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Easter Monday Round Up

Written By: - Date published: 8:54 am, March 28th, 2016 - 101 comments
Categories: child welfare, colonialism, International, Revolution, Syria, uk politics, war - Tags: , , ,

A quick look at three news items from the holiday weekend:

First up, actor and sponsor of the TriBeCa film festival, Robert De Niro, has been duped by a dodgy documentary. Late last week he announced that he had forced the organisers of the film festival to include a new exploitation doco by anti-vaccination fraudster Andrew Wakefield, Vaxxed.

Wakefield, a disgraced former doctor, is the man responsible for fooling many parents into thinking that there  is a link between the MMR child vaccine and autism.

De Niro, who is the parent of an autistic child, said he wanted the film included because it is “critical that all of the issues surrounding the causes of autism be openly discussed and examined.

After a few days of discussion with actual doctors, De Niro has done a reverse ferret and announced the film will not be shown, saying “My intent in screening this film was to provide an opportunity for conversation around an issue that is deeply personal to me and my family. But after reviewing it … we do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for.”

It’s good that the flaky film has been dropped, but sad that it will probably benefit financially from the exposure in the news. Anti vaxxers, like climate change deniers, need to know that the discussion is over.

Second bit of good news, the town of Palmyra has been liberated from the clutches of ISIS. The bad news is that it’s now been taken over by the Syrian army. The rout of the ISIS forces has been helped by strategic bombing from the Russian Air Force, who still haven’t actually gone away, despite running out of hospitals to bomb.

Palmyra is one of the world’s greatest historical sites. ISIS have blown up much of the historical infrastructure, but there is hope that some antiquities remain.

In a broader geo-political sense, the loss of Palmyra is a major blow to ISIS, and the phony caliphate looks to be shrinking fast, hence the shift to distraction attacks in Europe.

Lastly, this weekend marks the centenary of the Easter Rising. One hundred years ago, Irish citizens attempted to throw off the shackles of British imperialism. They didn’t succeed immediately, but it was a significant step toward the establishment of a free Ireland.

The British regime acted brutally to suppress the nascent Irish liberation movement, murdering many of the leaders in the weeks afterwards. The most vicious killing was that of James Connolly, who was already dying of a gunshot wound to the leg. Connolly was shot while strapped to a chair, as he could not stand.

Remember James Connolly the next time you see the NZ flag.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3Hl2Ps05-E

101 comments on “Easter Monday Round Up ”

  1. johnm 1

    Easter 1916 saw the beginning of the end of the occupation by Britain. 100 years later Ireland is again an occupied serf nation! This time it owes an impossible to pay debt overseen by the West’s main Loan Shark the IMF. This predatory finance system is what michael hudson has talked and written about.

    Michael Hudson: The financial sector today is decoupled from industrialization. Its main interface with industry is to provide credit to corporate raiders. Their objective isasset stripping, They use earnings to repay financial backers (usually junk-bond holders), not to increase production. The effect is to suck income from the company and from the economy to pay financial elites.

    These elites play the role today that landlords played under feudalism. They levy interest and financial fees that are like a tax, to support what the classical economists called “unproductive activity.” That is what I mean by “parasitic.”

    The financial sector does something similar by pretending to be part of the industrial production-and-consumption economy. The National Income and Product Accounts treat the interest, profits and other revenue that Wall Street extracts – along with that of the rentier sectors it backs (real estate landlordship, natural resource extraction and monopolies) – as if these activities add to Gross Domestic Product. The reality is that they are a subtrahend, a transfer payment from the “real” economy to the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate Sector. I therefore focus on this FIRE sector as the main form of economic overhead that financialized economies have to carry.

    What this means in the most general economic terms is that finance and property ownership claims are not “factors of production.” They are external to the production process. But they extract income from the “real” economy.

    MH: The financial overhead has grown so large that paying interest, amortization and fees shrinks the economy. So we are in for years of debt deflation. That means that people have to pay so much debt service for mortgages, credit cards, student loans, bank loans and other obligations
    2KillingTheHost_Cover_rulethat they have less to spend on goods and services. So markets shrink. New investment and employment fall off, and the economy is falls into a downward spiral.

    My book therefore devotes a chapter to describing how debt deflation works. The result is a slow crash. The economy just gets poorer and poorer. More debtors default, and their property is transferred to creditors. This happens not only with homeowners who fall into arrears, but also corporations and even governments. Ireland and Greece are examples of the kind of future in store for us.

    Financialized economies tend to polarize between creditors and debtors. This is the dynamic that Thomas Piketty leaves out of his book, but his statistics show that all growth in income and nearly all growth in wealth or net worth has accrued to the One Percent, almost nothing for the 99 Percent.

    Basically, you can think of the economy as the One Percent getting the 99 Percent increasingly into debt, and siphoning off as interest payments and other financial charges whatever labor or business earns. The more a family earns, for instance, the more it can borrow to buy a nicer home in a better neighborhood – on mortgage. The rising price of housing ends up being paid to the bank – and over the course of a 30-year mortgage, the banker receives more in interest than the seller gets.

    Economic polarization is also occurring between creditor and debtor nations. This issplitting the eurozone between Germany, France and the Netherlands in the creditor camp, against Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy (the PIIGS) falling deeper into debt, unemployment and austerity – followed by emigration and capital flight.

    This domestic and international polarization will continue until there is a political fight to resist the creditors. Debtors will seek to cancel their debts. Creditors will try to collect, and the more they succeed, the more they will impoverish the economy.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/03/23/junk-economics-and-the-parasites-of-global-finance/

    Basically ireland’s taxpayers had no legal obligation to bail out speculative bond holders and irresponsible banks but their government in it up to its neck sold them out to the IMF.

    A classic case of speculator’s wealth before the common good of people.

    • johnm 1.1

      The Bank Guarantee That Bankrupted Ireland

      The Irish have a long history of being tyrannized, exploited, and oppressed—from the forced conversion to Christianity in the Dark Ages, to slave trading of the natives in the 15th and 16th centuries, to the mid-nineteenth century “potato famine” that was really a holocaust. The British got Ireland’s food exports, while at least one million Irish died from starvation and related diseases, and another million or more emigrated.

      Today, Ireland is under a different sort of tyranny, one imposed by the banks and the troika—the EU, ECB and IMF. The oppressors have demanded austerity and more austerity, forcing the public to pick up the tab for bills incurred by profligate private bankers.

      The official unemployment rate is 13.5%—up from 5% in 2006—and this figure does not take into account the mass emigration of Ireland’s young people in search of better opportunities abroad. Job loss and a flood of foreclosures are leading to suicides. A raft of new taxes and charges has been sold as necessary to reduce the deficit, but they are simply a backdoor bailout of the banks.

      The anger among ordinary Irish people about all this has been immense. . . . There has been great pressure here for answers. . . . Why is the ordinary Irish taxpayer left carrying the can for all the debts piled up by banks, developers and speculators? How come no one has been jailed for what happened? . . . [D]espite all the public anger, there has been no public inquiry into the disaster.

      http://ellenbrown.com/2013/11/02/ireland-ground-zero-for-the-austerity-driven-asset-grab/

  2. One Two 3

    Anti vaxxers, like climate change deniers, need to know that the discussion is over

    Such serious, and complex discussions, can never and will never be ‘over’ despite the protestations of those who would see these conversations shut down

    • Richard Christie 3.1

      * “Anti-vaxxers, like climate change deniers, need to know that the discussion is over…”
      Such serious, and complex discussions, can never and will never be ‘over’ despite the protestations of those who would see these conversations shut down

      * “Moon landing deniers, like climate change deniers, need to know that the discussion is over…”
      Such serious, and complex discussions, can never and will never be ‘over’ despite the protestations of those who would see these conversations shut down

      * “Flat Earthers, like climate change deniers, need to know that the discussion is over…”
      Such serious, and complex discussions, can never and will never be ‘over’ despite the protestations of those who would see these conversations shut down

      * “Young Earth creationists, like climate change deniers, need to know that the discussion is over…”
      Such serious, and complex discussions, can never and will never be ‘over’ despite the protestations of those who would see these conversations shut down

      * “HIV causes AIDS deniers, like climate change deniers, need to know that the discussion is over…”
      Such serious, and complex discussions, can never and will never be ‘over’ despite the protestations of those who would see these conversations shut down

      Yeah right, let’s keep up all these conversations (sarc).

      Anti vaxxers et al are welcome to continue the conversations with the voices they hear in their heads, but until they have credible evidence to support their beliefs the rational discussion is over.

    • Craig Glen Eden 3.2

      So true ONE TWO.
      As a health professional I have personally witnessed post vaccinations reactions that are not documented. These include fevers causing convulsion and unresponsive states ( tonic clonic seizures) If you don’t record it you cant measure it, and you cant then say its safe! Its that simple. So to use TRPs climate metaphor the ice caps are melting but know one is taking any notice. That ice cap is more and more of our children are being diagnosed with neurological disorders and no one appears to be doing any research into the cause.
      For those parents who had a happy normal child who was meeting all its milestones pre vaccination who then post vaccination have a reaction which in almost every case I have come across has been dismissed by Health professionals as” it couldn’t have been anything to do with the vaccines” is simply not science.

