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Foreskin’s lament

Written By: - Date published: 9:17 am, August 7th, 2016 - 49 comments
Categories: discrimination, feminism, sexism, sport - Tags: , , ,

Chiefs fans flags during the Super Rugby match, Chiefs v Hurricanes at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand on Friday 28 June 2013. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/Photosport.co.nz

Chiefs fans flags during the Super Rugby match, Chiefs v Hurricanes at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand on Friday 28 June 2013. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/Photosport.co.nz

In 1980, when Rugby and the New Zealand state were in full wedded bliss, playwright Greg McGee decided to draw back the curtains on this sport’s seething dynamics of sexuality, gender relations, bullying, and violence. The name of the play, after the nickname for the lead role, was Foreskin’s Lament.

In the intervening 35 years to 2016, that play’s moral force still holds true. But now, we get to track the trajectory of our gender relations to other countries’, as they arc far away from us.

Let’s start with the obvious. The team playing for the 2016 Super Rugby grand final got deliberately drunk and hired a stripper. Vying for greatest club Rugby team in the southern hemisphere, team management felt that this was good. So to all the tens of thousands of women Rugby players in the world, FYI: this is what is really inside the Chiefs minds when they think of women. It’s fully approved.

A week before Rugby players of both genders finally go before an Olympic television audience of billions, male senior management in New Zealand’s top club believe it’s time to organize an event where the whole team pay a woman to take her clothes off in front of them, call her a “filthy slut” (according to the stripper), grope her, spit beer at her, and get her to use sex toys. Not since 1980 has Rugby and our nation bound themselves together in more perfect union.

Just in case it needed pointing out how damaging it is to New Zealanders to act according to such values about women, the Chairman of Saatchi and Saatchi Kevin Roberts responded to someone saying “sexual harassment is endemic in the media, advertising, and every industry”, with: “I think she’s got problems that are of her own, making up a lot of stuff to create a profile, and to take the applause, and to get on a soap[box].” He continued: “I don’t think [the lack of women in leadership roles] is a problem. … I can’t talk about sexual discrimination because we’ve never had a problem, thank goodness.”

Kevin Roberts did not spit beer onto a stripper.

But Saatchi’s parent company Publicis immediate put him on indefinite leave. Roberts resigned within 24 hours. Publicis and Saatchi’s understood what was at stake in the values they represent globally, and the brands they put up to represent those values. They are not shining beacons of sexual sensitivity, but for those comments they fired his ass faster than he could inhale breath.

What would Publicis and Saatchi’s do to the Hurricanes for hiring a stripper, and getting her to use sex toys on herself in front of the team? Answer: they would act commensurate with the values that have been put at risk.

But we do know what a major New Zealand sponsor would do. They would state in immediate defence: “What do you expect when a girl takes her clothes off in front of a group of young men?” That was from Margaret Comer, spokesperson for Gallagher Group. Yep, one of New Zealand’s largest exporters.

The way New Zealand Rugby treats women is not just some little domestic issue. It is a globally damaging issue for Rugby as a sport and as a brand at its Olympic breakthrough. It is a globally damaging issue for Gallaghers commercially. To state it: what damages women damages us all.

Just in case we thought the damage was done, the issue is now under Police investigation. Mr Rob Nichol, the chief executive of the New Zealand Rugby Players Association said on Radio New Zealand that Chiefs players were unlikely to lose their jobs over the stripper scandal. Possibly a little early for such a definitive statement.

The Chiefs and their sponsor Gallagher Group have shown that New Zealand gender and sexuality issues hold all New Zealanders back across the world, not only in the massive sport of Rugby. They have not understood the scale of leadership and commercial damage to themselves, to men, and to women. They have not understood that their values about women hold us all back, even as they seek to make Rugby’s brand dominate the world stage.

New Zealand Rugby should ask themselves, lamenting, the same question that concluded Foreskin’s Lament 35 years ago:

“Whaddarya?
Whaddarya?
Whaddarya?”

49 comments on “Foreskin’s lament”

  1. gsays 1

    FYI, satchi’s ad man is Kevin Roberts.

  2. Richardrawshark 2

    And they fired the stripper, the strippers employer. For what i’d really like to know, refusing to blow the players, refusing to be groped, refusing to be called a filthy slut..

    She was paid to strip and waitress, and when a women says NO she bloody well means it i’d assume!

    I hope she sues that employer for wrongful dismissal and takes them to the cleaners!

    As for Rugby.. I do not watch it, it’s crap!

    Since Keys such a ruggers fanboi one should ask him his opinion on it. I bet he’d come out with a great one liner! yea nah.

    • Vagabundo 2.1

      Did you actually read the articles on it? She worked for multiple agencies anyway, and the one that gave her the sack wasn’t the one that arranged her for the Chiefs. She was fired because the agency that she worked for had a strict no-touching policy, which she allegedly broke routinely in exchange for extra money, but that she has also hired a lawyer, presumably to protect herself and probably proceed with wrongful dismissal charges.

    • srylands 2.2

      You have your story arse about (no pun intended). She was fired because she broke the conditions of her employment. She was not allowed to (allegedly) charge $50 to have her arse (allegedly) licked.

      And BTW the name of the New Zealand Prime Minister is Rt Hon John Key. It is not “KeyS”. FFS show some respect to the Office.

      • Richardrawshark 2.2.1

        I’m not backwards, at the point it got out of hand she said no. Don’t think i’m so stupid either to know most of these “stripper” shows are hookers earning a dollar on the side. At least they get to choose who and yes or no, unlike the streets and hard pimps.

        Her employers line is a joke I bet if you looked in depth at any of the other girls said employer was employing they didn’t fire, what do you think you’ll find? Mother superior of the girls of chastity nunnery?

        Like I’m saying no’s no, no matter when where or why. hope she sues the employer and I read a couple articles before this post was even published and it sounded like that particular employer fired her, knowing the media or me, mistakes happen, thanks for politely pointing out my error in a non gloating you idiot way. 🙂

        • Richardrawshark 2.2.1.1

          oh and ps I was only referring to this on the one news page

          “The woman, known as Scarlette, claims the players were drunk, swore at her and touched her despite requests not to at the event at Okoroire hot pools, near Matamata.

          Strippers R Us business owner Rachael Kirk told NZME that Scarlette had been let go from the company.

          which leads me to ask where do you get your information from to say it was another company”

          • Vagabundo 2.2.1.1.1

            Probably from the Fairfax article that identifies the agency this Scarlette woman got sacked from was called Strippers R Us, but the agency through which the Chiefs booked her was an entirely different one.

            ‘”It was not a job through me,” Kirk said. “It was through another agency … I believe it was a Hamilton-based company.”

            It is understood the Chiefs job was booked via Hamilton-based Go Wild Strippers. The company’s managing director, Shelley Meecham, is currently overseas and was not immediately available to respond to inquiries.’

            I dunno, is that a bit ambiguous?

      • reason 2.2.2

        Tax haven john ????

        He’s the sort of toe rag who would twist and use out of context the words of a real man speaking out against our no1 world cup status in domestic violence …..

        I think he’s a nasty drunk with a thing for little girls hair …… he’s proud to be that sort of man.

        A good colloquial term to teach children for having a shit is …..” going for a right honorable”

        … “mummy I need a right Honorable” ……. ” quick sit on your potty and do a smelly john keys “

      • Irascible 2.2.3

        I’ve always thought that the term Right Honorable before Key’s name was an oxymoron. I also believe that he has never shown any respect for the office he holds as his behaviour on Radio shock jock shows and penchants for stroking waitresses’ hair demonstrate.

      • framu 2.2.4

        respect is earned, not demanded

  3. Vagabundo 3

    I know that due to the size of the sport here, rugby union is an easy target, but can you not paint them all with the same brush? The NZRPA and the NZRU are two distinct organisations, and the NZRPA is basically an advocacy group for players.

    There’s no mention here that the NZRU has initiated an investigation, the scope of which has now been widened after another stripper has come forward with allegations and that Steve Hansen has expressed a strong disapproval of what happened (not to mention that he was a part of the coaching panel when this kind of thing was banned within the All Blacks environment in 2004), or that the Chiefs doing this sort of Mad Monday idiocy is now considered an anomaly in the game.

    Also, the Chiefs were not playing in the final in Wellington last night, nor were they “playing to be the best club rugby team in the Southern Hemisphere.”

    Basically, the Chiefs aren’t “all of NZ rugby,” their end-of-season antics is seen outside of the norm, and the people that are actually administering the game are currently acting on the information revealed so far.

    • BM 3.1

      The liberal left love any opportunity to put the boot into rugby.

      • Gangnam Style 3.1.1

        Oh fuck off, plenty of rugby supporters on the ‘loony left’. They also hate hobbits too remember.

        • BM 3.1.1.1

          Yeah, yeah, the liberal left salivates over this stuff,

          It’s all “Oh those nasty neanderthals and their big muscles, don’t they realize real men read poetry and aren’t afraid to be in touch with their feminine side!!”.

      • weka 3.1.2

        “The liberal left love any opportunity to put the boot into rugby.”

        You are so behind the times BM (my very left biased twitter feed has been full of pro-rugby tweets all weekend). Your oneliner meme attacks are boring not least because they’re usually so innacurate. Is that the best you’ve got?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.2.1

          He was never in the times to begin with. Sport crosses all social and political boundaries and always has 🙂

    • mauī 3.2

      Did you point out how the NZRU can run an independent investigation being in the position they’re in? And when some of their spokespeople, sponsors and players leave victims hung out to dry? They did bring out the AB head coach for comment to lessen the damage too.

      • Vagabundo 3.2.1

        If you could kindly point out where the NZRU have done anything wrong on this issue, or what Steve Hasnsen said, when asked about it at a press conference mind you, that was wrong, then that’d be grand, thanks.

      • Bob 3.2.2

        Can you please point out how the NZR (no longer NZRU) can run an independent investigation into an event run by a privately owned club?
        Why should the NZR’s sponsors and spokespeople have anything to do with a privately owned club?

        You are trying to create an issue that doesn’t exist. Focus on the Chiefs, their management, their sponsors and their players.

        • mauī 3.2.2.1

          Some of the players (all blacks) in the franchise are contracted to NZRU, and the players who also play provincial rugby have some kind of contract with NZRU too don’t they? A Super rugby team has very close links to the NZRU as far as I can see. Calling them a private entity is like calling CERA a private entity and ignoring the Government is any way involved with them.

        • joe90 3.2.2.2

          Can you please point out how the NZR (no longer NZRU) can run an independent investigation into an event run by a privately owned club?

          The Chiefs are a wholly owned subsidiary of NZR with private operators, provincial unions and a group of investors, holding six year management rights.

          Dollars to donuts NZR has set off-field conduct conditions.

  4. weka 4

    I’m not sure about the ‘this affects us all because of the brand’ thing, Ad. The problem with looking at it that way is that while it might work in the short or medium term, in the long term if the values of the power holders change then we regress. Ask women who were relatively liberated in the Middle East in the 1970s. Unless the values are built deep into the culture, the risk remains. If looking at international reputation is part of that deep building, great. But if it’s simply that this thing hurts our brand, then it’s not going to be enough to sustain us in the long term. I’d like to see men changing because they see how it affects them and the women in their lives in a very personal way.

    • Ad 4.1

      Agree with that.

    • miravox 4.2

      Thanks weka, this is pretty much how I’ve been thinking about the reputational damage approach to preventing these behaviours. At the individual level our courts clearly show that reputational damage is not a strong enough threat to prevent misogynistic practices and sexual assault in the workplace and elsewhere.

      I guess the only value of a wider reputational damage approach is that it might encourage people to step in when they see or suspect objectification and sexual assault. But it’s as if working to encourage people to understand that their sons practice what they see and hear and read; and their daughters, partners, wives and mothers may be put at risk of objectification and sexual assault is not enough to change the attitudes and behaviours.

      As if the social cost of misogyny and sexual assault and treating people with respect and consideration come second to money and reputation.

      [yes, I know ‘women do it too’]

  5. mosa 5

    Rob Nichol the C E O of NZ Rugby Players association” does not think any of the players will loose their jobs over this stripper scandal.
    His attitude is exactly what is wrong here.
    Why shouldnt the players face consequences for their actions ?
    If a normal joe behaved like that there would be disciplinary action if there was a complaint laid so why not rugby players at any level.
    Rugby has such a privileged over hyped over funded mass coverage in this country and its players treated like landed gentry that somehow that puts them above other kiwis in terms of what is unacceptable behaviour, its almost like well i am a lauded rugby player so i will do what i like and not face any consequences.
    It is one of the last bastions of male superiority from years gone by and has not adapted and changed with the rest of the country.
    The code has huge reach and influence not enjoyed by other sports in NZ which is why Mr Nichol should remember that his sport has mass coverage including young children and teenagers and like a business now its proffesional it should be concerned about perception and reputation and lead by example.

    • Vagabundo 5.1

      It’s not his call to make anyway.

    • Grantoc 5.2

      Good points Mosa

      The players involved in this event are employees. They have bought their employer into disrepute, which is a sackable offence, should the employer choose to make the case.

      The review into this event, if its not a whitewash, is likely to confirm the allegation made by ‘Scarlet’. What will be interesting is whether or not the employer, which I presume is the NZ Rugby Union will fire these players for bringing the game and the employer into disrepute.

      • mosa 5.2.1

        The chiefs are these players employer and my pick is like the government it will be swept under the rug as usual.
        Scarlet has been fired so a sacrifice has been made so no rugby casualties from this one.

      • BM 5.2.2

        Eye witnesses have said “Scarlet” is making up shit.

        • Mrs Brillo 5.2.2.1

          That deserves the Mandy Rice-Davies response.

        • framu 5.2.2.2

          would you like a shovel for that hole your digging?

          • BM 5.2.2.2.1

            Hotel manager Cushla Wood said she was not in the bar for the strip show but was told the stripper had drinks in the bar with the team afterwards, which hardly suggested she was scared of them.

            A Mt Manganui man, who didn’t want to be named, said he watched Scarlette perform but didn’t see players do anything untoward.

            Concerned at the media coverage, he’d contacted Chiefs management and told them he and his friend would be witnesses for them if an investigation took place.

            “The guys were as good as gold, apart from a bit of chanting.”

            The man said the stripper used sex toys during her performance and got one of the younger Chiefs players down on the ground.

            He said he heard her talking with the players afterwards about joining them on the team bus. They all then walked off towards the bus together. However, the stripper said she left.

            The Weekend Herald understands investigators have been told no players had touched the stripper. It is understood they were told that a player’s friend had performed a sexual act on the stripper, but nobody else had.

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11688180

            I think I’d trust these people above an individual who’d let some one lick their bum for $50.00

            • te reo putake 5.2.2.2.1.1

              “I think I’d trust these people above an individual who’d let some one lick their bum for $50.00”

              It’s the price that offends you, isn’t it? You’ve posted hundreds of bum licking comments here on TS and you’ve only just realised you’ve missed out on a legitimate business opportunity. Slow learner?

              • BM

                Doesn’t really sound like the “stripper” was being very factual with her comments does it.

                • Actually, she sounds entirely believable. And your link only provides one alleged witness contradicting her, and that anonymous person doesn’t sound particularly convincing. Get back to us when you’ve stopped digging the hole, OK?

                • mauī

                  An invisible man comes forward 5 days after the event to say things were completely different. Although at least you could say that is better than the dozens of other invisible men there who seem to have completely forgotten what happened that night. And with the power that a rugby team has in society its not surprising that some people will back them to the hilt.

            • Psycho Milt 5.2.2.2.1.2

              The liberal left illiberal right love any opportunity to put the boot into rugby strippers.

        • Psycho Milt 5.2.2.3

          Eye witnesses have said “Scarlet” is making up shit.

          Oh, she must be – after all, history shows just how wildly unlikely it is that drunken rugby players would engage in bullying or sexual assault. /sarc

  6. reason 6

    BM knows a lot about rugby and what the marist ‘brothers’ taught him ….

    A bit of ball grabbing ( or the jubilee twist ) is very macho ……

    And Drunk rugby players would never act like rutting pack animals ………….

    A quite bit of quiet domestic violence is as far as it goes for his role models.

  7. vto 7

    if it is legitimate to be a stripper, is it legitimate to watch a stripper?

    confusion reigns

    • mosa 7.1

      Its illegitimate too touch one.
      End of confusion.

      • vto 7.1.1

        Not the question.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.1

          Yes, and what a stupid loaded question it is: no-one is being accused of looking.

          • vto 7.1.1.1.1

            From Advantage above

            “Let’s start with the obvious. The team playing for the 2016 Super Rugby grand final got deliberately drunk and hired a stripper. Vying for greatest club Rugby team in the southern hemisphere, team management felt that this was good. So to all the tens of thousands of women Rugby players in the world, FYI: this is what is really inside the Chiefs minds when they think of women. It’s fully approved.”

            and

            “A week before Rugby players of both genders finally go before an Olympic television audience of billions, male senior management in New Zealand’s top club believe it’s time to organize an event where the whole team pay a woman to take her clothes off in front of them”

            • Psycho Milt 7.1.1.1.1.1

              The context of that being the reputational impact of that on the businesses involved (rugby being a business these days). Whether watching a stripper is “legitimate” or not is irrelevant to issues of reputation in the market.

              • vto

                I think Ad is referencing more than just the impact on business and making money …

                Aren’t you Ad?

  8. Westiechick 8

    Yuck.

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    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    5 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    7 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs 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 unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago

  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago