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Game on

Written By: - Date published: 10:52 am, May 26th, 2008 - 45 comments
Categories: cartoons - Tags: , ,

45 comments on “Game on”

  1. That’s so funny. Haven’t laughed so much since I read one of Redbaiter’s pieces a couple of days ago.

  2. Stephen 2

    thing is, he has got about 5 months or so to practice…

  3. He’s had over a year and still shows no sign of having any new ideas on tax – he tries to avoid all detail and when pressed it comes out as same old national – lower tax on the wealthy, pay for it by cutting the social wage.

  4. Stephen 4

    The Grand Strategy of not leaving Labour, Greens and ACT much time to poke holes in it I guess.

  5. That’s a pretty crappy strategy. It means you think your ideas are so flimsy that much time out in the open and they’ll be ripped apart.

    But it is the new strategy. ‘small-target’ they call it, you know you’ll be shot to pieces if you say anything of substance so jettison most of your policies (flip flop and adopt the Left’s) and refuse to give anything of substnace on what little remains.

    Of course, it depends on the media letting you get away with it.

  6. Stephen 6

    We’ll see I suppose…I really don’t see them withstanding the journalists for that long, when they’ve already started on it (see campbell, Paul Henry and I think Plunket)

    edit: on TAX that is. Surely there will be more policy announcements as the year goes by.

  7. Lew 7

    I think it’s a wise strategy in the current climate of anti-Clark anti-Cullen sentiment. Key and National don’t have to be anything at this point: all they have to do is not be the status quo.

    The government’s strategy should be to attack them on these grounds with a view to flushing policy out into the open. I do hope for their sakes that Key and English and co. are doing plenty of work behind the scenes, because playing this strategy means that when you come out with policy, it had better be damned good policy.

    L

  8. mike 8

    Don’t worry Lew all will be in order when needed.

    The latest RM poll makes poor reading for labour also.
    49 – 35 which is status quo for that poll. No traction at all after Mickey C threw the kitchen sink at the budget…

  9. mike. that’s the silliest comment of the day. The poll was taken before the Budget – May 5-18.

    Lew. it might be a successful stategy but is it a moral or desirable one in a democracy?

  10. Lew 10

    Mike: From http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2008/4295/ – “This latest Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted with a New Zealand-wide cross-section of 912 electors between May 5-18, 2008.”

    We’ll have to wait until the next poll to see how the budget changed matters.

    As it happens things don’t look too bad for the government. With the Maori Party, Greens and Progressive they’re within striking distance. That’s MMP for ya.

    L

  11. mike 11

    yes you are right Lew – the radio Live news implied it was after the budget but obviously not. Still I doubt Labour will get a sustainable lift all the same.

  12. Lew 12

    Steve: A much deeper question, which I think I’ve already answered in another thread. I don’t like it and I don’t think it promotes political openness, but I’m not sure I’d call it immoral. It’s hard to say whether I’d support a party whose policy (as much as I could figure it out) I agreed with if they played this strategy – on the one hand it’s smart play, and smart actors tend to achieve more than dogmatic actors. On the other, it seems like poor form to reward behavior whcih could be used for such potentially cynical purposes.

    That said, it’s the nature of the game. Do you want your side to win, or do you want it to lose nobly?

    L

  13. Phil 13

    “it might be a successful stategy but is it a moral or desirable one in a democracy?”

    Nope, THAT is the silliest comment of the day. When was the last time morality played a part in politics? I think you’re in the wrong century SP…

  14. gobsmacked 14

    No, it isn’t a smart strategy.

    “We’re still working on a tax policy” was fine. “We do have a policy but we’re not telling you yet” is not.

    But John Key’s natural instinct is to tell people good news. He talks about “north of $50” because that’s what people want to hear. He talks about bigger and better tax cuts. It’s no longer a vague aspiration, it’s now a concrete promise. He can’t stop himself.

    The point is: the more he does this, the more it sounds as though National DO have a policy, and they’re just not telling us. The public don’t like that.

    The more Key talks about tax cuts, the more he invites further questioning, and he can’t/won’t answer the inevitable questions. What’s more, as an inexperienced politician, he’s liable to give different answers (he gave several last week), which then become National policy, in the public mind. And so it continues, with Key looking more and more evasive and confused.

    Watch National switch to different topics this week. They have lost the advantage on this one now.

  15. mike 15

    “The point is: the more he does this, the more it sounds as though National DO have a policy, and they’re just not telling us.”

    What’s the problem? he said it will be rolled out in detail in plenty of time for people to digest it before the election.

    I think its smart politics – the economy is only getting worse. the longer he leaves it the greater the appetite for meaningful cuts.

  16. gobsmacked 16

    Mike, if you think the public/media are going to spend the next 4 to 5 months saying “OK, no problem, tell us later, whenever you’re ready John”, every time Key talks about tax cuts, then you’re sadly mistaken.

    Politics 101: don’t reinforce negative perceptions. “Slippery” is one, and Key is reinforcing it.

  17. Vanilla Eis 17

    Mike: what exactly is a meaningful cut? Key has attempted to put a number on it, and currently the most an interviewer has got out of him is ‘north of fifty dollars’.

    However, I believe the polls will continue in Nationals favour, Labour budget aside, until something concrete is announced. At that point I’m really not sure what will happen, as it probably depends on how well the policy is dressed.

    Almost any person answering a poll at the moment will not pick Labours guaranteed $16/week (or whatever it may be for them) over Nationals pledged $50. Once the detail is out, that might change.

  18. mike 18

    National obviously have plan for rolling out the big policy and good on them for sticking to it.

    They are making sure they set the agenda not labour or the media.

  19. gobsmacked 19

    Mike, if you think National are now setting the agenda you must have spent the last week in a cave.

  20. Lew 20

    gobsmacked: “Mike, if you think National are now setting the agenda you must have spent the last week in a cave.”

    You’re dead wrong about this. The agenda has already been set: it’s tax cuts, cutting waste, parity with Australia, and a change. Everything in the government’s recent policy, including the budget, is a response to this.

    “Politics 101: don’t reinforce negative perceptions. “Slippery’ is one, and Key is reinforcing it.”

    As long as he sees the tipping point and moves before it, this probably won’t harm him – presuming he has enough `wow’ policies to justify the wait. It’s risky but not stupid as you claim.

    L

  21. gobsmacked 21

    Lew

    Given that National’s (official) platform is very different from their last one, I’d suggest the agenda has been absolutely set by Labour (and partly, Winston).

    Time for a change? Change what?

  22. AncientGeek 22

    “North of fifty dollars” really depends on what way you think is up. Based on his current performance of flopping everywhere like a fish out of water, Key probably means that south is up. ie Less than fifty dollars.

    It is either that or hocking the kids future with government debt to sustain the local economy. The current economic climate doesn’t indicate that is something we should do yet – have to have a substantial sustained increase in unemployment first. But it is something that government should keep in reserve. Using it to get yourself elected will cause a hell of backlash from the people that have been paying for the excesses of the Muldoon government for decades.

    The other alternative is to cut expenditure. Same kind of problem. To do it in the short term required for the expectations that the Nat’s have raised, requires slash and burn in government. We’ve seen that before in the 90’s. It is a excellent way to start a long-term recession. You cannot get older people to vote for it.

    You can shift expenditure over a couple of terms but not massively in the next 3 years. Max would be in order of billions, not 10’s of billions. So there isn’t a lot of room for the Nat’s to move. They may be able to add a chewing gum taxcut next year on top of what goes through in october, but that is about it.

    I think that we’ll have to add a whole new maneuver to the political lexicon this year. “Advancing into the future while back-pedaling furiously”.

    It is going to be a massive Houdini act by Key and English. And it is going to be really funny to watch.

  23. TomS 23

    National have been hoist by their own petard. They, along with the tax cut lobby that gets virtually a fee ride in the middle class media, has created a level of expectation on tax cuts that they simply will not be able to meet. Single people in the $65,000-$85,000 seriously expect tax cuts in the order of $100-120PW and singles below that expect a minimum of $50PW from National. The only way National could possibly achieve these sorts of cuts for the middle class is either take the money from low & middle income New Zealanders or slash core government spending or borrow heavily, or more like a combination of all three. Key is already backing off promising huge tax cuts but I think it is to little, to late. National has been a single issue party for three years on this and they can’t turn the ship around so easily. The expectation they’ve created is sky high and if they don’t deliver they risk a huge backlash.

  24. mike 24

    The credibilty issue still sits with Labour. 8 years of nothing (forget WFF the benefit)It’s obvious to all but the simplist of people that Labopur have only cut taxes to remain in power

    National have stated repeatedly that it is a priority and there will be ongoing tax relief. Thats the difference.

  25. Lew 25

    gobsmacked: `Given that National’s (official) platform is very different from their last one, I’d suggest the agenda has been absolutely set by Labour (and partly, Winston).’

    This isn’t what I mean, and isn’t what you seemed to mean when talking about `the last week’. I agree that Labour’s greatest achivement has been establishing a bunch of their core policies as political orthodoxy, but National are firmly in control of the media agenda leading into the election.

    Parties that successfully control the short-to-medium-term tactical agenda don’t fall 15-30% behind in the polls. Labour might claim to have been playing an underdog game to give National a false sense of confidence, but I think that’d be the sort of glib explanation only a true party hack could believe.

    toms: “National have been hoist by their own petard.”

    This seems to be the fashionable phrase of the year. I think it’s Labour’s intention that this be the case, but it’s far too early to call it so as yet.

    AG: I agree.

    L

    Captcha: `candidacy boxing’. Yes, please!

  26. Lew – I like the fact that you seem so sure of how the game is played. You seem to treat it as an exact science and phrase your statements as undeniable fact I particularly like the way you use phrases such as “short-to-medium-term tactical agenda”. Would you like to explain to we lesser folk exactly how you define “short-to-medium-term tactical agenda”? Because from where I sit it looks like a pretty nebulous phrase…

  27. all_your_base 27

    gobsmacked – I think you’re right about it being the wrong strategy. It was possibly ok until the Budget. Now voters are expecting to be able to compare he beginnings of two policy plans. The media are clearly tiring of National’s ‘style over substance’ approach too. I’ll post a collection of comments shortly. The next questions might be “do they even have any policy?” rather than “what aren’t they telling us?”.

  28. Lew 28

    Robinsod: Sure thing. Terms: agenda: what people think about (not what people think). Tactic: action taken toward the achievement of a specific goal. Strategy: series of actions taken towards the achievement of an more significant, longer-term goal.

    National controls the `leading up to the 2008 election’ agenda, and that is a tactical, rather than a strategic, advantage. If they get into power they get the opportunity to begin implementing strategy. The government, on the other hand, controls the long-term strategic heights, having established as status quo a lot of things New Zealanders know and love – interest-free student loans, WFF, KiwiBank, etc. Even if National’s tactical moves to win the election pay off, they’ll still have their task cut out either working around or dismantling these.

    I don’t mean to imply that this is an exact science. It’s manifestly not; this is just my read on it, but I think it’s good. If you don’t, I’m happy to debate it – but I don’t have a lot of time for unjustified `I reckons’ and wishful thinking, which makes up a lot of what I see.

    L

  29. From where I sit, Lew you’re engaged in a whole lot of “unjustified `I reckons'” but you posit them as if they were fact.

  30. Lew 30

    Robinsod: If you can make any actual argument against them other than `from where I sit’ you’re welcome to do so. As it stands it just looks like you don’t understand the terminology or the explanation, don’t agree with what I’m saying, or both, but aren’t willing or able to explain why.

    L

  31. mike 31

    Don’t worry Lew they tend to turn feral on you once their argument is lost.

  32. Lew – I can’t be bothered arguing point by point because the parameters of the argument you want to have are nothing more than punditry bingo in which all sorts of conclusions can be drawn using all sorts of evidence. I get tired of you phrasing your comments as if you are giving indisputable expert advice. Especially when you are seriously off the mark so often. You seem to believe you are above the game looking down on it objectively. What you don’t understand is that this is just your shtick.

    Frankly Lew? Your comments bore the shit out of me and they inevitably drag interesting threads into dull circular arguments about how “the game” works (which, by the way, is the worst kind of political naval gazing). Try making a comment about policy or something with substance. Please.

  33. Mike – go fu*k yourself. You’ve never won an argument in you life. Principally because you are too dumb. You should get back to work and stop stealing your employer’s time.

  34. Lew 34

    Robinsod: We’ve been down this track before.

    If you want to argue against what I write and how `off the mark’ I am, then bring it on.

    If you can’t be bothered then please – don’t be bothered.

    L

    Captcha: `rejoicing press’.

  35. Tane 35

    Sod, can you go even a day without attacking other commenters? I know you don’t like people and all but can you focus your criticism on the arguments rather than the people making them?

  36. Ari 36

    Just a point Lew- Labour didn’t “fall behind”, National consolidated the centre-right vote and leapt ahead. Labour support is actually pretty close to what it was last election in most of the polls. The real issue seems to be that some of the vote on the Left has gone to the Greens, (which is promptly ignored due to being a third party) and most of the vote on the right has consolidated around National. (as happened last election) Overall, the left has lost about two points since 2005- which is very different from the way political commentators are framing things.

    It’s also really important to note that it really doesn’t matter whether National gets more votes than Labour- Labour has shown it can negotiate much better with minor parties. National pretty much has to ensure that it and Act have a majority of the party vote between them to win. (And that’s contingent on the Maori Party not having too large an overhang or with UF/NZF getting through and dealing with National) In that respect, National is barely scraping through on current polling.

    Constantly talking about the gap between the two main parties ignores the realities of MMP. 🙂

  37. You don’t get it I don’t want to argue “the game” with you because it’s like arguing with mormons. Easy to win but why would you put yourself through it? Look bro, your politics seem sound and you’re obviously not a moron. Why not talk about something of value? It seems such a terrible waste as it stands…

  38. Ari 38

    Running the latest Roy Morgan poll through the calculator, assuming NZF, UF, and Act all get electorates and that the Maori Party scoops all the Maori electorates, here’s what I get:

    Act: 1
    Greens: 9
    Progressives: 1
    Labour: 42
    Maori: 7
    National: 58
    New Zealand First: 5
    United Future: 1
    (Majority: 63 seats, Total: 124 seats)

    National would not be able to govern without the support of either the Maori Party or NZF- (Act doesn’t tip the scale either way) both of which are very unlikely and potentially unstable coalition partners for National. Of course, for Labour to be Government, it would need the Progressives, Greens, Maori Party, and NZF. Which would be hard to cinch too.

    All in all- it’s really, really close right now, and that’s before we consider the fact that polls traditionally favour National, and whether there’ll be any weather changes before the election.

  39. Lew 39

    Ari: This is a good point, though the first bit depends heavily on which polls you believe.

    There’s a fair bit of research on an idea of the `authoritarian personality’ which claims to explain why `the left’ tends to fragment and `the right’ tends to agglomerate – which is what you identify here. The argument roughly goes that people on `the right’ are more inclined to hold the line and allow their own needs to be subsumed by a greater force, while those on `the left’ are more inclined to be tolerant of difference and to co-operate while remaining separate. I’m not sure how much I buy the `authoritarian personality’ line, and I certainly don’t agree that National supporters should be tarred with an `authoritarian’ brush, but it seems a handy explanation.

    L

  40. higherstandard 40

    Ari

    Is Winston back over the magical 5% ?

  41. Lew 41

    Robinsod: People being unwilling to analyse `the game’ is one reason why National are ahead: the government has singularly failed to control the short-term political agenda. This is also the reason National looked like winning in 2005: Orewa set the agenda and the government struggled to respond.

    Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away.

    L

  42. Ari 42

    HS- in that poll I believe he was at 4 or 4.5%. If John Key is slippery, we’re going to need a new, much stronger word for Winston. It looks like he may be back again for 2008 at the moment- whether by running in Tauranga again or through picking up some extra points in the party vote before the election.

    Lew- that analysis sounds like a good general guide to me. (although the Left violated it a bit in 2005- but that election was essentially a “race to the centre” that squeezed out all the minor parties) I’d probably frame it more as right-wing voters being more conservative and looking for collective wisdom, while left-wing voters tend to vote based on ideas/ideology and thus tend to split a bit more.

    edit: and as for your later comment, there was a lot of talk along those lines at Drinking Liberally- that Labour was giving out bullet points of its achievements in true pre-election style while National was coasting along playing the game with emotive politics.

  43. higherstandard 43

    Ari

    Indeed Winston should never be written off …… no matter how much I would like to do so.

  44. Ari 44

    I’d write him off like a bad cheque if we realistically had even a chance of being rid of him.

    The one drawback of MMP is that it gives power to the bloody populists like Winston 😛

  45. AncientGeek 45

    Hey hs: didn’t have time to follow up this morning. But have a look at my comment on your link about the council and consultants this morning.

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  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Holy bin chickens: ancient Egyptians tamed wild ibis for sacrifice
    Sally Wasef, Griffith University and David Lambert, Griffith University These days, not many Aussies consider the ibis a particularly admirable creature. But these birds, now colloquially referred to as “bin chickens” due to their notorious scavenging antics, have a grandiose and important place in history – ancient Egyptian history, to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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

  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    22 hours 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 ...
    2 days 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 ...
    2 days 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 ...
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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 ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    4 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 ...
    1 week 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

  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
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