Excuses, excuses

Written By: - Date published: 11:35 am, September 13th, 2011 - 67 comments
Categories: leadership - Tags:

Yesterday, TVNZ: “Mr Keys says no one could have predicted the amount of people who turned up on Friday night.”

Friday, Keys: “There were people that were skeptical that the Cloud was the right thing to do but actually I think they’ll eat their words because the issue won’t be whether the cloud is successful, the issue will be when the 12000 limit is hit and how many people get turned away [and have to go] somewhere else.”

From Stuff: “the Government must accept at least some of the blame, because it had received a report from the Auckland Regional Transport Authority on Rugby World Cup transport planning in July 2009.

The report, obtained by Stuff, said at that time there was “an attitude of `this is a small increase in business as usual’.”

“The impression is that the level of public transport required for RWC2011 is a little above normal. The levels of patron movement and operational standard [needed for the RWC] are in reality significantly above what is currently delivered.”

The Queens Wharf fan zone would “create a number of transport challenges given its close proximity to the Ferry Terminal, Queen Street and Britomart”, the report said.

“For an event of this scale, Auckland may not always be able to deliver ultra-high levels of event public transport for all spectators as well as providing normal scheduled public transport.”

Tracy Watkins: “Prime Minister John Key acknowledged yesterday officials had been working on an estimate of 15,000 people using the trains to get to Eden Park, a figure apparently at least two years old and never revised. On Friday, 60,000 passengers swamped the trains.

Mr Key suggests no-one in their wildest dreams could have anticipated a crowd of 200,000 people on the waterfront that night.

Really? Auckland’s annual carols by candlelight event, Coca-Cola in the Park, attracts about 250,000 people.

It seems derelict to expect anything other than a record crowd to an event combining a spectacular fireworks display, a mass waka arrival and concerts , and coinciding with the biggest sporting event ever hosted by New Zealand.

On the surface it appears as though no-one thought to link the two events in estimating the strain that would be placed on Auckland’s public transport system. Given the assurances provided by everyone from Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully down that every contingency had been planned for, the buck for that failure surely doesn’t just stop with the beleaguered train operators.”

67 comments on “Excuses, excuses”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    At the least Auckland Transport Chairman Mark Ford should resign as well.

    He and his crew appointed by Hide seem to have done nothing on a macro scale since the old ARC gave the worst case warning 2 years ago.

    A bit like the ‘hair on fire’ warning George Bush ignored

    • tc 1.1

      Yeah right, Ford gets 600k plus bonuses p.a. for being CEO of watercare which apparently has anywhere between 2-5 billion of required infrastructure catchup as J Banks demanded dividends not network re-investment.
      So see why he’s chosen by NACT to head up another under invested infrastructure body….he’s got good form in this area and I think all up making nearly $1mill p.a. now.

      • Herodotus 1.1.1

        tc – previously Water Supply Contribution was less than $2k/h.a. and a water meter for a new house was under $500. Now (1 of many reasons why new housing is so expensive) now to hook up water into a house is $7.5k.
        For a new sub division the local infrastructure is “gifted” as well as an ever increasing customer base. Yet this gifted infrasturcture is valued at current prices and the water price set has taken into consideration a rate of return based on book/purchase value.
        Banks, Brown and co have all agreed that watercare should not be milked for dividend to cover council spending – So why does it still happen? A cow that is easily milked to cover what is unacceptable spend ups.
        At least this coy mismanagment profits dont go offshore a reason for govt maintaining 100%owned assets.
        And felix re rocket surgery – the rocket blows up – result no need for surgery !! 😉

        • bbfloyd

          what a load of bollocks heroless…. your own hero’s were the ones who set up this “coy mismanagement ” structure.. now you, and your moronic brethren indulge in yet another disgusting, and dishonest bout of transferrence for no better reason than the thrill it gives you to play at being knowledgeable….

          i get the impression that if johnny sparkle crapped on your front lawn, you would be lauding it as an act of humility…and have the turd bronzed to impress your secretary….

          what a waste of space that brain cavity you possess is… time for it to be privatised so that the govt can pay off the bar bill for mondays cabinet meeting..

          • Herodotus

            Perhaps you could learn a few skills: reading associated with compreheshion.
            I am still awaiting to read anything from you that is backed up with support and is void of abuse.
            Heres a suggestion become part of a solution and not continue to be the problem.

            • bbfloyd

              not gonna happen old chap….you don’t say anything worth treating seriously…. so don’t mind me… i’m just amusing myself, poking holes in your hubris…

  2. Lanthanide 2

    “Mr Key suggests no-one in their wildest dreams could have anticipated a crowd of 200,000 people on the waterfront that night.”

    Actually that’s not true.

    They were talking about this on 9 to Noon this morning. Someone from an Auckland business group, maybe the chambers of commerce or some-such (who incidentally was heaping the blame on the council + Len Brown) said that a week before he had warned the council that the number of people turning up was likely to be 150,000 and not the 50,000 they were expecting. Turns out he was on the low side.

    Also on the news bulletin on Morning Report was a statement from one of the bigwigs at Veolia who said that they hadn’t been asked to put on additional train services and to expect 50,000 people (hence no need for extra trains).

    • felix 2.1


      Any fool – even a National party minister – should know the sort of crowds Auckland is capable of. Christmas in the park regularly attracts well over 200,000.

      Knowing that, and considering that this is the biggest sporting event ever held in NZ, and factoring in kiwis’ blind stupid love of rugby…

      Jeez, it’s not rocket surgery innit.

      • Joe Bloggs 2.1.1


        what a pity with such foresight that Len and his transport council were unable to organise transport and security in the city that they manage.

        Still that’s what you get when you elect a boy to do a man’s job

        • bbfloyd

          ah blow jobb… you’re back for more humiliation…. great! seeing as how you are obviously incapable of making adult statements,,, i will type slowly so that you don’t feel too awkward having to reach for that shiny book your mother gave you in the hope that you would develop some sort of literacy skills….. it’s called a “d i c t i o n a r y ” ….

          i’m so glad you still havn’t managed to get out of that juvinile stage that you seem to be stuck in…… otherwise you wouldn’t provide any entertainment value at all…. (i’ll wait ’till you’ve looked up entertainment before i go on)…

          so how does it feel to know that the only use you have is to provide light relief for your intellectual(look that up later) and moral superiors? and to provide proof that the national party relies on the most ignorant bigoted self absorbed section of society for support?

          does it make you feel important? i hope so ,,,, ’cause there ain’t any other use for you…….

          • Joe Bloggs

            sorry bb can you please translate that into lucid English? You lost me after the first line…

          • chris73

            Speaking of dictionaries: juvinile should be juvenile and havn’t should be haven’t.

            You can also use a dictionary to help with grammer and punctuation.

            • rosy

              grammer ?!

              • joe90

                Poor boy, another victim of Muphry’s law.

                • chris73

                  Well I wouldn’t normally point it out because my spelling leaves a lot to be desired at the best of times but if you’re going to tell people to use a dictionary then you really should make sure your own spelling is up to scratch.

                  (Hadn’t heard of Muphry’s law before but its a good one)

                  • rosy

                    “well I wouldn’t normally point it out”
                    Yeah me neither, tt was just because you did ;-)…. love muphry’s law, I do it all the time – also the one where you only notice the muphrys after you’ve sent the email or posted to the blog.

            • Anne

              and havn’t should be haven’t.

              Actually chris 73 it can be either…

        • Frank Macskasy

          Whoa, Joe. Back up there, boy…!

          Transport was run by Veolia – a private company. (Because private companies, as we all know are so much more efficient, right?!) Veolia was given that contract by the Auckland Transport Agency (ATA) – whose board of directors consists of FIVE government appointees and 2 from the Auckland Council.

          And the Police are responsible to the Commissioner of Police, who, in turn reports to the Minister of Police – not the Mayor of Auckland.

          And of course, Murray McCully is the Minister for the Rugby World Cup.

          I can’t be bothered explaining it all further. I just finished a couple of hours research and writing about it here, on my blog: http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/minister-in-charge-of-r-w-c-royal-wellington-based-cock-up/

          (With due respect to THE STANDARD’s admin – hopefully they are ok with me linking back to my article.)

          So it was not up to Len Brown. Len Brown don’t control the cops or ATA or Veolia. That’s all done by Central Government.

          And who controls central guvmint? Why… John Key!

          Ok, Dear Leader, let’s see you Smile & Wave your way out of this shambles! Because by the gods, we were damned lucky on Friday – lucky that no one was badly injured or killed.

          • HC

            Frank, thanks for correctly pointing out the facts!

            If there were indeed only 200 police officers on duty that night, then that is scandalous.

            For similar events in other “developed” countries you would probably have 600 to 1000 police on duty.

            And having heard that at Queen’s Wharf they had incompetent security personnel trying to control access to Party Central, that is more proof of a total screw-up. Many apparently queued, but others suddenly pushed to the gates when they were opened, so the ones who stood in a long queue along a fence, were pushed aside and never could get in.

            In total there lies more responsibility with McCully and central government. As Minister for Tourism Don Key must also have known that about 60,000 overseas visitors were in Auckland that day, planning to attend events along the water-front and at Eden Park. They did not bring their own cars with them, so public transport would have been their choice.

            Many were drinking alcohol, so did the government and organisers expect people to drink and drive rather than use trains and buses? I doubt it.

            Add to the 60,000 tens of thousands – or rather 150,000 plus locals and NZers from outside Auckland to flood into the CBD, and you have the chaos that happened. It was John Key who wanted Party Central and always told people to go there. He got what he wanted, but like McCully, he does not want to be responsible for failing to oversee, manage and organise affairs properly.

            Sack them all on 26 Nov. 2011, I can only say!

  3. SHG 3

    Does anyone have confirmed numbers of people diving into the harbour to escape the crush of the crowds? I found that story interesting.

    • Blighty 3.1

      “confirmed numbers”?

      One not enough?

      Do you think that someone is employing someone to get an official count on this?

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        If it was only 1 or 2, then there’s no telling that they jumped into the water specifically to avoid the crowds. Maybe they were just doing it for fun or their particular spot was very crowded and they actually got pushed, not jumped.

        Jumping into water to avoid a crowd is the epitome of desperation. if only 1 or 2 people did it, then it may not have really been a desperate situation.

        So the number of people doing it is somewhat relevant to help deduce their motive for doing it.

  4. Ianupnorth 4

    A colleague of mine went to the game and said the trains were fine, that the safety of punters was paramount; the biggest issue were unsupervised kids messing with the emergency bells.
    She described the trains of being less crowded than a European city commuter train. I guess many Kiwi’s haven’t experienced that delight!

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1

      Unsupervised kids who just happened to have been given $400 tickets ?? Really

    • Ianupnorth 4.2

      Their parents were on the train apparently and were happy for them to play with the train systems; like I said, comments from a colleague who would have nothing to gain from making it up.
      One other thing people may have overlooked, apparently it is only 4.5km walk from Britomart to the stadium; the average human walks at 5mph (or 8km/hr), so just over a half hour walk. Says a lot about peoples fitness if they couldn’t walk!

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.1

        Rich Tory parents not giving a fuck about supervising their little brats, by the sounds of it.

      • rosy 4.2.2

        Because one colleague had an acceptable experience on the train doesn’t mean there were not reasons for complaint on other trains…


        Mr van Eyssen is angry that transport officials blamed the delays on passengers pressing the emergency stop button, when this was done only because people desperately needed air on the already-stationary train.
        The Pukekohe resident phoned Veolia in a bid to have the carriage doors opened because passengers were suffering in the heat. The train stopped for 30 minutes soon after leaving the Orakei station.

        “There was no air circulation, no open windows and no air con,” said Mr van Eyssen.

        “It was really hot and people were showing signs of heat exhaustion,”

        He said the woman he spoke to on the phone said the rail company could not send anyone to the scene.

        “I said, ‘We’ve got people suffering from heat exhaustion and there’s kids crying’. The windows started to mist up because it was so hot.”

        He eventually told the operator that people would push the emergency button if somebody fainted. He was told not to do so.

        “We had a young girl – about 10 to 13 years old who was with her dad – who fainted. The people on the train were fantastic; they were giving her water, putting it on her face.

        “And then another girl fainted, so we pressed the emergency button to open the doors to get her off the train.

        “People on the train carried her and the train operators came and were just angry, asking who pressed the emergency button. They didn’t care.”

  5. Bill 5

    With apologies to Ronnie Corbett, a poster here with better photo-shop skills than me (meaning any!) should purloin either of the following images for McCully.


    or with a bit of photo shopping to bring his ‘ring master’ into the picture…


  6. Craig 6

    Exactly how is it that Len Brown and *his* council are to blame for the RWC Auckland train debacle last Friday when *former* Auckland Mayor (and current ACT Epsom candidate) John Banks and his council are the ones who presumably had allocative and operational responsibilities for expenditure and infrastructure matters until the recent defeat of the Banks/ C&R Auckland Now mayoralty and council…?

    If I were David Parker, I’d get a copy of the council report and stockpile any related findings for later on.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    Take a look at the print edition of the NZ Herald.

    For example, yesterday (Monday) on page A11.

    There is a big advertisement, with a picture of the phone directory, captioned “Queens Wharf Official Guest List”.

    The message is clear. Come on down, everybody. To quote the ad … “See you there, Auckland”.

    Who placed the ad? The government. They encouraged us to flock there, so we did.

    Key and McCully invited us – urged us – to party at the waterfront, and now they’re blaming us for turning up!

    • The Voice of Reason 7.1

      I’m really not very up with the social media stuff. Does anybody know if there have been instances of young people putting up party invitations on facebook saying everyone’s welcome and it’ll be the best thing ever, bring your mates etc. and then having it go badly wrong?

  8. Bill 8

    It has emerged that cup organisers had been expecting a crowd of up to 150,000 at the waterfront for weeks when they were publicly talking about a crowd of 50,000.

    Despite the burgeoning projections, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) kept encouraging people to attend the “biggest party Auckland has ever seen” and last week refused to discuss contingency plans for more than 50,000 people.

    The debacle is being reviewed but that is being conducted by the same people responsible for planning it.

    Auckland Transport chairman Mark Ford and chief executive David Warburton are reviewing their agency’s role with the trains, while ATEED chief executive Michael Redman is overseeing a report for councillors into the problems with events on the waterfront that his staff had been planning for four years.


    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 9.1

      And we had the cheek to laugh at the Delhi Games.

    • Joe Bloggs 9.2

      Good to see some decisive leadership finally emerge in Auckland.

      The Government will take complete control of ‘Party Central’ and will enlarge the ‘fanzones’ to include Bledisloe and Captain Cook wharfs. The move shifts responsibility for the area from the Auckland City Council. which has been seen to fall well short on delivering against its responsibilities.

      Comments on this site have demanded McCully trake responsibility. Well here you go!

      McCully comments: “Some of my critics have been suggesting I should take responsibility, well I am. I am stepping in to a space that the Government has not previously occupied,”

      “We’re getting on the front foot here and showing a determination to provide a larger footprint and a wider range of measures to assist with the management of crowds and the delivery of amenities.”

      At least McCully has been diplomatic enough to stop short of calling it a complete vote of no confidence in Mayor Len Brown and his transport committee cronies.

      • Pascal's bookie 9.2.1

        Hooten was saying on Friday (in the NBR) that McCully has been micromanaging the whole event. He had praised him for stepping on the toes of the various council busybody types and getting it all done. Said further that if as much as a sound system failed then McCully would be forced to resign.

        This little stunt is just the culmination of the last two days cynical blame game. And how many of the ‘committee cronies’ are Hide’s little puppies?

        • Anne

          And how many of the ‘committee cronies’ are Hide’s little puppies?

          More like Hide is their little puppy.

      • gobsmacked 9.2.2

        Strong decisive action from the Government.

        Righties “heart” Helengrad … hilarious!

        “Stop interfering with our lives! No … Interfere more with our lives! Er … four legs good, two legs better!”

        So, why hasn’t Rodney Hide been sacked? The government is taking over from the people appointed by … the government. Oops.

      • AAMC 9.2.3

        “Comments on this site have demanded McCully trake responsibility. Well here you go!”

        Now…. please straighten this out for me, I thought – stupid me – that as MINISTER OF THE RUGBY WORLD CUP, he was already in charge.

        National leadership eh, take the bull by the horns…. once it’s bolted. Nice one!

        This is just further evidence that Nat support is the result of religious like faith, not reason.

        • Joe Bloggs

          Omnipotent though he may appear to us mere mortals, McCully was not responsible for Auckland transport

          Responsibility for Auckland’s transport has always resided with the council transport committee and with hissoner King Len

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox

            Thwt would be the Steven Joyce and Rodney Hide appointed Auckland Transport wouldn’t it. Mark Ford is the chair.

          • marsman

            @ Joe Bloggs. Did you confer that responsibility for Auckland transport on Len Brown?

      • Joe, your kknowledge of who-runs-what is apalling. You really need to educate yourself on,

        * Auckland Transport Agency

        * Veolia

        * McCully’s role as the Minister for the Rugby World Cup

        * and who the Police report to (hint: it ain’t Len Brown)

        Unless of course, you’re simply trolling for the Nats/ACT, in which case I’m wasting my time on you.

  9. insider 10

    There are a bunch of munged up numbers there that make the article confusing if not meaningless, which is journalistically annoying.

    It says “15,000 people using the trains to get to Eden Park, a figure apparently at least two years old and never revised. On Friday, 60,000 passengers swamped the trains”. Is she saying all 60k people at Eden Park went by train? Not likely. Those numbers therefore are not incompatible. How many actually did catch the train to the stadium?

    I’d also be slightly sceptical about the waterfront crowd numbers. Recent history shows they have a habit of being inflated. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/christmas-in-the-park/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501006&objectid=10693318 . Do you really believe a quarter of the total city population was there in that small space. Might have felt like it but doesn’t seem to pass the sniff test.

    Not sure if that makes the problems worse or less worse though….

  10. Pascal's bookie 11

    Also might be worth asking around to find out if, given the capacity of ‘party central’ anyone had thought about advance ticketing for the place, and if so, who rejected the idea. (Hint MM on the ixnay)

  11. Reposted from open mike.
    What the …
    Wellington is seizing control of AUckland’s waterfront using the RWC powers.
    Pillocks.  There are no further planned concerts and no likelihood of a repeat of Friday’s events.
    They are trying to shift blame.  This is deeply, deeply cynical.

  12. Pascal's bookie 13

    McCully just used his powers under the Rugby World Cup Empowerment Act to declare that France, South Africa, and Australia are not proper countries anyway so they can fuck the fuck off back home.

  13. Pascal's bookie 14

    Anyone hear McCully on checkpoint?

    Backtrack!!! Aaaarghhhh, where’s the handbrake?11?! It wasn’t me, it was officiaaals! No such decision has been made, we are just exploring possibilities, it’s just a big unknown known of a conundrum. It’s a state of flux. It’s a quantum waterfront!!, that’s the ticket.

    It’s not a takeover though, no matter what we were saying an hour ago, he said boldly, with decisive oozing from his pores.

  14. randal 15

    the pm has become little more than a HIGH PRICED HOORAY HENRY. How many times has he said he is going to quit if it doesn’t go his way and tonight he had the effrontery to say in the house that the transport system worked okay for 12,000 on Friday nnight. That is very close to saying let the rest eat cake if there is no bread.

  15. HC 16


    Following the example of the former mad leader of the brown shirted masses in Germany, who on 23 March 1933 brought in a special enabling act to seize power and take over controls, our beloved Grand Leader Herr Don Key has today commissioned his loyal kamerad Murray McCully to take similar action, to start of with, for the Auckland waterfront area.

    Having had the foresight last year, a so-called Rugby World Cup 2011 (Empowering) Act 2010 was passed already last year, to give the National Government powers needed to ensure ORDER, PEACE, CIVIL OBEDIENCE, the SAFETY of NZ’s ECONOMIC SURVIVAL and STABILITY.

    Now the “incompetent” Auckland Council will be relieved of it’s responsibilities, which it apparently failed to honour.

    So with immediate effect the government of our beloved nation is taking over the direct control of Party Central, Wynyard Quarters, the Viaduct and areas nearby.

    This will ensure that we can all enjoy a great and happy RWC for the remaining time, as well as the ensured re-election of the only government that is capable of handling this country’s affairs.

    Hurra, hurra, hurra, hail thee, hail thee, hail thee, we are all one and follow our Great Leader!

    (disclaimer: Information received via media reports, of which the authenticity remains to be clarified).

    DF – A “centre right blogger”

  16. logie97 17

    I suppose it is too late to ask for Wodney’s views on this. NACT foisted the new council on us (against our wishes). The current/past minister for local government should be pilloried for this debacle as well. Where the hell is he? Slipped away unnoticed eh?

    • Anne 17.1

      Noticed he was present in the House at Question Time today. Camera played on him briefly. He appeared to be taking no notice of proceedings.

  17. prism 18

    What about the waka debacle. I feel most upset that people got injured. It was reported that about 150 people were trying to get through the crowd near the wharf among them old people. After making demands for feathers and other items which were refused some of the drunken bums got nasty. Beer bottles and cans were being thrown at the group from within the crowd. Five women were reported as going to hospital, and one woman with a broken rib. Police were about 10 metres further on but waited till the group had managed to move closer and didn’t apparently try.

    • joe90 18.1

      That’ll be the drink letting the nasty wee racist underbelly out.

    • Aye Prism.  Absolutely awful.

    • Indeed, Prism, absolutely disgusting. An insult to the women who were abused; to Maori; and to the whole country.

      If I may set my liberal-hat to one side…

      Hosing the bastards with water cannon would’ve been appropriate.

      *puts liberal hat back on*

      • insider 18.3.1

        Well one of the ‘abused ‘ waka people said on rnz that the abusers were of mixed ethnicities, including maori. Other reports say it was the waka people who created an issue by trying to force their way through a packed crowd in an I’ll mannered and aggressive way. So which group would you have water blasted?

        I think sharples needs to learn to wait for a few more reports to come in before reaching for the ‘cultural offence’ card whenever there is a scene involving a group of Maori.And let’s not go looking for racism when it could be common garden colourblind bad manners.

        • Blighty

          yeah, I’m not reading about the waka rowers beating bystanders up….

          Whatever spin you take, this was a failure of organisation at party central.

          • prism

            @Blighty – You’re right – mustn’t lose sight of the reason for this happening which
            “was a failure of organisation at party central”.

            As far as insider goes – talking about ‘I’ll’ mannered waka group trying to force their way through – I would think that they would be anxious to get away from the crush, and only determination would open a path. Of course drunks do not care about themselves or anybody or general social courtesy and would soon object to someone asking them to make way and failing that to push through. And the crowd weren’t colour or culture blind, as people were asking for their feathers and other things for souvenirs. Of course they wouldn’t give away any of their clothing and it was felt that then the abuse really started.

        • felix

          What are the quotation marks for, insider?

          You think women break their own ribs? Nice one.

        • Frank Macskasy

          You refer to “other reports”. Links please?

          And as Felix pointed out; the women who were abused broke their own ribs? Threw bottles at themselves? And why refer to abused as “abused”, in quotation marks?

          As for “And let’s not go looking for racism when it could be common garden colourblind bad manners.”

          It’s pretty hard to escape the suggestion of racism when it was the Maori women who were abused – no one else (that we know of).

  18. Wead 19

    Rugby World Cup Schedule and Qualifiers details here

    Rugby World Cup 2011 Schedule
    Rugby World Cup 2011 Results

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    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    2 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    4 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    4 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    5 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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