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Guest Post: Herald like a blow-hard blogger on Tan

Written By: - Date published: 4:12 pm, August 29th, 2008 - 32 comments
Categories: act, Media - Tags:

After a fair summary of the facts as they stand, the Herald enters the realm of the right-wing blogger, always ready to paint its opponent with the worst possible spin, and then build on that as if on fact:

‘That version of events avoids, as it must, any hint of the suspension being politically motivated. It falls a long way short of traversing this whole episode, however. It is reasonable to ask how the EPMU would have responded to a staff member who had agreed to stand for the Labour Party but had not told the union of his candidacy. Certainly, there would be no talk of suspension. Any breach of the collective agreement would be quickly and conveniently overlooked.’

It is a reasonable question to ask, and the Herald may indeed be correct in its suspicion that things might have been different had a Labour supporter breached the collective employment agreement in this way.

But it cannot say, ‘Certainly, there would be no talk of suspension.’ (Emphasis added.) Especially if, as the EPMU alleges, Tan was reminded of this contractual obligation, the EPMU would be foolish to ignore it, regardless of the political affinity of the offender. Sets a precedent, you see.

Classic stuff. Make some unfounded assumptions for which you have no proof, and then you’re away. Later, more unfounded assertions:

‘Mr Tan’s case suggests, in fact, that any fostering of candidacy is extremely selective. Indeed, the contractual condition requiring permission to stand in elections could be seen as enabling a scrutiny of candidate suitability as much as it allows the union to juggle workloads while a person is campaigning.’

Actually, it does not ‘in fact’ suggest anything of the sort. The Herald seems to have missed the original report that states, ‘Earlier this year an employee’s request to stand for the Labour Party in local government was turned down.’ That’s what is widely regarded as a ‘fact’, Mr/Ms Herald editorial writer, not your easy assumption made for the purpose of a cheap slur.

Jafapete

32 comments on “Guest Post: Herald like a blow-hard blogger on Tan”

  1. monkey-boy 1

    “Classic stuff. Make some unfounded assumptions for which you have no proof, and then you’re away.”

    Guest – you must be quite new around here..

  2. Julie 2

    I’m starting to come to the conclusion that the Herald is in fact at war with the EPMU. The big story was whether Clark should/would stand Peters down, and potentially face an early election if he threw his toys, but they devoted their editorial to the Tan thing.

    And they said in a headline earlier in the week that he was sacked when in fact he has not been, and had to publish a correction the next day (small and in the briefs of course, I rather think that isn’t suitable antidote for the bane).

    Plus there’s the fact that that Herald surrounded the EPMU’s advert (for their work rights rallies) on the politics page earlier this week with negative stories about the EPMU (Tan above, EFA to the right) then failed to mention the 6000 worker rally at Manukau that the EPMU organised on Wednesday.

    I’d be feeling a bit uncomfortable working for the Herald at the moment, if I was an EPMU member, does anyone know if their journos are by chance in bargaining?

  3. Macro 3

    I wonder what would be the Herald’s stance if Mr Tan had been working for them, and they had found out, after the fact, that he was standing for Parliament? Would they be happy to continue to employ him on full pay whilst he was campaigning? I think not.

  4. 2_dead_dogs 4

    Face facts.

    There is NO WAY Tan would have been fired from the union if he were standing for the greens or labour. No way hozay and YOU ALL KNOW IT.

    He was fired for his political persuasions which, as you know is illegal in New Zealand.

    So SUCK IT.

    And if you want to get all sad about how I’m telling you to suck it, it doesn’t matter because I’m still RIGHT.

  5. Anita 5

    2_dead_dogs,

    He has not been fired.

  6. the sprout 6

    I figure there are 3 possibilities for explaining Tan.

    1. He’s a mole.
    2. He had a Road to Damascus experience such that one he decided he wanted fight not for the rights of workers, but for employers.
    3. He’s ideologically agnostic and just decided to take whichever path might best fulfill his personal ambitions.

    I wonder which one of these possibilities would endear him to any employer?

  7. ghostwhowalks 7

    Do these guys ( almost never women writing editorials) at the Herald ever understand any thing about the rights they talk about.

    This part is strange:

    “Not least of these is the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of political belief.”

    The collective employment contract doesn’t say anything about standing for National or ACT and so on , it says any political office.

    And as has been pointed out , previously an EPMU employee was refused permission to stand for LABOUR!!.
    SO the EPMU applies its employee restrictions equally, so is there fore non discriminatory

  8. ghostwhowalks 8

    I see they have ‘corrected ‘ the original headline of the story about Tan being suspended.
    At first it said “ACT candidate sacked…” even though the first paragraph made clear he was suspended.

    Due to the wonders outsourcing of sub editing this can be fixed later on.
    Also noticed in some stories the use of the aussie term ‘dockers’ for what is known in NZ as ‘watersiders’
    eg this story about the Napier earthquake

    Anchored in the roadstead nearby, [the freighter Taranaki] vibrated as if in a gale, her derricks and rigging sounding like harp-strings. A few on board thought she had blown up, then someone cried, “Look at the shore!” Horrified seamen and dockers saw “the town of Napier crumbling before their eyes amid a fog of dust”.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10365989

  9. Matthew Pilott 9

    2_dead_dogs, if you want to come online and make bold assertions, it helps to be factually correct.

    You also look slightly dim making such assertions given someone wasn’t allowed to run for Labour in local government earlier.

    So, ah “suck” it, what ever “it” may be. Tool.

  10. 2_dead_dogs 10

    Oh god! He was suspended and not fired! Big deal.

    The facts are that he was suspended/fired/what have you because he stood for a political party that the union didn’t like.

    The fact they denied someone standing for labour local body is almost irrelevant. Who knows that the story is? Could it be because that person might be a screw-up and an asset to the opposition?

    It pales into insignificance, given that the EPMU already have a candidate standing for Labour in the general election- Don Pryde. If you want to call on precidents, I think that is much more relevant.

    Andrew Little has admitted that Tan’s choice of political party had something to do with the suspension.

  11. Matthew Pilott 11

    D’ya reckon Don asked first or just pissed off?

  12. Felix 12

    So you don’t see any distinction between being suspended and fired?

    How can you be so passionate about an issue you clearly have no grasp of?

    Try reading your own words out loud, slowly. Then go and have a lie down and be thankful no-one knows who you are.

  13. 2_dead_dogs 13

    I am passionate about it for many reasons. The thing is that while there is a difference between suspended and sacked, that difference isn’t as great as that between suspended and not suspended.

    The fact is that his standing for ACT led to a negative employment outcome which should never have occured.

    You can argue the semantics all you like but it’s just a diversion from the fact he was basically suspended because of his political beliefs.

  14. Matthew Pilott 14

    If you were passionate about it I imagine you would have learnt that he was stood down for not properly disclosing to his employer that he was running for a public position, and was thus in breach of contract. Are you passionate about contract violations too?

    There’s actually a greater difference between suspended and sacked, than there is between suspended and not suspended.

    The difference between the first is that you are no longer employed, and not paid. With the latter you are employed and paid, but not doing work. You may call it semantics, but having a job and being paid mean a fair bit to most people.

  15. randal 15

    I dont give a stuff about any contract. tan is a scab and thats that.

  16. 2_dead_dogs 16

    Is he getting paid while suspended? If not there is very little difference between being suspended and being sacked.

    The union didn’t have to suspend him for running for a public position.

    Andrew Little admitted Tan’s choice of party had something to do with the decision to suspend him.

    How can you continue to defend this?

  17. 2 dead dogs: “Oh god! He was suspended and not fired! Big deal.”

    Actually 2dd, it is a big deal. It’s, like, a really important fact, and your inablility to (1) grasp the difference, or (2) grasp the significance of the difference undermines your credibility.

    2dd: “The facts are that he was suspended/fired/what have you because he stood for a political party that the union didn’t like.”

    Sorry, that is not true. He breached his employment contract.

    2dd: “The fact they denied someone standing for labour local body is almost irrelevant. Who knows that the story is? Could it be because that person might be a screw-up and an asset to the opposition?”

    Wrong again. This does show that members of other parties have been refused permission to stand whilst employed by the EPMU. That’s the fact here, not you ridiculous supposition.

    2dd: “It pales into insignificance, given that the EPMU already have a candidate standing for Labour in the general election- Don Pryde. If you want to call on precidents, I think that is much more relevant.”

    Wrong again. Pryde is not an ordinary employee of the EPMU, unlike Tan. Can you prove that he is employed on the same collective employment agreement as Tan? That his circumstances are the same (he would be employed part-time for a start, unless things have changed in recent years)? Unless you can, Pryde is not a “precedent”. (Note spelling.)

