Fighting the moral fight

Written By: - Date published: 11:16 am, October 5th, 2008 - 34 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, election 2008 - Tags:

There are two core strains to left-wing thought. Both of them can be seen as rooted in the evolution of the scientific method during the 18th and 19th centuries, although the essential ideas, of course, existed long before. The first is liberalism. Liberalism holds that we must always keep an element of self-doubt and criticism at the heart of our philosophy; that no-one has a monopoly on truth, so we must allow everyone into the social decision-making process, regardless of class, race, gender, sexuality, or other trait. The second is socialism. Socialism holds that there is an essential sameness, an essential equality amongst all people. There is no scientific reason and, therefore, no moral reason why any class, race, gender, sexuality or other group should be advantaged by the social order or subjected by another.

Now, on the Left we tend to hold both strains inside our philosophies, and they are largely compatible. The problem arises that liberalism taken to its extreme loses the ability to criticise or moralise. We’re all aware of moral relativism, where a blind adherence to liberal ideals prevents us from criticising behaviour in other cultures that would be viewed as abhorrent in our own culture or from a socialist perspective. You hear people defending brutal dictatorships by claiming this is just the way other cultures operate. But liberalism can also hog-tie us into not fighting illiberal forces within our own society. After all, ‘they might be right’ is something we can never discount. The problem is this prevents us from putting any moral force behind our beliefs. It is a constraint that socialism does not face it is free to argue any system that subjugates one group to another is immoral and can be attacked as such.

It is letting our liberalism make us weak kneed that has prevented us from making a moral argument for left-wing government. Instead, ridiculously, the moral high ground is associated with the Right. The Right fights for the established order against the forces of liberalism and socialism they fight against free universal health care, education, and basic income, against full employment and a whole suite of other policies. The result of them having power is that power and resources stay concentrated with the ruling (capitalist) elite and the rest living less healthy, more crime-ridden, poorer, shorter lives than need be the case. Yet overly liberal sentiments have prevented us from saying that the Right’s policies and methods are immoral. By failing to do so, we come to rule only by default; only when the people are utterly disgusted by the Right’s policies and manage to find a political alternative*. All the surveys and studies show that people overwhelming favour more socialist policies, the redistribution of wealth to moderate the unjust, unequal outcomes inherent in capitalism. Yet, we do not say that the Right stands against those value; we do not call the Right’s principles immoral. The Right should never win because they don’t stand for what most people want; as long as we continue to fail to show the immorality of their policies, they will continue to win.

*[in the 50s and 60s, the left-wing vote was split between Labour, Social Democrats, and Values, in 1978 and 1981, left-wing Labour won more votes than National but lost under FPP, in 1990, voters deserted right-wing Labour for any alternative NewLabour and National, in 1993 and 1996, the Left won more votes but failed to establish Parliamentary majorities]

34 comments on “Fighting the moral fight ”

  1. PFraser 1

    What a great read for a wet Sunday morning. Thank you Steve, and to the Standard for existing. After reading and listening to some of the light weight and inaccurate political analysis available lately, it is great to have something both reflective and activist to think about. And I agree. We are a nation of real human beings and to lead us is a moral responsibility – not just a game.

  2. deemac 2

    the Right win (a) because they have more resources (being as they represent the people with the most money) and (b) because they use those resources to scare people into voting against their class interests.
    The Standard is a small step towards giving us the arguments to counter this. It’s an indication of how unbalanced the system is that the media think Clark and Key refusing to debate with the minnows (an event that happens once every three years) is a big story while the far bigger picture, that the vast majority of the media are owned and controlled by powerful vested interests (which colours what people hear every day) is ignored.

  3. Chris 3

    You’re right steve, but would I support the left if it took a moral high ground? The thing I like about the new left is one is free to pursue their own thing (be it becoming a super-capitalist or becoming an artist). We just keep somewhat equal redistribution there and a few safety nets to make sure that for those who aren’t at the winning end they can still survive and perhaps their children will get a chance. If we were to bring morality into this I think it would lead to some ugliness. Sure it enables the right to appeal to the moral minority, but i think the amoral majority is more important. At the end of the day the moralists have to be vocal, otherwise they will disappear. Most people are happy in their amorality so they remain complacent. Is this good? No, but making the left a more moral cause is not the answer either, if that is what you are advocating?

  4. randal 4

    it is a moral cause insamuch that if the policies of a government cause wide spread social dislocation and a breakdown in the health of the people then only a party with a conscience can do anything about it. laisser faire economics says there is to be only one definition of well being and that is profit so it excludes conscience and leaves the health and wellbeing of the population to the individual paternalistic inclinations of the profit taker and that is immoral and worthy of the most strenuous opposition.

  5. Chris 5

    Yes true randal, but in assuming that the profit motive is a bad thing you make the usual assumptions that economists make that the only thing they can measure is cash in the hand. If you include other measures in profit (albeit intangible hard to measure ones) such as happiness for the sake of argument, then the profit motive becomes a whole lot more sensible and not just a boring accounting standard.

  6. randal 6

    I did not assume nor did I postulate that the profit motive is a bad thing. It becomes a bad thing if it attempts to justify itself only by itself using a circular argument and therefore invalid. profit relies on certain things like double enty book keeping and the laws of compound interest that have no logical connection to the person in need of employment or medical treatment or a decent way of life. Only morality can connect all these abstact things into a synthesis that serves the whole of humanity rather than just a few.

  7. There is a definite need to acknowledge the truth (if I may be so gauche) of relativism in the face of near-unassailable post-structuralist theory, but this does not detract from the fact that within the multitude of small-“T” truths that make up the marketplace of ideas we find ourselves in (and have endlessly done so) there are certain narratives that represent the best narratives for basic material wellbeing across the population.

    Neo-liberal thought is not one of these narratives. But it has done well and it has done so simply because a discourse’s short-term success is not dependent on it’s ability to generate broad utility but on its ability to exist symbiotically with power.

    It is important to remember at this point that both power and discourse do not emanate from individual human beings but rather we are functions of such things – much as our bodies are merely carriers of genes blindly shaped to replicate.

    Thus a discourse such as neo-liberalism can gain hegemony not by way of its fundamental capacity to provide for the best interests of all human beings but by way of its ability to win an evolutionary “arms-race”. This can be seen quite clearly in the way neo-liberal thought has, by (blindly) manipulating the concept of what is valuable toward a strictly narrow notion of immediate pecuniary gain, succeeded in stifling dissent in the media (cutting newsrooms for short-term profit), in our universities (in which efts systems have distorted the market toward quantity outcomes rather than quality outcomes), and in the voting booth (as can be witnessed in the spread of consumerist logics to the political discourse – witness brand Key).

    The question is how are leftists expected to counter such a successful discourse (or indeed the other successful discourses promulgated under what we can broadly describe as “right-wing” (although I would claim a more accurate description would be “ideas we don’t like because they undermine ours” – something that can be equally described in similar terms from the other side of the fence also))?

    Stalin’s answer was of course to eliminate the carriers of “ideas we don’t like… etc” directly (ah, command and control). That didn’t work.

    To a certain extent neo-liberalism (although at this point I am tempted to open the description of this phenomenally successful discourse as “late-capitalism” as it provides a better description for the myriad of rhizomic narratological relationships that constitute this thing I am trying to describe)… anyway to a certain extent late-capitalism is responsible for the destruction of carriers of threatening memes as can be seen in such things as the cold-war, the war on drugs, the war on terror, etc.

    But its main strength as an idea has been its ability to inoculate dissent before it grows. In effect its ability to manufacture consent.

    Which brings me to my point of difference with you Steve. I don’t believe people are disgusted with the narrative of the right. I believe that they are unaware of the “immorality” of such narratives and I think they are tuned to be untroubled by the contradictions of capitalism as they have evolved within an environment in which such point to point relationships no longer have meaning or affect.

    An example of this is eating meat. If you ask 100 people on the street if they ate meat the vast majority would say yes. The vast minority would have ever engaged in the act of killing their own meat (I have). When confronted with the visceral reality of what is required to place that meat on their plate (gutting a beast is not a pleasant experience) many would be disgusted. Even though they would all have the intellectual capacity to explain what happens they have been sufficiently removed from the experience to be unable to properly comprehend it. Nor do they wish to.

    That is the beauty of late-capitalism and its cultural logic. It effectively sits between people of power (ie inhabitants of the first world such as you and me) and reality and therefore substitutes being in the world.

    There will be no salvaging the first-world from the narratives of late-capitalism because (excluding an extremely unlikely total and sudden collapse of the system) the ontological barrier is too great.

    There may be an extinction of the discursive “right-wing” memes we all carry but I suspect it will come as a result of meme from China or Venezuela and it is likely it will not fit with the christological framework of “morality” you have described and it will be nested in a totally different context of power.

    That doesn’t mean small shifts can’t achieve good results from within the system and there are definitely ideological fights worth having but the idea that true socialism can be achieved here and now is naive. And it pains me to write that.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Cultural Relativism is actually an anthropological method. What most people are referring to when they speak of cultural relativism is actually Moral Relativism which is completely bunk.

    Chris:

    Sure it enables the right to appeal to the moral minority, but i think the amoral majority is more important.

    The Right may appeal to morality but that doesn’t mean that they are moral. Numerous studies have shown that the majority of people, ~90%, are moral and that they tend to vote left.

    The biggest problem with todays society, IMO, is that legality has become synonymous with morality. This can be seen in the actions of National in regards to their trusts that managed to hide the identity of major donors. Their actions were legal but hardly moral considering why the law against large anonymous donations was put in place.

    [chur on the cultural/moral relativism distinction. My rusty anthropological theory asserting itself while writing at 2am while drunk. SP]

  9. But liberalism can also hog-tie us into not fighting illiberal forces within our own society. After all, ‘they might be right’ is something we can never discount.

    I think you’re misconstruing liberalism here (and earlier where you talk about it being all about not having a monopoly on truth). It’s not that “they might be right”, it’s that whether they’re right or not doesn’t matter in an important sense. People have a right to hold and express their beliefs regardless of whether they’re true or false, realistic or ridiculous.

    This doesn’t prevent us from putting moral force behind our beliefs (and the C19th liberals who gave us much of our early social progress certainly did). It only prevents us from jailing or censoring people for saying things we disagree with. Ask a liberal what is wrong with racism, or sexism, or homophobia, and they will say “it is morally wrong”.

    (I’d also characterise liberalism as being also based on fundamental moral equality – see Rawls for an example of this. But that’s a late development in a philosophy which really grew out of a social truce to the problem of religious warfare).

    Where liberalism tends to fall down is that historically it has been focused on expanding the circle of freedom from the state, and so has focused less on poverty and economic inequality as barriers to freedom. And we have focused primarily on removing barriers rather than implementing social conditions which give people real control over their own lives.

  10. Steve,

    neat change of orientation and style.. but you wrote: “free universal health care, education, and basic income, against full employment and a whole suite of other policies.”

    NOT free. Tax-paid. Dare I say willingly.. hence the high ground of moral sentience..

    Just thinking it over right here and now I’d add how there’s considerable merit is us – ie those advocating this – in not hiding behind veils or curtains.. or being accused of ‘smoke and mirrors’ etc. The willing provision through taxes for the betterment of less fortunate others is to argue FOR human justice..

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    I’d hardly say that moral relativism is complete bunk. We use it all the time.

    Whenever we say that so and so was a ‘man of his time’ in order to excuse his actions in some respect, we are engaging in moral relativism.

    Essentially the problem becomes what is a system of morality for. Is it primarily something we use to guide our own behaviour, in which case it becomes subjective and inherently relative, or should it be something society uses to judge people’s behaviour, in which case we need an objective standard. Which raises the question of what standard to use. Simply dismissing relativism gets you nowhere.

    In reality we use it to do both, we apply our standard of behaviour for ourselves to other people. When we agree that a certain behaviour is immoral we are merely agreeing on a standard. When we convince other people to use the standard that we ourselves use, we are not really proving anything about objective reality. We are just getting them to adopt our own subjective view about what is moral.

    Any moral system will be based around codes of behaviour, metrics, balancing acts, principles and so on, and in that sense it will be objective. We are applying those objective standards to a persons behaviour. But the standards themselves will stem from subjective views about the world and how we should behave in it. Just because we can convince 10 or a billion other people to adopt the same standard doesn’t change it from a subjective view of how the world should be, into an objective fact about how the world is.

    There are very very few people that hold the extremist strawman version of relativism that supposedly makes moral judgements impossible.

    Relativism in my view, does not say that we can’t think someone is bad, it just says that the universe doesn’t think they are bad. We can obviously make moral judgements about people, based on our own frameworks, (and they can return the favour).

  12. PB – agreed. I get tired of people claiming a disgust with moral relativity, post-modernism, etc. It’s like they think it leads to some kind of inaction and moral failure…

    Just goes to show how many folk haven’t come to grips with that god-shaped hole in their existences yet. What a bunch of f*ckin savages…

  13. Ruth 13

    Also most on the hard right don’t know what post-modernism or moral relativism is – they just know it is something they should not like. Or something to do with Muslims. This is where a lot of the pseudo-intellectualism comes in.

    National under Key does not represent what SP seems to suggest – Key is only slightly to the right of Obama.

    Even Ayn Rand said people are drawn to the left because they are more intellectual – the right that we see – the group that is overly represented on talk radio and the blogosphere – are as dumb as a bag of rocks.

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    PB:

    I’d hardly say that moral relativism is complete bunk.

    Na, it’s completely bunk. Just because two people disagree on what’s right doesn’t meant that both are correct. In fact, that conclusion is the only one that can’t be true.

    Whenever we say that so and so was a ‘man of his time’ in order to excuse his actions in some respect, we are engaging in moral relativism.

    But we still accept that what he did was wrong and that it was just as wrong in his time as now. That’s not relativism but accepting that we’ve learned and grown since then.

    There are very very few people that hold the extremist strawman version of relativism that supposedly makes moral judgements impossible.

    This can only be true if they haven’t thought about it and the (lack of) logical conclusions of relativism.

  15. rave 15

    Writing at 4.20 on Sunday and perfectly sober the following comes to mind.

    Socialists of the sort Steve describes are also liberals. Individuals cannot be equal without equality of opportunity. Liberals who oppose equality of opportunity and claim that only the market can solve moral questions are neo-liberals. Those who propose equality of opportunity by means of redistribution are social liberals or bourgeois socialists, and possibly delirious.
    The only way that social liberals can mount a convincing moral argument against neo-liberals is to prove that capitalism requires inequality in the social relations of production. When that argument is made equality of opportunity flows from the equalising of the ownership of the means of production – proletarian or revolutionary socialism.

  16. randal 16

    Read William P Manchesters account of the Pacific war and you will seee that at the end all theories of right and wrong had flown out the window. His only duty was to his friends mates and survivors and the same is true today. Whatever argument is constructed someone can construct another but the reality of doing for others what one would have done for oneself never goes away. And it is noted that the deridas and all the other big mouth french post modernists watched the 60’s parisian streetbattles from behind their curtains and never took part.

  17. “Draco T Bastard
    PB:

    I’d hardly say that moral relativism is complete bunk.

    Na, it’s completely bunk. Just because two people disagree on what’s right doesn’t meant that both are correct. In fact, that conclusion is the only one that can’t be true.”

    The point is to not automatically assume your own point of view is the correct one.

  18. No the point is to assume that all truths iterate to meaninglessness when interrogated…

  19. randal 19

    too true sod but we live in the real world so the only way out is to list the similarities then compare and contrast the differences… and place a judgement according to the evidential chain and legislate if necessary.

  20. Carol 20

    In my experience the term “liberal” is understood differently in different places – and hence is somewhat relativistic in itself.

    I have always thought it was in the US that they equated liberal with the left, and that has been a pretty centre version of left politics. John Howard was leader of the Liberal Party in Aussie and that was considered right wing.

    A lot of lefties I have known use the term “liberal” as a criticism of being pretty centrist or right wing.

    I also thought a key feature of liberalism, was the focus on individual rights, hence the liberal in neo-liberal. They tend to see society as a level playing field – meritocratic approach. And are critical of too much government intervention in society.

    But I can see in being focused strongly on individual rights, each person would have their own view, and critique of things, and it would become fairly relativistic. And thus it does tend to be associated by some people with being very accepting of different lifestyles.

  21. Chris S 21

    This is a great post, thanks for that Steve.

  22. Pascal's bookie 22

    Draco;

    Just because two people disagree on what’s right doesn’t meant that both are correct.

    Correct by what standard?

    But we still accept that what he did was wrong and that it was just as wrong in his time as now. That’s not relativism but accepting that we’ve learned and grown since then

    Sure we say that ‘he was wrong’, but that’s not really the point. Are we saying that he was a bad bugger? Does his ignorance cut him some moral slack? Usually we mean the latter, which is relativism.

    If the former then we have to accept that everyone that came before us enlightened holders of our current moral code were wankers. But we also have to accept that we ourselves will be judged just as ignorant by future generations about things we consider perfectly acceptable. How does this help? Everyone is a moral cretin because there exists some objective code of morality that we have imperfect knowledge of.

    How is that different from nihilism? How can we judge actions if we know that moral knowledge is incomplete? Or are we there yet?

    If ignorance of this alleged correct morality does cut someone some slack, then morality is relativistic.

  23. How is that different from nihilism?

    Oh for f*ck’s sake – you’re not getting all cardigan-wearing over nihilism now are you?

  24. Pascal's bookie 24

    I’m not judging nihilism ‘sod.

  25. Draco T Bastard 25

    Sure we say that ‘he was wrong’, but that’s not really the point. Are we saying that he was a bad bugger? Does his ignorance cut him some moral slack? Usually we mean the latter, which is relativism.

    Please note the difference between Cultural Relativism and Moral Relativism that I linked to earlier. The one you’re arguing here seems to be the former while the one that I said was bunk is the latter. It’s bunk because it essentially holds that there is no morality.

  26. randal 26

    There is no morality except what we say is moral and there is a test for this. Would we agree to the same thing being done to us. quite simple really. Its like lying. If everybody told a lie then there would be no way to ascertain the truth.

  27. Bill 27

    “Socialism holds that there is an essential sameness, an essential equality amongst all people.”

    What? This ‘essential’ sameness/ equality? What that be when it’s at home then?

    By any meaningful measure I can think of, we are all different and unequal.

    Our life and cultural experiences and knowledge are very different.

    Our abilities and inabilities are varied. They will fit somewhere on a scale of comparison, where ‘this, that or the other’ ability you have will be better, or not as good as the same ‘this, that or other’ ability I have.

    Sorry. But to talk of ‘essential’ something or other sounds like wishful thinking. Or faith. Or phenomenology.

    It’s not necessary, and definitely not desirable to predicate socialist thought or philosophy on some underlying homogeneity.

    It’s poison.

  28. Peter Wilson 28

    Bill, when SP describes the core of socialism as accepting an “essential sameness/equality” he is referring to the thought that all human beings have equal worth, simply by being members of the same species.

    Regardless of how far the scale of comparison extends, boil down those differences and you will always be left with the same reality, we are all human beings, and as a result, we all have essentially the same basic needs.

    This stands in stark contrast to ideologies that continue to believe that a small, privileged elite somehow has the right to rule over the rest.

  29. randal 29

    Bill whats poison is the right wing belief that possessing money is the key to enforcing , slavery, humiliation, beating, torture, hunger, etc on others to satisfy what are basically psychological desires. If that is you then admit it.

  30. Ben R 30

    “This stands in stark contrast to ideologies that continue to believe that a small, privileged elite somehow has the right to rule over the rest.”

    You mean meritocracy?

  31. Ben – meritocracy requires a measure of merit. What exactly constitutes merit is itself a rather subjective idea don’t you think?

  32. Peter Wilson 32

    Meritocracy also requires people to start on an equal playing field, otherwise all sorts of unfairness is carried down through the generations, which throws the whole concept out.

  33. Bill 33

    Peter Wilson.

    I disagree that simply being of the same species bestows equal worth. Can we ignore for the moment, please, that philosophers have argued since the year dot argued over what it is that defines being human?

    Worth is tied up in a sense self and varies from person to person; or worth is a subjective perception of an other or others shaped by outside criteria.

    So for example,in a given situation I might be of more worth than you because of a particular skill, talent or ability I possess. That’s fine. It’s not a static thing but determined by a plethora of criteria that change from situation to situation. That I have a particular talent you lack does not translate in to a universal truism about my worth compared to yours.

    Which is possibly why I don’t understand why you go on and attempt to obliterate the differences between people by ‘boiling them down’ to basic needs? I don’t understand the point of the exercise.

    If you look at basic needs, then we need food, shelter and water. Just the same as chickens or any other animal. So all invertebrates are of equal worth? Or maybe we should logically include a number of insects too, like ants and bees who also have as their basic needs food, shelter and water. And pretty soon we become paralysed and unable to perform basic functions lest we kill a living thing that is of equal worth to ourselves.

    All of that aside, the basic point I was making was that to insist on some undefinable equalness and sameness opens the door to aspects of these things ( or an idea of these things)being imposed ; whether by a Lenin, a Stalin or a Paul Pot or a whoever/whatever.

    We are enormously varied and have different strengths and weaknesses. We can recognise that reality and behave equitably and afford one another dignity; construct social and political systems that are not exploitative or oppressive.

    The danger with not recognising our rich diversity and varying abilities is, as I said, that we leave ourselves open to re-creating precisely the type of situation we apparently deplore and see as implicit in right wing ideologies.

    Hope that’s sort of clear.

  34. Ben R 34

    “Meritocracy also requires people to start on an equal playing field, otherwise all sorts of unfairness is carried down through the generations, which throws the whole concept out.”

    Yep, I think most people would agree that we should aim to provide equal opportunity. The birth lottery of endowed wealth, intelligence & peer culture obviously play a major role in determining a persons economic outcomes. So a fair system should account for this lottery (ie. John Rawls veil of ignorance).

    “we do not call the Right’s principles immoral”

    What you’re referring to as right wing ideas aren’t necessarily immoral though. For instance, in terms of ensuring equal opportunities, right wing education ideas of school vouchers/merit pay are possibly ways to improve the education standards for those less well off?(I’m not saying they necessarily would, but the justification is based on the moral idea of fairness).

    Also, requiring welfare recipients to enter training, or do some form of work is based on the idea of reciprocity.

    Steven Pinker wrote an interesting article about research on morality earlier this year. He noted a survey on different moral themes which divides the cultures of liberals and conservatives in the United States:

    “Haidt found that liberals put a lopsided moral weight on harm and fairness while playing down group loyalty, authority and purity. Conservatives instead place a moderately high weight on all five. It’s not surprising that each side thinks it is driven by lofty ethical values and that the other side is base and unprincipled.”

    “At the very least, the science tells us that even when our adversaries’ agenda is most baffling, they may not be amoral psychopaths but in the throes of a moral mind-set that appears to them to be every bit as mandatory and universal as ours does to us.”

    http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/articles/media/The%20Moral%20Instinct%20-%20New%20York%20Times.htm

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    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    3 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    3 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    4 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    4 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    5 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    6 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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