Eleanor Catton on NZ

Written By: - Date published: 5:17 pm, January 27th, 2015 - 212 comments
Categories: art, books, culture, national - Tags: ,

Eleanor Catton won the 2013 Man Booker prize for The Luminaries, her success was widely celebrated in NZ. Interesting to get her perspective on NZ politics, and the current government. These comments were made at a literary festival in India and reported here in the Southland Times:

Eleanor Catton’s problem with New Zealand

Man Booker Prize author Eleanor Catton says she is uncomfortable being seen as an ambassador for New Zealand which she says is dominated by neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, shallow and money hungry politicians who do not care about culture.

“At the moment, New Zealand, like Australia and Canada, (is dominated by) these neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians who do not care about culture,” Catton is quoted saying.

“They care about short-term gains. They would destroy the planet in order to be able to have the life they want. I feel very angry with my government.”

A challenge for the next government to be better than this.

212 comments on “Eleanor Catton on NZ”

  1. lprent 1

    Added later as a warning

    I am pretty unhappy that a large chunk of the comments on this post diverted very early into a completely different topic – how to write a paraphrase. The comments related to that have all been shunted to OpenMike.

    Fortunately for the people concerned, I’m even more annoyed about some bots that decided to overwhelm the site while I was shunting the comments…. I had to forgo my usual considered irritation because I wasn’t sure of my anger levels after the comments had a bit of a spill.

    I would suggest that this unhappy state of affairs may not persist.

    😈

  2. vto 2

    Fantastic to hear someone with a voice that is listened to putting this out there.

    Keep it up Eleanor, get stuck in. People like you are so very important to a healthy society.

  3. Wayne 3

    More of an observation than anything else.

    In New Zealand, it does seem that a greater proportion of writers, artists, actors and playwrights tend to favour the Left, and especially the Green Left, than in other countries.

    In the UK and the US there appears to be a greater diversity of views among their artistic and literary communities.

    Is this largely a function of New Zealand being a smaller community, or that politics in New Zealand is by many standards pitched a little to the left of centre?

    So that although the Nats have won the majority of elections in the last 70 years, they do so by carefully cleaving to the middle. John Key being an expert in this particular art. And his being “Mr Everyman” reinforces the effect, but does not win him friends among the intellectual classes.

    Athough John Key clearly has respect among his peers (Obama, Harper, Cameron) that as far as I can see no other New Zealand Prime Minister has attained, this is rather lost in New Zealand. They clearly see qualities in him that elude for instance many of the commenters on this site.

    I noted a recent column by Rob Hoskings in which he said that judging by much of the commentary by Left pundits you would think John Key was the New Zealand version of General Pinochet. John seems to evoke a level of spleen that Jim Bolger and Jenny Shipley never did.

    All a bit strange to me.

    • vto 3.1

      “Athough John Key clearly has respect among his peers (Obama, Harper, Cameron) that as far as I can see no other New Zealand Prime Minister has attained, this is rather lost in New Zealand. They clearly see qualities in him that elude for instance many of the commenters on this site. ”

      Sheesh Wayne, that is out there …. and I suggest those “lost” are Obama Harper and Cameron and not the NZ public who see the real John Key.

      Perhaps some time at a distance will provide greater clarity for you on the reality of those matters you raise.

      • Murray Simmonds 3.1.1

        If ‘ RESPECT among his peers (Obama, Harper, Cameron)” equates to “being easily used by them” then I’d agree. Unfortunately for Mr Key, ‘being easily used’ is NOT the same thing as ‘being respected’.

      • Paul Campbell 3.1.2

        what a bunch of whooey – they hardly know the guy, they’ve each had what 2? 3? hours of face time ever with Key – how can they possibly “know” him much less know enough to respect him.

        I think what you’re repeating is the bleatings of Key’s own political handlers, basically Key’s own spin on his place in the world – and he’s hardly an impartial observer

    • weka 3.2

      The reason they all look like lefties to you Wayne, is because the neoliberal revolution has shifted the middle so far to the right.

      I noted a recent column by Rob Hoskings in which he said that judging by much of the commentary by Left pundits you would think John Key was the New Zealand version of General Pinochet. John seems to evoke a level of spleen that Jim Bolger and Jenny Shipley never did.

      A piece of shitty hyperbole designed simply to keep bolstering Key’s image.

    • Molly 3.3

      Your “observation” seems to be made through one-eye and that is the one on the right of your nose obviously.

      You imply that observations by singular persons, such as yourself and Rob Hoskings
      are singular truths, and from that perspective I’m guessing all artforms and artists look like left wing activists.

      …” John Key clearly has respect among his peers “… Obama couldn’t even remember John Key’s duo-syllabic name correctly for the first term. His acceptance into the club has been that of a freshman coming through hazing in a university fraternity. And like a fraternity, belonging has nothing to do with the core business of service or governance, all about unquestioning allegiance and feeling superior.

      “So that although the Nats have won the majority of elections in the last 70 years, they do so by carefully cleaving to the middle. John Key being an expert in this particular art.”
      John Key is not an expert at cleaving to the middle. He is The Great Pretender, pretending to be in the middle while implementing right wing policies, but most destructively – pretending to be a Prime Minister of NZ while operating for the club. (That said, I’m very aware of the fact that there are a number of clones in the National Party that would be just as destructive in his position, so my spleen is vent on his actions rather than his person.)

      “All a bit strange to me.”
      Logic, comprehension, context and wider considerations seem to be strange to the right. Something to work on perhaps.

    • Colonial Rawshark 3.4

      Wayne, just remember that Ayn Rand really was a third rate author, and she died on Social Security.

    • The Murphey 3.5

      Harper Obama Key Cameron and Abbott

      Each share traits deemed necessary to deploy the agenda of the next ups as per the job description

      Naturally each sock puppet recognises the other such as brothers at the same lodge or club do

      Q. Do you recognise the shared traits Wayne ?

      Q. Is it honourable to be respected by another sock puppet ?

      Q. Can a sock puppet have honour or earn respect ?

      Q. Are you still a sock puppet ?

    • Ovid 3.6

      I think it’s because good art and good literature strives to be novel, or rather, new. The conservative mindset is to maintain the status quo, so the whole right wing outlook runs counter to the creative industry’s efforts to develop new perspectives.

      It’s a lot like how good comedy punches up and cocks a snook at the powerful. Right-wing comedians who defend the establishment just aren’t very funny, so there are fewer of them around.

      • Murray Rawshark 3.6.1

        Salvador Dalí was a strong supporter of Spanish fascism. I think he’s an exception and did produce novel art.

        • Sans Cle 3.6.1.1

          Wagner was a bit of a Nazi, but still made great music.
          Lots of exceptions to the rule, but I think you have a point Ovid.
          Avant garde by definition flies in the face of conservatism, traditionalism and resistance to change.

    • Mark 3.7

      In my opinion, it’s the result of an insular small country, that we have so many clueless artists who sit on the green left. Funnily enough, such people often come from the comfortable white, middle and upper classes where concern for the environment is decidedly more fashionable than those at the bottom of the economic heap.

      Catton’s comments are pure ignorance however. NZ’s government expenditure as a % of GDP is c. 40%.

      If you think that’s neoliberalism, you either: (a) don’t know what neoliberalism is; or (b) are ignorant of hard facts.

      Source: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/tp/govtsize/13.htm

      • Paul 3.7.1

        I don’t think the state of the environment is something about fashion.
        It is about a crisis.
        But then, as Catton says

        “At the moment, New Zealand, like Australia and Canada, (I dominated by) these neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians who do not care about culture. They care about short-term gains. They would destroy the planet in order to be able to have the life they want.”

        Your comment about the environment suggests you are one of they mentioned above.

        Educate yourself.
        Read Derrick Jensen’s ‘Endgame’

      • Murray Rawshark 3.7.2

        Yep. As Ovid said, right wing comedians are just not funny.

        • weka 3.7.2.1

          can you give an example or two?

          • Colonial Rawshark 3.7.2.1.1

            Boehner, McCain, Jeb Bush, etc. In NZ Brownlee, Smith, Joyce, etc.

          • Murray Rawshark 3.7.2.1.2

            Mark at 2.7 above. Most mainstream Aussie RSL comedians – Rodney Rude and his fart jokes is one.

          • gsays 3.7.2.1.3

            hi there weka,
            two right wing comics: spike milligan and john cleese, imo.

            • Paul 3.7.2.1.3.1

              Milligan was not a right wing comedian.

              ‘Milligan was never really a political animal, but he joined the Young Communists – partly to demonstrate his hatred of Oswald Mosley’s Fascists, who were gaining support near his home in south London.’

              http://www.scotsman.com/news/obituaries/spike-milligan-1-604885

              • gsays

                hi paul, yes fair call.
                he is a genius and like a lot of geniuses he could be complicated.

                my example of him as right wing would be better summed up as: was sometimes very conservative- racist before it went out of vogue, anti people breeding, despite having 6 children.

            • Murray Rawshark 3.7.2.1.3.2

              John Cleese defines himself as slightly left of centre and was a member of the Labour Party for many years. He subsequently joined the Liberal Democrats.
              Please stop making stuff up.

              • gsays

                hi murray, he also went on to support the coalition of the lib dems and the tories.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  I blame Tony Blair for that. He was the real right winger. I think I’d describe John Cleese as more centrist.

                  • gsays

                    without knowing his political leanings i have always felt cleese was very motivated by money (one of my definitions of a right winger), and the cambridge university education.

                    since this wee thread started, i have been looking round and the tory comics are few and far between.

                    south park crew and dennis miller are exceptions.

                    • Murray Rawshark

                      Cleese stopped being funny about the time he joined up with the Lib Dems. Cambridge used to be known as Red Cambridge and churned out everything from Marxist historians (Hobsbawn) to Russian spies. Even though Oxbridge is very Tory, traditional Tories didn’t mind letting people think a little. Today under the rule of neoliberalism, this would never occur.

                    • Crashcart

                      I think it is a bit of a streach to put Matt Stone and Trey Parker in the Torrie camp. If anything they are derrisive of all polotics. They have both spoken strongly against Bush and the Republicans, and will attack the Dems if they think they are being stupid.

    • McFlock 3.8

      In New Zealand, it does seem that a greater proportion of writers, artists, actors and playwrights tend to favour the Left, and especially the Green Left, than in other countries.

      Larger populations mean more people on the wingnut fringe, and therefore bigger markets for wingnut authors etc.

    • Tracey 3.9

      as opposed to the bank spokespeople, property speculators and real estate reps used in media who are all right slanted…

    • Michael 3.10

      Isn’t that because right wingers are too boring, money obsessed and philistine to be capable of creating anything? Just an observation.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.10.1

        Actually, I figure RWNJs have a great imagination. They must have to be able to believe the BS that they do. The real problem is that many believe that what happens in their minds is what happens in reality.

        BTW,

        1. Anne McCaffrey
        2. Mercedes Lackey

        And several other well known authors that I’ve read but can’t think of ATM are all RWNJs. This came to my attention once when I was reading an introduction to a novel by the author and she couldn’t understand why all these socialists kept writing to her to ask for her backing of some project or other. She was quite taken aback by it. After reading that I looked at other authors that I’d assumed were left leaning and found out that they weren’t.

        • Murray Rawshark 3.10.1.1

          Quite a few science fiction and fantasy writers are right wing, and some probably verge on fascism. A lot of their stories have very strong, self-sufficient characters who are superior products of evolution. The main difference from Ayn Rand is that they can usually write.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.11

      So that although the Nats have won the majority of elections in the last 70 years, they do so by carefully cleaving to the middle.

      Nope. That was, IMO from looking at the history, through gerrymandering of the electorates.

      John Key being an expert in this particular art.

      John Key is great at lying so that he appears moderate.

      They clearly see qualities in him that elude for instance many of the commenters on this site.

      They know that he’s a RWNJ on the side of corporatism.

      All a bit strange to me.

      That would be because you’ve got your ideological blinders on so that you won’t have to see the truth.

    • tricledrown 3.12

      Wayne the way Jenny Shipley never did Bolger was liked it was his cabinet that were hated Mostly Birch,Banks,Richardson and Shipley were hated!
      Key can’t be hated anywhere near what you claim,Wayne you were seen as an inefectual second tier boring bafoon!
      Nothing had changed their!

    • Clemgeopin 3.13

      I think intellectuals, thinkers, writers, artists, actors, playwrights and people with integrity see through Key and his dishonest lying destructive RW ways through and through. But, numerically, their size is small.

      US humours Key because he has shown to be their lap dog in his behaviour and policies toeing their line.

      The leaders in the five eyes club are a tight knit club for joint unity, collaboration and mutual support.

      Key has been a cunning operator with enormous amount of spin, BS and propaganda helped by the corporate owned media and his PR merchants, the Cosby Textor outfit.

      He has managed to fool a lot of voters for the last six years. Most people are not deep into politics. They take their cue from the media and get subtly influenced by the ‘NEWS’ and comments as presented by the media presenters! Most of them seem to favour the Nats and slide in snide unfair innuendos against the left in the course of dispersing their political ‘news’. This stays in the subconscious of those watching or reading the news. I am sure you have noticed that too, if you are observant.

      The RW is not only full of cash, selfishness and greed, but is also full of dirty politics, misinformation and dishonesty.

      As an insider, all this should really not be so strange to you.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.13.1

        The RW is not only full of cash, selfishness and greed, but is also full of dirty politics, misinformation and dishonesty.

        QFT

    • Tom Jackson 3.14

      It’s because conservatism tends to be ugly, boorish and has no intellectual credibility. You’ll get a few outliers like Eliot who end up tying themselves into ideological knots and the odd radical far rightist, but hardly any true conservatives.

    • Leftie 3.15

      ” the Nats have won the majority of elections in the last 70 years”
      False.

      There have been 5 Labour governments and 5 National governments, (The key led National government being the 5th).

      • alwyn 3.15.1

        The statement wasn’t about how many Governments there have been. It was about the number of elections won.
        There have been a total of 24 General elections in the last 70 years, the first being in 1946 and the last being in 2014. If we count “winning” an election as being the main party in Government after the election we find that National won 16 and Labour 8.
        On that basis a statement that ” the Nats have won the majority of elections in the last 70 years” is clearly correct.
        National won in 1949, 1951, 1954, 1960, 1963, 1966, 1969, 1975, 1978, 1981, 1990, 1993, 1996, 2008, 2011 and 2014.
        Labour won in 1946, 1957, 1972, 1984, 1987, 1999, 2002 and 2005.

      • Paul Campbell 3.15.2

        um – given that we basically alternate between National and Labour led governments aren’t there always going to have been roughly the same number?

    • English Breakfast 3.16

      Hi Wayne, like him or not, Key is enormously popular both in NZ and abroad. I remember in Helen Clarks heyday the right tried to paint her as the devil incarnate simply because NZ’ers supported her Governance in overwhelming numbers. The left is now making the same mistake about Key.

      • tracey 3.16.1

        He knows that cos he sat on the cross benches presumably oblivious to the Key/McCully/ Joyce/Farrar/Slater/Crosby Texter strategy to besmirch her and her husband personally, and thereby got into Cabinet.

        • English Breakfast 3.16.1.1

          Yep, politics eh. Who’d go into it? They’re all tarred with the same brush, left, right and centre.

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    Pretty editorially tragic that Catton’s comments had to have a postscript by the lizard in chief. A clear demonstration of the existence and determination to meddle of the shallow money-hungry neo-liberal vermin, and the media’s complicity in supporting them.

    • Paul 4.1

      Well the Southland Times are owned by Fearfax, who are owned by Reinhart.
      And remember the story was already out.
      Eleanor Catton had spoken to Indian media.
      The NZ media was only doing what it is is capable of – repeating, not reporting.

      And to top off their awful work, they went to their demi-God Key and got his view.

      Here is the article from India.
      http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/pzEq1u3frRLWQehmXjyzHL/Eleanor-Catton-In-the-last-year-Ive-really-struggled-with.html

      You’ll notice the Southland Times missed out some of Eleanor’s more damning criticism of our country’s culture, economics and politics.”

      “They ( our politicians) would destroy the planet in order to be able to have the life they want. I feel very angry with my government.

      There’s also an interview posted there about the issue.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        Comparing and contrasting those two write ups is kind of revealing.

        Some of the contexts for what she said appear to have been ripped up and swapped over by the Southland Times.

        • Paul 4.1.1.1

          Yes, I thought it would be kind of interesting to find the source for Fairfax’s article.
          The whole interview with Catton is interesting. Her comments about shallowness and a lack of respect for culture are totally reinforced by the aspect of the interview Fairfax focused on…and which parts of the interview they ignored.
          Eleanor makes a lot of thought provoking comment in the interview.

      • Ergo Robertina 4.1.2

        ”And to top off their awful work, they went to their demi-God Key and got his view.”

        Paul, get a grip. If the paper hadn’t got Key’s comment, I bet you would be saying the capitalist running dogs were not treating Catton’s comments with sufficient seriousness to warrant an approach to the PM’s office.
        And anyway – don’t you enjoy watching the man squirm?
        If they’d angled on his rebuttal by putting his comments at the beginning of the article you might have a point. But that’s not what happened.

        • Ergo Robertina 4.1.2.1

          I can’t edit the above for some reason; I meant ”response” rather than rebuttal.

      • Tracey 4.1.3

        and yet he has NO comment about mike sabin. funny priorities

        • Paul 4.1.3.1

          Anyone know where that story has got to?

          • Tracey 4.1.3.1.1

            key was asked yesterday and had no comment. was pushed about why he had no comment and said that he

            comments on what he wants to comment and doesnt comment on what he doesnt.

            close to a childish “because” as you will get.

            journo concluded he is distancing himself from sabin.

      • Stuart Munro 4.1.4

        Thanks Paul – a much more interesting article than the Herald’s. I guess shallow is what they’ve done so long they can’t imagine long-form.

      • Clemgeopin 4.1.5

        Thanks for the links.

        She speaks honestly and fearlessly.
        From the top link, this passage is thought provoking.

        ” But I think it is always a shame when people don’t stand up for what it is that they really believe. And I do think the problem we face in New Zealand is that we are reluctant to express firm beliefs in anything. An example would be, I was teaching in class in Auckland. I made up a statement with manifestoes from all over the world, different writers who all thought what writing should do or not do. I was going to give it out to my students and have them write about the one that spoke to them the most. When I was putting this document together, I thought, hang on, I don’t have any New Zealand writers here. And I spent an entire day on the internet trying to find an aesthetic statement from a New Zealand writer and there was nothing. Hopefully in the future, we have more people being brave in that way. We have this strange cultural phenomenon called “tall poppy syndrome”; if you stand out, you will be cut down. One example is that the New Zealand Book Award that follows the announcement of the Man Booker Prize, in the year The Luminaries won it, there was this kind of thing that now you’ve won this prize from overseas, we’re not going to celebrate it here, we’re going to give the award to somebody else. If you get success overseas then very often the local population can suddenly be very hard on you. Or the other problem is that the local population can take ownership of that success in a way that is strangely proprietal. So many people have talked in the media and me directly in ways of 2013 being the year that New Zealand won the Man Booker Prize. It betrays an attitude towards individual achievement which is very, uncomfortable. It has to belong to everybody or the country really doesn’t want to know about it. I know I shouldn’t complain too much—I’m in such an extraordinary position—but at the same time I feel that in the last year I’ve really struggled with my identity as a New Zealand writer. I feel uncomfortable being an ambassador for my country when my country is not doing as much as it could, especially for the intellectual world. It’s sort of a complicated position to be in. At the moment, New Zealand, like Australia and Canada, (I dominated by) these neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians who do not care about culture. They care about short-term gains. They would destroy the planet in order to be able to have the life they want. I feel very angry with my government”

        Read more at: http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/pzEq1u3frRLWQehmXjyzHL/Eleanor-Catton-In-the-last-year-Ive-really-struggled-with.html?utm_source=copy

    • Bill 4.2

      In the interests of ‘balance’, nothing critical goes unchallenged, while everything sycophantic is treated as self evident truth.

      Hmm…what’s your problem there Stuart?

    • Pretty editorially tragic that Catton’s comments had to have a postscript by the lizard in chief.

      Yes. In some alternative universe, it would be totally awesome if Fairfax asked Eleanor Catton to respond to whatever bullshit-of-the-day John Key comes up with. I’d definitely buy a fucking newspaper to read that.

    • They always go to him as a neutral political commentator.

      It’s very soothing for some people to be told how they should think.

  5. fisiani 5

    She’s just a greenie. Who cares what she thinks. She is obviously wrong. Winning a literary prize simply means she is good at writing fiction. Her opinions are fiction also that’s self evident. Being a greenie shows evidence of lack of judgement.

    • Colonial Rawshark 5.1

      Apparently you care what she thinks, a great deal, although it is somewhat poorly reasoned and expressed in your year 6 prose.

      • vto 5.1.1

        fisiani fulfils all definitions of a tro1l and it is 100% consistent in its postings. Complete and utter waste of space.

        I have no idea why it is granted such leniency …. ?

        [lprent: Doesn’t usually break the policy bounds. ]

    • McFlock 5.2

      Thanks for your concern, there’s a good lickspittle.

    • Bill 5.3

      Oh fisiani!…and neo-liberalism doesn’t seep from a stench of dying fictions?

    • stever 5.5

      “She’s just a greenie.”

      “just”? What’s the point of that word there?

      “Who cares what she thinks.”

      I’d bet quite a lot of people do, since she’s clearly an intelligent, thoughtful and articulate person.

      “She is obviously wrong.”

      Your opinion, I presume.

      “Winning a literary prize simply means she is good at writing fiction.”

      Well, you might say that…but a more honest interpretation is that she’s one of the best in the world at what she does. Aren’t we meant to celebrate that sort of thing?

      “Her opinions are fiction also that’s self evident.”

      What? Someone’s opinions are statements of what they believe to be true, so I think we can assume the things she says as opinions really are her opinions.

      “Being a greenie shows evidence of lack of judgement.”

      How?

    • Te Reo Putake 5.6

      Fisi reimagined:

      He’s just a Tory. Who cares what he thinks. He is obviously wrong. Winning a golf round with Obama simply means he is good at selling fiction. His opinions are fiction also that’s self evident. Being a Tory shows evidence of lack of judgement.

      Fisi cut up:

      She’s just a writing fiction. Who cares greenie that’s self evident what she thinks. She is obviously a literary prize. wrong. Winning shows evidence of lack of Her judgement. simply opinions are a fiction also means she is good at Being. . .

      Fisi haiku’d:

      Green writer’s words hurt
      sensitive Troll Beats chest, bleats
      Feels validated

    • Tracey 5.7

      at least she is honest. the nz initiative deliberately cultivate the lie that they are politically neutral.

  6. Molly 6

    According to Stuff:

    “Responding to Catton’s comments, Prime Minister John Key said he was disappointed she felt that way, but not necessarily surprised.

    “She has been aligned with the Green Party, and that probably summarises the Green Party view of this Government. “

    • Murray Rawshark 6.1

      ‘She’s creative and intelligent, and that probably summarises the view that creative and intelligent people have of this regime.’

  7. vto 7

    Key said this, amongst more “”I don’t think that reflects what most New Zealanders perceive of the Government. If it was, they probably wouldn’t have voted for us in such large numbers”

    Key of course has it completely arse-about. They voted for him BECAUSE Key is a “neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politician who do not care about culture”

    Key has conveniently provided support for Catton’s observation and proved her very point about him. Very shallow. And other

  8. emergency mike 8

    I interpret it more as “she’s a greenie, therefore she’s just repeating party political propaganda that no one should take any notice of.” I.e. it’s spin.

    He reduces her opinion to a relativist debate about perceptions ‘we won the election after all’. Thus not addressing her points at all, and dismissing the need to at the same time.

    Ad hominem, undermine, distract, neutralize meaningful discourse, smile and wave, go home. It’s all reflex stuff for Key, it’s not like anyone’s going challenge him or anything.

  9. Ad 9

    She may be “just a novelist”, but The Luminaries had a greater command of the economic history of New Zealand from the 1860s than most economic historians I’ve read here.

    Amongst other things, it detailed with real historical veracity the standard quarry-enclave economy that has dominated most of New Zealand’s development, together with all its attendant ethics, gender displacements, and cutthroat commerciality we have seen from the current administration.

    • The lost sheep 9.1

      Everyone here has read ‘The Luminaries’ of course?

      • weka 9.1.1

        no, why?

        • The lost sheep 9.1.1.1

          Because Catton said this..

          ” New Zealand did not have a lot of confidence in the brains of its citizens and there was a lot of embarrassment over writers.
          Catton said she grew up with the “strange belief” that New Zealand writers were less great than writers from Britain and America.
          “Because we were some colonial backwater, we weren’t discovered, which I’m hoping will change,”

          So i’m just hoping that you Weka, and all the others who support her comments on this blog, will show solidarity with NZ writers who are willing to stand out and voice an opinion, by actually buying and reading her books.

          Like you all will do tomorrow?

          Hate to think that you don’t give a shit about literature, and aren’t willing to put your hands in your pockets to support it, unless an obscure writer says something political that happens to align with your personal views?

          • weka 9.1.1.1.1

            That’s an odd argument. If I like someone’s politics I have to become directly involved in supporting their day job? Why?

            If I were to read it I’d get it from the library, or second hand, like I do most novels I read. How would that be not giving a shit about literature?

            It would be better if you just made your point directly. Are you annoyed that some people like her politics, but you think they don’t read novels and this makes them somehow… what exactly?

          • McFlock 9.1.1.1.2

            lol

            so if we haven’t read that book, we haven’t read any NZ book?

            And as for “obscure”… lol. Good one. Keep pretending.

            I wonder if Key read the book? After all, he actually claimed to ” have tremendous respect for what she does as a writer”. Most commenters here just seemed to be happy that someone was honest about NZ for once.

            • fender 9.1.1.1.2.1

              Keys respect for what she does would start and finish with her commercial success.

              • McFlock

                and the prize. He likes shiny things. As soon as he figures out how to get a Man Booker, he’ll buy it.

                • Clemgeopin

                  He likes shiny things

                  Akshully, you mean like that shiny Troty of the cringe-worthy-three-way-hand-shake fame?

              • Tracey

                he didnt like keshia castle hughes ..or catton.

                but he does like peter jackson..

                spot. the difference

          • fender 9.1.1.1.3

            That’s from the National Party playbook, throw money at sycophants and burn critics.

            • The lost sheep 9.1.1.1.3.1

              So none of you have read it then, or more especially paid for it?

              I thought not. Really didn’t give a damn for her or her art until she said something ‘Jonkey’ did you?

              • weka

                that doesn’t make any kind of sense.

              • Clemgeopin

                I have. Have YOU read it?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Didn’t take this Tory shill very long to abandon the pretence, did it.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  It was pretty obvious from the start, but made a valiant effort to hide the Tory streak that runs down the place other people have a spine.

              • tracey

                that is a HUGE leap LS.

                Have you read it? Seen all the LOTR and Hobbit movies? Every movie ever made by a kiwi or having kiwi actors? Do you have to go to an All Black match to have an opinion on them too?

          • tracey 9.1.1.1.4

            I bought it and read it.

            BUT I am pretty sure that people dont have to buy the book to have a view. Which would be like saying if you have never been robbed you cant have a view on law and order, or if you have never bought an investment home or stock you can’t have an opinion, or have never been a teacher so can’t have an opinion on teaching.

  10. Bill 10

    John Key – “I’m disappointed she (Eleanor Catton) doesn’t have respect for the work that we do…”

    bwahaha!

  11. Paul 11

    Here you can read the whole article about Eleanor Catton from India ( she is at the Jaipur Writers Festival) , without the attention of the editor of the Southland Times or the ad-homonym toxic nonsense spouted by Key, polluting Catton’s ideas and thoughts.

    http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/pzEq1u3frRLWQehmXjyzHL/Eleanor-Catton-In-the-last-year-Ive-really-struggled-with.html

    • McFlock 11.1

      actually, I’m vaguely tempted to read the book, too.

      • tracey 11.1.1

        Its a read twice job imo. I struggle for the first 100 pages but once there it was a great read. Couldn’t wait to get to the end. Am reading it again having schooled myself up on the astrological references at the beginning of each chapter.

    • weka 11.2

      thanks Paul!

  12. Macro 12

    She enunciates my thoughts exactly. The Arts in NZ have taken a back step since 2008. Helen Clark as well as being PM was also minister of the Arts and it showed. Not the case now.

  13. Paul 13

    The Herald now following the story.

    They also go for Key’s comment.

    NZ Prime Minister John Key said he’s disappointed Catton “doesn’t have respect for the work we do because I have tremendous respect for what she does as a writer”.

    The more you read that quote, the more pathetic it sounds.

    Imagine Kennedy saying ..”I’m disappointed Rosa Parks doesn’t have respect for the work we do because I have tremendous respect for what she does as a civil rights activist.”

    Imagine The French President of the time saying ..”I’m disappointed Marie Curie doesn’t have respect for the work we do because I have tremendous respect for what she does as a scientist.”

    It sounds so puerile.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11392635

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 13.1

      Haha .. Key is neither speaking to Eleanor’s audience nor to citizens with integrity and morals. But he is talking to his own elitist neolib club.

      • Paul 13.1.1

        No, he’s speaking to ordinary New Zealanders…the Waitakere Man who distrusts intellectual thought and the populace sated in celebrity and sports news.
        Sadly there are many people in this country hooked on the neoliberal pill and will continue to believe the lies we have been told till they themselves are affected.

        The Greeks have woken up.
        We are a long way away.

        • sabine 13.1.1.1

          leave the waitakere man and women out of this because quite a few of us did not vote for this pissant.

          • Paul 13.1.1.1.1

            OK ..he’s speaking to ‘aspirational’ Kiwis’ ‘Mum and Dad investors’ ….they are all terms to trick working class voters to go against their own interests.
            And sadly it works, thanks to the media/political complex.

    • Pascals bookie 13.2

      The Herald actually tidied up his response to save his English language fail

      “I’m disappointed she doesn’t have respect for the work that we do, because I have tremendous respect for what she does as a writer, and that’s why I think she’s been so widely acclaimed.”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/books/65463098/eleanor-cattons-problem-with-new-zealand

      yeah, she won the plaudits coz Key respects her.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.3

      NZ Prime Minister John Key said he’s disappointed Catton “doesn’t have respect for the work we do because I have tremendous respect for what she does as a writer”.

      I’me sure that John Key, like me, didn’t even know who Catton was or what she did before the news hit.

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    I don’t think that reflects what most New Zealanders perceive of the Government. If it was, they probably wouldn’t have voted for us in such large numbers.

    And the usual BS about large numbers voting for National despite the fact that almost 2/3rds of NZers didn’t.

  15. Paul 16

    Catton’s words.

    “these neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians who do not care about culture. They care about short-term gains. They would destroy the planet in order to be able to have the life they want.”

    That description so sums up Key doesn’t it.

    The last sentence in particular.

  16. A very wise lady is Eleanor Catton and it is great to see her saying it as it is.

    I read tonight that Key is disappointed Catton “doesn’t have respect for the work we do.
    Well J Key, you do not deserve respect for all your underhand ways you conduct the National Govt .
    You are the so called leader, then bloody well act like one , stop galavanting around the globe at our expense trying to be somebody.

    You are an embarrassment to many New Zealanders.

    • Paul 17.1

      Yes I was taught as a kid you earn respect.
      Key certainly has not earnt mine.
      Selling off the country to the wealthy is not the behaviour that gains my respect.

    • tracey 17.2

      Funny, he didnt mind peter Jackson playing an active role in the drive to change our labour laws but Ms catton… tsk tsk tsk

  17. Weepus beard 18

    That will be the last literary prize she receives.

    John Key will see to that.

  18. Saarbo 19

    Excellent!

    The problem is that everyone who reads tend to vote “Left”, the other 48%-52% vote National.

  19. sabine 20

    Quote: But Key refused to be drawn on Sabin’s future, as an MP or as chair of Parliament’s law and order select committee.

    Repeatedly quizzed on the allegations, Key would only say: “I have no comment to make.”

    Pressed on why he wouldn’t answer questions, he said: “Because I comment on things I want to comment on, and I don’t on things I don’t.”

    from here http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/65470014/john-key-distances-himself-from-mp-mike-sabin

    Pathetic he is this little man that would like to be part of the club, but he is nothing. was nothing. will never ever be anything. A gutless little lickspittle he is.

    • Paul 20.1

      Comments on Catton, yet nothing to say about his own MPs.
      A wretched PM.
      I’m as embarrassed as Eleanor Catton about the leadership of this country.

  20. saveNZ 21

    After what JK has done selling off the country not just the utilities, state houses etc but now our land and his human rights, surveillance etc, he will be remembered as the worst PM NZ has ever had. Good on Catton for telling it how it is. Soon like the US, 5% will be in obscene mansions and the 50% in trailers or cars. The beaches and rivers devastated by pollution, our dairy farms and residential property being owned by foreigners, etc etc

    • Paul 21.1

      Yup, we’ll be in the state Greece is in if we keep going down the track of selling everything and letting the wealthy pay no tax.
      Still the Greeks are now awake.
      NZ is sound asleep….only waking up for reality TV shows.

  21. Reddelusion 22

    All blacks voted for national and promoted as such, so what, a writer doesn’t like national and opines as such, again so what, neither party has a mortgage on the truth, if it helps you feel better by propping up and underlying belief or bias all good. Catton statement is superficial and childish green party slogans and hardly anything insightful

    • McFlock 22.1

      neither party has a mortgage on the truth

      National sold the truth years ago.
      Not just 49% of it, either – if john key says something, it’s a good bet he’s lying.

    • fender 22.2

      Failed your resolution eh deluded.

      Those “slogans” are accurate facts and only lacking insight to those with a closed mind such as yourself.

    • greywarshark 22.3

      Isn’t that interesting to see the RW machine start working. yek says it is Green inspired and here is someone repeating his comment already. Probably in a puppet show these days it’s all wire-less, the new way of performing is to go on a blog and start playing your programed lines.

  22. venezia 23

    How refreshing to read Eleanor Catton’s account of her experience as a successful writer and her thoughts about our current government. She very eloquently states what many of us feel. Our media seriously let us down by representing only the ideas of the ruling elites – the shallow, money obsessed, neoliberal lackeys that they are. And in many repetitive ways people are told what to think. Catton is right about our unwillingness to tolerate strong opinions, or even to speak the truth. Look what happens when a journalist expresses evidence based concern about dirty politics, or for the environment – eg farmers polluting our public water resources to generate wealth for their private interests. Rachel Stewart has had rape and death threats, and no doubt her very career will be at risk for upsetting the powerful financial interests in our country.

  23. Paul 24

    The Herald have updated their story.
    Their use of Language is clearly intended to get your average reader to be turned against Eleanor Catton.
    They describe her comments as an ‘outburst’.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11392710

    Read the actual interview and decide for yourself, rather than listen to John Roughan’s prejudices.

    http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/pzEq1u3frRLWQehmXjyzHL/Eleanor-Catton-In-the-last-year-Ive-really-struggled-with.html

    • Halfcrown 24.1

      “Read the actual interview and decide for yourself, rather than listen to John Roughan’s prejudices.”

      Thank you for the invite Paul, but no thanks. As I have said before that pathetic excuse for shithouse paper is the last place I would go for information or an opinion.

    • vto 24.2

      Yes, curious that they would use “outburst” to describe Catton yet don’t use “kneejerk” to describe Key.

      But what do you expect? The Herald is owned by some of the richest business people on the entire planet so of course the Herald is going to support Key.

      Herald is a pile of partisan shite

      • tracey 24.2.1

        and dont ask him if he read it and then follow up questions thereafter to put his answer to the proof (if affirmative).

        all the response and framing is doing is proving her very point.

        Janet Frame was lauded in the UK and USA long before she was here, same with Katherine Mansfield. Eleanor Catton, could with the same kind of support from the government given to LOTR and Hobbits create quite a tourism opportunity for the west coast… if our Minister of Tourism could actually see what is under his nose.

        • Murray Rawshark 24.2.1.1

          His nose is in Hawaii, up someone’s bum on a golf course. He can see that.

        • greywarshark 24.2.1.2

          A toothbrush moustache? Or is it that his pini-okeydokey nose is getting longer and harder to see beyond, over or even to limbo under? How low can you go!

          • tracey 24.2.1.2.1

            his hard portfolio (Minister of secret services) was beyond him… looks like anything beyond a cgi movie and all blacks is beyond his imagination

    • greywarshark 24.3

      Interesting how the media have turned it round from concentrating on her and her opinions to an opportunity for yek to shower us with his august opinions, to enter into every part of our lives – ubiquitous and noxious.
      edited

  24. Paul 25

    Local Bodies shows that other prominent intellectuals and experts are questioning our governments direction.

    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.com/2015/01/eleanor-catton-is-not-alone.html

    • vto 25.1

      Yes mr sprout does very well on his blog there, in particular his last paragraph where he says this;

      “Prime Minister John Key and his Government have been soundly criticised by our most internationally recognised writer, our foremost Anthropologist and historian and one of our most respected scientists. Our Prime Minister does not have a positive relationship with any of the above and has very little positive contact with them. Instead John Key has had a very close personal relationship with one award winner, New Zealand’s most widely known “shock jock” blogger, Cameron Slater.

      Some say that you can judge a man by the company he keeps ”

      Sums it up.

      I hope these people keep up their loud voices very much.

    • Skinny 25.2

      That because plenty of intellectuals have a social conscience. Just prior to the Key regime taking office I moved in with my then partner who had moved back to New Zealand from abroad. She had taken up a role as a law lecturer at the local university. It was one of the best streets in the city we were living, what surprised me was I assumed in this neighbourhood the street was full of Tories. At the time I was active in the Labour Party, come election time we put up a vote Labour hoarding on the outside of the deck which overlooked the bush park walkway. We started getting thumbs and neighbours stopping to chat, at a street party there was plenty of discussion how the Tories would under fund art & culture, attack the poor and strip our asset.

      Anyway my point is National deliberately act the way they do for ideological reasons, reminds one of another evil regime that were kicking around during the 1940’s.

    • Murray Rawshark 25.3

      This moderately well known scientist also questions the direction of the Key regime, or actually, whether it is an appropriate direction for Aotearoa. Anyone with a brain cell to keep the other company knows where this direction takes us.

  25. vto 26

    If Catton believes what she has said about people being too afraid of standing up for what they believe in, and she believes what she has said about the politicians, then perhaps she should consider a further retort to Key…

    … she should take this matter at least one more step. Stand up for what she has said. Don’t let it lie in yesterdays paper where it now resides, only to be dried up and blown down the street while these politicians grab the next soundbite.

    She should double it up.

    Go for it Eleanor, get stuck in again.

  26. Pernille 27

    Very glad that Catton is a critic of neoliberalism. I’m critical of it too but I don’t feel it reflects on the overall culture of New Zealand. If I were travelling abroad I’d still be full of love for this funny little country of ours and ever hopeful that the Key regime would soon be over. She sounds very young and inexperienced. Of course there would be more quotes about writing online from other countries. We’re tiny. Moreover, I don’t think JK Baxter, Janet Frame and Maurice Gee skulked around feeling embarrassed to be a NZ writer. Cultural cringe is old. We’ve been talking about it for decades.

    As for her not winning the NZ Book Award … I read somewhere that the judges felt it polarised New Zealanders. That would be true. I’m an AVID reader of literary fiction and found The Luminaries hard going. Technically it was a great achievement but on the whole it seemed kind of hollow. Some key NZ critics said this while other praised it to the skies and many ordinary readers have it on their shelves unread. In my not so humble opinion it was over-rated and Catton can’t accept this so is sour about NZ.

    I feel guilty saying the above because she seems like an excellent person.

    • tracey 27.1

      I disagree. I don’t often buy prize winning books because they can be hard going. I bought Luminaries because I have strong historical and current West Coast connections and I wanted to support a NZ writer because I know they do not make the kind of money our sports people make or our few hollywood actors.

      I did find the first 100 pages hard going, but once over that major character and scene setting front found it a rollocking good yarn. Yes, very well crafted but a great story and great character development. The last thing I would describe it as is “hollow”. So you think it was over-rated and I don’t. That is 1-1. I see no evidence she is sour at not winning the NZ book award.

      Your interesting choice of “skulk” and “sour” seem quite emotive when criticising someone who was asked to talk about her experience s a writer and honestly gave it which was then turned into a story back here. I know she has spoken publicly on many things over the last couple of years but this was chosen for publicity back in her homeland.

      Janet Frame wrote about her appalling treatment at the hands of our mental health system and other experiences of bullying and misfitness. She was an introverted person in many ways so to suggest her not saying something negative in a public speech must mean she loved everything about her home nation is absurd in the extreme.

      I suspect from your observation that you haven’t read much of Frame’s work or James K Baxter’s for that matter if you think they only had love for this nation of ours.

      • Murray Rawshark 27.1.1

        “I suspect from your observation that you haven’t read much of Frame’s work or James K Baxter’s for that matter if you think they only had love for this nation of ours.”

        I’m 100% sure. As usual, the right sanitises achievers and claims them as their own.

      • Pernille 27.1.2

        I agree that James K Baxter and Janet Frame were critical of our (50s) boring society and terrible psychiatric treatment. I do know that. In fact I know a fair bit about literature! I can’t really explain why I find her answers to the interview so sort of blind. She invokes cultural cringe and tall poppy syndrome while I expected her to be above that … once again that’s the NZ of decades ago and has nothing to do with Key’s govt, surely. It’s something to do with being a small ex-colonial society.

        She definitely expressed her disappointment in or disapproval of the NZ Book Award not going to her. That is bad form.

        As for 1:1 in opinions about the book, I’m not alone. I rushed out and bought the book the day it came out and guiltily gave up when I realised she was going to go through all 12 signs of the zodiac (and then some) instead of developing Moody’s character. I quite liked him. Later I went back to the book and managed to finish it. My interest was piqued a bit towards the end and I really admired the technical structure but felt there was nothing inspiring or deep about it. My opinion was shared by NZ writers and key reviewers like Kirsty Gunn, CK Stead and Guy Somerset. On my Goodreads page I have received hundreds of likes for my somewhat negative review. As for the Booker Prize, I feel it should go to a deeply significant book, not a “rollicking good yarn” (not that I found it that).

        My use of emotive language was just echoing hers when she said we can’t have embarrassed writers slouching around, or something like that. Have you read the full interview?

        I find it sooooooooo disappointing on The Standard that contrary views are knocked down and the view-holder is assumed to be buying into a vast right wing conspiracy. I’m almost a tribal Labour voter and a member of the party. I have voted Values and Green in the past however when Labour has gone to the right. I think it is wrong for everyone to assume that Catton is right 1) because she criticises the government and 2) because she won the Booker prize.

        • Tracey 27.1.2.1

          i didnt suggest you were part of any vast conspiracy, right wing or otherwise, i disagreed with your categorisation of Luminaries and suggestion that frame and baxter were somehow non critical of nz.

          so some people agree with you. i have the booker folks on my side. we have different views was my point. you invoke ck stead and others as though that makes your view more valid. it is not. it is different to mine.

          she expressed an opinion some agree with and some dont. it is. ot about right and wrong. you seem to be confusing opinion with fact.

          in any event the je suis charlie sentiment of embracing those who speak out seems short lived in some quarters.

          • Pernille 27.1.2.1.1

            Sorry, Tracey, I can’t quite let this go! It’s kind of my thing twice over, my passion for politics and literature. It wasn’t you who suggested I was … horror of horrors … “Right”. It was the other commenter. I’ve commented on the Standard only three times and on two of those occasions I was tarred with the “Right” epithet. I see other people getting torn to shreds and feel very sad that the biggest Left blog is so vitriolic.

            Once again you are right about the Booker judges agreeing with your opinion. The point I’m trying (probably very badly) to make is that her Booker win is a little bit controversial. Her book DID polarise people which I think is why it didn’t win the NZ Book Awards. This is not just my opinion, it is a factor in this whole “Catton criticising NZ” shemozzle. She is a unique voice and not one to be automatically agreed with because she has stature and has spoken out against neo-liberalism. In the same interview she maintained that novelists shouldn’t write poetry because to change genres would weaken their craft. What!!! Is she getting at CK Stead? I mean she is not always a person whose analysis of stuff is going to be reliable.

            I also object to the fact that she has expressed reluctance to be representing NZ when thousands of NZers celebrated her achievement and bought her book. I’m too lazy to quote what she said but it seemed ungracious to me. I didn’t like her book but many NZers including you obviously did … it’s kind of a lack of acknowledgement of her enthusiastic readers in this country. I think it sold exceptionally well.

            Maybe the interview in India is one she will look back on and shudder about.

  27. grumpystilskin 28

    I just went to the herald to re-read the article.
    Interestingly, It’s been rewritten in the last hour..

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11392710

    BTW, is there an easy way to track “updates” to stories on major news sites? It’s just I’ve been noticing some articles seem to differ in slant depending on the update.

  28. framu 29

    whats also telling is the pattern

    key is unable to take critricism without an attempt to denigrate , attack and belittle the messenger

    that, is a mark of a very weak, immature and insecure person

    • One Anonymous Bloke 29.1

      It can also be the mark of a calculating cynic, a strategy to unsettle the opponent and play to supporters.

      • Murray Rawshark 29.1.1

        I vote for immature. He is demonstrably childish. The cynicism comes from his Crosby Textor handlers.

  29. idlegus 30

    sean plunkett calls catton an ‘ungrateful whore’ but he is saying he said ‘ungrateful hua’ http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/books/65493542/radio-host-sean-plunket-lets-rip-about-eleanor-catton

    • vto 30.1

      confirms Sean Plunket’s place and standing in our society.

      laughable really

    • One Anonymous Bloke 30.2

      Yeah, of course he was completely innocent of the potential for confusion in the ‘minds’ of his audience.

      What a contemptible thing to say.

    • tracey 30.3

      so when jackson was unhappy about our labour laws, Key said “i am sorry peter doesnt respect my government”, akshally he changed our laws and gave a rebate to a billion dollar profit-making company.

    • McFlock 30.4

      Hmmm.
      Does Plunkett routinely drop Māori expressions into his radio diatribes, or is this a sudden case of “mad gone PC”?

      • Molly 30.4.1

        Lived with a few Irishmen back in the UK, and the phrase “hoor” was their version of whore.

        I too, wonder whether SEAN Plunkett is a consistent user of Māori expressions, or whether he did a fast conversion to Te Reo when he realised that might have been a step too far.

    • Murray Rawshark 30.5

      Ungrateful hua is designed for the knuckle dragging pakeha who have no notion of what it means. I don’t regard it as any better than ungrateful whore.

  30. Plunkett has had the good taste to call Eleanor Catton a whore and a traitor. Radio Live are spinning desperately that he actually said “hua”, which is risible (and still an obscenity), considering that he’s whiter than cottage cheese and ignorant of Maori.

    Naturally Stuff swallow the spin.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/books/65493542/radio-host-sean-plunket-lets-rip-about-eleanor-catton

    That’s the standard of her critics – Key acts relaksshed and lets his sycophants do the dirty work.

    EDIT: idlegus, snap!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 31.1

      Yes, a perfect expression of National Party values.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 31.2

      Is his Maori vocabulary so stunningly extensive? Should be put to the test.

    • Undecided 31.3

      No sorry but to my ears it sounded like he said “Hua”

      • tracey 31.3.1

        and what did you think he wanted her to be grateful for and to?

        • Undecided 31.3.1.1

          I think Seans got it wrong on this, everyones entitled to their opinion and to express it. I just don’t think he called her a whore is all.

          • tracey 31.3.1.1.1

            understood. I didn’t hear it so genuinely have no idea. That’s why I was asking you who you thought he meant she should be grateful to/for

            • Undecided 31.3.1.1.1.1

              I think he meant that she should be greatful to the people of NZ for the book sales, tax payer funded job and support shes gotten and shouldn’t be knocking it and, by extension, the people of NZ

              I feel that people should be allowed to say whatever they like and to be told shes a traitor makes Sean look a bit of a plonker

              • tracey

                and it is exactly that notion she was speaking to in her speech and which keeps our university employees quiet despite their statutory duty to criticise and be our conscience…

                Oh wait, as a university academic Catton was just enacting her statutory/lawful obligation under her contract.

              • greywarshark

                @ Undecided
                I think he meant that she should be greatful to the people of NZ for the book sales, tax payer funded job and support shes gotten and shouldn’t be knocking it and, by extension, the people of NZ

                Who was the creative that criticised the gummint lately and got this very same result – that of being ungrateful for the arts grant they were given and who should have shut up and choked on any criticisms? Not long ago. The name escapes me, but is the same attitude entirely as we see from Sean Plonkit.

      • rhinocrates 31.3.2

        “Hua”. Oh, that’s all right then – it’s a contraction of a very obscene epithet in Maori. And while we’re at it, since when is expressing criticism of a politician “treason” except in a dictatorship?

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 31.3.3

        “sorry” about what?

    • He seems to have a problem with women who don’t know their place – he was previously suspended for a while at Radio NZ after bullying Jeanette Fitzsimmons on air.

    • uke 31.5

      “Hua”.

      Definition of “hooer” from Harry Orsman’s “Dictionary of NZ English”:

      “A dial. or variant pronunciation of whore… also [used] freq. in the familiar speech of modern New Zealanders but rarely associated with whore, and often thought to be of Maori origin (hence the form hua)…. Used in opprobrious address or reference…”

      In other words, not a Maori word. But Plunkett could possibly be excused for not knowing that it meant whore. Of course, his insults only proved Catton’s point about top poppies.

  31. greywarshark 32

    The thread has stretched out. If anyone wants to read the original report from the Indian mint times Paul put it up here /eleanor-catton-on-nz/#comment-957974

    And then there was a youtube piece round the same area.

    And then Clemgeopin did a brick on part of the contents just below.

    In case you want to compare the original source with the Southland Times link in the post.
    It has promped much interesting discussion.

  32. Tracey 33

    .”Little said it was important to celebrate freedom of speech, especially after the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in Paris.

    “Two weeks on from one of the grossest tragedys in the world, which is all about freedom of speech, let’s celebrate freedom of speech, let’s celebrate and welcome what our writers have to contribute and to offer. 

    “Let’s actually listen to them, let’s not try and shout them down.”

  33. Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 34

    Thank goodness for taxpayers’ money that has enabled her work to be carried out and for her now to speak out.

    As a taxpayer, and together with many of my other taxpaying friends, family members and workmates, we would like to see more grants being made to her to write more beautiful books and express her views about the government.

    The last thing we would want to see is that she is silenced or bought off by support from public funds.

    Thank you, Eleanor.

    No doubt, the nutjobs would be wanting to bully her and also her colleagues into silence:

    http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/taxpayer-funded-middle-finger-eleanor-catton/5/212541

  34. Sable 35

    Catton is to be applauded for her honesty and courage. Shame some in the MSM don’t share this view but then what can you expect. Objective investigative journalism is mostly dead in this country.

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  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    22 hours ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    24 hours ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    1 day ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    1 day ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 day ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    2 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    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 There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    2 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    3 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    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 Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 mins ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    33 mins ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
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