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David Shearer’s second e-newsletter

Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, August 18th, 2012 - 47 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

This week our MPs have been back in Parliament, holding National to account on the issues that matter to New Zealanders.

Education is top of our agenda. National is running down our public education system. They’re not ruling out increasing class sizes in future. And John Key says parents shouldn’t get ‘hung up’ on the fact their children may be taught by unqualified teachers in charter schools. The Prime Minister was out of the country this week, so I tackled Bill English on the issue in the House. It is incredible that the Minister and his colleagues think parents shouldn’t be worried about their children getting a quality education. Education is a priority for Labour. It’s the only way to make sure our children get the best start in life.

The Social Development Minster’s flippant attitude to the well-being of our children was exposed this week when she refused to quantify the problem of child poverty under questioning from Jacinda Ardern, Labour’s social development spokesperson. Paula Bennett simply doesn’t want to admit how bad the situation is or to expose her failure to deal with the issue. She has released submissions to her paper on vulnerable children but it shows she is ignoring key issues like poverty and poor housing.

Parliament will get a chance to debate child poverty after a bill was drawn from the members’ ballot to extend the universal in-work tax credit. Labour will support the bill through to select committee because we are committed to reducing child poverty and this is a useful opportunity to debate new ideas about how to help the 20% of children living in poverty in New Zealand. Extending the in-work tax credit was our policy at the last election. We are looking at a range of ways to address the issue but in the meantime we support all attempts to highlight the issue and the Government’s failure to do so.

We also took the Social Development Minister to task this week over her disgraceful attitude to privacy. Paula Bennett breached the privacy of a woman when she made details of her benefit payments public while trying to score political points. She’s refused to apologise and says she may do it again in future. Bill English has chipped in too saying that if people challenge the Government they can’t expect to have their privacy respected. That’s appalling and well below the standard I would apply to any of my Ministers. Clearly, your private information is not safe with this Government.

I’ve been getting plenty of feedback on my newsletter last week, so please keep it coming. As this week’s newsletter shows, we’ve renewed our focus on working as a team to highlight National’s dead-end approach for New Zealand and to say what Labour would do differently.

Thank you for your help too in getting the Labour message out to New Zealanders.

Warm regards,

David.

NEWS IN BRIEF

Congrats to our Olympians! They did a fantastic job bringing home 13 medals – six of them Gold. Our athletes have really done us proud. Click here to watch my speech about their tremendous efforts.

We’ve continued fighting for the issues that matter to our regions, focusing on transport. Phil Twyford has led the charge against the Government’s stripping of funding for local roads to spend on big city motorways that aren’t a priority. One Mayor has told us that tar-sealed back roads in his community are being returned to gravel because they don’t have the funding to maintain them. That’s just not on. The regions make a massive contribution to our economy and it’s not fair that residents miss out on decent roads and other services.

David Parker and David Cunliffe have had the Government on the ropes over its so-called ‘comprehensive exports plan’ which boils down to story-telling, branding and photo opportunities. In contrast, Labour has a strong plan to deliver real growth in exports by increasing our investment pool through boosting savings and pro-growth tax reform. You can see more of our ideas in David Parker’s speech to the EPMU here.

Darien Fenton is calling for a high-level inquiry into the exploitation of migrant workers. TVNZ’s One News has exposed cases of migrant workers being blatantly ripped-off. Some were being offered pay rates of just $8 an hour. That’s disgusting.

Our Women’s Affairs Spokesperson Sue Moroney confronted the Government over its lack of commitment to reducing violence against women. She grilled the Women’s Affairs Minister in the House about news that Rape Crisis has had to cut back its services in Wellington because of a funding cut.

Last week, I attended the memorial service for our two fallen soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan. Labour joins with their family and friends in mourning the loss of two dedicated young New Zealanders. I passed on our sincere condolences in Parliament.

47 comments on “David Shearer’s second e-newsletter”

  1. xtasy 1

    “The Prime Minister was out of the country this week, so I tackled Bill English on the issue in the House.”

    I heard this question when watching the repeat of question time on Parliament TV. That question re unqualified teachers in planned charter schools was answered by English in his usual, dismissive and distracting manner, but I had the impression he felt hardly “tackled” by the challenge.

    Also Nationals argument is that those “teachers” or other experts simply do not need to be “registered”, which is a bit different to “unqualified”.

    And that is the only question from David Shearer that I actually remember having been asked in the House last week.

    Good for attacking the government, where it happened, but I feel, that many readers and commenters here, same as in the traditional and prospective Labour voter base, and certainly also the wider public, would like to hear a bit more about the alternatives that a Labour led government could and would offer.

    And for: “Darien Fenton is calling for a high-level inquiry into the exploitation of migrant workers.”

    This is certainly NOT a new problem. It must be addressed, but a high level inquiry will not solve much. I know through wider associates that it is more widespread than many may think, and for a young, trendy and aspiring journalist from TVNZ to suddely “discover” this is absolut bull-shit journalism.

    There are stories I raised with MSM journos, but they were never interested before!

    • David H 1.1

      If s thats a good week then why am I so unimpressed. Where was Cunliffe ripping English a new one ? No, all we got was a luke warm utterance from Parker, a light weight compared to Cunliffe. And, hey Shearer! 2 questions DO NOT make a good week!

    • Karl Marx 1.2

      If parents don’t want their children to be taught by unqualified teachers, then they don’t have to send them there.

      A tertiary qualification does not instantly grant somebody the ability to perform. The fact of the matter is that many teachers who are qualified are complete shite. Another by-product of the 9 dark years and comrade Helen’s rule.

  2. gobsmacked 2

    This has been done before, better …

    http://www.compulink.co.uk/~stevemann/albion.htm

  3. QoT 3

    and to say what Labour would do differently.

    Except … he doesn’t. “Education is a priority”, “we’ll support a bill at first reading only” .. the closest he gets is “I would hold my Ministers to basic ethical standards”. Even given a plum opportunity to commit to funding Rape Crisis, he doesn’t, just says “Sue Moroney confronted the government” and leaves “what Labour would do differently” hanging.

    It’s all framed with such a boring set of basic madlibs (the opening sentence should theoretically apply to any week when the House is sitting, for starters). I guess it works if you assume the readership are already Labour supporters, but are they the people Shearer needs to be talking to right now?

  4. Sunny 4

    This email news letter is another epic fail and a sure and certain sign that nothing is changing over at the bats in the attic caucus. It’s dull, predictable, insincere, cringe making (soldiers aren’t ‘the fallen’. That romantic claptrap is designed to keep sending young men to their deaths for access to oil and gas) It’s stupid, out of touch and wouldn’t inspire me to follow the ‘leadership’ out of a wet paper bag. Get someone who can do the job or get the hell out! Now!

  5. Clashman 5

    If this weeks performance in Parliament by Labour is considered to be “tackling” and “taking to task” the Govt., then it looks like the Nats are gonna have two more easy years and another win at the next election.

  6. This newsletter is a lot sharper and more pointed than the first.  IMHO it is a significant improvement.  I think the Goffice (or is that now the Shoffice?) is listening.

    • seeker 6.1

      I agree mickey s.

      • Anne 6.1.1

        They are listening ms and seeker!

        I think that might be one of the reasons why a certain husband and wife team are currently very upset with The Standard. Mind you, I agree with IrishBill. A few commenters here have gone a bit over the top with their criticism. (ms not included.)

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Yep there was more of an edge to this email and I quite liked it. I had read it originally thinking it was going to be more soft PR cheese but it managed to be more substantial. As Carol suggests below, a pass grade.

  7. Carol 8

    Uninspiring summary of the week. C+

    Some of the general aims seem OK. But who’d want to read it other than the Labour faithful.

  8. cron 9

    This government is crazy. One minute they want to increase the quality of teaching (cut costs through raising class sizes) and next bring in untrained teachers. The underlining motive for National is to have an uneducated cheap labour force while cutting the overall expense of Public Education. Wait for it though- more money for Private Schools. Come on David you need to be even more vocal for the future of our children!

  9. Honestly, Labour should be writing for general audiences on their website regularly and just link to their articles via their newsletter, it works well for the Greens.

    • xtasy 10.1

      What Shearer should have done long ago is:
      Challenge TVNZ to give him a spot on Breakfast after the Prime Minister’s weekly chattery to the drivel hungry public. Also he should phone Radio Live and offer himself to do an hour a month free talk back with listeners. Maybe put a bit of pressure on by stating, that Labour may look at broadcasting standards and a boost for quality public broadcasting in the future, and if they do not offer him the same “privilege” as Key, they may be facing a new standards regime, that could cause major losses in listeners and viewers for them.

      And of course, it is due to hammer out a bit more of a plan now, it will soon be a year since the last election, heading for mid term of this government. So get cracking, Labour, ideally with a more charismatic, more aggressive and convincing leader. But that is for Labour members and caucus to sort, right?

  10. BM 11

    I like the way Labour are heading, finally back on track with David Shearer at the helm.

    Even I, some one who has never voted Labour may give the party some consideration at the next election.

    • Anne 11.1

      Oh dear…

      • Salsy 11.1.1

        Exactly Anne…

        • BM 11.1.1.1

          Why?, I prefer a more moderate, centre orientated Labour party.
          Hell of a lot more voters out there like me than there are of the type that’s found on here.

          • dancerwaitakere 11.1.1.1.1

            Because the Labour Party was not started to be a party of the center.

            It is the party of the workers and disenfranchised, for the workers and disenfranchised.

            • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.1.1

              And last seen acting as such around Kirk’s time…

            • BM 11.1.1.1.1.2

              Times change, have to move with them.
              National was started initially to represent farmers they’re now a hell of a lot broader that, you would be stunned how many blue collar/no collar workers vote National.

              • Colonial Viper

                But you notice how National has never abandoned its traditional farmer base? And in fact still goes out of its way to look after them, despite ongoing criticism of irrigation schemes etc.

                The Nats are smart – they know how to protect and enhance their core support.

                Times change, have to move with them.

                Stick with the tried and true, not the flavour of the month.

                • BM

                  The Nats are smart – they know how to protect and enhance their core support.

                  Do you think going hardcore socialist is going to enhance the core support of Labour.
                  I don’t.

  11. gobsmacked 12

    A suggestion for David Shearer:

    In the next newsletter, please give specific details for your diary (private/family matters aside).

    “On Monday I did ABC, on Tuesday I did XYZ”, etc.

    What the general public see is: Shearer asks a question in the House (that’s 5 minutes). Plus some regular media slots.

    But the news doesn’t stop. The media keep reporting the news – and the Labour leader isn’t there. Sometimes I do a search for “David Shearer” on Google News and … “Your search found no results.”

    Where are you? OK, maybe the MSM are all meanies and don’t report your many activities and statements (though they seem able to tell us what the Greens or Winston or Hone are up to). Well, this newsletter can directly by-pass the media.

    I am a politics junkie and I have no idea what the Leader of the Opposition (sic) did this week on Thursday, Friday, Saturday … and if politics junkies don’t, you can be damn sure those “swing voters” you’re after won’t have a clue.

    So, please tell us. Thanks.

    • xtasy 12.1

      gobsmacked:

      Shearer asked 2 questions during question time this week just gone. That is as far as I can count. It was question 1 on the 14th (to which he refers in his e newsletter), and a question 3 on the 15th. Correct me if I am wrong.

      Both were addressed within not that much time, as far as I can recall. See the parliamentary notes:

      http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/Default.htm?search=378174212

      Yes, I am a little bit of a “political junkie” too, I admit, and I tend to follow the news and more regularly, in NZ and overseas.

      So it is right, Shearer has his good moments and scores, but few bother to follow Parliament TV or radio, only some listen and watch the news, but most the media is regrettably “main stream”. They are manipulative, but as you say, they do at least now and then report on what certain pollies say or do, and they also have some interviews.

      Shearer could do well with some more media training and exposure, even though he likes to be just the ordinary nice guy from around the corner.

      Peters is good, and the Greens have also worked out how to use msm. I am sure that more can be done by Labour.

    • just saying 12.2

      On Monday I did ABC…
      Had to laugh.

  12. “Confronted the government”
    “Hold the nats to account”
    “On the ropes”
    “Took the minister to task”

    Is the above a desire or a reality?

    I watch parliament tv and have never seen any strong opposition
    appart from adern,cunliffe,robertson at times.
    At the time when there needs to be a statement to media on the
    absolute hypocrisy and absolute affront by the nats to the section
    of the community that labour are meant to look out for,there is
    nothing, we wait and wait and wait,still nothing.
    This newsletter i suspect has had more than one hand on it,
    more than one brain,more than one idelogical viewpoint and
    i am not buying in to labour’s attempt to appease those who
    have their hands on their own keyboard and can reply to such
    drivel.

    • xtasy 13.1

      To be honest, at present, I see Robertson as the best bet for a leader, NOT Shearer, and Cunliffe must improve his team and social skills, then we can talk! Ardern needs a few more years to grow into the role, she has potential though, same as too timid Hipkins, although he is trying and doing well at times. There is also some other hidden potential, but they ALL need LEADERSHIP and thus motivation.

      • Rhinocrates 13.1.1

        I wish you were right, but Robertson is my electorate MP and my impression of him is that of someone who is a competent party apparatchik who is a useful manager, but not leadership material. On a number of issues, he’s talked big and failed to follow through. That’s the kindest thing I could say about him and I think that ultimately, he’s more a part of the problem, not the solution. Keep him on maybe, but not as leader.

        • xtasy 13.1.1.1

          thanks for front line feedback! May need a bit more before further judgment!

          • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1.1

            So, what’s the poison of the evening? 😛

            • blue leopard 13.1.1.1.1.1

              @ cv

              …oh gee! did you HAVE to say that CV?…I sense another batch of hysteria from Snake Oil blog spot welling…. 🙂

            • xtasy 13.1.1.1.1.2

              Poison should be: Palace Revolt! I am waiting for it! I t is there in abundance, just needs to be spilled!

  13. AmaKiwi 14

    “Paula Bennett breached the privacy of a woman . . . Bill English has chipped in too saying that if people challenge the Government they can’t expect to have their privacy respected. That’s appalling and well below the standard I would apply to any of my Ministers. Clearly, your private information is not safe with this Government.”

    NO! It’s not appalling, it’s criminal. They have declared war on our right to privacy. If I complain, they will publish my tax returns, health records, psychological evaluations, military record, school reports, police reports . . . anything and everything!

    Labour was mistaken to not DEMAND Paula Bennett be removed from office.

    This is a brazen criminal mentality.

    “National is the party of law and order. Yeah right!”

    Labour should also demand that EVERY government file on Paula Bennett be made public immediately.

    • blue leopard 14.1

      @ AmaKiwi

      agree

      Would it come under false advertising that this is found on the WINZ website:

      Listed under “what you can expect from us”

      You have the right to:
      be treated with courtesy and respect [FAILED]
      cultural sensitivity
      use any of our services
      be given information about the services we offer
      be given correct information and entitlements
      be listened to
      be given fair, non-judgemental service [FAILED]
      have your information kept private and confidential [FAILED]
      have any decisions we make explained to you
      have a support person there whenever you deal with us
      make a complaint or ask for a review if you disagree with us. [FAILED]

      http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/your-rights-and-responsibilities/our-service-charter.html

      What is the point of having service charters when they are not followed by the head of MSD?

    • xtasy 14.2

      National: “National is the party of law and order. Yeah right!”

      Yeah, it is the party of ORDER for some, for the privileged and who have their OWN kind of order. Law is dispensable, because everyone has a different interpretation of law and justice. So they just laugh about it. They are quite experienced at laughing about it, since they cut legal aid to make it so unattractive for lawyers, hardly any are left to work for that kind of pittance.

    • Murray Olsen 14.3

      It’s totalitarian mentality, where the government is not bound by the law. All opposition parties should be all over it. To my mind, it’s the most dangerous thing this regime has done. Bennett has no place in a decent society, let alone in parliament.

  14. xtasy 15

    Shearer for Minister of Education, full power, but NOT for Prime Minister, I am sorry!

  15. Gawd i watched a n—i programme on tv last night,it was hard watching but
    bought up how a certain power can target one section of a community and
    destroy it totally in the eyes of others,while retaining the premis that they
    deserved it and no-one stood up and said ‘thats wrong,its needs to stop’
    persecution of a certain section of nz’ers is under underway of being
    totally destroyed by a dictatorship here and those followers on the right
    and left, say’go ahead, make my day’
    Just what the hell has happened to nz when even the left and shearer can’t
    standup and protect those on sickness and invalids benefits? and publicly
    denounces them,doctors evaluations don’t count anymore either,just
    politicians views.
    No amount of e-newsletters will correct the feeling that labour has
    deserted the core vorters,it started in clark’s time and continues on
    in earnest.

  16. Tim 17

    at the time of trawling through all this, I was watching Dateline London on BBC World News. A commentary on the Mit and his mates. Some toff commented that Romney has now done the ultimate, and outsourced his brain.
    Shudda cudda wudda taken a look at NZ politics! Key outsourced his a long time ago and chose to live on persnil krisma, smiling and waving, and the esprayshnull hope (and knowledge) of a knighthood.
    I hope Shearer hasn’t done likewise though – just about now I suspect he may well have done – to a pair of “thoroughly nice Chardonay-drinking, sheep-raising, (and probably olive-picking) gorgeous people whose primary concerns seem to be a good surname (in the case of Josie), and that bloody awful traffic they have to encounter when negotiating some SUV type vehicle onto a perfectly adequate highway – presumably to deliver the offspring to unaffordable daycare-to most, or to (let’s slum it shall we? – some Kapiti Coast state skool)

    God I’m disappointed (so far) in Robertson – just for a start!
    I’ve been wondering how I could possibly vote for Labour ever again!. Adhern, Hipkins, Robertson and one or two others were BEGINNING to turn me around. But as is generally the case with Labour who have a habit of shooting themselves in the foot, they’ve so far FUCKED it royally!
    Get a fucking GRIP people!
    Why newter the very people that provide you with half a chance?
    I know – it must be the cheep wine and gorgeous little soirees and all that feigned concern for the underdog. Next thing you know, we’ll be hearing Shearer harp on about the benefits of philanthropy by the well-off ffs! And this cnut was supposedly in the UN in African territories?
    GIVE ME A FCKIN BREAK. I could give the guy stories about refugees here in NZ who have been separated from kith and kin travelling Ethiopian and Sudanese zomes whilst living on snakes and monkeys in order to survive and who NOW get regularly ripped off by empoyers DESPITE promises of a better life.

    GET WITH THE FUKN PROGRAM David! Jacinta, Chris, Grant (and quite a few others). As IF there wasn;’t enough evidence in order to embarrass this gubbamint into ekshun. Either that or go get a real job if its all too hard – I’m sure there’s a Pulla Bent (being a ploimint sultint) that could advoise

  17. AmaKiwi 18

    Here is what Shearer should have asked about privacy during question time:

    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/norman-reveals-threats-to-privacy-and.html

  18. bad12 19

    Dear Dave,

    I find i am a little short this week what with bills and stuff to pay, do you think you might be able to manage to sweep a couple of extra Mango skins off of the table in my direction,

    Thanks,
    A sicknes bene…

    • Craig Glen Eden 19.1

      Yup theickness Beneficiary comment was the first sign that the illness is indeed terminal.The question becomes how long will it take to kill the Patient.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    6 days ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
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