      My advice to anyone who actually cares is this, go spend a day with a family with a child with Autism and then tell me if it was your child that you wouldn’t want to know the cause of this tragic condition. While I agree that many anti vaccine sites are full of propaganda so to are the pro vaccine sites. To not keep an open mind about the cause of Autism is anything but scientific.

      • tinfoilhat 3.2.1

        “While I agree that many anti vaccine sites are full of propaganda so to are the pro vaccine sites.”

        Isn’t it best to consult those sites that are run by the medical experts/authorities such as MoH and WHO ?

        • Craig Glen Eden 3.2.1.1

          Moh and Who are not above promoting crap medical science.
          Ive been a registered Health professional for 26 years and I can tell you those organisations are filled with a world medical view that is so biased you have to take a long hard look at any advice that comes from them.

          These medical experts told us Thalidomide was safe. and we all know how that worked out.
          Ten years ago at least, research came out that raised the issue of the prescribing of Paracetamol and weather it had any detrimental effects on our children’s health. The thinking (supposedly scientific evidence) was Paracetamol given at the correct does had no side effects, now we know that it suppresses a child’s immune function. Another words when a child has a fever you give them Paracetamol you are actually potentially making them more susceptible to what ever their immune system was fighting.

          Antibiotics have been charted for years to children with ear infections, now best practice is not to give antibiotics as it has no significant beneficial effect.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0010556/

          So, what was often thought to be beneficial treatment based on scientific evidence, when the benefit is measured actually falls short. This is exactly why in my comment above I am saying we need to be sure that detrimental effects ( anaphylaxis) is actually recorded. To question the status quo does not make you unscientific, but to mock those who question is certainly not beneficial to the scientific method.

          • Richard Christie 3.2.1.1.1

            These medical experts told us Thalidomide was safe. and we all know how that worked out.

            No. Thalidomide wasn’t at all universally heralded as safe, for instance, the US FDA refused to allow its introduction to USA.

            Nor, at the time, was the use of medication during pregnancy strictly controlled, and drugs were not thoroughly tested for potential harm to the foetus. standards varied widely between nations. Moreover, it was the medical and scientific community that you dismiss that raised questions and ultimately demanded withdrawal of thalidomide from the market.

            Raising of Thalidomide as analogy to medical and scientific protocols involving vaccine safety is both glib and disingenuous. The salient difference is that modern vaccines are as thoroughly tested as current medical science allows, thalidomide wasn’t. Medical science has looked carefully for a causal link between vaccines and autism and one doesn’t exist.

            Antibiotics have been charted for years to children with ear infections, now best practice is not to give antibiotics as it has no significant beneficial effect

            Then you quote one relatively recent study. But one single study is not indicative of best practice guidelines, about which you have made claims. Have you any source for your claims in regard to best practice in this topic?.

            • One Two 3.2.1.1.1.1

              http://www.cochrane.org/CD000219/ARI_antibiotics-for-acute-middle-ear-infection-acute-otitis-media-in-children

              Your comments are on the same level as those made in the OP, but inline with the nonsense logged under Richard Christie

              Speak with Helen Petousis-harris, she can tell you about the fraud perpetuated by the industry ‘ authorities’

            • Craig Glen Eden 3.2.1.1.1.2

              “No. Thalidomide wasn’t at all universally heralded as safe, for instance, the US FDA refused to allow its introduction to USA.”

              I never said it was universally prescribed. But in NZ sadly it was prescribed for Hypermesis Gravidarum, fact and it resulted in terrible outcomes. Medical Drs in NZ didnt just decide on their own to suddenly start prescribing it did they. It would have had to have been an approved drug.

              At no point have I said there is a link between MMR and Autism but it cant be ruled out either. Science may prove a link in years to come, no one can absolutely rule that out.

              As for best practice there are now a number of studies that suggest a wait and see approach before charting antibiotics if infact they get charted at all.. If you are interested look them up your self here’s just one more for you. Guidlines http://www.bmj.com/content/320/7231/350?variant=full Conclusions: Seven to eight children aged 6 to 24 months with acute otitis media needed to be treated with antibiotics to improve symptomatic outcome at day four in one child. This modest effect does not justify prescription of antibiotics at the first visit, provided close surveillance can be guaranteed.

              • Richard Christie

                At no point have I said there is a link between MMR and Autism but it cant be ruled out either.

                Weasel words. It doesn’t work that way.

                What we know is that there is no proven causal link.

              • At no point have I said there is a link between MMR and Autism but it cant be ruled out either. Science may prove a link in years to come, no one can absolutely rule that out.

                I wouldn’t say there’s a link between chewing your fingernails and autism, but it can’t be ruled out either. Science may prove a link in years to come, no-one can absolutely rule that out. Repeat for infinity other possible causes.

      • Fran 3.2.2

        Thank you for your thoughtful comment Craig. Why everyone recognises the need to question big pharma but exempts vaccines is beyond me.

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.2.1

          For a lot of people, blind use of vaccinations has become a lazy surrogate marker for “proper” “responsible” parenting.

          In the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s “experts” and “professionals” kept dismissing parental reports that some artifical food colourings were adversely affecting the behaviour of their children.

          30-40 years later – its an accepted fact.

          After a couple of generations of kids got fucked up.

      • Sirenia 3.2.3

        No, no, no – autism is not caused by vaccines. That has been proven by very large epidemiological studies and meta analysis of thousands of studies of autism. It is a complex interaction of genes, environment and other stuff not yet understood. There is an occasional very, very rare reaction to a vaccine, sometimes because a child is vaccinated when already sick. But the result can be brain damage, not autism. Stop repeating the nasty propaganda that autism is worse than measles, polio, whooping cough, death or any of the numerous dangerous diseases we vaccinate against.

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.3.1

          That’s odd; you just stated that a complex interaction of genes, environment and “other stuff not yet understood” causes autism

          But somehow, you can be mysteriously certain that the hundreds of different untested combinations of vaccinations being applied to the immature neuroimmune system aren’t going to influence that!

      • Richard Christie 3.2.4

        As a health professional I …

        Yeah, sure you are, but not a mainstream health professional, I’ll bet.

        One thing is obvious, your use of anecdote betrays that you don’t understand scientific method nor how drug safety trials are carried out.

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.4.1

          Is it too hard to know that every single drug is toxic?

          Is it too hard to know that in NZ, doctors do not have to report incidents of adverse drug reactions?

          Is it too hard to know that many unsafe drugs have been put on to the market, drugs which then required new warnings to be added or even to be pulled out of the market altogether after reports of deaths and serious injuries piled up sufficiently to make a noticeable statistical blip?

          • McFlock 3.2.4.1.1

            lol

            So reporting is voluntary, yet drugs are still pulled after reports of adverse reactions.

            Sounds like the reporting system works reasonably well.

            So what’s the homeopathic or chiropractic reporting framework for adverse reactions? I’m sure they set the example of best practise /sarc

            Oh, and by the way – the other side of the coin is vaccine efficacy. Well demonstrated that the ones on the register save lives.

            • Colonial Viper 3.2.4.1.1.1

              if you’re happy to get all the vaccinations on the official list done to yourself, go for it mate, I’ll even cheer you on.

              • McFlock

                Yeah, but my choice doesn’t endanger other people.

                The choice to not vaccinate does. So I’ll keep opposing your dangerous delusions.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Medical authoritarianism belongs in the primitive past of the 1970s and 1980s McFlock. Like you.

                  • Richard Christie

                    No, polio, small pox belong in the primitive past.
                    Can you guess why?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Richard Christie, I didn’t know that small pox was on the NZ vax schedule.

                      BTW which diseases in NZ in recent times have been as devastating as small pox?

                      I’d support the use of a safe, effective vaccination for such diseases.

                      If you can point them out to me.

                    • McFlock

                      BTW which diseases in NZ in recent times has been as devastating as small pox?

                      Heart disease, lung cancer, MS, dementia, a few others.

                      Basically, anything we don’t have a vaccine for. That’s an amazing coincidence, eh, but I guess correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation /sarc

                    • Colonial Viper

                      McFlock, let me ask you then – which diseases has NZ suffered in recent history which have been as devastating as small pox?

                      Go back a hundred years if you like. In terms of history, that is still recent.

                    • Richard Christie

                      Your reply fails to address the obvious point that vaccines work and have consigned devastating diseases to history.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Richard Christie – Big Pharma has released dozens of new or revised vaccines in the last few decades.

                      Please name all the devastating diseases in the last 35 years that all these new vaccinations have consigned to history.

                      In fact, I’ll settle for you naming two.

                    • McFlock

                      CV I answered your question already.

                      If you want any from the last hundred years, most of the ones on the current vaccine schedule,pluss polio and smallpox, which were so successful they’re no longer on the schedule.

                      Please name all the devastating diseases in the last 35 years that all these new vaccinations have consigned to history.

                      which vaccines have been added?

