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Do Not Press!

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, November 20th, 2012 - 51 comments
Categories: labour - Tags: , ,

So, obviously I don’t know what the outcome of the caucus meeting will be. Truth is, I don’t think it matters. Cunliffe has been on TV stating he will endorse Shearer. TV reporters have stated he will be demoted.

Whatever. It’s just not that important in the scheme of things.

On Saturday, members of the Labour Party secured a say in who future Labour Party leaders should be. Now that say, while a welcome step in the direction of greater democracy, doesn’t make the Labour Party as democratic as it should be. But it’s a start.

The crucial change, as far as leadership contests is concerned, is the 60/40 caucus split on confidence.

If you pause to think it through, it means a leader can lose enough confidence in caucus to trigger a party wide vote. But that in itself doesn’t mean the leader is dead in the water. They can still continue in their leadership role if they secure a majority of the wider party vote.

This is obviously different to what happened before when a loss of confidence from within caucus was the end of the road for any leader.

So let’s assume that Shearer fails to secure 60% +1 of caucus come February. That doesn’t automatically consign him to the annals of ex-Labour Party leaders. It’s a two step process. He wouldn’t become an ex-leader until and only if party members and affiliates failed to give him enough votes to continue.

So failing a resignation after the caucus vote of non-confidence, Shearer would be running in order to not lose the leadership position. And he would presumably be running against David Cunliffe who would be running to win the position. Now, if it’s accurate to claim that Cunliffe enjoys the widespread support of the members and affiliates, then Cunliffe becomes the leader of the Labour Party come February.

But, would or could Robertson run in a post February leadership race? Well, probably not successfully because he would simply be splitting the Shearer vote.

And even if Shearer resigned at that point (Why?), Robertson, in spite of any effort he may expend between now and February, is firmly and correctly seen as part and parcel of the whole shambolic Anything But Clever crew (formally known as the Anyone But Cunliffe clique) that has sought to thwart the exercise of greater democracy within the party.

My point is this. No matter which way you want to look at it or spin it, the ABC crew are finished. The membership has won and the bomb they dropped on Saturday is on its way down with an estimated time of arrival some time in February.

So, if you are a member of the Labour Party, do not press that big red button; don’t resign. And if you’re not a member, but reckon the parties that might go to forming a left-ish bloc within parliament ought to be subject to some measure of democratic accountability, then sign up.

51 comments on “Do Not Press!”

  1. fustercluck 1

    +1

  2. Tom Gould 2

    I’m sure the Cunliffe politburo agree with you. Keep up the white-anting. Your master will reward you come the revolution.

    [ Bill: Firstly, I have no master. Secondly, we’re talking about parliamentary politics here, so no revolution. And thirdly, make your comments relevant to the post or risk me hitting the big red ‘delete’ or ‘ban’ button]

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      lolz dude, the “Politburo”, as you refer to it, is the hierarchy of MPs who are going to receive a resounding unanimous 100% confidence vote this afternoon.

  3. vto 3

    Yep, breathe through your noses you silly eggs.

    This stuff is simply not important to the manwoman in the street. And on top of that all they see is confusing squabbles that they don’t understand and have no desire to understand. Which means it is negative in their eyes and reflects on their assessment of the Labour party.

    Which is why I suggested yesterday that this issue needs resolving in a clean, clear and professional manner. A vote should be held, but without games. Which means a vote not instantly like today, and not in February as that is too far away with time for more kiddie squabbles.

    A clean, clear and professional manner of resolution means a dignified process and vote between now and February, like early December. Then it is all done and dusted and forgotten over Christmas with two years to go to election.

    I don’t know. You lot are the pollies. You should know how to wipe your arses cleanly. But it don’t seem like it.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    So, if you are a member of the Labour Party, do not press that big red button; don’t resign. And if you’re not a member, but reckon the parties that might go to forming a left-ish bloc within parliament out to be subject to some measure of democratic accountability, then sign up.

    THIS +1000. Very eloquently and simply explained. As of Saturday, the Labour Party is much less about Palace Politics, and much more about the members and affiliates. Join the Labour Party, join the affiliated unions.

    • weka 4.1

      Agreed, a very good and timely post. I’ll be encouraging any Labour voters I come across to get involved as a member (assuming they don’t want to join the Greens 🙂 )

    • weka 4.2

      “join the affiliated unions.”
       
      A post on how the affiliation thing, esp regards union membership works, would be useful too.

  5. Rhinocrates 5

    Very encouraging.

  6. Tigger 6

    I’m liking this sentiment a lot. Thanks Bill, I needed someone to shake some sense into me.

