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Green Party statements on giving their parliamentary Questions to the Opposition

Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, March 19th, 2018 - 49 comments
Categories: accountability, democratic participation, greens, Parliament - Tags: , ,

From the Green Party email from James Shaw to members:

___________________________________________________________________________

Do you know what frustrates me about Parliament? Sometimes, it’s nothing but a hollow ritual.

As Greens, we’ve always stood for modernising our democracy, making MPs more accountable and giving the public better access to the levers of power.

So from this week, the Green Party will hand over its allocation of questions for Question Time to the Leader of the Opposition. That means, we will no longer waste Parliament’s time or yours asking scripted, set-piece “patsy” questions directed to ourselves.

It doesn’t mean we’ve given up pursuing issues we care about. When those issues arise, our arrangement allows Green MPs still to ask questions where we wish to hold the Government to account.

So why the change? The questions we’re giving up do nothing to advance democratic participation. Question Time should be about holding the Government to account, the Opposition can better use some of our questions to do that.

This is another example of us leading the type of change we want to see in Parliament. We’re walking our walk.

Learn more about Question Time here.

Ngā mihi,

James

___________________________________________________________________________

Press release from greens.org.nz

Green Party announces significant change to Question Time

James Shaw MP on Sunday, March 18, 2018 – 09:55

The Green Party has today announced that, from this week, most of its allocation of questions for Question Time will be handed over to the Leader of the Opposition to use, in order to limit the prevalence of “patsy questions” in Parliament and to strengthen the ability of Parliament to hold the Government of the day to account.

The only exception is if the Green Party wishes to use a question to hold the Government to account on a particular issue, consistent with the party’s Confidence and Supply agreement with Labour, which acknowledges the ability for the parties to agree to disagree on certain issues.

“The Green Party has long advocated the importance of Parliament having the powers to hold the Government of the day to account. Question Time is a key avenue for the opposition to interrogate the Government, so this move is a small step we can take to live up to the values we stated in opposition now that we are part of the Government,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“Using Question Time to ask ourselves scripted, set-piece patsy questions does nothing to advance the principles of democracy and accountability that are very important to us as a party. We expect the opposition to use our questions to hold us to account as much as any other party in Government.

“We think patsy questions are a waste of time, and New Zealanders have not put us in Parliament to do that; we’re there to make positive change for our people and our environment.

“We don’t expect any other party to follow suit – this is about us leading the kind of change we want to see in Parliament.

“The Greens are committed to doing Government differently and doing Government better and this change, along with our voluntary release of Green Ministers diaries to increase transparency, will hopefully spark more of a debate about how we can bring Parliament’s processes and systems into the modern age.

“We will also make a submission to the Standing Orders Review, which kicks off next year, to advocate for further changes to Question Time. This review is where all parties in Parliament make decisions about how future parliaments will operate and is the best place for all politicians to discuss any long term permanent changes to Question Time.

“The Canadian Government has recently trialled changes to Question Time after Justin Trudeau campaigned to do so. This shows parliament systems are not set in stone and should be open to regular review and change to ensure our democracy is healthy and well-functioning.

“We have reserved the right to use our questions when we have a point of difference with our colleagues in government. Our Confidence and Supply Agreement with Labour allows us to agree to disagree on issues, and the occasional respectful questioning of the Government from within is also an important part of democracy.

“That we can occasionally disagree with each other highlights the strength and flexibility of this Government,” said Mr Shaw.

___________________________________________________________________________

Green Party Charter:

The charter is the founding document of The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand accepts Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand; recognises Maori as Tangata Whenua in Aotearoa New Zealand; and commits to the following four Principles:

Ecological Wisdom:

The basis of ecological wisdom is that human beings are part of the natural world. This world is finite, therefore unlimited material growth is impossible. Ecological sustainability is paramount.

Social Responsibility:

Unlimited material growth is impossible. Therefore the key to social responsibility is the just distribution of social and natural resources, both locally and globally.

Appropriate Decision-making:

For the implementation of ecological wisdom and social responsibility, decisions will be made directly at the appropriate level by those affected.

Non-Violence:

Non-violent conflict resolution is the process by which ecological wisdom, social responsibility and appropriate decision making will be implemented. This principle applies at all levels.

49 comments on “Green Party statements on giving their parliamentary Questions to the Opposition ”

  1. adam 1

    This, really?

    Nope we don’t have a military actively misleading the public. A media actively working against the government. Nope we don’t have civil service who are completely ideologically neolib, and actively hostile to change in government.

    No housing crisis, no health crisis, no issues with the environment.

    No, the issue of the day is the greens not wanting to ask patsy questions. No wonder we can’t have nice things.

    Let me know when you want to deal with a real issue folks. This throwing out all the toys in your cot, is getting sad.

    • weka 1.1

      that kind of framing and response is also part of the problem. But carry on with the heavy negativity and see where it takes us.

      • adam 1.1.1

        My issue is with the labour party hacks getting upset by this.

