Covid and the media

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, August 29th, 2021 - 54 comments
Categories: chris bishop, covid-19, health, jacinda ardern, labour, making shit up, Media, national, same old national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

This week there has been some argy bargy between the Twitterati including the Waitakerati and the media on coverage of Covid in Aotearoa.

Laura Walters at Spinoff posted this rather heavy dive analysis of criticism of Covid coverage by the media.

Her introduction was fine.  She said this:

We have heard a lot about the team of five million during the past 18 months. We have heard about the team’s superstars: the healthcare workers, border workers, supermarket workers, contact tracers, scientists and modelling experts. Then there is the team’s corps: those staying at home, scanning in, masking up. But there is another subset of the team whose contribution is sometimes overlooked, and other times misunderstood: those who challenge the government and its Covid-19 response.

I’m not talking about those who, like Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, think we should immediately give up on the elimination strategy and learn to live (or die) with Covid-19. I’m also not talking about those who spread misinformation, conspiracy theories, or refuse to adhere to public health measures.

I’m talking about those who constructively criticise the government’s Covid-19 response. The opposition MPs, media and experts who ask about issues with PPE supply chains; why more essential and frontline workers haven’t had their jabs (only 40% of police are fully vaccinated; we don’t know what percentage of healthcare workers are fully vaccinated); and how the government is addressing the failings of the MIQ booking system.

She also said this:

Unfortunately, many of those who do play the vital role of questioning the government’s handling of some aspects of its pandemic response are vilified.

The National party has been accused of politicising a public health emergency. And while there have been attempts at political point scoring and the spreading of inaccurate information by the opposition, on the whole, Covid-19 response spokesperson Chris Bishop has constructively questioned the government on legitimate issues. He’s asked about things like the percentage of health workers who are fully vaccinated, and vaccine supply issues.

She then mentioned Tova O’Brien and Jason Walls as being subjected to attacks.  Her comments about reporters questioning the Government’s policies were appropriate but I am afraid she lost me when she defended the National Party.

Her attack against the twitterari was repeated by Andrea Vance in Stuff this morning who said this:

Government supporters aggressively insist critics should shut up and trust the experts. That anyone questioning the prevailing approach is recklessly anti-science, undermining the response or indifferent to a higher death toll.

This is too crude. It is perfectly logical to accept the need for current restrictions, while criticising the Government for how we got here and the failings that led to it, not least in the vaccination roll-out.

Both of their attacks are too crude, to use Andrea’s phrase.  If someone presents a well thought through critical analysis of current policy then my impression is that the left will relish it.  And there are a number of contributors whose writing is critical of current efforts and weaknesses in the system.

For instance Marc Daalder had dug deep into Government information and highlighted significant weaknesses in areas such as contact tracing.  But his commentary is evidence based and nuanced which is a feature that many other writers lack.

Matt Nippert has also written some indepth analysis of Covid and its effects.  His weekend description of Delta is outstanding.  The article contained this passage:

New Zealand had found its first case of Delta on March 9, detected and then trapped and starved of new hosts in managed isolation and quarantine, with a passenger who had flown out of India. It would be five months before it returned here with a vengeance, but our neighbours would not be spared for long.

In April, Delta hitched a ride out of Fiji’s MIQ system and within a month was replicating itself in more than 100 new people each day. And on June 16 in Sydney, a limo driver who worked ferrying international aircrew around the city tested positive for Delta. The case only had five days between being infected and being detected and isolated, but that was enough to seed a stubborn outbreak that would later shatter both inter-state and transtasman consensus on the pandemic.

With similar economies and political systems, and an elimination strategy that had largely been in lock-step with New Zealand, the bubble between the two countries had opened just months earlier in April. Wellington was now watching developments in New South Wales very closely indeed.

On June 23, after a tourist from Sydney tested positive for Delta on his return home, the Covid response experienced what Gerrard calls a “dress rehearsal”.

If you were looking for a sign of official worry about Delta, this was it: The country’s first alert level change without confirmation of community transmission. The mushrooming list of places of interest, and frantic efforts to find and test the more than 2000 people who had also been present, showed the extent to which the response was trying to outrun an opponent that was now faster than ever.

But among the pearls there is this daily onslaught of trash analysis that is not contributing to the debate but instead is undermining it.  And the quality of the commentary is so poor that you have to question its value. The commentary is full of absolute conclusions uninformed by reality like this effort from today from Heather Duplessis-Allan.  Her broad conclusion was:

We thought New Zealand was exceptional. The world raved about our world-leading Covid response. But now, the world is ridiculing us at worst, shocked at best.

Reality would beg to differ.

Hers is not the only bad take.  Here are a few examples collected from recent columns:

  • National aligned Janet Wilson whose opinion piece is basically a collection of National Party talking points.
  • Chris Bishop’s dad John Bishop who managed to combine insulting former National Party voters with a claim that the dawn raids were justified.
  • Mike Hosking on any day.  What I would like to know is when will he admit his errors?
  • Mike Hosking’s wife.  Fancy criticising Ardern for the elimination strategy that has stopped thousands of kiwis from dying.  And her criticisms and insinuations about Ashley Blomfield have been that extreme that the head of the SSO Peter Hughes sought space on Newstalk’s website to say that she had gone too far.
  • Anything Richard Prebble has said.  Enough said.
  • Anything Steven Joyce has said.  Also enough said.
  • Westland Mayor Bruce Smith who is sick of hearing from health experts and wants businessmen to make health decisions instead.

It seems each week there is an array of partisan critical commentary against the Government’s response to Covid.  And the ease in which the criticism can change makes your head hurt.  One day they are too restrictive the next day to relaxed …

Among the dross there is the occasional gem.  This piece by Shane Tepou is a standout, particularly where he said:

If we did surrender to the virus, we know many, maybe most, of the people who would get seriously ill or die would be Māori and Pasifika. It would be my family. It would be our kaumātua we sacrificed if we listened to the people who say saving lives is too hard. That’s not the Māori way, it’s not the Kiwi way, and it’s a bloody good thing we didn’t listen to the naysayers.Ultimately, getting everyone vaccinated, including kids, is going to be how we break out of this pandemic. Not some arbitrary low target like Collins’ target of 70 per cent of adults. We need to get everyone vaccinated.

Don’t believe the rubbish about our vaccine contracts being slow or the myth based on a blog post that we could have paid more to jump the queue. We chose the gold standard vaccine, and we have been getting it as fast as Pfizer can make it. We now have enough vaccine being delivered that everyone can get their jabs. But we are not there yet, and neither are other countries that pundits would have us believe are “returning to normal”.

And this column by Jevan Casinader where he talks about the need to understand the mental strain our leadership is under is also outstanding particularly where he said:

Over the past fortnight, social media pages have been filled with gripes. Why did we lock down with only one case? Why did we even need a lockdown? Why are we still in lockdown? Why won’t they tell us how long we’ll be in lockdown?

We’re like five million children squeezed into the backseat of a station wagon, chanting: “Are we there yet?”

When this outbreak began, our narrative quickly shifted from “a world-leading response” to “a failing, poorly-led public service”.

Clearly, there have been gaps in the Government’s Covid strategy. The vaccine roll-out has been slow. The MIQ system remains inequitable. The border has been exposed on many occasions.

But too often, the criticism overlooks the fact that politicians and officials are making imperfect decisions, based on imperfect information, using limited public resources, during an unprecedented global event. There is no textbook for this stuff.

His description of Jacinda Ardern’s use of the 1 pm briefing sessions also resonated:

The prime minister has been accused of exploiting Covid to build her personal brand. I’ve read numerous posts claiming Jacinda Ardern enjoys Level 4 because she can hog the limelight and deliver Labour “sermons” from the Beehive theatrette.

This is daft – and just plain nasty. In February, Ardern said there is an “indescribable anxiety that comes with the daily grind of managing a pandemic”.

Of course the naysayers have the ability and the economic and political incentive to say whatever stupid idea comes into their head.  They are at liberty to imply they understand the handling of a pandemic that has brought more advanced nations to their knees better than those who have spent a lifetime working on health issues.

But they should not complain when the Twitterati or the Waitakereati get stuck into them.

By all means let us have the debate.  But bring your best game and be prepared to defend your positions, particularly the ones damaging to the response.

54 comments on “Covid and the media ”

  1. Darien Fenton 1

    Yes, seems to me some of the "commentators" are getting a bit sensitive about the pushback. And it's huge. We are all tired, worried, exhausted with dealing with the realities of what this means for real people, including workers in essential services, Such shallow journalism, but might be living in the Beehive bubble where once a day they get to have a moment if fame. Meantime, criticisms of Ashley, Chris, Jacinda et al disregard the fact they are humans, they have kids and whanau they are separated from. Not a gig many of us would sign up for.

  2. barry 2

    Of course we should not restrict free speech. Unless it is a question of slander or inciting rebellion or hatred, people should say what they like. However the media have a responsibility to put things into perspective.

    Testing takes some time to get up to speed. We don't have a people (like firefighters) sitting around polishing swabs waiting for an outbreak. Vaccination was a considered choice between rushing, or waiting and building up slowly – while managing supply of the best available vaccine.

    The people complaining about not being able to trade at level 3/4 should be asked to explain how they can trade in an environment where covid is rampant. They should be asked to explain the figures for the good weeks (most of the year) where they have done well because of our virus free status.

    The people complaining about MIQ, testing, vaccination rates etc, should have to say why we think they could do better. MIQ is a problem, but mainly it is a problem because people are choosing to travel. Last February/March the NZ government told NZers abroad to come home while they still could. Yes it might have been inconvenient, but now people are complaining about the inconvenience of the consequences of their choice. MIQ exists to help them.

    So yes, we should have constructive criticism. The government needs to explain its decisions. There are plenty of good ideas, and we have a right to hear them. Nobody should be threatened for contributing to the discussion. However, I do get tired of hearing the same hacks thinking they know better and ignoring all the good work that is happening.

  3. Clive Macann 3

    Well said, Micky.

  4. Byd0nz 4

    Covid and it's variants are perhaps the greatest genuine challenge the today world is faced with. Each country has to deal with this under the current government they have, each have the support of experts in the field, both internationally and at home.

    There must be a level of trust we give to the government and the experts that advise it. So there are indeed certain aspects to it that are questioned and criticized, but it has to be understood that this is a giant learning curve and only learning from errors can only come from hindsight.
    Constructive criticism is of course acceptable, but point scouring and cheap shot journalism is never helpful. On the whole, for my point of view. We can be thankful for our choice of government is competent to guide us through this terrible time.

  5. Anne 5

    The examples you have cited Micky are further evidence (as if we needed it) of the venom from the entitled political right when things are not going according to their expectations. The fundamental cause of their fury is the remarkable success thus far of the Covid strategies adopted by the govt. [and the medical scientists who advise them] which have garnered admiration from around the world.

    They are hell bent in responding to it by creating an alternative narrative which bears no relation to reality and which is designed over time to create confusion among the populace for political gain. That is why they are projecting their own cynical and self serving approach on to the shoulders of Jacinda Ardern by alleging:

    she's exploiting Covid to build her personal brand and claiming she enjoys Level 4 because she can hog the limelight and deliver Labour “sermons” from the Beehive theatrette.

    What a load of jealous piffle!

    • Forget now 5.1

      I too find those points from people railing against the 1pm briefings to be particularly telling. As if the critics would indeed behave in such a self agrandizing way if they were in that position themselves, and can't conceive of any reason to front up to the public except to decieve them.

  6. Pete 6

    I like the way Mediawatch on RNZ gives attention to some aspects of our media that usually don't get focussed scrutiny.

    This morning they introduced Nick Mills, of ZB Wellington to show Wellington shares other viruses with Auckland.

    What was instructive was hearing another NZME employee questioning the relentless negativity of their breakfast host.

    The old saying came to mind about when your feet hit the floor. When you get out of bed you choose your attitude for the day, positive or negative.

    What is it that happens to Mike Hosking before he gets out of bed that has him the negative arrogant soul he is when his feet first hit the floor?

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/mediawatch/audio/2018810142/mediawatch-for-29-august-2021

    (Auckland 24:00 on)

  7. Drowsy M. Kram 7

    Thank you Micky for your post, and to all those who have commented. A real tonic.

    Unite against COVID-19
    https://covid19.govt.nz/

    • Grafton Gully 7.1

      Unite also against wealth inequality, alcohol and drug abuse, industrial farming, non-local food production. Unite for life respecting and preserving communities and the care and safety of children.

  8. Sacha 8

    the Waitakereati

    Stop trying to make fetch happen. 🙂

  9. Ghostwhowalksnz 9

    The NZ Herald to day syndicates a Listener story from Victoria University's Professor Grimes, attacking the government. of course

    'Opinion: Government has caused housing crisis to become a catastrophe'

    Simply put he blames the changes in The Reserve Bank Act in 2018 which added employment sustainibility which have caused the explosion in House prices. This just aligns us with UK, USA and Australia which include employment in the central bank policy targets

    House prices had been rising in previous decades, including before 2018

    Professor Grimes was Chairman of the Reserve Bank from 2014-2108..a period of rapid house price rise

    The hypocrisy is stunning

  10. KJT 10

    https://thestandard.org.nz/reporters/
    ,”Once upon a time, in a world far away” we had these people called “reporters”.
    An honourable profession, who considered it their job to keep the public accurately and completely informed”.

    The 1 pm conferences have made the ignorance, partisanship and the propensity to "make things up and give their own uneducated opinion, indulged in by so called "journalists" glaringly obvious to the public.

    And from the kickback from media hacks. They hate having their incompetent and ignorant spin, that they pass off as ,"news" exposed.

    • nzsage 10.1

      Spot on KJT.

      For "reporters", we now have "commentators" or in the case of Hawkesby and Hoskin, B-grade celebrities with lesser intellect and knowledge of the real world than the Kardashians.

      The modern news media are so far removed from being journalist their programs should be moved from News to the Entertainment Tonight channel.

  11. Sacha 11

    A rare NZ journo who has got Covid twice and lived through the UK’s endless lockdown says we need to stick this out. https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/300391716/covid19-you-dont-know-how-lucky-you-are-new-zealand

    • Drowsy M. Kram 11.1

      Thanks Sacha for that link (only ~650 words) – a must read, imho.

      Yep, lockdowns are tough and having your freedoms temporarily taken away is frustrating – but New Zealand has proven to the world that lockdowns work, especially when you go hard and fast, with a small population, on a small island, with everyone obeying the rules.

      It might not feel like it, but the finish line of this outbreak is so close. Just hold on a little bit longer, take it day by day, and you’ll be back to normal before you know it.

      I’ll see you at the pub to celebrate.

    • DukeEll 11.2

      The “endless” lockdown that achieved nothing? Like Victoria’s endless lockdown but cases still keep rising there too.

      Maybe it’s better to accept some COVID risk in the community if the evidence is starting to Mount that lockdowns aren’t the best solution

      • joe90 11.2.1

        if the evidence is starting to Mount that lockdowns aren’t the best solution

        And the mounting evidence that lockdowns aren’t the best solution is…?

        • Sacha 11.2.1.1

          some vox-pops near Tauranga

          • Incognito 11.2.1.1.1

            Tauranga? Isn’t that where they have no internet?

          • joe90 11.2.1.1.2

            I reckon Hosk and co opining from the cheap seats, ACT etcs social media spend and vox-pops near Tauranga are driving polls.

            In a sense, Peter Doocy’s arrival in the White House press briefing room has been to his employer’s detriment. It used to be that Fox News could spend days condemning Democratic presidents for not responding to whatever controversy its hosts had been tumbling around in their rhetorical rock polishers. Now, though, there’s Doocy, who is regularly selected by White House press secretary Jen Psaki to ask questions probably in part so that the familiar process can be beheaded early.

            […]

            Doocy and his network often don’t provide or consider the context that would subject their theories to heat from the outset. As New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait pointed out Thursday, Fox viewers often aren’t really tuning in to the network’s offerings for a considered debate on the news of the day. What keeps them engaged and watching is the diaspora of voices and range of volumes fuming at the day’s outrage.

            https://archive.li/YZanK (wapo)

      • Nordy 11.2.2

        The evidence is that the lockdown as we know and implement it is working.

        Read the information and the data, rather than simply repeating the criticism of those with an interest and purpose in attacking the govt.

      • Macro 11.2.3

        The thing is Duke that even in Victoria where they have had far more practice at "lockdown" than us still can't get the method right. So they have tried to "ring fence" the out-break, but this virus is far too tricky for that to work, and it continually sneaks past the barrier, infecting others not protected in the process. They have only recently woken up to the fact that they needed to place the whole state in lockdown, not just just a few shires.

      • Sacha 11.2.4

        Our lockdowns have been proper ones and hence have worked. Why would we give that up now because of a small number of whingers and especially overseas ones?

      • Incognito 11.2.5

        Lockdowns are pretty ineffective, on their own. Only a simpleton would think that it is all-or-nothing with any measure, be it lockdown, vaccination, or mask-wearing, for example.

        In any case, if lockdowns are not “the best solution”, what is, and what would it achieve and how?

        • Pingao 11.2.5.1

          Taiwan seems to have suppressed their recent outbreak in May while having a very low vaccination rate at the start of the outbreak. I used Our World in Data "covid vaccination" for the vaccination data.

          I was curious as to how this was achieved as during the early days Taiwan did not lockdown as such and found this article which lists several approaches including masking, social distancing, improved quarantine and how media and local government behaved.

      • "Maybe it’s better to accept some COVID risk in the community if the evidence is starting to Mount that lockdowns aren’t the best solution"

        Accepting covid in the community means accepting people filling our hospitals; our ICU wards; Long Covid affecting survivors; and hundreds dead.

        Which then begs the question "better to accept some COVID" – for who? Undertakers?

        Never mind the bog paper. Stock up on body bags.

      • McFlock 11.2.7

        Covid isn't like water. You can't take a bucket to a tap, fill it with an "acceptable" amount, then turn the tap off.

        One or two drips of covidwater get in the bucket, the bucket keeps filling like a cornucopia until it overflows with corpses. The only way to avoid that is to take drastic action to dry the bucket as soon as you find a drop of water.

      • Gabby 11.2.8

        But the evidence isn't starting to mount.

    • Patricia Bremner 11.3

      Thank you for posting that Sacha. I hope the poor lady, Helena Power can get back soon. LLoyd Burr …I well remember him outside the pub at Russell? being challenged by Winston Peters in 2017… a lifetime ago.

  12. Excellent blogpost, Micky. Salient points and well researched.

    Have noticed pretty much the same thing, and methinks Ms Vance doth protest too much. The msm is not above scrutiny by the public, just as politicians aren't above scrutiny by the media.

    If, as she suggests the media demands "we gave up on freedom of expression" – the same applies to us, scrutinising and freedom of expression to voice our concerns when we think they (the media) are doing us a dis-service.

    And it's not media scrutiny of the government that is exasperating. I've written several blogposts voicing my own criticisms of MIQ policies. (My latest on media dumping on us here: https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2021/08/29/life-in-lockdown-round-two-day-10-contd-11/ )

    No, its the platforming of so-called "experts", commentators, business whingers (hullo Michael Barnett!) and some "useful idiots" (hullo Bruce Smith!) that does our heads in.

    Enough. If the MSM can dish it out, they damn well should be able to take it.

    • Patricia Bremner 12.1

      devil Just so totally agree. Glad to see you here Frank. Read your items with interest.

      • Thanks, Patricia.

        Truth to tell, though I'm still on duty (essential worker in the Health sector), my roster has been amended so having extra time. Plus my partner and I are in separate bubbles so time spent together is now spent on our own… No grizzling, we all do our little bit.

        Hope you and your family is well!

        • Patricia Bremner 12.1.1.1

          Thank you Frank, we have two grand nieces with covid in Sydney. (Delta,) they are sick at home presently. These 18 year old twins had their vaccinations as part of a family bubble. Hopefully they will recover. We need to get on top of it here. Listening to family in Scotland and London, they are tired and very anxious.

          Thank you both for what you do. We are fortunate, retired and in reasonable health, but realise we may not get to visit or be visited by our son in Queensland as we are now near 80, and he has medical problems. We all need each other to be strong and clear headed in these times, and follow the science.

          As your writing is lucid and clear we appreciate your items, which as you say you produce in your down time. Keep well.

  13. Stephen D 13

    One thing that puzzles me is, have people who life in Aotearoa turned into a bunch of whiny whimps. God help them if they lived in England, America, Australia. Anywhere that’s been in and out of lockdown for months on end.

    A couple of weeks and they’ve got cabin fever already. Spare me!

    !

    • David 13.1

      Yeah, yeah, yeah overseas cabin fever is old news. In NZ we are still here because we’ve had a horrendous vaccine stroll out. Worst in the OECD. There is no escaping that unless you are an absolute Jacindafobe.

      [Banned for a month for ignoring Moderation request to; you’ve had two full days to comply. You blew any credit you’d left with your trolling, so it was an easy decision this time – Incognito]

      • Stephen D 13.1.1

        DNFTT

        • In Vino 13.1.1.1

          I think the incompetent twit meant to type 'Jacindaphile'. But instead typed "Jacindaphobe'; (well, actually with an ‘f’ instead of ‘ph’..) probably not sure about meaning any more than spelling..

      • Incognito 13.1.2

        See my Moderation note @ 6:45 pm.

  14. coreyjhumm 14

    Commentators and Journalists are two different things.

    The national party is a shambles , Bishop has this year had a couple good hits at the govt over vaccinations that were fair enough despite however him never getting the appropriate reprimanding for sitting on the covid Karen's who traveled the country after testing negative simply cos he wanted to use it to hit the govt that was shameful.

    Ive gotta say though I found the spin off take absolutely decent but I found Andrea Vance's take as some kind of justification for allowing politicians to travel up and down the country to mingle with each other in a physical parliament absolutely unacceptable. Parliament should be meeting via zoom end of to hell with physical parliament in a pandemic.

    I have real concerns though about the way in which genuine, constructive criticism and debate is shut down by masses of people who tell people to harden up, or that they are letting the team down

    The govt has extraordinary powers and impugning on civil liberties with good reason but in extraordinary ways and it's important media are able to criticize, cut through the spin and at times go for the jugular because the opposition is too busy mutilating itself to hold the govt to account.

    There are times when labour / Jacinda supporters attack people with questions like rabid Trump supporters. Some of us forgot the be kind part.

    There are many genuine criticisms and failures that govt officals and govt departments have allowed the ball to be dropped over the last 18 months and while overall they've done a great job a lot of that is because of the pressure they've been under from journalists cos there's no opposition.

    And again journalists themselves are absolutely up for criticism but alot of the criticism they get is ugly

    There are genuinely those who attack journalists for doing their job because they are aligned with a political party or ideology and the journalist made their side look bad and they are acting in bad faith, if my side has dropped the ball I wanna know how/why not go nuts that the journo made my side look bad…

    I trust the media more than I trust unelected govt department bosses who routinely drop the ball and make govt look bad.

  15. newsense 15

    Wait 1000 cases a day NSW and 100 deaths a day UK? Farage and chums…anybody ask them why all these life boaters are so desperate to be here?

    the liars and bullshit are beginning to get a toehold.
    They’re a little bit better than the last lot, a few days of positive, more use of proxies for the negatives and have got NSW and ScoMo too.

    New Zealand is in the top few places to be in the world. And likely to be there after lockdown.

    I mean really the people who have been posting the NSW 5 person picnic thing as a libertarian triumph. FML.

    different place in the electoral cycle and a different, more difficult challenge.

  16. Chris 16

    Hawkesby's so one-eyed she'll only need one needle.

  17. Anne 17

    Thanks for that Pukahu Road.

    And when you've been on the receiving end of one or two of the 1 in 100 sociopaths, you know how dangerous they can be. Many of them get away with conduct which would see the rest of us publicly admonished at best, prosecuted by the police at worst. But for some reason they are allowed to cover their tracks with impunity.

    • Anne 17.1

      Pukahu Road seems to have deleted his comment which was about the level of sociopathy present in society especially in relation to media personnel. (My paraphrase).

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  • Solutions Interview: Steven Hail on MMT & ecological economics

    TL;DR: I’m casting around for new ideas and ways of thinking about Aotearoa’s political economy to find a few solutions to our cascading and self-reinforcing housing, poverty and climate crises.Associate Professor runs an online masters degree in the economics of sustainability at Torrens University in Australia and is organising ...
    The KakaBy Steven Hail
    1 day ago
  • Reported back

    The Finance and Expenditure Committee has reported back on National's Local Government (Water Services Preliminary Arrangements) Bill. The bill sets up water for privatisation, and was introduced under urgency, then rammed through select committee with no time even for local councils to make a proper submission. Naturally, national's select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Vandrad the Viking, Christopher Coombes, and Literary Archaeology

    Some years ago, I bought a book at Dunedin’s Regent Booksale for $1.50. As one does. Vandrad the Viking (1898), by J. Storer Clouston, is an obscure book these days – I cannot find a proper online review – but soon it was sitting on my shelf, gathering dust alongside ...
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell On The Biden Withdrawal

    History is not on the side of the centre-left, when Democratic presidents fall behind in the polls and choose not to run for re-election. On both previous occasions in the past 75 years (Harry Truman in 1952, Lyndon Johnson in 1968) the Democrats proceeded to then lose the White House ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 days ago
  • Joe Biden's withdrawal puts the spotlight back on Kamala and the USA's complicated relatio...

    This is a free articleCoverageThis morning, US President Joe Biden announced his withdrawal from the Presidential race. And that is genuinely newsworthy. Thanks for your service, President Biden, and all the best to you and yours.However, the media in New Zealand, particularly the 1News nightly bulletin, has been breathlessly covering ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Why we have to challenge our national fiscal assumptions

    A homeless person’s camp beside a blocked-off slipped damage walkway in Freeman’s Bay: we are chasing our tail on our worsening and inter-related housing, poverty and climate crises. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Existential Crisis and Damaged Brains

    What has happened to it all?Crazy, some'd sayWhere is the life that I recognise?(Gone away)But I won't cry for yesterdayThere's an ordinary worldSomehow I have to findAnd as I try to make my wayTo the ordinary worldYesterday morning began as many others - what to write about today? I began ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • A speed limit is not a target, and yet…

    This is a guest post from longtime supporter Mr Plod, whose previous contributions include a proposal that Hamilton become New Zealand’s capital city, and that we should switch which side of the road we drive on. A recent Newsroom article, “Back to school for the Govt’s new speed limit policy“, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am on Monday, July 22 are:Today’s Must Read: Father and son live in a tent, and have done for four years, in a million ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: As of 7:00 am on Monday, July 22, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:US President Joe Biden announced via X this morning he would not stand for a second term.Multinational professional services firm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 14, 2024 thru Sat, July 20, 2024. Story of the week As reflected by preponderance of coverage, our Story of the Week is Project 2025. Until now traveling ...
    2 days ago
  • I'd like to share what I did this weekend

    This weekend, a friend pointed out someone who said they’d like to read my posts, but didn’t want to pay. And my first reaction was sympathy.I’ve already told folks that if they can’t comfortably subscribe, and would like to read, I’d be happy to offer free subscriptions. I don’t want ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • For the children – Why mere sentiment can be a misleading force in our lives, and lead to unex...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

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

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

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

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

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

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

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

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

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

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

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

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

  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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