Have we just thrown the fight, before the war has ended?

Written By: - Date published: 8:59 am, October 6th, 2021 - 53 comments
Categories: business, Dirty Politics, economy, Economy, employment, equality, infrastructure, labour, poverty, tourism, trade - Tags:

The Government on the whole has until now, done an excellent job of dealing with covid. The results in both fighting covid and economically, speak for themselves. Especially compared with the clusterfucks in most Western countries.

I’ve had a bit of experience in planning, training and leading people in emergency situations.  I know the difficulties involved in getting it right. To “get it right” with a whole country is even more difficult. Even highly trained teams have slipups when it becomes all too real. With covid there have been the inevitable slipups and oopsies inherent in a response to a one off emergency involving so many people. Of course there are also unanticipated twists and the need to replan, as things change and more information comes to light. But the communication, planning and execution has been good overall.

Throughout however, there has been a sector who do not want us to succeed.   Our success would  show too graphically the inadequacies of “small Government”, will show up right Wing Governments, and our own right Wing parties with their run down services and moral bankruptsy, or they simply want us to fail, to get their favourite political party back in control. The  bad faith ranging from “spin” to outright lies, has been relentless.

“With all the unfortunate rhetoric around giving up on the elimination strategy”.

Small businesspeople around me, who have quietly carried on with the program, and have been supportive of the Government strategy of elimination, even though in many cases it has been personally costly, are telling me,, “why did we bother”

It doesn’t matter if it is the actual Government intention, or the media interpretation, the damage has now been done.

Have the “death cultists” won?

The health compromised, children and the elderly will pay the price. Which the “death cultists” will consider necessary “collateral damage” so they can return to “making money” secure in the perception, that it will be The “Others”. « The Standard who will suffer and die.

One thing is for sure though. Like the Australian bubble, the “journalists”, politicians, ex politicians, mega church leaders and inadequate businessmen and many more, who have white anted the country, will not be held responsible.

But they should be!

53 comments on “Have we just thrown the fight, before the war has ended? ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    “Open up and let it rip”–though obviously expressed in different words–has been a relentless campaign in the media channels, which broke cover perhaps when sirkey was wheeled out.

    The sheer ratio of whingers to those quietly getting on with lockdown and vaccination, showed the establishment campaign is a reality. Elements included privatising MIQ, ending restrictions on foreign students and migrant workers, opening up free in and outflow of capital, and generally business as usual. The bad news for this lot is some people will not resume eating out, shows, sports or cinema for a long time yet.

    In the end the NZ petit bourgeois sector with their well stocked pantrys, will get what they think they want, but at what cost? Owner operators, SMEs and corporates who espouse the superiority of the market were quick to put their hands out for State assistance. The Govt. bent over to appease them with wage subsidies and even a second tier unemployment benefit!

    A lot of people are going to pay for this bullying of the Govt.–including those with non COVID healthcare and social needs.

    copied this comment from “Open mike”

  2. bwaghorn 2

    It was worth it to get to the point were most are vaccinated, lock downs were only going to get buy in for so long. (Fuck I couldnt have coped locked in a city, i bow to those that have. )

    If we get through this with out overwhelming hospitals and mosques, which I think we will , this government has done its job.

    Covid appears to be here to stay , living with it is the next lesson.

    • alwyn 2.1

      "overwhelming hospitals and mosques"

      For the life of me I cannot see why we should worry about overwhelming "mosques". What is special about them such that you put them in with hospitals?

      Is mosques a typo and did you instead mean mortuaries or morgues or suchlike?

      • bwaghorn 2.1.1

        Morgues that is , cant blame that in spell check, must be messy brain syndrome!!

        • alwyn 2.1.1.1

          Thank you. I know just what that type of slip means. I always blame it on the spell checker though.

          Now it makes sense.

  3. GreenBus 3

    I feel the Govt has done a brilliant job on guiding the huge majority safely thru Covid19 so far, Lockdowns included. The media has given too much oxygen to all the whingers in Auckland and Queenstown, the anti-vaxxers, Covid deniers and certain churches. National and Act are morally bankrupt with their constant bleating about loss of freedom and business hardships, makes you think they WANT kiwi's to get Covid. They would do ANYTHING to get back in power. The combined pressure of all this whinging and bleating has now had the desired effect they wanted, retreat. Retreat from a winning formula, BULLIED by all the right wing fuckwits into "living with Covid". Well, thanks very much you selfish a'holes, this is going to turn to custard, and we will be one of the worst responses to Covid.

    • Bearded Git 3.1

      I don't think the NZ government has given up on elimination yet, though it might take another month or so.

      Yesterday there were 2406 cases in Oz-just about all Victoria and NSW, combined population 15.1 million. The pro-rata equivalent number of cases in NZ would be 813; we had 24.

    • Jenny how to get there 3.2

      GreenBus

      6 October 2021 at 9:27 am

      I feel the Govt has done a brilliant job on guiding the huge majority safely thru Covid19 so far, Lockdowns included…..

      [Hear, hear! J.]

      …..The combined pressure of all this whinging and bleating has now had the desired effect they wanted, retreat.

      [my highlighting. J.]

      All politics is pressure.

      Unfortunately the pressure on the government became too much this time for the governmnt to resist.

      GreenBus

      6 October 2021 at 9:27 am

      …..BULLIED by all the right wing fuckwits into "living with Covid". Well, thanks very much you selfish a'holes, this is going to turn to custard, and we will be one of the worst responses to Covid.

      The big question;

      If this does 'turn to custard'. If there is an exponential uncontrolled rise in infections, resulting in suffering and deaths.

      Will the government be able to resist this Right wing pressure and reapply a Level 4 Lockdown to control it?

    • Patricia Bremner 3.3

      Green Bus, it is called strategic positioning. Giving up some relatively innocuous but valued territory. Taking pressure off other points and creating a different focus. Giving a small thing to gain the larger objective.

      While Auckland is taking their rides walks and picnics they will be contemplating what Bloomfield quietly said, "A further 4 to 8 weeks at level 3. Vaccinations to continue, along with testing and tracing.

      That is not giving up, that is rewarding general compliance and good vaccination rates.

      Jacinda and Labour have great political capital. but people need to believe things will improve.. it is called HOPE No small matter.

      • Christopher Randal 3.3.1

        Strategic positioning. Also known as "lost the plot" or "I give up"

        • Patricia Bremner 3.3.1.1

          No no Christopher, John Key did this strategy as well.

          When Maori started agitating, he smiled his crocodile smile and let them fly their flag on the Harbour Bridge.

          Then, to slow things further, he got them to do the rounds of their people to choose a representative for each of the main iwi. He knew it would take time. His conversations and announcements were through them from then on bypassing many. It grew pretty fractious by 2016.

      • GreenBus 3.3.2

        That was a very positive response Patricia. I take your point about rewarding compliance in a difficult lockdown. Well done to the majority of us and especially folks in the big smoke.

    • miravox 3.4

      ^This, although I don't believe we'll have one of the worst responses, we're a long way off that.

      I know that eventually we must live with Covid in one form or another, but right now is too soon.