        I don’t see much point in this taking up two posts. The greens will do what they do – if it works good, if it doesn’t then they will do what they always do, try somthing else. It’s more of the labour way or the highway stuff, tiresome, as it is childish.

        Getting upset by this issue is churlish. Especially when food banks are struggling, the temperature is dropping and we still have thousands of people living on the streets.

        I’m bored senseless of having to hear another political wonk telling me and everyone else to play there game. If there game worked, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

        • weka 1.1.1.1

          So you hate parliamentary politics and you think it’s appropriate to be relentless negative under posts about parliamentary politics. Write some Guest Posts adam on what you want to see talked about. I’ll put them up and moderate them.

          I put this post up because the conversation is going to happen anyway and I’d like to see it be a bit more informed by giving access to what the Greens have actually said.

          I don’t appreciate having my work spat on.

          • adam 1.1.1.1.1

            Take a step back, and reread what I said. I’m saying the greens have the right to try anything they want. If it works, GOOD! If not – they will do what they always do – try somthing else – that might work better.

            To think doing the same thing, that is not working, over and over – is the definition of…

            As for labour people telling the greens this is wrong – bugger off and go fix anything – rather than moan about this.

            If my point was not clear, I hope this clears it up.

            • Xanjo 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I hope this helps clear it up for you Adam. The Greens are a part of the Government. They are in power. When you’re in power, you can try all kinds of things to try to make things better and when you’re in power, you’ll be held to account for each and every one of your attempts, especially if it ends in failure. When you’re in Government, the LAST thing you do is empower the party that is ready and waiting to take you and the rest of your governmental partners down and leave you out in the cold where you can get nothing accomplished for another nine years. Yet that is precisely what the Greens have done. Talk about Green! Could they get any greener?

    • Alan 1.2

      you can have nice things Adam, we are lucky enough to live in a time and place where this is possible

    • Granty 1.3

      Nz needs a senate… an upper house instead of direct rule

  2. ropata 2

    Despite being in opposition, National still represents “the Establishment” and are not going to ask questions in the best interests of all New Zealanders. They will waste them on petty personal attacks and crosby textor framing on behalf of their multinational clients. National isn’t a real political party, they are a vehicle for banks and corporations wanting to pillage NZ. The Greens are sadly deluded if they expect Nats to behave honourably

    • weka 2.1

      I doubt that the Greens expect that at all. But follow that through. The Greens have prioritised democracy and reforming how parliamentary politics gets done. If National continue to abuse that privilege (not just the GP Qs, but QT in general) what should happen next?

      Should National be left with their own allocation to just carry on as normal? Or should someone in parliament try and change how that whole thing happens?

      Lefties need to get out of the whole power and control stuff because at the moment I am seeing a huge amount of justification for the status quo when we know the status quo is fucked.

      • cleangreen 2.1.1

        100% Weka this is the best comment here today.

        The Government is heavily influenced by the global elitists & their lobbyists now and in parliament the lobbyists are thick as flies and twice as messy to deal with so you are so right, the parliament is fucked as a democratic institution now.

        The greens know this and are trying to change this from inside so let it happen.

    • Anon 2.2

      And Labour isn’t a a vehicle for Unions? This is MMP now anyway, no party should try to represent everyone.

      • ropata 2.2.1

        So you’re happy to have a party in our flimsy democracy that is just a marketing scam & doesn’t actually represent people?

    • tracey 2.3

      Labour also represents the establishment. If their signing the revised but not TPP didn’t prove that to you, nothing will

    • tracey 2.4

      You forgotten who first sold the Banks? Labour.

  3. patricia bremner 3

    Why have they done this? Does this raise the bar? Or does it appear to kick a partner when things just got nasty?
    Like many I’m finding this hard to fathom. I hope he is right and it does improve democracy, otherwise he has played into the opposition’s hands, and we lose.

    • Cinny 3.1

      Maybe, because of the extra questions, the natz will obstruct and be louder at question time……due to them having more scope for the Speaker to remove questions for bad behaviour? Maybe…

    • Carolyn_Nth 3.2

      I’m a bit puzzled by the move, but will wait to see how it works out in practice.

      And I have pretty much given up on watching Question Time. It’s bound by rituals and standing orders that make it more of a cynical game rather than somewhere the government is held to account. So, the weaknesses of the GP move may not make the situation much worse.

      John Key lowered the already low tone even further with his sneering refusal to answer questions, and his cynical clown play.

      Or does it appear to kick a partner when things just got nasty?

      Let’s not forget that Ardern kicked Turei into touch when the media turned nasty on Turei – at that at a time when the GP was getting a surge in support, and when many welcomed finally that someone in power was speaking for beneficiaries from a place of knowledge – and all that to regain momentum for Labour.

      I don’t see Labour being that much of a friend to the GP, so I suspect part of the motive was to serve notice to Labour that the GP is not Labour’s lapdog.

      Shaw said this yesterday, in respoi=nse to media questions about why they were giving their questions to National

      That means Jacinda Ardern’s conscious of ensuring coalition partner NZ First and supply and confidence partner, the Greens, “get the profile associated with our work programmes”, he said.

      Asked whether the move was about differentiating his party from Labour, Shaw said, if “NZ First and the Greens both get squeezed out of Parliament then (Labour) will end up with a no friends situation and not being able to put the numbers together”.

      So this just may be the GP starting to be a bit more hard headed in how they operate.

      Remember also, that Labour has sold the whole left out by signing up to the CPATPP, while the GP is the only party to stand their ground against it. And they haven’t really stepped up on Operation Burnham this week. Democracy needs a government that will step up for all Kiwis and for a better future for all – and that WILL be held to account if they don’t.

      So, if Labour are not going to represent the interests of democracy, and the least powerful groups in society, why shouldn’t the Greens try their best to change the set up.

      There’s other measures that could be done to make question time an arena where the government is TRULY held to account, now and in the long term future. Giving members of the public the opportunity to submit questions seems a great idea.

      • Xanjo 3.2.1

        I think you’ll find that Turei kicked herself into touch. She didn’t need any help. She did it all on her own through her own short-sightedness. She committed a crime. She’s lucky she’s only out in the cold and not in jail for it. Arohata & Christchurch Women’s Prison are full of women who committed the same or similar crimes just so they could feed their families. When Turei made her unfortunate admission, she did what the Greens are so good at doing, engaging her mouth before the brain had time to process the real ramifications of her actions.

    • tracey 3.3

      Kick a partner? Like signing the TPP you mean?

      • dukeofurl 3.3.1

        Thats not what Shaw has said. He supported the changes that labour has made to the TPP

        “We recognise Trade Minister David Parker has made significant progress on some controversial provisions in the TPP, including investor-state dispute settlement, and we support those changes. However, we still don’t believe there are sufficient safeguards for people and the environment that would enable us to support the deal,” Mr Shaw said
        https://www.greens.org.nz/news/press-release/no-change-green-position-tpp

        Labours election policy was to sign the TPP with changes. The old one was dead when Obama failed to get Congress to pass it and new president Trump wouldnt support the old deal.

        Labour will renegotiate these provisions and said exactly this in their manifesto.
        https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/nzlabour/pages/8555/attachments/original/1504500586/Trade_Manifesto.pdf?1504500586

        Clearly Greens felt labour ‘didnt go far enough’ but its hardly a ‘kick’

        • tracey 3.3.1.1

          “However, we still don’t believe there are sufficient safeguards for people and the environment that would enable us to support the deal,” Mr Shaw said”

          It is a kick when you thought NZF and to a vague degree Labour were agin it.

          Kick may not have been the right word but this trumps a few patsy questions in parliament I would have thought.

          • dukeofurl 3.3.1.1.1

            Its terrible that what ‘we think at election time’ and what spelled out in the manifesto dont align.
            What is the problem, as the Greens have also done what they spelled out and dont support it. ( they dont like Trade agreements period, which is fair enough as they arent some magic sauce)
            It surely cant be a surprise that a party platform isnt aligned 100% to our own views.

            • tracey 3.3.1.1.1.1

              No surprise. But as I say if the Greens giving a few questions to the Nats is a “kick” as one commenter here put it, then labour effectively rubber stamping TTP was a “kick” to NZF and Greens.

      • patricia bremner 3.3.2

        I suppose that could be reason.

      • cleangreen 3.3.3

        Yes tracey,

        Exactly!!!

        Labour just pushed the TPP signing over our public opposition to it we all will always recall, as national did with selling our assets and other things like state homes.

      • Xanjo 3.3.4

        Labour signalled that they would sign the TPP BEFORE the election and why wouldn’t they? It was their baby to begin with. If this was such a deal-breaker for the Greens, they could have refused to form a Government with Labour. If they’re intent on changing things, now is their opportunity. They’re in Government. They have the power, they just don’t have the brains. If Question Time was so repugnant to them, they could have made a real statement by saying they would keep their questions and not use them. This would have saved an enormous amount of time spent in Parliament listening to drivel. Instead, they chose to hand their questions over to National, who have no love at all for the Greens, never have, probably never will. Only a complete idiot hands over a baseball bat to their enemy so the enemy can beat them with it. Let me introduce you to the Green Party. A gathering of complete idiots who have failed to learn anything while sitting out in the cold for so many years.

        • tracey 3.3.4.1

          5 bottom lines Xanjo is what they had…. the definition of bottom line seemed to shift. As did the claim they had secured the Investor Rights back down when in fact National secure dit over 12 months ago.

        • weka 3.3.4.2

          “Labour signalled that they would sign the TPP BEFORE the election and why wouldn’t they? It was their baby to begin with”

          During Little’s time Labour’s messaging was that they wouldn’t sign unless. The framing changed to “we will sign and do our best” quite late in the piece.

          “If this was such a deal-breaker for the Greens, they could have refused to form a Government with Labour.”

          Have you thought that through? If the Greens didn’t support Labour to form govt then National would have and we would have had a worse TPPA. By all means critique the Greens, but please base it on something rational.

  4. I would like to see him asked why the questions can’t be handed over to the public, to be asked by MPs who name the person or organization that submitted them.

    James Shaw can seem really high handed at times. I wonder if it even occurred to him as a possibility.

    • weka 4.1

      “I would like to see him asked why the questions can’t be handed over to the public, to be asked by MPs who name the person or organization that submitted them.”

      I’d really like to see that conversation happen. If I have time when this thing quietens down, I might write a post about it. The immediate thing I see is the work that goes into preparing the questions and there would need to be a process for that, as well as how to prioritise them. I’m sure there are other issues. I have a feeling this has been tried in the past, so if anyone has memory of that or links, I’d appreciate it.

      • Carolyn_Nth 4.1.1

        Russel Norman asked members of the public to submit questions to be asked in Question Time. Can’t find a link to it yet.

      • Chris 4.1.2

        Shaw says:

        “So from this week, the Green Party will hand over its allocation of questions for Question Time to the Leader of the Opposition. That means, we will no longer waste Parliament’s time or yours asking scripted, set-piece “patsy” questions directed to ourselves.

        “It doesn’t mean we’ve given up pursuing issues we care about. When those issues arise, our arrangement allows Green MPs still to ask questions where we wish to hold the Government to account.

        “So why the change? The questions we’re giving up do nothing to advance democratic participation. Question Time should be about holding the Government to account, the Opposition can better use some of our questions to do that.”

        Why can’t the Greens choose their own questions and ask them instead of the “set-piece “patsy” questions directed to ourselves”? Surely the supply agreement lets them decide whatever the heck they want to ask.

        • weka 4.1.2.1

          It does and the Greens have retained the right to use some of the Questions to hold the govt to account when they need/want to. I’m assuming they don’t need 42 of such questions per year.

        • dukeofurl 4.1.2.2

          “Why can’t the Greens choose their own questions and ask them”

          They do . labours patsys go its own Mps to ask , NZF to its own Mps to ask.

          Thats what he means by a circular process . The greens staff formulate the questions and then formulate the answers to those questions.
          The Mps are just actors asking the questions to ministers who know the answers

  5. Siobhan 5

    And I’m sure National will enter into the spirit of things and work hard to uphold and further the “principles of democracy and accountability “.

    After all there is nothing in their record, or Bridges career to suggest otherwise.

    Unless you count Nationals ‘spamming’ of the written Question time process.

    Or, you know, their whole political History of attack, lie, ‘disremeber and obfuscation.

    • dukeofurl 5.1

      The numbers tell the story Siobhan. Greens + national = majority to get changes in Question Time.

      I would hope a good deal has been done on specific changes to Oral Questions that national has agreed to support.

      From what Bridges has been talking about ‘documentation’, it doesnt sound like a purely verbal agreement so far.
      But then Bridges has been saying ‘no strings attached’ as well.

    • patricia bremner 5.2

      Tui there Siobhan.

  6. esoteric pineapples 6

    Apart from all the other reasons this decision is insane, patsy questions actually serve a purpose. They allow the public to find out about things that the opposition won’t want promoted in Parliament.

    Someone has definitely lost their marbles and I can only assume its James Shaw. I wouldn’t have thought the other members of the caucus would have gone along with it. At this point, I’ve noticed nothing posted on Facebook about it on Chloe or Golriz’s pages, but it is on Gareth’s page.

    • Carolyn_Nth 6.1

      On reflection, if the Greens are determined to change to culture and related structures of parliament, they will need to bring all parties, and significant majority of all MPs on board. So they will need to be able to show to the Nats that it will benefit everyone.

      Otherwise the systems will be changed back as soon as the Nats get back in government.

  7. Incognito 7

    I’ve come to see this latest move by the GP as a fine example of prefigurative politics: being the change you want to see.

    It comes hot on the heels of their transparency measures to proactively release their ministerial diaries, to show who they’ve met with and why as well as Green Ministers, MPs and staff not accepting corporate hospitality, such as free tickets to events unrelated to their work.

    If you want to change & improve democracy in NZ you start at the source: Government and Parliament; I cannot fault the inescapable logic of this.

    • Robert Guyton 7.1

      Yes to that, Incognito.

    • weka 7.2

      I think there is also an earlier change of declaring their spending.

