Diffusion of responsibility

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, September 5th, 2009 - 54 comments
Categories: climate change, Deep stuff - Tags:

Diffusion of responsibility means that the bigger the group the less chance that anyone in the group will take action. In a typical experiment people are left to wait in a room, which is rigged so that smoke starts coming in under a door. A person who is alone will usually leave the room and seek help quickly. In a group each person becomes less likely to respond, in a large group much less likely, even as the smoke gets thick. Responsibility is “diffused” over the group, no individual feels that it’s their job to take action. One form of diffusion of responsibility is the bystander effect, where large numbers of people can see or hear terrible things happening and do nothing – each waiting for someone else to act.

Look around and you’ll see it everywhere. The way that dirty dishes multiply if left alone in the sink. The way that we can all stay seated on a full bus when an older person could use a seat. The way that community and voluntary groups are always starved for active members. The way that we all keep driving when we (most of us) understand that there are better ways. The way that we’re all going to keep arguing and avoiding action on climate change while the world reaches the tipping point (the smoke is getting pretty thick in here).

Those that would prefer to do nothing about climate change are making diffusion arguments explicitly. New Zealand is too small. Our emissions don’t matter. We shouldn’t be leaders. There’s no point when China isn’t doing anything. Recently the Key government went even further in its denial of responsibility, telling the world that we’ll aim for 10-20% reductions in emissions if they aim for 30-40%. The problem with diffusion is that everybody can make the same arguments and the outcome is that nothing gets done. So don’t buy in to it for yourself, and don’t accept it from our government. We can’t wait for everyone else to solve the big problems, it’s up to us.

54 comments on “Diffusion of responsibility ”

  1. rocky 1

    Beautiful post r0b, and applicable to so many different scenarios.

    Campaigning for the end of factory farming, that collectively irresponsibility is something I see all the time. While most people oppose battery cages, most people still buy eggs from battery caged hens. When I question people, it inevitably comes down to people feeling that their personal decision won’t make a difference. They feel like because they are just one out of millions of people, their choice doesn’t matter. I’m sure those people, if they thought their personal decision not to buy a product would actually stop the means of production, they would act, but they aren’t prepared to act unless everyone else does first.

    How much better would the world be if people didn’t expect everyone else to do the right thing first?

  2. TightyRighty 2

    Human induced climate change is negligible. When a single volcanic eruption can change the climate more than all human efforts combined, your efforts to get us all to willingly climb in to an economic dark age are laughable.

    • RedLogix 2.1

      Just in case anyone wants to know the correct version of this particular question, Tamino has addressed it here.

      We recently looked at Ian Plimer’s ridiculous claim about CO2 and volcanoes in an opinion piece he wrote for the Australian media. The implication that volcanoes contribute as much or more CO2 to the atmosphere as human activity is one of the most dishonest bits of misdirection in the denialists’ arsenal — so of course it’s one of their most repeated claims.

      • Andrei 2.1.1

        What a thoughroughly dishonest piece of work you have linked to RedLogix.

        Estimates of the past atmospheric levels of CO2 are based on Ice Core samples from polar regions, primarily the Antarctic. The modern levels are taken from the observatory on Mt Loa, Hawaii, which of course is an active Volcano – in fact the most active in Hawaii.

        And indeed the reason why we have a time series for atmospheric CO2 measured there is because it has been monitored there as a measure of volcanic activity for many years.

        To tack measurements taken there onto the ice core estimates as is done in your second link in not only scientifically invalid but also intellectually dishonest.

        • RedLogix 2.1.1.1

          Oh dear, you really aren’t challenging the Mauna Loa data .. are you? From the Observatory’s own website:

          Mauna Loa Observatory (MLO) is a premier atmospheric research facility that has been continuously monitoring and collecting data related to atmospheric change since the 1950’s. The undisturbed air, remote location, and minimal influences of vegetation and human activity at MLO are ideal for monitoring consituents in the atmosphere that can cause climate change.

          Note carefully … no mention of volcanic activity. Of course the potential for local volcanic activity to contaminate the data is perfectly well known and is accounted for.

          Mauna Loa was originally chosen as a CO2 monitoring site because being isolated in the middle of the Pacific, the air is exceptionally pure. Being high, it is above the inversion layer. There was also already a convenient road to the summit built by the military. The purity is good as long as contamination from local volcanic sources is detected and removed

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauna_Loa_Observatory

          The main reason why Mauna Loa is so frequently referenced is that is the oldest and best known of the monitoring sites. There are of course other sites in the monitoring network, and their combined data is shown here.

          Note carefully… all the other sites, Barrow in Alaska, American Samoa, and the South Pole… all show exactly the same underlyiing trend.

          And indeed the reason why we have a time series for atmospheric CO2 measured there is because it has been monitored there as a measure of volcanic activity for many years

          No that is disproven by the links I’ve provided above.

          To tack measurements taken there onto the ice core estimates as is done in your second link in not only scientifically invalid but also intellectually dishonest.

          Produce evidence to support such a statement. Show all assumptions and workings.

          • Andrei 2.1.1.1.1

            So Mauna Loa is not an active volcano?

            The purity is good as long as contamination from local volcanic sources is detected and removed

            And you know as well as I do the fishhooks and pitfalls in detecting and removing contamination from local volcanic sources, That is just hand waving.

          • RedLogix 2.1.1.1.2

            @Andrei.

            Do you imagine that this simple and obvious issue has not been thoroughly dealt with years ago? What fishhooks? I can think of a number of trivial ways to deal with the issue without even trying…

            And the local volcanic sources at the equivalent station at the South Pole, which returns identical data… are?

            • Andrei 2.1.1.1.2.1

              And the local volcanic sources at the equivalent station at the South Pole, which returns identical data are?

              Show me this data – it goes back to 1975 apparently but I haven’t got my hands on it yet.

              I keep ending up with pretty pictures derived from Mauna Loa, dramatic but hard to read – what we call in the trade “chartsmanship”

            • RedLogix 2.1.1.1.2.2

              http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/csiro/CSIROCO2SOUTHPOLE.JPG

              The reason why Mauna Loa is so frequently referenced is mainly because it is the oldest station, with the longest continuous record… but for some decades now there have been numerous, literally dozens of other sites around the world exactly confirming the validity of the ML data.

              All hydro-carbon sources that originally derive from plant sources are slightly deficient in the C13 isotope, because photosynthesis discriminates against it. Based on this fact scientists can determine with quite exquisite accuracy where the CO2 they are measuring comes from. The techniques are quite sophisticated, but very well established.

            • Andrei 2.1.1.1.2.3

              exquisite accuracy???

              Is that a scientific term now?

              I only know of one paper on this subject – I will have to drag it out but as I recall the claim was made that there had been a decline of 0.15% in atmospheric C13 in industrial times.

              Sheesh man the ratio of C13 to C12 is not preciselyknown though it it is approximately 1%.

              Gee CO2 itself just a trace element within the atmosphere. It takes high precision analytic techniques just to measure its concertration and they are not 100% precise as you well know and you are going to accurately determine something that is 1% of that to within 0.15%?

              And of course the proxies used to determine past values are subject to measurement errors too – without even starting on logical ones.

              My goodness these effects are so small that the lack of precision totally overwhelms any attempt to quantify them. .

            • lprent 2.1.1.1.2.4

              Ah Andrei. You’ve never done experimental science have you…

              The equipment I was using in 1981 for geochemistry could do all of that automatically. I never did air, but we were looking at water for things like ground water systems using x-ray fluorescence for traces in the very small parts per billion levels. It could distinguish spikes between the different isotopes pretty easily because of the changes in the electron shells.

              The advances in computer technology have enhanced the hell out of the what can be detected automatically.

              Incidentally – try removing all of that ‘trace gas’ from your atmosphere and go to sleep. It’d be interesting if you wake up. Part of your breathing reflex is dependent on that ‘trace gas’. Without it your body forgets to breathe. It isn’t a trace gas. It is the 4th or 5th gas in the whole atmosphere.

              wikipedia

              Dry air contains roughly (by volume) 78.08% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.038% carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of other gases. Air also contains a variable amount of water vapor, on average around 1%.

              Please please try the experiment…

            • RedLogix 2.1.1.1.2.5

              Exquisite accuracy? Well more than enough for the purpose. Measuring isotope ratios has always been something that can be done with good accuracy, at least compared to many other physical variables.

              Sheesh man the ratio of C13 to C12 is not preciselyknown though it it is approximately 1%.

              Well according to several sources that are pretty easy to find the C13/C12 ratio is 1.109%, which is not exactly imprecise.

              During photosynthesis, organisms using the pathway using C12 show different enrichments compared to those using the C13 pathway, allowing scientists to distinguish organic matter from abiotic carbon. The technology to do get result from this is well established, and is completely non-controversial routine science.

              A pretty obvious pattern of behaviour is emerging here. You turn up on a thread to do with climate change (and only on them)… make potentious statements that might seem plausible to someone with little science background, with little to no links or references, make a series of increasingly baseless and frankly bizzare comments… and when finally your claims are proven completely wrong… you bugger off.

              Do you still claim that the Mauna Loa Observatory CO2 record is an invalid record of global CO2 because of the local volcano? Yes or no?

            • Quoth the Raven 2.1.1.1.2.6

              I only know of one paper on this subject I will have to drag it out but as I recall the claim was made that there had been a decline of 0.15% in atmospheric C13 in industrial times.

              You’re providing evidence of man’s effect on the enviroment now, good on you. Fossil fuels are depleted in the heavier isotope. Becuase of us burning fossil fuels the carbon istopic composition of the atmosphere has changed since the industrial revolution.

            • Andrei 2.1.1.1.2.7

              Well my Red Friend I’m still here.

              And I have posted links to papers on threads before today. Papers in refereed journals where possible and they are available on-line ,

              A long time ago I studied measurement errors – very interesting and important if you are trying to understand this mysterious world we live in.

              Take for example your relative abundance figure for C13 from wikipedia where it is given as 1.109%.

              I look it up in my Wiley Isotopes and it is given as 1.10% not as 1.11% as the wikipedia value would imply -mind you my table is not the latest edition. But Berkley gives the number as 1.103 – which matches with mine but not wikipedia.

              Of course the number of significant figures doesn’t matter diddly to anybody unless they are producing results near to that level of precision. Then noise starts to overwhelm the signal as they say.

              There are two major source of experimental error of course – random which have a Gaussian distribution about the “true” and unknowable value of the quantity you are measuring and systematic.

              And it is the systematic ones that kill most scientific papers. The majority of Published research in peer reviewed journals does not stand the test of time, does not hold up to heavy scrutiny and turns out to be heavily flawed or downright wrong.

              Check out Plos Medicine August 2005 | Volume 2 | Issue 8 | e124
              for a discussion of this,

              Now the thing is I am really interested in climate change – problem is of course that the whole subject has become polluted by political activists making absurd claims out the ice melting and sea level rise yadda yadda.

              Here is a really important paper you might like to read
              Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow – Edward Norton Lorenz – Journal of Atmospheric Sciences. Vol.20 : 130—141

              And this paper is seminal not only for meteorology but for any science that has to make sense of complex dynamic systems.

              And when you have read it tell me if you still think the IPCC models are saying anything meaningful at all

            • RedLogix 2.1.1.1.2.8

              I look it up in my Wiley Isotopes and it is given as 1.10% not as 1.11% as the wikipedia value would imply -mind you my table is not the latest edition. But Berkley gives the number as 1.103 which matches with mine but not wikipedia.

              So all of a sudden it’s not aproximately 1%, now we are getting sidetracked into arguing down around a few parts in 10,000 in all probablity entirely spurious level of accuracy for the purposes were are talking about.

              If you really believe that the results which show a modern era deficiency in C13 (thus demonstrating that an excess of carbon from organic sources) are wrong, then just come out and say so. Otherwise all you are making are pointless insinuations.

              Do you still claim that the Mauna Loa Observatory CO2 record is an invalid record of global CO2 because of the local volcano? Yes or no?

              Failed to answer my question. Until then I decline to be sidetracked by misdirections.

            • Quoth the Raven 2.1.1.1.2.9

              Andrei – That paper is from 1963. Clearly very important being cited over 3000 times, but it is cited by many papers that support AGW. Meterology is out of my area of scientific knowledge, but I don’t know if that paper does what you want it to do. The conclusion of the paper is fairly equivocal. Like the line: There remains the question as to whether our results really apply to the atmosphere. Maybe you know. As it was written in 1963 I’d have to know what advances in our understanding in this area have been made. The majority of climate scientists believe AGW is occuring I would tend to think that they would know a thing or about the lorenz system. So I’ll leave it to them.

            • Quoth the Raven 2.1.1.1.2.10

              The carbon istopic composition of the atmosphere varies from place to place always around the 98.9% to 1.1%, but they compare it to a standard. Istopic analysis is routine.

            • Armchair Critic 2.1.1.1.2.11

              Andrei – As QTR pointed out, the paper is heading for 50 years old. Not to say it is not seminal, it must be because wikipedia describe it that way. There have been significant advances in modelling techniques since 1963, and enormous increases in the power of computers to process data (i.e. model complex physical systems), as well as much better data collection (more sites collecting data on more variables at more regular intervals).
              The other issue I have with applying this paper in support of your argument is that the paper discusses the prediction of weather, not the prediction of climate change. I expect you are aware of the difference between climate change and weather.
              The phenomena that Prof Lorenz discusses in the paper are short term (i.e. they occur over hours or days, rather than decades or centuries) and localised (i.e they occur across hundreds to tens of thousands of sq. kms, rather than to regions, countries and continents) and are much more difficult to model than the widespread and creeping impacts of climate change. It won’t all happen suddenly like in the movies.

        • lprent 2.1.1.2

          Andrei: In other words – you don’t have an idea about what you’re talking about. Every CO2 measurement site shows the same thing (Oh I see that RL has linked to a couple).

          You really are a pathetic illiterate…. Mind you, being around Wishart is probably contagious..

          • TightyRighty 2.1.1.2.1

            what about the krakatoa eruption of 1883? Lowered the average global temperature for 5 years and drastically altered the weather in the same period.

            • lprent 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Yeah – but it did that almost entirely by pushing ash into the stratosphere (I seem to remember that Krakatoa got it up over 70km high). When it gets up there there is very little water to help wash it out so it stays there until it drifts down.

              Same happens with any decent sized rhyolitic volcano poping its lid. Effectively that increases the albedo of the planet by reflecting more sunlight before it gets into the heat trap of the denser air. This is the nuclear winter effect…

              However it has nothing to do with CO2.

              While you’re at looking at spurious side issues you could look at the effect of the sulphate aerosols. When they drop out it appears to increase plant nutrition so the rate of CO2 suckup by plants afterwards is increased by quite a bit. In fact it seems to be measurable on a global level from Pinatubo according to something I read earlier this week.

              Have you been hanging out with Wishart as well? His stupidity seems contagious. I’m a bit worried because I’m advising you further down to read charts. There is a possibility that you are only capable of seeing them as squiggly lines and start drooling over the colors.

            • TightyRighty 2.1.1.2.1.2

              you donkey Lynn. what wishart does and doesn’t say is no concern of mine. you love to make out like your so morally and intellectually superior, when really, stats are what you make of them. the science isn’t settled. this doctrine of “argue with climate change and your an idiot” is so wankerish, especially when you would pillory the church for saying much the same thing about a flat earth and creationism.

            • RedLogix 2.1.1.2.1.3

              stats are what you make of them.

              Not really, that’s just a feeble slogan that has long been a weak excuse from those who do not understand them. Everything in the modern world is numbers, and the numbers always tell a story. If you do not understand them, you will be either deaf to the story, or easy prey for charlatans.

              the science isn’t settled.

              No science ever is. Science is all about new ideas, new data, new insights. I’m absolutely certain that in ten years time we will have an even better consensus around AGW than we do at present. But it will be built upon the work already done, not the incoherent mish-mash of discredited nonsense you currently put so much misplaced faith in.

              this doctrine of “argue with climate change and your an idiot’ is so wankerish, especially when you would pillory the church for saying much the same thing about a flat earth and creationism.

              Creationists are wankers. (And I attend a Baptist Church…)

            • lprent 2.1.1.2.1.4

              TR: I’m not saying don’t argue about climate change. Just don’t be so damn boring about it. My irritation level rises every time I see one of those stupid lines from Wisharts book re-surface.

              Just don’t bother sprouting material that is so obviously irrelevant. At least have a look at one of the CCD myth-buster sites or even wikipedia for the obvious flaws so I don’t explain basic science for the 20th time.

              I take my revenge for boredom by spicing up the comment a bit. I have no idea how RedLogix remains so even-tempered about it..

      • Maksimovich 2.1.2

        Volcanic forcing on the climate dynamics is not required in terms of an increase(decrease) of ghg such as CO2 and CH4 and its radiative qualities (which as governed by the law of diminishing returns)it is the VOC which change the dynamics of the coupled ocean/atmosphere and the relaxation times are long and hence are of climatological significance eg

        http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2008JD011673.shtml

        • RedLogix 2.1.2.1

          Links to publications hidden behind paywalls are useless.
          Try:

          http://www.envsci.rutgers.edu/~gera/
          http://www.envsci.rutgers.edu/~gera/papers_volc/OceanImpact7TextAndFigures.pdf

          Most of my work is based on high performance computing. I have a solid expertise in numerical methods, fluid
          dynamics, atmospheric physics combined with diverse experience in simulating multiscale environmental flows. I
          am interested in further development of modeling capabilities for the fine-scale processes to analyze cross- scale
          interactions in the atmosphere and the climate system.

          So you are happy then with all that nasty computer modelling… the same sort of modelling that so many deniers keep telling us is useless?

          Or how about the quote Stenchikovich provides on his own home page, “We basically have three choices: mitigation, adaptation and suffering. We are going to do some of each. The question is what the mix is going to be. The more mitigation we do, the less adaptation will be required and the less suffering there will be.’ John Holdren

          And at first blush I don’t see any claim from the man that his work invalidates AGW theory at all, at the very best it provides an interesting new aspect to this complex science…. so exactly what was your point here?

    • RedLogix 2.2

      Oh and it gets a proper working out here too.

    • lprent 2.3

      It is always nice to see a scientific illiterate posturing with some material that they’ve read somewhere, but not comprehended.

      Now I’m going to assume that you are capable of reading a chart. I know that it a large assumption – but I have to take the risk. Have a look at the various charts in RedLogix’s links

      An individual volcano makes no more than a minor blip compared to the sustained emission that humans are doing. Sure a good major eruption of a Mt. Pinatubo or a Mt Saint Helens may put a spike of CO2 into the atmosphere along with other gases and ash. However such events are pretty uncommon – we don’t see more than one or two of these in any decade.

      Under your idiotic theory you’d expect to see a spike in CO2 directly after each major volcanic eruption in stations close to and far away from the event. Guess what – it doesn’t happen. Look at the CO2 record at Mauna Loa out in the mid-pacific. Where is the spike for either of the event’s

      Ok. We haven’t proved that you are a total idiot yet. Lets assume instead that there is a continuous output from an overall increase in volcanic activity over the last two centuries. Have a look at this journal article about reported eruptions. Sure there is a slight increase. But that is mainly attributed to poor reporting in the 19th century. Moreover as this New Scientist article points out

      Measurements of CO2 levels over the past 50 years do not show any significant rises after eruptions. Total emissions from volcanoes on land are estimated to average just 0.3 Gt of CO2 each year – about a hundredth of human emissions (pdf document).

      If you could induce volcanoes to go off in sequence as they have in the past… But that hasn’t happened in a while (measured in millions of years). So explain how we have had a vast increase in unobserved volcanoes in the last couple of hundred years causing the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere to go from 280 ppmv in 1800 to about 380 ppmv now.

      Maybe you could explain it by dickheads like you sprouting hot-air with excess CO2 and probably bad breath… Nope not enough. I guess it merely exposes the vacancy that is your brain.

  3. Ianmac 3

    Yes Rob. And it is a reason to applaud the action of the Otaki kids. If from an early age kids opinions mattered then as adults they wouldn’t just mutter but become active. It might cause a headache for politicians and administrators but democracy would gain. Curiously I think that though ill written the recent Referendum was valid. Wording bad. Intent good.

  4. Steve 4

    This “Diffussion of Responsibilty” is the reason ACC takes so long to approve a claim?
    I waited 4 months for compensation after a claim was accepted.

    • Mac1 4.1

      Steve, it seems to be not the time taken to approve but the time it takes to receive whatever compensation was applied for, yes?
      Your two sentencers appear contradictory if accept and approve mean the same thing.

      • Izzy 4.1.1

        Actually not necessarily the case, I can’t comment on ACC but in the govt dept I work for “accepted” means that we acknowledge that the basic documentation required to make a decision has been supplied, and approved means that the application either meets our policies or warrants an exception. Not all applications that are accepted are approved.

        • Steve 4.1.1.1

          Correct Izzy.
          Accepted means an ACC employee has read it and date stamped it.
          Approved only comes after another ACC employee gets approval to notify you.
          Mac1,
          The answer is ‘no”
          ACC does not think ‘Accepted” and “Approved” mean the same.
          Confused? You want to see ACC’s variable Arithmetic. Only they understand it.

  5. Tom Semmens 5

    I’ve lived in Italy, where people think nothing of admonishing or keeping tabs on their community’s kiddies and they look out for each other. Since this experience, I’ve thought a lot about why it might be that New Zealand mocks and eschews collective responsibility and community action. New Zealanders make a big deal about this country being a friendly place. But I think in reality our default setting is to use a diffusion of responsibility as a fig leaf for a fundamental societal laziness and selfishness.

    We will be counting the casualties of the evils of Rogernomics for decades to come, but it is clear to me one of the things we have lost is whatever nascent concept or tradition of “the community” we once had in this country. How many people here moved once, twice, thrice as kids whilst their parents tiki-toured around the land in pursuit of a job, a promotion, a transfer? The whole S59 debate was underpinned by a belief that the family is an isolated actor where children are the property and responsibility of no-one but their parents. Yet I remember when I was a kid my mates mum’s fed whoever was in front of them at lunchtime, old men told us off for loafing on vacant sections and strangers came out of their houses and helped when knees were skinned and the crying was loud. Yet another lie of Rogernomics and the neo-liberalism is exposed when you survey the wreckage of communities – neo-liberalism breed’s fatalism and a grasping selfishness, not motivated actors participating in a perfect market.

    Perhaps the “problem” is because we’ve never had a truly repressive or evil government here. Our political tradition from Seddon through to Savage and on until Clark has basically been when the man says “I’m from the government and I am here to help” we believe him because historically that is what he will do. When the government tells us compulsory unionism is good for us, we dutifully sign up. When attacked by the neo-liberals, unionism collapsed in this country because our tradition is top down social organisation, not bottom up. Apart from isolated cases (Massey’s Cossacks, 1951) we’ve never seen the power of the state in action. Apart from Rogernomics, we’ve never seen the sort awful deeds possible when bureaucracy is put at the disposal of ideology. Because of our political tradition of benign government and top down imposition of socio-political organisational structures we don’t have the tradition of taking charge of our communities that socialism – collectivism – theoretically demands we should.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Fully agree, we’ve lost all sense of community in NZ and it’s the most important part of our well being. Without community, we die.

      neo-liberalism breed’s fatalism and a grasping selfishness, not motivated actors participating in a perfect market.

      bingo

    • Ianmac 5.2

      Bill Birch stated that it was time for every person to look out for himself. I thought that that was the opposite of my memory of each person in the street/town looking out for each other. So even before Rogernomics there was a leadership shift away from cooperative collective responsibility.

      • Bill 5.2.1

        The market demands that you perceive your neighbour as your adversary. We know this. Once you buy that as a way of living or are forced to accept it.. bye-bye community. I don’t think it really matters when we got here as so much as the fact that we are here.

        So, what now?

        Can consumers affect change? I don’t really think so. Nestle has been boycotted for 30 odd years because of it’s baby formula powder and the company has simply grown. I might feel better for not buying Nestle products, but the reality is that my action has no effect on Nestle. Worse is the fact that consumer driven initiatives quickly get hi-jacked by corporate sponsors who use the consumer angst as a fig leaf over their unconscionable actions and/or inactions. (eg the absolute farce of plastic bags in supermarkets where supermarkets position themselves as the champions of the anti plastic bag brigade)

        Can governments effect change? Yes, but it is usually such a dis-empowering method of achieving change that I think most ‘government directives’ should be viewed with a large measure of suspicion/distrust.

        Can citizens effect change? Of course. Because the citizenry is any and every shade of person living within a given geographical area. But if the citizenry is going to define itself within limits imposed by ideas such as consumerism then it will be unable to act effectively. So I think it means workers and students and war vets and absolutely anyone and everyone coming together on a bandwagon that allows enough space and freedom for each and every person to find their comfort zone and contribute accordingly. So if I use an anarchist analysis and map things out with an eye to anarchist ideas then I should be able to do so while standing right next to a social democrat who is similarly understands and maps and acts on issues according to their beliefs. And if the Christian next along believes that 10 000 people saying a prayer is the way to go, then okay. They can do their 10 000 prayer meet. I might even offer them a hand in putting it together. I wouldn’t attend though and should not be expected to any more than I’d expect them to attend some exclusively anarchist thing.

        And this is a long way of saying something simple and short. Many people constitute many voices and whereas in the past the left has ripped itself apart as competing voices fought for ascendancy and dominance( a rather market driven behaviour, don’t you think?), we have the ability and the need to do things differently….to build an all inclusive broad movement that allows each and all the space and right for expression; where none claim to speak for the whole so that the whole becomes a many headed hydra…impossible to pin down and define and so consequently beyond any attempts a top down corporate culture will make to contain, co-opt and neutralise.

        • Rex Widerstrom 5.2.1.1

          whereas in the past the left has ripped itself apart as competing voices fought for ascendancy and dominance… none claim to speak for the whole so that the whole becomes a many headed hydra impossible to pin down and define and so consequently beyond any attempts a top down corporate culture will make to contain, co-opt and neutralise

          That really resonates with me, aside from the reference to “the left”. Of course your preceding paragraph references anarchists working alongside social democrats etc., but what about those whose ideas may well to the right of those positions?

          While I broadly agree with Tom above that NZ hasn’t had a truly repressive government, I’ve watched a sort of lofty arrogance infect successive cohorts of those elected to Parliament. Their willingness to believe that they know best and that public protest (whether from the left, the right or anywhere else) was nothing more than a pathetic display of ignorance has been the common thread linking every Parliament which I’ve been old enough to observe critically.

          Yes there is a left/right divide in NZ but that’s normal and healthy. What isn’t so healthy is the growing political class / non-political class divide — a phenomenon that sees even a Paula Bennett forget her roots, indeed repudiate her entire life experience to that point, once she gets elected.

          Can’t lefties and righties put down their ideological tracts for long enough to work together to restructure the state apparatus so that it’s more representative, more controllable, and more democratic? Then we can go back to debating policy in the hope that our opinions will mean something even if we choose not to sign on to a party and backstab our way up the List?

          • r0b 5.2.1.1.1

            What isn’t so healthy is the growing political class / non-political class divide — a phenomenon that sees even a Paula Bennett forget her roots,

            Hasn’t it always been this way? Is the divide really growing? How many people can there be in the “political class”?

            • Rex Widerstrom 5.2.1.1.1.1

              To answer your last question first, it’s not a matter of how many, but what positions they hold. Politicians, public servants (senior ones anyway), the plethora of “consultants”, journalists, lobbyists, peak groups… the whole Wellington miasma. They dream up policy, decide if it’s right, tell us what to think about it and generally get their own way.

              Any attempt to demonstrate that the great unwashed don’t agree — from a hikoi to a referendum — is generally ignored and often mocked.

              The members of this class often move within it (journos becoming political flaks, and vice versa for instance) but rarely out of it altogether. And new entrants are carefully vetted to ensure they have the “right” credentials. It’s okay to be a rabid righty or a looney lefty… just don’t be anarchistic about it. Support the existing power mechanisms. And be prepared (like Paula Bennett in NZ, Peter Garrett in Australia and countless others) to repudiate your principles, ethics and indeed your entire life’s meaning to remain within it.

              It wasn’t always this way, no. But we’d have to go back a long way to find a time when the trend wasn’t clearly developing.

              Is the divide growing? That’s a hard one to answer because it’s almost entirely perceptual… from my perspective it’s no worse now than in the 1980s, but that’s because politics reached it’s nadir (in terms of not listening to people) then and hasn’t improved since. Others might say the nadir was reached during Vietnam, or the Springbok tour, of course. Perhaps even Seddon rode about with (metaphorically) his middle digit raised to the peasants lining the road. All I know is that, like Bill, I want to see people of different bacgrounds and political philosophies standing together to change it.

            • RedLogix 5.2.1.1.1.2

              Support the existing power mechanisms. And be prepared (like Paula Bennett in NZ, Peter Garrett in Australia and countless others) to repudiate your principles, ethics and indeed your entire life’s meaning to remain within it.

              I recall the Greens MP Nandor Tancos declaring that “He was retiring from Parliament for the good of his anarchist soul”… possibly making him one of the few people to make an unforced retreat from political life on his own terms.

              And at the same time confirming the spiritual rot you describe above. I’ve always believed that the problem with politics was the inherently divisive, confrontrational nature of the system itself… an exercise in power play that either attracted the wrong people, or ultimately turned good people sour.

  6. RedLogix 6

    Simplistically the left/right divide can be described as either a collective or individualistic way of looking at life, but that doesn’t go far enough. Each outlook can be further divided into an forward and backward looking perspective.

    In it’s forward looking, positive form collectivism means ‘we are all in this together, let’s help each other out’; but equally it can take on a ‘safety in numbers, keep my head down, let someone else do the heavy lifting’ aspect that you identify as ‘diffusion of responsibility.

    It’s not hard to see the same outward/inward looking pattern with individualism, creating either ‘I’m going to define who I am, and stand on my two feet’ or a ‘I’m alright jack, what’s in it for me’ pattern.

    What this points to is that individualism and collectivism are on their own both neutral concepts, what really matters is the level at which they are being played out. The ‘look out for number one’ instinct probably derives from the dominant alpha male/sneak in on the margins reproductive strategy, while the ‘diffusion of responsibility clearly has it’s roots in atribal safety in numbers strategy; both of which are primitive, instinctive mammalian behaviours.

    The essence of being human is to operate at a level that reflects our capacity as rational beings, that we can choose to be responsible, self-determining individuals, and at the same time, place that capacity into the service of the greater collective good.

  7. RedLogix 7

    @Tom,

    I think I like your explanation better.:-)

  8. randal 8

    dont give up hope rob. we are living in strange times.
    the cult of the individual means everybody is desperately trying to be an authentic replica of themselves by aquiring goods and things and saying this is ME.
    basically they cant do anything as they are locked into durkheimian organic society. however most fall into the same trap that plato outlines in the euthyphro. because they can do one thing they think that somehow they know everything and consequentially we are living in a land of nincompoop wiseacres.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      Yah made me wiki Durkheim..

      Durkheim was concerned primarily with how societies could maintain their integrity and coherence in the modern era, when things such as shared religious and ethnic background could no longer be assumed.

      Yikes…

  9. lprent 9

    I always tend to view it as more something like…. Those who can do, are off doing and making the world a better place. Those who have no skills merely find a media outlet and whine.

    That pretty much explains talkback radio, newspaper letter columns, and for that matter a lot of the blogs. This site and others on the centre-left and left were set up specifically to counter the whiners (like TightRighty and Andrei above), who were too lazy and self-adsorbed to read and think beyond their simplistic prejudices.

    I’ve run across a lot of people who will go out of their way to make the world a better place for themselves and for other people. The impression that I’ve gotten from looking at the wingnuts is that most of them have little value to anyone apart from themselves.

    One of the pleasures of this site has been to find compatriots on the centre-right and even the right of the political spectrum (as well as the left) who do think strategically and not simply with their pocket book and prejudices. They’re pretty easy to spot – they actually have arguments that make me stop and have to think before disagreeing. I don’t simply (as with TR and A above) have a reaction of thinking, “what a moronic dipshit” and then proceeding to deal with them as requiring a Darwinian winnowing.

    This site was setup purely to deal with the stupid wingnuts who were being given undue weight by a rather lazy media. Like rOb, the conception was after the 2005 election when looking back at why in the hell such a ridiculous message as the Owera speech made any traction.

    It was evident that the dirty dishes had been let to pile too high. I self-delegated myself to help clean the fuckers up. And yeah, it is a welcome release of programming frustration to slice and dice the idiots.

    • TightyRighty 9.1

      another take on that is Lynn, those who can do, those who can’t teach.

      • lprent 9.1.1

        Not me.

        I have taught in the past for short periods usually on a contract to run managers into how they can use computers to streamline their structural systems or to push programming teams into new paradigms. It is always one of the most exhausting activities I ever undertake. I’d hate to have to do it for any length of time.

        I much prefer writing code or if I absolutely have to, leading programming teams.

    • TightyRighty 9.2

      Oh, and I’m not whining, though of course because i dare raise my head over the parapet, I get accused of all sorts. Socialism is state sponsored whining, and it’s pathetic when all this site ever does is whine. Oooh, we lost the election, the electorate are wrong. oooh, we are slipping in the polls, must be arogue one. oooo, the government didn’t do what i said it should. suck it up

      • lprent 9.2.1

        Keep doing it. Just expect the flak… It is how a democracy gets its checks and balances.

        Are you advocating that this site should not do the same?

    • r0b 9.3

      It was evident that the dirty dishes had been let to pile too high. I self-delegated myself to help clean the fuckers up.

      Sounds like a mission statement to me! The Standard impressed me right from the start. Very clever branding, and posts with the right mix of brains and pit bull. It’s been great to see it develop its voice.

  10. Galeandra 10

    “diffusion of responsibility” is an interesting idea, but I think you are failing to show proper appreciation of the persistent and vociferous denialists. I would they were even rowdier!
    After all, the experience in the States seems to have been that because of the obtuseness or downright dickheadedness of Mr Misunderestimated himself, and his coalpowered cohorts, huge number of folk from state-level to street level have been moved to take responsibility for themselves, which is the reverse of what might be expected. The American blogsphere is full of missionaries for the planet!
    So wow, Andrei and tightrighty, take a bow. Full credit guys. You may be dickheads, but you’re our dickheads.

  11. Phil 11

    We can’t wait for everyone else to solve the big problems, it’s up to us.

    Congratulations r0b – welcome to the club of free-market libertarians!

    Your VRWC decoder ring is in the mail, and we’ll call you with the details of our next meeting – we’re roasting marsmallows over the embers of native Kauri trees.

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    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
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  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
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    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
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    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Building better housing insights
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    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago

  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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