      • Patricia Bremner 3.4.1

        It appears the virus is in 3 more places. Let us hope there is no huge problems from the protest in the Domain. Next 3 days will tell us.

  4. Jenny how to get there 4

    ….One thing is for sure though. Like the Australian bubble, the “journalists”, politicians, ex politicians, mega church leaders and inadequate businessmen and many more, who have white anted the country, will not be held responsible.

    But they should be!

    KJT

    Indeed they should.

    The Anatomy of a Surrender, Why we abandoned Elimination.

    "There is no such thing as bad soldiers, only bad generals" Napoleon

    There has been a lot of scapegoating of gangs, of rule breakers, of rough sleepers, for the failure of the Level 3 lockdown.

    What all those doing this scapegoating can't explain, is why despite the activities of the rule breakers, rough sleepers and gangs, the Level 4 Lockdown was crushing the virus.
    Under the Level 4 Lockdown the numbers first "plateaued" and then steadily dropped and then started "tailing off". Experts said they did not know how long the tail was, but we were heading in the right direction.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/30/new-zealand-covid-outbreak-at-critical-juncture-as-cases-appear-to-plateau

    …..Ardern said it was now known the Delta variant had been in the community for 7-10 days prior to the first case, and that level 4 “was the right move and has worked”.

    https://www.guardianonline.co.nz/news/auckland-going-to-level-3-changes-for-the-rest/

    The level 4 lockdown was not called off because it wasn't working.

    This is irrefutable.

    The level 4 lockdown was called off before being allowed to finish the job.

    This also is irrefutable.

    We could have reached zero cases under level 4 but we chose not to. The economic cost of maintaining the Level 4 lockdown was deemed to be too high.

    Nothing to do with gangs, or rough sleepers.

    In the arm wrestle between; Private Profit vs. Public Health, private profit wins every time.*

    *(the very same reason we will do nothing about climate change).

    Auckland lockdown extended as New Zealand Covid cases drop to 53

    This article is more than 1 month old

    Experts say this week is ‘crunch’ time as country waits to see whether numbers will continue to fall

    Eva Corlett in Wellington

    Mon 30 Aug 2021

    Auckland will remain in full lockdown for another two weeks despite a drop in community cases of Covid-19…..

    In order for Auckland to move down a level, the country must be confident Delta is not circulating undetected in the community, she [Ardern] said.

    Modelling suggests that if New Zealand had not immediately moved into a level 4 lockdown after one case, the daily number of cases at this point would be roughly 550 people a day, Ardern said.

    …Covid-19 modeller Michael Plank said the large drop in cases does not necessarily mean the outbreak hit its peak on Sunday, because testing and processing slows down over the weekend.

    But he said given the trends of the cases over the weekend, it was likely an indication the outbreak is plateauing and the numbers were consistent with modelling projections.

    Plank said there was still a big question as to how long the tail of the outbreak would be.

    “If the lockdown does prove to be really effective at stopping transmission between bubbles, it’s possible we could see case numbers down to about 10 a day within the sort of latter part of September, and you know, if we can get down to that level, we’ll be in a really good position to eliminate the outbreak.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/30/new-zealand-covid-outbreak-at-critical-juncture-as-cases-appear-to-plateau

    The Prime Minister had said, "to move down a level, the country must be confident Delta is not circulating undetected in the community"

    Prime Minister goes back on her word;

    On Sept. 21, 2021, there were 4 known traceable covid infections, in the community, That day, there was also 2 symtomatic cases, with no known links or identified chain of transmission, indicating that undetected cases were still circulating in the community.

    https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-data-and-statistics/covid-19-current-cases#case-details

    2 cases of unknown transmission. We were so near to elimination. But not there.

    Despite there being hard evidence that undetected Delta infections, 'were' circulating in the community, the Prime MInister announced, contrary to her earlier words, not to move down a level, unless the country was confident Delta was not circulating in the community. That Auckland would move down a level, to Level 3.

    Auckland going to Level 3; changes for the rest

    SEPTEMBER 20, 2021

    Covid-19 modeller Professor Michael Plank told the Herald it was a “calculated risk” moving Auckland to alert level three, warning there was a very real chance of returning to level four within a matter of weeks.

    https://www.guardianonline.co.nz/news/auckland-going-to-level-3-changes-for-the-rest/

    Jack Tame's opinion: Govt's Covid-19 strategy a roadmap with no signs
    Moving Auckland to Alert Level 3 was not consistent with elimination. It was a gamble that risked the gains from a month at Level 4. The Government continued to speak optimistically about stamping out the virus, even as public health experts and modellers publicly demurred.

  5. Treetop 5

    When I look at all the levels used in a lockdown, then add a percentage of fully vaccinated people an estimated death rate is known.

    Reducing Covid fatalities in real time is the priority. I was doubtful that the Delta strain would be eliminated due to the R value and the economic and mental heath cost. Vaccination is a game changer providing a new variant responds to the Pfizer vaccine. Down the track waning antibodies will need to be reviewed.

    I personally feel that the country is about to experience the hardest phase of the Covid pandemic. I would like to be proven wrong.

    • Jenny how to get there 5.1

      Treetop

      6 October 2021 at 11:09 am

      ,,,,,I would like to be proven wrong.

      Me too.

    • Gypsy 5.2

      Regrettably, I think you will be proven right. IMHO Delta has made this next phase inevitable. Which makes getting as many people as possible vaccinated so important.

      • Ed1 5.2.1

        No, if you mean moving away from elimination – I believe it makes keeping it out more important, not less. Delta makes vaccination more important, but it is not the only tool – we can still work hard to keep it out.

        • Gypsy 5.2.1.1

          It seems fairly clear the government have moved away from elimination to mitigation. As far as 'keeping it out' is concerned, there have been too many examples of border breaches (potential and real) to make that realistic.

        • Treetop 5.2.1.2

          When the source of the chains of transmission is unknown elimination cannot occur.

          Preventing chains of transmission is what an individual can do.

    • McFlock 5.3

      definitely hardest for us. Minor compared to most of the world.

      I don't think we're going to get NSW-level spikes, even if the cheese-eating surrender monkeys are right and the govt has thrown in the towel (which they haven't).

      The reason for my lack of pessimism is that the lag time between covid possibly becoming endemic and a >90% vax rate will hopefully be pretty close. That means the vast majority of people will not be using hospital resources or fighting each other for oxygen.

      But people will still keep dying. That's Judith Collins' victory scenario, I guess.

      • Treetop 5.3.1

        I read the comments by Collin's, she has lost the plot and I am being kind.

      • Jenny how to get there 5.3.2

        I wish I had your optimism.
        There were 29 new cases today, 1 in Northland.
        7 cases discovered in Auckland today are not linked to any known cluster. The report did not say if these 7 cases were linked to each other. So I presume they couldn't be linked to each other through any common factor. If my presumption is correct, What that means, is that there are 7 undiscovered clusters in Auckland. Forgive me for thinking that we are on the verge of exponential viral spread.

        • McFlock 5.3.2.1

          Well, no, it just means that the source wasn't immediately apparent in the hours between the positive infection confirmation and the publication of the numbers. It takes time, and can involve some detective work.

          There's a handy wee trick of looking at the MoH daily case page using the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. Basically it archives most public internet pages daily, or even more often.

          The "Caught COVID-19 within NZ, but source is unknown" category bounces around quite a bit, especially if there's a new cluster found.

          Dunno if you're a gardener, but weeding convolvulus seems to be a bit like this situation. You pull out a huge amouint, but the roots break in the ground and can grow new shoots, so days or weeks later you're pulling up smaller tendrils with a little bit more root. Then you find it in the compost heap because one tendril ended up there a while ago.

          But the point is, if you keep at it eventually the remaining root segments can't reproduce, and you don't need to weed the garden so much any more. We can still beat this thing, even under these conditions.

          • Jenny how to get there 5.3.2.1.1

            I am a gardner. Not a great one, but I try my best. I just weeded a badly overgrown plot about as big as a carpark space.

            There are two ways to go. Scrape the weeds off the top, or dig them out. I did both. I scraped them all off the top and then I dug them out. Took me a while.

            I used a hoe to scrape all the weeds off. And then I used the spade to dig over the whole plot tuning it over spade by spade, picking out all the roots I uncovered. (trying carefully not to cut any worms in half with my spade.)

            The lettuces are now all in, not a weed in sight.

            My policy to weeds is zero tolerance.

            Same with covid.

            This is why

            https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3171402126427672&set=p.3171402126427672&type=3

            • McFlock 5.3.2.1.1.1

              That policy hasn't changed in NZ.

              • Jenny how to get there

                I think you would be in the minority opinion on that one.

                • McFlock

                  Which itself raises some interesting questions:

                  1. what is the actual difference between what everyone agreed was an elimination strategy and whatever Auckland and nearby areas are under now?
                  2. Does the rule change alter what people were doing, especially people likely to come into contact with a cluster?
                  3. Is any less effort being made in the identification of infections and the tracing and isolation of close contacts?
                  4. Will the rule change create large superspreader events?
                  5. if the answers for 1, 2, 3, and 4 are "not much, probably not, nope, and nope", why are people losing their shit over a supposed end to the elimination strategy?

                  Maybe a solid year of tory media whinging is driving the narrative?

                  • Jenny how to get there

                    You will pardon me I hope for not answering your questions in the order you asked them.

                    5. "…..why are people losing their shit over a supposed end to the elimination strategy?"

                    Nothing supposed about it.

                    “The elimination strategy has served us incredibly well, and was the right thing to do for New Zealand, and seven weeks ago entering into the elimination strategy, which is stamp out cases, was the right thing to do,” Ardern said.

                    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says Auckland, and the country, is now “transitioning” out of the elimination strategy as health officials scramble to vaccinate.

                    The Government had held fast to an elimination strategy – working to stamp out the virus wherever it emerges to reach zero cases – throughout numerous Covid-19 outbreaks and as recently as August was firm the strategy would remain as the country moved to liberalise border restrictions in the coming year.

                    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/126578332/covid19-prime-minister-jacinda-ardern-kills-the-elimination-strategy-but-the-restrictions-wont-end?cid=PDM714342&bid=1401805965

                    1. what is the actual difference between what everyone agreed was an elimination strategy and whatever Auckland and nearby areas are under now?

                    The Prime Minister defined the elimination strategy as locking down until the country was confident no Delta infecttion was circulating undetected in the community

                    On August 30, the Prime Minister said this: "In order for Auckland to move down a level, the country must be confident Delta is not circulating undetected in the community"

                    On September 20, the PM went back on this definition, and moved Auckland down a level despite 6 new cases being found in the community that day, 2 that could not be identified, or traced, evidence that yes covid was circulating undetected in the community.

                    So sometime between these two dates the PM became convinced to step away from the elimination strategy and allow undetected cases to circulate in the community.

                    1. Does the rule change alter what people were doing, especially people likely to come into contact with a cluster?

                    Yes.

                    During the level 4 lockdown, the Prime Minister and her advisors singled out workplaces, as a source of corona virus spread during the Auckland lockdown.

                    Auckland lockdown extended as New Zealand Covid cases drop to 53

                    This article is more than 1 month old

                    Experts say this week is ‘crunch’ time as country waits to see whether numbers will continue to fall

                    Mon 30 Aug 2021 06.00 BST

                    …..Epidemiologist Prof Michael Baker said he is feeling optimistic about the numbers.

                    “The best news is there is not an exponential increase in cases,” he said.

                    The biggest risk now to stamping out the virus was potential spread among workers and between people who are not engaged with the country’s pandemic response, he said.

                    On Sunday, the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said there had been a small number of workplaces operating under level 4 that had seen transmission within staff – four to date.

                    “If we need to tighten up our restrictions further we will,” Ardern said.

                    Microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles said the worksite transmission was a worry, because despite the sites not being customer-facing, a spread of infection between staff could result in satellite outbreaks.

                    Unfortunately the Prime Minister didn't tighten up 'our restrictions further' on workplaces, as she said she would, on September 20, she threw open all industrial factories and building sites, for a full return to work.
                    The only worksites still facing restrictions are small retailers and restaurants.

                    There's your difference, tens of thousands of working people congregating in factories and industries, and building sites.

                    There's your daily super spreader events.

                    3. Is any less effort being made in the identification of infections and the tracing and isolation of close contacts?

                    No. In fact more effort is being put into this. It has had to be. With the end of elimination and the tolerance to covid remaining circulating in the community. But as overseas experience has shown, these services soon beome completly over whelmed. when the virus goes exponential

                    • McFlock

                      I certainly wouldn't take as gospel the interpretation of a media report that directly quotes full sentences of what someone says and then paraphrases the important bit.

                      On September 20, the PM went back on this definition, and moved Auckland down a level despite 6 new cases being found in the community that day, 2 that could not be identified, or traced, evidence that yes covid was circulating undetected in the community.

                      No. "Undetected" is something like the [maybe] coolstore case: out of the blue, no probable connection to any other case. Sources are not always confirmed the day of transmission, but that doesn't mean there are widespread undetected clusters.

                      The current clusters are difficult to trace because their community network is not known for the same trust and involvement with authorities as, say, 9-5 accountants. Not only are they not necessarily into tracing their movements for the authorities, they probably largely keep doing their business during L4 regardless of what the government might say about it. And some of them have pretty good inter-regional transport networks.

                      So are the lockdown rules changes affecting the current outbreak? Bit early to tell, but probably not to the extent that some people are losing their nut over.

                      There's your difference, tens of thousands of working people congregating in factories and industries, and building sites.

                      There's your daily super spreader events.

                      And yet a couple of weeks later we don't have the same spike in cases as we had when we all went to L4 because of one genuinely unknown origin case.

                      Here's another chart with the cluster information that shows the point about not-immediately-linked cases. Light green is under investigation, right? See how the bulk of them are in the last few days? Same pattern in the same chart from Sept 18. And previous page captures. It takes time to investigate connections, but almost all of them end up getting linked.

                      It'll take a while, but I won't be surprised when we have a dot-ball day in coming months.

                      But we are entering the end stage, where vaccinations will start really kicking this thing in the nuts and the combination of that and our current efforts make L3/4 a thing of the past, while keeping an almost embarrassingly low death rate from the disease.

                      Sure, if we end up sustaining multple hundreds of cases a day, easing out of L4/3 rather than just imprisoning incommunicado the top 10 anti-lockdown fuckwits (including opposition politicians and media opinionators) might have been the wrong call to make from a disease control perspective, but might still be the right call to make from a government point of view. Riots have happened in Aus, for example.

  6. Darien Fenton 6

    Thinking about the "Consent of the Governed". There are limits to that and I believe what the government was trying to do was ease this : the Melbourne riots last week, and also Himself Brian Tamaki. Consider the daily diet of criticisms from social media, Media commentators, Business, overseas critics and the disinformation that shows no end. Also thinking about the criticism that is coming from Maori and Pasifika organisations – maybe deserved, but what the hell do we do about it? It's either too much or not enough. Look I just want Hope. I want to see more stories about our amazing communities, including mine who are out testing, contact tracing, vaccinating.I want to see stories about our front line border workers who for months now have kept our borders safe and (in my patch as a union organiser) are now 99% vaxxed. For the record I live in West Auckland. I am surrounded by a community who cares.

  7. georgecom 7

    yes Darien, the hope story. Anger, Hope, Action. I have stated on a different thread how our Government has done a great job handling covid and our health workers and great job coping with it. That's reached it's limits, it's up to the community now rather than simply moan about what the government is doing. Here are a couple of hope stories

  8. Pete 8

    Ah, stories of hope. I wonder if the main media outlets have target graphs and charts on their walls. Charts denoting of course the numbers of those disaffected with MIQ each 'journalist' has unearthed and written a story about.

    Are there bonus points if a story stretches to a second and third day or is picked up by other media? There are torrents of terrible stories.

    The whole thing has been a shambles hasn't it? And a mere 177,132 through MIQ facilities since 26 March 2020. Yes, one hundred and seventy seven thousand one hundred and thirty two.

  9. Ed1 9

    In some ways I would be very pleased if the Cabinet decided that is is necessary to put Auckland and Waikato back into Level 4 for at least a week, but probably two weeks. the government have tried to ease the restrictions of level 3 and 2, but it is clear that there have been too many not following the rules, and we are getting too many cases, even though for most the connections to existing cases have been able to be found by our contact tracing team, who have really been doing a fantastic job. A short lock down will hopefully give time to stop the further spreading of cases.

    It would also be helpful to also know the estimated cost of each covid case that needs hospitalisation, and the higher cost (in both time and money) for ICU.

  10. Bryan 10

    If rapid antigen testing is going to become a viable, trusted screening strategy for control of COVID-19, then performance characteristics should be well understood especially in our very low prevalence population and screening strategies should be designed with test imperfections clearly in mind.

    The clamour of politicians, business people and other non-scientific persons demanding RATS (rapid antigen tests) is only one more dimension within the echo chamber that wishes to mandate whatever flavour of bullshit that is in the wind.

    We do not have widespread community transmission and first vax rates are now north of 80%.and will move on past 90% within the next month.

    STAY CALM and keep on the current path amplifying and encouraging vaccination..

    At times the ramping waves of hysteria especially that emanating from the shrillest parts of the commentariat takes my breath away.

  11. Kirk-RS 11

    McFlock wrote above on 9 October 2021 at 12:44 am (I can´t reply to their post directly for some technical reason), which includes the following:

    The current clusters are difficult to trace because their community network is not known for the same trust and involvement with authorities as, say, 9-5 accountants. Not only are they not necessarily into tracing their movements for the authorities, they probably largely keep doing their business during L4 regardless of what the government might say about it. And some of them have pretty good inter-regional transport networks.

    I think McFlock is really on to something here. Public health data certainly show that the problem does not reside in business locations or in places dominated by white-identified European heritage people.

    The ¨their¨ in the above snippet refers to Maori and Pasifika peoples, if I read McFlock right. I agree that this is where the locus of difficulty exists, but that does not mean thate these folk automatically deserve to be blamed in some simple-minded fashion.

    Before delving beneath the surface of this COVID-driven dynamic, I think it would be worthwhile to expand the spotlight a bit to include the illegal drugs dealers. They continue to operate outside Level 3/4 restrictions and across alert boundaries at the bidding of people with substantial funds to keep demand high. At a guess, these drugs users would largely be European heritage.

    The motives of these rulebreakers may vary both in type and even some deeper levels of justification, but I think there is a common root to the disunity that has likely defeated the previously successful zero-cases COVID strategy: social inequity.

    There is the racism that has driven white-identified people and some allies of colour amongst relative newcomers like subcontinental Asians to maintain the oppression of indigenous peoples in ways both gross and subtle literally over centuries in the case of the Europeans. This has spawned and fed the dynamic of gangs and illicit activities which are so destructive of the concepts on which PM Ardern´s ¨Team of Five Million¨ meme has been grounded.

    There is the special privilege, mostly amongst white-identified, European heritage folk and to a growing extent amongst selected allies of colour (East Asians, subcontinental Asians), to demand certain things like an uninterrupted flow of illegal drugs regardless of the collateral social costs. Naturally, drugs dealers respond to such demand. Whether these dealers happen to be white-identified or indigenous is largely immaterial. My guess would be they are a mixture of the two, since this would produce the ¨best results¨ in terms of supplying the demand while evading the reach of government authorities overly focussed on Blacks, Indigenous and other People of Colour (BIPOC) for racist reasons.

    Another thing the elite demands is cheap labour that is compliant to whatever working conditions and tax evasion strategies the employers decide to create. Illegal immigrants make ideal workers in such a scenario. There have been significant signs that, similar to drugs, the flow of illegal immigrants has not stopped during the pandemic.

    There are strong indications that the big outbreaks in Auckland have been fueled by precisely these kinds of activities and motivations.

    The August 2020 event´s index cases appeared to be centred on the port and a single container shipping facility. What better way to introduce Pasifika illegal immigrants from Samoa and other islands into Aotearoa than through shipping containers? This was never adequately followed up by either public health or law enforcement, at least not publicly so far as I can tell. However, a major Samoan chief resident in Aotearoa was convicted of human trafficking in July 2020. It is hard to imagine even such a prominent figure operating in this fashion without strong ties to white-identified elites.

    The latest outbreak at the end of August 2021, centred in the indigenous suburbs of South Auckland, likely originated amongst ¨essential workers¨ exposed to elite travellers able to afford the high costs of transit through managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facilities, particularly the Jet Park hotel. At least one of those travellers brought the Delta variant into Aotearoa, something that was practically inevitable once the government determined it would cater to the travel habits of economic and social elites and put the rest of society at constant risk of an outbreak. An MIQ stay may be tough in a number of ways, but it doesn´t begin to compare to a Level 3/4 lockdown of whole regions containing many much less priveleged people.

    Lagging vaccination rates occurred in all indigenous communities, particularly Maori, due to low levels of trust in official authorities bound up in larger patterns of racism and inequity. When added to gang and drugs activities that are essential features of a gray/black market economy centred in those same communities and largely necessitated and fed by deep race-based inequity maintained from the outside both officially and ¨culturally¨, the combined effects of all this denied government their capacity to bring the COVID-19 case count to zero.

    After seven weeks of failure to achieve an admittedly very high standard, PM Ardern had little choice but to announce a ¨new phase of the pandemic¨ which eased off of the previous zero-case standard approach.

    It only takes a very few resisters or avoiders to break down a system that demands zero cases. That appears to be exactly what has happened.

    Ironically perhaps, the power to achieve this negative result lay not with the vociferous white-identified anti-vaxxers and libertarian purists who take up so much air time on social media and the more traditional news outlets, but with the largely silent and oppressed indigenous people. Even Maori/Pasifika formal leaders and informal gang leaders who sincerely worked to overcome their member/followers´ ¨bad behaviours¨ were able to accomplish enough to save government´s long-standing COVID initiative.

    Like it or not, the COVID walkback currently underway really comes down to the inequities deeply embedded in Aotearoan society under the controlling influence of European heritage colonisers.

    There have been some remarkable apologies and other encouraging signals offered during this pandemic. Perhaps Stuff.com´s ¨Our Truth / Day of Reckoning¨ with racism against indigenous and Pasifika folk late last year, well noted by The Standard website at the time, is the most dramatic and notable ¨George Floyd¨-style step outside of government. Yet the facts on the ground established by the dynamics of this pandemic demonstrate that while words are a very good beginning, they are simply not enough by themselves. As the old saying goes, you must ¨walk the talk¨ to move forward.

    Until deep and lasting social progress takes place, this pandemic and other future events likely related to health, climate change and other key determinants of well-being will continue to task and test the inhabtants of Aotearoa along with the rest of humanity.

    This does not mean that all is lost and that people should surrender to despair. To the contrary, I hold to a faith-based belief that the Higher Power is supporting and guiding humanity to a much better way of living.

    The basis for my belief is the Baha´i Faith, which I have been part of for over 25 years. The Baha´is are a global religion, with a presence in Aotearoa, that holds to principles of peace and unity built on spiritual virtues, freely accepted by believers and supporters without ¨benefit¨ of clergy. All members of Baha´i institutions are either elected by the adult membership, or appointed by those who are so elected. Repeated cycles of study, consultation, action and reflection will lead to a progressive collective evolution, as humanity moves through its recently embarked-upon adolescent stage into a fuller maturity. This mature stage will include global unified governance and commitment to virtues that will preserve the planet and prepare humanity for its next great steps forward. This may even include a form of interstellar galactic future glimpsed in the imaginings of science fiction, particularly the vision of a United Federation of Planets embodied in the widely known Star Trek universe. The only difference will be that healthy religion and spirituality will lie at the core of the human starship ¨Enterprise¨!

    • weka 11.1

      to reply, just scroll upwards until the first Reply button. The nesting of comments can't happen indefinitely or the text gets too small.

      Alternatively, if you are on a phone, use the Mobile version not the Desktop version if the Reply field isn't working (options at bottom of screen).

    • weka 11.2

      two centre left things Labour could do (and could have done) is legalise cannabis and raise benefits. These aren't panaceas, but I agree that the problem NZ has right now is class based, including how that intersects with ethnicity.

      It's also an issue of the housing crisis. Crowded housing, not enough income to pay for housing so people doing under the table work, crime or drug dealing to pay for essentials, are both really bad situations during a pandemic

      • Ad 11.2.1

        Labour put the cannabis issue to a full referendum and it lost, so you just have to get over that Weka. The people chose it.

        Since 2017 Labour has done a bit on the welfare front:

        – Brought headline unemployment down to 4% which is about as low as it got in 2008. Best way to avoid being on a benefit is having a job.

        – Increased the minimum wage to $20 an hour

        – Made all apprenticeships free

        – Guaranteed that hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders would keep their jobs by subsidising their wages

        – Got 16,000 sole parents and carers and disabled to afford the cost of study with the Training Incentive Allowance

        – Got Mana in Mahi going across the entire industry to pull people out of NEET contexts and jails into employment. Hence our jail numbers are plummeting.

        – Lifted benefit rates by between $32 and $55 per adult. Plus indexed main benefits to wage growth, and lifted abatement levels so people on a benefit can keep more of what they earn

        – Scrapped the sanction on women who didn't declare the name of their child's father

        – Student allowances have gone up

        – The winter fuel subsidy has meant fewer people are cold in winter

        – NZ Super and Veteran pensions went up

        and of course, two related things:

        – avoided mass unemployment by stopping the economic damage of widespread covid

        – avoided mass misery, morbidity and family destruction by stopping the social damage of widespread covid

        Brought to you by the Labour Party.

        • Kirk-RS 11.2.1.1

          .
          .
          @Weka and @Ad:

          I respect the Labour party´s efforts to make significant social and economic improvements. I find government´s COVID-19 response very inspiring, and it definitely offers guidance for how humanity can better respond at a practical level to major crises.

          Once the purely material efforts Ad lists, perhaps along with some others like Weka suggests, are firmly linked to an all-hands inclusive approach that helps create genuine bonds of unity amongst the indigenous, Pasifika, and the rest of society in Aotearoa, real progress can happen that will be resilient enough to withstand the physical and mental tests that events like the pandemic pose.

          To be completely successful, this effort will also need to include the anti-vaxxers, libertarians, and others. This may prove even more difficult than building bridges of unity with Maori & Pasifika folk. Nevertheless, it must happen at some stage because the need for unity demands it.

          I firmly believe that the development of spiritual virtues and adherence to spiritual principles are essential to this very high bar for success.

          In this belief I am not alone. The Baha´i Faith welcomes any opportunity to work with members of other religions and with spiritually guided individuals and groups. Finding ways to increase unity amongst people is key.

        • weka 11.2.1.2

          and yet the housing crisis is still raging and along with sub livable benefits is a core reason why we have so much poverty and disenfranchisement in NZ.

          What I said about Labour above doesn't mean they haven't also done good things. Having done good things doesn't negate the point I made.

          The cannabis referendum happened during the pandemic, it wasn't our finest democratic hour. As a health and justice issue I can't see any reason why legalisation or decriminalisation shouldn't be revisited.

    • Kirk-RS 11.3

      Thanks Weka for the technical support!

      One major typo in my post that needs correcting:

      Even Maori/Pasifika formal leaders and informal gang leaders who sincerely worked to overcome their member/followers´ ¨bad behaviours¨ were unable to accomplish enough to save government´s long-standing COVID initiative.

    • RedLogix 11.4

      Alláh-u-Abhá

      Welcome to The Standard – which you will note is a political blog. You may want to take that into account.

      Secondly I note that your first comment here contains a heavy undertone of anti-white rhetoric – which are not only unhelpful to your aims – but are essentially racist in nature. We do not accept the denigration of any group of people based on their skin colour alone. In my role as moderator this is a warning to be more careful in future.

      I recognise and understand your motives – but I will not hesitate to act even handedly.

      • Kirk-RS 11.4.1

        @RedLogix –

        Thank you for the Baha'i greeting, and for the welcome to The Standard!

        If you are being polite and sensitive with me, I appreciate that very much.

        Perhaps it is more than that? Might you be an active seeker after spiritual Truth?

        You say I ought to take into account that this is a "political blog". Would you please say more about that, so that I can try to follow your advice to the best of my ability?

        You also say my first, longer post "contains a heavy undertone of anti-white rhetoric". Can you be more specific about what you mean by this? Perhaps you could single out at least one example in detail to show why you think this is so?

        You say The Standard does not accept "the denigration of any group of people based on their skin colour alone". I definitely agree with that principle, which fully accords with Baha'i values as I understand them and which I have actively promoted for many years.

        In that spirit, I am careful to use terms like "white-identified", "people of colour" and "indigenous" to refer to people who are treated as separate and distinctive categories within their own social context. I do not ascribe to people remaining locked into such categories based on skin colour or any other superficial feature. The goal of the Baha'i Faith is to promote the Oneness of humanity by taking practical steps toward greater unity. Hard-shell categories obstruct this process, so naturally I oppose them.

        On the other hand, to behave as if such categories have no current social relevance would be to perpetuate an inaccurate picture. I find that such inaccuracy almost always serves the needs of dominant social groups. In the case of Aotearoa/NZ — as in so many other places around the world affected by colonialism, imperialism, and racism over a long stretch of time — this is the white-identified people, officially classified as "European" by Stats NZ.

        The definition of "denigration" which I prefer to use is "unfair criticism of the character of a person or group". From my current perspective — which I hasten to add is always open to modification through honest and open consultation — I have made a deliberate effort to analyse the social dynamics of Aotearoa fairly and accurately.

        There are no angels or devils present in this country, or in any other. Everyone has a higher and lower nature, and almost always exhibits elements of both. The complex interplay of culture and society, affected by power relations (including formal politics) produces certain conditions and expectations. Individuals have a range of choices in how they decide to behave, but culture, society and politics can create strong pressures to think and act in certain ways. Those with advantage and privilege usually face the least pressure and have the greatest freedom of action. Those lacking such benefits face the strongest constraints and are more likely to "behave badly" in the estimation of those with power and authority.

        In certain situations, like the elimination strategy adopted by Government to seek the complete defeat of COVID-19, the longstanding inequities generated by the complex interplay of conditions offer opportunities for typically disfavoured or disreputable individuals and groups (including gangs, human traffickers, and drugs dealers) to have an outsized negative impact on the outcome. I think the evidence of the past year or so demonstrates that this has taken place with regard to Maori/Pasifika folk playing a major role first in delaying and now preventing the elimination strategy from succeeding.

        Now, if I simply blamed the indigenous Maori and other people of colour for doing this, that would certainly be a form of denigration — though not strictly speaking based on skin colour alone. Skin colour forms the foundation on which an entire social/cultural reality has been erected over a long span of time.

        But it would nevertheless be a form of denigration, because it would not be fair. It would ignore the role played by Europeans (really mostly from Britain/UK) in creating this reality through historical and still-ongoing processes related to colonialism, imperialism, and racism. Indeed, I think it would be fair to assign the European colonists and their descendants the dominant role in the process, in accordance with their degree of responsibility for what has taken place.

        That is why I wrote my long post the way I did. For mine, it parcels out responsibility more fairly amongst the actors involved for the recent failure of the COVID elimination policy than narratives found elsewhere in the media and online.

        In a different social/cultural reality, with greater empathy, honesty and care propelling forward the process of unity, the elimination strategy might well have succeeded even against the greater challenges posed by the Delta variant.

        While I deeply admire what PM Ardern has accomplished in the past year and a half with COVID, including her efforts to connect with Maori/Pasifika folk through their formal leaders, I must also note that her focus has not really been on the guts of the social/cultural/economic divide so deeply embedded in the fabric of the nation.

        For the first time, as far as I can determine, she responded to questions about low-income people's special vulnerability to the pandemic just yesterday, during the regular 10 October media conference. She did so only briefly, and for mine inadequately, given her usual high level of performance and grasp of detail. The corrected YouTube transcript is as follows:

        [timestamp: 59:31 = 60:04]

        Question (from "Janae"):
        Prime minister, last week you suggested there could be more financial support on the way for struggling households?

        PM Ardern:
        Oh, yes I… Yeah! I'll get Miss Ciciloni[sp?] to do that. She does have, uh, announcements to make, but I'll leave that to her. I imagine that will be likely. I believe over the course of this week most likely.

        Question (followup from "Janae"?):
        Can you give us any hints as to what that might look like?

        PM Ardern: Well, you've described it really [sic]. We are mindful of the impacts of COVID restrictions on low-income families in particular.

        [PM moved on to the next question on an unrelated topic]

        Watch for yourself and decide if it is unfair to characterise this response as suggesting a lack of focus on the issue, bordering on neglect. No mention of race or ethnicity occurs, but "low-income families" is very likely coded language for Maori and Pasifika people.

        Would it not be expected that financially desperate people would turn to the grey and black markets to earn funds, particularly amidst the housing crisis mentioned by Weka in their post (11 October 2021 at 8:46 am) and the limitations imposed by Alert Levels 3 & 4? Isn't this the sort of behaviour that has likely broken the back of the elimination strategy, in conjunction with the added burdens imposed by the Delta variant? Am I denigrating the PM or white-identified people in general for offering this analysis?

        I will be interested in your thoughts, RedLogix, and those of others who may care to join the consultation here, which I do pray you will permit to continue in your capacity as moderator.

        One last question to you — are you the sole moderator, or are you part of a team? If the latter, I do request that you consult together with members of the team and possibly with me as well if you see fit, either here or offline in some fashion, before limiting or shutting off this exchange.

        Thanks for this opportunity to present some thoughts and information in a forum inhabited by some thoughtful, caring people who want to see things improve for everyone.

        I continue to offer a prayer of protection for all the people of Aotearoa, as I have since the pandemic began.

  12. RedLogix 12

    There is a wide diversity of religious viewpoints here from athiest to commiited believer. As a matter of courtesy the debate here follows the principle of separating religion and politics for the most part. I imagine you are familiar with this idea.

    As for seeking after truth, it seems to me that you may have skipped a letter or two of the alphabet and arrived at the Cult of Woke. But this is just my initial impression, and if there is one thing that I've learned here over the past decade or so is that it's entirely possible to take a good idea and go too far with it.

    As for moderation there is a group of us and we all have different approaches and styles. But as a rule we maintain a unity of purpose.

    • Kirk-RS 12.1

      @Redlogix – Thanks for replying.

      It is good to hear that there is a wide diversity of religious viewpoints at The Standard. Unity can only emerge out of an honest sharing and blending of diverse viewpoints. That is a foundational principle of the Baha´i Faith.

      You say that separating religion from politics is ¨a matter of courtesy¨. Can you say more about how that separation promotes meaningful conversation and consultation here?

      I´m noticing some name-calling and labelling going on in some posts on The Standard, which I personally do not find particularly courteous. Perhaps the presence of some spiritually grounded reference points and principles might increase the degree of courtesy and moderation?

      I did a bit of Internet searching around the phrase you use, ¨Cult of Woke¨. I imediately encountered a good deal of name-calling and invective surrounding that term.

      The Wikipedia definition of ¨Woke¨ seems reasonably objective, and it is one I am readily prepared to accept:

      ¨awareness about racial prejudice and discrimination. It subsequently came to encompass an awareness of other issues of social inequality, for instance, regarding gender and sexual orientation.¨

      I would certainly add to that list awareness of economic and labour-management inequities.

      Wikipedia also reports that the term originated as far back as the Great Depression of the 1930s amongst African Americans in the USA (¨stay woke¨). Only very recently has it come to be used pejoratively, as an insult by those who seek to link the concept with ¨left wing¨ radicalism.

      As a Baha´i, I do not belong to any political party or movement. I strive to find ways to unite and reach consensus, not choose sides.

      The Guardian in 2020 noted:

      today we are more likely to see [the term woke] being used as a stick with which to beat people who aspire to such [positive social] values …

      Criticising “woke culture” has become a way of claiming victim status for yourself rather than acknowledging that more deserving others hold that status. It has gone from a virtue signal to a dog whistle. The language has been successfully co-opted – but as long as the underlying injustices remain, new words will emerge to describe them.

      Words will always be found. The more important question is, will humanity find a way to stop battling over them? I want to contribute to ending the battle.

      Prefixing the term ¨cult¨ doubles down on the insult, and further seeks to demonise other people. The goal appears to be to gee people up and continue the battle.

      I can imagine that those labelled as ¨cult of woke¨ might be tempted to respond by labelling their critics as members of things like a ¨death cult¨ — extreme libertarians holding personal expression above the health of many others in a pandemic, for example.

      This sort of backbiting is expressly forbidden in the Baha´i Faith, and I will not indulge in it here on The Standard or anywhere else.

      I will ask those using any such labels to explain their meaning and content, to offer my own reflections on what lies behind such labels and the process of labelling, and to invite the users of such labels and other observers to reflect upon them as well.

      If positive consultation and meaningful conversation cannot be achieved at a particular moment in time, then I will exercise the kindness of leaving the labelers to themselves, without employing any parting insults, criticisms or labels myself.

      Redlogix, I would still welcome further feedback from you about how to behave in a ¨political blog¨ and what you find in my posts that qualifies as ¨anti-white rhetoric¨.

      Others are welcome to make their own contributions as well, of course!

      • Ad 12.1.1

        Kirk, as a practicing Catholic, I can tell you that coming here hoping to be protected by abstract nouns like 'civility' or 'decency' or 'sharing' or 'loving' or 'caring' or indeed even worse 'meaningful' will survive about as long here as a kite in a hurricane, to quote James Bond.

        Bring your best game, bring well-marshalled facts, listen to the moderators, and bring concision.

        Those who still maintain a primary spiritual core will find there is seriously no quarter given here. Nor should there be.

        • weka 12.1.1.1

          I might have to steal that when explaining TS to people.

        • Kirk-RS 12.1.1.2

          .
          .
          @Ad – Thanks for sharing about your religious practice.

          I do not seek to wrap myself in any set of words. Children require protection. More mature people can choose to take the risk of vulnerability as the price of admission to an opportunity for making some progress. I deliberately choose the riskier path leading to increasing maturity, however imperfectly. I rely on my wits, spiritual guidance from the Higher Power, and the contributions of other people like you to adjust my course to keep me on the path as effectively as possible.

          I wonder why you choose to set apart "meaningful" as the worst of the words on your list?

          Telos ("the principal end, aim, purpose"- Strong's Greek Concordance) is the root word of teleology, a fundamental concept in Catholic theology. Various sources I have looked at gravitate toward the following consensus definition:

          the doctrine that there is design, purpose, or finality in the world, that effects are in some manner intentional, and that no complete account of the universe is possible without reference to final causes

          Of course Catholicism is a "big tent" containing many different flavours, but I wonder if any branch of Catholicism would entirely dismiss the word "meaningful" the way you appear to do here. I don't see how you can dispose of meaning and still keep the vital Catholic doctrine of teleology. I would certainly not feel comfortable as a Baha'i doing without the concept.

          Since you are a practising Catholic, perhaps you could consult with others in your congregation and/or institutional leadership about this? I pray you will be as interested in receiving such feedback as I am, if you are willing to share it with me.

          I can relate to the tension you seem to be expressing in your post between "spirit talk" and "hard-edged pragmatism". There is an expectation that the rough and tumble of the real world will cut to ribbons anything that is squishy, touchy-feely, and impractical. Perhaps that is why we need to return to the spiritual on a regular basis — weekly services, study groups, even daily prayer for some — to refresh the frayed connections and repair the damage done.

          Uniting and binding together Substance & Spirit is not an easy thing to accomplish, including for Baha'is. Like all difficult things, it requires practice and, ideally, collective sharing and mutual support.

          I am confident that the fictional Commander Bond, while certainly offering a bit of recreational fun mostly to men and boys over the past 50 years or so, is not a particularly durable spiritual guide.

          The words on your list will survive because they have already managed to do so for many centuries, milleniums in fact. The Enlightenment did not kill them, and to this day there are quite a number of practising believers amongst professional scientists and engineers. I do not imagine that The Standard can accomplish the job of destruction either.

          For these reasons I do not fear what may happen here on The Standard. If consultation cannot go forward in ways that combine the practical and the spiritual, I will graciously withdraw, at least for a period of time.

          I have faith that the inate will to progress in the good can never be entirely extinguished in people or their creations, and that the Higher Power by whatever name is lovingly guiding humanity toward maturity. This is not built on mere hope, but on belief that arises from a genuine religious experience, supported by religious writings and institutions.

          Of course, the Higher Power's guidance may have to take various forms of "tough love" and "natural consequences." We are no longer children waiting to be rescued, and "happily-ever-after" endings are the stuff of fairy tales.

          Saint Paul tells us we must put such childish things aside as we become adults (1 Cor 13:11). That includes ending the desire to do battle over political issues, at some point. I choose to test the waters as best I can to see if the battle can be reduced and perhaps replaced by collaboration and cooperation at least in selected areas. That seems to be what PM Ardern is attempting to accomplish with the “Team of 5 Million” during the pandemic, and with a considerable degree of success despite the latest troubles presented by the Delta variant and some uncooperative team members.

          Never have the old sayings "God helps those who help themselves & each other" and "many hands make lighter work" been more true than today, and going forward into what looks like a very challenging future.

          • Ad 12.1.1.2.1

            Plenty of states still exhibit telic drive. It's a modernist inheritance.

            Best not try to quote the Bible at me. You'll find I'm better at it.

            Unlike the mainstream religions, it's not the endurance of words that matter in politics. It's all about the delivery.

            • Kirk-RS 12.1.1.2.1.1

              .

              @Ad –

              Bible quoting: As you said a bit earlier, bring your best game. I do not fear those who quote their scriptures well. I consider people who do that to be a very valuable resource in a consultation. I do not treat it as a competition because we can all be winners through sharing.

              Delivery of words is all that matters: I know you admire concision, but I would really appreciate it if you would expand at least a little bit on your pithy hypothesis, and possibly offer a favourite example or two.

        • Kirk-RS 12.1.1.3

          .
          .
          @Ad –

          You advise me to listen to the moderators. That is sound generic advice, and I am eager to do so!

          So far, only RedLogix has made an appearance here. Perhaps other moderators would be willing to express themselves in some fashion?

          I note that RedLogix posted that:

          … we [moderators] all have different approaches and styles. But as a rule we maintain a unity of purpose.

          My experience over several decades of mediation and group facilitation suggests that any "natural" consensus is subject to drift and even breakdown over time, unless intentional effort is put forth to maintain consensus and deal with conflict as it arises.

          I would be interested to know how the group of moderators functions and what steps if any have been taken to maintain internal group unity and integrity.

          Offering such assurances, along with greater transparency and access to the posting public, would go a long way toward building confidence in the capacity of The Standard to moderate difficult politically oriented forums.

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    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15
    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?
    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    2 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution
    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky
    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?
    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ
    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28
    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    2 days ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response
    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment
    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President
    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Questions from God
    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • The politics of money and influence
    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity
    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    3 days ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?
    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.
    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Women in Space.
    Count downThree twoI wonderIf I'll ever see you againI'm 'bout to take offI'm leaving youBut maybeI'll see you around somewhere some placeI just need some spaceA brief reminder that if you’re a Gold Card holder you can subscribe to Nick’s Kōrero for 20% off. You’re also welcome to use this ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13
    Auckland waterfront, July. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 13 are:The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government watered down vehicle emissions standards this week, compounding the climate emissions damage from an increasingly ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Dems need to ask the right question about Biden as his age now defines the campaign
    Midway through the news conference that many American political commentators had built up as critical to Joe Biden’s re-election chances, the US president said European leaders are not asking him not to run for a second term, “they’re saying you gotta win”.The problem for Biden and his advisors is that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Govt flounders while ocean temps soar
    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items of climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer, most of which they discussin the video above. According to experts, the rate of ocean surface warming around New Zealand is “outstripping the global ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Learning From Brexit
    Whether Britain leaving the European Union was right or wrong, good or bad is for the Brits to decide. But there are lessons about international trade to be learned from Brexit, especially as it is very unusual for an economy to break so completely from its major training partner.In Econ101 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Friday, July 12
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of Friday, July 12 are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Hot Damn! It's The Soggy Bottom Boys!
    Good morning lovely people, and welcome to another weekly review. One which saw the our Prime Minister in Washington, running around with all the decorum of Augustus Gloop with a golden ticket, seeking photo opportunities with anyone willing to shake his hand.Image: G News.He had his technique down to overcome ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • When an independent expert / advisory group is anything but ..
    OPINION: Yesterday, 1News reported that the Government's "independent" advisory group had recommended Kiwirail offload its ferries to another entity.Except this wasn't entirely new news at all, besides that it came formally from Nicola Willis’s advisory team.TVNZ is under significant cost pressure, and earlier this year, after expressing strong discontent with ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 9:00 am on Friday, July 12 are:Scoop: Ministerial group advises KiwiRail no longer run Cook Strait ferries 1News’ Julia RodenNews: ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 12-July-2024
    Kia ora and welcome to another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! The week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Scott delivered a delicious disquisition on donut cities, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Dominik Scythe on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Friday, July 11 are:Climate: Transport Minister Simeon Brown said in a release the Government's plan to reverse New ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 12
    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s climate strategy ‘pamphlet’, its watering down of Clean Car Standards and its general lack of coherence;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Casey Costello strikes again
    Summary: A track record of deception is becoming evident in the Government’s Coalition alliance. Ministers across all parties have been found to either lie without contrite, and/or act unlawfully and unreasonably. The rails are coming off quicker than a marshmallow induced fantasy train ride as the conductors throw caution to ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #28 2024
    Open access notables Antarctic Bottom Water Warming, Freshening, and Contraction in the Eastern Bellingshausen Basin, Johnson et al., Geophysical Research Letters Cold winds blowing over polynyas (areas of ice-free water) on the Antarctic continental shelf create sea ice, forming very cold and somewhat salty, hence very dense, waters. These dense ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashWe’re back after a three-week mid-winter break. I needed a rest, but back into it. We’re still with the ‘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 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s gas fantasy
    Yesterday the government released the advice on its proposal to repeal the offshore fossil gas exploration ban, including a Climate Implications of Policy Assessment statement, Cabinet paper, and Regulatory Impact Statement. I spent some time looking at these last night, and the short version is that the government's plan is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A criminal minister
    RNZ reports that cancer minister Casey Costello has been reprimanded and forced to apologise by the Ombudsman for acting "contrary to law" in her handling of an OIA request: Associate Health Minister Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced to apologise for trying to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Luxon in the NATO pressure cooker
    New Zealand is one of six countries invited as onlookers to this week’s NATO summit in Washington. As such, PM Christopher Luxon will be made aware of the pressure on the 32 NATO member states (a) to increase their Defence spending (b) to become less militarily dependent on the US ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus for Thursday July 11
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of July 11 are:Climate: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts issued the National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government’s climate strategy yesterday, including a three-page document with five bullet ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • By George! Splendid streets take shape down south
    The revitalisation of Auckland city centre, especially around Wynyard Quarter, Te Komititanga, and Queen Street, is top of mind for Greater Auckland readers – but other cities around Aotearoa New Zealandare installing people-friendly streets. This guest post by Jessica de Heij, who grew up in the Netherlands and is an ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:30 am on July 11 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister acted 'contrary to law’. Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Thursday, July 11 are:Economy: Te Pūtea Matua The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced its Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Farmers’ revenge meets Green resistance
    If there was one issue that united farmers in opposition to the Labour Government, it was the battle of the waterways between farmers and Environment Minister David Parker. Parker won the first round with his 2020 National Policy Standard on Freshwater Management (NPSFM) which imposed tough new standards on waterways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Personal Reflections: 10th July
    Please note: This is a personal reflection and does not refer to politics. These entries are not sent to subscribers.Text within this block will maintain its original spacing when publishedHubris and Pride Out of the fire and into the frying pan? Swimming with the big sharks Tonight, I am excited. ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Oh Vienna
    Nothing can warm your heart like the sight of your daughter stepping off a train. Mary-Margaret arrived on Saturday to ride with us to Vienna.You know your way around a bike? the guy at the hire shop asks her. Yep. She’s ridden them on rail trails, Auckland’s mean streets, commutes ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
    Christopher Luxon is finding his foreign policy feet. Now eight months into the job, New Zealand’s Prime Minister is in Washington DC this week to attend the NATO summit. It is the third year in a row that Wellington has been invited to the annual gathering of the North Atlantic ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    6 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    7 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    7 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The President They Have Got.
    “This cannot be real life!” Confronted with the choice of recommitting themselves to the myth of Joe Biden, or believing the evidence of their own eyes, those Americans not already committed to Donald Trump will reach out instinctively for the President they wish they had – blind to the President they ...
    1 week ago

  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki
    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston
    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety
    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship
    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality
    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy
    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants
    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
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