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Gut Feeling and Common Sense

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 pm, October 6th, 2021 - 42 comments
Categories: covid-19, vaccines - Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The Government messaging around Covid-19 is becoming increasingly confusing, as this hilarious Twitter thread shows [HT to Newsroom]. Although I have a really strong aversion to authoritarian tendencies, I’m not a rule-breaker by nature. However, when understanding and following the rules around Covid-19 becomes as difficult and dense as fine print I switch off and rely on gut feeling and common sense to do the right and to avoid doing the wrong thing. Many people try to adhere to the fine print without even reading it and companies do know this and sometimes take advantage of it, or sometimes they take the piss.

The thing is that we usually get away with this level of wilful complacency and even justify it; we get on with life as we see fit. Consumer interest groups and advocates have argued for years to make things simpler in contracts, policies, and Terms of Service, for example. Indeed, make it as simple as possible, but no simpler [thanks Albert Einstein] AKA the KISS principle. Getting away with it means that the risk is perceived low and it is safe. It might be the other side of opportunism – “pretty legal” comes to mind and there’s no problem until or unless caught.

In the days when we faced imminent threats and death as soon as we stepped out of our cave, we relied on razor-sharp senses and lightning-fast reflexes for survival. These days, we rely on GPS and smart devices run by smart software algorithms and the greatest risks we face when we step out of our heat-pump-controlled houses are forgetting our device or a major outage of major social media platforms and go into instant withdrawal of fluffy kitten photos. These are some of the many ‘existential’ threats of our time.

I’ve just driven the car to the dairy to pick up a courier parcel with headsets as the wear & tear of my current equipment made them almost unusable – it is always those bloody wire connections, same with chargers. After more than 7 weeks, the car needed a run too to charge up the battery. It was no problem at all but it occurred to me that many younger Kiwis have never learned how to drive a manual car and wouldn’t be able to drive one. I lament the day that self-driving cars take over and we all lose the skill to drive ourselves.

Instead of living in caves we’re now living as hermits in bubbles. Even the most introverted among us needs to go out every so often to explore, discover, and experience the world, i.e. to live. And to take some risks. The more authorities are making decisions for us, tell us what to do, and treat us hapless citizens, the more hapless we’ll become; we’ll lose the skill to think on our feet, determine and even recognise risk, and make choices and decisions accordingly and appropriately – you’ll lose it if you don’t use it.

I’d hate NZ becoming a Nanny State populated by sheeple, but also respect the State has a duty to protect others from others or from themselves. In my ideal world, the State treats the people with respect and allows them enough freedom to make their own choices even if/when these are not necessarily optimal ones. But relying on the gut feeling and common sense of the prehistoric caveman inside us won’t suffice and serve us well in the complex modern world we live in and when facing a complex threat by an invisible enemy such as the Covid-19 pandemic. But neither does it mean that we should resort to social conditioning and engineering because we already have enough inequity in our society.

I believe that our Government is walking a very fine line between telling us what to do and making (all!) the decisions for us. In fact, I think they’re having it just right, for now. Patience (which is hard when there’s time pressure), respect, mutual trust, and clear & consistent information & education are the way to go. This Government will not let people die, but when people do die, from Covid-19, it is not the Government’s fault or failure. People make decisions that have consequences, for themselves and for others. However, we cannot influence and control everything in life, but we can better prepare ourselves and become more resilient.

They say that familiarity breeds contempt. They also say that convenience breeds laziness. It is convenient if Government tells us what to do but please let it be clear and make sense! Confusing toilet rules from the top don’t help to instil trust in Government. As always, people will rely on common sense to do what they think is right for them, even if this means using the indoor toilet when mixing outdoors with no more than 10 people and one other bubble, FFS! Sometimes, the gut feeling overrules common sense – when you have to go, you have to go.

Did we elect MPs to form a Government to tell us what to do or does Government do what we want it to do on our behalf, i.e. social contract versus social licence? There’s no easy answer to this and political ideology only leads to polarised unproductive tribal cultural wars and I am starting to have serious doubts that social media are conducive to constructive engagement and debate. I strongly lean towards making my own decisions to keep myself safe from Covid-19 because I believe that they will also keep others safe. Once that choice or decision is taken away from me, i.e. made for me by coercion or otherwise, I’ll rebel, disobey, and break rules, which gives me the much needed feeling of control and empowerment. That’s my gut feeling and common sense even though it might not serve me and/or others well.

42 comments on “Gut Feeling and Common Sense ”

  1. GreenBus 1

    Subtle differences. The opposite of "nanny state" could well be neo liberalism or "small state". Let the market decide, Gov't keep out of your lives. Hmmm, I think I'd like to try some more "nanny state". The last 4 decades of neo liberalism has been a disaster IMO.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    One of the unpleasant ironies is that the underclass and alienated and precarious–created by almost 40 years of monetarism–may be the group that assist COVID to rip through the country. The ones that would have benefited from a state house mega build and a capital gains tax with teeth. More nanny state please.

    Middle class with full pantrys, spare bedrooms, home office and maybe a Bach or a renter, can and largely do, obey the rules more easily than those overcrowded in shabby units. But those that have benefited from neo liberalism seem also to be the ones selfishly still expecting to travel the world at their convenience and take skiing hols!

    No easy answers for the Govt. all those top MPs and officials are under intense pressure, but all the PM needs to do is stick to her usual modus operandi–which I am not usually a fan of. Namely, be guided by focus groups and polls; and there is still a good two thirds majority, for now, that would support her if she called for the undermining campaign by NZ National, ACT, Business and media channels to stop forthwith and people to unite once again.

  3. Gezza 3

    Sometimes, the gut feeling overrules common sense – when you have to go, you have to go.

    Maybe only visit the homes of people who have lots of bushes? And bring your own composting toilet? 😳

    Seriously, the rules are getting very difficult to figure out & follow. Up on the wall of the hallway to my dining room I have the very first A3 poster we were all sent, entitled:

    Our Plan – the four Alert Levels

    I may as well take that down because – while it was an excellent resource & a bloody good idea at the start of elimination in the community – it's now too incomplete/inaccurate to be trustworthy.

  4. KJT 4

    In my profession safety doesn't depend on "gut feeling and common sense".

    It depends on getting it right, based on facts and science.

    The sea, like covid, doesn't care about your "feelings"!

    • Ad 4.1

      +100 and same

    • RedLogix 4.2

      Same here. On a daily basis I am working with SIL3 rated plant – I'm literally going to start some up within the next hour or so.

      Facts, science, procedures and methods all matter and take first precedence.

      But so does instinct – I've lost count of the times in my life when my subconcious has acted to prevent a serious incident of one sort or another.

      • Patricia Bremner 4.2.1

        Yes Red Logic. Perhaps we are processing at some other primitive level, and we are pulling all our sophisticated information together but still putting it through a survival mechanism developed through the ages?

      • KJT 4.2.2

        Yes.

        I've found that ignoring niggling instinct, is not a good idea.

        However it is nearly always something that I knew about, should have done, and overlooked or forgotten.

  5. Adrian 5

    To Tiger Mountain, the fact that the middle class have all those things may well be because they DO follow the rules. I only now have some of those things because my wife , who is considerably more sensible than I, insisted that I do follow some rules, otherwise as I joke I would still be euphemisticly speaking, living under a bridge.

  6. KJT 6

    Well, the media have obviously had their instructions.

    It is all to be "the gangs or those non compliant brown peoples fault"

    Not those who demanded the premature bubble with Oz, or white anted our response demanding "opening up, and let her rip".

    Or priviledged white people who use "essential worker” status to junket around Queenstown without masks, when their job is in Wellington, or headed off to their baches from Auckland. When they are not moaning about the interruption to their entitled lives.

    • Gezza 6.1

      “Well, the media have obviously had their instructions.

      It is all to be ‘the gangs or those non compliant brown peoples fault'”
      ……………………………

      What’s your evidence for that rather outrageous claim? 🤔

      • KJT 6.1.1

        Looks like you haven't been reading the media on this outbreak.

        Or Simeon Browns childish reckons.

        Not that I blame you if you haven't.

        • Gezza 6.1.1.1

          "Not those who demanded the premature bubble with Oz, or white anted our response demanding 'opening up, and let her rip'"

          ………………………….

          From what I've seen & heard there's been plenty of commentary on opening up to Oz being the source of our lockdown miseries. Ardern has to wear this. The govt caved in to pressure. – Gez

          "Or priviledged white people who use "essential worker” status to junket around Queenstown without masks, when their job is in Wellington, or headed off to their baches from Auckland. When they are not moaning about the interruption to their entitled lives."

          ………………………….

          Again, from what I've seen & heard there's also been plenty of commentary & complaints about "entitled" privileged white people breaching lockdown rules, misusing exemption letters etc.

          In fact every significant breach whether by white, brown, black or rainbow people has got critical coverage in media because of the risk they'll spread Covid.

          Simeon Brown is a minor MP in a fading Opposition party currently led by a loon. Personally, I don't think you've made your case.

          • KJT 6.1.1.1.1

            We can do a count of articles over the time period if you like.

            To confirm one way or the other.

            But three articles from one outlet just this morning.

            • Tiger Mountain 6.1.1.1.1.1

              “Freedom of the press belongs to them that owns one” as a very old saying went.

              The run of play during this entire COVID scenario since early 2020 in the privately owned media channels online, on air and what remains of print has been blatantly obvious. The narrative is “open up”, “jingle tills”, “free in and outflow of capital”.

              The overwhelming coverage has been of corporates, SMEs, small business, and self employed–and aggrieved, stranded International travellers and MIQ critics.

              Working class experience has been substantially ignored apart from the odd spot of demonisation and blame shifting.

              • KJT

                Even small business has been the moaning fringe.
                Who refuse to acknowledge that Covid getting loose would have killed their business faster than lockdowns.

                Many I know are thankful that we had a long period of trading between lockdowns, their customers haven't been too scared to spend, unlike many other countries, that there has been some Government help, and are doing OK.

                Working peoples views, as you say, are rarely considered.

    • Cricklewood 6.2

      End of the day Labour are a majority govt all the descions around alert levels, travel bubbles etc sit with them.

      No one else can actually do a damn thing outside of produce hot air. Its not like mass protests forced their hand.

      • KJT 6.2.1

        I've posted before about Labours propensity to start with solutions, and then let them lapse and fail to carry them through and push them, as they cave in to a vocal minority, and I think, Parliamentary MP’s, Wellington bubble, and press gallery, groupthink.

        I'm still hoping that isn't going to happen with Covid.

        Hence the question mark in my post yesterday.

  7. Robert Guyton 7

    "In the days when we faced imminent threats and death as soon as we stepped out of our cave, we relied on razor-sharp senses and lightning-fast reflexes for survival. "

    This old chestnut needs to be roasted good and proper: it wasn't caves, it wasn't especially dangerous; we had effective measures in place to keep ourselves safe. Rather than "razor-sharp senses and lightening-fast reflexes", we had hands that could throw rocks and eyes that could focus on the skulls of whatever creature dared to mess with us.

    Nowadays, there are far more threats to our wellbeing: very few early hominids had to resist attacks by scammers. Our modern brains are a soupy swirl of unknowingness, compared to those of our outdoorsy ancestors 🙂

    • Gezza 7.1

      I’d agree with that. To some extent. Early man utilised his brain to find food & water, build shelter, get provisions in, socially interact, protect the whanau & hapu from predators – of both the animal & human ape – kind. The same kind of day to day stuff that still occupies the other apes today.

      Nowadays, we are bedevilled with abstractions & distractions. And it sometimes plays hell on our mental health.

      • Descendant Of Smith 7.1.1

        They generally weren't that successful. Average life expectancy was much lower and the skeletal record shows the further back you go the more likely you were to die a violent death.

        They were just much more used to dying than we are.

        • Gezza 7.1.1.1

          Eh? The ‘skeletal record’ would be pretty patchy, & pretty minimal, I would think.

          Human apes managed to survive in sufficient numbers to spread pretty well all around the globe while still mostly living in what we would today term primitive conditions.

          And I have the impression that several folk in different places lived relatively long lives, reaching some quite good ages. Wear & tear on bones & teeth, & infections, accidental poisonings, probably took their toll, but not all societies ran the same way.

          Some seem likely to have been better at taking care of the sick & elderly than others. Depending on the dominant ethos.

          Warrior societies eg might have had more of a “only the strongest survive” attitude.

          • Descendant Of Smith 7.1.1.1.1

            The levels of violence in prehistoric times (archeological evidence) and in non-state societies (ethnographic evidence) was much higher than in modern state societies and in the world today.

            https://ourworldindata.org/ethnographic-and-archaeological-evidence-on-violent-deaths

            • Gezza 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Thank you. 👍🏼

              Wondered if you had the data.

              While that looks an impressive array of sources from many different places around the planet, my other comments still stand and are not disputed by this research.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                Been loosely following the research around this for a long time now.

                Pinker picked up on it in his book which is a good read.

                There is a terrible tendency to see the past as better when for a large many it wasn't. Legal rape within marriage until the 70's is a really good example as was forced/pressured adoption.

                Even things like the Knights Code of Chivalry wasn't a beautiful thing – it was a last ditch effort to stop those violent thugs roaming the countryside looting, killing and raping with impunity. They were the Mongrel Mob of their era.

                • Gezza

                  Nature of the beast, unfortunately, DOS.

                  Looked at dispassionately, the human ape is a large, rapacious animal that monopolises resources, is always unpredictable, is frequently dangerous to its own kind, and to all other creatures, & which, when groups get large enuf, destroys the ecology it moves into in order to create the environmental conditions that suit IT alone.

                  Every other life form on this planet would probably be better off without it.

  8. You can only meet one other bubble ALWAYS OUTSIDE and no more than 10 people at a time.

    Is that really so complicated?

  9. garibaldi 9

    Well done incognito. Great post and great responses (so far – it’s only 9.15 am).

  10. Ad 10

    OK Inco we need to talk about my Far North relatives.

    They believe in colloidal silver. They believe in tinctures of acids curing most things. They believe in self-treatment for most things. They believe in Jesus. They believe in the next deal but not in taxes, so their money comes in lumps. They spend lots of time in yachts or doing them up, doing contracts around the Pacific. They do a lot of fishing and some hunting. They know how to score if they need it.

    And there ain't no fuckin' way they are submitting to this bullshit.

    They hang with a network of marginals across multiple Pacific ports that have run afoul of various kinds of US agencies.

    For these kinds of people, Customs and MAF and NZNavy are going to have to keep a close eye on Opua, Taipa, Houhora, Herekino, Ahipara, some of the more obscure Bay of Islands inlets, and Rawene. Somewhere to slip in and moore in the evening, or slip out.

    • garibaldi 10.1

      If it's any consolation Ad ,I have a relative "way up North" of similar disposition but he is no Jesus freak, more of a self imposed hermit. Must be many of them spread around NZ wherever there are suitable climes.

      • gsays 10.1.1

        If they are living a hermit lifestyle, they are of neglible threat.

      • Ad 10.1.2

        Still a few ex-Commune types with huge collections of Jefferson Airplane and Mama Cass records who are pretty off-grid, running as part of road contracting or pest control gangs. The shift to an 87% urbanised country is still leaving pockets of people who tend not to travel more than 20k's most months and just load up at the 4 Square for basics every 6 weeks or so.

        They may not like the attention but it's coming to them.

    • Patricia Bremner 10.2

      This may apply to the off the grid house bus and motorhomers as well. A great deal of self medicating plus alternative cures goes with the living free belief. An aunty and uncle were like that.

      We discovered this in our 5 years of motorhome travels. We were considered semi committed because we still owned the safety blanket of a small 2 bed unit in Rotorua so were seen to belong to two communities.

    • Tiger Mountain 10.3

      I understand Ad, am based at Tokerau Beach, been in Far North for years. Working remotely in pre press and publishing since ’97. My partner managed a Census area one year, and tracking people on boats, remote properties and totally off grid was interesting.

      The funny thing is you can be who you want to be up North, but you are often more accountable in small communities than in the city not knowing your neighbours. You are not totally anonymous even if reclusive. So people will be tracked down regarding vaccination.

  11. gsays 11

    FWIW. I have just had a conversation with the man that drives the recycling truck at my work.

    There is absolutely no way he is going to get the jab. He has a VERY strong faith, total faith in the Lord. He is horrified his pastor has been vaccinated and, worse, facilitated innoculations in the church.

    This is in the Manawatu.

    • Gezza 11.1

      WTF goes on in the heads of these people?

      God made the bloody people who make the vaccines, FFS. Obviously all part of his plan.

      Or does this loon think God specifically made the virus to kill off everybody but the true believers, like him?

      Is he always looking up to the bloody skies, waiting for Jesus to appear, to the incredibly loud sound of angelic trumpets, in all his glory?

      • gsays 11.1.1

        I think, at the core of his belief, he is not afraid to die.

        Not in any nihilistic sense, more a fatalistic, part of a divine plan kind of vibe.

        I foolishly opined that Ardern is a compassionate leader. He snorted and observed a lack of compassion in signing abortion into law.

        It s it too much of a stretch to consider the virus is an inevitable consequence of our behaviour?

  12. Ad 12

    Has anyone heard of Ardern starting to be called the Tooth Fairy?

    Picked it up from my Rotary mates.

  13. Tricledrown 13

    Read huffpost comment antivaxxer protesting with a megaphone bullhorn they are called in the US.the antvaxxer walking down the road pointed out the vaccines are not needed as covid is not real look at all these homeless people they would be dead if covid existed.

    One of the homeless people yelled out were not dead because were vaccinated you dumb fuck.

  14. AB 14

    Once rules become more complex the easier it is to dream up scenarios that confound them. There are people who like doing this – mostly because they don't like the underlying purpose of the rule and want to make the rule-maker look silly.

    It's a pretty effective sabotage technique – we can all laugh at the 'clowns' who made a rule that didn't effectively anticipate the person coming round for a picnic in the garden under L3 (stage 1), but who is on medication that gives them unpredictable bowel habits. But if the rule was modified to take this scenario into account, most likely it would spawn far more confounding scenarios than it removed.

    This is incidentally also why we never beat tax evasion by making rules more and more specific, rather than less specific and focused on broad intent. The government might have avoided being an easy target , if it had made it clear that the stages of wind-down for L3 are guidelines, not 'rules'. And that therefore inevitably, judgments must be made by everyone in terms of what decision is the best fit with the broad intent of L3 under any given circumstances.

    But I don't really care that the Government has made this staged wind-down of L3 a seem bit clunky. I'm far more exercised by my loathing of people who see a well-intentioned rule, but whose first thought is to consider how to get away with breaking it, or to mock the rule-maker for not having the omniscience to close off every conceivable loophole.

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    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Mike Treen, Advocate, Unite Union “Please continue your incredible work compiling these news digests. As someone operating in the fields of advocacy for workers and the broader social justice areas it is invaluable to be able to check what is happening in the media relating to the issues I have to deal ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Overconfident Idiots: Why Incompetence Breeds Certainty
    This is a re-post from the Thinking is Power website maintained by Melanie Trecek-King where she regularly writes about many aspects of critical thinking in an effort to provide accessible and engaging critical thinking information to the general public. Please see this overview to find links to other reposts from Thinking is Power. ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Abandoning ambition
    When Labour was first elected to power in 2017, they promised us "[an] ambitious plan to take real action on climate change". Four years and a lot of foot-dragging later, they've finally released that plan. And its not what was promised. Where to begin? Firstly, they've taken the Climate Change ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Young adults worldwide have blunt message for governments: ‘We don’t trust you.’
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Elizabeth Marks describes herself as “a psychologist who works on difficult problems.” Her past research aimed at helping people cope with challenging health conditions, apt training, it appears, for taking on climate change issues. A few years ago, she altered ...
    5 days ago
  • Making ‘Second Age’ Hobbits Work: Amazon Series Speculation
    Time for a good old-fashioned fandom furore. The Tolkien fandom hasn’t had a proper one of those since the Great Nudity Scandal of October 2020… so it clearly must be time to pontificate from on-high about a television series we still know vanishingly little about. This time the subject ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 13 October 2021
    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
    5 days ago
  • The Data and Statistics Bill and the OIA
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Hit hard by the pandemic, researchers expect its impacts to linger for years
    Sora Park, University of Canberra; Jennie Scarvell, University of Canberra, and Linda Botterill, University of Canberra   The impacts of COVID-19 on Australian university researchers are likely to have consequences for research productivity and quality for many years to come. According to an online survey of academics at the University ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Looking Forward To 2022.
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    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: A submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2)
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    6 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 ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Real action requires government
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Not doing our bit
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Delta’s Week Of Doom.
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    7 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
    7 days ago
  • Children live online more than ever – we need better definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ scree...
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Yes, of course festival organisers will follow the law on vaccination
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    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, the Politician, and the gang member
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Rapid kits, responses, and openings: watch motivations, or catch something worse with Covid…
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Bollocks
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    1 week ago
  • World-leading?
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Why Is Labour So Frightened Of “Mr Stick”?
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    1 week ago
  • The Need for an Updated Strategic Approach to Covid-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Introducing Mr Stick.
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    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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Korea’s march to global cultural domination, plus a K-pop playlist
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    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Super Māori turnout for Super Saturday
    Māori have put a superb effort into mobilising to get vaccinated over Super Saturday, with thousands rolling up their sleeves to protect themselves, their whānau and communities from COVID-19, Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says. “It was absolutely outstanding that 21,702 Māori got vaccinated on this one day alone with 10,825 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Language assists Tagata Niue to thrive
    Despite the uncertain times we face with the challenges of COVID-19, our cultural knowledge, values and language remain constant, helping us progress towards goals in life, said  the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. This year, the Niuean community in New Zealand decided on the theme, “Kia tupuolaola e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • Statement on Joint Cooperation in Agriculture between Ireland and New Zealand
    8 October 2021 - Dublin, Ireland Agriculture plays an important role in the economic, social, environmental, and cultural wellbeing of Ireland and New Zealand. We are focused on increasing the productivity, inclusivity, and resilience of our respective primary sectors. As agri-food exporting nations, we also share a commitment to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Northland to move to Alert Level 3 tonight
    Northland will move to Alert Level 3 restrictions from 11:59pm tonight following recent information on the risk presented by the positive case initially tested in Whangarei earlier this week and confirmed in Auckland yesterday, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. The person is now in an Auckland Managed Isolation Quarantine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister's Christmas Card Competition
    It’s that time of year again! If you’d like to help design the Prime Minister’s official Christmas card, here’s how to take part: Draw, paint, sketch or craft an image you’d like to see on the front of this year’s Christmas card. It can be anything you want – a traditional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech : Pacific Public Sector Fono – Friday 8th October 2021
    Greetings and Acknowledgements and Warm Pacific Greetings to one and all. It’s a privilege to be able to join with you this afternoon and share some remarks on how important you are to our communities throughout Aotearoa, and across the Pacific region. COVID-19 has been described as a one in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific Public Sector Fono – Friday 8th October 2021
    Greetings and Acknowledgements and Warm Pacific Greetings to one and all. It’s a privilege to be able to join with you this afternoon and share some remarks on how important you are to our communities throughout Aotearoa, and across the Pacific region. COVID-19 has been described as a one in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ruapehu social housing pilot, providing value for generations to come
    Housing Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods today announced the development of six social housing units funded by the Government’s Covid response infrastructure fund, to help work toward resolving Ruapehu's lack of social housing. “The Crown’s investment of $2.1 million in this project will provide value to the community for generations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Children’s Commissioner Appointed
    Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni has announced  Judge Frances Eivers’ appointment as the new Children’s Commissioner. Judge Eivers, who is currently a District Court Judge in Manukau, will take up the role on 1 November 2021. She has been appointed for two years. The Children’s Commissioner is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for business available from today
    The third round of the Resurgence Support Payment opened for applications this morning. “The RSP helps businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. It provides cashflow to businesses and supports them to pay their bills while the country is at Alert Level 2 or above,” Grant Robertson said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Compelling case made for modernising local government
    Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the interim report on the Future for Local Government Review.  “Our system of local democracy and governance needs to evolve to be fit for the future. New Zealand is changing and growing, and there are some significant challenges presenting not only now with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge and Associate Judge of High Court appointed
    Christchurch Queen’s Counsel Jonathan Eaton has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, and Auckland Barrister and Solicitor Clive Taylor has been appointed an Associate Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Eaton graduated with an LLB from the University of Canterbury in 1986, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago