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Crosby/Textor Spin Bingo

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 pm, July 1st, 2008 - 67 comments
Categories: john key, slippery, spin - Tags: ,

John Key has his round of five interviews tomorrow morning (Breakfast, Sunrise, ZB, KiwiFM, bFM) and will undoubtedly face questions on his use of Crosby/Textor. So, what line will C/T have him parrot repeatedly?

He’s already trying “I get most of my advice from the public” (weak) and the more aggressive “I’m going to set the tone of National’s campaign and that tone will be optimistic, positive and ambitious, if anyone runs a dirty campaign it will be Labour” – both out of the C/T handbook but will they have something better for tomorrow?

My pick is still “the real issue here is why Helen Clark is so obsessed with who I get advice from when hardworking Kiwis are suffering from 9 years of overtaxation”

What are your guesses for spin bingo? Closest guess gets a C/T internship.

67 comments on “Crosby/Textor Spin Bingo ”

  1. infused 1

    Donno, but do we care? no.

  2. higherstandard 2

    Why don’t you apply SP ?

  3. HS.
    a) I’m not a Tory
    b) I have morals

    (not having morals obviously doesn’t automatically follow from being a Tory, there are principled Tories who have leaked out the C/T info for starters)

  4. Daveo 4

    I think he’ll go with the tried and tested “we don’t discuss who individual contractors are”, and failing that a “look, everyone uses contractors, Labour uses contractors too, it’s no big deal, frankly this is desperate.”

  5. pinetree 5

    Steve

    If I were using the C/T playbook – under which heading would I fit The Standard’s approach to tackling of the Nats and John Key ?

    ….you know, “slippery John”, “Kremlinology”, “Misdirection” etcetera etcetera..

    “Last Chance Saloon” ?

    ….Standard’s have slipped, is the best tactic honestly to just out-and-out decry all things Key/Nats rather than talk up/explain what the left has got on offer…?

    Is that the reponse to the polls, “hell, they’re not listening, or are too stoopid to care, tell you what, let’s roll out the Bogey-Man tactic, that’ll scare em”….

    Raise the game, outside a small little clique of politicos this sort of stuff just doesn’t stick with Joe Punter…voting is a volume game and youd have to suspect people have got a hell of a lot more on their mind than to be swayed by this sort of periphery….

    ….but mud sticks huh….

  6. andy 6

    my pick will be:

    aaaaggghhh, eeeerr, ummmmm, ahhh, uuummmm, arrrgggh, uuummmmmm I don’t have that in front of me/I can’t recall/we get lots of advise from many sectors some solicited and some not ….

    BTW gidday CT boys, cause you must be lurking!

  7. My pick is still “the real issue here is why Helen Clark is so obsessed with who I get advice from when hardworking Kiwis are suffering from 9 years of overtaxation’

    Again good answer even better that it happens to be true

    why dont u apply for the job u seem bloody good at it

  8. pinetree –

    We do argue for leftwing ideas all the time – have alook at our wages archive or work rights archive or look up ACC or look at how we’ve promoted Drinking Liberally. The basis of our opposition to the likes of Key is that they would reverse or stagnate leftwing reforms, and we frequently elucidate those grounds when arguing against National policy.

  9. Andrew Thompson: Cullen always said he was preparing for the day when things would go pear-shaped. Things look like having a reasonable chance of going pear-shaped. The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) is warning today of the serious risk of a global depression. The credit bubble isn’t close to being over. Banks everywhere do not have their books in order and bad debt is mounting.

    Of particular concern are the 40% of Chinese government enterprises operating at a loss and the large number of “leveraged buyouts” over the past several years that have elied on continued access to cheap credit.

    It’s starting to look like Cullen was right and now would be a dumb time for tax cuts.

  10. This is my pick, too.

    “the real issue here is why Helen Clark is so obsessed with who I get advice from when hardworking Kiwis are suffering from 9 years of overtaxation’

    It completely misses the point to make another point. Standard practice.

  11. andy 11

    I am in heaven, number seven…

    Bingo!

    Pinetree is the winner of the Crosby/Textor meat tray for repeating this meme:

    is the best tactic honestly to just out-and-out decry all things Key/Nats rather than talk up/explain what the left has got on offer ?

    Razorlight

    8.44am 1/07/08

    The left is so obsessed with this man they are failing to recognise it is the Labour policies they should be looking at.

    Good to see the boys are working late, tax payer dollars hard at work!

    captcha: A repeatedly

  12. mike 12

    The story will be more about National being the victim of sabotage in a dirty campaign.
    Kiwi’s like a clean fight etc..

    I like the “listening to the public” line as well.

    Captcha: 167th industries – some sort of OECD rating?

  13. Pascal's bookie 13

    Threadjack alert, I don’t have a bingo entry.

    “The credit bubble isn’t close to being over. Banks everywhere do not have their books in order and bad debt is mounting.”

    How did that all happen? Some crazy left wing reforms no doubt. Or maybe it was the Commodity Futures Modernization Act passed in 2000, that deregulated the finacial sector in the US and ushered in a new era for the U.S. financial services industry.

    In the words of the genius that pushed it through (Phil Gramm):

    “The work of this Congress will be seen as a watershed where we turned away from an outmoded Depression-era approach to financial regulation and adopted a framework that will position our financial services industry to be world leaders into the new century’

    Cite

    Worked out pretty shit eh?