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 7.3

      Yea but it’s going to be used against labour by national. we can’t give the baby killers more power to attack the righteous saints of the labour party now that they are in power

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    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Lara Greaves, Political scientist, University of Auckland: “I love the NZ Politics Daily emails as they help me to keep on top of current events. It’s incredibly easy to skim through and follow the links. I really appreciate these as it means that I am exposed to a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • The Data and Statistics Bill and the OIA
    The government introduced a new Data and Statistics Bill today to modernise and replace the 45-year old Statistics Act. Part of the Bill re-enacts the existing confidentiality regime (with one exception), which while a secrecy clause isn't an especially controversial one. Another part is aimed at removing "outdated" (inconvenient) limits ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Graham Adams: The debate over the $55 million media fund erupts again
    RNZ’s Mediawatch and a video clip viewed 42,000 times keep the topic of the Public Interest Journalism Fund fizzing. Graham Adams reports.   A week ago, the NZ Taxpayers’ Union posted a short video clip of the exchange in Parliament between Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins in which the National ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Multiple sclerosis: the link with earlier infection just got stronger – new study
    Scott Montgomery, UCL For most of the time since the first description of multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1868, the causes of this disabling disease have remained uncertain. Genes have been identified as important, which is why having other family members with MS is associated with a greater risk of developing ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Covid and free speech
    by Don Franks Some commentators have likened the struggle against Covid 19 to the world war experience. To those of us not alive in those times, that comparison can only be academic. What the anti virus battle reminds me of much more is an industrial strike. In my twenties and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Angry Blowhards”
    In today’s Herald, their excellent columnist, Simon Wilson, takes to task those “shouty” people whom he further describes as “angry blowhards”. They are those whose prime reaction to the pandemic is anger – an anger they seamlessly (and perhaps unwittingly) transfer from the virus to the government. The basis for ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Looking Forward To 2022.
    Future Tense? Okay, so that’s where we are in 2022. Living in a New Zealand where all the usual rules of politics once again apply. And, guess what? Jacinda’s government, once again, isn’t doing very well – not very well at all.LET’S PLAY A GAME. Let’s pretend we’re half-way through ...
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Covid mandates, and the Covid pill
    The cliché about “living with Covid” will not mean life as we’ve known it, Jim. Vaccination is fast becoming a condition of employment, and also a requirement to participate in aspects of social life, such as travel, attending bars, cafes, and concerts etc. These protective measures enjoy a high level ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 12 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Prof Alan Bollard, Professor of Practice at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington; Chair of the Infrastructure Commission: “NZ Politics Daily” provides a great public service – a quick and unbiased way to check policy announcements and analysis every morning.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: A submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2)
    I have made a submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2).In preparing it, I looked at the Hansard for the first reading debate, and got name-dropped as someone likely to make a submission. So, of course I did. I focus on a small bit of the ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: More tales from the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme
    You may have read last week that two years after the publication of regulations for medicinal cannabis – and three years after the enabling legislation – two local products from a local manufacturer have finally met the minimum quality standards for prescription. You may also be interested to know that ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Real action requires government
    Over the weekend someone pointed me at a journal article on "The Poverty of Theory: Public Problems, Instrument Choice, and the Climate Emergency". Its a US law journal article, so is a) very long; and b) half footnotes (different disciplines have different norms), but the core idea is that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Not doing our bit
    Last month the US and EU announced they would push an agreement to cut methane emissions by 30% (from 2020 levels) by 2030 at the upcoming climate change conference in Glasgow. The good news is that New Zealand is looking at joining it. The bad news is that that won't ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Delta’s Week Of Doom.
    Classic Shot: Are the Prime Minister’s formidable communication skills equal to the task of getting her government’s anti-Covid campaign back on track?IF JACINDA ARDERN thought last week was bad, the week ahead promises to be even worse. Sixty community cases of Covid-19, one of the highest daily totals so far ...
    6 days ago
  • Urgent measures needed to allow the safe re-opening of Auckland schools
    Dr Rachel Webb, Dr Jin Russell, Dr Pip Anderson, Dr Emma Best, Dr Alison Leversha and Dr Subha Rajanaidu* In this blog we describe the range of urgent measures that are needed to facilitate a safe return to schools in Auckland and other regions of the country where there is ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Children live online more than ever – we need better definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ scree...
    Kathryn MacCallum, University of Canterbury and Cheryl Brown, University of Canterbury   The pandemic has fundamentally altered every part of our lives, not least the time we spend on digital devices. For young people in particular, the blurred line between recreational and educational screen time presents new challenges we are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Putting Aotearoa on the map: New Zealand has changed its name before, why not again?
    Claire Breen, University of Waikato; Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato; Robert Joseph, University of Waikato, and Valmaine Toki, University of Waikato   Our names are a critical part of our identity. They are a personal and social anchor tying us to our families, our culture, our history and place in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Yes, of course festival organisers will follow the law on vaccination
    On Tuesday 5 October the New Zealand Government announced that proof of COVID-19 vaccination would be a requirement to attend large events this summer.It took a few days for event owners to absorb the information and understand the implications. By the end of the working week, most of the big ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 11 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jim Hubbard, Cartoonist “NZ Politics daily is a go to for cartoonists, or should be.  Political reporting enmasse like this gives cartoonists and political junkies a smorgasbord to get their teeth into. Essential and I daresay vital reading for those who care about the future of NZ.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, October 3, 2021 through Sat, October 9, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: VFX Artist Reveals how Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power the ENTIRE World, Will you fall ...
    7 days ago
  • The Night of Parmenides: accepted
    A bit of good news on the writing front. My 3900-word short story, The Night of Parmenides, has been accepted by SpecFicNZ for their upcoming Aftermath anthology, to be published in early 2022. This is my first published short story to be explicitly set in my home-town of ...
    7 days ago
  • The Virus, the Politician, and the gang member
    . . . . . References Newshub Nation: Gang leader Harry Tam denies Winston Peters’ claims he helped infected woman breach COVID boundary, sparking Northland lockdown Te Ao News: ‘Apologise!’ Mob leader slams Peters’ Covid, Northland allegations Stuff media: Covid-19 – Search for contact of Northland case ‘extraordinarily frustrating’ CNBC: ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Rapid kits, responses, and openings: watch motivations, or catch something worse with Covid…
    Last week was probably a high point for many armchair “experts”, fresh from their high after some deep inhaling of the various musings and fumings, of an actually very smug, and very insualted John “Things all work for me…” Key, former Prime Minister and FOREX trader, had blitzed the ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Bollocks
    It would appear we have an unwelcome presence in town.Positive wastewater results had been detected in Hamilton and Palmerston North on October 6 and 7. There are 26 cases in hospital, seven of these are in ICU or high dependency units (HDU).One of the people in hospital is in Palmerston ...
    1 week ago
  • World-leading?
    So, the Herald has found someone, as we can see from today’s issue, who is able to explain why we should not claim to have been “world-leading” in our response to the covid epidemic. It seems that we have been kidding ourselves when we celebrated our low total number of ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Why Is Labour So Frightened Of “Mr Stick”?
    Force Multiplier: Why are Ardern and her ministers so loathe to put a bit of stick about? The “emergency” legislation eventually enacted to authorise the measures needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic failed to confer upon the New Zealand Government the unequivocal authority that subsequent events showed to be so ...
    1 week ago
  • The Need for an Updated Strategic Approach to Covid-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker* The NZ Government appears to have drifted into an unclear strategic approach to Covid-19 control. In this blog we outline one potential way forward: a regional strategic approach that considers “regional suppression” and “regional elimination”. To maximise the success of this ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Mairon: The Actual Source for the Blasted Name
    Long-time Tolkien geeks – or those bemused enough to run across a certain internet phenomenon – might know that ‘Sauron’ is not actually the real name of the Lord of the Ring. ‘Sauron’ is just an abusive Elvish nickname, meaning ‘the Abhorred.’ Sauron’s actual name, at least originally, ...
    1 week ago
  • Forced Re-entry
    The elimination of Covid strategy is not so much defeated but changing circumstances means that policy has to evolve. Our elimination stance was never sustainable or at least it would not be until the rest of the world also eliminated Covid-19. Elimination of the virus was a strategy we adopted ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Repeal this unjust law
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Preparing for the flood
    The Christchurch City Council has published new "coastal hazards" data, indicating which places are under threat from sea-level rise. And its not good news: Parts of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula are likely to become unhabitable [sic] as the city council figures out how to adapt to sea level ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, Not The Government
    I wonder if Mike Hosking ever reads the paper in which he appears so regularly? If he does, he might have noticed a report in today’s Herald about the problem that could face churches in Auckland if a vaccine passport becomes mandatory for those wishing to attend church services. The ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 8 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Bill Ralston, Media consultant and columnist: “NZ Politics Daily provides an invaluable service for journalists, politicians, businesspeople, decision makers and the public at large by providing an easily accessible, exhaustive, link to every significant political story in the country’s media that day. It’s a gem of a service ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Open letter to Michael Barnett, Julie White, et al
    . . Congratulations,  Mr Barnett, Ms White, and your business colleagues. It appears that we will end up having to “live” (ie, get sick, end up in hospital, perhaps in ICU, intubated on ventilators, and possibly dying as our lungs fail) with covid19. But at least businesses will open up. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Introducing Mr Stick.
    MR STICK: You media types think the people of this country have changed, but you’re wrong. We’re the same tough bastards we’ve always been. Put a bit of stick about – and listen to us cheer!JOSEPHINE MUCH-ADOO: Kia ora, everyone, and welcome to “Introducing”. Today we are very pleased to ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #40, 2021
    "Old" research There's little point in trying to best this excellent article describing the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics by Ars Technica authors Jennifer Ouelette and John Timmer, each having a gift for concisely on-target, accessible science journalism. Here at New Research we'll punt and quote the The Royal Swedish Academy of ...
    1 week ago
  • Standing on one leg is a sign of good health – and practising is good for you too
    Dawn Skelton, Glasgow Caledonian University Research shows that people’s ability to stand on one leg is an indicator of health and that getting better at standing on one leg can add to fitness and potentially lifespan. Being able to stand on one leg is linked to increased levels of physical ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: More dishonesty over the CCR
    Last month the Emissions Trading Scheme turned into a farce, when the government flooded the market with credits in a failed and wasteful attempt to Keep Carbon Prices Low. When I asked about the background of this policy Climate Change Minister James Shaw sent me one of the most egregious ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Schrödinger’s Wraith: The Status of the Witch-King of Angmar, 15th-25th March, T.A. 3019.
    My recent re-read of The Lord of the Rings reminded me of one of the vaguer head-scratchers in Tolkien. The status of the Witch-King of Angmar between his death at the Battle of Pelennor Fields and the Destruction of the One Ring ten days later… was he, in the ...
    1 week ago
  • How rainbow colour maps can distort data and be misleading
    Philip Heron, University of Toronto; Fabio Crameri, University of Oslo, and Grace Shephard, University of Oslo   The choice of colour to represent information in scientific images is a fundamental part of communicating findings. However, a number of colour palettes that are widely used to display critical scientific results are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Korea’s march to global cultural domination, plus a K-pop playlist
    So far, South Korea’s culture industries seem to be pandemic proof. They’re also winning huge global audiences, and not merely large domestic ones. In recent years, South Korea’s TV series (Squid Game, Descendants of The Sun) and movies ( Parasite, Oldboy, The Handmaiden) have become global hits. However, it has ...
    1 week ago
  • In a lockdown, where does work end and parenting begin? Welcome to the brave new world of ‘zigzag...
    Candice Harris, Auckland University of Technology and Jarrod Haar, Auckland University of Technology   All parents work. The difference lies in the breakdown between their paid and unpaid workloads. That equation is influenced by many things, including education, qualifications, age, ethnicity, financial status, number and age of dependants, gendered and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Using Rapid Antigen Tests to Improve COVID-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Figure 1: Rapid Antigen Test kit given out freely from the NHS in the UK Dr Jennifer Summers, Assoc Prof James Ussher, Assoc Prof Nikki Moreland, Dr Leah Grout, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker* Most COVID-19 testing aims to identify infected people. To date, Aotearoa NZ has relied almost ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 7 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Liz Gordon, Former MP, researcher and blogger I just hate NZ Politics Daily. I get settled in to do a good day’s work and ZAP, it arrives in my inbox like a little shiny gift.  I try to ignore it but my cursor creeps inexorably towards the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – Will electoral and political finance law reform succeed this ti...
    It’s welcome news that the Government has announced this week that they intend to improve how elections work in this country, including fixing the political finance rules. Justice Minister Kris Faafoi has announced that major reforms will be investigated in the areas of political donation rules, promising changes that will ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Will Jacinda Stand? Or, Has She Already Fallen?
    Free Falling? New Zealanders needed to hear Jacinda take a firm line on vaccination, issuing stern warnings to those who declared their intention to refuse. Kiwis just weren’t in the mood to let lockdown evaders and anti-vaxxers free ride on their good citizenship. Google’s IT wizards confirmed that Kiwis were, overwhelmingly, ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The CCR was a huge waste of money II
    Last month, in the wake of the September carbon auction, I talked about how the government's policy of flooding the market with a "cost containment reserve" of an extra 7 million tons of pollution in an effort to keep carbon costs low was a huge waste of money. Ministry for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Celebrating Women in Space
    Beautiful, Inspiring, Mysterious!  How do you describe space?  What do you think when you look up at the stars?  The United Nations General Assembly certainly knew how beautiful, inspiring, mysterious, and important space is when they designated a week to be World Space Week.  That’s this week, and the theme for this year is ...
    SciBlogsBy John Pickering
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID Clusterfuck
    Well it has been fun living in the safest country in the world for a year and a half, but a combination of cynical politics from the right, and dithering incompetence from the left, and selfish sociopathy or ignorance on the part of the population , means New Zealand is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Unsurprising
    Former rugby league star Manu Vatuvei has admitted importing methamphetamine. The Warriors icon was charged in December 2019 with possessing methamphetamine for supply and importing the Class A drug. He previously denied the charges and earlier this year said he would “fight for his innocence” after he outed himself as the sportsman ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bond, Wokeness and Representations in Cinema
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh The latest James Bond film has come out.  It is apparently to be Daniel Craig’s last incarnation as the Spy Who Loved Me, or raped me as some have pointed out.  There has been much discussion about how woke the new James Bond is and how ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
    The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled. “I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
    Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Harvey graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1992 and commenced employment as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland that same year. In 1997 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
    New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation. “Reducing waste is one of the issues all New Zealanders – especially younger Kiwis - care deeply about,” Environment Minister David Parker said today “New Zealand is one of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today meet with more than 30 national Māori organisations in an online hui, kicking off the process to develop a plan for New Zealand to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration). The previous National Government signed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
    Whai Kāinga, Whai Oranga will open on 20 October, to receive applications for investment through Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Te Puni Kōkiri The $730m fund combines investment from Budget 2021 ($380m) and the Māori Infrastructure Fund ($350m) - the largest investment seen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
    Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall. A coalition of around 25 businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
    Taiaha hā! Taiaha hā! - Te kairangi o te reo hoki mai ki taku tikanga, ki taku taumata, ki taku reo, ki taku ao. He reo whai tikanga, he reo whai mana, he reo whai tangata koe. Ki te whāngaihia te reo Māori he ao tēnā, ki te kore he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Major contract awarded to power NZ Battery investigation
    A consortium of specialist firms has been awarded a major contract to advance the New Zealand Battery Project’s feasibility investigation into a pumped hydro storage scheme at Lake Onslow, the Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods has announced. “This contract represents a major milestone as it begins the targeted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Additional Funding for Foodbanks and Social Agencies
    The Government has approved $13.55m from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund to support foodbanks and social sector agencies, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “Foodbanks and social agencies across Auckland are doing a great job supporting their communities and the Government is today providing them with more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Generating a new generation of guardians
    The Government is supporting a Whakatōhea-led project undertaking landscape scale restoration in forests and around vulnerable rivers within the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “The Whakatōhea Tiaki Taiao project will employ four people to undertake pest and weed control, ecosystem restoration and monitoring over three ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Parts of Waikato, Northland staying at Alert Level 3
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 and Northland will remain in Alert Level 3 for a few more days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Auckland remains at Alert Level 3, Step 1. “Based on the latest public health information, ministers have decided that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New courthouses for Tauranga and Whanganui
    The Government is moving ahead with new courthouses in Tauranga and Whanganui, which the Justice Minister says provide an opportunity to redesign court facilities that help put victims at the heart of the justice system. “These courthouses are part of the 10-year infrastructure investment plan to restore and modernise Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech on the launch of the consultation on the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi o te ata. Earlier this month Save the Children wrote to me with their most up to date analysis on the impact of climate change. What they said was that children born in Aotearoa today will experience up to five times as many heatwaves and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Opportunity to shape NZ’s first Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today. The Emissions Reduction Plan will set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Convention on Biological Diversity COP 15, Virtual High-Level Segment
    Kia ora koutou katoa. I want to thank China for hosting this critically important Conference of the Parties. We are all here for the same reason. Biodiversity loss, and the ongoing degradation of nature, are accelerating at an unprecedented rate. These losses are causing irreparable harm to our planet’s ability ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government books show resilient and strong economy
    The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast, even as recently as the Budget in May. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • ​​​​​​​Health system is ready for assisted-dying law
    The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. The law received 65.1 per cent support in a public referendum held alongside last year’s general ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Taking a lead in threat to curious kea
    Reducing lead poisoning of kea, the world’s only alpine parrot and one-time New Zealand bird of the year winner, is the goal of a two year project being backed by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says.  “Lead poisoning is a serious threat to this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government provides certainty to working holiday and seasonal visa holders and employers for summer
    The Government will extend Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas for six months to provide more certainty to employers and visa holders over the coming summer period, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. “This offers employers and visa holders the certainty they’ve been asking for going ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Lower card fees good for businesses, consumers
    The Bill to help lower the cost of the fees retailers get charged for offering contactless and debit payment options is another step closer to becoming law, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark said today. “COVID-19 has changed the way we spend our money, with online and contactless ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Mandatory vaccination for two workforces
    High-risk workers in the health and disability sector to be fully vaccinated by 1 December, 2021, and to receive their first dose by 30 October School and early learning staff and support people who have contact with children and students to be fully vaccinated by 1 January, 2022, and to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Fund allows more Pacific community led vaccinations
    The Government has made $1.1 million available through ‘The Prepare Pacific Community Vaccination Fund’ to directly support Pacific community-led initiatives towards increasing vaccinations, said Associate Minister of Health, Aupito William Sio. “The best way to protect our communities from COVID-19 is through vaccination. “We need to explore every avenue to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Small business at heart of economic recovery across APEC region
    The Minister for Small Business says support for small and medium enterprises will remain ongoing as the Asia-Pacific region moves through response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Stuart Nash today chaired a virtual summit from Wellington for the APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM). “APEC Ministers responsible ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Restrictions on abortion medication lifted for health practitioners
    Abortion services can now be provided in primary care, meaning people can access this care from someone like their trusted GP and in a familiar setting, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “By lifting some restrictions on the funded medications used for early medical abortions, more health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record day for Māori vaccinations
    More than 10,000 vaccinations were administered to Māori yesterday, the highest number in the vaccine campaign so far, Associate Minister of Health (Maori Health) Peeni Henare announced. There were 10,145 doses administered across the motu yesterday this is almost equivalent to the population of Hāwera. The doses are made up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Statement on Joint Cooperation in Agriculture between Ireland and New Zealand
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