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Fewer literacy?

Written By: - Date published: 10:35 am, September 11th, 2008 - 39 comments
Categories: Media - Tags:

Like John Key, I’m utterly bored with Peters. So, just a short, tangentially-related note.

Tracy Watkins, like every other press gallery journo, thinks the latest micro-development around Peters is more important than the release of a major party’s health policy (in contrast, my flatmates are changing the channel when Peters comes on but were straight on the net when they heard the Nats’ health policy was out). Well, if Watkins wants to bore her audience, that’s her prerogative but my problem is with the title of her piece today: “Parting shots wound Peters and Labour”.

Tracy, the term is ‘Parthian shot‘. Honestly, you write for a living.

39 comments on “Fewer literacy?”

  1. Patrick 1

    I have to say, I was quite to see the front page of the Dom Post plastered with Winston stories when a major health policy had been announced. Shoddy journalism. Needless to say, I did not buy today’s Dom Post, and my ad blocker will stay on while I’m on their website – that’ll teach em 😉

  2. reforming journalism, one blocked ad at a time. 🙂

  3. Billy 3

    The Nats have put one of those grammatically horrifying billboards up outside my window at work. Its ungrammaticality offends me on a moment-by-moment basis.

  4. Billy 4

    Er…”ungrammaticness”.

  5. r0b 5

    Billy – it’s an outrage! Vote Labour. That’ll learn ’em.

  6. Matthew Pilott 6

    Ungrammatacity?

  7. Dom 7

    Fewer goodnessity?

  8. Daveski 8

    Yes, like everyone else, I’m bored with Peters.

    The problem that many on the left now has is having made big plays about integrity, honesty and related characteristics, the evidence paints Labour in a very poor light.

    When a major benefactor is seen to be thrown to the dogs, then there is a problem. When there are doubts as to whether political leaders are telling the truth, then there is a problem.

    Tane is right that this is a partisan site so no one should expect balance.

    However, it is reasonable to point out that the barbs that were pointed at the Nats earlier can easily be pointed at Labour now and the high moral ground that has been taken by many here is looking shaky if not hollow.

    Sadly, and I am being consistent here, the fundamental issue is trivial and a side show to the real issues of governing a country. Having set the agenda around perceptions of politicians’ agendas and secret actions, those from the left who did so are no hoist on their own petard and can’t escape this emerging black hole.

    SP – credit for at least opening an opportunity for discussing this. In fairness, you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

  9. bill brown 9

    Watkins just knows her audience, she wouldn’t want to appear elitist would she?

  10. r0b 10

    When a major benefactor is seen to be thrown to the dogs, then there is a problem.

    You’re off topic! And you have it exactly backwards. For the Government to take sides with the major donor to the Labour Party would have been quite wrong. Being a donor does not in the Labour Party buy you special privileges (re National I couldn’t possibly comment).

    Clark did the only thing she could possibly do, she left Glenn and Peters to sort it out. Peters lost.

  11. Smokie 11

    Don’t you love how the journos bitterly write about personality politics, and full of bluster yell out “the public are sick of it!”. Yet, all the meanwhile they’re the ones ignoring major party policy and focusing on their personal vendetta against Peters.

    For fucks sake. Winston Peters and a donation he received is important, and needs to be reported. But what about things that will actually affect people’s lives? We’re about to hand over absolute power to a political party that will exert a huge influence over how we live our lives. Looks like Tracey and a whole lot of other journalists have forgotten that.

  12. Ben R 12

    “I did not buy today’s Dom Post”

    Good article about overpopulation being an issue the UN is afraid to address.

    I’m not particularly interested in the arcane workings of NZF’s funding, but the conflict between Glenn, Peters & Mike Williams accounts has been interesting.

    SP, would you find it more interesting if John Key was in Helen Clark’s position? Although I agree that it’s overshadowing more substantive issues, I think you’d be more interested it if it was showing Key/National in a bad light?

  13. Daveski 13

    r0b – far from it. The point of the post is that there are more important issues than the Winston and Owen show but I’m arguing against that.

    More importantly, you complete ignore the point of my post which was that the left, and SP is a good example, has made a concerted effort to focus on perceived issues to do with integrity and honesty – “slippery” springs to mind, “secret” agendas etc

    So having set the agenda (pun intended), the left can’t all of a sudden say we’re bored and let’s move on – just when the public are seeing the same slippery tactics from Labour.

    At least I’m being consistent – I’ve argued consistently that the attacks on Key have been sideshows but now the focus is on Clark and Labour and you reap what you sow.

  14. monkey-boy 14

    Burn the heretic. Burn him I say!

  15. r0b 15

    r0b – far from it.

    Ahh yes fair enough, the original post leaves the door open for Peter’s related (sigh).

    So having set the agenda (pun intended), the left can’t all of a sudden say we’re bored and let’s move on – just when the public are seeing the same slippery tactics from Labour.

    We’re bored with Peters. I don’t see that Labour has any case to answer on being “slippery”, and I fully expect a continued focus on Key/National lies and evasions during the election campaign. The secret agenda tapes actually caught the public’s attention and shifted opinion, the public don’t want to be lied to by National…

  16. r0b 16

    “Peters related” – I miss edit!

  17. Daveski 17

    r0b – cheers.

    I am bored with Peters. I think that the public don’t want to be lied to by any politician which is where there is the potential for problems for Labour.

    I also noted that SP (I expect reluctantly) left the door open so he couldn’t be accused of closing it so credit for that.

    It will be interesting to see the next poll results to see what happens. Ironically, it looks like there could be a silver lining for Labour as any collapse for NZF feeds into Labour.

  18. Glad to see the speling and grammer police is alive and well on the internet.

  19. lonelyavenger 19

    Steve,

    The first recorded metaphorical use of “Parthian shot” was in 1842. The first recorded metaphorical use of “parting shot” was earlier, in 1828, and has been in far wider use for the last 80 years at least. Moreover, best evidence suggests that although the idioms have the same meaning, they were coined separately and have no etymological relationship.

    Any other journalism lessons you’d like to share?

  20. Thomas the Unbeliever 20

    Parthian Shot v Parting Shot – What’s your point?

    You provide a reference to justify that use of “parting shot” is evidence of illiteracy. Not surprisingly your reference was wiki – the reference for the lazy and poorly educated.

    Even that reference fails to support your argument stating:
    …. “The term “parting shot,” used similarly, may be a folk etymology of “Parthian shot,” meaning the term was corrupted through common parlance, but there is little firm evidence to support this claim.” …

    So what’ your point? According to your reference there is no evidence that the phrase “parting shot’ developed independently rather than as a corruption of “Parthian shot’.

    I guess that qualifies you as both a pedant and a poor researcher.

    You could apply for a job with Winston. You have a similar gift for proudly announcing you have compelling evidence which on closer examination proves to be worthless.

    That’s my parting shot.

    [the term is Parthian shot. Parting shot probably is a corruption from people who don’t know what a Parthian was and how they shot. On the interwebs is perfectly normal to cite wikipedia. No, there’s no absolute proof parting shot is a corruption of Parthian shot but Parthian shot comes first in the literary record and it makes sense – the Parthians were famous for shooting while retreating and if you didn’t know that you would from context assume that when someone said Parthian shot you were hearing parting shot. SP]

  21. ak 21

    Daveski: the fundamental issue is trivial and a side show to the real issues…

    Precisely, my dear Daveski, and the more fundamental issue that will emerge from the histrionics of the last week is how (and more importantly why) “MINOR PARTY POLITICIAN MAY HAVE LIED” could have been spun into such column-kilometres of angst-ridden “intrigue”.

    Winnie’s real crime was his constant attacks on National over past months: when the tory leaks and blunders began, the timing was right to drip-feed accumulated ammunition in a blitzkreig of diversion.
    Key’s rush of blood precipitated an all-out lunge for the kill, and Glen is simply a dissipated sufferer of “short man’s disease” who revelled in the limelight and played back to the horde.

    Despite efforts from the press to justify their bizarre and self-serving lynch-mob behaviour (eg the headline in this post), the public stomach is left queasy from this salty, fatty fare of little substance. The PM has maintained poise and respect for process and natural justice in the face of intense fire yet again: when the dust settles on this diversionary farce, further reinforcement of her mana and the sympathy that will flow to Winston will be her just reward.

  22. Lew 22

    BD: Internets!

    You realise there’s more than one, don’t you?

    L

  23. Tim Ellis 23

    SP, this is interesting. I have followed the Peters scandal quite closely, and no doubt shown much more interest than ordinary voters, who I suspect probably do get bored by the minutiae.

    On the big issues, however, I think the public are interested in whether the Prime Minister has told the truth or hidden relevant facts from the public: it goes directly to her integrity. I think voters are interested in whether or not her Foreign Minister is telling lies to her, and whether she knows he is lying: that goes directly to the credibility of her government.

    I think the public also cares about whether the Foreign Minister is a hypocrite and a liar, and whether the Prime Minister is prepared to tolerate that. I think the public also cares about who the Prime Minister protects. In this case she has chosen to give her loyalty to somebody outside her parliamentary party, in order to retain a parliamentary majority, over somebody who has been Labour’s most generous donor.

    This is especially the case if she is planning on running an election campaign trumpeting her honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness, as I understand she was. I think to run those lines, you pretty much have to be overwhelmingly credible on all those fronts. It isn’t good enough to be seen to be slightly more credible, or a bit more credible, than your opponent.

    SP I note that you have made many postings about issues that others might find boring. You certainly do not seem to focus all your attention, or even the majority of your attention, on the big issues, such as foreign affairs, law and order, education standards, the economy, access to healthcare and welfare, etc. Instead a very large proportion of your posts seem to be along the common theme: “John Key is slippery”/”National is evil”, or selectively misquote what National has said in order to produce an outlandish, shark-jumping series of posts about a particular topic.

    You have every right to write about whatever you like, of course, but that isn’t writing about substance. That is partisan hackery. It amuses me that the reasoning you have for not writing extensively about the Peters scandal is that it’s not a substantive issue, and attack other journalists for making it an issue. That would be a fair criticism if you only dealt with substance.

    As for whether the Peters issue is boring, not with the general public, but with the Standard’s readers, I can’t help but notice that the Peters donations threads that the Standard does put up seem to attract far more comments than pretty much any other thread. I think that is quite illuminating. It says to me that while you might find it boring, your readers don’t.

    It’s fair enough for you to say SP that you don’t want to write a series of posts about the Peters scandal because the issue is damaging to Labour, and you don’t want to give a forum for people to express their view on it, because of your labour party sympathies. But it just stretches credibility for you to say that you don’t want to talk about it because it’s “boring” (when the evidence in the blogosphere, and the media, suggests it’s pretty much the only game that anybody is talking about at the moment), or that it’s not a weighty issue (when you’re quite happy to resort to mischievous speculation on totally marginal issues in so many other posts).

    [lprent: All of the Peters posts do.

    For that matter any post on a subject that the ‘right’ considers to be important does. I usually expect that if there is a obsessional post ratio on a topic of 10 or more to 1 between kiwiblog and the standard on a topic, we will get a high comment count in comments on that post.

    Of course the average quality of the comments tends to go down, as does their average length, and the repitition factor goes up. In fact, usually those threads get as boring as a kiwiblog thread.

    But really what you’re asking for is for us to be like kiwiblog, obsessed by the latest headlines, and with a comments area populated by dickheads.

    Read the About and ask yourself who we’re writing for – it isn’t the kiwiblog right.]

  24. r0b 24

    On the big issues, however, I think the public are interested in whether the Prime Minister has told the truth or hidden relevant facts from the public: it goes directly to her integrity

    Well then, the public can assess Helen’s own words (as this all unfolded) right here.

  25. Tim Ellis 25

    Yes they can r0b and the public can also see that from the timeline, the Prime Minister admitted she knew about the conflict of evidence in February, yet did not admit to knowing about it until August.

  26. lprent 26

    Tim: She was not asked. But lets ignore that and look at what you’re asking…

    It looks to me like you ware wanting to massively extend what a PM is responsible for. What is expected of the goose is also expected of the gander.

    So you are contending that is the PM’s responsibility to act as secret police or an auditor for another political party?

    Is the way you expect National to act inside a coalition?

    Who’d want to work with them?

    I would contend that the PM’s job is to deal with ministers in their work behavior, ie what she appointed them to do. As house leader of their own political party, they also deal with their own MP’s (using the whips mostly). They aren’t responsible for other political parties.

    If you (or John Key) want to extend the boundaries of what is expected of a PM. Then perhaps they should issue a policy before the election. This would allow other political parties to look at what life living in a National dictatorship coalition would be like.

    😈 I think that there is some proverb about “He who throws the first stone..”

  27. r0b 27

    Yes they can r0b and the public can also see that from the timeline

    And round and round and round we go. The conflicting evidence was “private and confidential”, and directly denied by WP whom she was required to take at his word (and also his lawyer).

    Also, the Government could not be seen to be trying to take political sides with the biggest donor to the Labour Party – imagine the faux outrage we would have been dealing with if that had been the case (though oddly, no one grumbles about National’s policy for sale to donors).

    I know you have a vested interest in flinging mud and hoping some sticks, but this is very thin mud indeed. Brown watery fluid really (bit like Aussie beer).

  28. Phil 28

    What delicious irony – in 53BC a small army of Parthians deliver a stinging blow to a behemoth Roman army, led by a commander who made woeful choices and strategicly bizzare moves. The result is a significant factor in the decline and fall of a once great empire

    In 2008 a single Monacoan delivers a stinging blow to a Labour Party ,led by a Prime Minister who has failed to take decisive action and allowed her opponents a strategic advantage. The result is likely to be a significant factor in the decline and fall of the party.

  29. r0b 29

    What delicious irony

    You should try eating out more.

  30. Tim Ellis 30

    Lprent said:

    So you are contending that is the PM’s responsibility to act as secret police or an auditor for another political party?

    No I’m not contending anything of the kind, lp, and I think you’re using hyperbole to misrepresent my position. I do believe it’s the Prime Minister’s role to have confidence that her ministers are acting ethically. It’s the PM’s role to have confidence in her ministers at all times. It’s not just me who thinks that: the Cabinet Manual is quite clear on that as well.

    It is my view that when the Prime Minister has information from a reasonable source, that her Foreign Minister is not telling her the truth, then she is obliged to take some steps to find out what the truth is. This isn’t acting as a secret police. This is taking reasonable steps to resolve the conflict of evidence.

    It is not in dispute that Helen Clark was told by Owen Glenn that he had made a donation. It is not in dispute that Helen Clark was told by Owen Glenn that he had also informed Mike Williams of this donation. It is further not in dispute that Winston Peters denied this in conversations with her.

    I’ve said in other threads that it is simply bad political management to allow this to fester, unresolved. I don’t agree that Helen Clark’s only option in February was to rush to the media and tell everybody about the conflict of evidence. That is preposterous. She could have taken reasonable steps: she could have asked Mike Williams for his recollection (and given that she talks to him daily, hardly an onerous investigation on her part); she could have asked Owen Glenn for a copy of the transfer authority.

    Both were very simple steps for her to take, it just isn’t credible that she allowed the conflict of evidence to continue, on the assumption that it was just a dispute between two people. She was not just an observer. She is the chief manager of a government, where the Foreign Minister’s personal integrity is at stake. It is her job to ensure that these sorts of things don’t blow up.

    If Helen Clark had made a couple of very straightforward inquiries, and understood the truth, then she could have gone back to Peters and told her that his information was incorrect, that a donation had occurred, that she had documentary evidence of it, and that it was his job to resolve any declarations he needed to make. Quite simple coalition management. Instead she watched over while her Foreign Minister launched a six-month attack on the media, and what has been probably the biggest political side-show in at least a decade.

    r0b has said that with the benefit of 20:20 hindsight, maybe she could have acted differently. That excuse just isn’t good enough. Helen Clark is the best political manager this country has had, in a very long time. She has managed conflicts with ministers more effectively than any other prime minister. It doesn’t take 20:20 hindsight, or supreme political management, to understand that if your biggest donor says one thing, and your foreign minister says another, it isn’t wise for your foreign minister to go to war with the media for doing nothing more than repeating the substance of the claim that your donor is making. It doesn’t take 20:20 hindsight to know that is an explosive situation which will lead to serious political damage, unless it is resolved.

  31. Phil 31

    What delicious irony
    You should try eating out more

    That’s what SHE said…

  32. Draco TB 32

    …led by a Prime Minister who has failed to take decisive action…

    The PM acted in the only way she could to remain faithful to her principals of honesty and integrity. JK has, by his words, proven beyond doubt that he has neither.

    The PM cannot take on the roles of judge, jury and executioner for a very good reason but you of the KBR seem to be demanding just that.

  33. insider 33

    I would have thought parting shot is more likely a corruption of “departing shot” much as “bated breath” is a shortening or corruption of ‘abated breath’.

    Does it really matter? It seems somewhat pompous to try and score a point by picking a linguistic debate over a highly debateable interpretation of a phrase’s etymology.

  34. Pablo 34

    Phil

    in 53BC a small army of Parthians deliver a stinging blow to a behemoth Roman army, led by a commander who made woeful choices and strategicly bizzare moves. The result is a significant factor in the decline and fall of a once great empire

    The Roman Empire didn’t exist in 53BC. It was still a republic.

  35. Phil 35

    Pablo,

    Right – collapse of a republic, rise of a dictatorial empire… spooky

  36. Scribe 36

    On the Parthian/parting shot question, I agree with insider:

    Does it really matter? It seems somewhat pompous to try and score a point by picking a linguistic debate over a highly debateable interpretation of a phrase’s etymology.

    On the Clark-Peters affair, I think the PM had a greater responsibility to probe into the Glenn donation than she did. Once Winston held up his “NO” sign 37 times, and she had reason to suspect the answer to one or more of the questions may well have been “YES”, I think she should have asked more questions.

    Six months is a long time to allow a conflict of evidence to exist for someone as important as your foreign minister.

  37. r0b 37

    Say Scribe, have a read of Gordon Campbell – one of the best journalists out there. Actually read the whole thing, it’s very interesting:
    http://election08.scoop.co.nz/gordon-campbell-winston-peters-rebuttal-of-glenn/

  38. Scribe 38

    OK, now what?

    Reading Gordon’s piece, which is good (though I don’t always find his stuff good), hasn’t changed how I feel about the PM’s behaviour. I think she should have gone beyond asking “Did this happen?” and then simply accepting Peters’ answer when there was conflicting evidence.

    captcha: shrewd service

  39. r0b 39

    OK, now what?

    Now you are better informed. No charge.

    I think she should have gone beyond asking “Did this happen?’

    I thought Winston was as guilty as hell too, but now (after reading the Campbell piece) I have doubts. We can all rush to judgement from the way things look from the outside, and with the benefits of 20:20 hindsight, but the PM did what she thought was right.

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    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    3 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    4 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    4 days ago
  • Outsiders.
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    4 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    4 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    5 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
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    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    5 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    6 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    6 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    6 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
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    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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