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Crossing the line

Written By: - Date published: 2:16 pm, June 25th, 2009 - 38 comments
Categories: child discipline, john key - Tags: , , , ,

Tuesday’s post, A Rankin headache started:

There must be an automatic recoil on the Government benches when Christine Rankin’s name is mentioned.

In the comments, “gobsmacked” makes the observation [abridged]:

John Key has decided to respond by indulging in some very nasty mud-slinging. This what he said in the House on Tuesday:

  1. ‘When National was in Opposition, we still cared about abused children and we did not spend our time playing political games. All those members care about is politics; they do not care about the abused kids of New Zealand.’
  2. ‘I go back to the point I just made: members on this side of the House care about abused kids. We look in the hospitals of New Zealand and see thousands of abused kids, and Christine Rankin has spoken out about the damage that is happening to those kids. We are going to do something about abused kids, because not enough happened under the previous Labour Government.’
  3. ‘I am more focused on the kids than on political point-scoring—but that is OK. Secondly, I do not believe Christine Rankin has been defiant; most sections of the media believe that she has been muzzled. Members on this side of the House care about abused kids, but members on that side do not.’

He said it three times, so it was obviously a planned line of attack. A very offensive one.

It was a disgraceful comment by the country’s Prime Minister, and he should be castigated for it. Sadly, he won’t be.

38 comments on “Crossing the line ”

  1. randal 1

    yep keys attacks are pretty feeble.
    can he explain just what his government is doing about child abuse other than appointing totally useless bigmouths to positions to which they are grossly unsuited and ideologically opposed to.
    when christine rankin takes a stand for not assaulting children then she might have some credibility.
    at the moment she is just another strawman for the government.
    a big target with the hide of a rhinoceros.
    if the beltway cant calla spade a spade then get someone else.

  2. r0b 2

    I don’t know why anybody should believe a single thing that National says, either in opposition, or in government. “Personally guaranteed” tax cuts any one?

    NRT outlines another prime example of a 180 degree reversal in Nat rhetoric here:
    http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2009/06/judith-collins-thinks-labour-were-too.html

    But anyway, if we make the mistake of taking anything Key says seriously then this post is correct, it’s a pretty shameful line he was running on abuse.

  3. Tim Ellis 3

    For many years Labour has claimed to be the only party that cares about the least fortunate in society, and has consistently attacked National for not caring about whoever is at the bottom of the heap. I don’t see the problem with John Key turning the argument on its head. At least he won’t accuse Labour of being a “class traitor” for doing so.

    • r0b 3.1

      For many years Labour has claimed to be the only party that cares about the least fortunate in society

      So – That’s an interesting statement Tim. Could you please post a few examples of Labour claiming this?

      I don’t see the problem with John Key turning the argument on its head

      Applied economics is what politics is largely about, and it seems legitimate to make claims about which party is or isn’t taking care of people.

      But Key’s claims are different, he claims Labour MPs as individuals don’t care about abused kids. That’s just vicious.

      • Tim Ellis 3.1.1

        No, I’m not going to play your pedantic game, r0b. Google it yourself. You’ll find all sorts of hits such as “National doesn’t care about kiwi battlers”, from Phil Goff, through to Jim Anderton saying National doesn’t care, through to a post here at the Standard (hint, “Same Old National Party”, which refers to the National Party being vicious and punitive.

        Sure, painting your opponents as not caring is very tribal, but the Left have been doing it for years.

        • r0b 3.1.1.1

          No, I’m not going to play your pedantic game, r0b.

          So that’s a “no” then, you can’t back up your claims, as usual.

          Sure, painting your opponents as not caring is very tribal, but the Left have been doing it for years.

          As above, some of that is legitimate and some isn’t. Key has hit a new and very tawdry low here – he personally accused Labour MPs of not caring about abused children. It’s pathetic.

          • Tim Ellis 3.1.1.1.1

            Read my post again, r0b. I pointed you to multiple examples of Labour and the Left doing exactly as I said.

            Phil Goff personally accused National MPs of not caring about kiwi battlers, a couple of months ago. I didn’t see your faux outrage at Mr Goff then, but then again you wouldn’t win the hypocrisy prize you’re winning now if you had.

          • George D 3.1.1.1.2

            Labour have painted their opponents about not caring about the poor, and not caring about poor children. Not a huge amount in the last few years, but it does add up over time. You’d have to be blind not to have seen that rhetoric, r0b. They have never made the claim about their opponents that they don’t care about violence against children however.

            This certainly doesn’t justify the rhetoric from Key. Hypocritical, as they spent little of their energy proposing solutions, apart from “tough on crime.

          • r0b 3.1.1.1.3

            I pointed you to multiple examples of Labour and the Left doing exactly as I said.

            Ahh no, your claim was “For many years Labour has claimed to be the only party that cares about the least fortunate in society”. You’ve pointed to exactly no real examples of anything so far, and certainly not of Labour claiming what you said, to be the only party that cares.

            Labour might indeed have said such a thing, but if you’re going to go about stating it as a fact then you should be able to back it up. But then, you do have a long history of telling lies about Labour…

            Phil Goff personally accused National MPs of not caring about kiwi battlers, a couple of months ago

            As above, economic claims are more the realm of politics, and both sides indulge in this kind of rhetoric. But (also as above), a line has been crossed when Key accuses Labour MPs of not caring about child abuse.

          • craig 3.1.1.1.4

            National doesn’t care about Kiwi battlers

            http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0812/S00096.htm

            To be fair, both sides do this all the time. Hell Act say that if you really cared about the poor you’d adopt their policies. So do the Greens. The Maori Party implies the same thing about Maori.

            At the end of the day nearly everyone in parliament wants to make the country a better place. They disagree about HOW to make the country a better place. NOBODY wants little kids being abused, nobody wants poor people, nobody gets turned on by seeing homeless people on the street on little brown kids not getting a good education.

            John Key doesn’t actually think Phil Goff doesn’t care about abused kids, and I doubt Phil Goff thinks he does. It’s called politics. Both sides play up all this bullshit, which is why most NZers hate politicians and (if they actually read them) would hate the crap blogs like the Standard and Whaleoil etc write.

          • r0b 3.1.1.1.5

            To be fair, both sides do this all the time.

            Yes they do, within certain boundaries.

            John Key doesn’t actually think Phil Goff doesn’t care about abused kids, and I doubt Phil Goff thinks he does.

            Are you sure? He said “Members on this side of the House care about abused kids, but members on that side do not.’ That seems pretty unambiguous.

            It’s called politics.

            Then perhaps we should try and help clean up politics a bit by pointing it out when politicians cross the line, as Key has here. If there isn’t at least some reaction about it, it will just keep getting worse…

            I’m prepared to say when I think Labour cross the line, as they have with unacceptable comments on the private lives of some Nat MPs (National of course have done the same). I think it would be healthy if commentators on the other side of the political spectrum could make the same admission when required, instead of leaping for the blind ideological reflexive counterattack.

          • Tigger 3.1.1.1.6

            Has Labour actually said ‘we care about abused children and National don’t’? It’s one thing to say X doesn’t care about the poor/Maori/the environment/climate change etc – I expect this type of puffery and posturing from MPs – but to effectively say ‘your lot support child abuse’ is rather vile – I wouldn’t condone this from any MP of any party.

  4. Helen 4

    The “Guest post” author isn’t bothered that Key’s comments are entirely accurate.

    the Labour/Green anti-smacking bill was designed to de-legitimise good parenting
    because child abuse is perpetrated overwhelmingly by Labour-voters.

    While countless children are being beaten, broken and murdered in Labour heartlands like South Auckland, Rotorua and Mount Albert, Labour passed into law legislation which focused the attention of our law enforcement and judicial services on law-abiding citizens disciplining unruly children.

    Rotorua P-addicted beneficiary beating 3 year old girl to death = Labour Okay!

    Taxpayer slapping unruly child on the bottom in Freemans Bay supermarket = Labour Labour Bad!

    • Tigger 4.1

      Yes ‘Helen’, Labour hates children and wants them dead.

      I find Key’s ‘muzzling’ remark here puzzling. The only way Rankin has been muzzled is because National put her on the FC and, thus, are preventing her from ‘openly campaigning’ on what she believes in.

    • Pj 4.2

      Gee, I wonder what “Labour-voters” is code for

      • Helen 4.2.1

        It’s a collective term to describe the unproductive; the beneficiaries, the criminals, the HIV-positive/unskilled/illiterate immigrants and the intellectually feeble that constitute the Labour constituency.

    • Wow Helen

      What can I say?

      I must have missed that meeting where we authorised the beating and maiming of innocent children and authorised the prosecution of the Freemans Bay person who story does not appear to have been publicised. Has he or she been charged yet?

      Helen you are making as much sense as Key was.

    • Anita 4.4

      Helen,

      You’re going to produce some evidence that child abuse is “perpetrated overwhelmingly by Labour-voters”, right? Otherwise it might looking like you’re making things up for rhetorical effect.

      While you’re doing that you might want to figure into it that Rotorua is currently heartland National.

      • irascible 4.4.1

        Prior to Stevie Chadwick Rotorua was a National seat sat on firmly by Paul East.

  5. Tim Ellis 6

    Rob, the implication if a political leader says that their opponent doesn’t care, is that they are the only party who does care.

    Just last year, Helen Clark said in Parliament: “What is it about kiwis and the public interest that the National Party hates?”

    Last month, Catherine Delahunty claimed the National Government doesn’t care about women.

    During the by-election, Darren Hughes claimed that the National Party doesn’t care about the people affected by the Waterview route.

    Last year, Nanaian Mahuta said National doesn’t care about youth. She further said John Key was “rubbishing young New Zealanders and their views”.

    It’s been a major part of Labour’s description of National as uncaring.

  6. r0b 7

    Rob, the implication if a political leader says that their opponent doesn’t care, is that they are the only party who does care.

    That’s a pretty ridiculous claim. When National say that Labour don’t care about cutting taxes, are they claiming that they are the only party that does? Hello – ACT! When Labour say National don’t care about the environment, are they claiming that they are the only party that does? Hello – Greens!

    Your wacky “implications” are not facts Tim, never have been, never will be. Just do a bit of sanity checking when you write a comment. Before you hit submit, read it and ask yourself “is that actually true?”. If it is, fire away, if not, fix it.

    • George D 7.1

      r0b, Labour claim that National ‘does not care’ fairly often. The Greens claim that Labour and National don’t care about the environment.

      Mr “Guest Post” has a really good point here about National’s sick game, but you’re wasting it defending the indefensible.

      And when did The Standard start using so many unnamed guest posters?

      [lprent: When we started getting people sending in posts, not wanting to become a regular poster and not wanting to attach their name to the post. Frequently they don’t even want a psuedonym because of some of the bad habits by the people who like to ‘out’ psuedonyms on sperious grounds.

      I’m happy about the trend. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve always been of the opinion that content rather than identity is what is required for a post to be good. We do some rough vetting of the content before it gets put up. But since it usually is opinion and fair comment a high proportion gets through. The ones that don’t tend to be badly written or way too long.]

      • r0b 7.1.1

        you’re wasting it defending the indefensible.

        Not quite sure what indefensible thing you think I’m defending George? Please read the discussion carefully if you’re going to try and tell me…

        And when did The Standard start using so many unnamed guest posters?

        Recently and gradually.

  7. gobsmacked 8

    I made the original comment (which was simply quoting directly from Hansard) because of two things that struck me.

    The first is that Key’s line was prepared. That’s why he kept repeating it. Now, we all know that shouting “We’re good, you’re bad, nyah nyah” is part of the playground exchanges in the House (or on blogs!). But in this case, the Prime Minister had planned a line of attack – or somebody had suggested it to him – and he thought it was a good idea. Where was that little voice in the head which says “Better not go there”? It is a very revealing insight into his perspective on politics (shorthand: Crosby/Textor).

    Of course, John Key does not really believe that Labour MPs just don’t care about kids suffering horrible abuse. But he decided to say it anyway. Why?

    The second point – a bigger one, I think – is that the Prime Minister could make such an absurd and offensive statement and be given a free pass by the media. Compare that with Clark’s comments (unwise, IMHO), like “cancerous and corrosive”, or “haters and wreckers”. Or Michael Cullen’s famous interjection – “rich prick”.

    Those remarks became news stories. They entered the political lexicon. They are established in the folk memory. And if Key’s comments about child abuse had been made by Prime Ministers Rudd or Brown or President Obama, that too would have been front page news. Seriously, just think about it: “Hey, Senator McCain doesn’t care about abused kids.” Obama would be toast.

    But when John Key lashes out, way below the belt, it passes unnoticed. Nor is this the first time. It’s as if the Key image, the jokey-blokey, say-it-with-a-smile style, has conquered the critical faculties of the press gallery, and the wider media, so they don’t actually listen to what he is saying.

    He is all salesman and no product, but the media are buying. And as long as he gets away with it, he’ll keep doing it. That is a serious cause for concern.

    • Tim Ellis 8.1

      gobsmacked, I don’t think I’ve seen any criticism from you about headlines at the Standard which include such phrases as “National still hate women”, which was as recent as, wow, last week.

      [lprent: You mean a headline that expressed rocky’s opinion on NACT’s attitudes on issues that are important to her? Talk to her about it if you want the reasoning detailed comprehensively and long. “The Standard” doesn’t have opinions on post headlines because basically I don’t care that much about what posters put up as a headline provided it isn’t too long. ]

      • gobsmacked 8.1.1

        When did the Standard become Prime Minister?

        Tim, do you expect your leader to act as if he is ranting on the blogs? Do you believe the police do not need to act professionally, because – hey, the crims are worse?

        Don’t be so stupid.

  8. Tim Ellis 9

    How about this then, r0b? Last year Trevor Mallard said in the House: “I do not know why National hates the parents of children with special needs.”

    Last year, 08wire during the campaign claimed that John Key loves money and hates children.

    In 2004, Trevor Mallard said in the House: ” The facts that people are better off, earn more, and are more likely to be in jobs than previously are something that this Government is proud of. Tories hate that. They do not like workers to earn money.”

    In 2006 he said: “I just do not understand why Tories hate Kiwis who make money.

    Every time Labour attacks a National MP for “beating up” on a group of people, they are implying that Labour cares and National doesn’t. You can dance on the head of a pin as often as you like, rob, but the fact is Labour has been applying this technique for years, and as venomously.

    • gobsmacked 9.1

      So your argument, Tim, is that John Key is as bad as Trevor Mallard?

      Isn’t that the very opposite of the image he sells?

      • mickysavage 9.1.1

        Oh dear we are into the “you did it too” defence.

        You can always tell when the right are cornered because they then come out with “but in [insert year] [insert name of politician] was worse because he/she did [describe act]”

        It has to be the most unprincipled defence there is. Why am I not surprised?

        • the fonz 9.1.1.1

          not correct-a-mundo mickey.

          you’re being called out for being hypocrites. dress it how you want but it’s a pretty accurate tag and hypocrisy is so unprincipled.

          • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1.1.1

            yawn. I’ll see your bullshit claim of hypocrisy and point out that you are arguing ad hominem by claiming that because x is a hypocrite we should discard x’s argument.

            no one has yet presnted anything like this stuff coming from Labour. the best that they’ve come up with is comments from labour that ‘National doesn’t care about the battlers’. Things like that.

            There is a qualitative difference there. Labour was accusing National of siding with the wealthy. Key accused Labour of siding with child abusers. You may think those accusations are equivalent, I think that is a quite remarkable claim.

            Even if we accept though, just for fun, that there is hypocrisy involved, it of course cuts both ways.

            For years we were told that Labour argued in the gutter, and that National was above all that.

            What a pack of lies that all turned out to be.

          • mickysavage 9.1.1.1.2

            Fonz

            Details please.

            There are too many of you trolls who log on, make idiot generalised comments that cannot be backed up, and then refuse to debate the details.

  9. r0b 10

    Last year Trevor Mallard said in the House: “I do not know why National hates the parents of children with special needs.’

    What a silly thing for Trevor to have said. There Tim – see how easy it is?

    Last year, 08wire

    So not Labour then?

    In 2006 he said: “I just do not understand why Tories hate Kiwis who make money.

    What a silly thing for Trevor to have said.

    the fact is Labour has been applying this technique for years, and as venomously.

    Nonsense. Here we have the leader of the National Party, repeatedly running what appears to be a premeditated attack (as gobsmacked has pointed out) accusing Labour MPs of not caring about child abuse. It has crossed the line, it’s pathetic. Why is it so impossible for you to just say so Tim? Serious question, you might want to ponder it for yourself a bit.

  10. Pascal's bookie 11

    I suspect too, that in all of Tim’s examples, (that he has obviously googled but won’t link to), the rhetoric is in response to specific policies or statements.

    That is not to say that the rhetoric is nice, or fair, but only that it is about something.

    For example, Goff on the ‘Battlers’ was about National’s tax cuts which benefit the wealthy to a greater extent than Labour’s package, which National repealed.

    So while Goff was attacking the motive, which is always dubious, at least it was plausible based on actions taken by the National party.

    What the fuck is Key on about? What policies of Labour’s is he justifying this rhetoric with?

  11. Craig Glen Eden 12

    I have to agree with Pb well argued. Tim give up mate, Pb has just kicked your arse, I have to say though at least you tried to make some arguments Tim, unlike Helen. Stop taking the P girl it makes you totally stuuuupid.

    The worse line from the National party use to be Labour dirty, National clean. Now Key comes up with a new low line. The truth is National leak shit to the press and hardly ever have the balls to front anything, some think this is clever, I tend to think spineless. National like to play the we are above that dirty stuff line, but they ran the dirty stuff pretty consistently to undermine the last Labour Government.

    I still think if National could ever achieve the kind of benefits the last Labour Government did for NZ with reducing Government debit and reducing unemployment and child poverty we would all be happy.
    Bet they don’t, bet they cant, bet they never will. Key can chuck as much shit as he likes at Labour Mp’s he wont be a 10th of the PM Clark was. Key is desperate, desperate times desperate lines and what only 8 months in. He’s just a shit thrower, wow what a guy.

  12. nznative 13

    Parliament is a bloody disgrace.

    Most of the Mp’s in the main party’s treat us ( the citizens of New Zealand ) with contempt and this is reflected in politicians being viewed as devious and untrustworthy …………………. and thats Both sides.

    I view the two main partys like this : Labor = bad and rotten , Natianal’s = plain evil.

    When I go to the toilet I’m going for a ‘right honorable’.

    I think its good to see John Key keeping it in the sewer because it will just help more New Zealanders see them for the low lifes and scum they are ………

    Btw is’nt it interesting how the ‘mainstream’ and ‘conservative’ partys carry on like nasty prats and treat parliament with contempt yet the smaller fringe partys seem to act more like adults.

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

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