web analytics

Drug-peddlers

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, May 15th, 2011 - 50 comments
Categories: health, International - Tags:

Good story from Rob O’Neill in today’s SST. Lobbyist Mark Unsworth of Saunders Unsworth is campaigning against Pharmac, ahead of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations with the US. They want more money spent on patented drugs. Lloyd Morrison and Gareth Morgan have come to the defence of Pharmac. Morgan describes the messages being spread by Saunders and Unsworth as “misleading and dangerous to our health sector.” Morrison sees Pharmac as a model for the broader public service.

Unsorth is lobbying on behalf of the drug companies’ front organisation, Medicines New Zealand. In this he will be joined by the US Embassy, as Wikileaks showed. The 2004 cable is signed by Geoff Swindells, the Bush-appointed ambassador to New Zealand. Some excerpts:

A possible U.S.-New Zealand free-trade agreement (FTA) offers one last avenue for changing government policies that limit access to pharmaceuticals, several U.S. companies said. Meanwhile, Geoff Dangerfield, chief executive of the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development, told a U.S. drug company that his government terminated its study of patent term extension for pharmaceuticals to keep the issue as a bargaining chip in the event of FTA negotiations. If FTA talks go forward, most of the drug companies will be looking to the U.S. government to win serious concessions from New Zealand on pharmaceutical issues. Pfizer, which withdrew from RMI early this year, will oppose free-trade negotiations until the New Zealand government alters some of its policies, especially its patent law and reference pricing.

To complement the industry’s efforts, post will work with companies to identify U.S. speakers to be brought to New Zealand and possible International Visitor Program participants, with the goal of educating New Zealand’s health practitioners, policymakers and consumers on pharmaceuticals’ role in health care.

Unsworth says the MedicinesNZ campaign is open and transparent, but I couldn’t find the slides referred to on their website. On the other hand, they clearly are lobbying for concessions to be made in relation to the Trans-Pacific Free Trade agreement. That is certainly not being conducted in an open and transparent way.

We get a good deal for our drug-buying through Pharmac. As the story says, Morrison and Unsworth clashed on Morrison’s Facebook page. Morrison says “I am able to purchase drugs here (from the drug companies) in New Zealand cheaper than they sell to their fellow Americans – the US system is not a system we should seek to replicate in New Zealand.”

50 comments on “Drug-peddlers”

  1. ianmac 1

    Pharmac is admired overseas. The British equivalent does not have the autonomy that Pharmac has.
    The autonomy and freedom from political interference was breached by Key when he made a unilateral political decision to authorise the Herceptin drug, even though the science did not support a 12 month treatment. Imagine a Pharmac which loses its independence and becomes tossed around to political whim and the avarice of Drug companies.
    Surely our negotiators would not betray our trust for the sake of a few pieces of silver? Trust John Key? You sure…sur…sure ccccan.

    • higherstandard 1.1

      Actually the science at the time only supported a 12 month treatment in the adjuvant setting.

      That being said U believe PHARMAC generally does a very good job on behalf of the taxpayer.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Drug peddlers who want to hike prices on users and move more tax payers funds into corporate coffers.

  3. Jim Nald 3

    Saunders and Unsworth

  4. Adele 4

    Teenaa koutou katoa,

    The Herceptin decision was never about hard science and rigid rationality overseeing the day. It was about human emotion, and the fear of loss.

    Pharmac should not be solely about the rigid application of science to its decision-making, there should always be room for a heart.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      If buying more of a drug makes no difference then why would we buy more?

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Not only might the drug make no difference, it might actually cause harm and therefore additional costs and strains on our health system.

      • McFlock 4.1.2

        especially if buying more means that we can afford less in the way of drugs that will actually have a demonstrably positive effect.

    • I think you’re right that, for the women and men who were lobbying for Herceptin to be funded, it was about human emotion, and rightly so.

      I don’t, however, think human emotion came into National’s decision to highlight it during the election campaign. That was quite a deliberate, ‘rational’ decision to back a drug that would win women’s hearts and minds (that part of the vote that had persisted with Clark in 2005).

      I’m left wondering, Adele, where the room is for other hearts (e.g., those suffering from other conditions – and their families)? They feel loss too yet Pharmac – under instruction – hasn’t come to their emotional rescue. (I speak as someone who’s had three family members recently treated for breast cancer, none of which I would want to lose and one of which has had herceptin as part of her treatment.)

      If, as you advocate, drug buying decisions are to be partly driven by ’emotion’ (and, hence, by associated activism in the public sphere) then I expect drug companies very quickly to get into the business of setting up local astroturf organisations fronted by sufferers. I can’t imagine how a remotely just allocation of the drug budget could ever be achieved under those circumstances.

      Also, those who are least articulate, media-savvy, educated and middle class are unlikely to get much action on medications for illnesses that particularly afflict them compared with those illnesses afflicting the articulate, media-savvy, educated and middle class.

    • terryg 4.3

      Sorry Adele,

      but thats the worst thing Pharmac could do.

      Consider the problem of health spending. there is no upper limit on health spending. And EVERY serious case is a tragedy for those involved.

      the ONLY way Pharmac can do their job is by using a purely scientific approach. Because on emotional grounds, everybody is worthy of essentially unlimited expenditure.

      Pharmac were correct with the Herceptin decision; Shonkey was wrong – its just another part of his populist, smile-and-wave technique of getting everyone to like him (rather than, say, think carefully about his performance).

  5. Hilary 5

    We should also get rid of Direct to Consumer advertising, which are all those drug ads cluttering up the media, so that people rush of to their doctor and ask for them by name. Such advertising is only legal in the US and NZ, and no other country allows them.

    • higherstandard 5.1

      Which drug ads are those Hilary ?

      The only things i’ve seen advertised on TV are the PDE5 impotence medications.

      • rosy 5.1.1

        Losec. It drives me mad that there was an ad that people used to pressure GPs to provide a glorified antacid so they can continue with rubbish diets. (Pharmac is now funding only a generic – ‘dr reddy’s’ that is cheaper – but the demand has been built).

        A huge number of people are taking this stuff, although it’s only meant to be used for serious stomach problems, not indigestion, while others who cannot make changes to influence their health status are being denied access to some of the more advanced drugs for their condition.

        • Jim Nald 5.1.1.1

          Saunders and Unsworth.

          Mmm.

          Re direct-to-consumer advertising (note that this post by Mike Smith is about Pharmac) has attracted the response of Barrie Saunders who described it as a “non-problem”,
          eg in the New Zealand Medical Journal 2003 at:

          http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/116-1180/556/

        • higherstandard 5.1.1.2

          Losec is an OTC medicine (i.e. can be bought from a pharmacist without a Rx from a clinician) OTC medicines are advertised in many countries.

          Omeprazole is also an extremely effective medication and at around $2 per patient per month it’s also pretty cheap medication.

          • rosy 5.1.1.2.1

            I was using Losec as an example -When the losec ad started on TV it was an exhortation for people to have the GPs prescribe it. The aim was clearly to create demand. And was around $70/mth (if I recall). Clearly Pharmac have changed to Dr Reddy’s (omeprazole) because it is available at a seriously reduced price.

            It’s one of those dilemma ads for me – I take omeprazole to counter-act the effects of anti-inflammatories because I can’t get access to the drugs that might make the anti-inflammatories unnecessary (they are too expensive). So the losec ad, in particular annoyed me, if they were not able to create demand for trivial uses of the drug, rather than it being for the serious conditions it treats so well, there might be more money for more important conditions than being unable to eat fried chicken.

  6. Adele 6

    Teenaa koe, Hilary

    But aren’t those same ads providing consumers with more choice in terms of controlling their own health care. This discussion is really about how stupid do we believe the average New Zealander really is.

    • Campbell Larsen 6.1

      Adele – ads do not generally ’empower’ anyone, they exist in the most part to convince people to spend their money purchasing something.
      You speak of choice, well I say to you there can be no choice without knowledge and that’s not what people are getting from these ads. The TV is not a doctor. Pharmaceutical companies care about their profit, not about you.

      • Adele 6.1.1

        Teenaa koe, Campbell Larsen

        So, in effect, you think, New Zealanders are in fact stupid.