    Oh well, I imagine Mr Gramm is now quite chastened and remorseful and is busying himself doing something more worthwhile for the community. Something better suited to his talents. Like chopping firewood for old people, or running cake stalls to raise some money to help the millions his crappy legislation has hurt.

    But no, he’s the chief economic advisor for McCain, who admits that he needs help on the economy because it’s not his strong suit.

  14. Bingo; can Housing New Zealand find me a resort or house??
    I will even be a rubbish detective for the nanny girls.

  15. gobsmacked 15

    “Yes, we use Crosby/Textor”

    That’s what he should say, anyway. Look at how this has developed: on Sunday – a minor story. In the SST, but not picked up by other media. 48 hours later – a bigger, growing story, now prominent in all media.

    The story hasn’t changed, it just got oxygen from Key’s ham-fisted handling of it.

    Most of the public don’t care about C/T (although I wish they did). But when Key bumbles through the questioning on TV, he looks anything but Prime Ministerial, and far more people pay attention to that performance than to Hager & the blogs. Key’s digging himself in deeper each day, and it’s dumb. It feeds all his negatives: slippery, stumbly, can’t think on his feet, not up to the job he wants. And if he doesn’t try and kill the story, it will keep coming back. Journos don’t dislike him yet, but they won’t put up with being treated like idiots, when they all know the truth (everyone does now).

    If you’re reading this John, send me the invoice. You’re wasting your money on the Aussies.

  16. Monty 16

    The Ct issue is only relevant in the minds of the left in the beltway. To everyone else it simply does not matter. You guys are desperate for a beat-up on this – but what I can see there are maybe 20 regular posters on this site. about 18 of them are leftists. Don’t you ever feel that you are screaming at each other in a small sound proof room? Because that is certainly what it seems like to us righties.

    At present there are so many issues that need attention, but you leftards are screaming “Crosby Textor”. Everyone is rather puzzelled by this. Surely Labour employ very similar (even nastier )tactics. You leftards acuse the right of your own worst sins.

    You have not found an issue that grabs the imagination and disguist of the average Kiwi. You are instead showing your desperation and rally how pathetic you really have become – mind you is that what being 25% points behind in the polls does t a desperate and dying party. Not to far away now from National being double the support of Labour – what nasty lies and attacks will follow when that happens? You guys need to focus on the big issues, not worry about the sort of crap that seems to dominate your pathetic little lives.

  17. Monty. Helen Clark’s history and beliefs are an open book. Crosby/Textor created Brand Key from the ground up.

  18. Dominic 18

    Monty. This blog focuses heavily on deconstructing National’s spin and unravelling the branding of John Key – so you can see why a revelation like this is of interest. In short they can write what they bloody well like and I can enjoy reading it. Your opinion isn’t necessary.

  19. Razorlight 19

    SP “Helen Clark’s history and beliefs are an open book.”

    Who was behind these slogans

    “Closing the Gaps”, “economic transformation”, “environmental sustainability”, “knowledge economy”

    Every one of those has been a Clark aspiration or slogan that 12 months after it has been announced ceases to be mentioned again.

    Who was the spin doctor behind those slogans. Or who was the brains behind dropping them when it became clear it was only spin.

    Who had the idea to alter pictures for election advertising.

    Who is pulling Labour’s strings to give them this facade

  20. Dominic 20

    RL: Those are a bunch of crap slogans, and bad ones at that – hardly evidence of a dastardly spin machine out to play the public for suckers by hiding your real policies and principles and running purely on a brand of ‘nice guy, grew up in a state house, likes Maori kids’ while running constant and nasty attack politics against the opposition.

  21. Skeptic 21

    [Tane: Banned for a week. You’ve been around here long enough to know you can’t pull that kind of shit and get away with it.]

  22. Razorlight 22

    Dominic, what is the nasty attack politics against the opposition that Key is engaging in.

    I don’t recall him coming down to the level of calling people pricks. Mr Cullen may have. Or spending time talking about someones property port folio. Contributors to The Standard may have.

    There is only one side engaging in atack politics.

  23. higherstandard 23

    Dominic

    What are these constant and nasty attack politics ?

    Isn’t this the same thing Key was complaining about when Labour was having a go at him in the house and the Prime Minister came back with “Diddums” ?

    … snap with RL

  24. Razorlight 24

    Has Helen Clark ruled out push polling yet?

  25. higherstandard 25

    SP

    From your post earlier today ….

    a) I’m not a Tory
    b) I have morals

    (not having morals obviously doesn’t automatically follow from being a Tory, there are principled Tories who have leaked out the C/T info for starters)

    you may enjoy this put together by someone of like mind to you in the UK.

    http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Conservatory_Party

  26. ak 26

    Ataboy Mont – whip it up till it eats you away boy, onya for keeping us posted on your personal neuroses.

    Going on the media to date, eg last week’s PM FORCES DISABLED MAN TO WALK and its current refusal to pursue Key’s blatant public lie or Crosby-Textor’s disgusting past practices, it wouldn’t matter what the Slippery flipflop says:
    If he said “Go and get fracked the lot of ya” the headline would be KEY PROMISES FREE TRAVEL AND ROMANCE FOR STRUGGLING TAXPAYERS

    Course it might have to compete with CLARK DISCOVERS CANCER CURE: TOO LITTLE TOO LATE SAY VOTERS

  27. Ari 27

    Dominic

    What are these constant and nasty attack politics ?

    Isn’t this the same thing Key was complaining about when Labour was having a go at him in the house and the Prime Minister came back with “Diddums’ ?

    snap with RL

    Let’s see, how about the fact that National has released longer critiques of Labour’s policy in practically every area than the pitiful amount of policy they’ve released?

    How about the dogwhistled sexism from them (a little) and from their supporters? (a lot) How about Key’s constant refusal to answer questions about his own principles or himself in general if it doesn’t involve repeating his “brand” as a hard-working kiwi bloke from poor beginnings?

    Personally, I agree with you that Helen Clark shouldn’t have done that. However, I don’t think you’ve even identified an example of attack politics. If you’re looking for something from the Labour side, the worst they’ve done is “slippery”- which, as attack politics go, could potentially be disqualified for actually being a justifiable attack on policy positions.

    (Usually “attack politics” refers to unrelated personal attacks that don’t have anything to do with the way the MP(s) have conducted themselves in Parliament or their policies. Justified and policy-based criticism is a slightly different beast, although sometimes lumped in together)

  28. Razorlight 28

    Ari ‘Usually “attack politics’ refers to unrelated personal attacks that don’t have anything to do with the way the MP’

    Like “Rich Prick” for example. Now who used that term?

    Or describing Mr Key’s home as a trophy house.

    I think it may have been the same person, a certain Mr Cullen.

  29. Noone is saying that spin doesn’t happen. No-one is saying that some times people don’t overstep the mark either… those things are on a different scale from having a secret strategy company that is renowned for it’s anti-democratic tactics creating the entire public image of a leader (and what does National have beside’s Key?) that is purposely deceptive.

  30. pinetree 30

    Cheers Steve, points well made…

    Andy, I see your point, but it’s a little difficult to argue your logic…

    …anything I’d present as a counter to your views is taken as concrete proof in itself of the position you already hold to be evident…

    I cannae win…

    ….suspect we’ll fail to see eyeto-eye on this one….c’est la vie, or that’s politics….

    I do have genuine question, and I’m interested in the response, but if alls well on the left/Labour then surely it’s not simply a case of change/apathy in that natural consituency that sees the polls andf feeling we’re seeing….

    …even if you leave aside a very plausible argument about it not being “election time” yet, this has surely got to be telling Lab/left something…is Key on some kind of “honeymoon” due to voter ignorance/apathy, or is there something gone very, very wrong and the message lost somewhere…??

    Either way, I don’t think your answers rest with the sort of tactics that results in “diddums” moments….but that’s my view….

  31. I think it’s a series of things

    a) a government naturally builds up bad feeling over time, losing votes. The polls show a long-term, gradual downward trend from 2004.

    b) This government has made some unpopular decisions, particularly s59, and failed to elucidate how these moves fit into their goals of creating a fairer, more sustainable society (Clark writes her own speeches, that’s a problem, she needs some help to draw them from wonkery to visionary)

    c) As we’ve shown, National (well C/T) has used tried and true tactics of using hit and run tactics to beat up every tiny issue against the government without getting into the hard (vote losing) stuff of detailing their own policy.

    d) in an unprecendented act, C/T has created a myth of John Key, and unlike any party leader in NZ history he parrots lines given to him by C/T far more than he speaks from his own beliefs and knowledge… and, it has worked so far.

    e) the economy, like every economy in the world, is facing severe difficulties in the face of peak oil. Like every government, our government is getting blamed by its citizens for that economic woe.

  32. Proctor 32

    My pick?

    “We have used outside agencies in the past to discuss ideas – but the real issue is – the point you’re missing is – why didn’t Labour consult with experts when purchasing the Rail back – if they’d done that they might have saved the taxpayers millions.’

    I will be sick if he uses that.

    Am interested to see what else Hager has. He’ll have something else up his sleeve.

    Captcha: Dicky is

  33. Razorlight 33

    SP

    With reference to your point (d). How on earth do you know Key is parroting lines. How do you know this is a facade. Why can’t we take Key on face value. I see no evidence he does not belive what he says.

  34. dave 34

    Probably he`ll say

    Unlike the Prime Minister I don’t push poll. Nor do I tell blatant lies.

    [lprent: dave you are an inaccurate git.
    Helen did not say that she push-polled.
    What she did say was that she would not rule out push-polling as a tactic by Labour this election.
    Bearing in mind that the national party proxies, the exclusive brethren, did last election she would be foolish to rule it out. Who will be their proxy this time?
    Your comment also raised my trolling instincts. It sounded distinctly like a copy paste line rather than something you put any thought into. Raise your game or be prepared to leave.]

  35. Felix 35

    Razorlight, you’re welcome to “take Key on face value” as you put it. I’m a bit more discerning.

    Meanwhile, scoop have another denial from Mr Key.

  36. John 36

    No. Why would Bill English want to leak our use of Crosby Textor? He supports me 100% even though I helped roll him and install Don Brash and then I beat him for the leadership when I rolled Don Brash. No, I’m sure there are no hard feelings. It has to be someone hacking the parliamentary systems and they are only looking at National’s emails. That’s what C/T will be telling our slippery little friend to say.

    [lprent: Don’t attempt to impersonate people. I’ll leave the comment in place as it does follow the post.]

  37. Razorlight 37

    Felix

    My point is other than SP telling us daily John Key is not the man we see, I have no reason not to take him as I see him. Other than the Key haters on the left there has been noone suggest he is anything other than the guy we see in the news each night. Certainly no evidence of it.

  38. r0b 38

    “I don’t need professional advice to tell me what an overwhelming majority of Kiwis can already see — this tired Labour government is out of ideas and reduced to dirty personal attacks. It’s time for a change”…

  39. Oliver 39

    Although there are an awful lot of lefties getting very excited about this most people in NZ don’t know what pushpolling is or couldn’t care less.

    Anyway, aren’t your views on the issue due to change very soon now that Helen has refused to rule out using push-polling?

  40. Rex Widerstrom 40

    Oh god are we still on about Key employing some rather ineffective one trick ponies?

    Sorry to rain on the endless parade of “CT trip elderly ladies, steal the walkers from under pensioners and enjoy a spot of midget tossing in their spare time” posts but no one in Australia actually gives a toss that the Liberals employ CT. They voted the Libs out on their own (lack of) merits. No one outside the “beltway” cares, nor should they. This is what politics is nowadays, and faux outrage from people who know precisely how the game is played does you no credit. A post, yes… but days of posts?!

    Breathe through the nose fellas. Then get back to posting on issues that do matter… issues of substance and policy (or lack thereof).

    Perhaps someone would be good enough to email me when you’ve finally got over this excitement. If I wanted re-runs I’d be watching the telly.

    [lprent: You know how it goes. The writers write what posts they want to. Enjoy the telly – I seldom find anything of interest there]

  41. Razorlight 41

    Rex I will put a lazy tenner on SP still rehashing this story in a weeks time so don’t expect that email anytime soon.
    [lprent: And the same note again as the previous comment]

  42. Tane 42

    Well done Steve. Bill English used a version of

    “the real issue here is why Helen Clark is so obsessed with who I get advice from when hardworking Kiwis are suffering from 9 years of overtaxation’

    on Morning Report this morning.

  43. higherstandard 43

    So he does win the internship at C/T then – he will be pleased

  44. lprent 44

    hs: I suspect that Steve is too damn honest and probably not hard nosed enough. I gave him moderator rights long ago, and I don’t think he has banned anyone yet. Definitely not a candidate for what NRT called the dirty tricks brigade.

  45. vto 45

    Tane said “Well done Steve. Bill English used a version of

    “the real issue here is why Helen Clark is so obsessed with who I get advice from when hardworking Kiwis are suffering from 9 years of overtaxation’

    on Morning Report this morning.”

    I know this has already been said but perhaps it was said because it is the truth. And highlights the other truth, namely that Clark and labour do anything they can to smear Key and the nats and make them out to be nasty evil people with horns on their heads (which is what you lot are claiming the nats are doing!).

    Perhaps some actual analysis as to why Clark and labour are dead in the water in the average voters eyes would be a better use of your time.

  46. burt 46

    Press release from National;

    We have a cunning plan, we simply wait for the first Labour MP that breaches the EFA to be charged, we know this probably won’t happen but the polls are on our side in the meantime.

    If Labour get charged for breaching their own laws that they can’t understand then we start spending tax payers money like crazy on electioneering.

    If Labour win they will probably do what they did last time, why wouldn’t they it was convenient and it wasn’t illegal. Then our spending will be retrospectively validated as well. If we win, we will do what Labour did last time because we can say “Labour did it too”.

    It’s only public money, and we all like to spend it.

  47. Scribe 47

    Steve Withers (a long way up),

    It’s starting to look like Cullen was right and now would be a dumb time for tax cuts.

    Yep, looks that way. Yet he’s delivering them anyway — through gritted teeth — because he knows it’s the only chance Labour has to get close to winning.

  48. T-rex 48

    Monty – Don’t you ever feel that you are screaming at each other in a small sound proof room? Because that is certainly what it seems like to us righties.

    Regularly. But then I remember that not all readers are posters…

  49. mike 49

    Anyone else find Jim Boldger’s comments on Goodmorning interesting.

    When asked what he thought of Nationals stance on Kiwirail.

    “I will obviously have no problems working with National…” I think National will be positive…

    No doubt in his mind who he is going to be working with later this year….

  50. well, mike, if Jim says it we may as well all pack up and go home, eh? (actually I’m at home, I win!)… after all Jim Bolger is always right about everything….do you think Bolger had any doubt in his mind that he would stil be PM went he came back from that overseas trip in 1998?

  51. higherstandard 51

    Mike

    Indeed. I’m not sure about Bolger there is a tendency to just see another ex politician at the public teat, but he certainly speaks far more believable and competently than when he was PM.

    On the surface he also appears to have done a reasonable job with Kiwibank.

    SP How do you feel about the government getting in a Torie to sort the railways ?

  52. T-rex 52

    Wow mike, that from an ex-National ex-PM? ERIE!!!

    edit: Damn you for Ninja’ing me Steve. And damn you more for being home.

  53. coge 53

    Push-polling is a grossly inefficient method of canvassing. It can only have an effect on the most marginal of electorates & MMP makes it even less useful. Plus the general public don’t give a toss it’s being used or not. So Labours claims about push-polling are a sure sign of a desparate beat up. All good news.

  54. mike 54

    Granted TR and SP but I thought he would be a little more careful about what he says and how he says its given his new employers.

    HS: Remember his unfortunate habit of assuming the accent the foreign dignity visiting at the time. Cringe

  55. KK 55

    “Plus the general public don’t give a toss it’s being used or not” – I love it how Coge just makes stuff up like that

    Do you think that the average voter even knows what push-polling is? given it any thought? – unlikely

  56. Higherstandard 56

    Mike

    I’d forgotten but yes I do recall it.

  57. coge 57

    KK, my point exactly. How could they possibly give a toss if they don’t understand it? Now tell me why Labour pushing this one?

  58. Prediction:

    My pick is still “the real issue here is why Helen Clark is so obsessed with who I get advice from when hardworking Kiwis are suffering from 9 years of overtaxation’

    Observation (Morning Report today):

    “Labour is obsessed with who gives advice to National. The public I would have to say is much more concerned with an economy that’s turning down interest rates that are still too high and law and order that’s out of control”

    English rather than Key, but I think the judges will pay on that.

  59. KK 59

    Coge,

    I guess we have a different outlook. I consider the average voter to be disengaged from politics (do you not?) e.g the average voter is voting national but they don’t actually understand what national stands for and unfortunately fall victim to buzz words (as argued under brand key).

    So the idea of poll pushing and not understanding what is means is another example of disengagement.

    If the average voter had an understanding of poll-pushing and how it negatively affects our democratic tradition (i.e it is unfair, impartial and therefore unjust), I think that they wold care and would be asking questions.

  60. Lew 60

    The `Average Voter’ might not know what push-polling is, but the point is to make them know, not so much what it is, but that it’s bad and National’s campaign strategists have done it in the past.

    I would like to see Helen Clark come out and officially rule push-polling out, for two reasons. First, I think it’s generally just bad form. Second, if Labour are going to continue this line of attack, their mrejection needs to be unequivocal. Audrey Young’s blog post avers that Labour wouldn’t rule out `honest’ push-polling. There is a clear distinction between these two methods: both are campaigning masquerading as research, but one is campaigning on false pretences (the `push’ being a falsehood such as the C/T example of a candidate supporting 9-month abortions) and one not (the `push’ being, for example, the fact that National intends to abolish the Maori seats in 2014, which is their stated policy). The fact that there are both honest and dishonest uses for push-polling means that Labour and others can’t criticise its use in the general case – they have to criticise it based on a particular implementation. This confuses the matter and makes it a poor target.

    Labour’s major problem in my view is that their communications strategy has been unclear, confused and lacking in focus, which leads voters to be suspicious and opens the party up to attack. This is an example: the refusal to take a strong stance on an issue and shore up some firm moral ground.

    L

  61. T-rex 61

    Mike – Isn’t KiwiRail an SOE now? I think Bolgers comment was perfectly appropriate – he’s not beholden to Labour and nor should he be.

  62. gobsmacked 62

    Nobody picked this one in the Spin-Bingo – it’s straight out of “Yes, Minister”:

    – Asked “what advice are your advisers giving on not talking about your advisers?” Mr Key said: “I haven’t sought advice on that.” (NZPA)

    Classic!

  63. higherstandard 63

    Visions of Sir Humphrey Appleby – now that was a great programme.

  64. Lew 64

    GS: “what advice are your advisers giving on not talking about your advisers?’

    Who asked that question? I suppose it’s not clear.

    L

  65. Felix 65

    Razorlight,

    I understand the point you’re making, I just think you might want to get out a bit more if you really haven’t noticed anything about Mr Key that suggests you shouldn’t be taking him at face value.

    Do you have any evidence that you can take him at face value? (Facile, I know, but essentially this is the inverse of your statement.)

  66. r0b 66

    Regularly. But then I remember that not all readers are posters

    T-rex, exactly. As real reporting in the MSM withers away in this country, it is up to ordinary people to speak the truth to power. Enter the blog. Some listen, most don’t, it still has to be done.

  67. Dean 67

    SP:

    “Monty. Helen Clark’s history and beliefs are an open book.”

    If that’s the case then perhaps youd like to explain the whole “I think you’re defying human nature” quote she made in regards to smacking children?

    Yeah, I thought not. It’s like you’re living in your own world.

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    As you might have noticed, A Phuulish Fellow is a fairly eclectic blog. Even an organic one. I have my interests, and write about them as the fit takes me. And sometimes I stumble across an article I feel the need to comment on. Today, I ran across a ...
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  • Rumour Has It: A Númenórean Character List?
    Today we have another Amazon rumour on our hands. And for a change, it is not coming out of Fellowship of Fans. No, instead we have the following tweet doing the rounds, ostensibly listing (mostly) Númenórean characters and their code names. It’s an interesting leak, if true. And that’s ...
    2 days ago
  • Covid as Warriors
    The book I am currently working on – tentative title ‘In Open Seas’ – looks at the current and future New Zealand. One chapter describes the policy towards Covid using the trope of warfare. It covers an important period in our history but show how policy evolves and why, as ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: the B.1.1.529 variant – what do we know?
    There’s a lot of news about a new variant originally reported in southern Africa. Early signs have prompted calls for immediate precautionary blocks on travel from the region to restrict its spread. The WHO has called an emergency conference on this variant. Here’s a round-up of what we know so ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 days ago
  • National Party board denies it unanimously agreed to Collins’ Faustian bargain with Satan
    Sources close to party president Peter Goodfellow say he was totally blindsided by Collins’ claims he was party to this particular satanic ritual. National Party president Peter Goodfellow is today issuing a strong denial on behalf of the party’s board, saying they did not, at any point, agree to the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • The cost of optimism
    Yesterday the National Party imploded in a messy knife-fight that cost it its leader and probably one of the contenders. So naturally, the government has taken the opportunity to do a dump of its pandemic advice, including the Cabinet papers on its controversial decisions to repeatedly lower the Auckland alert ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National’s less than stellar choices
    Amid all the jostling in the National caucus ranks, spare a thought for Andrew Bayly. Who? Well might you ask. Plucked from obscurity by Judith Collin, elevated from number 18 to number 3 in the caucus rankings and given the Finance portfolio – a role in which he has been ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 26 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jean Drage, Political scientist specialist in local government: “With 78 local authorities and central government currently intent on reform, local government is a challenging area of research to keep on top of. Thank goodness for Bryce’s NZ’s Politics Daily. It is a gem, especially as it also ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Bridges is not the one
    Simon Bridges failed to bluff Judith Collins out of the leadership. A campaign to rehabilitate his image began shortly after the election and culminated in the publication of a memoir in August. There were persistent rumours of a deal with rival Christopher Luxon and MPs from the ‘liberal’ wing of ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • Smokefree cars – an important step towards protecting children from the hazards of smoking
    Richard Edwards, Jude Ball, Janet Hoek, George Thomson, Nick Wilson*  On November 28 new legislation to protect children from smoking and vaping in cars will come into force. This blog sets out the background and rationale for the new law, and discusses implementation, evaluation and the next steps to protect ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Judith's Last Stand.
    Going Out With All Guns Blazing: Why didn’t Judith Collins stick with the strategy that had kept her, National’s most improbable of leaders, in power for more than a year? One might just as well ask why Rob Muldoon (that other unforgiving right-wing populist National Party leader) got drunk and ...
    3 days ago
  • Act’s Precarious Ascendancy.
    On The Lookout: It is easy to imagine how closely Seymour has been watching the National Opposition for the slightest sign of a Clark figure emerging. A respected politician, who enjoys broad support across the party and, much more importantly, who impresses the ordinary centre-right voter as having what it ...
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #47, 2021
    104 articles by 574 contributing authors Physical science of climate change, effects Delayed impacts of Arctic sea-ice loss on Eurasian severe cold winters Jang et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 10.1029/2021jd035286 Observations of climate change, effects Divergent responses of terrestrial carbon use efficiency to climate variation from 2000 ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour’s Eyes Wide Shut To “Unruly Tenants”.
    Not Seeing The Problem: They say there are none so blind as those who will not see. And, right now, Kāinga Ora is studiously not looking. It is clear to everyone that the Minister responsible, Poto Williams, has (like so many of her colleagues) been entirely captured by her officials. ...
    3 days ago
  • Is the mob coming for Charles Darwin?
    Richard Dawkins recently noted the giants of the past are being sanctimoniously judged by nonentities of the present whose only qualification is still being alive to do so. How will the future judge our own time when we are not around? Peter Franklin from Unherd examines whether the woke can ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Blowing a Hole in Your Own Wall: Idiotic Tampering with MIQ
    Managed Isolation/Quarantine has been a fact of life for New Zealand for eighteen months. It’s not popular – there are only so many spaces available at any given time, and the process is famously opaque – but it is the key to saving New Zealand from rampant Coronavirus. That, ...
    3 days ago
  • Now Labour wants secret trials
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The end of a toxic leader
    If there's one thing that Judith Collins is usually good at, it's using scandalous information about other people to her advantage. Not above undermining her own political party, Collins has been known to even leak against her own fellow MPs, particularly those who posed a threat to her as the ...
    4 days ago
  • A transformative government in Germany
    Back in September Germans went to the polls, and handed the politicians a tough job, with no easy majorities for anyone. The Social Democrats, Free Democrats, and Greens agreed to work together in a "traffic light" coalition, but given their political differences (its basicly ACT/Greens/Labour), expectations for real change were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Political Harakiri
    The National party must always have known that they were taking a risk when they elected Judith Collins as leader. There were, after all, good reasons why they repeatedly declined to accept her candidature when she offered herself – as she frequently did. She was always an inappropriate person to ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Thanksgiving advice, 2021: How to deal with climate change-denying Uncle Pete
    This is a re-post from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists by Richard Somerville “Birds of a feather flock together,” so I am sure that nearly all of those reading this article accept the main findings of climate science. Yet many people don’t. Instead, they believe a variety of climate ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the demotion of Simon Bridges
    So Simon Bridges has been bounced from the front bench and stripped of his shadow portfolio responsibilities for the crudely “inappropriate” comments that he allegedly made to a female colleague, Jacqui Dean – and personally apologised for – about five years ago. After years of mocking Labour for its supposed ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 25 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Rosemary Wette, Associate Professor, Applied Linguistics, University of Auckland: “I’ve been browsing regularly through NZ Politics Daily for several months now. It gives me access to a range of views on current issues (helpfully organised by topic) that I wouldn’t otherwise have time to look up, or ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • The bizarre case of the Royal Society investigating academics defending science
    The Royal Society has begun a disciplinary investigation against a group of academics. The academics were defending science and in the past would have expected support from the Royal Society. The Free Speech Union has launched a campaign to defend the academics and academic freedom. Māori professor under investigation for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Unionism and nursing in New Zealand
    In the around 35 years I worked for unions (over 30 with the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists and earlier with the New Zealand Educational Institute) I often cogitated over the distinction between unions and unionism. They are intertwined but not inseparable. I associate unionism with collective consciousness able to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Today’s constitutional disgrace in Parliament
    This Government has a problem with urgency. Critics from both left and right have long complained about their lack of urgency on issues such as climate change, housing, and inequality. Likewise, in terms of the Covid response, there’s been a chorus of criticism that Labour has been complacent and sluggish ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Vaping needs much tighter regulation as we approach Smokefree Aotearoa 2025: Two new studies
    Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Jennifer Summers, Driss Ait Ouakrim, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards, Tony Blakely* Two recent studies provide new insights into the impact vaping may have on public health. The first estimates that use of modern vaping devices could be around a third as harmful to health as smoking. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Strange Defeat: A Guest Post By Dr. Chris Harris.
    They Did Things Differently Then: And we might still be doing things differently, if the world these "Country Lads" were fighting for, and which endured for nearly 30 years after World War II, had not been supplanted by the world we inhabit now. In spite of its reality, New Zealand's ...
    5 days ago
  • More than 147km – the transformative potential of the Wellington bike network plan
    Feature image by Luke Pilkinton-Ching, University of Otago Wellington   Caroline Shaw, Anja Mizdrak, Ryan Gage* Wellington City Council is currently consulting on a cycle network for Wellington. This is a big deal. WCC are proposing a 147km cycle network around the city, the vast majority of which is new. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 24 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Liz Brown, Senior communications advisor, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists: “The NZ Politics Daily is a fabulous resource providing a comprehensive one stop shop on what’s making news and how stories are being covered. I look forward to seeing it pop into my inbox every morning.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Taking us for a ride
    Agricultural emissions has been an oozing sore in our climate change policy for over a decade. Exempted from the ETS in 2008, farmers were meant to be brought in and start paying for their emissions in 2012. Of course, National put a stop to that, and exempted them forever. When ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: An industry in denial
    Over the past few years it has become clear that coal has no future in Aotearoa. Rising carbon prices, a ban on new boilers and a legislated phase-out for existing infrastructure are going to drive it out of the market. To reinforce this, the government signed up for an anti-coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The “most open and transparent government ever” again
    The government is about to pass new vaccination mandate legislation under urgency. So obviously, they'd want to ensure it gets the best possible scrutiny in the limited time available by releasing the supporting policy documents, right? Of course not: On the eve of legislation to enable vaccination passes being ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on farmers playing the victim, plus Chile’s right turn
    Among the farming lobby groups, the good cop/bad cop routine has been working a treat. It suits Federated Farmers to keep daylight between itself and the Groundswell movement. Month in, year out the Federation continues to engage with the government over the very same water degradation/climate change regulations that Groundswell ...
    6 days ago
  • Important People
    The Herald has returned to form with a vengeance. In today’s issue, Barry Soper snipes at Jacinda’s handling of her regular press conferences. It seems that she did not give him an early chance to ask his very important question and took no account of his need to depart immediately ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Parliament, the Courts and the end of three strikes (for now)
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    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 23 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Martyn Bradbury, Editor, The Daily Blog “’NZ Politics Daily’ is one of the most important news and political resources run in New Zealand. The expert collation of opinion and news makes it an invaluable day to day resource as well as an incredible treasure for researchers in the future. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Emission Reduction Plan
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Dissing The Farmers.
    Neale vs The Revolting Farmers: One has to admire the way Capital Government Relations CEO, Neale Jones, covers-off all the bases of the current political zeitgeist. In a masterfully composed tweet, he lambasts the Groundswell protesters as sexists, racists and reactionaries, clinging for dear life to “a purely extractive economic ...
    6 days ago
  • How will carbon pricing impact inflation?
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    6 days ago
  • (Lack of) Public Service Announcement: The National Library of New Zealand, Internet Archive, and Al...
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    6 days ago
  • Game over for the HRPP
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Chinese influence and American hate diffusion.
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • The Real Interests Of The Country.
    Off Message: Into the extremely fraught relationship between Town and Country, the Groundswell organisers have blundered like an Aberdeen-Angus steer in an organic vege-shop. Unreasonably proud of their rural economic virtues, and dangerously forthright in their enumeration of the cities’ political vices, these Kiwi equivalents of America’s “good ole boys” ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 22 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Minna Reid, Law student, Victoria University of Wellington “As a Uni student, staying up to date with current affairs is always important. The Daily Politics & Democracy Project by Bryce Edwards is of great service for this. It offers varying news sources I would not have found myself ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • Free speech is a people’s frank confession to itself
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    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47
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    1 week ago
  • The F Words, by Barbara Gregorich
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The Scourge of the Aimless Kick
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Delta Rocks Gibraltar: Lessons to be learned from Covid-19’s global resurgence.
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    1 week ago
  • I’ll take the masks and vaccines, thank you
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    1 week ago
  • Hell To Pay: The alarming similarities between the Anti-Vaccination Movement and the creators of the...
    Never Let Go: If the violent prejudices of the Jim Crow South, echoing through contemporary struggles, teach us anything, it is that the defence of rationality, science and progressivism must never be allowed to falter. Those pre-modern night-riders, filled with unrelenting hate, are still out there. If the troops of ...
    1 week ago
  • A Peak Out of Auckland? + Other Covid Musings
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    1 week ago
  • Sing Song about Hard Times
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A good problem to have
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the politics of anger, plus a music playlist
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    1 week ago
  • No, vaccinated people are not ‘just as infectious’ as unvaccinated people if they get COVID
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Electric cars alone won’t save the planet. We’ll need to design cities so people can walk and cy...
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Worn down by bad news? You’re not alone…
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato   Last week’s COVID protest outside parliament served as a warning that New Zealand is not immune to the kinds of anger seen overseas. As Labour Party whip Kieran McAnulty put it, “I think everyone needs to be aware that things are starting to escalate.” ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 19 November 2021
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    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Buying Back The Whenua.
    Dangerous Visionaries: Rex Connor wanted to “buy back the farm” (i.e. nationalise Australia’s mineral wealth) and ended up bringing down the government of Gough Whitlam. Nanaia Mahuta’s Three Waters Project is seen by many as a first step to “buying back the whenua” (repatriating Māori lands and waters). A policy which threatens the longevity of ...
    1 week ago
  • nuremberg, and history
      There’s a lot been said recently about the Nuremberg code. So what is it, and why is it popping up now? As described in this excellent NEJM article, the Code was developed over 80 years ago in August 1947, by judges involved in the “Doctors Trial” at Nuremberg. There were ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #46, 2021
    Housekeeping: New content New Research is primarily focused on reports published in "the academic literature." Thanks to a diversity of publishers, journals, editors, reviewers, researchers and institutional affiliations, such publications are statistically highly successful at approximating and reflecting our best dispassionate understanding of research topics. Any given personal agenda not ...
    1 week ago
  • Another OIA horror-story
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bribing for convictions
    Imagine that you've been arrested and are facing criminal charges. Now imagine that the government tries to bribe your lawyer to encourage you to plead guilty. It's obviously corrupt and a complete mockery of justice. But that's exactly what the New Zealand Government wants to do: The Criminal Process ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How does Labour expect to get away with this?
    Yesterday's decision by the government to open the Auckland border in December was, like all their other recent decisions, immediately panned by public health experts. The polite version, on Stuff, is that Covid will "travel for summer" with Aucklanders, leading to outbreaks. Newsroom's Marc Daalder cuts through the crap and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Chronicles of Kregsmal and Krunch: Volume III
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    2 weeks ago
  • The Good Ship Jacinda Ardern
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate challenges mount for California agriculture
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    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 18 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Kara Tait, External communications manager, Kiwibank “The morning email from Bryce at the Democracy Project is must-read for communication professionals. It provides a comprehensive overview of the issues covered by New Zealand media in an easy to read format. It supplements my media monitoring and ensures I don’t ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago

  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced a further package of support for the Cook Islands and Fiji for COVID-19 economic support and recovery. “Aotearoa New Zealand remains committed to supporting our Pacific fanau and vuvale to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on their economies, and move towards long-term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • New law will clear the air for tamariki in vehicles
    From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We know children in vehicles ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Nine countries designated very high risk
    Nine southern African countries are being added to the very high risk countries list following public health advice around the newly discovered COVID-19 variant Omicron, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. This afternoon, a public health risk assessment was carried out to assess the emerging evidence and any risk to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Foreign Affairs Minister concludes final stage of world trip
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today departed North America to return home to Aotearoa, concluding the last stage of her 17-day world trip. The final leg of her trip saw her visit the United States of America and Canada for a number of high-level discussions. While in Washington D.C., ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Milestone launch of Pacific Languages Unit
    Today’s official launch of the Pacific Languages Unit is a milestone for our Pacific communities, the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said. The Pacific Languages Unit brings together a new set of language supports within the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to provide advice, commission research, maintain standards, promote ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Public Health Lecture – University of Otago
    Public Health - Lessons from New Zealand’s COVID-19 response and opportunities for the future E nga mana, E nga reo,                                          E nga iwi. Tēna koutou katoa. Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand statement on situation in Honiara, Solomon Islands
    Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply concerned by the events which have been unfolding in Honiara, Solomon Islands, since Wednesday. “New Zealand is a long-standing partner of Solomon Islands, and there are deep and enduring connections between our two countries,” Acting Foreign Affairs Minister David Parker said. “Our engagement in Solomon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Investment to support maternal mental health
    Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced an investment to help expand maternal mental health services in five District Health Boards. “Supporting parent’s mental wellbeing during their child’s first 1000 days, from conception to two years of age, is critical to the long-term emotional, mental and physical wellbeing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Workplace vaccination requirements extended to cover Police and NZ Defence Force
    With the support of the organisations, additional vaccination requirements will cover sworn members, recruits and authorised officers of the New Zealand Police, and all New Zealand Defence Force staff. First doses of the vaccine for workers in these organisations are required by 17 January 2022, and second doses by 1 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada to pursue greater Indigenous collaboration
    During her visit to Ottawa, the Honourable Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Associate Minister for Māori Development, met with the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canadian Minister of Indigenous Services, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Canadian Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, to further expand and develop the positive relationship ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Māori vaccination rates reach 80% first dose
    Associate Minister of Health (Māori) Hon Peeni Henare today confirmed that Māori across the motu have now reached 80 percent for first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination nationally. “We have seen a huge increase in vaccinations for Māori throughout November, since the beginning of the month the increase for first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Subsequent Children legislation to change
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