Happy families

Written By: - Date published: 6:11 pm, June 11th, 2008 - 48 comments
Categories: labour, Media, spin - Tags: ,

The New Zealand Herald’s latest anti-Labour beatup took an unfortunate twist this afternoon. Having spent the best part of a day making hay over Labour being caught, er, using stock photography in a flyer, the Herald was over the moon to discover the offending image had also been used by Kevin Rudd’s Australian Labor Party to promote its housing policy:

Labour’s Kiwi happy family photo, which this morning turned out to actually be American, can now be revealed to have already been used by the Australian government to portray fair dinkum Aussies.

Funny thing is, while the Herald has tried to turn the NZLP’s use of stock photography into a full-blown scandal with front page treatment, not a single Australian media outlet has considered the ALP doing exactly the same thing to be worthy of coverage.

Could it be that the New Zealand Herald is letting its pro-National bias get in the way of its editorial judgement?

48 comments on “Happy families ”

  1. TV1 just gave it a good nudge as well.

  2. Tane 2

    Bill, I didn’t argue that a story pushed hard by the country’s largest daily won’t get coverage elsewhere in the NZ media. Once something’s on the front page of the Herald it’s hard for other media to ignore it.

    I just find it interesting that the NZ Herald wets its pants over Labour using stock photography, while the Australian media couldn’t care less when the exact same thing happens over there.

  3. Labour is so bereft of ideas it has imported Labor ideas from Australia, not only that they couldn’t scare up even one happy NZ family to grace their state funded election ad.

    ha captcha the illusion (how does it know?)

  4. And so have 3.
    Yet again you fail to see the ickyness of ;
    1. Labour using public funds to pump themselves up
    2. Making a stupid pr mistake by using a non kiwi family.
    3. (And my favourite) The PM doing her usual arrogant “nothing to see here, don’t bother me with such trivial nonsense” schtick, accompanied with that little snort that we have all come to love.

    Not much of an issue really, just another episode in what has become a daily display of fumbling from somebody who used to be the tightest and most astute political manager in this country.

  5. Lew 5

    BB:

    1. Not the case, unless you think all government documents should have images chosen for them by the opposition.
    2. Not a stupid PR mistake, but common practice, though I would like to have seen an identifiably NZ image.
    3. This response is entirely legitimate, and the snort is more deserved than usual.

    As I commented on another thread: “I bet you’d be decrying the expense if, instead of using a $20 stock image, they paid a photographer and models several thousand dollars for an original. I think they should have. But I don’t think you think they should have.”

    Well, do you think they should have? Upon what basis would you justify spending thousands when $20 would do?

    L

  6. Principessa 6

    Get National to look the camera in the eye and tell us they’ve never ever ever used stock photography.

  7. Lew…it isn’t a government document it is a Labour Party election advertisement. It is in Labour colours, covered with Labour images/logos including the one purporting to be Helen Clark and it is authorised by Mike Smith the Labour Party General Secretary.

    There is actually no way that this can be seen as anything other than a Labour party advertisement paid for by the taxpayer.

  8. Lew, whilst I am able to muster up a smidgeon of sympathy for the fact that labour are as close to bankrupt as you can get. I am gobsmacked the single biggest issue to cause their avalanche like drop in popularity has taught them nothing.
    They are still spending public money on pimping themselves.
    They just seem completely unaware of how bad it looks to keep raiding the public purse.
    Healthy democracy needs a strong opposition, it will come as no surprise that I am not particularly fond of labour, but I do not want to see them so weakened that national can enjoy unbridled power post November

  9. Hello Cameron – I see you’ve finally worked up the guts to comment here again. Tell me mate, just while you’re here. Was it your dad that paid your creditors to get you out of strife?

  10. Lew 10

    BB, Whaleoil: Oh, right you are, a `Labour party Budget pamphlet’, says the Herald. But I note that neither of you have actually answered my question.

    L

  11. Disengaged 11

    Is there no stock photography of New Zealand families available? But yeah in this instance it does smack of a media beat up.

    So long as Labour are counting it against its election expenses then it is a non-issue really.

  12. gobsmacked 12

    TV3 actually pointed out that Labour were saving time and money. As they should.

    The Herald is campaigning to get Labour out. They are entitled to do it, and the rest of us are entitled to see their laughable stories for what they are: propaganda.

    So how could Labour have kept the Herald happy? Let’s see …

    Alternative headlines we might have had (but no doubt ready on file at the Herald):

    “We don’t vote Labour, say leaflet’s Kiwi family”

    OK, so gotta get some loyal Labour people in the photo. Oh, hang on:

    “So-called typical family are hand-picked Labour stooges”

    OK, that’s no good. So just an ordinary apolitical family then. What could possibly go wrong?

    “Man in photo doesn’t recycle: neighbours reveal all!”

    “Woman in photo pissed at party: we have the mobile phone pix!”

    “Labour’s cute child steals classmate’s lollies: Herald Exclusive!”

    And so on.

    Right, so we just need to find a perfect New Zealand family, who live life without fault, and so eliminate all possible risk. That will keep the Herald quiet. Phew.

    Unless …

    “Labour wastes time and money on search for flawless family! Bill English demands answers in House!”

    Or there’s Plan B: Get a life, focus on what matters, and ignore the f**king Herald? Yep, sounds good to me.

  13. I guess this is just Labour reaping more of what it has sown with the EFA.

  14. So long as Labour are counting it against its election expenses then it is a non-issue really.

    I guess that the fact they have authorised it means they will. Audrey is really losing the plot over this EFA stuff. It’s a shame really – she used to be a pretty credible journo…

    Oh and Lew? don’t even try to engage with the man-child and his strange little flunky. They tend to do drive-by trolling and then run away and hide.

    Edit: Bryan you are a retard.

  15. Adolf Fiinkensein 15

    A fuck up a day, keeps the voters away.

  16. Robinsod, no it was me. End of story…barking mad up the wrong tree again.

  17. MacDoctor 17

    Lew, Disengaged.

    Photo New Zealand (www.photonewzealand.co.nz) have plenty of New Zealand family stock photos. Whereas it would have cost a lot more (up to $1000), the photos are rights managed, which means you would not see the photo anywhere else (iStockPhoto is very cheap but anyone can buy the image – hence the same image appearing in Australia).

  18. deemac 18

    bugger, I booked my holiday on the strength of the photo of the hot couple in beach togs on the brochure – now you tell me they won’t be there when I arrive?
    perhaps Nats think voters are so dim they believe glossy photos in publicity material show “real” people??

  19. Rex Widerstrom 19

    Yes as MacDoctor says, no professional outfit would use istockphoto because the image could just as easily end up on your opponent’s advertising!

    Odd that no one here sees a comparison to National’s “Coldplay” fiasco.

    I believed them when they said their agency make a cock-up, and I believe in this case Labour’s agency has made a similar cock-up.

    However the difference is that this particular bunch of amateurs were paid for out of the public purse.

    If the Herald wanted a story, I’d suggest they ask why the government employs a bunch of rank amateurs to produce taxpayer-funded material. And while it’s National’s business who they hire, why they also couldn’t seem to find an agency that knew it’s job.

    Is NZ bereft of good advertising / PR people? Or are only certain agencies ever considered for the work. And if so, why?

  20. gobsmacked 20

    MacDoctor

    How could Labour find out if the NZ family in a stock photo was guaranteed non-controversial? Hire private investigators?

    Look at the Herald’s breathless tone (“can now be revealed”). This story was the LEAD on their website for a while today. It tied up at least two reporters (according to the by-lines). If that is where they choose to direct their resources, should political parties do likewise, just to stave off any potential jibes?

    It’s a joke. The only bigger joke is the people getting excited by it.

  21. gobsmacked 21

    Rex. The Coldplay tune was used deliberately, by request, without permission. The DVD was therefore withdrawn. In the case of the leaflet, there is no legal problem whatsoever. A very different case.

  22. oldhippy 22

    Colin Espiner gets it right:

    But as a politics watcher it intrigues me because it tells me that Labour is no longer looking after the basics. It’s politics 101 to double-check pictures and artwork and testimonials used in political advertising. All political parties have (or should have) fixers whose job it is to make sure that, if a family picture is used in adverts, they are A: New Zealanders B: supporters of the policy being advertised, and C: not convicted criminals or child molesterers.

    National tripped up with its DVD on John Key: Ambitious for New Zealand when it used music that sounded like Coldplay without permission. But this mistake is even more basic. It beggars belief that no-one in Clark’s office thought to ask where the photograph came from.

  23. mike 23

    “Could it be that the New Zealand Herald is letting its pro-National bias get in the way of its editorial judgement?”

    Tane, no it’s more likley they sense the mood of the nation and know they are on a winner as people are sick to death of Labour. Aussie’s were sick of Howard but not to the same extent.

  24. Robinsod, no it was me. End of story barking mad up the wrong tree again.

    Nobody is going to believe a fool like you could pay that kind of money back. I’m thinking it was Juana’s folks and they made sure you didn’t have any more say in her business affairs as part of the deal. I’m picking that’s why your resigned as a director in the property company… Of course I could be wrong. Why don’t you fill in the blanks.

    Oh and Rex? Johnny boy stole the coldplay song. At the time I don’t recall the herald putting two journos on it at carrying it on their website’s front page all day…

  25. Daveski 25

    I’m not up with the play … can’t be Buy NZ Made week/day any more can it?

    Colin E via Old hippy has got it spot on.

    You guys need to stop trying to defend the indefensible. It’s not a good look period. Sure, it’s not going to lose the election on its own but it’s symptematic of a Govt losing touch with the basics of government and politics.

  26. gobsmacked 26

    Daveski/Oldhippy

    Don’t be sheep. Tell us what should have been done differently, and how much time and money should have been spent. Don’t hide behind “not a good look”. That just means – “the Herald decides these things for me.”

    Seriously, what course of action would have guaranteed NO story? Full background checks on every person in every photo?

  27. “You guys need to stop trying to defend the indefensible.”

    Put down the crack pipe you reet, its a bloody photo FFS. No one gives a shit what the hell it is representive of in any national party lackys fantasy world.

  28. higherstandard 28

    I’m not usually given to expletives but honestly who really gives a f@@k as long as it’s declared in their election spend what’s the issue ?

  29. Perhaps not spending public money on promoting themselves?
    They seem incapable of understanding how inappropriate and down right risky it is after the fuss over the efa, we can only surmise that they have no money of their own to spend.
    Alternatively a brochure with a title like this;
    Taxpayers voting for labour is like chickens voting for colonel sanders.

  30. oldhippy 30

    gobsmacked, last time I looked Colin Espiner worked for the Press, not the Herald, and he’s commenting on an NZPA story. He answers your question, listing the basic steps any political party would normally take when using an image like this, down to checking for “child molesterers” [sic].

  31. gobsmacked 31

    So, oldhippy, you’re saying that Labour should have spent far more time and money on a photograph, including a full background check. Which still wouldn’t eliminate risk (see 7.19 above).

    How would that use of time and money provide better government for New Zealand?

  32. oldhippy 32

    gobsmacked, very little of the millions and millions of dollars that will be spent in this election campaign will have anything to do with providing a better government for New Zealand. It is modern politics, all about image and perception.

  33. Sceptic 33

    the issue here is simple. Last time Labour used tax payer money to fund a pledge card. This was ruled illegal. Labour passed legislation to get rid of the illegality.

    Helen Clark said last year that there would be no further pledge cards – I think many people probably took this a little wider and thought that Labour would not spend taxpayer money on advertisements that are so obviously about shoring up support for Labour (its red, its got their achievements all over it, Helen Clark’s picture, her signature like the pledge card, it has their logo on it).

    The american photo is a sideshow – a silly botch up by her office – the real issue is that once again Labour are using everyones money to put across messages that aren’t just about “here are some services that are useful to you” but instead are about “here are the services and aren’t we so great for giving these, so remember Helen Clark, remember the colour red and remember the Labour logo come election time).

  34. randal 34

    IS THE FAMILY HAPPY OR NOT?

  35. Is there actually a REAL happy family in New Zealand?
    Other than parasitic over paid meaningless public servants sucking the coffers dry !!!
    Millions of dollars wasted on Absolute Power, while the family deteriorates rapidly. How could it get so bad for the kiwi family?

  36. Daveski 36

    KITNO

    It’s quite simple really. Surely political instincts would be screwed up to maximum? Surely Labour strategists would have thought that EVERY advertisement by EVERY party will be micro-analysed? Surely someone would have said – hold on, better use a NZ photo?

    My comment about the indefensible was mainly directed at the EFA.

    Take it as a compliment. Labour has been smart, smooth, sophisticated and calculated. Nothing negative in that – I just happen to disagree with their policies.

    Right now, they look desperate and frankly amateurish. I’ll sit back and wait for the blind defense.

    It’s the media’s fault.

    John Key is buying the election.

    The Brethren are behind it all.

    Time to face reality.

  37. ‘Sod you can guess all you like, I don’t do lies. So shove your speculation up the proverbial.

    Just keep making sh*t up, it seems to suit you.

  38. ak 38

    Far be it from me to suggest how you might organise your forum, but might it not be time to consider a ban on certain commenters who contribute nothing but semi-literate abuse and grotesque manifestations of their own insecurites? (Contrast this thread with the discussion of Robinsod’s impressive analysis: quite frankly, I feel rather uncomfortable even appearing on the same page as a creature that would stoop to pasting our PM’s face onto pornography and whose every utterance is so drenched in banal and mordant loathing as to be almost a parody of unadulterated evil)

  39. Tane 39

    Yeah, fair point ak, I was about to say the same thing myself. Sod, Whale, moderate yourselves or I’ll have to do it myself.

  40. r0b 40

    Good to see The Herald really on the ball with this one. Meanwhile, in other news…

    In America a Senate committee report endorsed by Democrats and some Republicans concluded that Bush lied in making his case for war in Iraq (a war in which over a million Iraqis and over 4000 Americans have so far died). Evidence of massive war profiteering was uncovered, and US congressman has moved to impeach Bush.

    About 26,000 young people died, mainly from preventable causes.

    The Phoenix Lander on Mars began taking soil samples.

    Wars continued in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and other places.

    Israeli minister Shaul Mofaz threatened an attack on Iran’s nuclear program.

    A few other things happened too.

    In other news.

  41. Rex Widerstrom 41

    Robinsod suggests:

    Johnny boy stole the coldplay song.

    Do you really think John Key sat there going through his CD collection till he found a song he liked, then personally contacted a musician and asked him or her to rip it off?

    That’s about as believeable as Helen Clark browsing istockphoto and saying “I like that pic, let’s use that one”.

    Try taking off the blinkers, sod. In both cases it’s a SNAFU by contractors who should have known better than to let their respective clients end up with egg on visage.

    So I ask again… why are these people used? Doesn’t NZ have any better? (That’s a rhetorical question, really, because I know they do).

    At the time I don’t recall the herald putting two journos on it at carrying it on their website’s front page all day

    I’ll take your word for it, I don’t remember. I agree this story is an absolute beat-up, but I didn’t touch on that point originally. The Herald’s spending it’s own money. I want to know why the government hired unprofessional idiots when, for the same money, they could have had professionals.

  42. serone 42

    You need to do your homework, Rex. There are several threads on this blog, not to mention the rest of the net, that relate the Clocks rip-off in detail.

    John Key did indeed personally choose Clocks (“a song he liked”, as you put it) for his conference entrance music, and so it was used (legally). The DVD debacle arose from that.

  43. Doug 43

    The New Zealand Herald’s latest anti-Labour beatup took an unfortunate twist today.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/500814/index.cfm?c_id=500814

  44. leftrightout 44

    Did anyone see this comment on one Audreys article “If Federated Farmers is the National Party in gumboots, is the New Zealand Herald the National Party in print?”. Perfect.

  45. “Could it be…..?”

    Walks like a duck. Quacks like a duck. Looks like a duck.

    Sometimes you just have to go with the evidence.

    While favouring National for the election, the Herald doesn’t much like Gerry Brownlee, judging from yesterday’s editorial about the power supply.

    I suppose, with care, it is possible to distinguish between the two…though party hacks like Tony Ryall make sensational, evidence-free partisanship seem more like a party trait than a personal foible.

  46. NX 46

    not a single Australian media outlet has considered the ALP doing exactly the same thing to be worthy of coverage.

    ^Wrong.

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23854486-5007133,00.html?from=public_rss

    Kevin Rudd shows our PM how it’s done with a gracious, apologetic response.

    ^Any of you Standard folk who are still puzzled why the ungrateful NZ public want to boot Clark out just need to contrast her to Kevin Rudd.

  47. Tane 47

    At the time of writing that was true. But I see from your link that one outlet has finally caught up with an article today, most likely after seeing the Herald’s big splash.

    Question though, where is this article? I’m looking at news.com.au’s website and it doesn’t even seem to be on the front page. So was this news story worthy of such great attention from the NZ Herald? Apparently not.

  48. NX 48

    So was this news story worthy of such great attention from the NZ Herald?

    It was worthy enough for not only the Prime Minister of Australia to comment but to apologise.

    The best our PM could muster was ‘storm in a teacup’ patronising crap.

    Would it hurt Helen to show some humility once and a while.

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    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    7 days ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 week ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    1 week ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
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