        • Campbell Larsen 6.1.1.1

          No, I think that advertising has the power to overcome rationality, especially when given a veneer of credibility (think infomercials and Family Heath Diary)

          Attempts to undermine NZ’s Pharmac and the role it plays in affordable healthcare are shameful.

          The TPP must not go ahead, no consultation, no partnership.

        • Puddleglum 6.1.1.2

          Adele, you should read your first comment on this post.

          Human beings are much more than rational decision makers. Their psychology is set up (designed) to respond to rough and ready cues for action – which in the modern environment has a higher chance of being maladaptive than it did in previous social environments.

          Advertisers are very aware of this, which is why advertising operates on a completely different view of human psychology than does the discipline of economics – a discipline which makes a lot of the ‘choice’ argument you have just employed.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Self-medication, especially when you aren’t trained as a doctor, is usually a bad idea.

      • Murray 6.2.1

        Its an equally bad idea to have blind faith in the medical profession. especially with the huge amount of lobbying directed at GP,s by the drug giants.
        I was one of the unfortunate people who had an adverse reaction to statin drugs as a result I now suffer from a permanent and disabling illness.
        All thanks to doctors who never warned of possible side effects.

        • NickS 6.2.1.1

          The sooner drug companies are forced to publish the full results of drug trials, the better, as they’ll often massage the data sets to ignore low incidence side effects and there’s various other statistical sins, though mostly those apply to the big block buster drugs.

          As for the muscle wasting statins can cause, if I’m remembering my biochem course right, the main issue was that they weren’t tested on large enough populations in the human testing phase. So it was only when it was approved for human use and became widespread that set of side effects become visible. And generally, because animal tests on later statins didn’t show muscle wasting at therapeutic dosages etc compared to earlier discovered statins, it was assumed that it wouldn’t be a significant side effect.

          Though with Cerivastatin Bayer A.G. didn’t release vital fucking test results that indicated it had a much higher risk of causing muscle wasting.

          Generally though, statins should only be used when exercise and dietary changes aren’t available, or when high LDL (the protein that carries cholesterol in the bloodstream) is a congenital condition caused by under active cholesterol regulation. The marketing of them is the classic example of why marketing in the drugs industry should be regulated the ever loving fuck out of because the idiots involved cannot be trusted to present information truthfully.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.2

          My mother was, for many years, diagnosed as having arthritis and then some other ailment. Finally the doctor sent here to hospital for scans and she was diagnosed as having cancer. She died nine months later.

          So I can assure you I’m not about to have blind faith in individual doctors but I’m going to have a lot more faith in their ability to diagnose and prescribe than mine. If I think the doctor I see initially is wrong, I’ll get a second opinion but I still ain’t going to go around prescribing medicine for myself which is what advertising drugs will encourage some people to do.

          • terryg 6.2.1.2.1

            DTB, its the Bell Curve at work.

            A few professions have the public into believing that every single one of them is utterly brilliant at their job (doctors, lawyers, accountants) – but its just not true.

            even those professions requiring years of university study, and many degrees.

            Alas all having a degree actually proves is that you have a degree, and probably passed at least the bare minimum requirements to get said degree.

            it says nothing about whether or not you are any good at your job.

            by way of example, I know a number of people who were disciplined and studied hard, and were able to remember vast amounts of complex material for weeks on end, and therefore scored very well in exams. All without any real understanding at all. So a few months or years later – its all gone.

            ultimately any human endeavour will obey the Bell Curve (Gaussian Distribution) if there is a reasonable number of people involved. Most will be about average in their abilities, some will be good, some will be bad, a few will be excellent, a few will be utterly atrocious.

            And it doesn’t matter what the job is – this is as true of Ditch-Diggers, Chippies and Schoolteachers as it is of Lawyers, Surgeons and Astrophysicists. because we’re all just people.

  7. locus 7

    Having a heart and funding expensive patented drugs because desperately ill people need them is one thing. It’s another thing to do this without a substantial increase in budget as this may preclude or reduce the chance of funding drugs which other desperately ill people need. Being ‘informed’ by rampant lobbying and marketing by drugs companies that aim to feed the hopes of recovery from terminal illnesses or debilitating chronic pain is yet another.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Having a heart and funding expensive patented drugs because desperately ill people need them is one thing.

      Actually, it’s just bloody stupid. We cannot afford to try to keep people alive indefinitely.

  8. Clipbox 8

    This doesn’t make it right, but I believe its quite rare for trade agreements to be conducted openly for the public to read about.

    • Jum 8.1

      Clipbox
      The difference between the TPPA and average trade agreements is the control that the US gets over NZ in more ways than just trade.

      As for Herceptin – Key cynically used it as a ploy to get women’s votes even though the medical info stated that there was no proof 12 months use would be better than the Pharmac approved time.

      People aren’t stupid when they want people they care about to be well again. We are all stupid if we believe Key was funding the extra Herceptin use for the women of this country.

      If New Zealanders lived by the dictates of the heart no child would be bashed, refuges would be closed down because they were not needed and Kiwis would have voted for someone other than a narcissistic moneytrader.

  9. KJT 9

    Interesting when they interviewed the US ambassador in Q and A yesterday.

    The implication from what he said, which Holmes missed of course, is that NZ governments can ram through free trade agreements quickly. Unlike US politicians they do not have to answer to their constituents.

  10. Adele 10

    Teenaa koutou katoa,

    I have spent time in two spheres of human endeavour – the health field, and the legal arena. Pillars to rationality, medicine and law.

    Yet, I have seen surgery where even a physician resorts to hope, despite all odds. And, I have witnessed the legal defend even the guilty on matters of principle.

    Pillars of Salt.

    Human based policies, and dare I say, left ideology, should never begin with the numbers, otherwise, how is the left different from the right, again?

    Personally, I am, learning to respect Pharmac, for other reasons.

    However, in defending Pharmac, can we then also defend the WAI 262 claim – which would restrict if not prohibit the multi-national pharmaceutical giant from claiming property and patent rights over indigenous flora and fauna. That really sucks.

  11. felix 11

    Getting a bit sick of these bastards who make a living by actively working against their countrymen and women.

    Unsworth’s actions, if successful, will result in fewer people being able to afford the medicine they need. Some of his fellow kiwis will die for his fat fee.

    Hooten’s work for the tobacco companies directly kills his fellow kiwis.

    These mercenaries almost make John Key’s work to destroy the NZ currency seem mildly evil by comparison.

  12. PeteG 12

    Getting a bit sick of these bastards who make a living by actively working against their countrymen and women.

    Like those who actively try and undermine and disrupt the government of the day?

    • felix 12.1

      No, “One-Party Pete”, that’s obviously not what I meant.

      Trying to stop a government from destroying your country is called patriotism.

      You don’t hate your country do you Pete?

      • PeteG 12.1.1

        No, I don’t hate my country, I hate the whingy hissy fitters who who grossly overstate the situation because they didn’t get their way on election day.

        I support a positive input from multiple parties who have a mandate to be in parliament. You’re the one party stater, you want to destroy any party that doesn’t follow your foolishness, and stuff the country.

        pa·tri·ot·ism – devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty.

        Note the reference to “national”, that means everyone and not just your own selfishness. A patriot in a democracy would support the democratic process and will of the people.

        • felix 12.1.1.1

          Pete.

          You’ve been championing the one-party state here for a while now.

          I realise you’re too thick to know that’s what you’re doing, but nonetheless that’s precisely what follows from your “get-behind-the-ruling-party-whether-you-agree-with-them-or-not” bullshit.

          If you have a coherent argument to show that this isn’t the case then now is the time to state it, but as you’ve declined every previous opportunity to do so I won’t be holding my breath.

          • PeteG 12.1.1.1.1

            As usual you are totally misrepresenting what I say with factless bullshit.

            Supporting a four party coalition that was voted for and is still supported by the majority of the people plus encouraging non-coalition parties to contribute positively is not supporting a one party state.

            Your maths is as bad as your politics.

            When you grow up and actually want to debate rather than play little games you might be taken a bit more seriously, but that may not be what you want.

            • felix 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Do you deny that you’ve been calling for opposition parties to stop opposing?

              Do you want me to provide the links?

              • PeteG

                Provide the links.

                I haven’t suggested opposition parties should stop all opposing. I’ve called for opposition parties to stop being so pathetic, and to pick fights that are justified rather than continuously wailing wolf. They’d be a bloody sight more effective when it really mattered – and they’d have a lot more time to contribute positively.

                • PeteG
                   
                  The factor that has been sending a few of us spare is that your comments about supporting the Government seem to be based on the proposal that they are the Government therefore we should support them.  How about an issue by issue approach so that if the Government appears to be making a silly decision then the opposition opposes?
                   
                  If you accept that then the possible gutting of Pharmac is a doozy.  All that will be achieved is greater costs for drugs and enrichment of overseas corporations.  Why would any Government do it?
                   

                  • PeteG

                    MS, I agree entirely with an issue by issue approach.

                    I also think Pharmac should be maintained much as it is and that so called free trade agreements should not be used to try and force excessive drug prices on us. This topic is about lobbying, I’m not aware of any inclination by our government to give in to it, if that’s what they may do (rather than just being a potential being worried about) then I would speak against it.

                    I don’t like the drug advertising we see here. It’s more likley to put me off being sucked in but when you see the success of the Double Down campaign it’s obvious there are many gullible consumers.

                • felix

                  Ok here’s the first link, in which we discover that Pete thinks opposition needs to be “justified”.

                  To whom? To Pete?

                  Or to Pete’s mythical consensus of opinion in which everyone fundamentally agrees that there’s one right way to get things done and any argument to the contrary (“opposition”) is petty point-scoring?

                  • PeteG

                    That link does nothing to support your claim that I have been “calling for opposition parties to stop opposing?”

                    Do you think opposition parties would be less effective if they chose fewer more important issues to oppose?

                    • felix

                      Yes it does Pete.

                      In the link you state that opposition parties should only oppose when doing so is “justified”.

                      I’m going to walk you through this slowly: To whom do they need to justify their actions?

                    • PeteG

                      T o t h e v o t e r s felix. Is that slow enough for you?

                      If the voters see that opposition parties are dredging up endless trivial crap:
                      – they get the perception it is being done by a trivial crappy politicians
                      – important issues that really need opposing risk being lost in the noise

                    • felix

                      Which voters, Pete?

                      The ones who voted for the governing parties or the ones who didn’t?

                      (“both” or “neither” are also acceptable answers btw)

  13. uke 13
    “A patriot in a democracy would support the democratic process and will of the people.”
    National, then, have not been behaving particularly patriotically .
  14. Kay 14

    This whole pharmac business is terrifying me. I’m completely reliant on prescription drugs to stay alive. One drug I take was branded when I started it, and as soon as that drug lost the patent and generics showed up there were a few scarey moments that I’d have to switch to a generic, which is a very dangerous thing for people with my condition. Thankfully this was recognised by pharmac and I’m able to stay on the brand fully subsidised.
    The problem is, when a drug company isn’t making a profit on one of their products, said product is frequently pulled out of NZ. There are no issues with generics except for people who are settled on the brand and are forced to switch. One of the “incentives” that’s been mentioned in this big pharma lobbying is refusing to supply some of their drugs to NZ (ie blackmail) which means I could lose the branded drug I take.

    While it’s an awful situation for a minority who could benefit from drugs that aren’t subsidised here and who can’t afford to priveatly import it, I think the pharmac system is brilliant, especially for a country our size. That the vast majority of NZers can access medications for most conditions is a pretty good accomplishment.

    I’m sure all the US pharma lobbyists have fully comprehensive insurance that will supply them with any drug they may require. Pity the same can’t be said for their compatriots. They exist primarily for profits, the idea of helping humanity is only a secondary fleeting thought. Problem is we need them.

    Trade negotiators- letting pharma bully you and you’re too cowardly to stand up to them, watch hospital admissions and deaths go through the roof when the population loses access to their medications.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Earth’s artificial rings
    Satellites pass over NZ all the time (literally). Here I focus on the 187 Planet Labs ‘Dove’ Earth-imaging satellites, and I show that one can determine in advance where they will be, enabling scientists on the ground to correlate their environmental and other data collection with opportunities to get imaging ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 hours ago
  • Softy Jejune Parson – the new Mother Superior of Wellington
      The Council of Disobedient Women has learned that the Prefect of Aro Valley has been promoted to a new role with the blessing of the Pope of Wellington. Softy Jejune Parson has been appointed Mother Superior of Woke Wellington for the work she has been doing calling out heretics, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 hours ago
  • Atlantic shakeup: US and UK leadership contenders ripping up the usual scripts?
    On both sides of the Atlantic, some purportedly “contentious” and “difficult to deal with” leadership contenders to lead the US and UK, as President and Prime Minister respectively, seem to have thrown a few spanners into the works of the normal messaging most are used to hearing constantly. Except they’re ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 hours ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    10 hours ago
  • Australia’s secret prisoner
    A prisoner stripped of their name, imprisoned for a secret crime after a secret trial, with all details legally suppressed for secret reasons. A story by Kafka or Dumas? China? No, its just the latest stage of Australian tyranny:An Australian citizen was prosecuted, convicted, and jailed in the ACT last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • Bridges should put his money where his mouth is
    Stuff has more details on what New Zealand First's slush-fund has been funding, with much of the spending directly benefiting the party. Which makes it look a lot like hidden donations, rather than the completely-innocent-giant-pile-of-cash Winston is trying to portray it as. The Electoral Commission is now investigating, but Simon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • The APEC police state enabling bill
    I've joked before about how hosting international summits effectively turns part of your country into a police state for the duration. Well, New Zealand is hosting APEC in 2021, with events throughout the year in Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland. And the government has put up a bill to give itself ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • Why coastal floods are becoming more frequent as seas rise
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I saw an article claiming that “king tides” will increase in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    15 hours ago
  • The cost of a range clearance.
    It has been revealed that firing ranges used by the NZDF while deployed to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, contained unexploded ordnance that caused numerous deaths and injuries after the NZDF withdrew the PRT in April 2013. In 2014 seven children were killed when an unidentified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    16 hours ago
  • Still denying responsibility
    Stuff's story on NZDF's negligence around its Afghan firing ranges has produced a result, with a commitment from the Prime Minister for an urgent cleanup. But this doesn't mean NZDF is accepting responsibility for the deaths and injuries that have occured - they're still refusing compensation. Which given that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A corrupt practice
    Last week RNZ broke the news on NZ First's mysterious "foundation" and its dodgy-looking loans. The arrangement seemed to be designed to evade the transparency requirements of the Electoral Act, by laundering donations. But now Stuff has acquired some of their financial records, and it gone from dodgy to outright ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Democracy “A Bit Bonkers” – Thoughts Inspired By Lizzie Marvelly’s Latest Co...
    Didn't See It Coming: NZ Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly's latest column merits serious scrutiny because such a clear example of anti-democratic thinking is encountered only rarely on the pages of the daily press. Which is not to say that the elitism which lies at the heart of such social disparagement ...
    2 days ago
  • Colombia: historic memory, massacres and the military
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Initially it was reported that in an aerial bombardment that took place on August 30th seven children were massacred; the figure then went up to eight and then on November 11th Noticias Uno reported that, according to people from the community in close proximity to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • On the road to Net Zero, the next step is to update our UN pledge
    A lot has happened since the UN’s report on 1.5ºC was released in October 2018. New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill has passed, and enshrines the 1.5ºC goal in law. The UK and France have also legally strengthened their targets to Net Zero 2050. The School Strike For Climate and Extinction ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 days ago
  • Corruption as usual
    Next year is an election year, and Labour needs money to fund its campaign. So naturally, they're selling access:Labour is charging wealthy business figures $1500-a-head to lunch with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at its annual conference later this month. [...] On the weekend beginning November 29th, around 800 delegates will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Fairer rentals
    Yesterday the government announced its changes to tenancy laws, including an end to no-cause evictions, limits on rent increases, and anonyminity for tenants who defend their rights against bad landlords (sadly necessary because landlords are scum who maintain blacklists of "uppity" tenants). They're all good moves, and have resulted in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Another NZDF coverup
    In 2003 New Zealand sent a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to support America's doomed war there. While there, they conducted regular weapons practice on local firing ranges, littering the landscape with unexploded ammunition. These ranges weren't secure - they're on land used by locals for animal herding - so ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    3 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    3 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    6 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    7 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    15 hours ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    16 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    1 day ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    1 day ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    1 day ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    7 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago