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From me culture to we culture

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, December 27th, 2012 - 49 comments
Categories: business, cost of living, economy, sustainability - Tags:

This morning I saw a report on Al Jazeera News on TV, about the rise of shared consumption in Europe.  The main focus was an a rent-a-present service operating in France.  Children are seen opening Christmas presents that have been rented for a a few months.  At that time, the toys will be exchanged for different ones.  This makes sense because after a few months children often get bored with their Christmas presents.

The Al Jazeera report claimed that a new culture of shared consumption was taking off across Europe, in a shift from “me culture” to one of “we culture”.  This includes practices like car sharing to the sharing of most kinds of consumer goods.

I couldn’t find the report on Al Jazeera, but I did find this article in the November 2012 Guardian about collaborative consumption.

Antonin Léonard hasn’t had a “proper” job since April. This isn’t because he lacks the relevant skills or right temperament. Quite the opposite. The 25-year-old Frenchman holds an MBA, speaks several languages and writes one of the most-read business blogs in France.

No, he doesn’t have a conventional job because he’s all about turning convention on its head.

Paris-based Antonin is one of a growing tribe of sharers. His present curriculum vitae includes descriptions such as “couchsurfer”, “carpooler”, “co-worker” and “skillsharer”. Founder of the online “think tank and do tank”OuiShare, he currently makes his money giving talks and workshops around Europe about the sharing economy.

In the article, Rachel Botsman explains that collaborative consumption is the revival of an old way of doing things.  She says.:

“Basically, we are reinventing things that we used do in village squares – share, barter, rent, swap – but we can do them in ways that are relevant to the Facebook age,” she explains.

Those “things” include buying stuff. The classic example is enterprises such as Zipcar and Whipcar. Instead of paying up-front to purchase their own car, people are tapping into online networks that enable them to rent or share a car as and when they need one.

Where the sharing economy is really taking off, however, is in the exchange of “intangible assets”, such as skills, spaces, time and money, says Botsman: “These are the fastest-growing segments because they are the easiest to make liquid and to share.”

CollaborativeConsumption

I like the shift to a collaborative way of doing things, and that it involves cutting back on consumption.  However, it seems to me that the focus on “consumption” makes it a limiting practice. No wonder some big businesses like Marks and Spencer and big car brands are getting into it.  It also isn’t a lot different from what happens on Trade Me.  Right now many people are re-cycling unwanted presents, as reported by Trade Me:

More than 20,000 items had landed on Trade Me since lunchtime on Christmas Day, and spokesman Paul Ford said the online marketplace provided people with an opportunity to recycle a gift, and make some pocket money along the way.

The above linked Guardian article does indicate ways that collaborative culture spills over into collaborative production, such as with crowd-sourced funding for projects, as facilitated by the likes of Kickstarter.  The article claims that with the shift to collaborative consumption attitudes are changing, so that individual ownership is less important.  This is a shift that is happening for some people, while others still value ownership and have negative attitudes to recycled stuff.

Furthermore, the shift to collaborative culture may just be a pragmatic adjustment to new resource-scarce realities by some capitalists.  Such a limited shift is just putting off a potential economic collapse to a later date. A bigger shift to collaborative production and living is required to ensure a livable future for all our children.

Foodbank

Foodbank

Do you know of any collaborative living practices happening in New Zealand? These could be practices of collaborative consumption, collaborative production, or daily living activities.

How could such practices be encouraged?  The Guardian article says that new technologies of mobile phones, websites and related apps are a key part of the revival in practices of sharing.

[update] Link to Al Jazeera video added.

 

 

49 comments on “From me culture to we culture”

  1. Small bits of content which are explained in details, helps me understand the topic, thank you!

  2. Polish Pride 2

    “The article claims that with the shift to collaborative consumption attitudes are changing, so that individual ownership is less important.” – Brilliant ….a new and much better world is beginning to emerge. I see so many new signs of this every week.

  3. Bill 3

    Do you know of any collaborative living practices happening in New Zealand?

    I used to be somewhat familiar with some intentional communities in the S. Island who would probably lay claim to being ‘collaborative’. Problem was that (in most places) they held onto their individual market relations, ie jobs and whatever were predicated on earning an individual income and houses or homes were the private property of individuals. In the end and in most cases I was aware of, preserving aspects of orthodox individualism weakened or undercut any move towards greater collaboration.

    • karol 3.1

      Can there be small initiatives that lead the way to culture change, away from individual ownership. It’s certainly what is being claimed in the Guardian article. It also is possible that the current economic context may drive such a culture change.

      However, the focus is still too much on individualised production, and choice of which collaborative consumption item to select. Truly collaborative endeavours are less evident.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        I have my doubts about the long term viability of small initiatives in general although…I fully acknowledge that something seemingly small and insignificant can gain legs and momentum and ‘change the game’.

        Legislation already exists for establishing housing co-ops and so on. And they have been formed in NZ. But…it’s that old problem of the power inherent to the dominant culture eventually undermining, subsuming or rolling back whatever has been gained.

        The trick is not to stop once you get going I guess. Never stand still. Keep broadening and deepening whatever it is you started.

        Said before. But the only situation I came across that sustained itself against the dominant market culture was a worker/housing collective I belonged to in N England that had no individual income and no private property (ie, housing). Effectively we were all buffered from ‘individual versus market’ relations and so could get on with developing decent ways of living and interacting without the distraction and worry of ‘earning a crust’ as individuals.

  4. ochocinco 4

    We’ll know we have actually got a “we” culture rather than a “me” culture when people stop abandoning NZ for 40 pieces of silver in Aussie or the UK

    … I’m not holding my breath (and considering Labour has never condemned those economic traitors, perhaps even the left doesn’t get it)

    • One Tāne Viper 4.1

      They aren’t treacherous, they’re just adapting to the conditions.

      • ochocinco 4.1.1

        How is someone going overseas to earn more money ANY DIFFERENT to a fat-cat capitalist business owner finding a low-tax environment to put his head office?

        It’s exactly the same self-centred capitalist approach and I’m disgusted even The Standard has no issues with it.

    • Crimson Nile 4.2

      The economic traitors are the ones who exported our jobs, not the workers who followed those jobs.

      • halfcrown 4.2.1

        “The economic traitors are the ones who exported our jobs, not the workers who followed those jobs.”

        That is an excellent response, and so bloody true

      • ochocinco 4.2.2

        True, but workers should stay in NZ regardless.
        Helping NZ grow is more important than self-enrichment, even if it means working a shitty job here rather than a great job in Australia

        Leftism means thinking of the country first, not the individual

        • Hanswurst 4.2.2.1

          No it doesn’t. That’s patriotism or nationalism. It’s perfectly possible to go overseas and remain “left”, in fact the left and society in general benefit from people from different backgrounds bringing fresh ideas and perspectives. There can be both left and right wing reasons for emigrating, but emigration in itself is neither one nor the other.

  5. Dr Terry 5

    ochocinco. This is manner of thinking about people leaving the country is bizarre. Clearly it is a Biblical reference, so let me suggest that those looking to a future abroad may be, rather, following the journeys of “the Three Wise Men”?

    • ochocinco 5.1

      The whole concept of leftism is altruism. The collective over the individual. People who abandon NZ for their own enrichment are just the same as companies who flee NZ or USA or Australia to find lower tax environments. We need to do what’s best for NZ even if it’s not the best for us.

      Otherwise we’re just Randian objectivists with a facade over the top. SELFISHNESS IS NOT LEFT WING

  6. Hilary 6

    Libraries. (Book, music and toy libraries)

    Transition towns http://www.transitiontowns.org.nz/

    • weka 6.1

      Libraries? You mean those once egalitarian organisations that now operate a kind of user pays?

      • karol 6.1.1

        Yes, libraries are generally community resources, but the user-pays philosophy is an on-going threat. I remember things like Toy libraries in London in the late 70s early 80s. I hope some such things are still going. Neoliberals try to profiteer from any good community collaborative efforts.

        Excellent transition towns website, thanks Hilary. I’ve bookmarked it.

  7. ColonialPete 7

    As a librarian, I have to say this sort of thing has been done for millennia. Now of course they are subscribing to expensive databases hat individuals just cant afford. And it’s not just libraries – video and DVD rentals have been in place for years, as has equipment hire. In each case it’s material that you really only use once or twice and then return. What has been interesting is the emergence of take-a-book leave-a-book pop up libraries as part of the gapfiller project in Christchurch, but that kind of model tends to weed out the good stuff and leave unwanted material over time.

    People have used couch surfing to travel the world.

    YouTube and Vimeo are also interesting avenues where individuals are creating their own sophisticated content and putting it online. Yes, many make money through ad revenue, but I don’t think that is what motivates them to go on there in the first place. We’re social creatures and want to share our talents and help people.

  8. xtasy 8

    What I have repeatedly come across in the local paper here in Auckland is stories about kind of communal gardens being used by groups of people in various suburbs (usually the more economically and socially “depressed” ones).

    There people get together, cultivate bits of land that they seem to be able to get offered for use cheaply or even for free by the council, and they grow vegetables for their own consumption in them. Whether it is based on full sharing, or a system of where lots are subdivided into smaller growing plots, I am not sure of. But I thought this is a great idea and example of people getting together and do something constructively and healthy, to supplement their own food.

    • halfcrown 8.1

      That has been happening in the UK as long as I can remember. They were called Allotments, as the piece of land or plot was “allotted” by the local council. Very popular with competitions for the best produce etc. In London a life saver for some families during the war years

  9. KJT 9

    Employers already do this of course.
    They share slaves through outfits like Allied work force or get the collective to pay towards them with welfare such as WFF.

    • xtasy 9.1

      KJT that is really ‘social’ and “sharing” of our dear employers, is it not? I know what you are talking about, and it sickens me. Of course those “collective” businesses follow above all an agenda serving their own interests. With more outsourcing of welfare planned, there willl be a “welfare business boom’ soon, thanks to Paula Bennett!

  10. marsman 10

    My nephew’s wife organised a domestic garden fruit and vegetable sharing network in Whangarei.

  11. bad12 11

    There is in Wellington’s Newtown a ‘Skill-swap’ organization in operation where people interested can register their relative skills and be matched to swap like for like labour,

    My understanding is that it has been running for about a year and is reasonably successful, there’s a huge scope for such a service to be expanded right across all areas of expertise where those registered could ‘bank’ their contribution and for example when needing mechanical repairs on a car or appliance could ‘spend’ the hours they have banked where the mechanic or electrician would accumulate a pile of hours He or She could then use to swap for ‘other services’

    Of course the down-side to being able to accumulate ‘hours owed’ to oneself is that theoretically the person with the skills in most demand becomes the overlord of other’s by dint of having a private serfdom whose labour He or She could buy with ‘banked hours’,

    I am sure tho that a system could be put in place to avoid such a situation…

    • weka 11.1

      “Of course the down-side to being able to accumulate ‘hours owed’ to oneself is that theoretically the person with the skills in most demand becomes the overlord of other’s by dint of having a private serfdom whose labour He or She could buy with ‘banked hours’,”

      Not really following that. You don’t accumulate ‘hours owed’, you accumulate tradable credits. No-one owes anyone anything. If you want to leave the system, there is nothing you can take with you.

      The other cool think about Time Banks is that the value of the unit of time is the same for everyone. A cleaner’s hour is worth the same as a teacher’s is the same as a mechanic’s.

      Time Banks are the new Green Dollar. It’s interesting that they focus on skills rather than goods. I think ideally you need Green Dollar systems running alongside Time Banks.

      “Timebanking is based on the principle of co-production. This involves co-operating together for mutual benefit.

      Our market economy is based on people using money to exchange things. Money is useful, but markets don’t recognise most of our real value. In a market economy, “value” is based on scarcity. If something is scarce it has a high price. If something is commonly available it has a low price. Many things that people value most (e.g. caring, learning, sharing, socialising, raising children and being a good neighbour) are not valued highly in a market.”

      http://www.wellingtontimebank.org.nz/

      Transition Towns initiatives are inherently collaborative, and very much about we culture – the whole point is to develop interdependent communities that can manage the post-Peak Oil, CC, GFC etc transition well.

  12. karol 12

    Very good initatives described by xtasy, marsman, and bad12. I don’t know how people can avoid hierarchies of status developing, bad. Maybe if people were to discuss their participation in such things more, share their experiences etc, some solutions good develop?

    Actually, I’ve just followed Hilary’s link above to the NZ transition towns website. It’s forum has the potential for the kind of information sharing I was referring to.

  13. TightyRighty 13

    So basically outsourcing ownership? A good idea, why not have pay as you go user pays? I can think of many such initiatives that would work in NZ.

    • karol 13.1

      I think you’ve missed the actual idea. People working together to produce and share their stuff, is cheaper all round if some ticket-clipper is not looking to make money out of it. And there’s less resources used, when not required to keep track of said ticket-clipping.

      • TightyRighty 13.1.1

        I think you’ve missed the point actually. It’s not about people coming together, hand holding kumbaya style, that’s driving the movement. It’s enterprising individuals and companies puttin together a package that involves the crowd owning services or goods in a manner that captures utility when it might otherwise be wasted.

        • Napkins 13.1.1.1

          “It’s not about people coming together, hand holding kumbaya style”

          No such style exists, I daresay. Yes it is “enterprising”, as long as you can accept that many forms of enterprise are non-commercial, or are overtly collective in nature. Also the value of the utility may be non-commercial in nature, or at least, not-for-profit. The elimination of the ticket clipping middleman is crucial however.

          • TightyRighty 13.1.1.1.1

            Dream on. Somebody profits or nothing happens. Incentives, we all respond to them.

            • karol 13.1.1.1.1.1

              For some people money isn’t the main incentive. Otherwise people wouldn’t be involved in the various not-for-profit collaborative activities that people have commented on here: from NZ tansitiontowns, community gardens, etc to menz sheds.

        • McFliper 13.1.1.2

          Indeed. But shared ownership isn’t a new idea – refer to Marx.
          it’s you who decided that it was linked to user-pays.

          It seems to me that a key point of the article is that things look a lot more promising for humanity when we focus on the efficient allocation and use of a resource, rather than making profit from it. But then a satisfycing profit tends to accrue from the former, anyway.

  14. Binders full of viper- women 14

    Men’s sheds.

    • karol 14.1

      Ah, you mean those community-spirited people who have a shed full of tools and miscellaneous stuff, and help out anyone who has something needing fixing or building? Are they a dying breed?

      Also, children tend to bring people together, with parents taking turns in looking after each others kids, taking them to and from school, etc.

      • Binders full of viper- women 14.1.1

        No I meant the growing breed.. http://menssheds.org.nz/
        Looks like there are at least 39 nationwide.. community spaces where there are shared machines and tools. As everyone downsizes and so few people have sheds and tools, lots of people still want to fix old fav toys or furniture and grandparents flock to these to make toys. Having your own shed is no longer an option for so many and tools are very expensive so these places are a brainwave. There is a real sense of community as those with the skills willingly help out newbies and an interesting spin off is that they have been great ‘neutral territory’ to get people talking about and listening to health issues. I encourage any of your readers who fancy fixing or making furniture or toys to check out your local… I assume fees are minimal.

  15. Huginn all God's Vipers 15

    Thanks for this optimistic post, Karol.

    It’s reminded me of a thought proving series on the end of scarcity that came up a few months ago in the Financial Times’ Alphaville, which attempted to pick apart some of our assumptions about scarcity from the ground up:

    http://ftalphaville.ft.com/2012/06/07/1031561/beyond-scarcity-the-parable-of-water/

    It might help to think about we-culture as a response to abundance, especially an abundance of time. People with time can be flexible, they can work around the needs of others, but they can also take the time to build the trusting relationships that we- cultures need.

  16. Huginn all God's Vipers 16

    The Meetup phenomenon.

    http://www.meetup.com/

  17. weka 17

    I found the trade me article depressing. That lots of people are being given so many things they neither need nor want is yet another demonstration of over-consumption and the craziness of our worlds (and it’s hard not to be thinking of how much carbon emissions are involved having read Bill’s post today). I don’t see people selling excess shit on TM as a sign of the we culture, sorry.

  18. xtasy 18

    The following link should take you to the story on Al Jazeera that Karol was referring to:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/video/europe/2012/12/20121226231349243357.html

    • karol 18.1

      Thanks, xtasy. I’ve added the link to the post. I looked for the video on AJ’s site yesterday morning and couldn’t find it.

  19. xtasy 19

    From a purely economic point of view, this new “sharing” of resources and services approach can only be seen as a re-adjustment to new economic challenges, with their social consequences.

    Naturally it is good to share and use everything more efficiently and effectively.

    Economically though, this will not at all address the core issues, that include lack of growth and future planning.

    Major decisions are overdue, to address the looming energy crisis, to find solutions for the expected shortage of energy and other mineral resources.

    Sharing will become the more economic recipe for the future anyway, as scarcity will force us to rethink our whole lifestyle. The buy and turf away habits will have to go, and they will eventually.

    To achieve economic growth in future can and must be achieved by focusing on investing in the right types of growth, that is alternative energy generation and use, more prudent use of resources for all areas of life, an end to the waste of burning fossil fuels, the production of longer lasting, value products, rather than the short lived products that now dominate all we buy and sell (clothing, appliances and so forth).

    It will necessitate a radical refocus and re-balancing act, and what is going on now, with more and more of the same, to use, consume and turf away, that will become the stone age mentality and behaviour of the past.

    Sadly I see too few in NZ yet realising this, while in Europe and a few other places awareness is growing very fast.

  20. Populuxe1 20

    I am amused that you portray “me culture” and “we culture” as mutually exclusive. In reality it’s a mixed thing – people move between the two ad hoc. It’s largely about driving to suit the conditions, not adopting a particular ideology on the assumption that one size fits all always.

    • karol 20.1

      Partly, it’s s reference to how Al Jazeera framed it. But “culture” is important in that phrase – it’s about the dominant focus of the culture. It doesn’t me that an individual will not shift focus between “me” and “we” within that culture.

    • ochocinco 20.2

      And most of the so-called leftists here obviously don’t get what we-culture is, which is a self-sacrifice for a greater good, not capitalism given a coat of paint

      • Populuxe1 20.2.1

        The greater good isn’t much use unless the individual is getting something from it. Otherwise it’s just jam tomorrow. In any case “we culture” implies some sort of impossible consensus – unless that’s the royal We of fascism.

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    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    6 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    7 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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. ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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

  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    16 hours ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    16 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    1 day ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    1 day ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    1 day 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 ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    3 days 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    1 week 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

  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 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
    5 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
    5 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
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