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Focused on what matters

Written By: - Date published: 7:36 pm, April 28th, 2009 - 60 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, community democracy, john key - Tags:

So John Key has set his taxpayer paid researchers onto David Shearer. The best they can come up with is that 11 years ago Shearer advocated using regulated mercenaries on UN peacekeeping missions because nations like the US are often unwilling to commit their own troops.

If Key, who is clearly obsessed with winning Mt Albert, (he made two unprovoked references to it in Question Time today) wants to play the scandal-monger with the tabloid media over a nominee, I say let him. Labour should keep concentrating on the issues that matter to the people in Mt Albert and around New Zealand jobs, the economy, the supercity.

Speaking of which, why the hell couldn’t Goff or Kedgley just directly ask Key whether he supported a referendum or not? Stop dancing around with convoluted questions and just ask him directly.

UPDATE: David Farrar claims Key’s office were in no way involved. I’m happy to take him at his word.

60 comments on “Focused on what matters”

  1. Greg 1

    I agree with you.

    But its a tad hypocritical.

    H-Fee?

  2. Only on Planet Standard would you think the rest of the country is agonising over what to do with the super city.

    Speaking of obsessions, this new found fascination with “democracy” has disappeared way beyond obsession. The previous Labour govt had no problems with making a wide range of discussions it believed was in the best interest of the country or its electoral chances.

  3. outofbed 3

    Sue Kedgley: Is the Prime Minister aware that the Local Government Act spells out that before any significant reorganisation of local government can take place, an extensive formal consultation must take place, including formally notifying the draft proposal, calling for submissions on it, and having a poll of electors; and can he explain why that has not happened in Auckland since the Government chucked out the royal commission’s proposals?

    • Tyron 3.1

      But because the question was so broad Key didn’t need to say anything about the referendum. He just gave a glib answer about consultation

    • Eddie 3.2

      Ah, I’ve gone and confused the Sues again. I’ll go change it.

  4. Malcolm 4

    you obviously don’t live in auckland daveski.

    captcha reads: fifes people – is that air new zealanders?

  5. mike 5

    “Labour should keep concentrating on the issues that matter ”

    Why hasn’t this post got a humour tag? The hyposcrisy is breathtaking.

    But seriously that Shearer guy has an interesting past all right – and it really did happen unlike the failed muckrake on JK

  6. Tom M 6

    I agree. Despite the attention-grabbing words ‘support’ and ‘private armies’ placed in such proximity, there’s nothing to this. It’s just seems like an argument for working with local people to achieve desirable outcomes, which doesn’t seem particularly contentious.

  7. “play the scandal-monger with the tabloid media ”

    What scandal? Shearer’s idea is a good one.

    • Pascal's bookie 7.1

      Yeah, sounds like a modest proposal to me.

      I’d like to know more about the context. Folks sometimes say outrageous things, in order to back away from them as the need for outrageousness dissipates. This may be like that. Or it may not.

  8. John Dalley 8

    Taxpayer Funded Researcher, You mean DPF don’t you? Reading DPF’s post on KB he refers to doing research, and he always denies being funded by National ( see Government) i fell a Tui’s moment coming on. Yeah Right!!!

  9. Doug 9

    If Shearer gets the nod just imagine the in fighting, you would almost pay Dollars to watch the fun and games.

  10. Fail. You are in danger of slandering a number of unpaid bloggers with that slur.
    The work was done for free by people interested in promoting the same ideals that the National party stands for. Nobody involved in researching this information is paid by a political party or a union.
    can you say the same thing “Eddie”?
    How do I know this?
    I watched the story develop over the weekend at my house. They make lots of calls to other bloggers and friends and the information flows in.

    • Eddie 10.1

      Um, yeah, I can, but that’s not the point. Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten Cameron Slater’s admission to the Herald’s Patrick Gower that he works hand in hand with the National party research unit.

      I also find it very hard to believe Farrar was simply “searching for Shearer’s Lincoln university thesis on Maori values and environmental decision-making”. Pull the other one, seriously.

      Actually, you know what Bill? I’m getting pretty tired of your miserable attempts to out and intimidate the posters on this site, both here and elsewhere. You, Whale and all your other creepy right wing mates are the exact reason why I don’t want my identity public. I usually leave the banning to others but consider this your final warning.

  11. Hypocrisy alert “Eddie”. Your post mentions paid researchers in its title. You brought it up, you are completely wrong in this instance and I stand by my comment.
    Casting aspersions on others when you are exactly what you accuse them of being is irony squared.
    ban away, keep banning dissent and you will soon become the echo chamber of the left.

    • Eddie 11.1

      You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t consider you and Slater the most reliable source Bill. Don’t pretend for a minute Key’s office wasn’t involved in this smear.

  12. infused 12

    Umm, see kiwiblog? Something is wrong at The Standard lately…

    • Daveski 12.1

      My thoughts too infused. This post looks entirely disconnected with the facts and yet surprisingly aligned with the Labour Party’s press release. Now funny thing, we can’t say that can we around here because we take your word yet DPF is guilty without any semblance of any evidence.

      All I can think from the reaction is that things must be pretty desperate based on what we are seeing here.

      • Duncan 12.1.1

        Anyone who follows Farrar and Slater knows they’re hand in glove with National. As mentioned above Slater has even admitted to the Herald that he works with the Nat research unit for his smears. Farrar usually waits a few days then innocently links to them to give them a wider airing through a more respectable outlet.

        The reality is Farrar and Slater are inseparable from the National and both have deep and longstanding links with the party. When I saw they were behind this I thought the exact same thing – National was behind this research or at the very least knew about it and approved of its release.

      • lprent 12.1.2

        I get most (but not all damn-it) of the Labour press releases. I asked for them a long time ago. Seldom use them as they usually seem to have been written for cretins who need a pair of scissors to create a story. I also get a pile of green stuff because someone (probably the name starts with an R) gave them my e-mail address. Some national MP’s send stuff because some clowns amongst my friends set up redirection addresses with me at the end. Not to mention other stuff from the democratic party, etc etc. Hell I even get the curia newsletters…

        Getting on PR releases is easy – it is getting off them that is hard. I have them auto-filtering to folders if they stay in the inbox for a day unread, along with the e-zines, mailing lists, etc. They are fun to scan on a slow code day. Also fun to pick ideas out from for posts.

        We aren’t journo’s, don’t have budgets, etc etc. So we read blogs, press releases, more blogs, e-zines, google words, or even just wikipedia. Put it together in a post, and let the commentators tell us why we’re wrong. It isn’t a news site, it is an opinion site – often based on expressing an opinion about something someone else said.

        DPF is always welcome to do what he just did, which is say that whatever it was wasn’t the case (haven’t read the post yet) when we repeat stuff. Hell even Whale and Bassett could do it. We’d decide on the merits.

  13. Tyron 13

    Farrar (or supposedly Farrar) wrote: “we came across a couple of articles David Shearer had written for foreign policy journals”

    who is ‘we’?

    In fact, since when did Farrar ever write ‘we’ in reference to Kiwiblog? A couple of Farrar’s recent posts have been written very differently from his normal style. I suspect that not only was the research done by National’s researchers but the post was also written by them

    How come TV3 had time to ask Shearer, Key, and Goff for their responses when Kiwiblog only posted at 4:30? Farrar would have posted earlier if he could have.

    How come Whaleoil then posted 20 minutes later? Too short a time to see Farrar had a new post, read it, and write his own. He must have had the information earlier.

  14. Eddie – Key’s office was in absolutely no way involved. It would have come as a complete surprise to them.

  15. Thanks Eddie.. A true gentleman 🙂

  16. Daveski 16

    DPF has made a comment and Eddie has accepted it. Good to see a nice clean fight too.

    I suspect that in a country the size of NZ – a tiny fraction of fundamentalists on both sides – it beggars belief that there isn’t meaningful interaction between bloggers and politicians.

    I think it’s a fair bit of what goes round comes around for both camps.

    OOOps … supposed to be a reply to Duncan

  17. Herbie Syde 17

    Craig Potton’s publication of the Seeds of Distrust proved the Greens are just as capable of fighting dirty as any party, despite their carefully constructed holier than thou image.

    Norman looked pleased as punch on TV3 tonight that this had ‘come out’.

    DPF is probably being honest that National had nothing to do with this. It’s the Greens who benefit from it the most.

  18. gobsmacked 18

    I hope John Key continues to attack David Shearer (or whoever Labour select) in Parliament and on the TV news every day.

    I’m sure it will play well with the National faithful, especially among the 1% of the voters who live on politics blogs.

    Meanwhile, the people who really matter, the swing voters – like the thousands who voted for both Helen Clark and National in Mt Albert, the ones who like nice Mr Key but not nasty right-wingers – will start wondering why the Prime Minister is going so negative, so soon, against some guy they’ve never heard of, to win a seat he doesn’t need and says he won’t be spending much time in.

  19. So why do Labour think the private sector is an acceptable solution when women and children are dying overseas in wars, but when women and children are dying here in New Zealand’s hospitals, only the state will do?

    • Tyron 19.1

      The views of a Labour nominee are not Labour Party policy any more than the views of a 14 year old in a bright yellow cap are official ACT party policy, even if he was their candidate for Otaki.

  20. Gustavo Trellis 20

    So the Standard has no evidence that taxpayer money was spent on this, yet is happy to allege that it was?

  21. I don’t get what all the fuss is about, especially on 3 news now. Keep in mind that it was written 11 years ago, pretty much saying, this is the reality, this needs to be acknowledged and properly regulated , else we will end up pretty much with the situation we are in now with Black-Water, or what ever they call themselves now.

  22. gingercrush 22

    Such sheer speed. So obvious the other nominees running for this electorate have absolutely no chance. Labour leadership clearly have their man and anyone else can just forget it.

    • Tane 22.1

      The issue is that Labour has a pretty undemocratic selection process. Part of that’s a safeguard against fringe nutters getting the numbers after Douglas and co hollowed out the party in the 80s. But it means head office has three votes out of seven so once you’ve got their backing you’re pretty much set.

      Having said that, when you look at the internal bustups National’s having in Mt Albert with Ravi Musuku being pressured but refusing to step aside for Melissa Lee it’s clear this is a problem common to both major parties.

      • Tim Ellis 22.1.1

        Tane, I don’t think you can fairly compare National’s selection processes with Labour’s. National has sixty local delegates vote for the preferred candidate. Nominees lobby delegates for their individual votes.

        I don’t think National expected Ravi Masuku to step aside for Lee.

        If Masuku wins the nomination, it will be because he’s convinced a majority of local delegates that he’s the best candidate. If Lee wins it’s because she’s done the same. National at least has the confidence to allow the local delegates to make that choice rather than have head office do it for them.

        National can afford to allow local delegates to choose the candidate because it’s essentially still a mass-membership, grassroots-based Party. Labour has been dominated by unions and factions for so long that grassroots members just don’t have much involvement. Their selection processes reflect this.

        • r0b 22.1.1.1

          National can afford to allow local delegates to choose the candidate because it’s essentially still a mass-membership, grassroots-based Party.

          Thanks Tim – I haven’t had such a good laugh in a long time.

          National centralised its selection process in 2003 and the central party hierarchy has an absolute veto, which it has used in a recent messy selection process, Candidate selection ‘fixed and rigged’:

          Failed National Party nominee Roger Payne’s effort to clean up the political candidate selection process has gone before the High Court.

          Mr Payne, who lives in the South Canterbury town of Orari, told the High Court at Christchurch he led a group of 35 party members who went public with concerns and had the party overturn Mr Carter’s selection. But he said he believed he was scrubbed from further consideration for selection because of the actions he took.

          The rule giving the party an unfettered right to decline a candidate without reason and without interview should not even exist, he told the hearing

          Labour has been dominated by unions and factions for so long that grassroots members just don’t have much involvement.

          Speaking as a happy and active grassroots member – bullshit!

          • Tim Ellis 22.1.1.1.1

            Thanks for your contribution as always, r0b. Roger Payne has taken numerous actions against the National Party. Every time he has lost. I don’t doubt he will lose this time, too. National’s Board does have a veto before selection, but it is used very, very rarely. Payne made a commitment when he stood for a previous nomination that he would not stand for any other political party if he failed to get the national party nomination. He didn’t get the nomination, and then stood as an independent, campaigning against the national party. In 2008 he sought national party nomination. Payne is a serial litigant.

            Nice attempt at diversion again as always though r0b.

          • r0b 22.1.1.1.2

            Thanks for your contribution as always, r0b.

            Why Tim how very kind of you.

            Nice attempt at diversion again as always though r0b.

            Diversion? You come here making all sorts of bullshit claims about both National and Labour, and pointing out that they are bullshit is diversion? You really do need a big dose of “get over yourself” Tim.

          • phenol 22.1.1.1.3

            Tim E: ‘National can afford to allow local delegates to choose the candidate because it’s essentially still a mass-membership, grassroots-based Party’

            That was one of the funniest things you’ve ever written Tim.

        • jerry 22.1.1.2

          Are there any mass membership grassroots parties in NZ ?

          I was under the impression that the majority of the population still had a deep distrust and contempt for politicians and political parties.

          • r0b 22.1.1.2.1

            Most parties – like National – won’t reveal their membership numbers (wonder why). Some – including Labour’s – are noted in this post:
            http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2008/04/parties-ii.html

            As to the character of the parties – here’s Colin James writing in The Herald after the 2007 Labour Party Conference:

            “A Martian visitor knowing the two main parties only by their annual conferences would have rated Labour well ahead. Labour’s was big, energetically explored issues and policies and sprouted young people and national diversity. National’s was tight, white and slight on debate.’

          • jerry 22.1.1.2.2

            Do you believe the Maori party has 23,000 members and Labour has 55,000 ? …. sounds like fantasy to me.

      • gingercrush 22.1.2

        I agree Tane. But when you have Iprent saying:

        It isn’t Labour picking the candidate – no party has a monolithic decision structure. Well maybe the one person parties?

        It is largely the local electorate organization in any well organized electorate for Labour. They will pick pretty much according to our needs with some input from the party hierarchy. That is how the selection panel is structured.

        Quite simply there is no real way to be sure of the outcome until the Q&A, speeches, and other formalities are done. All I’m sure of is that it will be exhausting during those meetings.

        Something doesn’t fit. Either Labour is democratic or it isn’t. Seems to me its all party hierachy with only a charade of local influence. I think Labour is getting themselves in trouble. If the selection panel manage to overrule the hierachy. That presents real problems in Labour internally. On the other hand, if the hierachy wins out and gets Shearer. How much damage in the long-run will that do to the Mt. Albert organisation.

        Helen Clark had such a tight-grip on Labour. She is gone. Cullen is out the door tomorrow. Clark and Cullen were succesful at putting a stop to internal divisions in the Labour party. I see those internal tensions/divisions returning.

        • r0b 22.1.2.1

          Seems to me its all party hierachy with only a charade of local influence.

          Seems to me you can’t count.

          • gingercrush 22.1.2.1.1

            I am aware that the organisation committee outnumbers the party hierachy. But politics is never that simple.

        • gingercrush 22.1.2.2

          Phil Goff and Annette King aren’t exactly the norm inside the Labour party. They’re far more to the right than other members. The new lot of MPs seem to me to be far more to the left than either Goff and King. Trevor Mallard seems to be doing his own thing in the house. He can’t be happy that he isn’t on the front bench when he’s the one that seems to actually be doing half the work in-house. And with Cullen gone no one is better at asking questions or using points of order in the houe than Mallard. There surely must be some aspiration inside the new intake of Labour MPs for advancement. Meanwhile, half that Labour frontbench are under performing. And Goff isn’t exactly sparkling as Leader of the Opposition.

        • lprent 22.1.2.3

          Wrong. Your thinking is too academic. Try thinking like a NGO running with volunteers and a few paid staff rather than a hierarchical system

          The local organization has the major influence if it is an effective local organization. After all they are the people who have to continue to put the effort in year after year to keep the candidate elected. Volunteers walking away is likely to collapse a campaign and future campaigns. This is the issue that faces the National party with Ravi, where they are likely to lose a lot of their local volunteers, especially the ones who know the electorate.

          Just as an aside, Shearer is probably a by-product of a informal discussion between some members at the local level (including me). We weren’t that happy with what we knew about the range of candidates if Phil Twyford wasn’t in it. After all we have to select amongst them and would like to have a range of skills and attributes to select amongst. David Shearer’s name was one of the ones that came up as he’d lived in the electorate. Couple of weeks later he put his nomination forward, so I’d guess that one of the others raised it in either the political or party sphere’s. The ‘parachute’ idea is simply bullshit from the wingnuts and spin from the Nats.

          It is unlikely that the internal divisions of the 70’s and 80’s will return. There are a lot of us from all over the spectrum at grassroots determined that does not happen. People that will not work with all others will informally find that they become a irrelevance. That behavior has become part of the culture now.

          If you want to look at factions, look at the Nat’s.

        • Tane 22.1.2.4

          It’s a difference of opinion gc. To be fair Lynn probably has a better idea of this than I do – after all, he’s an active party member, I’m not.

  23. darryl 23

    I’m a little confused… I can’t see how it’s a smear if this is what Shearer actually said… and to be honest, I actually agree with what he is saying. Rather then saying it’s a National smear why doesn’t Labour accept that Shearer is a smart guy that thinks outside the box which is why they are backing him for Mt Albert? I would have thought there would have been more mileage in that. If National picked up votes in the last election by pulling more to the left surely Labour can gain more votes by pulling to the right? From what I can tell this Shearer guy seems like a pretty good bloke, and probably just the sort of bloke Labour needs right now.

    What will look bad is if Shearer does a complete u-turn on his own opinion because then he just comes across as a guy who does what he is told not what he believes.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • If that’s the case, then I can’t see how the H-fee thing could be considered a smear had Key been implicated in it?

      • Tim Ellis 23.1.1

        Interesting point, KITNO. The H-Fee issue wasn’t a smear when Mike Williams went to investigate it. It would have been newsworthy and a genuine issue if John Key had been implicated in it.

        The smear was when “Batman” implicated John Key in the H-Fee when there was no evidence that this was the case. Labour built its entire campaign in 2008 around negatively attacking John Key on the vague hope that the smear would come to fruition. It didn’t.

  24. Ms M 24

    One would hope our PM actually reads documents before he comments on them aye, but after him calling hypocrisy over Labour happily outing his Government’s not so secret privatisation agendas vs Labour’s new “poster boy for Mt Albert” wanting to “privatise the army” I think we can confirm he doesn’t. Perhaps David Shearer could do a re-write, “Outsourcing War for Dummies, Merchant Bankers and Right-Wing Bloggers”

    Although the timing of this billowing big puff of smokescreen could be so no one notices, once again, a company Key use to work for is going under.

    (j/k)

  25. jerry 25

    Bah wrong place

  26. phenol 26

    This may be just the out Goff needs to step away from Shearer after his embarrassing performance at the Q+A.

  27. BLiP 27

    John Key:

    The Government does believe there should be more democracy at a lower level, and that view is supported by the community chairs.

    Levels of democracy?

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    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary 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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    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 If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago

  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    21 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    5 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    6 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago

  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
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