Goff at DL – a socialist review

Written By: - Date published: 1:58 pm, November 28th, 2009 - 39 comments
Categories: drinking liberally, phil goff - Tags:

Below Omar of Socialist Aotearoa gives his impressions of Phil Goff at Drinking Liberally in Auckland earlier this week.

On an unrelated note, isn’t it funny (in a non-‘ha, ha’ way) how 4,000 pro-smackers gets lots of coverage but a blind eye is turned when the Left is out in bigger numbers? The protests yesterday by low-paid public servants (hospital support staff, school support staff and others) didn’t make it the physical versions of the major papers or the TV news. TV3 has some raw footage here and here (update: turns out there’s an article in the Dom today, wasn’t on Stuff’s politics page)

Anyway, Omar’s post:

As the sun went down across a glassy Auckland harbour and inner-city workers scrambled for home, I met up with other Socialist Aotearoa comrades who went to see Labour leader Phil Goff speak at the London Bar. After getting there and buying a pricy bottle of beer, we retreated to the back of the bar as suited party functionaries and smart-casual looking centre-left students and intellectuals swilled around us.

The first bitter taste in my mouth came when the organiser of the event, from the group Drinking Liberally, kept using the word ‘We’ to describe the audience at the event but implying that we were all Labour Party members. No wonder people accused the Labour Party of arrogance, when all you have to do is turn up to hear their head honcho to be a member.

Anyway, up to the stage went Mr. Goff, pint of beer in hand, to begins his ruminations. Launching into an articulate attack on the Tories first year, Goff covered his three stand-out issues for the year; cuts to adult & community education and the extra funding for private schools, the restructuring going on within ACC as a prelude to privatisation, and the bungled Emissions Trading Scheme and the legacy of debt it will leave to future tax-payers. All good points, and as Goff said, part of a strategy of the Labour Party returning to ‘core values’.

No doubt important issues but enough to swing voters away from the John Key and the National Party? Probably not and definitely not enough to reenergise the Labour Party in the coming year. The rising cost of living, unemployment, and the economic recession received passing mention but I didn’t get the feeling that these were pressing concerns for the Labour Party milieu that had gathered around their leader, shandies in hand. As I said to Goff afterwards, the Nats won the last election on tax cuts, Labour could win the next election on wage rises. I think my advice fell on deaf ears.

Into question time and a slightly more candid Goff emerged, drink having loosened the tongue I suppose. On Harawira, ‘Never let go off the Black Power rhetoric of the 1970s. Blah, Blah, Blah Harawira Blah Blah Blah Racist Blah, Blah.’ No soul searching on how damaging the Foreshore and Seabed Act had been to the Labour-Maori relationship, and no surprise that there were few people-of-colour in attendance. The reality is that most capitalists in this world are ‘white motherfuckers’ who really have been raping this land for centuries. Harawira told it like it is and many people respect that.

Socialist John Moore asked a question about Labours’ relationship with the market and Goff responded, ‘show me a command economy that ever worked’, ‘the market is the best mechanism to distribute goods’ and ‘Labour saved capitalism’. It seems Goff never really shook the ideology of the fourth Labour Government of the late 1980s that turned New Zealand into one of the rich world’s most unequal societies.

With a BBC poll showing that a quarter of people it surveyed thinking capitalism is fatally flawed, you would think that the Leader of a party that was formed to institute democratic socialism in the depression of the 1930s would be able to criticise our current system a little more than just calling for an overhaul of the Reserve Bank Act. But no- all Goff would admit their role to is to tinker at the edge of the system.

Lastly, Goff’s response to my question over whether we could trust him and his return to a value based foreign policy when he was the one who had done a trade deal with the butchers of Beijing as the young monks of Tibet were murdered in the streets. Goff’s voice boomed across the bar to lecture us on how we could only do business with 1/3rd of the world if we were not to do business with tyrants. I couldn’t help thinking that 1/3rd of the world is still 2 billion people to trade with but I think my words would have been lost on the functionaries who had gathered to hear their leader.

In the end I left with the feeling that Goff was preparing to move his party to the left, just as Clark had done at the end of the 1990s with the rhetoric of ‘closing the gaps’, but that the core values of the Labour Party were still the suppression of tino rangatiratanga, commitment to neo-liberalism and a pandering to powerful foreign interests in return for trade deals.

39 comments on “Goff at DL – a socialist review ”

  1. rocky 1

    Nice to see you here at The Standard Omar 🙂 Hope to see more! It is nice to occasionally see someone tell it how it is without all the window dressing.

  2. Bill 2

    a) “show me a command economy that ever worked’, Erm. China seems to be working better than the open market economies. Anyway.

    b) “the market is the best mechanism to distribute goods’ Absolute rubbish! Actually, that’s what it is really good at distributing far and wide; rubbish. eg poverty, inequity etc

    c) “Labour saved capitalism’. Fucking shameful if true. Not something to skite about. Thing is, looks to me that China and its command economy saved capitalism….back to point a)

  3. blinglish 3

    Goff is just another of the traitors who have worked tirelessly to destroy the Labour Party over decades.
    We all know about Roger Douglas who came out of the closet to take his tue position on the Far Right, with Richard Prebble obediently yapping at his heels.
    We’ve seen Mike Moore being half a king at the World Bank.
    We’ve seen Geoffrey Palmer Lording it up at the Law Commission as he systematically destroys our constitutional rights of Habeas Corpus and freedom from unwarranted search and seizure.
    We’ve seen Helen Clark et al send us into wars with no legal, ethical or moral basis, execute the largest indigenous property rights theft in living memory and then swan off to the UN, the very organisation that called her out on racism.
    Now we are left with Goff playing the race card harder than Winston Peters but without the intelligence, continuing in the policy of trying to outflank National on the right which so spectacularly failed at the last election..
    The Labour Party must ditch this plonker and his ilk and get back to it’s priniciples if it expects to survive. The middle ground does not lie twixt the Nats and Act, and Labour are meant to be to The Left.

  4. George D 4

    “show me a command economy that ever worked’

    Ummm; Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands all have more controlled economies than we do. As does Australia, which we’re supposed to be “catching up” to.

    • Lew 4.1

      George, would you seriously call any of them a ‘command’ economy?

      Bill, above, is right to call China one, but as to whether it’s working or not — as the Chinese themselves say, it’s too early to tell. Rapid growth from a very low base with access to enormous natural and labour resources and phenomenal costs in terms of both human welfare and environmental degradation — well, I’d question that definition of ‘working’. Stalin industrialised his country, after all, but the tens of millions of lives it cost wasn’t generally considered a worthwhile tradeoff.

      L

      • QoT 4.1.1

        Doesn’t that then mean that there’s a bit of goalpost-shifting going on? I mean, if the question is “how will you change market structure” and the answer goes straight to command economies, ignoring places like Sweden etc … that’s just a strawman.

        • Lew 4.1.1.1

          QoT, absolutely, I think Goff dodged the question by invoking a worst-case alternative.

          But George seemed to be arguing that point: that there were command economies that worked. I don’t think there are, given a sufficiently robust definition of ‘work’.

          L

          • Bill 4.1.1.1.1

            Any ‘free market’ economies that work then?

            • Lew 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Bill, depends who you ask — some will tell you there are no free market economies 🙂

              But, less facetiously, yes — there are plenty of reasonably free-market economies which work to deliver sustained economic growth with only moderately catastrophic environmental and human consequences. It’s just about where your particular tolerances lie.

              L

            • BLiP 4.1.1.1.1.2

              Given that the “free market” only exists on the pages of third form text books – nope.

              EDIT: Drat! 🙂

            • Bill 4.1.1.1.1.3

              but, but, aren’t they all in free fall ( US, UK……) and bailing out their banks and ripping off their real economies and workers to do so?

              And didn’t those bailed banks go and expose themselves in Dubai?

              And isn’t Dubai plonkering?

              And anyway, isn’t it China that is shoring up the US through buying and holding their govmt bonds or whatever…..

              …neither works particularly well.

              But I will suggest this. If a command economy commands that production shall be green, then know what? Meanwhile a market economy…well, in’t we doing well on that front?

          • Quoth the Raven 4.1.1.1.2

            Bill – I presume you realise that Dubai World is state-owned.

          • Keir 4.1.1.1.3

            don’t know it’s goal post shifting exactly. it depends on the question, but qualitatively, the Labour Party is interested in a mixed economy. Quantitatively, maybe you’d prefer the mix to be more one way or the other, or whatever.

            I think the question was probably misput; it should have asked if Labour was doing enough to ameliorate the market, not the nature of the relationship.

            Also, I found the continual reference to the rest of the audience as, basically, a bunch of apparatchiks and careerists a wee bit tiring.

            And this — `a party that was formed to institute democratic socialism in the depression of the 1930s’, is just wrong. Yes, formed to institute `democratic socialism’, but apart from that! (And also formed to be the political arm of the working class; it’s the Labour Party not the Socialist Party for a good reason.)

            “the core values of the Labour Party were still the suppression of tino rangatiratanga, commitment to neo-liberalism and a pandering to powerful foreign interests in return for trade deals” is a bit simplistic even for a trot. It’s about the level of social fascist analysis. Make a bit of an effort with your theoretical stuff would you? (And I suspect the better insult would be that the core value of the NZLP is getting elected…)

        • George D 4.1.1.2

          And this is the problem – Labour is still treating their critics like fools who demand everything.

          You try and ask for them to even consider something reasonable and achievable, and for the most part you’re treated like the spawn of Satan. I thought this attitude would at least diminish after Labour lost the election.

      • Clint Heine 4.1.2

        Err, you can only call Cuba and North Korea command economies. Every other one is capitalist.

        Goff is of course right, I hope he fully embraces his past! 🙂

  5. Gooner 5

    Bill, China is “shoring up the US” because there is no income tax in China and credit is virtually non existent too. This allows massive amounts of savings. We could learn from that here.

  6. Galeandra 6

    Re command economies, isn’t Cuba’s post-soviet experience worth a little examination?

    You guys are like a bunch of adults conversing in front of the children ie talking over the heads of people who were fortunate enough to be educated before economics became a pseudo science and infiltrated school curricula.

    Your generalisations deserve a little more teasing out. I gathered the impression that the economies of the super powers inthe 30’s & 40’s were at least in the broad sense ‘command economies’.

    • Galeandra 6.1

      Moderation, eh, again!!
      Well, that adds impetus to a lively discussion.
      Was it the ‘soviet’ maybe….. nah, it was the jibe about economics, for sure.

      anti-spam: replacement
      which is what I’d suggest you do about your trolling net.

    • Quoth the Raven 6.2

      I would like to know what point your trying to make re Cuba can you explain?
      After the soviet union’s collapse things went belly up pretty fast for Cuba’s planned economy and they rightly made some market reforms which appear to have helped. But ultimately I think Cuba’s a poor example for an argument either way because of the trade embargo (which that sicko in power in the US has retained) distorts matters.
      I think the what were war economies in the 30s and 40s aren’t that good of an example either although “war is the health of the state.”

  7. Ari 7

    Eww.

    More and more I think I was wrong to be cautiously optimistic about Goff as Labour leader. I kind of hope he steps aside for someone with some actual passion about something, and a sense of where his party comes from and needs to get to in order to succeed.

  8. Bill 8

    So talking about class or reasoning in class terms is seen as a political liability in a world where parties compete with each other for corporate patronage. We know this. And we know that patronage does not need to be expressed in straight dollar terms. It can be in the shape of policies not being lobbied against if the compromise is acceptable. It can be in the shape of the media member of the corporate family reporting your party, its personnel and its policies in a broadly favourable light ( or not unfavourably).

    So Labour will never reconnect. From the perspective of the atmosphere they operate in, they are being pragmatic. They are playing a game; depending on manoeuvres and rules that are removed from the every day realities of us workers and our families.

    Meanwhile….

  9. I went to Drinking Liberally on Wednesday night too. While it was good to hear Goff talk in person, I did kind of feel as though he sounded very similar to when I have heard him in parliamentary debates. I guess, it seemed as though he was talking “at” the audience rather than “to” them.

    It should have been a fairly receptive audience (and in general it was), so I’m not quite sure why he was so up-tight. Perhaps that’s just his way of talking?

    I asked the question about what would make a 6th Labour government different from the 5th Labour government – as if Labour are to have a hope in hell of winning in 2011 I think the difference needs to be made quite clearly. I think the fact that his response indicated that the changes weren’t likely to be particularly significant means it’s likely Labour won’t win in 2011.

  10. Julie 10

    I wasn’t at DL on Wednesday, so I’m not in a position to comment on that. I did want to just raise though that I find Omar’s comments about Labour Party people who were present pretty counter-productive. Calling people “party functionaries” and generally being snide about the organisers of DL isn’t going to win friends or influence people. I used to be one of the organisers of DL in Auckland (too busy now) and it is quite a broad group, not just Labour people.

    And isn’t Omar’s criticism of being included in the Labour Party by the use of the word “we” (could the speaker have meant the broader Left perhaps? Don’t know, wasn’t there) kind of ironic coming from someone who assumes that all people in Labour are a hive mind, walking step by step with Goff on everything? I’ve never given my party vote to Labour, but I have many friends amongst Labour’s membership and I’ve largely found them to be critical thinkers who don’t blindly agree with everything their leadership says at all. Many of those people who write on The Standard who are members of Labour critique their own party as well as attacking the right on a regular basis.

    I think part of the reason that many on the Left have been so disappointed with some of Goff’s pronouncements is that we realise that whether we like it or not in the short term a change of Government means Labour at the core of Government, with Goff probably as PM. I find the idea of another three years of National and Act-led Government absolutely chilling. I see the daily effect this Govt is having on the lives of those on low incomes and I fear how much worse that could get if they are re-elected. I also fear how tiny the gains might be if the Govt changes but the politics don’t. I think there is a way to highlight the second point, and work on shifting Labour’s leadership, without crapping all over there membership who are probably largely thinking along those same lines themselves.

    • r0b 10.1

      Julie – thank you for that.

      • Herodotus 10.1.1

        From the late London Bar, I was taken back by Phils comments regarding what NZ had achieved in the 9 years above average growth within the OCED, Yet we fell further behind in our ranking. Comments like this and his we got some things wrong. from reading his speach it was we were poor in our delivery of the message NOT what we did. Does not resinate within the electrate. As I and many others have made comment Labour has lost its connection with it roots, and from reading many inuts and articles from this and re dAlert sites (Which from the dramatic drop of of volume within RA) all there appears to me is some people with the forrwest/tree issue to deal with. Then get those within Lab to re read their history and examine the core values.

  11. Anne 11

    Hear hear Julie.

    I am heartily sick of the lofty, arrogant pronouncements from a few posters and commenters on this site who seem to find it necessary to rubbish Phil Goff at every turn. I also have reservations about one or two of Goff’s recent comments but, contrary to current fashionable opinion, I saw no resemblance whatsoever to Brash’s Orewa speech.

    • TF 11.1

      They do the same with Russel Norman
      It’s the “Judean peoples front” syndrome

      • BLiP 11.1.1

        🙂

      • felix 11.1.2

        Actually Norman cops flak because he’s spent the best part of this parliamentary term cuddling up to the Nats in direct conflict with the wishes of the vast majority of his party’s members.

        And hasn’t it worked out well for him, btw…

    • QoT 11.2

      I’m sure categorising one’s opponents in general as ‘just trying to be cool and fashionable’ will be a total vote-winner in 2011.

      • Lew 11.2.1

        QoT,

        The maaries, with their korowais and their tikis and their neo-tribal elite suits and their gangsta bling …

        … and the homos with their metrosexual hairdos and their glitter and their ABBA cellphone ring-tones and their “oh my GAAAWD, and then he was like, y’know, like, totally” …

        … and the wimmins, well, we all know how they can’t wear anything without running it past their uptight feminists dyke support groups …

        THESE are the enemies of the SOCIALIST FUTURE which awaits our great Fatherland, and if workers only stopped tolerating their dedication to FASHION then we’d only have to reach out and grasp it.*

        L

        * It’s better if you can imagine the stirring music and images of happy white, male, hetero peasants in the fields and factories.

  12. sk 12

    Goff is clearly wooden compared to JK, and struggles to connect after years in gov’t, but there is an issue here that needs to be debated. Lew may scoff about the neo-tribal elite, but it is clear that the Maori Party has tacked very closely to the interests of Ngai Tahu and Stephen O’Regan. If you live in the South Island, it is clear that Ngai Tahu is Pakeha-ised, and will trample on any group that does not acknowledge them, such as Waitaha. They are no different about to any Corporate. There is nothing that is waahi tapu. The deal conquers all.

    This is the interests with which the MP are now clearly aligned, and to attack them is completely appropriate.

    This is an issue here that has nothing to do with racism or dog whistles. And Goff is right to raise it, even if the initial key is off. The MP coalition with National is risking the UMNO-isation of Maori politics, and that is something we should all be alarmed about – whether Maori or Pakeha.

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    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    5 days ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    6 days ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 week ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    1 week ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    1 week ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 weeks ago

  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
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    1 week ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
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