Elias is right, will we listen?

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 am, July 18th, 2009 - 44 comments
Categories: law and "order" - Tags:

The rednecks have predictably got themselves into a tizzy over Chief Justice Sian Elias’s comments on the need for judicial reform. I think you should read the speech for yourselves. It is an expert in the field discussing how the justice system is failing. Failing both victims and offenders, and the taxpayer. I’ll put in just a few quotes:

elais1

—–

elais2

Elias quotes Shirley Smith, in whose honour she was speaking:

shirley smith

I don’t think there’s much I need to add to that. Elias is right. Not because she’s some maverick saying something unprecedented. She is saying what the experts have been saying for decades. The problem is the politicians don’t listen because they see crime as a political battlefield.

There is a proud tradition of judicial independence in this country. Elias was completely within her rights to raise issues of how our justice system is run when addressing a Law Society conference, She did not cross the boundary of entering into political debate because she is not specifically supporting or opposing any parties’ policies.

If only a political/media culture was mature enough that Elias’s comments would lead to a proper debate on our justice system. It’s clear that’s not going to happen.

[On a side matter, Tv1’s Jessica Mutch said Justice Elias had annoyed her “bosses in the Beehive” with her comments. Did she not take Pols 101? In our system of government the judiciary is independent. The ministers are not the judges’ bosses.]

44 comments on “Elias is right, will we listen? ”

  1. Peter Martin 1

    Further to your side matter…it appears that she is not alone in her lack of knowledge on things constitutional.

    Colin Espiner has had his words fed to him on this…
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/blogs/on-the-house/2600772/Dame-Sians-last-stand

  2. Tim Ellis 2

    Simon Power is not the first politician to criticise the Chief Justice for veering into political territory. The former attorney-general labelled her a “judicial activist” and said she was behaving like a “shop steward”.

    Even Helen Clark had a go at the Chief Justice for going beyond her judicial brief.

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      That’s interesting Tim, but I struggle to see how it’s in any way connected. By which I mean to say, why we should give a fuck.

      Perhaps you could help me out with a syllogism, hopefully explaining how we get from:

      “Even Helen Clark had a go at the Chief Justice for going beyond her judicial brief.”

      to

      “the content of Sian Elias speech should be ignored so as not to upset the rednecks”,

      or whatever it is.

      I say ‘whatever it is’ because I have no idea what you are getting at with your comment. By which I mean to say, again, why we should give a fuck about the things you brought up, in the context of Elias’ speech.

      To coin paraphrase; Got content?

      • Tim Ellis 2.1.1

        I’m not a redneck, PB and I didn’t get into a tizzy about what the chief justice said.

        • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1

          Interesting but still no syllogism.

          So no then, you’ve not ‘got content’.

          Rightio.

          • Tim Ellis 2.1.1.1.1

            I’m not dancing to your tune PB. One of the main points that zetitic made in this post is that the red necks are getting into a tizz over the chief justice’s comments. I put it into perspective by pointing out that the chief justice got off side with the last government for judicial activism as well.

            As interesting as the call for a prisoner amnesty may be, it doesn’t seem to be taken up by the Labour Party.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I don’t know what tune you are dancing to Tim, that’s kind of my point.

              How does something the last government said in an entirely different context put anything into perspective? What perspective? Is it a useful perspective, or one that only serves to distract?

              The ‘call for amnesty’ was a few lines in a 16 page speech. It’s the line that the rednecks have run with because it serves their purpose to focus on that rather than the arguments Elias put forward that led her to make that comment.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1.1.2

              And it’s Eddie’s post. not Zetetic’s, and the rednecks part is hardly the point.

            • Rex Widerstrom 2.1.1.1.1.3

              As interesting as the call for a prisoner amnesty may be, it doesn’t seem to be taken up by the Labour Party.

              Bingo. Silence from Justice spokesperson Lianne Dalziel on this. Not a peep. In fact the last thing I recall hearing from that particular MP was the appointment of her colleague to the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Board on the basis that “she’s from Hamilton”.

              This is an important issue, it’s one on which Labour could – and should – take the lead and support Sian Elias (not necessarily back everything she’s said, but back a debate) and yet the person responsible is notable for her absence.

              Not good enough.

            • Anita 2.1.1.1.1.4

              Rex,

              You might be interested to read this. While blogging is hardly engaging with the public, or publicly backing Elias, I enjoyed it and it’s clearly well thought through.

            • Rex Widerstrom 2.1.1.1.1.5

              Anita: I think your link’s broken.

            • Rex Widerstrom 2.1.1.1.1.7

              Okay, so Lianne Dalziell – very quietly, on a blog that preaches to the choir and not in the MSM – supports Sian Elias’s right to voice her opinion but agrees with Power:

              rightly kicking for touch the suggestion to bring in “early release amnesties’ as occur in other jurisdictions

              1. Power didn’t “kick for touch” he ruled it out.

              2. Amnesties work and have been shown to have minimal or no deleterious effects (in terms of any increase in reoffending) in other jurisdictions. So “kicking for touch” isn’t an adequate response. Get a policy, back it with a rationale, then defend it.

              It’s Labour who have “kicked for touch”. Again: Not good enough.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1.8

              It’s Labour who have “kicked for touch’. Again: Not good enough.

              Agreed Rex, Labour should be shouting the speech, the facts and their support of Elias and finding better methods to decrease crime from the rooftops.

  3. aj 3

    I’ve read that from end to end and I can’t see where she has stepped onto political territory.

    Eddie is quite correct: “Elias was completely within her rights to raise issues of how our justice system is run when addressing a Law Society conference, She did not cross the boundary of entering into political debate because she is not specifically supporting or opposing any parties’ policies”

  4. So Bored 4

    Sian Elias is to be applauded for her well chosen and wise words. We need more people like her in the places that matter who are not afraid to give an interpretation to something that does not match conventional mores. I am certain that she understands the political nature of her comments and does not need Power or any other lightweight to point out that she may be slightly offside. They might do better if they responded to the message, not the messanger.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      No, what we need is for the people outside of government to listen to her and then demand that our representatives do something about actually reducing crime rather than locking up the criminals and throwing away the key.

      • Swampy 4.1.1

        Would you prefer to live in a police state?

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          We get a police state from listening to the radical nut jobs in SST and Family Fist. This can be proven by the fact that our incarceration rate is second in the world.

          We don’t get a police state from actively working to decrease crime by supporting the people who have children, community reeducation on what causes crime etc.

          You know, When I read F. A. Hayeks’ The Road To Serfdom I was able to point out a real life example to his book – the USA under George W, Bush. Everything that he describes as happening under socialism was happening under a massive right-wing, anti-socialist government.

  5. stormspiral 5

    The media, and some posters here have missed the point entirely (as they do). Why on earth are they not looking carefully at the measured content of the speech, rather than getting bogged down with arguing about whther or not she should have said it?

    Somebody had to stand up and say it, and the least others can do is to look at what she said, along with its validity. It’s long past time for people to start looking at the part the whole society plays in what that society has produced and how it has happened. It’s called ‘taking responsibily’–that phrase that is so often aimed at the victims and almost never at the creators of the circumstances.

  6. Ianmac 6

    I liked Fran O’Sullivan’s piece in the Herald:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10585121
    especially the quote : “there is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world and that is an idea whose time has come”. Maybe the time has come the Walrus said to speak of enlightenment and non-political debate to stem the tide of outraged McVicars and lazy media.
    Read also Lianne Dalziel’s good piece at Red Alert.

  7. BLiP 7

    For those opposed to the Elias Solution, its not about listening. In fact, none of the human senses are involved at all. For them its all emotion, especially fear and greed,

    The fear has been pumped up by the McVicars of this world who have stood over and intimidated hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders to such an extent that they are living their lives frightened even in their own homes. And the greed has spilled over from the John Key National Government Inc lying prostrate before the its spiritual leader, The God of Profit, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the cost is being extracted from New Zealanders in misery as well dollars.

    The Elias Solution requires the application of the intellect, bravery and a generosity of spirit – qualities the knuckle-draggers struggle with at the best of times. We really do need strong leadership to see us through if Aotearoa is to address the crime issue and strengthen the nation.

    And where is our leader at this time, in the middle of this tough, economically depressed winter ?

    Well, according to The Herald, the nice Mr Key just got back from a trip to the Islands and is soon off to Cairns, then he’ll be heading to New York, there’s another trip to Oz, after which he’ll be going to Singapore, then there’s a trip to the Caribbean, following which he will be going to Thailand, there’s also a trip to Malaysia and, of course, lets not forget the trip to Tokyo for the rugby.

    Still, I suppose he’s got Wilkinson, Collins, Tolley, Bennett, and Lee to babysit us. Perhaps they can show us how to listen, when they are not out shopping for new shoes.

  8. stormspiral 8

    Fran is one of our more intelligent journos, but she also has fallen into the trap of giving space to Mr McVicar, which adds to the power of his group of ‘like-minded people’. The power of groups like that lies in their ability to be qouted, and this power goes far beyond the numerical value of their opinions. All societies have groups of all kinds with all sorts of opinions. Democracy decrees. rightly, that they should be heard, but that should not limit the ability of other different minded people to be heard. Once upon a time PR was constrained by the need for truth. In this competitive market it’s a race to see who can make the most noise. Journalism is also like that, which explains some of the inflammatory senseless twaddle that goes under the guise of news.

    Fran also says,
    ‘Elias got herself offside with former Prime Minister Helen Clark when she criticised the then PM for showing a “lack of understanding about judicial independence”, earning herself a broadside in return that judges should “stick to the bench”.’
    — a great point. This thing should not be bounded by political affiliations. It’s too important.

    Another good one to listen to is the first half of yesterday’s RNZ Jim Mora Panel, where Gordon McLaughlan and Brian Edwards did the great job of questioning Mora’s mores.

    • Ianmac 8.1

      Great listen thanks Stormspiral, on Jim Mora’s show. Nearly half an hour of considered thoughtful comment from Ewards and McLoughlin.

  9. RedLogix 9

    Well said BLiP. I downloaded and read the whole of Elias’s speech last night and quietly wept. Has the standard of public discourse in this country reached such a low point that such calm, measured and wise words, from a person of such experience and stature, be anything other than welcomed?

    Just posting to add my support here. I’ve little to add to the substance of this topic just now, except to say how deeply fed up I am with having to listen to ignorant, emotive and profoundly stupid rednecks shouting down the sane voices of justice and reason.

    • BLiP 9.1

      Cheers Red. I too tend to despair from time to time with what passes as contribution to discussion from the trolls and like to remind myself of a quote from e e cummings:

      To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else is to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight. Never stop fighting.

    • Rex Widerstrom 9.2

      Just posting to add my support here

      Good on you, RedLogix. But… and I don’t mean this to sound snarky at all, but it probably will… does anyone think Sian Elias has the time or the inclination to read The Standard?

      If we’re lucky she might have read a few MSM columns like Fran’s, but I imagine she’s feeling pretty embattled right now. I also imagine the lady’s not for turning (to borrow a phrase) but it still might be an idea for those of us who support her ideas (or even just support her right to speak out) to let her know directly:

      The Chief Justice
      Chief Justices Chambers
      PO Box 1091
      Wellington

      A letter or two to the dreaded MSM wouldn’t go amiss, either.

      • Anita 9.2.1

        Yes yes yes!!

        A letter or two to the editor is entirely do-able for anyone who’d take the time to comment here (and many others), and it could actually make a difference to this debate.

  10. North 10

    It’s the old “story about the story” rubbish, yet again, from sections of the media.

    The story is about New Zealand’s 2nd in the world level of incarceration and its consequences. Simple simple simple …… Media idiots want to make it into some major constitutional event, and for the weakness of the Right’s position on the issue they have a ready conspirator in that light-weight Simon Power fellow.

    Why were they satisfied with his pompous lecture on the branches of government ? Because they’re lazy ? Because their cognition is not great ? Because dispositionally they’re not listeners ? Because their big-fish-smal-pond egos need to have them right in the story ?

    It’s a mixture I guess…….

  11. Swampy 11

    “Surely it is time we asked as a nation why we are taking this approach instead of looking at the root causes of crime.” – quote from Fran O’Sullivan.

    Good stance but the replies in this thread and everywhere else show that the bulk of the population is not prepared to look beyond their own self interest, let alone the vast majority of liberally minded politicians.

    Family breakdown is one of the most consistent determinants of disadvantage in society at large yet successive governments have made it easier for families to split and separate. Labour’s introduction of the DPB offered a financial incentive for parents to separate yet the miserly benefit payments lead to poverty and disadvantage compared to the income in a household where one or more of the parents are working. I doubt anyone in the Labour Party really cares that much about the downsides of creating new categories of welfare and state dependency, they are far more interested in the political power they can buy through expansion of the State bureacracy.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Family breakdown is one of the most consistent determinants of disadvantage in society at large…

      http://www.physorg.com/news163090610.html

      The bottom line, she said, is that children in high-conflict married households tend to do no better than those in stepfather and single-mother families. How well parents manage their anger and conflict is obviously important for the outcomes of children, but, she stressed, policy initiatives that promote marriage “need to take account of how variation within marriage relates to child well-being.”

      http://www.counselorlink.com/divorce-children/

      Should we stay together for the kids? The answer from research is this: in a low conflict marriage, you can stay together for the kids with a reasonable hope that your sacrifice will pay off. In a high-conflict marriage, on the other hand, you can separate or divorce with confidence that you have helped your children escape the seriously damaging consequences of fighting between parents. Used wisely, both the questions and the answers can enrich the decision-making process and make your client’s time in therapy more useful and productive.

      Not really all that consistent. If people are considering divorce it’s probable that they exist within a high conflict marriage which is more damaging to the children than the divorce.

  12. Her Honour, Chief Justice Elias is just that, a legally trained Judge. This means she has degrees in law and experience as a lawyer and a judge. Degrees in law does not make one an expert in penology – there is no penology course on offer in any law school in New Zealand.

    When she gave that speech she spoke outside her field (and made an ass of herself in my opinion.)

    I guess that is what you get when you make political appointments to the bench.

    • QoT 12.1

      Damn straight. It’s not like extensive experience within the judiciary might have brought one into contact with recidivist criminals for whom our current “justice” policies have failed. Or demonstrations of how the law can fail to deliver justice due to political motives being imposed on legislation.

      Dame Sian has certainly not formed relationships with people in all areas of the justice system and actually discussed what does and doesn’t work with them, and she by no means is versed in how other countries implement justice policy and what effects they have seen.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      The sheer stupid in Madeleine post is mind boggling.

    • Killinginthenameof 12.3

      In that case all your beloved McVicar should be doing is milking cows and gnashing his teeth about the maaaaris.

  13. RedLogix 13

    You confuse the knowledge gained from studying for a University Law Degree qualification (degrees being only an entry ticket into most professions) with the experience gained from many, many years working in the Courts, working day in and out with the penal entire system and all it’s numerous actors.

    The notion that “she spoke outside her field” is ludicrous.

    You may have also overlooked that Elias’s brother-in-law, Jim Fletcher, was murdered in Papamoa some years ago, so I imagine she also has some experience with what victims go through as well.

  14. Galeandra 14

    Madeleine says:Degrees in law does not make one an expert in penology there is no penology course on offer in any law school in New Zealand. ..she spoke outside her field (and made an ass of herself in my opinion.)

    Her speech seemed considered and wise- her judicial experiences contributing in no small part, I should think. Perhaps one day she might contribute to a ‘school of penology’ if one were to be formed. We surely need one, if this debate is any indication.

    The slur about ‘political appointment’ was simply that- so what’s your contribution to this most concerning issue?

  15. stormspiral 15

    Nice one, Red.

  16. The Chief Justice’s speech should be essential reading for anyone involved in the criminal justice system. Imprisonment does not work as a means of reducing crime levels. It’s so obvious, yet it seems nobody in power cares.

    There’s nothing particularly controversial in what she said. And I’m not convinced she’s crossed a line into forbidden territory. Judges make comments about sentencing matters all the time. They are often involved as speakers at conferences and law seminars. That a judge should have an opinion on something directly relevant to her job is really not that controversial.

    However, her message clearly doesn’t appeal to the usual suspects, becauses it exposes them as fools.

  17. randal 17

    who listened to hootn on rnz this morning.
    he just wanted to shoot the messenger
    the nats have made a pact with mcvicar and his lot and they do not want to face the facts.
    he has riled the rednecks and made a whole lot of angry rednecks permanently pissed off.
    I guess thats because otherwise they would begin to focus on how much prisons cost and the tanking economy.
    ity easy to feel angry but feeling angry all the time is psychopathic.
    some of these people should get a life and if they need a little re-assurance try reading a book on guadalcanal or d-day and the sacrifices made there.
    otherwise its just more me me me me me me.
    they should try living life on lifes terms.
    trying to direct everything is just self centredness to the max

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  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    5 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    5 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    5 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    6 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago

  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
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