am exposed to a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • The Data and Statistics Bill and the OIA
    The government introduced a new Data and Statistics Bill today to modernise and replace the 45-year old Statistics Act. Part of the Bill re-enacts the existing confidentiality regime (with one exception), which while a secrecy clause isn't an especially controversial one. Another part is aimed at removing "outdated" (inconvenient) limits ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Graham Adams: The debate over the $55 million media fund erupts again
    RNZ’s Mediawatch and a video clip viewed 42,000 times keep the topic of the Public Interest Journalism Fund fizzing. Graham Adams reports.   A week ago, the NZ Taxpayers’ Union posted a short video clip of the exchange in Parliament between Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins in which the National ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Multiple sclerosis: the link with earlier infection just got stronger – new study
    Scott Montgomery, UCL For most of the time since the first description of multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1868, the causes of this disabling disease have remained uncertain. Genes have been identified as important, which is why having other family members with MS is associated with a greater risk of developing ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Hit hard by the pandemic, researchers expect its impacts to linger for years
    Sora Park, University of Canberra; Jennie Scarvell, University of Canberra, and Linda Botterill, University of Canberra   The impacts of COVID-19 on Australian university researchers are likely to have consequences for research productivity and quality for many years to come. According to an online survey of academics at the University ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Covid and free speech
    by Don Franks Some commentators have likened the struggle against Covid 19 to the world war experience. To those of us not alive in those times, that comparison can only be academic. What the anti virus battle reminds me of much more is an industrial strike. In my twenties and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • “Angry Blowhards”
    In today’s Herald, their excellent columnist, Simon Wilson, takes to task those “shouty” people whom he further describes as “angry blowhards”. They are those whose prime reaction to the pandemic is anger – an anger they seamlessly (and perhaps unwittingly) transfer from the virus to the government. The basis for ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Looking Forward To 2022.
    Future Tense? Okay, so that’s where we are in 2022. Living in a New Zealand where all the usual rules of politics once again apply. And, guess what? Jacinda’s government, once again, isn’t doing very well – not very well at all.LET’S PLAY A GAME. Let’s pretend we’re half-way through ...
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Covid mandates, and the Covid pill
    The cliché about “living with Covid” will not mean life as we’ve known it, Jim. Vaccination is fast becoming a condition of employment, and also a requirement to participate in aspects of social life, such as travel, attending bars, cafes, and concerts etc. These protective measures enjoy a high level ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 12 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Prof Alan Bollard, Professor of Practice at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington; Chair of the Infrastructure Commission: “NZ Politics Daily” provides a great public service – a quick and unbiased way to check policy announcements and analysis every morning.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: A submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2)
    I have made a submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2).In preparing it, I looked at the Hansard for the first reading debate, and got name-dropped as someone likely to make a submission. So, of course I did. I focus on a small bit of the ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: More tales from the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme
    You may have read last week that two years after the publication of regulations for medicinal cannabis – and three years after the enabling legislation – two local products from a local manufacturer have finally met the minimum quality standards for prescription. You may also be interested to know that ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Real action requires government
    Over the weekend someone pointed me at a journal article on "The Poverty of Theory: Public Problems, Instrument Choice, and the Climate Emergency". Its a US law journal article, so is a) very long; and b) half footnotes (different disciplines have different norms), but the core idea is that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Not doing our bit
    Last month the US and EU announced they would push an agreement to cut methane emissions by 30% (from 2020 levels) by 2030 at the upcoming climate change conference in Glasgow. The good news is that New Zealand is looking at joining it. The bad news is that that won't ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Delta’s Week Of Doom.
    Classic Shot: Are the Prime Minister’s formidable communication skills equal to the task of getting her government’s anti-Covid campaign back on track?IF JACINDA ARDERN thought last week was bad, the week ahead promises to be even worse. Sixty community cases of Covid-19, one of the highest daily totals so far ...
    1 week ago
  • Urgent measures needed to allow the safe re-opening of Auckland schools
    Dr Rachel Webb, Dr Jin Russell, Dr Pip Anderson, Dr Emma Best, Dr Alison Leversha and Dr Subha Rajanaidu* In this blog we describe the range of urgent measures that are needed to facilitate a safe return to schools in Auckland and other regions of the country where there is ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Children live online more than ever – we need better definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ scree...
    Kathryn MacCallum, University of Canterbury and Cheryl Brown, University of Canterbury   The pandemic has fundamentally altered every part of our lives, not least the time we spend on digital devices. For young people in particular, the blurred line between recreational and educational screen time presents new challenges we are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Putting Aotearoa on the map: New Zealand has changed its name before, why not again?
    Claire Breen, University of Waikato; Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato; Robert Joseph, University of Waikato, and Valmaine Toki, University of Waikato   Our names are a critical part of our identity. They are a personal and social anchor tying us to our families, our culture, our history and place in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Yes, of course festival organisers will follow the law on vaccination
    On Tuesday 5 October the New Zealand Government announced that proof of COVID-19 vaccination would be a requirement to attend large events this summer.It took a few days for event owners to absorb the information and understand the implications. By the end of the working week, most of the big ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 11 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jim Hubbard, Cartoonist “NZ Politics daily is a go to for cartoonists, or should be.  Political reporting enmasse like this gives cartoonists and political junkies a smorgasbord to get their teeth into. Essential and I daresay vital reading for those who care about the future of NZ.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, October 3, 2021 through Sat, October 9, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: VFX Artist Reveals how Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power the ENTIRE World, Will you fall ...
    1 week ago
  • The Night of Parmenides: accepted
    A bit of good news on the writing front. My 3900-word short story, The Night of Parmenides, has been accepted by SpecFicNZ for their upcoming Aftermath anthology, to be published in early 2022. This is my first published short story to be explicitly set in my home-town of ...
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, the Politician, and the gang member
    . . . . . References Newshub Nation: Gang leader Harry Tam denies Winston Peters’ claims he helped infected woman breach COVID boundary, sparking Northland lockdown Te Ao News: ‘Apologise!’ Mob leader slams Peters’ Covid, Northland allegations Stuff media: Covid-19 – Search for contact of Northland case ‘extraordinarily frustrating’ CNBC: ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Rapid kits, responses, and openings: watch motivations, or catch something worse with Covid…
    Last week was probably a high point for many armchair “experts”, fresh from their high after some deep inhaling of the various musings and fumings, of an actually very smug, and very insualted John “Things all work for me…” Key, former Prime Minister and FOREX trader, had blitzed the ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Bollocks
    It would appear we have an unwelcome presence in town.Positive wastewater results had been detected in Hamilton and Palmerston North on October 6 and 7. There are 26 cases in hospital, seven of these are in ICU or high dependency units (HDU).One of the people in hospital is in Palmerston ...
    1 week ago
  • World-leading?
    So, the Herald has found someone, as we can see from today’s issue, who is able to explain why we should not claim to have been “world-leading” in our response to the covid epidemic. It seems that we have been kidding ourselves when we celebrated our low total number of ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Why Is Labour So Frightened Of “Mr Stick”?
    Force Multiplier: Why are Ardern and her ministers so loathe to put a bit of stick about? The “emergency” legislation eventually enacted to authorise the measures needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic failed to confer upon the New Zealand Government the unequivocal authority that subsequent events showed to be so ...
    1 week ago
  • The Need for an Updated Strategic Approach to Covid-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker* The NZ Government appears to have drifted into an unclear strategic approach to Covid-19 control. In this blog we outline one potential way forward: a regional strategic approach that considers “regional suppression” and “regional elimination”. To maximise the success of this ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Mairon: The Actual Source for the Blasted Name
    Long-time Tolkien geeks – or those bemused enough to run across a certain internet phenomenon – might know that ‘Sauron’ is not actually the real name of the Lord of the Ring. ‘Sauron’ is just an abusive Elvish nickname, meaning ‘the Abhorred.’ Sauron’s actual name, at least originally, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Forced Re-entry
    The elimination of Covid strategy is not so much defeated but changing circumstances means that policy has to evolve. Our elimination stance was never sustainable or at least it would not be until the rest of the world also eliminated Covid-19. Elimination of the virus was a strategy we adopted ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Repeal this unjust law
    Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled on National's unjust "three strikes" law, and found that the sentence it required was (in the case in question) so disproportionate as to "shock the conscience" and violate the Bill of Rights Act ban on disproportionately severe treatment or punishment: The Supreme Court has ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Preparing for the flood
    The Christchurch City Council has published new "coastal hazards" data, indicating which places are under threat from sea-level rise. And its not good news: Parts of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula are likely to become unhabitable [sic] as the city council figures out how to adapt to sea level ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Virus, Not The Government
    I wonder if Mike Hosking ever reads the paper in which he appears so regularly? If he does, he might have noticed a report in today’s Herald about the problem that could face churches in Auckland if a vaccine passport becomes mandatory for those wishing to attend church services. The ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 8 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Bill Ralston, Media consultant and columnist: “NZ Politics Daily provides an invaluable service for journalists, politicians, businesspeople, decision makers and the public at large by providing an easily accessible, exhaustive, link to every significant political story in the country’s media that day. It’s a gem of a service ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • Open letter to Michael Barnett, Julie White, et al
    . . Congratulations,  Mr Barnett, Ms White, and your business colleagues. It appears that we will end up having to “live” (ie, get sick, end up in hospital, perhaps in ICU, intubated on ventilators, and possibly dying as our lungs fail) with covid19. But at least businesses will open up. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago

  • Red tape cut to boost housing supply
    New building intensification rules will mean up to three homes of up to three storeys can be built on most sites without the need for a resource consent New rules will result in at least 48,200 and as many as 105,500 new homes built in next 5-8 years Bringing forward ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Nationwide business partnership grows conservation jobs
    Further Government support for New Zealand’s longest-standing sustainable business organisation will open up opportunities for dozens of workers impacted by COVID-19 to jump start a nature-based career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Partnering to Plant Aotearoa, led by the Sustainable Business Network (SBN), is a collaboration with iwi, hapū and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand increases climate aid contribution
    Government commits $1.3 billion over four years to support countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change At least 50 percent of funding will go to the Pacific as it adapts to the impacts of climate change The increase means New Zealand now meets its fair share of global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Super Māori turnout for Super Saturday
    Māori have put a superb effort into mobilising to get vaccinated over Super Saturday, with thousands rolling up their sleeves to protect themselves, their whānau and communities from COVID-19, Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says. “It was absolutely outstanding that 21,702 Māori got vaccinated on this one day alone with 10,825 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Language assists Tagata Niue to thrive
    Despite the uncertain times we face with the challenges of COVID-19, our cultural knowledge, values and language remain constant, helping us progress towards goals in life, said  the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. This year, the Niuean community in New Zealand decided on the theme, “Kia tupuolaola e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
    The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled. “I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
    Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Harvey graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1992 and commenced employment as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland that same year. In 1997 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
    New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation. “Reducing waste is one of the issues all New Zealanders – especially younger Kiwis - care deeply about,” Environment Minister David Parker said today “New Zealand is one of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today meet with more than 30 national Māori organisations in an online hui, kicking off the process to develop a plan for New Zealand to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration). The previous National Government signed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
    Whai Kāinga, Whai Oranga will open on 20 October, to receive applications for investment through Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Te Puni Kōkiri The $730m fund combines investment from Budget 2021 ($380m) and the Māori Infrastructure Fund ($350m) - the largest investment seen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
    Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall. A coalition of around 25 businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
    Taiaha hā! Taiaha hā! - Te kairangi o te reo hoki mai ki taku tikanga, ki taku taumata, ki taku reo, ki taku ao. He reo whai tikanga, he reo whai mana, he reo whai tangata koe. Ki te whāngaihia te reo Māori he ao tēnā, ki te kore he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major contract awarded to power NZ Battery investigation
    A consortium of specialist firms has been awarded a major contract to advance the New Zealand Battery Project’s feasibility investigation into a pumped hydro storage scheme at Lake Onslow, the Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods has announced. “This contract represents a major milestone as it begins the targeted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Additional Funding for Foodbanks and Social Agencies
    The Government has approved $13.55m from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund to support foodbanks and social sector agencies, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “Foodbanks and social agencies across Auckland are doing a great job supporting their communities and the Government is today providing them with more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Generating a new generation of guardians
    The Government is supporting a Whakatōhea-led project undertaking landscape scale restoration in forests and around vulnerable rivers within the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “The Whakatōhea Tiaki Taiao project will employ four people to undertake pest and weed control, ecosystem restoration and monitoring over three ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Parts of Waikato, Northland staying at Alert Level 3
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 and Northland will remain in Alert Level 3 for a few more days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Auckland remains at Alert Level 3, Step 1. “Based on the latest public health information, ministers have decided that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New courthouses for Tauranga and Whanganui
    The Government is moving ahead with new courthouses in Tauranga and Whanganui, which the Justice Minister says provide an opportunity to redesign court facilities that help put victims at the heart of the justice system. “These courthouses are part of the 10-year infrastructure investment plan to restore and modernise Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech on the launch of the consultation on the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi o te ata. Earlier this month Save the Children wrote to me with their most up to date analysis on the impact of climate change. What they said was that children born in Aotearoa today will experience up to five times as many heatwaves and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Opportunity to shape NZ’s first Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today. The Emissions Reduction Plan will set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Convention on Biological Diversity COP 15, Virtual High-Level Segment
    Kia ora koutou katoa. I want to thank China for hosting this critically important Conference of the Parties. We are all here for the same reason. Biodiversity loss, and the ongoing degradation of nature, are accelerating at an unprecedented rate. These losses are causing irreparable harm to our planet’s ability ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government books show resilient and strong economy
    The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast, even as recently as the Budget in May. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • ​​​​​​​Health system is ready for assisted-dying law
    The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. The law received 65.1 per cent support in a public referendum held alongside last year’s general ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Taking a lead in threat to curious kea
    Reducing lead poisoning of kea, the world’s only alpine parrot and one-time New Zealand bird of the year winner, is the goal of a two year project being backed by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says.  “Lead poisoning is a serious threat to this ...
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