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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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    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • More bad faith
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
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    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
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    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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