  7. Hami Shearlie 7

    I’m thinking about joining!! This whole thing smells very much of the Green-Eyed Monster! Jealousy of David Cunliffe’s intellect and general ability will get them nowhere! And there’s always the charisma factor – David Cunliffe has it without even opening his mouth – Shearer has NIL charisma, David Cunliffe has a great appeal with women too, and there are quite a few of them about!!

  8. geo 8

    I agree with all you are saying.
    The second part is how to list is agreed to.EVERY single list mp SHOULD be voting for the membership (you know the ones that should be in charge as to who is highest on the list) to have a say in Feb’s vote.
    This is NOT about the two Davids .Its about the membership having control of our party.
    Right now the list is CONTROLLED by ABM , (anybody but members)
    Each List MP is at this stage taking orders from whoever supported them into their jobs.
    Why is it that standing MP’s automatically go to the top of the list?
    The old guard have the say.
    The deals are done behind closed doors.
    It would be nice to think that List MP’s would be more responsive to the membership and vote to allow OUR PARTY leader to have the support of the whole party not just the OLD Guard.
    The only way this will happen is if the vote is such , that we the members get to vote.
    It may surprise everyone that the present Leader gets FULL PARTY SUPPORT.
    It seems to me that at this time the old guard is doing all it can to go against what we the membership voted for on the weekend.
    Wake up and allow the labour party to once again be the party of the people, for the many not the few.

  9. Anne 9

    do not press that big red button; don’t resign

    Good point. Thanks. I’ll stick around after all.

    • seeker 9.1

      Maybe I will too. Although this last weekend had the inside of my head turning a whiter shade of green – and it wasn’t from envy. Good post, thanks Bill.

  10. One Tāne Huna 10

    Well said Bill.

    The left should be celebrating the rule change, but instead we get to watch an own goal. Shearer has turned a good conference into a rancorous mess in the space of forty eight hours. He looks weak.

    It’s still worth celebrating the rule change.

    • AmaKiwi 10.1

      Yesterday someone quoted Lyndon Johnson on how to handle strong people in your own party: “It’s better having them inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.”

      If Cunliffe is demoted it will be more damaging for Shearer’s image than Cunliffe’s.

      • prism 10.1.1

        Those Lyndon Johnson quotes. Did he write them himself? I like the scathing one about another politician “He can’t walk and chew gum at the same time”.

        • alwyn 10.1.1.1

          Better yet was “I never trust a man unless I’ve got his pecker in my pocket”.
          I for one am NOT going to practice as a pick-pocket next time I meet Shearer in Wellington Airport. He might just have raised his game to Lyndon’s level.

        • alwyn 10.1.1.2

          Incidentally Prism, the press toned down what he said about Gerald Ford.
          He actually said “Jerry Ford is so dumb he can’t fart and chew gum at the same time”
          The press toned it down to “can’t walk”. A very, very crude man was our Lyndon.

  11. Te Reo Putake 11

    Top post, Bill. This arvo’s meeting is the last thrash of a dying system. In the future, no party leader will be in the job solely based on their support in caucus. As I said a couple of days ago, this is now an MMP style situation where the leader will need to form a coalition of support from caucus, affiliates and members. The leader will need to earn that support from thousands of party members, not just a couple of dozen members who happen to be MP’s and whose income and egos are tied to the result.

    OK, caucus still start from pole position, but if these rules were in place two years ago, it would not have been Phil Goff heading the charge at the last election and we may already have Prime Minister Shearer (or PM Cunliffe/Robertson/whoever).

    One quick comment on Gower. He spent most of Shearers speech tapping on his cell phone. Nothing Shearer said, none of the standing O’s, none of the passion for change made a difference to him. He’d already decided his take on things.

  12. Brad 12

    Do you really think that, if a leader loses a caucus confidence vote, he will do anything other than resign? It’s a little naive to think that there is any avenue other than that one open after such a loss.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      You’re an idiot sometimes Brad.

      Read the new process slowly. You will come to understand it.

      The caucus vote will trigger a leadership contest.

      That’s the part you need to grok.

      Another way of saying it is that:

      the caucus vote is no longer the leadership contest.

      the ‘other path open’ is to win the leadership contest, which would be the party telling the caucus dissidents to shut up and salute.

      It’s really not hard.

    • Bill 12.2

      It’s only 40% of caucus. And in round two, caucus are only 40% of the total vote. In other words, they lack the confidence of less than 20% of those eligible to vote on the matter.

      So I’d say they are ‘duty bound’ to defend their position.

      Look at it this way. Did they have confidence in themselves, before the caucus vote, that they were legimately holding the position of leader?

      If the answer to that question in ‘yes’, then they must surely be confident of carrying a majority in the wider contest. And so they need to stand and defend their position.

      If the answer is ‘no’, then what the fuck were they doing hanging around waiting for a caucus vote to happen?

  13. indiana 13

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10848648

    On this page the Herald poll shows 44% of the respondents don’t care who the leader is…

  14. George D 14

    And if you’re not a member, but reckon the parties that might go to forming a left-ish bloc within parliament ought to be subject to some measure of democratic accountability, then sign up.

    Or join a fully democratic left-wing party.

    • Bill 14.1

      Well, of course. But in terms of a left wing parliamentary bloc, is it not better to have all the parts of that bloc as democratised as possible?

      Democratised parties are presumably better at representing the concerns/interests of members, yes? But if a main constituent…especially where a main constituent of any bloc is reactionary or undemocratic, then does that not dampen…or put the brakes on… the overall potential of said bloc to properly progress the interests/concerns of the members belonging to the parties witin the bloc?

      • George D 14.1.1

        Yes.

        A slightly longer answer: I’m very glad that people I know who are; intelligent, of conviction, and on the left have joined Labour seeking to change and improve it. I hope they stick around and are joined by others.

  15. Gosman 15

    I am surprised how political naive this post seems to be. I am almost tempted to think the writer is deliberately obstuficating on the topic to deflect attention away from the whole leadership mess Labour is got itself into. However I can’t be sure of the motivations of the writer so will give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they might have had an off day.

    The problem with the analysis is that even if Shearer was to go on and win the resulting party wide vote he will not be able to escape the fact that almost half his caucus do not want him as leader. He would then likely be fatally weakened as a leader in the eyes of many.

    You just need to look at what happened to Margaret Thatcher at the time of her resignation to see this. She in fact won the support of the majority of her caucus but failed to gain the necessary margin by a single vote. This was enough for her to realise that she could no longer count on enough support going forward even though she potentially could have been successful in the next round. Hence why she resigned.

    Leadership is often about the perception of power and support. If that perception becomes seriously clouded then often times the leader will fall even if he or she maintains over 50% support.

    • Pascal's bookie 15.1

      Confirming my thesis that anyone who uses “hence why” is an idiot.

    • Jenny 15.2

      Once legitimacy is lost, no amount of the sort of bureaucratic maneuvering we are witnessing today can retrieve it.

      Instead of grimly holding on, Shearer should do the best for the party and have today’s vote under the new rules.

      This would mark him out as a statesman with the interest of the nation and his party at heart.

      • Jenny 15.2.1

        …..And not a vindictive self interested careerist who finds himself out of his depth. Wanting to hang on at all costs.

  16. felix 16

    Yes Bill, agree 100%.

  17. just saying 17

    They almost had me on Saturday, but I’m damned if I’ll reward what’s been going on.
    However, I’ll happily pay your subs if you join Bill. I think you’ll represent my interests nicely. ( I can post them to r0b at the uni to pass on to you).
    Come February, I might be feeling differently.

  18. KhandallahMan 18

    From the NBR. National Business Review
    Shearer/Cunliffe showdown: How Grant Robertson wins
    | Rob Hosking | Tuesday November 20, 2012
    Shearer warned against punishing Cunliffe at today’s emergency caucus

    An open letter to David Shearer

    Demotion would ‘not stop’ an ambitious Cunliffe

    Labour leader David Shearer goes into his caucus showdown today needing to make a clean kill.
    The trouble is, he can’t.
    The tyro Labour leader, who has been in the job less than a year and in Parliament only slightly more than three years, needs to lance the festering boil of discontent around New Lynn MP David Cunliffe and Mr Cunliffe’s apparently dwindling band of supporters.
    The alternative to a clean kill is months of destabilisation in which both men and their respective supporters reduce each other to the political equivalent of roadkill.
    If this happens, watch for deputy leader Grant Robertson to step carefully over the corpses and take over the leadership by autumn 2013.
    Mr Shearer’s problem is he cannot make a clean kill without alienating the wider party. The constitutional changes made at the party conference over the weekend give members and the unions more power over caucus.

    They are an expression of Labour rank-and-file dissatisfaction with their caucus: with the group of MPs who have been in Parliament too long and also – note this for future developments – because they want a more left-wing government than Helen Clark’s 1999-2008 administration.
    Mr Cunliffe has been a vehicle for that dissatisfaction from the Labour Party at large. But commentators who wrote up the constitutional changes as an expression of the wider party’s desire for his leadership got it the wrong way round.