                      Some, like measles, will never be eradicated because of non-human vectors or the efficacy rate being very close to the transmission rate (e.g. measles I think has both factors, from recollection). Others, like HPV will take generations to eradicate the resulting disease (asymptomatic for years/decades).

                      There might be one or two, but we wouldn’t really hear about them, because they weren’t devastating. Because they were stopped quickly.

                      How many conditions has chiropracty eradicated in the last hundred years?

                  • McFlock

                    Yeah, and single-handedly stopping a cholera outbreak by getting a pump-handle removed was the same sort of medical authoritarianism.

                    What pisses me off isn’t that you might or might not be making stupid decisions about your own health.

                    It’s not even whether or not you hide behind the immunity afforded you by 80-90% of the population who are immunised these days.

                    Nope, it’s that some other moron might believe your bullshit, and then their kid dies because of your adamant repetition of tired propaganda. Because that shit definitely happens.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Drug yourself and your family up all you like McFlock, but you’re not doing me any favours doing so, despite your delusions of grandeur.

                    • One Two

                      As opposed to the injured or dead child whose parents believed the bullshit propaganda spread by so called authorities, ministry’s and medical professionals, stemming from fraud & corruption inside the self regulated industry & captured regulatory bodies

                      Because that shit definately happens

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Medical drugs, correctly used, kill a lot of people every year. And if you count up incorrect or unintended use, the number goes up many many millions.

                      Inconvenient facts staring us in the face.

                    • McFlock

                      I think you’ll find that they save many, many more lives every year than your “inconvenient fact”.

                    • ropata

                      Thank-you McFlock. Vaccination is only the “the most successful public health intervention of all time” (Lancet), but there’s an energetic community out there who don’t give a shit about the consequences of their fearmongering for the rest of society

                    • Tim

                      It’s disheartening to read all this isn’t it? My partner and I are doctors – she works with kids and has seen a lot of kids die from meningococcal and pneumococcal sepsis who were unvaccinated…

                      It seems like it’s only at that stage that the parents get it.

                      Completely agree with healthy skepticism in all authorities but at some point you have to make a decision and it seems like far too many people are still making the wrong decision on vaccines.

                    • ropata

                      +1 Tim, a sobering point.

                • Fran

                  McFlock, your choice can indeed endanger other people. Maybe it would be a good idea to read the package inserts of the vaccines before you make such blanket statements. Some vaccines can shed – and the recently vaccinated can infect other people. This is why many hospitals around the world ask you not to visit if you have been recently vaccinated. Why can’t we be honest about vaccines? No medication is all good or all bad, every medical intervention carries risks. Why can’t it be OK for people to make individual choices based on their health and circumstances?

                  I am tired of the “anti-vaxer” mantra as it stifles healthy discussion. The people pushing vaccines sound like religious zealots – we can’t watch this film or read this article as we may be influenced and no longer believe what they do. Equally, the people on the other side often sound desperate and like they are clutching at straws. I would like to see the information on both sides presented dispassionately without being subjected to the spin and vitriol that happens at the moment.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    What makes you think there’s any “information” on the anti-vax side?

                    I note that the information on the package inserts for vaccines comes from the manufacturers. The warnings you cite come from the medical profession. Again, what “information” do the anti-vaxxers bring?

                    None. They’re still pushing Mr. Andrew Wakefield’s fraudulent lies, for goodness sake!

                    • One Two

                      Zealots still focused singularly on Wakefield as if that is the only angle to the conversation

                      The discussion has widened significantly, and there is no plausible avenue for those who wish to suppress the information, the game is over for the ‘consensus’

                      Truth and exposure on all sides can’t be stopped, nor should any self respecting human being wish it to be….

                    • Fran

                      Point made OAB. You say the only good information comes from the pro side – really?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You could totally refute my argument by simply linking to a piece of information generated by the anti-vaxxers.

                      You’re the one claiming there is some. Please may I see it?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I suppose I should add: and please, before posting some random link, do your homework properly and check their sources to avoid potential logic fail.

                    • Fran

                      No, I am not claiming anything except that entrenched positions stifle good discussion. You went right ahead and proved that point with your next comments. I have no answers, just a whole lot of questions which will never be answered because we are not allowed to have the conversation in a mature and reasonable way. Perhaps if everyone stepped back at little and dialled down the hysteria we could look at all the information and make good decisions for individual kids.

                      Lastly, I have questions because of a statement made by a director general of health about vaccines some years ago where she said, “we know some children will have bad reactions, some may even die but we believe these are the sacrifices we must make for the good of society as a whole.”

                      That is pretty scary stuff.

                    • McFlock

                      It’s not “scary stuff”, it’s a poorly-worded reflection of reality. Because we know that literally millions more would have died without vaccines. As best we can we identify those at risk of adverse reactions and don’t vaccinate them (allergies, or immunosuppressed for some), but nothing is 100% safe. In this case it’s just 99.99% safe, as opposed to an unvaccinated population having an infection rate 3,000 times higher, as the Swansea outbreak suggests.

                      You want a “good discussion” to justify risking children’s lives by a factor of several thousand? How do you even start that “good discussion”? NZ has on average 5 meningococcal disease and meningitis deaths a year. How many more would you allow just so morons can feel they’ve had “a good discussion”?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    In order for there to be a discussion, there has to be something to discuss. Some substantive point of argument.

                    However, if I want to get at the guts of it: fearmongering, manipulation, cash for speaking engagements, the poor duped movie investors, Gish gallops, and infanticide, I get accused of having an entrenched position.

                    Where does it lead? “Teach the controversy”. Yeah nah.

                  • McFlock

                    actually, the shedding point is a fair call, for some vaccines.

                    But again, the risk is minute compared to the risk caused by the anti-vax side.

            • Molly 3.2.4.1.1.2

              “Sounds like the reporting system works reasonably well.”
              When I tried to report an adverse reaction, the response from the receptionist was “they are OK now though?”. I knew that conversation was going no further, let alone to a national register of adverse reactions.

              One of my children regressed to being non-verbal after immunisation at 18 months, this persisted for several months.

              This is a noticed reaction from a parent’s point of view, but unlikely to be recognised as a legitimate adverse reaction from a medical standpoint.

              SKB also has recognised within it’s own documentation the adverse reaction of autism from the administration of a vaccine. Interesting read, and a bit depressing to read of fatal outcomes where very small children were vaccinated even though they were ill.

              I consider myself to have a healthy skepticism when it comes to claims of therapies, be they natural or pharmaceutical.

              I’m always surprised when others who show the same traits suspend all disbelief when it comes to vaccines. As if they are beyond any criticism.

              Re: medical approval bodies – having watched a friend battle through a decade’s long recovery from a medical injury from the “miracle” surgical mesh that reduced operating times, I retain the notion that the methods by which medical procedures, implants and drugs are approved is fundamentally flawed, and do not have the 100% trust that seems to be required to not be classed as an anti-vaxxer. So I guess, add me to that demographic.

              (IIRC, the study published by the Lancet related the Wakefield study of the link between those on the autism spectrum and the higher incidence of gastrointestinal disorders. It also noted that another study had taken place where there was found to be a link between the MMR vaccine and the increase in gastrointestinal disorders. It was a suggested recommendation that a study be set up to see whether the two were linked. As far as I know, he did not conduct a study on the vaccine and austism directly. However, happy to be corrected, this is going back a few years (18) for me – and as you can infer from the above, my children were vaccinated, just at different schedules).

              • McFlock

                That GSK report doesn’t say what you think it says.

                • Molly

                  I linked to it for interest sake, not for a definitive conclusion to the discussion.

                  But, there is no discussion is there?

                  • McFlock

                    Not really.
                    There’s not all that much to discuss. Nobody says modern medicine is perfect, but arguing that everybody in the medical profession down to the receptionists is deliberately or just negligently covering up a real relationship between XXXX and vaccines is a bit doubtful. And yes, the developmental issue you tried to report is indeed something that could be reported.

                    FWIW, I did link in another comment to where anyone can report adverse reactions directly if they’re not satisfied their physician is doing it.

                    • Molly

                      Yes, now you can report adverse reactions online which is an improvement. (I have no idea how those reports are verified – or dismissed (which is a valid part of verification). That was not available when my older children were young, or if it was – I was unaware of it. I also wanted a record on their personal medical files – I’m not sure if that would occur with a direct input into the centralised reporting system. But it would/should via your own personal GP.

                      As for the linked report, which you dismiss so cavalierly. I don’t know what you think I think of it, since I didn’t actually put a conclusion – just a link. But you also don’t mention anything about the fatalities that have resulted from very young children receiving vaccines while they are already ill.

                      I have had the experience myself of taking children to the doctor, and having the offer of “catching up on vaccinations while you are here” being offered (and refused).

                      Not good practice at all.

                    • McFlock

                      SKB also has recognised within it’s own documentation the adverse reaction of autism from the administration of a vaccine.

                      For one, it doesn’t document “adverse reactions”, it documents adverse events that occurred to the patient after the vaccination. It makes no judgement about the cause of those events. Unlike your phrasing of “reaction” and “from the administration of a vaccine”.

                      You vaccinate x-hundred thousand kids, some of them will develop autism, or a heart condition. But then the same number of kids would have autism or heart conditions even if they weren’t vaccinated. Because vaccines don’t cause autism. But we still count everything, and then do math to see whether an unexpected adverse event really does occur at a higher rate in people who had treatment Y than those who did not have that treatment.

                      But you also don’t mention anything about the fatalities that have resulted from very young children receiving vaccines while they are already ill.

                      Already ill with what? Mildly unwell is not an issue. High fever or immunosuppressed should get a complaint against the doctor and needs an investigation, because it’s already a documented contraindication.

        • Craig Glen Eden 3.2.4.2

          Richard Christie I have held 2 health registrations both mainstream in those 26 years. So youve bet wrong. I have worked throughout our public and private Health care system.

          So if you want to make a point then please try and stick to at least some solid logical rebuttal to my comments. However its pretty hard to rebut what I have seen and experienced.

          Evidence based medicine aye its such a bastard when people actually want to measure health outcomes. If you dont measure anaphylaxis reactions you cant claim its safe.

          • McFlock 3.2.4.2.1

            But we do measure anaphylaxis hospital admissions and deaths.

            That’s why the vaccine consent forms I sign every year ask about allergies.
            Maybe the medical staff aren’t reporting the reactions you allege in order to cover up their negligence in vaccinating people with clear contraindications? Did you report any of these incidents yourself? Did you advise any of the patients how to report the reaction themselves?

            And we also measure the admissions and deaths for the conditions the vaccines are supposed to work against.

          • Richard Christie 3.2.4.2.2

            So if you want to make a point then please try and stick to at least some solid logical rebuttal to my comments. .

            ok, ok, I bet wrong, I should just have pointed out the logical fallacy of your (anonymous) appeal to personal authority.

            I don’t care how long you’ve worked in medicine or if you have a string of letters after your name, you tried to put your authority above the scientific and medical mainsteam’s consensus.

            Scientific and medical consensus or anonymous person claiming industry experience? Um, I’ll get back to you on that.

  3. One Two 4

    Second bit of good news, the town of Palmyra has been liberated from the clutches of ISIS. The bad news is that it’s now been taken over by the Syrian army

    The state military army of Syria has taken back (from foreign invading forces) control of a town inside borders they are duty bound to defend and protect

    The rout of the ISIS forces has been helped by strategic bombing from the Russian Air Force, who still haven’t actually gone away, despite running out of hospitals to bomb

    No mention of the American support and arms supply for ISIS ?

    More an exposure into prejudiced burdened views, than an Easter Monday Roundup

    • Sorry for not including your fantasy. Maybe in the Xmas round up?

    • fender 4.2

      Yeah Basher al Assad and his father have a long history of protecting people :rolleyes:

    • Colonial Viper 4.3

      Assad’s Syrian Arab Army liberates ancient city of Palmyra from ISIS

      • Psycho Milt 4.3.1

        Assad’s Syrian Arab Army liberates ancient city of Palmyra from ISIS

        Well, Assad and his imperial overlords recapture a city Assad lost to foreigners during an armed uprising against his murderous dictatorship, at least. But it doesn’t surprise me that this fits your definition of “liberated.”

  4. swordfish 5

    Post looks like a bit of a mischievous attempt to bait CV. The grudge continues, TRP ?

    On the Easter Rising, TRP: ‘One hundred years ago, Irish citizens attempted to throw off the shackles of British Imperialism. They didn’t succeed immediately … “

    A pretty small number of Irish citizens and not too surprising that they initially failed to make headway … if the aim was to seize power through a military coup d’etat then the methods and strategy were pretty irrational to say the least. Taking St Stephen’s Green rather than Dublin Castle, taking the Post Office and a bakery rather than City Hall or the arsenal or army barracks. Which I guess is why one historian has called it: “a unique example of insurrectionary abstract art”.

    There’s an argument that the true objective was to enact a highly symbolic blood sacrifice by a small cadre in order to inspire much larger numbers in their wake. Long-term resonance rather than an immediate resolution. Some historians have gone as far as suggesting that by locating themselves in the main shopping area, the rebels ensured significant civilian losses (about half of the 500 dead) and that this was a deliberate facet of the republican strategy – to resuscitate popular support for the more militant section of the nationalist programme.

    (Which could well be true, although it does sound a little like Israel’s attempts to deflect blame after yet another of its regular massacres)

    TRP: The British Regime acted brutally to suppress the nascent Irish liberation movement, murdering many of the leaders in the weeks afterwards.”

    Yeah and arguably it was more this sheer British vindictiveness – rather than the brief uprising per se – that played the key role in resurrecting a quiescent Irish nationalism. And the executions (often carried out very quickly, straight after a brief court martial) were at times quite arbitrary – including the execution of quite distant relatives of rebel leaders, people who weren’t actually involved in the rebellion in any way.

    Things hadn’t necessarily been looking all that promising for the Nationalists.
    The outbreak of WWI, for instance, caused a major split in the (nationalist) Irish Volunteers, with 200,000 Irishmen joining the British Army. And while most Irish people either actively or tacitly supported Home Rule, the obvious enthusiasm that greeted the war effort in Ireland suggested parts of the Country remained quite ambivalent about British rule, or at least fairly nonchalant about the struggle for Independence. Even quite a few of those vehemently opposed to fighting Britain’s war were still against open rebellion or any sort of militancy.

    So it looked like the various Nationalist groups were going to become increasingly marginalised as WWI took its course. The argument of some historians is that the movement therefore responded by focussing on acts that were both imaginative and radical. A lot of Symbolism, mythology, spectacle and a certain amount of bloodshed. The Easter Rising being the supreme example.

    But it was that cold-blooded British response – executions, deportation of thousands of men without trial (and later, of course, the notorious Black and Tans) that pretty soon had authorities reporting this burgeoning, intensifying popular sympathy for rebellion and militant nationalism. People who had been quite neutral or disinterested were quickly transformed.

    James Connolly

    Great Socialist. Shot two days after Asquith sent instructions to Dublin that no further executions were to take place !!!

    • Re: baiting. Not really intending to bait anyone, swordfish, but the news that De Niro had come to his senses did make me wonder what the anti-science segment of the commentariat thought about it. So, that’s why I included it. It’s a pretty big slap down for the scammer Wakefield.

      Great insights into Irish history. And you’ve reminded me that I really should get the guitar out and have a crack at Come out ye Black and Tans to commemorate the weekend 😉

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      swordfish – heh! 🙂

      Authoritarians always think they know best.

  5. Muttonbird 7

    Second bit of good news, the town of Palmyra has been liberated from the clutches of ISIS. The bad news is that it’s now been taken over by the Syrian army.

    -Te Reo Putake

    Which other army would you prefer Palmyra to be taken over by? When I last checked Palmyra is in Syria.

  6. dv 8

    The remaining few WWII surviving soldiers are further denied dignity by the present government refusing funding for those able to still travel to attend the 2016 ANZAC memorial service at Gallipoli. Contrast with $26M on a flop flag ‘debate’……

    Says a lot about the morality of the Natz

  7. Colonial Viper 9

    It’s good that the flaky film has been dropped, but sad that it will probably benefit financially from the exposure in the news. Anti vaxxers, like climate change deniers, need to know that the discussion is over.

    big pharma likes your lines.

    • ropata 9.1

      There’s a line between post modern critique & anti science kookery, and you’ve crossed it I’m afraid

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        adopted pro-corporate thinking and you don’t even realise it.

      • weka 9.1.2

        TRP crossed a line too. Forcing medical treatment on people has massive ethical implications for society. To suggest that the debate is over signals that people with concerns should shut up and take their medicine (I don’t believe that vaccines cause autism btw, and I think that there are many situations where vaccination is important so I don’t consider myself to be an anti-vaxxer). I can’t be bothered with another long argument about vaccination that pushes people into false binaries, but I do take exception to inflammatory statements from people that are supposed to be progressive.

        I also think the comparison with climate change is misleading and is intellectually lazy.

        I’ve decided that the most interesting thing about the whole vaccination debate is how it brings out the authoritarian in so many people and how some on the left support what are basically proto-fascist lines. That and how it makes so many scienceheads illogical.

        • ropata 9.1.2.1

          The ethical implications for society is that scaremongering rubbish by ill informed hysterical parents should not supersede the well being of the community.

          http://thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099%2815%2900072-9/fulltext

          At this stage in the fight against vaccine-preventable diseases, responsible governments should not allow such efforts to go wasted on the altar of freedom of choice. Although vaccination programmes should not take their relevance for granted, legal frameworks placing the health of the community above the individual choice should be established or clarified. Just as parents cannot choose to not educate their children for whatever reason, they should not be given the choice to opt-out their children from vaccination. The most successful public health intervention of all time should be more vocal than anti-vaxxers.

          • weka 9.1.2.1.1

            Are you saying you support enforced compulsory vaccination?

            In NZ we have enough coverage generally for vaccination to provide herd immunity. The small numbers of people who choose not to vaccinate isn’t a big issue. Forcing them crosses ethical boundaries that sets a new line in what the govt can force people to do. You lose all moral ground when you ignore these ethics.

            • ropata 9.1.2.1.1.1

              What happens when a kid gets an infection but the parents refuse to allow treatment? Is the state “forcing” its ethics on the family. Damn right it is, because there are kids lives at stake.

            • Psycho Milt 9.1.2.1.1.2

              Are you saying you support enforced compulsory vaccination?

              What was that about pushing people into false binaries?

      • One Two 9.1.3

        Anti science can be witnessed by having a film showing shutdown without having seen it

        What threat could the film possibly be if the ‘vaccine science is settled’ ?

        What happens next is that the publicity created will ensure the film content reaches an even wider audience than the festival ever could have, thus exposing the ‘science’ to greater levels of scrutiny and raising public awareness

        The fraud genie is out of the bottle, its staying out and the narrative can no longer be controlled

        This event is a landmark

        • ropata 9.1.3.1

          The film isn’t a threat, but purveying ignorance is irresponsible at best and dangerous for the health of society. This is the kind of mind numbing anti science argument used by young earth creationists and leads to an ill informed populace voting Trump

          • One Two 9.1.3.1.1

            Ropata, your comments are repeatedly a confused mess and make no sense

            The health of society as you put it, explicitly depends on robust and transparent examination, of every aspect of ‘the science’ which can be tabled

            Anything less than that is censorship at best, murder at worst

            • ropata 9.1.3.1.1.1

              You didn’t read the quote in my last comment. Vaccination has been proven effective the world over, but in NZ we have the crazy situation where there is a risk of entirely preventable diseases breaking out again because there is an increasing LACK of immunity.

        • DoublePlusGood 9.1.3.2

          The threat it presents is in the public perception, which is frequently not a place where much attention is paid to whether there is scientific consensus on an issue. As a result, science on an issue can basically prove through overwhelming evidence that something is not harmful, but a film like this can spark fears in the populace not based on evidence. This happens in a wide range of fields, and can lead to problems from changes in public behaviour, and even some really stupid lawmaking to court public opinion.
          When it comes to vaccines, such films threaten public health, not the soundness of scientific consensus.

          • One Two 9.1.3.2.1

            “Such films threaten public health, not the soundess of scientific consensus”

            Confused, and logically flawed rationale

            Good luck qualifying your statement!

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.3.2.1.1

              How about you backing up yours. Just show us where the public, with no information, no idea as to what to look for nor what information is available made a good scientific criticism.

          • ropata 9.1.3.2.2

            Exactly so DPG. People lap this stuff up and don’t have the critical capacity or the background needed to assess the claims rationally

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2015/02/01/anti-vaccine-movement-causes-worst-measles-epidemic-in-20-years/#63a24b887ef9

            http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Anti-vaccination_movement

            • te reo putake 9.1.3.2.2.1

              Excellent vid, ropata! Non judgemental and fact based. Superb stuff.

            • One Two 9.1.3.2.2.2

              Ropata, do you have the awareness to critically evaluate, or have ‘ the background’ to “lap up” the information you onboard?

              Thats rhetorical because you don’t!

              Perhaps you can disprove it by explaining the relationship between the human species, microbes, infectious disease, immune system, and how they might synergize to create a healthy human organism , with lifelong immunity against multiple other infectious diseases

              Too much for you. Here is an easier one.

              Describe all components of the human immune system , how they interract and the stages/levels of protection they individually, and collectively give the host

              Provide your respose for:

              Fetus
              New born
              Infant
              Adolescent
              Adult

              Easier still:

              Can you provide evidence of a lifetime warranty that toxic chemicals administered directly into the blood stream of human beings, will not cause future health problems to the host?

              Easiest of all:

              What percentage of testing is carried out by the manufacturers themselves. Essentially creating self certification in the industry?

              [Or you could just watch the video ropata helpfully provided. Sneering requests for other people to do your homework for you aren’t well regarded around here One Two, so if you have actual evidence of a substantial nature that contradicts the known facts around vaccination, by all means put it up yourself. TRP]

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.3.3

          What happens next is that the publicity created will ensure the film content reaches an even wider audience than the festival ever could have, thus exposing the ‘science’ to greater levels of scrutiny and raising public awareness

          Greater scrutiny by people who have NFI WTF they’re talking about? Yeah, not what the community wants or needs.

          We need credible scientists looking at the data. That’s what peer review is for and, in general, it works pretty well.

  8. tinfoilhat 10

    Goodness me I made an innocuous and rather self evident comment about 24 hours ago on this thread and there seems to have been yet another full blown argument with everyone talking over the top of everyone else – this blog really is getting more unfriendly and incoherent as time goes by.

    • That’s often the nature of blogs. The discussions can head in all sorts of unexpected directions and sometimes what seems innocuous can lead to some pretty sharp debates. Our readership and commenting figures suggest TS is regarded as a pretty coherent site by thousands of Kiwis. Friendly may be another matter 😉

  9. joe90 11

    For those interested.

    Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan announced last week that the Irish government has provided a gift to the world to mark the Easter Rising’s centenary: a free downloadable e-copy of the Royal Irish Academy’s book “1916 Portraits and Lives”.

    The book, a winner of the Best Use of Illustration in Design at the 2015 Irish Design Awards, is a collection of 42 short biographies, accompanied by original illustrations by artist David Rooney, of the men and women whose lives helped to shape or were touched by the events of the Easter Rising.

    It is available to download until March 31 at http://www.dfa.ie and http://www.ireland.ie/portraits.

    http://www.irishcentral.com/news/irishvoice/Irish-government-launches-free-1916-Easter-Rising-e-book.html

    Direct download link below –

    http://assets.ria.ie/publications/1916-portraits-and-lives/1916-portraits-and-lives-complete-book/1916-portraits-and-lives-complete-book.epub

  10. Ross 12

    Quite a lot of hate when it comes to anti-vaccination. I prefer to look at the rather expensive facts.

    “On September 23, 2014, an Italian court in Milan award compensation to a boy for vaccine-induced autism. A childhood vaccine against six childhood diseases caused the boy’s permanent autism and brain damage. While the Italian press has devoted considerable attention to this decision and its public health implications, the U.S. press has been silent. … As in many other developed countries, government, not industry, compensates families in the event of vaccine injury.”

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-media-blackout-italian-courts-rule-vaccines-cause-autism/5430940

    “The first (US) court award in a vaccine-autism claim is a big one. CBS News has learned the family of Hannah Poling will receive more than $1.5 million dollars for her life care; lost earnings; and pain and suffering for the first year alone. In addition to the first year, the family will receive more than $500,000 per year to pay for Hannah’s care. Those familiar with the case believe the compensation could easily amount to $20 million over the child’s lifetime.”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/family-to-receive-15m-plus-in-first-ever-vaccine-autism-court-award/

    “The federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, better known as ‘vaccine court’, has just awarded millions of dollars to two children with autism for “pain and suffering” and lifelong care of their injuries, which together could cost tens of millions of dollars. …. In 2009, Ryan’s case was transferred to vaccine court’s Autism Omnibus Proceedings, according to the docket. A year-and-a-half later, the government conceded that MMR vaccine had indeed caused Ryan’s encephalopathy.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/post2468343_b_2468343.html

    “A mother whose son suffered severe brain damage after he was given the controversial MMR vaccine as a baby has been awarded £90,000 compensation. … The Department of Health had always denied that the jab was the cause of Robert’s disability. But now, in a judgment which will give hope to hundreds of other parents whose children have been severely affected by routine vaccinations, a medical assessment panel consisting of two doctors and a barrister has concluded that MMR was to blame.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1307095/Family-win-18-year-fight-MMR-damage-son–90-000-payout-concerns-vaccine-surfaced.html

  11. Ross 13

    Then there’s the massively expensive experiment called the MeNZB vaccine which cost taxpayers here more than $200 million, and maybe prevented – at best – one death. Even Treasury said the vaccine didn’t stack up in terms of costs/benefits, and the same vaccine had been dropped by Norway because it had been shown to be ineffective. After the Ministry of Health disseminated so much false and misleading information about MeNZB, it would be difficult for officials to ever be able to restore their credibility.

    A snippet from the second link:

    “…documents received under the Official Information Act reveal that while the country has been sold on the need for three vaccinations to bring any immune response up to a suitable level, the Ministry’s own unpublished cost benefit analysis was based on five doses.

    Referred to by the Minister as an, ‘independent economic evaluation of the anticipated economic benefits [of the vaccine]” the analysis was undertaken by the faculty that stood to gain many millions of dollars of research funding from Cabinet approval of the vaccination program. The authors included senior meningococcal vaccine researchers and their colleagues at Auckland University. Puzzlingly, neither the report [nor the Minister] disclosed this important fact to Cabinet; the report falsely declared, “Competing Interests: None.”

    Another cost benefit analysis by Treasury in 2001 showed that the cost-to-benefit ratios were seven times those normally used by Pharmac to approve funding of prescription medicines and that was before the significant declines in disease and deaths that have occurred naturally.

