Gratitude

Written By: - Date published: 4:49 pm, December 17th, 2008 - 39 comments
Categories: housing, national - Tags:

I haven’t commented on the maiden speeches yet (we’re doing some analysis later) but I can’t let this stand. Aaron Gilmore, the bottom-ranked National List MP who got in by 39 votes, is having his maiden speech. He started by remembering growing up in a state house, going to school, a teacher giving him some lunch. He said the lessons he learned were hard work and that compulsion is bad.

Umm, no lesson that strong public services, like state housing and education, are essential to give young people a chance in life?

No. Instead, he’s an MP for a party that is committed to cutting those services. Now, he’s rich he’s determined to pull the ladder up after him. Well, that’s gratitude for you.

39 comments on “Gratitude ”

  1. infused 1

    You’re becoming more of an idiot every day post.

    IrishBill: You have forgotten this is our space paid for by us. That means some civility toward your hosts is in order. You’ve shown none. You’re banned for a fortnight.

  2. Well, I have a lot of catching up to do if I want to be ready for the Nats’ list in 2017.

  3. Zorr 3

    If SP is becoming more of an idiot, then why do you still read what he writes? Doesn’t that put you both on an equal footing? One for the writing and one for the continued reading of it?

    Personally, I agree with SP. Every time I hear the “rags to riches” story from people who want to remove (or move further away from) the advantages/opportunities they got under previous systems now that they have the money just makes me sick to my stomach. I work hard, and if I ever get to the point where I am a relatively wealthy man I will owe some of that to government support through some tough times.

    The funny thing I have noticed recently is that the National government got elected on a platform that, amongst other things, was a repudiation of “nanny state” mentality. However, the moment a person loses their job they go straight to the government/state services with cap in hand for some money to get them through.

  4. Rex Widerstrom 4

    Errrr… it is possible to believe both that compulsion is bad and that compassion is good… including compassion with an element (as small an element as possible) of compulsion, such as taxation redistributed as benefits.

    It’s even possible to want to see genuine beneficiaries receiving much more than they do at present while also wanting WINZ (or whatever acronym they’re booking their latest flash conference under) to actually get off its collective arse and root out those who are rorting the system… thus enabling the deserving to receive more without compelling the rest of us to pay more for it.

    I know it doesn’t quite fit the prevailing world view round here, and that it’s hard for some to hold two slightly contradictory positions when it’s so much easier to slide into the warmth and comfort of a bit of anti-Tory prejudice, but there are those of us who at least try…

  5. Janet 5

    I think we are really fortunate to have people with the intellect, analytical ability and generosity to provide the useful and articulate political commentary that Steve and the other writers provide on this site.

  6. Zorr 6

    @Rex: I think the majority of people when presented the arguements both for and against any form of welfare state would choose some form of welfare as most people have at least the imagination to put themselves in the shoes of someone struggling between jobs. There does need to be a serious move towards a solution for the long term unemployed and the unemployable, however the answer doesn’t lie in just stricter WINZ rules. A lot of issues can arise from untreated mental conditions or societal issues which are often picked up in other ways (such as anger issues) yet go untreated because often it just leads to intervention by the Police in the form of an arrest or something.

    @infused: Gotta love a troll that can barely string a sentence together.

    I ultimately wish that the opportunitys that I have today are passed down to my children, and to other peoples children, so that our society as a whole can prosper and grow healthier. Knee jerk reactions to long term issues are not solutions and shouldn’t be viewed as such.

  7. George Darroch 7

    also wanting WINZ (or whatever acronym they’re booking their latest flash conference under) to actually get off its collective arse and root out those who are rorting the system

    I can understand that sentiment. But those that express it haven’t had much involvement with the business end of WINZ lately, because there is already a lot of proof required before even a cent is handed over at most WINZ offices. It’s pretty stressful and demanding for those in need. What frustrates me is a lack of evidence in policymaking, and an excess of rhetoric (none of the parties in Parliament are strangers to this problem).

    Trying to make it even more difficult would make some far right ideologues happy, no doubt, but would not improve the lives of New Zealanders (well, apart from those who would be paying marginally less tax). But that might be the point.

  8. gobsmacked 8

    I’m not quite sad enough to listen to all the maiden speeches, but from the bits I’ve heard, every National MP had the same tedious template. I’ve only heard one (Nikki Kaye, briefly) make any acknowledgement of the liberal wing (feather) of the party. Lots of conservativism, plenty of cliches and platitudes, a dose of fascism (Louise Upston), but independent minds and libertarian principles … none.

    I hope I just happened to miss the better ones – if not, it’s a pretty scary caucus. Nick Smith and Simon Power are now the good guys? Help!

  9. deemac 9

    by contrast with the very average (and occasionally even bizarre) maiden speeches by Nats, the new Labour intake have been very impressive, with Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern outstanding

  10. Rex Widerstrom 10

    Zorr, George Darroch:

    I know it’s only anecdotal but when a perfectly fit and extremely healthy layabout (who happens to be the partner of a family member) can go from ‘course’ to ‘course’ avoiding work; when he can have a job for a matter of a week or two and then lose it without seemingly being penalised; when his partner (who does have serious health problems) is in receipt of a benefit (and thus is on WINZ’s radar) but is forced to work part time to feed and clothe their two children while he plays video games… then I don’t see a lot of evidence of a tough regime at WINZ.

    However I agree, Zorr, that a proportion of unemployment – and homelessness, and crime, and a lot of other social problems – are due to undiagnosed mental illness or other social constraints (hard to apply for jobs if you have no fixed address…).

    I should therefore have added that WINZ also needs to get off its arse and take a broader view, referring people to agencies that an assist with these difficulties and monitoring the outcome vis a viz work suitability.

    And George, you’re dead right about the inability of rhetoric to solve the problem. I’m utterly unimpressed with any party’s efforts to date.

  11. Westminster 11

    I think there have been some great speeches from all sides of the House. I thought Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga’s speech was particularly good and Grant Robertson justified Labour’s faith in him. There are always a few clangers, though. This Parliament looks like being no exception. I am less worried about National’s back bench than I am it’s mid- and front benches. There a few beacons of intellect and wit sitting in a pool of mediocre sludge.

  12. gingercrush 12

    What the hell does 39 votes have to do with anything? That doesn’t make him any less of a MP. Haven’t listened to the speech so therefore don’t know what context it was said. But I largely suspect you’ve overblown what was said. And what he said didn’t seem to be that bad anyway. Though, of course just being a MP for National in your eyes makes him somehow wrong.

    And the number of maiden speeches I’ve heard from National has been great. And not at all average or bizarre like deemac makes out.

  13. George Darroch (at 5:36): You’ve hit that nail on the head. Much of what National believe need doing is based on exactly that: belief. They have scant regard for the facts as we saw clearly in parliament over the past 2 days.

    Gerry Brownlee has been an absolute disgrace in the ignorant and false statements he has been making about biofuels relative to New Zealand. But he 9and his party) couldn’t care less what they facts are. They have their ill-founded beliefs and they don’t need or want anything else.

    Incredible, really. But there it is.

  14. Kerry 14

    I’ve heard alot of these maiden speeches and have yet to here a coherent one from the tories!

    Blah blah i grew up in a state house…i know what its like to have very little….so sick of it!!

    The upshot is that if you grew up in a statehouse and joined the nats you have obviously been licking the lead paint that was used on the kitchen cupboards in that statehouse.

    Now alot of them are in statehouses which we pay for…….and theres Gerry Brownlee costing us a fortune cause we are no doubt going to have to repile his ministerial residence when he’s booted out in 3 years.

  15. Tim Ellis 15

    I didn’t listen to Gilmore’s speech, but like others I don’t know what being National’s lowest-ranking successful MP has to do with it. Is the middle-class Stuart Nash supposed to have less entitlement as an MP because he is neither working class, nor highly ranked on Labour’s list?

    I look forward to reading Gilmore’s speech. I very much doubt however that he is advocating a worsening state education system, or demolishing state housing. The National Party throughout their campaign advocated better resources for schools, an increased standard of education for children, and ensuring that numeracy and literacy rates improved. Likewise National has promised to focus on improving state housing stock so that fewer state house tenants live in the squalor they are now in, rather than parade about the country opening new subdivisions while ignoring the $2 billion deferred maintenance bill.

    SP I know you like to demonise the National Party, but it might be nice for a change to see you accept that people like Gilmore do believe in improved services for the poor and needy, but just disagree with you about the best way to provide them. It might make for a polarising debate to try and demean people like Gilmore but I don’t think it achieves any greater understanding.

  16. Pascal's bookie 16

    ooh look children it’s Tim Ellis flying by again in his famous agitpropticopter!

  17. Lew 17

    Kerry: Look up Melissa Lee’s. It’s a cracker.

    L

  18. higherstandard 18

    “I think we are really fortunate to have people with the intellect, analytical ability and generosity to provide the useful and articulate political commentary that Steve and the other writers provide on this site.”

    Ha comedy gold.

  19. Rather than concentrate on the speeches I always thought we should concentrate on the substance.

    This week National has essentially gutted this Country’s attempt at becoming carbon neutral. Biofuels are gone, thermal power stations are back, the economy is more important than the environment even though without the environment it is stuffed, and the ETS is gone so that we can spend 5 more years talking about the problem without actually doing anything about it. And eco lightbulbs are gone so that idiots can exercise their “rights” without thinking about the environmental repercussions. That really grates, environmental sustainability ought to be compulsory. You should not allow stupid people to make ill informed decisions that affect us all.

    I will now pause and pick my spleen up. Why does Australia suddenly look attractive?

  20. gomango 20

    micky – you obviously haven’t picked up on the news out of australia then.

  21. vto 21

    SP, sometimes it feels like you really do not like certain types – based on their middle classness, whiteness, stateless or otherwise homesnesses, and etc and other stuffs. An odour of contempt wafts at times.

    As Horton the elehant said.. a person is a person no matter how small.

  22. gomango

    I have, and our response is even worse …

  23. jake 23

    if you’re actually interested in these speeches, they’re all up at http://www.youtube.com/nationalparty I haven’t seen the speeches from other parties, is anyone putting them up?

  24. Ianmac 24

    Funny how some on the right leap to attack those who rort the system as evidence or excuse for ummmm? The fact is that every society has the no-hopers but the vast majority are well intentioned. Fine. Clean out the tiny pool of the rotten rorters. But if you measure in terms of money, consider the vast pool of millions and millions rorted by big rich folk with cheating investors, avoiding tax. The majority of bensficiaries are deserving.

  25. mickysavage and gomango: There’s one for the books. In less than year, Australia has gone from climate change luddites to leading now-backward New Zealand.

    …and the issues that decided our election (fundi-Christian lies about “anti-smacking” and a make-believe ‘nanny-state”) were trivial and small-minded compared to the real difficulties New Zealand faces…and this government’s failure to even UNDERSTAND them….never mind effectively address them.

    Gerry Brownlee’s leading the charge of the arrogant dim-bulbs….and it’s so sad to watch the arrogant, snorting ignorance on parade. His claims about biofuels were either cynical lies or the man is grossly incompetent…….and we can’t rule out both.

  26. DeeDub 26

    Actually I fear with the Nats it’s equal parts stupidity and mendacity….
    a bloody dangerous combination. Just sprinkle with the usual ‘born-to-rule’ Tory arrogance and bring the country to the boil.

    Eeeuww and I just sat through Melissa Lee’s 17-odd minute maiden effort. Turgid. I kept waiting to hear what she believes in . . . but it was just an obvious Nat party political broadcast.

  27. George Darroch 27

    Rex, I’m sure you’re right. There are people scamming the system.

    You have provided evidence of a tough regime – one that has little regard for people’s actual circumstances, and one that sticks to the rules even at the cost of hardship for a mother with young children who has to work.

    It’s also a regime that is soft if you can exploit the rules which must be obeyed, as some (such as your example) clearly do.

    Of course, the solution isn’t to make even more strict rules for that woman and plenty others like her. It’s probably to make the system more relaxed, and allow WINZ to question endless courses (although I thought there was a requirement to pass, and a limit on how many weeks…), and give more to the struggling.

    But I’m not an expert on the subject. If you asked the; WINZ case managers, the City Missions, the beneficiary advocates, and the researchers at Auckland University, about how to target the slacker while looking after the mother, you’d probably get rich answers, filled with complexity. You might get simple answers, or something surprising. Which is kind of the point, as others have reiterated. Life is complex, the obvious answer often isn’t the right one, and you should listen to as many people as possible before making a decision. Even the ones you disagree with (they often have a point worth addressing, even if they get it mostly wrong).

    Labour consistently shut out their critics in the last few years. I remember a human rights advocate friend of mine talking about how her productive and open relationship with the minister had evaporated over time. It wasn’t isolated – many people I knew had the very strong impression by about 2005 that Labour had no intention of ackowledging their cause or complaint unless it suited them to do so. National need to wake the hell up and realise that this style of Government (we know best) is going to cause them no end of difficulty over time.

  28. Sarah 28

    Deemac’s first comment is evidence to why this website is slowly being considered an echo chamber. In his clear-seeing eyes, the Nat’s can never do anything right. Even their maiden speeches.

  29. Paul Robeson 29

    You still here Sarah?

    I notice in focusing on Deemac’s ONLY comment you missed the post and the rest of the comments.

    We’re still waiting for the Nats to rush in the pay rises for teachers you were promising us. Or maybe that was Don Brash at the Knowledge Wave conference. I forget. Something about ‘I believe the teachers are the future…” I think you said.

    Anyway. State houses to silver spoons in the Nats is the topic. Doing away with the welfare state that has provided for me. that kind of thing.

  30. Mr Magoo 30

    People actually watch maiden speeches and think they mean something??

    Curious…

  31. ieuan 31

    Does the fact that you come from a working class background mean that you have to be beholding to working class ideals (whatever they may be)?

    I for one come from a working class family but now enjoy a good standard of living, ownership of property and a business and (I am sure) in the eyes of many of the contributors here have crossed over to the other side.

    Life has taught me two good lessons that I will be ingraining in my children:
    (i) Get an education,
    (ii) Get off your butt and work for what you want.

    I think these lessons apply whether your thinking is left wing or right wing.

  32. Mr Magoo 32

    ieuan:

    Does your thrid one include using your elevated position include stepping on the heads of others and removing the things that helped you get there?

    Because that was the actual argument. Not the staw man you just proposed.

  33. ieuan 33

    Mr Magoo, who is stepping on who? And who is removing what? Some examples please not just recycled generalisations.

  34. ak 34

    Good comments re welfare, George and Rex: indeed “rich answers filled with complexity” is exactly what you will find daily at the coalface.

    As one who has had more than a few dealings with “WINZ” (now DWI btw) clients ranging right from the dim days of the “Labour department’ and “welfare”, I can assure you that the number of genuine “slackers” is minimal. Blame and denigration is easy, and tempting in many cases: but behind the bravado I have yet to find a genuinely satisfied malingerer intent on remaining on the Unemployment Benefit forever (and I’m sure this would apply to your relly, Rex; as you noted earlier, the sanctions regime can be quite severe – those “courses” will not be allowed indefinitely)

    One constant I have noticed over the years is a universal sense of shame and reluctance to ask for assistance – which varies in intensity depending on the department’s, the media’s, and politicians’ pronouncements. During the eighties and especially the nineties, the “benny-bashing” from “above” was rife; it pervaded society – including department offices, from the bejangled harridan down. For the vast majority of beneficiaries this led to self-blame and increased misery on a massive scale – and did less than nothing to reduce the numbers.

    Say what you will about Labour, but in this humble observer’s opinion their efforts in changing the “culture” of DWI and introducing Working for Families has done more in “misery reduction” than any government in my memory.

    For this reason Helen now hangs proudly right beside and level with Michael Joseph in this house – and will do long after this motley, “compassionate”, fire-at-will bullet-point tory gaggle has mangled its final platitude.

  35. Chris G 35

    How he got in is admittedly irrelevant. But nonethless the point is that often the nats harp on about the good work of teachers around them and public service. Yet, as SP points out, they are under a party that his historically shown itself to weaken the public service. Rather silly.

    I heard Boscawen’s speech with him harp on about teachers and a state school, yet his party would advocate (And probably the Nats) bulk funding, which incase you weren’t aware most teachers hate and it didnt work.

  36. twisted 36

    Indeed. How dare he escape the poverty cycle and do well for himself.

    Dirty, Filthy little tory!

  37. Matthew Pilott 37

    Sarah’s comment is evidence to why Trolls are slowly becoming extinct – too dumb to reproduce.

    Twisted – you think the help his family received from the state played a part in that? Ah… do you think at all? Jury’s out thus far, reasonable doubt and all that.

    [lprent: Plus the secret surgery I perform when they’re not looking.]

  38. Chris S 38

    Twisted, you missed the point. Purposely, I believe.

    Yes he’s done well for himself by moving up the ladder. But to do so he depended on certain state services (education, housing etc…) that he doesn’t seem to acknowledge.

    Now he stands for a party that, in the past, have been determined to take these hand-ups away from people, or at least make them a lot less effective, hence the “pulling the ladder up after him” remark.

  39. Santi 39

    When I read the heading “Gratitude” I thought for a moment you were talking about Cullen & Clark, the toxic duo, who have left behind a weak and ailing NZ economy (let alone the not disclosed holes in it).

    Shame on socialist Labour for not being honest.

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    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    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 ...
    7 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
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