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Fiscal responsibility

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 am, July 24th, 2012 - 86 comments
Categories: health, privatisation - Tags:

John Key doesn’t want to go ahead with plain packaging of cigarettes. The cancer sellers would sue. It could cost a few million to beat them in the international courts (me, I would just create a law of corporate homicide and nationalise their NZ assets). Key baulks at the cost, the risk. But something in the hundreds of millions for free shares to looters? Key reckons that’s a great investment.

The crazy thing is that Key has no clue what the bonus shares would cost. And surely it’s pretty vital when a) you’re planning to get back into surplus by a whisker in two years and b) your justification for selling these shares is supposedly that it is a smarter economic choice than borrowing – if you don’t know your net revenue from the sale, how can you make that argument?

And the costs are huge. Labour points out that National will have to keep aside shares not only for the looters’ bonus but also to have a buffer so that the companies can issue more shares and still have the Crown retain at least 51%. Labour points to a Treasury report putting the cost of saving 9% of the shares for the bonus and the buffer at around $1.3 billion.

Key says that the cost will be “less than half that” – so, what? $650m?

The Finance and Expenditure Select Committee, on the other hand says it would be $360m.

A Treasury paper says $250m to $500m.

And the Greens give the conservative low-ball estimate  – where only a third of shares are bought by ‘mum and dad investors’ and there is one free looters’ bonus share for every ten they buy – and that’s $200m!

So, on the low-side, this looters’ bonus is a $200m policy. And for what? To try to attract a few marginal investors who wouldn’t have otherwise bought in or make a few hold on to the shares longer who would have flicked on quickly? The vast vast bulk of people who would get free shares under this policy are people who would have bought the shares and held on to them anyway. National is spending hundreds of millions of dollars for the sake of changing the decisions of a few thousand people.

When National was in opposition, they called 20Hours Free Early Childhood Education “poorly targeted spending”. Their logic was that the bulk of families getting it would have sent their kids to ECE anyway, so the government was subsidising them without changing their ECE decision, which they assumed was the point of the scheme (they didn’t consider that it would be a blessing for families previously scrimping to get their kids into ECE). Doesn’t that same logic apply to the looters’ bonus? Most of the people who would get the looters’ bonus don’t need a looters’ bonus to get them to do what the looters’ bonus is intended to make them do. So, why is National planning to pay them a looters’ bonus?

And why can’t National think of anything better to do with a few hundred million taxpayer dollars?

Oh yeah, because they’re the looters’ party.

86 comments on “Fiscal responsibility”

  1. The bonus share scheme is there to provide political cover.  Nothing more and nothing less.

    Those figures are looking sicker and sicker.  Even if the cost is 10% of the anticipated share sale proceeds that is a huge amount and it makes the sell/retain ownership of the power company shares analysis even more favorable to retaining the shares.

  2. Phil 2

    Lovely to see that nice clean cut young man on the news last evening, the first time investor with his hot $1000 burning a hole in his pocket. All bright eyed and keen to start his “investment portfolio”.
    Wonder if he has a wife and kids?
    If he has a wife and two kids, that $1000 he’s paying could be costing him, oh, anything between $1320 and $1452 (depending on how the loyalty bonus is fixed).
    Nice investment decision there chap, obviously a Key sort of person.

    • Tom Gould 2.1

      Did they mention if he had a credit card or a student loan? I missed it.

      • Phil 2.1.1

        No mention of, just $1000 and a look of hope.
        Talk about product placement.

        • Tom Gould

          Was it on 3News? Surely it would be poor form to run such ‘product placement’ as part of their ‘media buy package’.

  3. vto 3

    So not only do the great and wonderful captains of business, who are incapable of starting up their own electricity companies to invest in, need to have the taxpayer assets to prop up their pathetic flailing NZX, they also need taxpayers to pay more to make their private investments more palatable.

    Never ever have I seen such a welfare handout. There has been more welfare handed out by this government than anything I recall under Helen Clark’s government.

    The usless wankers cannot survive without sucking on the taxpayer tit.

    suckle suckle suckle go the little baby pigs

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1


      Capitalist theft of community wealth is becoming more and more obvious.

      • mike e 3.1.1

        +2 Goldman Sachs are experts at this one of the most corrupt organizations in the world today they have taken over from the most corrupt corporation in history Merrill Lynch !
        ML have a history going back to the 1920’s of running some sort of fraud scheme.
        BofA ML are now in the death throws of more disastrous scheming .
        GS have now taken over the reigns!

    • Murray Olsen 3.2

      A great description of the kiwi business class, vto.

  4. Uturn 4

    A few million of scant government funds paid to a select group of already wealthy lawyers and officials in the pursuit of The Common Good during a Depression?

    Now that’s priorited sound strategy. Who says our politicians lack vision?

    As long as those nasty welfare beneficiaries can be made to pay back every few cents they owe, we can cover it. I mean really, why don’t they just open their own café and work for themselves? They could eat their own cake.

    And if we lose in court, hopefully we’ll have to pay costs to whatever tobacco group we’re limply attacking. Those chaps are good guys. Why not ease some government funds into their back pockets?

  5. bad12 5

    Its sad but i have no more energy to spend upon the asset sales issue, i would imagine that the wind has been taken out of a lot of peoples sails by both Labour and the Green Party basically flagging that they have no intention of buying these shares back once in Government,

    To me that’s disappointing and weak and i believe that both Party’s should be telling the potential buyers now that THEY will be specifically targeted through taxation so as to cough up the monies needed to buy them back,

    Anything else is a total victory for the Slippery National Government of sleaze/lies/theft and a kick in the guts for all those who have protested the asset sales long and loud,

    This has been Labour’s problem, while in opposition it opposes strongly, Shiply and Richardson’s 1991 benefit cuts for example, but when becoming Government it simply refuses to alter/reverse the ugliness National has imposed,

    Unfortunately the Green Party has now moved itself so far into the boring center of the political spectrum that it too, citing it’s new economic orthodoxy, refuses to flatly tell National it will buy those shares back and those who buy them will be taxed suitably to get them back…

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      This has been Labour’s problem, while in opposition it opposes strongly, Shiply and Richardson’s 1991 benefit cuts for example, but when becoming Government it simply refuses to alter/reverse the ugliness National has imposed,

      Labours big problem now is that they’re not even opposing strongly. In fact, they seem to be agreeing with this government.

      • David H 5.1.1

        Yep and hre’s Bloody Shearer on Plain Packaging.

        FFS he has got to GO! he’s f&^&ing useless

        • Draco T Bastard

          I’m of the opinion that Labour has to go – not just the leader. They’ve become too much a party of business rather than the party of the people they used to be.

          • mike e

            For any left party to govern they have two options;
            1, to get out and door knock and organize people who didn’t vote to get them to the polling booth on the day that needs a big well organized machine on the left possibly an out of parliament cooperation between the greens and labour so they aren’t covering the same ground twice.Act, UF and national cooperate. Labour and the greens are always trying to out do each other when they should have a strategy.
            2.just let national implode and pick up nationals soft vote.

            • Colonial Viper

              2.just let national implode and pick up nationals soft vote.

              Yep, be passive, pick up the “centre” soft vote by not rocking the boat and laying out middle class focussed policies as your priority.

              And in the process screw the left, the activists, the working class and the underclass.

        • infused

          maybe it’s you lot that have the problem?

        • mac1

          David H, if that link shows Shearer on Plain Packaging then I’ve got a huge reality problem. It looked like John Key et alia pulling faces at the National Party Conference, but maybe that’s just me…….

  6. ad 6

    Would be great if Labour could say exactly how much each taxpayer will be subsidising the elite who will be getting the bonus shares. Shearer actually put sentences together without too many trips and ums this morning.

    It will be a great wedge story if “amount of subsidy per person” stories are clearer.

    This is what makes the NZSO subsidy so vulnerable. It’s a highly elite pleasure activity, and each seat at an NZSO concert has about $160 of subsidy on it.

    It’s why I enjoy taking the train so much – not only is it a gloriously proletarian activity, I also get squillions of subsidy both from taxpayers for building and maintaining the tracks, and I also get ratepayer subsidy for the journey itself. Joyous public-cash-piles on my seat.

    Taxpayers who don’t have a minimum $1,000 in their pockets to spare should not be asked to subsidise the bonus shares of those who do have $1,000 in thier pockets. In fact if you can whip out $10,000 you would get quite a lovely subsidy-bonus from those “ordinary Mums and Dads”.

    We need our own class-begrudging stories.

    • Carol 6.1

      Would be great if Labour could say exactly how much each taxpayer will be subsidising the elite who will be getting the bonus shares.


      $112 a head for asset loyalty
      By Adam Bennett
      A “loyalty” scheme to sweeten state assets sales for investors could cost the taxpayer $500 million – more than $100 for every man, woman and child in New Zealand – according to Treasury numbers.
      In a separate report last week, Parliament’s finance and expenditure committee noted that using the Queensland Rail model across all of the “mixed-ownership” companies would cost about $360 million, or just over $80 for every New Zealander – less than the Treasury’s estimate.

      • ad 6.1.1

        Yes but there’s more. New Zealanders already own the assets, so we could work out the $$ we all currently own.

        And then how much of that $$ is being sold, per person.

        And when they list, how much $$ some New Zealanders will then buy a bit of them back for.

        So just at listing New Zealanders are a fair way in the hole.

        Then in three years who still holds them, and how much $$ us taxpayers are paying to keep them in New Zealand.

        And then on to the next sale, more losses, more subsidies.

        And then another two.

  7. Dv 7

    Just heard a comment on Morning Report.

    Apparently Shearer ducked the question about if you should buy the shares.

    That is smart response because he is not a register financial advisor and not supposed to give financial advice.

    As a matter of interest are celebrities involved in advertising financial product liable under the current law?

    • James N 7.1

      Shearer was repeatedly asked that given the government was selling the shares wouldn’t he prefer they remain in the hands of NZ investors – a classic Have You Stopped Beating Your Wife Question and thus classically unanswerable.

      To my mind he should simply have stuck-record with the line The “shares” are already 100% in New Zealand hands.

      He failed to do this and – alas – he came across as prevaricariting. Alas, a massive fail

      • Dv 7.1.1

        I was only going on a comment read out just before 9, i didn’t hear the interview.

        • Jim Nald

          Fyi the interview I heard was this one:

          [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/mnr/mnr-20120724-0726-loyalty_shares_too_costly-048.mp3" /]

      • felix 7.1.2

        I thought he pretty much did stuck-record his answer as you suggest he should, but it just wasn’t strongly or clearly enough worded.

        And repeating something weakly and waffly doesn’t quite have the same effect, innit.

        • James N

          It doesn’t, and then he compounded things – and came quite unstuck – when he fessed up “hands on heart” that he could not commit to buying the shares back “in the current economic climate”.

          • Socialist Paddy

            I am sorry but the Labour Party will not commit to buying the assets back, come hell or high water. 
            The reason is they do not know what the cost will be, and any sort of forced repatriation at a fixed price would scatter international investment like shoal fish. Even David Cunliffe during the leadership debate would only say that Labour would not rule out renationalising some of them and they would “look very hard” at buing them back.
            I am not saying this is fair or just, just that it reflects a conventional economic view which no doubt some will find frustrating.

            • TT

              That’s the whole problem in a nutshell: Labour shouldn’t give a rats behind about scaring international investors. They should be letting them know that a Labour government would immediately seize any foreign capital in NZ, during a comprehensive renationalisation programme for the benefit of the people. It’s time they stood for their supposed values, and reject all aspects of capitalism, globalisation, and the rest of neoliberal oppression.

  8. freedom 8

    There has been much speculation about the costs of the bonus shares, as there should be. What I have not seen is any accurate information on where these bonus shares are coming from. There are a finite number of shares to be floated, what is the break down and why has our Prime Minister not been forthright in stating the exact nature of the distribution of the shares? Coming to think of it with the numerous stories in the media on the subject, has he even been asked?

  9. Tangled up in blue 9

    It could cost a few million to beat them in the international courts

    What are you basing this on? (that NZ would beat them)

    I would like to see NZ ‘beat them in the international courts’ but would hate for us to end up being liable for compensating tobacco companies.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Welcome to the world of corporate dominance and sovereign impotence

      Exactly what TPTB have had in mind for 20 years

      However if we beat the tobacco companies we sue them for every smoking related treatment and surgery our health system has performed since 1950. Should come up to a tidy $20B-30B sum.

      • mike e 9.1.1

        If they do we could just raise the tax to pay the bill and then ban all Tobacco products and treat the sellers wholesalers& companies as criminals just like we do with other drugs which are much less dangerous.

  10. Graham 10

    Why is Labour not pledging to repatriate these assets and the looters bonuses when they are in power? This is clearly theft, so surely it is within our rights to take back what has been stolen from us. There must also be other ways of putting a spanner in the works…

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Too left wing and ‘radical’ for a free market oriented Labour caucus.

    • TT 10.2

      Labour is just as far in the fat-cats pockets as the tory scum are these days. If they had any integrity they would be advocating the end to corporate theft full stop. Any peoples government could immediately end this societal theft by (1) Nationalising without compensation the entire NZX, all private corporations with large asset bases, investment property and productive land. (2) Imprisoning criminal shareholders / farmers / slumlords who knowingly have perpetuated this theft with a year in prison for every $10K in equity they held at the time of renationalisation. This way we would regain control of productive assets for the people, and would be able to properly deal with those who are responsible for the current criminal kleptocracy. Scum like Shonkey and Blinglish shouldn’t be able to hide behind their “blind” trusts either. The worst of the Rothschild fans will be awarded with special treatment.

    • QoT 10.3

      I can somewhat sympathise with the usual argument against this – that theoretically a Labour/whoever government coming in in 2014 could be faced with such a shitty financial situation following six years of NACT that they simply cannot prioritise re-nationalisation over, say, keeping the lights on and the schools open.

      On the other hand, they could just say “Renationalising these assets is a priority; but since NACT are running the government dry giving favours to their mates we may not be able to fix all their fuckups as quickly as we’d like.”

      On the third hand, that would probably still leave cynics like me saying “nice wiggle room you left there, Dave.” But it would be nice to hear them say something (other than “oh, but not energy generation.”)

  11. Stephen Doyle 11

    I suspect that the reason Shearer et al won’t commit to a share buy back is that they suspect that because of the current miss management of the economy, there won’t be any money to do so.

    • tracey 11.1

      and it will cost much more to buy it back than we will get for sellimg… As it always is

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      That’s why it should be renationalisation without compensation.

      • Murray Olsen 11.2.1

        Exactly. When the police confiscate stolen goods, they don’t compensate the receiver.

        • TT

          Precisely. Labour and the Greens need to let the criminal kleptocrats know that any piece of these assets bought would be met with a prison sentence for receiving stolen goods. I can’t see the float going too well with the fear of not only expropriation, but significant prison time hanging over heads.

  12. Graham 12

    But if they legislated a reasonable cap on what power companies are allowed to charge the public per kW hour, thereby making power prices lower, share prices would plummet and the government could buy them back very cheaply by raising taxes for the super wealthy. Surely with an overwhelming majority opposed to these sales Labour could legitimately make a pledge like this?

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Great idea, or simply mandate that the board of directors will always have a majority of directors who are government officials. That’ll crash the share price for starters.

      Of course, its still too left wing and ‘radical’ for a free market focussed caucus.

    • freedom 12.2

      an audit of the processes that generate the ever increasing kw/h charge would be a welcome first step.

    • bad12 12.3

      Logically you would think that Labour/Greens would be yelling from the roof-tops that the stolen shares will be put back in the public ownership,

      They won’t though citing such things as not knowing what shape the economy will be in, to me that’s a weak argument from both Shearer and Norman and would suggest that their ‘plan’ is to leave the tax system as it is except for the introduction of a capital gains tax in a late attempt to deflate the cost of housing,

      What Labour/Green should be doing is turning Nationals tax cuts upside down and applying them to the economy where the bottom 40% gain the tax cuts that under Nationals foolishness went to the top 40%, that along with a financial transaction tax would suffice to give the Government enough working capital to buy back the stolen shares and implement it’s own economic and social programs,

      Unfortunately i don’t see that occurring under the management of a Labour/Green Government, it appears from here that all 3 party’s are now engaged in an electoral fight over the same voting pool, which will simply leave us with Government of, for, and, by, the middle class…

  13. Ed 13

    I, like many thousands of New Zealanders, have savings in a Kiwisaver account. This has been encouraged by both Labour and National, and I am happy not to be trying to make investment decisions myself, knowing that is being done by professionals who will also keep the funds reasonably fully invested, which I could not do myself. I don’t have the money to invest directly into the share floats, but I am upset that as an ordinary “Mom and Pop” investor (actually we think of ourselves as more “Mum and Dad” types, but perhaps National is an American political party) we will not be able to benefit from the bonus shares. Kiwisaver was created for ordinary New Zealanders – why are they being excluded from benefiting from this incentive to keep the shares?

    It seems to me that if people have enough to be guaranteed an allocation of up to $2000 and given an incentive to keep the shares, the same should apply in some way to ordinary New Zealanders who have done the right thing in saving through Kiwisaver. Or is this “incentive” only for the wealthy?

    • freedom 13.1

      since you have to be a kiwi to be in kiwisaver is makes little sense to not give kiwisaver an exemption that will help kiwis

      oh right i see the issue now, helping kiwis is not what the sale is about, silly me

    • bad12 13.2

      Ma and Pa investors are only being pandered to for 2 reasons, (1) is obvious in that this is simply part 2 of National’s election bribery, part (1) being the tax cuts for the top 40% of earners with the edict from National to SAVE them,

      Reason (2) is the removal of the assets into the hands of off-shore interests at such a time as the sale of the assets is no longer an item on the front pages of the media…

  14. Nick 14

    Cocaine is on the increase again apparently. I wonder if Columbia will come a sue us if we cracked down on that?

    I’m interested to see how Australia gets on with their plain packaging, not because I think plain packaging would make much difference but because I want to see a country assert is sovereignty over the interests of big business and win.

    Asset sales and bonus shares don’t get me started, the proceeds from these sales have already been spent three times over (paying down debt, investing in the companies themselves AND building more assets such as schools – apparently) and now they are spending hundreds of millions more to give people that were probably going to buy shares anyway and incentive to do so and to vote National next election to keep their bonus.

  15. Jackal 15

    Looks like another reason for the Maori party to walk the talk… Associate Minister of Health, Tariana Turia, announced in April this year that the Government had decided to introduce plain packaging. Now Key has come along and humiliated her once again, showing that the Maori party is just an ineffectual lapdog!

    As for the looters bonus… The real silly thing is that even by Nationals best estimates, the deferred debt payments compared to lost dividends would only see a benefit of $12 million. That was before Key announced the looters bonus, which would cost up to $1.3 billion. This makes the entire exercise economically irresponsible.

    • freedom 15.1

      and still no official word on where those loyalty shares are coming from!!!

      How can that not be the big question, everyone is so focused on the $$$ they are ignoring the fact the dollars only exist because the shares will exist, so where are the shares coming from and why will no-one ask the PM this most simple of questions ?

  16. tracey 16

    Interestingly if the govt thinks a small number of mums and dads are going to buy, tgey would value the cost of the bonus lower.

    I note the pm said smoking kills etc etc but people have a right to choice. So can he tell me if i can buy cannabis in my dairy too?

  17. Dv 17

    SO the BONUS for holding shares for 3 years is going to be 1% according Key.

    Thus the ‘bonus’ of 2k of share held is $20 of about $6.50 per year.

    (Calculation based on the estimate by Key that ALL bonus shares for ALL floats is 60 to 80 mil. 60m is 1% on 6bill)

    • Lanthanide 17.1

      It is likely to be 1 in 10 shares, which is 10%, not 1%.

      • Dv 17.1.1

        So the over all cost is for all the bonus shares is600m , not the 60m “guessed” by Key?

        • freedom

          plus the $130 million consultancy costs to sell them

        • Lanthanide

          Only if 100% of all shares sold go to private NZers eligible for the bonus, and they hold their shares for 3 years. There is also unlikely to be any bonus shares for the Air NZ selldown, as it is already partly privatised.

          The Greens estimate of $200m is more realistic.

  18. AmaKiwi 18

    A comment on John Key’s tactics, which he repeatedly uses with great success.
    “I agree with you but because of xyz I am sorry to say I can’t do it.”
    This falsely leads you to believe he is on your side, when in reality he is dead set against you.  Tobacco control is a beautiful example because there are so many ways it could be restricted without foreign companies having a way to challenge it.  One simple example:  Instead of plain packaging just declare tobacco to be a dangerous substance which can only be sold in pharmacies to persons over 21 years of age.  A creative person who WANTED to cut tobacco sales could find many solutions.  But he doesn’t want to.  He only pretends he does so you will like him.

    • bad12 18.1

      That has been my whole point for quite some time, class tobacco as a prescription only poison exactly the same as what ‘party pills’ are,

      Register all the current users,(addicts),with their doctors and only allow the supply of the product to those over 18 who are registered addicts,

      Refuse in the future to register anyone who is now under the age of 18…

  19. tracey 19

    Exactly ama. We could make it a class a b or c drug too. I am pretty sure no international treaty protects the right to sell illegal drugs.

    Spot on dv. It seems pretty obvious yet it works

    • TT 19.1

      If they were classed today, both tobacco and alcohol would be a class B substance. I think that would be a fair outcome. If it was made retrospective we could lock up the peddlers of these poisons too.

  20. If John Key does not sign the TPPA then they will not be able to sue us, but Key does not care about New Zealand or New Zealander’s he only cares about the Corporate sector and the Banking system he represents.

    To go to plain packaging may cost the corporate thousands of $ in profits, oh no no can’t do that to a corporate business, better to make the taxpayer pay.

    • infused 20.1

      Do you even understand the TPPA? Or are you just being retarded?

      • Colonial Viper 20.1.1

        Cigarette corporations to sue NZ if we limit their ability to sell poison to our children. More of that to come under the TPPA.

  21. freedom 21

    personally i feel one of the more interesting $ figures to see will be the first announcement of Key’s wealth in the year after his time as PM.

  22. gobsmacked 22

    Key squirming in the House.

    Mallard interjects, so Lockwood tells him the question Labour should ask.

    Shearer doesn’t listen, and ploughs on with prepared questions.

    Flavell challenges Key on cost vis-a-vis treaty settlements, and there’s a gaffe from Key in reply (treaty costs just got a lot higher, apparently). Nobody notices the gaffe.

    Key waffles some more, and gets away with it. So … business as usual in Parliament.

    • gobsmacked 22.1

      But Russel Norman really gets under Key’s skin. You can hear the teeth sucking noise at full volume. And – alleluia – an instant follow-up question! Just throw his answer straight back at him, and Key flounders.

      • Carol 22.1.1

        Yes, I thought sucking in air through his teeth was a “tell” that Key is lying. It was noticeable when, in response to Norman’s question about the legality of bonus shares without the costs having been submitted to parliament…

        Key said something like, “unlike the opposition this government always does things legally…….ssssssft”

  23. tracey 23

    Remember when the nats and their cheerleaders bemoaned labours alleged social engineering.? Interesting article by paul buchanan today. http://www.kiwipolitico.com/2012/07/market-driven-social-engineering/

    • rosy 23.1

      Yeah, I humpfed at that contradiction when I read that Key was trying to change the way people think about investment.

      Change the way people think… the right will never admit to social engineering even though they practice it all the time. They call it common sense, ‘for your benefit’.

      • Draco T Bastard 23.1.1

        And the social-engineering that the right engage in is almost always bad for the community. Great for the rich.

  24. AmaKiwi 24

    TVNZ is reporting the government is going to stop our annual donation to the UN International Development Organization ($500,000 a year).
    Why?  The government’s excuse is that the money can be better spent on our Pacific island neighbors.  I suspect the truth is a way to cut the budget by book keeping scams.  Instead of writing a check to the UN, the government can now use much of that $500,000 to pay the salaries of Foreign Ministry employees who (on paper) are working on Pacific island desks.  With ministry salaries and overheads charged against the $500,000 it won’t be hard to insure not one cent ever gets to needy people abroad.
    Nice scam!

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      That’s odd. Because we just agreed to lend the IMF $1.26B if they want it.


      • rosy 24.1.1

        CV, that’s because it’s so much more important to prop up the system than improve the livelihoods of the truly desperate. /sarc

        • ropata

          also give your corporate mates tax breaks, and the wealthy tax cuts.
          no CGT or Tobin tax, but raise GST on all the peasants
          keep the rentier class happy, the dollar high, and property bubbling

          whatever you do, prevent anything resembling local democracy in AKL and CHC
          polluters and exploiters must be allowed a free hand
          get rid of red tape (e.g. building standards, mines inspectors, maritime safety officers)

          after all that hard work take a break in Hawaii: you’ve earned it!

  25. mike e 25

    Most of it looks like its already been used up to protect Bainimarma .

  26. Populuxe1 26

    Lordy lordy – nothing makes some so shrill and self-righteous as people who like the occasional cigarette. Goodness knows that life isn’t crappy enough in this country without passing laws to stamp out a little pleasure, supporting laws intended to manipulate and coerce the poor (which is what anti-smoking legislation really is, it certainly doesn’t impact on the rich). It amazes me how hypocritical some people are, who claim to be on the side of working people and at the same time enjoy lording over them and patronising them because they think they know what’s best.

    • Tracey 26.1

      should we sell them cocaine too, just because they enjoy it? Be consistent in your arguments.

  27. AmaKiwi 27

    David Shearer, please reply.
    John Key will delay tobacco plain packaging.  Labour MP Clare Curran tweets that Key is a ‘wimp’ for not standing up to the tobacco companies.  David Shearer supports Key: “I actually think that what John Key is doing in this case is actually a responsible thing to do.  What he should be doing is checking out what’s entailed in terms of costs.”
    Mr. Shearer, do you think companies whose only purpose is to profit by poisoning our people deserve our respect?
    Mr. Shearer, do you think the public health costs, suffering, and deaths of our people caused by smoking justify taking tobacco companies’ blackmail threats seriously?
    Mr. Shearer, do you think it helps our party to be seen as nothing more than National’s lapdog when you praise John Key?  You know the overwhelming majority of Kiwis oppose to smoking. On this issue, the Greens and Maori parties are the only ones who speak for the majority of us.
    Mr. Shearer, why did you publicly humiliate Labour MP Clare Curran?

  28. Tracey 28

    IF Labour and the Greens came out and said, when next elected (whenever that may be) into Govt they will nationalise the companies sold, and return only the purchase price paid (not including the loyalty bonus), would more or less people buy shares in the company??

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  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    5 mins ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    18 hours ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    22 hours ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    24 hours ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    1 day ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    1 day ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    5 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    5 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    6 days ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 mins ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    27 mins ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
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