    2dd: “Andrew Little has admitted that Tan’s choice of political party had something to do with the suspension.”

    Possibly. I’m still waiting to see a transcription of the interview so that I can interpret what he said in context.

    So there you are 2dd. Wrong on every point except the last, and possibly wrong about that one too.

    But then I get the impression that you’re not concerned about facts or logic in the least.

    PS In answer to your question at 5.31pm, yes he is still paid. Since you have to ask such a basic question, it seems remarkable that you hold forth with such authority about matters about which you know next to nothing.

    Oh, and the EPMU did not suspend him for running for a public position. He breached his CEA. How many times do we have to explain this fact to you before you understand?

  18. 2_dead_dogs 18

    Suspended because he stood for ACT. That is all the public are going to hear.

    The public do not care for the semantics you use to dilute the debate on here. The public do not read the standard in any great numbers.

    Tan suspended from the EPMU after standing for ACT is all they hear.

    So good luck with that.

    lol

  19. Anita 19

    2dd,

    So the public is hearing something which is quite untrue. Why is that?

  20. Swampy 20

    The Herald represents the half of the general populace who want Labour and all sympathisers out of government at the election.

  21. Felix 21

    2dd:
    “Suspended because he stood for ACT. That is all the public are going to hear.”

    No, that’s all you hear. Even after having the facts patiently explained to you in children’s terms.

    Swampy:

    “The Herald represents the half of the general populace who want Labour and all sympathisers out of government at the election.”

    What incredible editorial systems they must have in place to represent so many people. Quite astounding. You could probably write for them, you know, with your incredible skills of analysis…

  22. 2dd: “Suspended because he stood for ACT. That is all the public are going to hear. The public do not care for the semantics you use to dilute the debate on here. The public do not read the standard in any great numbers.”

    Yep, 2dd, condemned out of your own mouth. You don’t care about facts, just smears and lies; and as long as the effect is in your favour, that’s okay.

    Well, the Standardistas and I do care about the truth. If you want lies and innuendo, there are plenty of right-wing blogs catering to your tastes. Oh, and the Herald it would seem.

  23. lprent 23

    Felix: From what I understand (hearsay) the circulation of the herald is about 150-160k per day, and about 50k of those are outside auckland.

    Even if you assume very high numbers reading the same paper, that means that not many people read the herald. Probably not a particularly high proportion of Auckland’s population.

    It’d be interesting to find the numbers of people who read the heralds online site.

    We’re not that big a readership, but the number of people reading the site per week is getting significant. The herald has been running about 100 years plus and has a significant staff even in the web section. We’ve been running a year and doing it on a voluntary basis.

  24. 2_dead_dogs 24

    Holy mercy lprent, the arrogance of it, comparing yourself to the herald!

    How many people watch the television news? How many people listen to the presenters reading out the headlines from the various papers? Saying things such as ‘EPMU sacks Tan’?

    I wonder where ‘The Standard’ is going to be in another 12 months given that it seems to be some sort of reaction to National’s popularity?

    Anita:

    The public is not hearing something that is untrue. As you guys have pointed out, the facts of the matter have been laid bare. That is that he was suspended because he didn’t advise the heirachy of his intentions.

    I’m sorry but the public are simply not going to buy that.

    Particularly when you have Andrew Little saying that his choice of political party had something to do with it:

    “Mr Little said most requests were dealt with on the basis of workload, but in the case of someone standing for ACT, which held positions counter to the union’s core beliefs, the choice of party could be an additional factor.

    That was because the union needed to decide whether it was going to give Mr Tan time off from his job to campaign for ideas it disagreed with.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10528449

  25. lprent 25

    2dd: Not arrogance – just looking forward. I’m just looking at history of the political blogs and other political media channels in the US and other wired countries.

    The opinion blogs have been steadily rising in importance consistently for quite a long time now. So have the internet news services.

    The mainstream media channels have been decreasing in circulation and viewership bot individually and as a group. The latter is partially because of other access to information from channels like the blogs, and the former because of the fragmentation of more channels.

    The blogs have a tendency to point out all of the factors in political spheres in microscopic detail. This is the same process as occurs (and has done for decades) in looking at standards in my computer sphere for the same reasons. Rather than depending on a few commentators in the MSM, literally thousands of people poke over everything and get the interesting details highlighted.

    The same effects have been happening here. In this case for instance. This post pointed out that the EPMU :-
    “Earlier this year an employee’s request to stand for the Labour Party in local government was turned down.’

    That makes the primary thesis of the Herald editorial a complete waste of printers ink. It is interesting that you didn’t add that to your summary. It means that this is a practice that the EPMU does for all political affliations.

    BTW: It also tells me that you didn’t read the post as that was its main point. Why don’t you read the post before commenting – it makes you look foolish to completely miss the point.

  26. 2_dead_dogs 26

    No I read it and commented on it. If you had actually read my 4.17pm post where i said

    “The fact they denied someone standing for labour local body is almost irrelevant. Who knows that the story is? Could it be because that person might be a screw-up and an asset to the opposition?”

    You would have understood what I meant.

    It has no impact on the ‘primary thesis’ of the Herald editorial at all. The union could have turned that person down for any one of a number of reasons.

    For example: What if the person was an idiot? I doubt the union would want an idiot standing, they would be more of a liability than an asset.

  27. 2_dead_dogs 27

    I read left and right blogs. I think both you guys puff yourselves up too much.

    Back in 04 when the blog thing was kicking off here, my family asked me ‘what do you think about blogs?’ my response was ‘they are too partesian, too extreme in their points of view. don’t pay attention because you are sure to be misled.’

    i went on to talk about how, while one mainstream media outlet may be seen to have a bias from time to time, generally speaking they are pretty much neutral, that is their ‘creed’ and without that grounding, they would be cutting off a lot of their readership which is essential because they cost so much to produce.

    the fallacy of citizen journalism:

    You may say that blogs are gaining importance. i would contest that. i would say that, without blogs, that information would reach the public in any case. the only difference is the channel through which it passed. blog writers who like to pump themselves have to admit that, in the absence of blogs, they would have simply passed their ‘insider knowledge’ to friendly news organisations. one is tempted to think of blog writers as some sort of intelligence ticket-clippers.

    and who wouldn’t? if i had some tasty tid-bit on labour or national, like hell id allow someone like audry whats-her-name or chris trotter take the credit! i wanna have my blogosphere day in the sun. thing is, if the information is worth anything, it gets picked up pretty quick and published uncredited in the MSM which makes the whole blog thing pretty pathetic.

    lprent, you should be comparing yourself to talkback radio. most of the content on this website, and others, is generated by uninformed, opinionated individuals. that is where the attraction to this form of media lies. there may be small victories in breaking a storm in a teacup but that’s about as far as it goes.

    blogs positions are valid but

    can you imagine a dominion post or herald that is 90% filled with the uninformed opinions of people like me and you?

  28. 2dd, Where to begin? Maybe it would be best if you went off and read Flat Earth News by Nick Davies. Here’s a taste: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/feb/04/comment.pressandpublishing

    Then come back and we can have a serious discussion.

  29. Hans_Blixx 29

    2dd: “uninformed opinions of people like me”

    ’nuff said.

    Go. Away. Ignoramus.

  30. bill brown 30

    “Back in 04 when the blog thing was kicking off here, my family asked me ‘what do you think about blogs?’ my response was ‘they are too partesian, too extreme in their points of view. don’t pay attention because you are sure to be misled.'”

    Did you stand at a podium, shake your fist in the air and intone in a very loud voice? – just trying to get the picture right in my head.

    “can you imagine a dominion post or herald that is 90% filled with the uninformed opinions of people like me and you?”

    Don’t have to imagine it – I get it delivered every day.

  31. the sprout 31

    “[blogs] are too partesian [sp], too extreme in their points of view. don’t pay attention because you are sure to be misled.”

    “can you imagine a dominion post or herald that is 90% filled with uninformed opinions?”

    LMAO! 🙂 very funny 2dd.

  32. Julie 32

    2dd I’m going to try, although I suspect I’m going to fail, to further explain just one little point about suspension – in this case it is a suspension that is not a disciplinary action, but in fact is a suspension whilst an investigation and a process are underway. This is not unusual in situations where there is an allegation of serious misconduct against an employee. My observation, from several years of working as a union organiser (not for the EPMU or with Tan, although I do know him and several people who work at the EPMU), is that suspension on pay can sometimes provide the vital cooling off period that allows both parties to come to a reasonably amicable resolution, and can even improve the worker’s chance of retaining their job, depending on the circumstances.

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    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    7 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    7 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs 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 unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago

  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago