Expect the unexpected

Written By: - Date published: 2:36 pm, September 28th, 2008 - 44 comments
Categories: election 2008, helen clark, john key - Tags:

I’m probably going to be at odds with my fellow Standardistas in this but I support having debates featuring just Clark and Key. One of these two people will lead the country after the election and we deserve to see to them in a forum where they go head to head against each other, rather than only appearing in debates where they are just two of eight voices (that said, they should also appear in the broader leaders’ debates).

I think it’s interesting that Key is keen to have these three head-to-head debates. Wise old voices had been saying that Key would shy away from debates, particularly head-to-heads, because he wouldn’t be able to foot it with Clark. But that’s wrong. National is spending a huge amount on media training for Key. Even when caught by surprise, he is noticeably better than the blathering fool that was once ‘Key unspun’. He has become much better at delivering his pat answers in a convincing manner. He doesn’t look horribly out of his depth as he used to. Watch for Key to disappear for days at a time in the run up to the debates as the media training intensifies.

National’s calculation is that Key doesn’t have to best Clark; he just has to beat low expectations of his own performance. They will be putting a lot of stock in a positive outcome from the debates to give them momentum, which they are lacking at the moment and which the their tax package is unlikely to deliver (seeing as it will either be embarrassingly small or will come at the cost of higher debt or large spending cuts). In other words, expect Key to do much better in the debates than you would expect. National wouldn’t have agreed the head-to-head option if they didn’t expect him to do well. 

44 comments on “Expect the unexpected”

  1. Anita 1

    I’m pretty sure the original plan was to have both Clark/Key debates and eight-leader debates.

  2. oh. well, if that’s right then they i would say they shuld go on the 8 leader debates too.

  3. Rex Widerstrom 3

    I agree Anita / Steve. What’s wrong with both? It’s not like there’s not an almost endless range of crap that couldn’t be bumped to make way for two debates, surely?!

  4. randal 4

    like dude we might miss top gear or some fat sheila taking her clothes off or siamese twins doing it if there wuz poltics on tv. keep poltics out of teevee!

  5. Ianmac 5

    Yes. Lets have the “Truo Duo” as well as the “Super 8” forum. But for goodness sake drown that worm.

  6. Andy 6

    I am extremely dissapointed in their decision, incredibly arrogant.
    I agree with you ianmac the ‘worm’ is terrible and makes a mockery of New Zealand’s television debates.
    Just on another point, it is interesting that the debates in New Zealand have much less impact on voters than the post-debate recap by ‘political commentators’, there was some interesting research done on it at Otago University I think.

  7. randal 7

    I thort paul holmes bought the worm franchise from some crosbytexter outfit in ameroca for a cut rate deal!

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    I would support the 8 on 8 debate and the JK/HC debate. What I’ve been thoroughly disgusted by is that both JK and HC said that they would only do the head to head debates with each other.

  9. Byron 9

    The problem with having only Labour and National in a debate is that it reinforces the status quo- the idea that Labour and National are the “main” parties and the ones that matter the most. There are 20 parties contesting this election, but the media time will go mostly too two of them, a bit more to another 6, and 12 will be ignored almost completely.
    Will there ever be real change if the media perpetuates the idea that there won’t be?

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Byron, it’s not the MSM that are trying to perpetuate the idea that there are only two main parties but National and Labour.

  11. Byron – strange as it may seem, I’m 100% in agreement with Steve here. Either Clark or Key will be PM after the election. It’s important that there is a head-to-head debate without the kind of interruptions and distractions that six other leaders (and one in particular 😉 ) would inevitably produce.

  12. Monty 12

    I am keen to see a minor leders debate – Rodney vs the rest – especially Winston – the Labour poodle. Key of course must face down Clark. I suspect Clark will scream like a burnt witch – while Key will remain cool calm collected.

    The debate between Clark / Key will not change too many voters minds – 50% already have determined their support for Key – so desperate are so many people to be rid of the vile and self serving Clark. But some undecideds will swing with Clark or Key depending on the outcome of the debates. It will be interesting to see if Clark uses the same tactic as she did against Brash thre years ago? I suspect she will – but no matter what people are so over Clark and her manipulation of the country that on 8 November 2008 – she will be gone from our lives. – And good riddence as well.

  13. gobsmacked 13

    “Key will remain cool calm collected.”

    And then the alarm clock went off and poor Monty was jolted from his soothing sleep …

  14. randal 14

    I expect if the Prime Minister debates John Keys that his tongue wil begin to flicker like a frog and he will lose his cool. BEINng a poltician is not like being a big swinging dick in a wall street brokerage. You cant fire people for not performing or not meeting sales targets and sooner or later you must answer the phone. I suspect that john keys has become so used to ignoring reality of people he has ripped off by selling them dud bonds that nobody else wants that he thinks all of life is like that. Morover in the real world you cant gang up on people and trash them and bash them up psychologically just because they lost some change.He in for one rude awakening and If Helen is sufficiently briefed on his shortcomings she will mince him. And Good JOB.

  15. Byron 15

    Draco,
    Certainly true in this situation, however I think generally speaking the media still reports on politics as if this is an FPP election

  16. deemac 16

    I support Steve – only Clark or Key is going to be PM after the election so that’s the main event. And while politicos like us would no doubt watch a debate with all 8, the mass viewing audience for that is nil.

  17. Tim Ellis 17

    I agree with SP. Labour and National account for at least 80% of the vote. They don’t get 80% of the time during the leaders’ debates.

    I don’t want to watch eight leaders from eight parties I’m not voting for. The six minor parties see the leaders’ debates as an opportunity to grand-stand and gang up on a main party leader and carp at the majors. It’s just silly to say there isn’t a difference between Helen Clark and Jim Anderton. It’s all very well giving Rodney Hide the same amount of time to tell the public what he will do if he’s Prime Minister, but that scenario isn’t really realistic, is it?

    There are different motives for not including the minor party leaders. I suspect Helen Clark doesn’t want to be seen on the same stage as Winston. She wants to go head-to-head with Key. Key doesn’t want Anderton, Norman and Peters carping at him while he’s debating with Clark. And neither of them really want to see any of their vote bleed to minor parties, as has often happened in the last few weeks of the campaign.

    Most people don’t watch leaders’ debates to see Jim Anderton, Peter Dunne, Winston Peters, Peter Sharples or Russel Norman speak. They want to see the two potential PMs go head to head.

    Is that undemocratic? I don’t think so. Party leaders will do whatever is in their party’s best interests. Why should they be compelled to deliver extra air-time to parties that are just going to cut into their vote?

    SP I also agree that a lot of people will be surprised at how well Key performs in these debates. Helen Clark has made a virtue of her greater political experience. Many of Labour’s attacks have been about Key’s lack of experience. Labour has ironically lowered public expectations of Key. Clark is regarded as a fairly consummate political performer and a strong debater. Key has been ridiculed by Labour since he became Leader. I agree that the commentators and the public probably don’t expect Key to wipe the floor with Clark (and that’s unlikely to happen). All he has to do is perform credibly.

    I very much doubt he will be absent for extended periods of the campaign though. That sounds like wishful thinking to me.

  18. LGD 18

    We need both debates. Key/Clark as well as Minor parties + Lab/Nats.

    Anyway, my real reason for comment is this article.

  19. Felix 19

    Yep we need both. And more, much more.

    Considering the wall to wall guff on TV it’s a bit of a disgrace that we’re arguing about a couple of debates – there should be lots of debates on TV with all sorts of configurations of debaters.

    Interesting idea here from Seth Godin. (I would argue that half an hour isn’t long enough.)

    Tim:
    “I don’t want to watch eight leaders from eight parties I’m not voting for. ”

    Fair enough sweety but it’s not all about you. You already know you’re voting National so you don’t need to see any debates at all.

  20. Tim Ellis 20

    Felix said:

    Fair enough sweety but it’s not all about you. You already know you’re voting National so you don’t need to see any debates at all.

    I agree exactly that it isn’t all about me, Felix. Yet 80%+ of people are going to vote National or Labour. That says to me that Helen Clark should get 80% of the debating airtime between them.

  21. Craig Ranapia 21

    Nah, Steve. To quote Amy Pohler’s Hillary Clinton: Three and TVNZ should either grow a pair or borrow hers. I’m sorry to tell Key and Clark this, but while one of them will end up Prime Minister, they’re exceedingly unlikely to be there without the support of those tiresome minnows. Could voters should be able to decide the relevance – or otherwise – of their interactions with other party leaders?

    I suspect both want to avoid Pita Sharples or Russell Norman getting a clear shot to turn and ask them some seriously inconvenient questions on live television. Diddums, to coin a phrase. 🙂

    Now, let me say Key and Clark are under no compulsion to participate in any debates at all, just as they’re both frequently declined interview requests from all kinds of media outlets. But I’d have issued a press release saying that the two ‘major leader’ debates had been cancelled, and replaced with extended eight leader debates. If Labour and National’s leaders refused to participate, there would be two empty seats and a moderator explaining why they’re there at regular intervals.

    Their call, but I don’t think it’s a good move if politicians are seen to be dictating election coverage run by ostensibly politically independent media organisations.

  22. Felix 22

    Tim

    If National gets more votes than Labour at this election, should they get more airtime than Labour at the next one?

  23. Go The Right 23

    Great article in The Herald today on the opposistion to The Anti Smacking Bill.

    I personally believe that this will cost The Green and Labour hugely at the Polls.

    If Key has any sense he should say he is going to ammend and bring in Chester Borrows ammendments so we are in line with Australia will be a real vote winner.

  24. Anita 24

    Go The Right,

    Reference to the article?

    Why do you think it will cost the Greens? I would’ve thought that core Green voters were pretty happy with the repeal.

  25. Phil 25

    While I dont like the way they’ve gone about it – it’s an attitudinal thing – I think it makes good sense not to include Lab and Nat in the ‘other leaders’ debate.

    As I see it, there’s two kinds of undecided voters
    1) Those who are going to vote Labour or National
    2) Those who know they’re ‘left’ or ‘right’ and will either vote for the major party or one they would like to see in coalition.

    Each of the debates caters to those two groups in a way that the ‘full eight’ does not do as well.

  26. Draco T Bastard 26

    Tim Ellis

    Why should they be compelled to deliver extra air-time to parties that are just going to cut into their vote?

    Because that’s what a level playing field means. What you’re really saying is that the full competition for votes be biased in favor of the two main parties which is completely undemocratic.

  27. Phil 27

    By the way Steve, I can’t help but chuckle at the way you’ve carefully prepared the ground for a possible Key ‘victory’ (or at least draw) in the head-to-head debate; If he comes out looking OK, it must be because he’s had media training, and not because he’s actually getting better in front of the camera, of his own accord, through the practice of exposure.

    I put it to you that if he gets the job, he’ll be required to perform on an international stage. I expect any NZ PM to be capable of dealing with the media and putting forward our case on the international stage. If specific media training is required to do that successfully, then so be it.

  28. bill brown 28

    Anita, Rob’s talking about that part of the core Green vote that didn’t know that the Greens voted for the repeal of S59 until they read the National Herald article today.

    This may be an insignificant number of voters.

  29. Felix 29

    Phil,

    I think we deserve better representatives on the international stage than ones who need to be specially trained to look like they know what they’re doing.

    But yes, if we must have a monkey for PM we might as well train it. Sigh…

  30. Phil 30

    Felix,

    Being PM is something for which I consider there to be very few ‘necessary’ qualifications.

    If supplementary skill-sets, like media training, need to be honed with the assistance of professionals, then all well and good.

  31. Go The Right 31

    Anita

    Will cost them in terms of the Swinging voter I see now on the latest Tv3 poll they are right on 5% no more.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10534698

  32. rave 32

    I think Clark wants all the time she can get to shoot down Key. Key thinks he can just press the rabid response buttons about smacking, women, tax, Winston, Australia, families, blah blah and win the groundswell.

    Clark will ask him to explain what he was doing talking to Rail America on the NZ taxpayers tab. What he was doing talking to British Tory tax evader and strategist Aschroft. Why the people of Belize are rebelling against Ascrofts financial fraud. Why a whole bunch of female employees took Merrill Lynch to court and won on sexual harassment charges dating from the 90’s. Why making millions by selling down the Kiwi dollar is not destructive of family life. Why selling kiwibank, NZ rail, kiwisave, and contracting out core state services after a decent interval will not be ripping off taxpayers subsidies and bailouts.

    I think that Clark will need some time, especially as Key will give her several versions of the answers before he remembers which is the correct one, and will repeatedly reinsert the mantra, look I’m just … so that interjections by Rodney on ego, Sharples on a Maori chamber, Dunne on values, Fitzsimons on global warming, etc etc will be so much downtime from exposing Key.

  33. Bob 33

    I love your last sentence. I hope Helen is concerned. If she isn’t she ought to be.

  34. Jen Ferguson 34

    Don’t forget you can ask your own questions of our venerable leaders this election by submitting your video at http://www.youtube.co.nz/debate... 🙂

  35. Draco T Bastard 35

    Phil

    Being PM is something for which I consider there to be very few ‘necessary’ qualifications.

    IMO, that is patently false. It requires knowledge of all aspects of society. It is, quite simply, the most complex management position known as it is non-specialist. JK is a specialist financier and, in that position, is probably quite good but as PM he’s going to be far out of his depth as his knowledge of everything else won’t measure up.

  36. Felix 36

    Phil,

    That’s what I thought you meant, hence my monkey remark.

    Why set such a low bar? I want someone to represent us on the international stage who actually understands the issues they’re dealing with – not someone who’s been force-fed a few soundbites to regurgitate for the cameras.

  37. Phil 37

    Draco,

    …the most complex management position known as it is non-specialist. JK is a specialist financier and, in that position, is probably quite good but as PM he’s going to be far out of his depth as his knowledge of everything else won’t measure up.

    John was involved in currency valuation and strategy. In order to know roughly where a currency is going, you need to know about the underlying economy/country; how will the export/import sector react to external events? How does the government interact with the market? what’s happen now to consumers/taxpayers? where is the economy headed? where are the potential risks to this country?

    I don’t know about you, but I think a PM should have knowledge or experience in this kind of assessment…

    To put it another way, prior to becoming PM, and a stint as a cabinet minister in the late 80’s, what did Helen Clark do? She certainly had a thorough knowledge of political process, but what about economic management? what about understanding the needs of exporters? what about bargaining and strategic negotiation?

    All learned on the job.

    Felix,

    … not someone who’s been force-fed a few soundbites to regurgitate for the cameras

    Do you really think that media training is all about soundbites, and nothing else?! Or, do you just think that’s what it is when John Key gets that kind of training?

    Very few people are born with an inate talent to be comfortable in front of the camera – I ain’t one of em, for sure. However, I don’t believe that devalues their underlying ideals or policy.

  38. Draco T Bastard 38

    Phil:

    All learned on the job.

    So? She’s been in politics for ~30 years and started there with a degree in politics (which, AFAIK, requires at least some economics). JK’s been in politics for ~6 years and before that he was in a specialist financial position and has a degree in commerce.

    I said JK didn’t have wide enough experience/knowledge to be a PM. If he sticks with being a MP then, in 20 years, he will probably have enough experience/knowledge to be a decent PM. He’s just not going to get that by the election though.

  39. Felix 39

    Phil,

    Essentially we are hiring and firing employees when we go to the polling booth. Let’s say you’re the boss and you’re interviewing prospective employees.

    You ask about relevant experience and the prospective employee says “Well, I’ve graduated from a course in how to present well in a job interview”.

    I don’t consider that to be a relevant qualification.

  40. Phil 40

    Draco,

    How long was David Lange in Parliament before becoming PM? ~6 years.
    How long was Dubya in politics (Govenor of Texas, various other offices)? ~ Most of his life.

    Go back further and you get William Taft – widely regarded as the worst US president ever, despite spending a lifetime in Congress (or Senate? it’s one or the other…)

    I’m reminded of the line in “The King and I” which says something about ‘being old enough to know that age and wisdom do not necessarily go hand in hand’

    Felix,

    On a practical level, if they’re at the interview you’ve seen the CV beforehand. So, you already think the person has relevant skills, or they wouldn’t have got the interview in the first place!
    🙂

    Focussing on Key, you seem to be insinuating that he has no relevant skills to be PM… which kind of beg’s the question, what do you think is relevant?

  41. Draco T Bastard 41

    Phil:

    How long was David Lange in Parliament before becoming PM? ~6 years.

    Yeah, and look at how much of a balls up that was. Although, I would say that Lange, being a lawyer, had better experience for PM than key as a financier.

    I’m reminded of the line in “The King and I’ which says something about ‘being old enough to know that age and wisdom do not necessarily go hand in hand’

    I’d agree with that. Some people do have a better innate ability than others but I’ve seen nothing from JK to indicate that he has any more ability to be PM than a well trained dog.

  42. Felix 42

    I’m sure he has skills, he’s got a lot of experience in management and much of it is transferable.

    As Draco pointed out though he has little or no experience applying those skills in a governance context which is quite a unique environment in many ways.

    And just as a gut response from me, I don’t think he’s really committed to spending a couple of decades getting his teeth into this politics game. I just don’t think he’s that interested beyond scoring the top job for a bit.

    There’s a kind of corporate viewpoint which suggests that government is just like a business and PM is just a CEO position. Through such a frame it would appear that anyone with enough upper-management experience should be able to step into the PM’s job for a few years before moving on to the next placement, just like in the corporate world.

    I guess I just don’t buy into that definition of government.

  43. Matthew Pilott 43

    There’s a kind of corporate viewpoint which suggests that government is just like a business and PM is just a CEO position. Through such a frame it would appear that anyone with enough upper-management experience should be able to step into the PM’s job for a few years before moving on to the next placement, just like in the corporate world.

    Felix – running with that concept for a minute, what do CEOs get those huge bonuses for these days? Well it’s not for improving the long term prospects of a business, but delivering to the shareholders in the short term. Often by making massive service or spending cuts, firing workers and leaving a mess for the next lot.

    Hmm…

    A few parallels staring to coalesce?

  44. Felix 44

    MP, yep – I suspect to Key it would just be “business as usual” in that respect.

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    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    5 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    6 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
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    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
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    6 days ago
  • Asking for food
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    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    6 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
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    7 days ago
  • An odious bill
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
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    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
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    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
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    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
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    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
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    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
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    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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