    Rather, the push behind Mr Cunliffe is an expression of many Labour members’ – who are far more left-wing than their MPs – desire for a more radical government. One of the many ironies of this is they are using him even more than he is using
    But too strong a strike at Mr Cunliffe and his supporters – Waikato-based MPs Nanaia Mahuta and Sue Moroney have been specifically named – will be seen as a two-fingered salute by Mr Shearer to the party at large.

    That would put the noose around his own neck come February, when those constitutional changes take effect.

    But too weak a strike and he looks like a wuss. So it will be summer of simmering unrest and plotting around the barbecues. There will be more public explosions from MPs on both sides of the grouping. And by late summer, look for gay Mr Robertson to sigh wearily and to come forward – for the good of the party, of course –and shoulder the burden of cleaning up the mess.
    Mr Robertson is a former Helen Clark staffer and is from the party’s gay/bi friendly Rainbow faction. Were it up to caucus he would probably be complemented by electing someone to the deputy role who at least looks the part of a “red-blooded male”. Waimakariri MP Clayton Cosgrove would fit the bill well –and he is a more effective opposition MP than at least four-fifths of the Labour caucus –but is not widely popular.

    In any case, whether that will happen as the party organisation takes greater control from February next year is a very open question. With a determined push from Labour members at the conference in more left-wing directions – remits to curtail private education and to give local councils greater powers were passed, for example, and there is a strong push for a much more interventionist economic policy – the party at large is likely to see any such move as pandering to rednecks. In short, whatever the outcome of today’s stoush, the political scene has only witnessed the start of Labour’s latest war of the succession.

    [lprent: How much of this is copyright material. You should link. Putting the bulk of it off the site. ]

  19. Bill 19

    From the NBR

    The alternative to a clean kill is months of destabilisation in which both men and their respective supporters reduce each other to the political equivalent of roadkill.

    Well, no. It’s all over. Now it’s merely a case of – sit back, relax and wait for February. And if Shearer is still as he is now and can’t raise the 60% +1 confidence from caucus at that time, then there will be a party wide vote. That’s basically all there is to it.

    • Pascal's bookie 19.1

      Yep.

      And whoever gets the nod from the college has the mandate, and caucus members wh feel bitter about can suck it up and salute, or piss off out of the party.

      It’s really not difficult.

      Robertson wants Shearer to win in feb,
      Cunliffe is clearly the only serious challenger to that. So they are going to kneecap him this arvo. But there is still a vote in feb.

    • karol 19.2

      Agree, Bill.

      I’m getting to a point of being over the whole stoush (for now anyway). I’ll kind of mostly observe and consider where this is all taking the NZ Left.  It certainly is more than being about personalities and leaders.  It is about the members, “taking back the party” – as argued by Chris Trotter

      And it seems to me, the only people who have so far pressed the Panic Button, have been Team Shearer.  Suddenly they saw themselves as losing the control over the Party, that they have been used to.   And, it’s interesting that Trotter says, in the comments below his post, that Shearer had told him:

      I had a beer with him in Kingsland back in February where he freely admitted to me that, in his view, he “won” only one of the membership meetings he attended with David Cunliffe. 
       

      I am inclined to agree with Brian Edwards, that Shearer’s actions today, may be a sign of weakness: fear or panic.

      But, ultimately  for me it’s about the direction of the left in NZ.  It’s about the need for a clean break from the neoliberal consensus.  Whether or not Shearer or Cunliffe are still in the running, come February I’ll support any leader or party that takes that direction.

      • Bill 19.2.1

        Whether or not Shearer or Cunliffe are still in the running, come February I’ll support any leader or party that takes that direction.

        Yup. That would be the crux of the matter for me too.

  20. Bill 20

    Actually, here’s a crazy thought. I don’t suppose there’s any chance of Cunliffe being appointed deputy this afternoon in the stead of Robertson and Shearer essentially switching sides? Seems to me that would be his only chance of surviving, no?

    Would certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons.

    Just throwing ideas around 😉

    • rosy 20.1

      I’ve thought of that too. The Shearer camp doesn’t seem to indicate that it’s that smart though.

  21. Craig Glen Eden 21

    It would have made absolute sense to put Cunliffe at 2. Shearer is getting very bad advice from some long time stupid MPs. The next thing he should have done is get Robertson at three and someone like Dalziel at four Parker at 5 and Chauvel at 6.

    The whips need to be organised and likeable within the party and certainly not bullies so sack the current two.

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    3 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • The police and public trust
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
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    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 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, ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
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    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
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    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 weeks ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    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 ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks 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
    14 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    20 hours 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days 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. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government working to keep air freight moving
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