    An Honours student at Canterbury University also did a cost benefit analysis. Whilst presented at the New Zealand Association of Economists conference in Wellington in June 2004, the paper has not been posted on the website as is usual practice but has been ‘temporarily withdrawn’ from public purview. This is considered unusual as the Audit Office says the paper is in public domain once presented. The paper is said to have revealed that the MeNZB™ vaccination program did not stack up economically and, like the Auckland District Health Board, questioned the program’s rationale. A university source has revealed that the paper was removed to protect the interests of the student after the University received a threatening letter ‘advising against publication.’ We are aware of the student’s name and have been asked not to make it public as to do so could jeopardize their career options. We are also informed that the student was approached by officials from other government departments and congratulated for raising questions they were not allowed to.”

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0610/S00257.htm
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0502/S00064.htm
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0607/S00284.htm
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0505/S00352.htm
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0611/S00403.htm

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  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #39
    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... The Warming Climates of the Arctic and the Tropics Squeeze the Mid-latitudes, Where Most People Live Melting Arctic ice sends ...
    3 days ago
  • Where in the world will the next epidemic start?
    Naomi Forrester-Soto, Keele University Viruses jumping from animals to humans have been the starting point of numerous outbreaks, from Ebola to Zika. Given the similarity of SARS-CoV-2 to coronaviruses found in bats, this probably marked the beginning of COVID-19 too. We know that viruses have passed from animals to humans ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Fiscal Maths with Paul “Goldie” Goldsmith
    Mr Thinks has asked me to come onto the blog today to outline a few concepts in fiscal mathematics. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #39
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 20, 2020 through Sat, Sep 26, 2020 Editor's Choice Climate Disruption Is Now Locked In. The Next Moves Will Be Crucial A crack on the Amery Ice Shelf in ...
    4 days ago
  • National behind the times
    When Todd Muller resigned as leader of the National Party and allowed for Judith Collins to assume command, you could tell the blue “team” was desperate and in search of past glories. After all, Crusher is towards the end of her political career and from a bygone era where dirty ...
    5 days ago
  • Coronavirus: the road to vaccine roll-out is always bumpy, as 20th-century pandemics show
    Samantha Vanderslott, University of Oxford If you have been following the media coverage of the new vaccines in development for COVID-19, it will be clear that the stakes are high. Very few vaccine trials in history have attracted so much attention, perhaps since polio in the mid-20th century. A now ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • PREFU: The State of Government Accounts
    The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update’ (PREFU) tells us something about the future of the Public Sector but it requires careful analysis to assess how it is going. The 2020 PREFU is the most important economic statement during any election campaign. Unfortunately the commentariat tends to treat it briefly ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Predatory delay
    Farmers are whining again about being expected to clean up their act: Canterbury farmers want politicians to stop painting them as climate change villains, listen to their needs and allow them more time to boost environmental standards. [...] “The targets are necessary for the environment, but do we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to nowhere sends the wrong message in climate crisis
    Qantas Airlines’ 7-hour “flight to nowhere”, that sold out in 10 minutes with prices from A$787 to A$3787, seemed like a sick joke to climate advocates. Apart from the waste of fuel and the pointless emissions, passengers would be able to see first-hand, from a plane just like those that ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: The cannabis referendum – a doctor’s perspective
    Cannabis is part of our culture: 80% of adults have tried it sometime. Intuition tells us that legalising cannabis will increase use – science suggests that is not likely. Our Dunedin and Christchurch studies show that cannabis use peaks in our 20s. Older people are less frequent users whether it ...
    6 days ago
  • First steps: Jerry DeSilva on the evolution of bipedalism
    Yesterday morning I got up (at the rather early and unaccustomed hour of 3.30am) to listen to a webinar by paleoanthropologist Dr Jeremy DeSilva¹. Titled “First Steps”, his presentation was about the origins of bipedalism in the human lineage. It was a fascinating session & I thought I’d turn my ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    6 days ago
  • True Believers In A False God.
    Down The Rabbit Hole: "Social psychologists have found that when fearful people contemplate potential misfortunes, they tend to feel helpless and pessimistic, but when angry people contemplate the same, they feel a sense of optimism and control. And one simple way to transmute fear into anger is to perceive an evil ...
    6 days ago
  • Majority Rule Requires Majorities That Are Real.
    Fifty Percent Plus One: New Zealand’s genuine-majority-delivering two-party system endured for five elections only (1938, 1943, 1946, 1949, 1951) a period of just 16 years. Very few New Zealanders alive today can boast of participating in an election which delivered a true majority to either Labour or National. Someone who ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour super exploitation
    This is the second in the lecture series by Andy Higginbottom on superexploitation. Here he looks at Marini’s theory of labour super-exploitation and Capital ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Small asteroid to make near-miss of Earth in NZ skies tonight
    Sorry for the late notice on this one, but I only just heard myself, in common with most of the human race. A small asteroid, somewhere between the size of a truck and the size of a house in dimensions, will hurtle past the Earth tonight, dipping closer to ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    7 days ago
  • This is not what accountability looks like
    When someone commits trespass, assault with a weapon, and kidnapping, you'd expect them to be prosecuted, right? But apparently the rules are different if you wear a blue uniform: A police investigation has found officers in Northland trespassed on a man's property, then unlawfully pepper sprayed him and arrested ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Cycling: head injuries ignored because of entrenched macho culture
    Howard Hurst, University of Central Lancashire and Jack Hardwicke, University of Winchester Competitive road cycling is a demanding and unique sport. One where crashing is inevitable – especially at the professional level. While the risk of head injury is relatively low in cycling – approximately 5-13% – compared to contact ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • The coming US shitshow
    Today President Trump once again refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the US election. Coincidentally, The Atlantic has a long article on exactly what that means, from voter suppression by armed thugs in the name of "ballot security", to refusing to allow the vote ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A moral void
    That's the only way to describe the SIS, who - like their British counterparts - decided to look the other way on child abuse: The SIS knew a young woman was being sexually abused by her father but failed to lodge a complaint with the police, effectively allowing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • When will Goldsmith resign?
    The National Party’s campaign has gone from bad to worse with a further two large miscalculations being uncovered in their alternative fiscal plan. Firstly, National’s economic spokesperson and list MP, Paul Goldsmith, used May's Budget figures instead of last week's PREFU numbers, and came up with a whopping $4.3 billion ...
    7 days ago
  • The Adventures of Annalax: Part IX
    The initial session was a struggle. Annalax and Magni tried sorting out the details with the Isaac twins (the people pursuing the mountain trip). Annalax happened to mention his devotion to Lolth… whom the Isaacs, being ...
    1 week ago
  • This is bullshit
    On March 13, three plainclothes police officers kicked in Breonna Taylor's door under a no-knock warrant targeting another person. When a person inside reasonably assumed they were home invaders and (this being America) started shooting, they shot up the place and everyone around them - killing Taylor. Today, one of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The case for tax (more of it, much more)
    Laura O’Connell Rapira | Contributing writer, the spinoff, 21 Sept, 2020. Let’s put tax at the core of this election. Sharing wealth is how we share care and responsibility for this land and all of the people in it, writes Laura O’Connell Rapira It’s election season in the middle of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Arctic sea ice is being increasingly melted from below by warming Atlantic water
    Tom Rippeth, Bangor University Arctic sea ice today (white) is covering a much smaller area than in 1980-2010 (orange line). National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CC BY-SA Each September, scientists like me look out for the point when the Arctic’s meagre summer fizzles out and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The long-term health burden of COVID-19: further justification for NZ’s elimination strategy
    Prof John D. Potter* This blog briefly surveys the emerging scientific evidence on the longer-term burden of symptoms and disease in survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these symptoms point to damage in the brain and heart. These long-term harms add to the wide range of other reasons for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Going High, Going Low: An Assessment Of The First Leaders’ Debate.
    Uncrushed: Jacinda Ardern knew exactly what was expected of her in the first Leaders' Debate. Labour’s dominant position, three weeks out from the general election, is constructed out of the admiration and gratitude of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who, more often than not, vote National.  Nothing she said ...
    1 week ago
  • The smokefree policies of political parties: Do they care about people who smoke?
    George Thomson*, Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards In this time of Covid-19, helping people who smoke to quit their addiction has an even greater importance. Smokers are more vulnerable to many harmful health effects, including severe effects from the virus. Policies that support people who smoke to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • The Fog Of Economic Policy Is Starting To Clear…
    Bryan Bruce, https://www.facebook.com/www.redsky.tv, 19 September 2020 National’s economic policy of temporary tax cuts yesterday proved, if proof be needed, that they are unapologetic neoliberals. While their claim that with more money in their pockets people will spend more might sound attractive, the reality is that tax cuts always benefit the ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #38, 2020
    Highlighted article: Carbon pricing and planetary boundaries  Engström et al take what might be called a systems approach to evaluating carbon pricing, taking into a account various economic sectors affected by and affecting paying for emissions. The conclusions are overall a rare pleasant surprise— a feature predicated on cooperation.  Abstract: ...
    1 week ago
  • Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes
    Nathan Mietkiewicz, National Ecological Observatory Network and Jennifer Balch, University of Colorado Boulder CC BY-ND Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: China steps up
    China has increased its climate change ambition, and set a target to be carbon-neutral by 2060: China will reach carbon neutrality before 2060 and ensure its greenhouse gas emissions peak in the next decade, Xi Jinping has told the UN general assembly. “China will scale up its intended nationally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Humans have dealt with plenty of climate variability
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much climate variability have humans dealt with since we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous perspectives on unrestricted access to genomic data
    By Genomics Aotearoa researcher Maui Hudson, University of Waikato It is vital that genomics research respects genomic data and genetic heritage from indigenous communities. Genomics research is a rapidly growing field of study, and there is a strong push to make the huge amount of data being produced open ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Terrible luck: lockdowns on learning and youth job prospects
    What is bad luck? Bad luck is spilling spaghetti sauce down your shirt right before an important meeting. When the person in front of you gets the last seat on the bus, that’s bad luck. Bad luck is when it’s sunny outside, so you leave the house without a coat, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Ian Powell: Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
    Is the private health system impacting negatively on the public health system? Health commentator Ian Powell evaluates a recent NZ Herald article by Natalie Akoorie (“Public v private healthcare: Moonlighting, skimming, duplication – should NZ do better”), and looks at how the dual system works, and concludes that the answer ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • A rabbit-hole election debate: So do you want more avocado orchards?
    We live in strange and unusual times. It’s been a century since we’ve endured a global pandemic like this, more than half a century since we’ve had economic woes like this. So maybe we got an opening election debate for the times - because that was a strange and unusual ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The Looming Fight.
    Social Distancing Be Damned - It's Jacinda! Shortly after ascending to Labour’s leadership, Jacinda described herself as a “pragmatic idealist”. It was an inspired oxymoron – packing into just two words the essence of the social-democrat’s dilemma. It was good to know that she knew what lay ahead of her. ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
    Back in 2017, the UK announced that it would ban the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. Its a basic climate change measure, aimed at reducing emissions by shifting the vehicle fleet to cleaner technologies. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, they're planning to bring it forward ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    1 week ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago

  • Modern hospitals, quality care: Labour’s record on health
    We believe that when New Zealanders need healthcare, they deserve to have it delivered in a safe and healthy environment. Patients and staff shouldn’t have to worry about mould or rot in hospital walls – but that was the reality when Labour came into Government in 2017. We inherited a ...
    19 hours ago
  • Why we support increasing the minimum wage
    Labour has a proud history of standing for fairness at work, supporting the development of high-quality, high wage jobs and for improving the quality of life for New Zealand workers. ...
    19 hours ago
  • Working with farmers for a better future
    Farmers play a key role in our economy and in our communities, and will be at the forefront of our COVID recovery. Labour has worked in partnership with Kiwi farmers over the past three years and together we’ve tackled Mycoplasma bovis, worked through droughts and flooding, started cleaning up our ...
    19 hours ago
  • Is National really better than Labour with the economy? Yeah, nah.
    National tells New Zealanders to trust them with the economy, but recent data shows they’re not the strong economic managers they like to claim. Labour has a strong track record of keeping debt under control. We’ve worked hard over the past three years to pay down the debt we inherited ...
    20 hours ago
  • Minimum wage increases vs. tax cuts – what really boosts the economy?
    This election, Labour and National have set out very different proposals for growing our economy and supporting New Zealanders through our COVID recovery. But when it comes to real results, the experts are clear – only our plan will keep New Zealand moving. ...
    20 hours ago
  • Do Kiwis trust Labour more than National on the economy? Three polls say yes.
    As our economic rebuild gets underway, New Zealand needs a strong, responsible government to lead our recovery. National bills itself as the Party with economic credibility, but that’s not what the numbers show or what voters believe. In the past five months, three polls have consistently shown that more New ...
    22 hours ago
  • Better healthcare for Kiwis
    From mental health support in every primary and intermediate school to more publicly-funded medicines, Labour’s plan for health will ensure New Zealanders can get quality care. ...
    2 days ago
  • Green Party responds to NZ First Foundation SFO charges
    Green Party spokesperson on Electoral Issues Golriz Ghahraman said: “We’re glad to see the SFO has laid charges before the election, so voters have more clarity on what is going on before they cast a vote. ...
    2 days ago
  • Greens announce bold transport plan for Auckland to tackle climate change and congestion
    The Green Party has today outlined a major transport plan for Auckland including new investments in light rail, busways, an expansion of regional rail services, and quick improvements to buses. ...
    2 days ago
  • Greens announce bold transport plan for Wellington to tackle climate change and congestion
    The Green Party has today outlined a major transport plan for Wellington including investments in light rail, an expansion of regional passenger rail, and fast-tracking improvements to buses. ...
    2 days ago
  • Greens announce bold transport plan for Christchurch to tackle climate change and congestion
    The Green Party has today outlined a major transport plan for Christchurch including new investments in commuter rail, a high frequency bus service to the airport, and cycleways. ...
    2 days ago
  • Greens announce bold plan to ensure NZ transport tackles climate change
    The Green Party will transform how New Zealanders get around to address the climate crisis, with a comprehensive climate-focused transport package.  ...
    2 days ago
  • Reports of great whites finned alive cement case for cameras on boats
    Claims of illegal fishing and live finning of great whites in New Zealand waters show once again that cameras on fishing boats are long overdue, and must be urgently rolled out. ...
    3 days ago
  • We must investigate COVID-19 retraining support that skews towards men: Greens
    The Green Party is calling for a review into the gender split of training programmes offered by government to help New Zealanders retrain following COVID-19 job losses. ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s plan for plastic and waste
    As part of our plan to build back better, we’re taking action on waste and improving recycling to protect our environment, create jobs and future proof our economy. ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s plan for plastic and waste
    As part of our plan to build back better, we’re taking action on waste and improving recycling to protect our environment, create jobs and future proof our economy. ...
    4 days ago
  • Week that was: Three weeks to go!
    Today marks three weeks until the election, and the campaign is ramping up. This week, we’ve continued to focus on our economic recovery, announcing our plan to reduce costs for farmers and growers. We also set out our commitment to continuing our partnership with Māori as we rebuild together. ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Māori Manifesto: Working together in partnership
    Together, Māori and Labour have walked a new path in our first term of Government. Based on the articles of the Treaty and the promise of equality, this path has been one of partnership and collaboration. Our Māori Manifesto builds on the work we’ve undertaken with Māori during our first ...
    5 days ago
  • Healthy, affordable homes a Green Party priority for Wellington
    The Green Party would push to ensure everyone in Wellington has a warm, safe and affordable place to live as part of the next Government. ...
    6 days ago
  • Environment and climate will be decimated by National’s dangerous agriculture policy
    The Green Party is slamming National’s agriculture policy as a huge step backwards which puts future generations at risk. ...
    1 week ago
  • Reducing costs for Kiwi farmers
    New Zealand’s farmers and growers play a key role in our economy and in our communities. Labour has set out a clear vision to transition to a carbon-neutral economy and today we committed to supporting our farmers and growers to achieve this goal. ...
    1 week ago
  • Jacinda Ardern sets out Labour’s plan in first TV debate
    Tonight was the first Leaders’ Debate, broadcast live on TVNZ 1. It was the first time New Zealanders have seen Jacinda Ardern side-by-side Opposition Leader Judith Collins this campaign. ...
    1 week ago
  • Helping Kiwis into homes
    Everyone deserves a warm, dry place to live. As part of our plan for housing, Labour’s making sure more New Zealanders have a healthy place to live, while tackling long-term issues like homelessness and housing affordability. Here’s how we’re helping Kiwis into homes. ...
    1 week ago
  • Our plan to keep New Zealand moving
    Last updated 30 July 2020. The whole world is battling with COVID-19, and no country is immune. In New Zealand, our focus is getting the latest resurgence under control and making sure we put in place immediate financial supports to cushion the economic blow. As before, the best economic response is ...
    1 week ago
  • Our Achievements
    Led by Jacinda Ardern, our strong, stable government has delivered results and put people first every step of the way. In health, housing, education and more, we've got a strong track record of delivering for New Zealanders. Now, we’re continuing to put people first with our decisive response to COVID-19. ...
    1 week ago
  • Why should I vote for Labour?
    Labour has a strong track record of making progress on the big issues facing our country. Now, as we recover and rebuild from COVID-19, we’re rolling out our plan to grow our economy, support businesses and communities, and keep New Zealand moving. If you’re still undecided ahead of this year’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan to create jobs
    Creating jobs is a key part of our plan to grow the economy, support communities and seize the opportunities created by our world-leading COVID response. We’ve already started rolling out initiatives that are creating thousands of jobs right around the country, and we’ll keep up this momentum as we continue ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan to tackle unemployment
    New Zealand is not immune to the global economic impacts of COVID-19, but our strong health response means we’re now in a better position than many other countries. We’re taking advantage of this headstart by rolling out our plan to protect jobs, create new ones and grow our economy – ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan for reducing child poverty
    Child poverty is a complex issue that won’t be fixed overnight, but so far under Labour’s leadership seven out of nine child poverty indicators have already started to improve. Under National’s nine years of neglect, seven out of nine indicators got worse. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s health response to COVID-19
    We went hard and early in our health response to COVID-19 – and it worked. After a short period of lockdown, we were able to safely ease restrictions and open up our economy much quicker than many other countries. We had a plan in place to combat a resurgence, which ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan for managing our borders
    As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, robust border controls are essential to protect New Zealanders and keep our economy moving. Labour will continue to carefully manage our borders to keep New Zealanders safe, while ensuring businesses can access the skilled workers they need for our recovery. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s infrastructure investment
    One of the key ways we’re keeping New Zealand moving through our COVID-19 response is by investing in shovel-ready infrastructure projects. No country is immune to the economic impact of COVID-19, but with targeted infrastructure projects throughout New Zealand, we are creating new jobs and ensuring our communities have the ...
    1 week ago
  • Who should I vote for?
    It’s now less than one month until election day. If you still haven’t decided who you’re voting for, check out our handy guide below to help you make up your mind! ...
    1 week ago
  • A vote for National is a vote for putting on the brakes
    Thinking about voting National in this year’s election? Here are five reasons you might like to reconsider ahead of 17 October. ...
    1 week ago
  • How Labour’s team is leading New Zealand
    During our time in Government, the Labour team has worked hard to improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders while making progress on the long-term challenges facing our country. There’s still more to do, but our track record shows that our team is leading New Zealand in the right direction. Read ...
    1 week ago
  • What’s the difference between National and Labour?
    Still weighing up who to vote for in this year’s election? Here are five key differences between National and Labour to help you make your decision. ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens call for a bus lane to bypass congestion on Harbour Bridge
    The Green Party is calling for Waka Kotahi the NZ Transport Agency to convert a lane over the Auckland Harbour Bridge to bus-only and make buses free to use across the bridge until all lanes are back in operation. ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens to protect Aotearoa’s oceans with marine sanctuaries, bottom trawling and set-netting restr...
    The Green Party has released its Thriving Oceans Plan, which would dramatically increase marine protected areas and ban bottom trawling on seamounts.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week that was: Jobs, trades training and supporting Kiwi workers
    It was another busy week out on the campaign trail, with Labour focused on jobs, training, and supporting Kiwi workers. As we continue to roll out our five-point plan for recovery, we’re investing in our people, businesses, communities and vital services, so we can keep our economy moving as we ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour is backing our regions for recovery
    Our regions are a vital part of our economic recovery plan. They’re home to innovative and creative businesses, and the backbone of our export economy - which is why Labour will continue to support our regions to grow as together, we rebuild better. ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Residential building sector growing stronger
    Figures released by Statistics New Zealand today show healthy growth in residential building consents in an environment of Government support for the sector during COVID-19, says Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods. Statistics New Zealand reported today that a record 10,063 townhouses, flats, and units were consented in the August 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • PGF helps Bay of Plenty youth find jobs
    Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) support for a pathways to work hub in Tauranga will help address high youth unemployment in the Bay of Plenty by connecting young people with training and meaningful employment opportunities, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau has announced. “Priority One Western Bay of Plenty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government confirms new acute mental health facility for Lakes DHB
    A new acute inpatient mental health facility at Rotorua Hospital will provide more patient-centred and culturally appropriate care to better support recovery, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says. “Improving mental health and addiction services remains one of the biggest long-term challenges facing New Zealand,” says Chris Hipkins. “Lakes DHB’s existing Whare ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Community Languages Fund to increase support for Pacific community language projects
    Round two of the Community Languages Fund (CLF) will provide even more support for Pacific grassroots community and family language projects with the introduction of a second funding tier of $10,000, in addition to the $2,500 tier, says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  During the first round of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government puts teacher wellbeing at the centre
    The Government is committing nearly $9 million to ensure educators in early learning services and schools get the wellbeing support they need. Education Minister Chris Hipkins made the announcement, which includes providing frontline counselling and advice services for educators, during his address at the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) annual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Pasifika churches gain from PGF funding
    Pasifika churches around the country will receive a total of nearly $10 million in government funding for renovations and improvements which will improve facilities for the communities they serve and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio have announced. The funding will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Job numbers up in August
    New data from Stats NZ today shows a rise of more than 9,000 filled jobs from July – driven mostly by the education and training sector, Grant Robertson says. Filled jobs were up 9,147 to 2.2 million in August 2020 compared with July – with 7,409 of those in education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Māori development receives funding
    Māori development projects across the country will receive a total of $18.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund that will create infrastructure and permanent jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “These projects will support economic development in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti, Manawatū-Whanganui, Waikato and Southland to ...
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    3 days ago
  • Hand-up for owners of earthquake-prone units
    From today, owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings can apply for financial support to fix their homes, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing financial hardship over earthquake strengthening costs. “We understand how complicated ...
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    3 days ago
  • PGF backing successful Māori enterprise
    Whanganui will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment in a local food-processing company which will help the company increase production and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. Kii Tahi Ltd, which is owned by South Taranaki iwi Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi, will receive a Provincial Growth Fund ...
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    3 days ago
  • Hokitika Landmark earmarked for $22m restoration
    Seddon House in Hokitika, once a hub for government on the West Coast, has been earmarked for government use once again. “Today we’re announcing a $22 million investment from the Government’s $3 billion infrastructure fund for shovel ready projects for the purchase and restoration of Seddon House in the heart of ...
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    5 days ago
  • Town halls and war memorials in PGF renovation programme
    Town halls, war memorials and other community landmarks across the country will be renovated thanks to grants totalling just under $12.4 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says more than 1000 jobs are expected to be created during the renovation programme. “Town halls, other ...
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    5 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes two diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced two new diplomatic appointments: •         Michael Appleton as New Zealand’s first resident High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. •        Tredene Dobson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Viet Nam.  Sri Lanka “New Zealand is opening a post in Colombo in 2021 because we are ready ...
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    6 days ago
  • NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins
    The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to the 2020 winner Graeme Atkins while in Gisborne/Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa. “Graeme Atkins of Ngāti Porou is a Department of Conservation ranger whose contribution to conservation goes well above and beyond his employment,” ...
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    6 days ago
  • Early help for whānau who need extra support
    The Government is investing in a new, whānau-centred early intervention prototype designed to strengthen families and improve the safety and wellbeing of children. The new programme, Ngā Tini Whetū, is a collaboration between Oranga Tamariki, Te Puni Kōkiri, ACC and the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency (WOCA) and was announced today ...
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    6 days ago
  • Parliament to install solar and cut carbon
    Parliament is leading by example by taking action to cut its carbon footprint by installing solar and improving energy efficiency, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today. The Minister confirmed that Parliamentary Services will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to install solar PV and LED ...
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    6 days ago
  • Tuvalu Language Week theme promotes community resilience in the face of COVID-19
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the 2020 Tuvalu Language Week theme of “Fakatili Te Kiloga Fou” which means “Navigating the changing environment” is a call on all Pacific peoples to be strong and resilient in the face of COVID-19. “This theme is a reminder to us ...
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    6 days ago
  • International sport back up and running in New Zealand
    The Government is welcoming today’s announcement that the West Indies and Pakistan cricket teams will tour New Zealand this summer.  “A lot of hard work has been undertaken by sports officials including New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand and government officials to ensure that international sport can return safely to ...
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    6 days ago
  • 1BT funds for Northland forest taonga
    Northland’s indigenous tree canopy is set to grow for the benefit of mana whenua and the wider community thanks to nearly $2 million in One Billion Trees funding, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Komanga Marae Trust has received more than $1.54 million to restore and enhance the native ...
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    6 days ago
  • Better health care for West Coasters as Te Nikau Hospital officially opened
    The Government has delivered a new hospital for Greymouth and is starting work on a much needed new health centre in Westport, ensuring local communities will benefit from better access to high quality integrated health services. Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare officially open Te ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government backing local with PGF loan
    A West Coast distillery will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment that will enable it to expand its operations and create jobs in the town of Reefton, Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Reefton Distilling Co will receive a $928,000 ...
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    6 days ago
  • Primary sector exports and jobs up again
    Primary sector exports and jobs are up again, demonstrating the sector’s underlying strength amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and US-China trade war, and supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery. Stats NZ today reported New Zealand’s merchandise exports in August were up 8.6% on a year ago, driven by an increase in ...
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    7 days ago
  • Clean energy future for more schools
    Schools across Aotearoa New Zealand will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The Minister has allocated $50 million from the Clean Powered Public Service Fund to replace, or convert, coal boilers in schools with clean ...
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    1 week ago
  • Building business strength with digital tools
    New training and tools for digital commerce will give small businesses, especially in the tourism sector, the support they need to adapt and innovate in a COVID world. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced details of how $20 million digital capability funding set aside ...
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    1 week ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
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    1 week ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
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    1 week ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
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    1 week ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
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    1 week ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
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    1 week ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
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    1 week ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
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    2 weeks ago