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Dirty Politics in 2015

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 am, January 13th, 2015 - 81 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, broadcasting, capitalism, class war, Deep stuff, Dirty Politics, john key, journalism, labour, Media, national, newspapers, radio, same old national - Tags:

There was a fascinating interview on Radio New Zealand yesterday where Noelle McCarthy interviewed Political Scientists Bronwyn Hayward and Mark Boyd.  Bronwyn is the head of the Department of Politics at Canterbury University and Mark is a Doctoral candidate for a PhD at Auckland University.  The audio is here.  It is well worth a listen.

What was really impressive was the quality of the interview.  Instead of the typical type of political panel discussion where the loudest dominate and the best slogan wins we had the pleasure of listening to two people who clearly knew what they were talking about and were prepared to engage in an analytical discussion of the subject at hand.  If only more political discussions were like this. And if only experts of their calibre were used to talk about the left wing parties as opposed to the usual suspects.

They discussed dirty politics, the election result and the current state of the political parties.  The following is a simplified list of what they said but as I said have a listen yourself.

Points made included these:

  1. Turnout for the 2014 election for young people improved by about 10% and this was a good result especially considering the sort of election campaign (dirty) that it was.
  2. Hayward was hopeful that respect and interest in politics is improving and pointed to world events last year as evidence of this.  Young people are increasingly engaged in politics per se.
  3. The problem is with engagement with political parties and voting.  Issues such as inequality affect people at a deep level but they tend to be more likely to vote if they have a stake in the future.  People in the lower socioeconomic groups are less likely to vote because they see less reason to do so.
  4.  New Zealand’s vote last election was historically low and about average for countries in the OECD.
  5. The media’s role in New Zealand is very important.  Our media is dominated by the same voices spread across different media and we tend to get the same narrative.  There is a very small group of people saying the same thing.
  6. This needs to change.  A large reason for this is that the media is predominantly owned by commercial interests, and apart from Radio New Zealand and Maori Television we do not have public service media.  Because the media is so heavily commercialised it needs to attract an audience and the best way to do this is by covering conflict and scandal.
  7. Dirty politics and the circus surrounding Kim Dotcom were an absolute gift to the media.  They focussed on the scandals, the coverage was much more negative and much more personal than normal and we missed having the debates about policy.
  8. Rorting of the system is a major problem.  In Epsom 23,000 party voted National and only 1,000 voted ACT.  In Ohariu only 200 people voted for United Future.  If we want to restore faith in the system we have to sort this problem out.
  9. New Zealand’s politics is small and personal and with PR each vote counts.  The system is simple which can be bad because power is heavily concentrated in the executive without any real checks and balances.
  10. The power of large companies and their ability to lobby direct are huge.  Dirty politics was all about cronyism and power of the lobby groups.
  11. The role of the media is to scrutinise this and the difficulty with so much of the media being commercially owned is that there is a dampening effect on the media fulfilling its proper role to scrutinise.
  12. It was a shame that Dirty Politics came out during the campaign.  Hayward thought the disclosures did bother the electorate.  People became very uncomfortable about John Key and could not understand why he was associating with Cameron Slater.  They were concerned about Oravidia.  The moment of truth hurt the left though and people stopped thinking critically.  They did not like big money being used in this way and reverted to type.  People were concerned about childhood poverty and corporate power but the moment of truth caused them to go back to their traditional corners and vote for what they knew.
  13. What people are now interested in are questions of where are we going as a country?  What are our values?  How are we building our nation and who for, and how will we survive as a small diversifying country?  These issues were not discussed during the campaign because of the dominance of dirty politics.  During the campaign any policy debates were presented negatively.  We were still primarily concerned with hip pocket issues rather than the bigger issues of personal freedom or nation building or our place in the world.  And with the economy appearing to be fine people preferred not to change.
  14. Changing the flag is a branding exercise for helping businesses internationally.  This is not a proper reason for changing our flag.  The issues that will define the coming period are dissension envy hate and corruption.  The values that matter to us as a nation need to be agreed on before we can decide on a flag.
  15. Politics has to get back to things that matter.  Andrew Little’s “cut the crap” is potentially the start of a shift back to a discussion on the things that really matter.
  16. Andrew Little’s position as Labour leader is secure, he has made a good start and he will be a real challenge to John Key.
  17. Labour was hurt by having three leaders in three years.  The vote for Labour, Greens and Mana were all down in the election and National had a dream run in 2014.
  18. The TPPA is not well understood and there are concerns.  Kiwis need to know more about it before it is signed.  This ties into the need for the media to provide in-depth reporting on the issue.  And there needs to be transparency and we need to know what we as a nation are signing away and what we are gaining.
  19. Academics need to stand up and help with this process.  A lot of academics are working on projects that are tied to business and Government funding and feel reluctant to speak out because of this.
  20. As for social media Instagram is starting to take over from twitter for young voters.  Twitter encourages a fast and furious debate which is not helpful for the development of ideas.  It is more for the chatteratii.  Facebook is not helpful because of the corporate ability to affect feeds.  We are not dealing with a neutral platform, we are dealing with a corporate controlled medium.

The discussion presented the best critical analysis of New Zealand politics that I have heard in a while.  Well done Radio New Zealand, just what I expect from a public service media outlet.

And from the sublime to the ridiculous I paid a visit to Whaleoil.  Slater is running a series of posts “Who is Andrew Little”.  Obviously he believes that he being the one man wrecking ball that he is can destroy Little with the power of his blogging.  The funny thing is that he used a recent Standard post to provide the material in this donotlink post and linked to a youtube video put up by yours truly.

I expect that Slater will continue doing what he does but it will be interesting to see what strategy National adopts this year both in relation to Slater and in relation to the smearing and attacking of opponents.  Who will they use and how will they do it?  Meanwhile there needs to be a deep conversation on the current role of our media in serving our political system and what can be done to improve it.

81 comments on “Dirty Politics in 2015”

  1. Gosman 1

    Interestingly I made the same point here about the moment of truth well before the election where I stated it could have a massive negative impact for the left if the revellations were not as devastating as they were hyped to be.

    • Murray Rawshark 1.1

      I think they will be devastating once everyone gets sick of worshipping FJK. Unlike him, they are factual and won’t go away. People accept all sorts of things from their heroes, but once the gloss goes off, the collapse can be very fast. Kiwis’ relationship with Key is like a new marriage, everything is roses, but after the divorce, it’s all thorns.

  2. Dorothy 2

    Very interesting blog Mickey, I am off to do the follow up reading.

  3. miravox 3

    On point 18. “The TPPA is not well understood and there are concerns. Kiwis need to know more about it before it is signed. This ties into the need for the media to provide in-depth reporting on the issue. And there needs to be transparency and we need to know what we as a nation are signing away and what we are gaining.”

    A repost from Open Mike on the 10/01 to emphasise the difference in approach between the EU negotiations with the US and that of the TPPA countries.

    In the interest of transparency the EU is publishing texts of the proposed TTIP . The move:

    is an example of how the Commission is putting into practice its commitment made last November to inject more transparency into the TTIP negotiations. The Commission then undertook to:

    – make public more TTIP EU negotiating texts that the Commission shares with Member States and the European Parliament;
    – provide access to the EU’s TTIP negotiating texts to all Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), not just a select few, by extending access to EU restricted documents in a ‘reading room’ to those MEPs who had no access to such restricted documents so far;
    – classify fewer TTIP negotiating documents as ‘EU restricted’, thus making them more easily accessible to MEPs outside the reading room;
    publish and update on a regular basis a public list of TTIP documents shared with the European Parliament and the Council.
    – publish information about who meets its political leaders and senior officials.
    The 12 position papers already published cover financial services, public procurement, regulatory coherence, technical barriers to trade, food safety and animal and plant health, chemicals, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, textiles, vehicles, sustainable development, and energy and raw materials.

    … We will make the whole text of the agreement public once negotiations have been concluded – well in advance of its signature and ratification.

    Many of the negotiation papers are there. Makes a lie of the arguments against publishing the texts of the TPPA, I reckon.

  4. Enough is Enough 4

    I am not sure I agree with point 17 entirely. National hardly had a dream run in 2014. They had more negative headlines, scandals and resignations than any winning party ever.

  5. Skinny 5

    Expose the lobbyists and who their big business clients are. Hooton, Graham and other spin merchants hawking their wares should be forced to disclose the reason for a meeting, recorded transcripts of all meetings with Minister/MP’s or Government department heads. All other access like socialising by public relation staff with the above be banned in the interests of transparency & democracy. After the dodgy goings on exposed by Dirty Politic’s all opposition party’s should be drafting a join private members bill to go into the biscut tin ASAP.

    • Gosman 5.1

      Would this also apply to anyone discussing any matter with a politician on behalf of a third party e.g. Union’s?

      • Skinny 5.1.1

        Unions (other than the scambolic taxpayer union) are excluded as they fairly represent the best interests of working New Zealanders in what is an unlevel playing field, they are not open to the influence & corrupt practices of big business/ multi corporations.

        • Gosman 5.1.1.1

          This will never fly then. Your proposal is nothing more than a partisan political attempt to restrict people you disagree with from getting their views across to political representatives. Unless there is something equivalent to a revolution any change in this area will cause a huge backlash.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.1.1

            Oh that’s easy then. Simply weight all submissions based on the number of individual citizens represented.

            • Gosman 5.1.1.1.1.1

              How would this work exactly?

              If I run a company that employs 1000 people is that the same as a Union representing 1000 workers? Or perhaps I have a company that has 1000 shareholders. Do we use that as the comparison instead?

              • Tracey

                well, you could start by using a dictionary and learning the definitions of

                employ
                and
                represent

                • Gosman

                  Hence why I offered an alternative with the Shareholders. Does not the senior management of a business represent the interests of the shareholders?

                  • tracey

                    I am pretty sure they don’t. The Board does, but within the strict confines of the Companies Act. It is a false analogy. Anyway there are another 16+ points to consider.

                    • Gosman

                      Senior management are responsible to the board and thus to the shareholders.

                      The point is that trying to argue that groups like Unions should have more rights to lobby than businesses is going to open a world of trouble.

                    • CATMAN

                      The point is that trying to argue that groups like Unions should have more rights to lobby than businesses is going to open a world of trouble.

                      If your effort so far on the topic is an indication of the scope of this “world of trouble” then I think we’re all good thanks.

                    • Gosman

                      You are aware of the problems the Labour government faced when it introduced the Electoral finance act aren’t you? Take that response and multiply by about 10.

                    • CATMAN

                      Sooooo……10 billboards this time?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    So long as you can demonstrate democratic consultation with individuals who name you as their rep, Gos, you can claim to be representing them on the issues you consulted them about. And their conflicts of interest.

                    • Gosman

                      Excellent. So if the board is given authority by the shareholders to appoint a political lobbyist then that would mean they could receive the same level as a Union rep then.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      There’s also the small matter of evidence. So, for example, if your lobbyist claims that a rise in the minimum wage will lead to unemployment I’d like to see them up on perjury charges along with the shareholders.

                      Parliament being a court and all.

                    • CATMAN

                      “receive the same level ” of what?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Gossy’s just looking for loopholes. Appropriate attention to weighting and evidence will allay his philosophical fears, though probably not his conflicts of interest.

                  • No they don’t.

                    They (the board) have a fiduciary responsibility to maximise profit irrespective of any other wish any shareholder may have.

                    That’s not to say that shareholders cannot sway the board to consider a broader perspective (Sisters of St. Francis), but such activity is as rare as it is remarkable.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Hence why I offered an alternative with the Shareholders. Does not the senior management of a business represent the interests of the shareholders?

                    Only those shareholders with a greater than 5% share of a company count as having a significant interest in the company.

                    For this calculation, corporate/company/investment fund shareholders in a company will count as zero – they are not citizens or even people.

        • Naturesong 5.1.1.2

          Hmm, unions are democratic institutions and like all institutiuons, they are not immune from corruption.

          It comes down to governance and the enagement of the membership to ensure the union fairly represents it’s members.

          Corportations et al, are private institutions and represent no one other than the business, whose single most important goal is maximising profit.

      • Murray Rawshark 5.1.2

        @ Goosemann
        I don’t see why not. I don’t see any problem with records being kept of meetings between politicians and anyone, where they are acting in their capacity as politicians. Of course that idiot who said “Do you know who I am?” would have had real problems in a singles’ bar.

  6. saveNZ 6

    The biggest problem was the ‘left’ parties not collaborating and attacking each other. Labour came across as a joke, more worried about Dotcom than National. Having the capital gains taxes and increasing pension was a vote killer for Labour. They gained nothing and lost by dirty politics because they came out against Dotcom and fighting each other rather than going after Dirty Politics which lost them the left labour voters that believed Nicky Hager and were disgusted by Labour’s attacks on each other. In addition people did not vote because of the confusion.

    I’m sure I will be slammed for this but if Labour and Greens continue to believe that it was Internet Mana (who gained 1.5% hardly taking their votes) and not their actions they will be doomed to repeat them.

    The one to watch is National in the elections and they need to strategies to work together with Greens and Maori and anyone else and not look like a rabble. They need strategies against MSM who’s commentators are so far right wing it makes the centre look left.

    Also traditionally Labour has had ‘safe economic’ policies but gained the moral high ground on ethics. However they reversed this and Just like the 24 hour surveillance bill again Labour splitting their voters by going for a very controversial NationalLite policy. National out of the spotlight on the surveilance bill and Labour losing again.

    My view is the election result was left voters punishing Labour and in part Greens by for allowing National to get away with so much . That left the coast clear for National who stayed out of the limelight and attacked via Slater and MSM to look the most ‘dignified’.

    • The Greens were not worried about Internet-Mana, other than Dotcoms politically naive behaviour affecting perception of the left.
      Labours behaviour on the other hand, looked a lot like self mutulation.

  7. ShoreGirl 7

    The left failed to make Dirty Politics and Oravida an issue meaningful at a personal level to workers and families.
    There was a lot of material to use and our leaders made legalistic points rather than emotional points. Boring.

    Rather than the repeatedely trying to (and failing to) nail Key they should have focused on human stories of the smaller people whose lives were negatively effected by the thuggish behaviour.

    • Enough is Enough 7.1

      Totally disagree.

      There was more than enough focus (from every conceivable angle) on the shortcomings and corruption of the National Government. It is hard to think what else could have been thrown at them.

      The left failed to articulate at a personal level how life would be different under an alternative government. People need something to vote for. Unfortunately the left focused to much on presenting something to vote against.

      • Coffee Connoissuer 7.1.1

        shoregirl is right in my view unless it is personalized or framed in a way that shows the intended audience how it affects them then the message fails to have the impact it needs and won’t hit home.
        The framing of an argument is something National do very well and something Labour need to get a lot better at very quickly. Framing is so important.

    • mickysavage 7.2

      The premise of the post is that the media made the decisions on what news to run. There was an attempt to make the campaign about policy but this was not reflected in what was published. I think that you need to look at the media if you want to work out responsibility for this.

      • ShoreGirl 7.2.1

        People could relate to stories like Cathetine Riche’s use on Whaleoil to stop a food writer in The Herald, Wendy Nissen, exposing the use of additives sugar and garbage in food. Big Food and National Party hacks trying to get a simple food writer fired!
        People can relate to that easier than the Jason Ede link to John Key,

        Likewise a story about Collins and hubby making $250k pa from helping Oravida Shaft Kiwi Farmers own Dairy Co, Fonterra, relates to real people more than the semantics of a minister having a secret dinner and telling fibs about it.

        • Tracey 7.2.1.1

          why do you think the media would focus on that and distribute/disseminate it, when Greens and Labour published over 50 policies between them but news outlets constantly reported on nats claim Labour had no policies?

        • mickysavage 7.2.1.2

          I agree the media focussed on dirty politics. But Labour was trying to talk about policies. Hell we had dozens of them we were meant to be campaigning on. Why is it Labour’s fault if the media chose to talk about dirty politics instead of Labour’s vision for the country?

          • Bill Drees 7.2.1.2.1

            Labour did get caught up in the Dirty Politics whirlwind. It was all consuming for a while. Many, including moi, thought it could be a king-hit on Key. Labour had a window of time in which to use it and did not do a good job.*

            Only when the polls showed that Key was going to survive it did Labour realise that Dirty Politics was not mana from heaven.

            •Phil Goff was an exception to that.

            • tracey 7.2.1.2.1.1

              by caught up in it do you mean swamped by it so the media buried their policy?

              cos it sounds like you are peddling the nonsense that Labour was yelling about DP for the whole campaign or even half of it. They werent.

              • Sacha

                On the contrary, their problem was conspicuous silence to stay “positive”. Releasing over a hundred policies rather than a few clear messages probably didn’t help either.

                • tracey

                  that is a different point to the one that bill drees is making. He appears to be saying the LP spent time and energy promoting or talking about DP, and the media didnt push the agenda, which is not my recollection.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1.2.1.2

              …and yet they’re still dining out on it. Perhaps it’s a slow cooker.

          • fisiani 7.2.1.2.2

            Labour’s vision for the country was simple. Tax, spend and borrow. Same as always. So 20th century. No wonder it was rejected by the media and the voters.

            [How about you move away from the slogans and start using reality to support your arguments? – MS]

  8. Skinny 8

    The biggest single factor that the opposition party’s done was fail to work together in the common goal of wining the required seats to Govern.

    If Labour, Greens & NZF had run primary contests prior to the election in many electorate seats, with the most popular candidate becoming the sole contestant to run against the National candidate in that electorate. The non winners standing for the party vote only, thus giving the preferred coalition candidate a much better chance with no vote splitting.

    With the public interest and the opportunity to join in the primary vote all party’s would benefit with increased membership. The voting structure would be allocated to the proportion of members and a cross party panel. Under MMP it’s 2 votes, and I believe most people want the best person to be their electorate MP as long are on the side of the House they prefer. I would imagine plenty of blue ribbon seats would have got a few upset results.

    I will be canvassing an approach like this with the various party leaders over the next 6 months. Here’s hoping a decent strategy will unfold.

    • Enough is Enough 8.1

      How does the left afford that circus you have just described?

      • Skinny 8.1.1

        The primary is local and would cost bugger all, voting is for members only so it really only requires a decent size hall, with voting on the day. Any candidate promotional material can be put online or emailed by party’s to members.

        • Enough is Enough 8.1.1.1

          You do realise that one of the hurdles that the left face every election is cold-hard cash.

          The Nats have a money printing machine in their back office and can afford whatever they like.

          We beg for every cent and need to be extremely frugal in how we spend it.

          I can assure you that a primary election across the country will not cost ‘bugger all’.

          • Gosman 8.1.1.1.1

            Which the last election should have shown to be nonsense. I doubt National had as much cash to spend as the IMP.

            • Barfly 8.1.1.1.1.1

              If you lose your job Gosman it looks like you could have a career in comedy…that last one had me in stitches

            • Skinny 8.1.1.1.1.2

              Don’t you mean the National Government own goal? where the taxpayer ended up indirectly funding the Internet Party through the hand out to Warner Brothers, which appears Dotcom grabbed a slice of the pie allegedly through Mega. Ending in a trickle down to Hone’s pocket.

              • Gosman

                It is Irrelevant where the money came from. The point is IMP spent more than National. How did this help them then?

                • KJT

                  Of course, the bribes to deadwood National MP’s to leave, the school funding in Tonga, the NZ Herald editorials of National propaganda etc, etc etc, were not, “election spending”!?

            • tricledrown 8.1.1.1.1.3

              Goose stepper you always use facts to cover up the truth.
              CASH.
              Maybe true but a yellow media which continually undermine opposition parties at will is PRICELESs!
              Most of the popular Radio stations especially the MediaWorks stations are always pushing National Party propaganda.
              Never critiscing imcumbent National MP,s alwaus poking low blows at the opposition.
              Goose stepper we have a corrupt Media that is gIving National millions in free propaganda!
              $millions of dollars worth not cash no never. FREE!

              • Skinny

                Not to mention kickbacks of lucrative Government contracts for sizable national party donations. Crest Clean exposed in DP got awarded a nationwide contract. Nevermind the local firm that had provided a very good cost efficient service for years. I nearly fell over when I heard CC’s charges to clean our offices.

                Nationals motto should be “many ways to skin the taxpayer”

            • tricledrown 8.1.1.1.1.4

              Paunch(Mora)and Judy(Collins no doubts )

          • Skinny 8.1.1.1.2

            The DC,GR,SJ LP husting cost $1800 in my region which took in a number of seats. A primary would at Max cost 1 K. I could front that myself, however split 3 ways across party’s means a relatively cheap cost. Added benefits are a pre election shake down, free publicity/recognition. A jump on the Nats.

            If you look at seats that could otherwise been easily won if not for vote splitting I think we need to move in the direction I propose.

          • fisiani 8.1.1.1.3

            Citation required for this obvious lie.

            • CATMAN 8.1.1.1.3.1

              What, the lie that the nats have an actual machine?

            • Enough is Enough 8.1.1.1.3.2

              you’re a fucking moron

              Let me dig into my filing cabinet to see if I can find the evidence you require re the money printing machine and the purple ferries that hand it out.

  9. Skinny 9

    Be interested in Savage’s opinion all be it a one dimensional lawyers view.

  10. Tracey 10

    Sooty and Sweep will return next week Mickey… this interview was an aberration.

    • Skinny 10.1

      “Sooty” oh dear this from the Queen of PC. Put a sun hat on luv if you’re been outdoors.

      • tracey 10.1.1

        🙄

        “The Sooty Show is a British children’s television series that aired on BBC Television from 1955 until 1967.. after it was cancelled by the BBC that year, The Sooty Show swiftly moved to ITV shortly after the launch of Thames Television in 1968, where the series remained until Thames lost its ITV franchise in 1992.

        It features the glove puppet characters Sooty, Sweep (who first appeared in 1957) and Soo (first appeared in 1964), and follows them in their many mischievous adventures. The show was presented from the 1955 to 1975 by Harry Corbett, and from 1976 to 1992 by his son, Matthew, as he bought the rights for Sooty for £35,000 from his father, and acted as the token human being. In 1981, The Sooty Show changed from a sketch-based format with a studio audience into a more sitcom-based format set in the Sooteries cottage.”

        Sooty A mute yellow bear who is the protagonist of the show. He owns a magic wand whose power is invoked using the words “Izzy wizzy, let’s get busy!”.

        Sweep – A grey dog with a penchant for bones and sausages. Known for communicating using bizarre squeaks (these were achieved by original puppeteer Leslie Corbett inserting a reed from an saxophone in his mouth to create Sweep’s distinctive squeaks).

        Soo – A calm and collected female panda with a normal human voice, who acts as the foil for both Sooty and Sweep. Usually wears a red skirt. Originally voiced by Mr stapleton snr wife Marjorie Corbett from 1964 to 1981 and later voiced by Brenda Longman from 1981 up to the present day.”

        wikipedia

  11. Sacha 11

    “The vote for Labour, Greens and Mana were all down in the election”

    Not this rubbish again, Greg. Please tell us what you understand the Greens % vote was in 2011 and 2014, and how many MPs that resulted in?

    • mickysavage 11.1

      It is what Mark Boyd said. He said (at 24:18) “the vote for Labour, the Greens and Internet Mana were all significantly down”.

      Green vote went down from 11.06% to 10.7% although I agree in numerical terms it was up by about 10,000.

      • Sacha 11.1.1

        and the number of MPs…
        was exactly the same.

        Sounds like Boyd needs a spanking, then. And anyone who repeats him without engaging their fact-checking brain first. I’m tired of people running a line that the Green vote was in any way like Labour or Mana in that respect. It will not help anyone lift their game or build a better alliance this term.

  12. Sacha 12

    “Instagram is starting to take over from twitter for young voters.”

    It will be interesting to see more post-election analysis of that. I thought young people had been using a range of alternatives for some time now, though I guess there may be differences with the subgroup who actually vote? Having a discussion about politics on Instagram seems unlikely.

  13. DH 13

    Strange there’s no mention there of what I thought was the dirtiest politics of all. The corporate media rigged the election by neutering the only credible opposition to John Key. They created the narrative that David Cunliffe was untrustworthy and that made him unelectable.

  14. reason 14

    I agree with DH that the media combined with the main players in Nationals Dirty Politics cast ran the near perfect hatchet job against DC .

    Even better for them they turned a rather horrible liability of their association with a wife beating big national party donating asian immigrant into the weapon upon which they launched their ‘tricky’ smears and resignation calls against DC.

    The media were firmly plugged in and played their part in this Dirty Politics smear episode to a tee ………….. Cunliffe never recovered from what was a set up followed by a whole lot of lies being used against himself and labour.

    The smear job Involving the same core cast with the same or even more abuse of power involving OIA’s and even the SIS were used the election before against Geoff.

    But back to the present ……………. :

    The direct line of shit from the prime ministers office to Whale Sludge will be more muted this year but dung beetles do not change their diet so I would expect the sneaky creep Farrar to push the prime ministers lines …….. while Whale Filth will be fed leaks and maybe more shoe camera photos from the likes of the vile Judith Collins and Lusks ugly hench-peoples who presently infest parliament.

    The print media will continue to recycle the Governments spin on most things and all you can really do is recognize them for what they are and help other people do the same …………….. and never buy them.

    Dirty Politics has not played out yet by any stretch of the imagination ……

  15. CATMAN 15

    If you value these longer, more thoughtful discussions about politics it’s probably worth emailng rnz and letting them know you wouldn’t mind hearing them all year round instead of the usual “paid lobbyist vs I-agree-with-the-paid-lobbyist” bullshit.

  16. fisiani 16

    Two leftie commentators speak on National Radio and try to rewrite history . Glad to hear that you enjoyed it.

  17. gnomic 17

    It’s the ‘as heard on all channels’ part that gets me. Should one by chance stray on to Radio Live say, strictly for research purposes of course, gadzooks whose is that familiar voice!? Yes, it’s “I’ve got three houses” yet again. If Mike is the voice of the Left no wonder it’s in big trouble. As for Hoots, just check if the lips are moving.

  18. Neil 18

    Slater & the Nats will do whatever it takes to discredit Andrew Little, no matter whether its legal or not.

  19. greywarshark 19

    Q. how will we survive as a small diversifying country?
    This was in the post of discussion with the two political commentators.

    I wonder if it should have been worded as “How will we survive as a small country not diversifying? What happens to countries reliant on extraction, primary industry as commodities, and tourism in a world of shrinking fuel?

    And how does a country have the resilience to manage in a self-supportive way in a major disaster scenario if we have stripped away all our skills and systems that would allow us to be self-sufficient? Could we do it, without starvation and extreme deprivation, death and disease and disruption of vital transport and technological systems?

    Or would areas be virtually abandoned as happened when Maori were swept with disease outbreaks and death in early colonial times? Too difficult to reach, no ready resources to call on, too big a disaster, so sad. Erect a monumnt to the NZ that was. Hold a design competition for the survivors to enter, give them something to do, good for morale and show them that government has a heart? This sort of happening could be experienced followed by more facile, shallow, manipulative thinking.

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  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 hours ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    8 hours ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    11 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    14 hours ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    2 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    2 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    3 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    3 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs 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 unexpectedly missing or ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    4 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    4 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    7 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
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    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
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    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    2 weeks ago