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Hello 2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:12 am, January 1st, 2018 - 34 comments
Categories: The Standard - Tags: ,

Ngā mihi o te tau hou, wishing us all the best for 2018. Perhaps we could try and be a bit kinder to each other. Here are some New Year twitter gems from the middle of the night. Would love to hear about what we (the left, progressives, NZ) got right last year and what the Standardistas are thinking about politics and life for the coming year.



34 comments on “Hello 2018 ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Happy new year!

    Political wishes for this year, same as last year: that Parliament reverses the trends of the last thirty years.

  2. dv 2

    The biological evolution time line really put things in perspective.

  3. James 3

    Happy new year to you as well Weka hope 2018 treats you wel.

  4. cleangreen 4

    TO Weka;

    Here’s a wish for you’ – from a very warm and wonderful morning in Matawai in the Ruakumara mountains welcoming you to 2018.

    In 2018 we join together to guide this new era of a Government that promises to be a warmer kinder, inclussive, and caring administration to carry us forward to regain our county’s past recognition of one of the best countries to live and bring up a family in a clean safe healhy environment, where one and all share equally in our commonwealth of many treasured riches to carefully conserve for all our futures.

  5. Carolyn_Nth 5

    Tēnā rawa atu koe , weka.

    New Year: same struggles continue. May this year bring more out of poverty, more people leading fruitful lives, and more power to the people.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Perhaps we could try to be balanced in 2018 as well as kind. I treasure this blog as a debating place about what is good for us. what is bad for us, for NZ, the environment and the peoples distant and near on the planet. If there are any on other planets they can worry about themselves, I don’t believe in space exploration having billions poured into it.

    We have millenium worries, they need to be looked at clearly; personal ones too but not harped on with attention constantly drawn by the personal from the wider, from the local as well as the universal. Sentimentality and compassion can be applied too thickly, kindness also. Kindness first, moving onto the problem and how best to ameliorate it next, and then an understanding of how it fits into the universal problem and how to ameliorate that. Some seem to get stuck into the compassion and never can arise from the soggy mess.

    I can’t promise to be kind. I notice that sometimes I am kind when others aren’t noticeably being so. Perhaps we should all advocate for our own position of kindness and rein ourselves in from the undeserved cutting remark or criticism, and limit the extent of the profanity even in general rants which can be so therapeutic. That would be a good aim I think and which I will try to apply.

    But let us be honest for goodness sake, not be weasly PC people. I have been involved with some apparently PC people recently and when you get to know them, they are hollow, talkers and posers, with not much decency and kindness underneath.

    The kindest thing we can do is to keep watching and alert like meercats or prairie dogs, caring for each other and guarding against snakes in the grass to protect the health of the culture of the whole locality, country, world. Some snakes in the grass come from within our own kind and kindness in such a situation shows in using wisdom, understanding, self-control and bravery to discriminate who the dangerous ones are, avoiding simple prejudice or paranoia. Quite tricky really.

    • cleangreen 6.1

      Well said Greywarshark;

      Life is a balancing act and so are every soul living in our sphere of life.

      I think civility is the way to go forward, as we need to also see others views without acting like the grim reaper hitting back with ‘the undeserved cutting remark or criticism’ as you prointed out that some use against others.

      I come here to offer my experience of life as most do.

      I also offer the added knowleadge of being chemically posioned in 1992 and still stuggle the after effects so it is hitting to help others not to find themselves in my place after a workplace injury.

      If I save only just one other life during my ‘expose’ of chemcals, then I feel it a worthwhile effort made. The last nine years these issues were not taken seriously by Government.

    • I don’t believe in space exploration having billions poured into it.

      Why not?

      If we want to continue living after the Earth can no longer support life then we’re going to need somewhere else to go. And sitting on our hands isn’t going to get us there.

      And, no, the money spent on can’t be better spent on eliminating poverty. We have poverty because capitalism requires it.

      • greywarshark 6.2.1

        If we can’t make it on Earth I don’t agree we should have used up the last of our resources that could have been made available to humans to help them downgrade their expectations and manage on the smell of an oily rag (name of a book by RW couple in NZ with advice for you and I, though perhaps not you).

        We had a wonderful place here, if we kill this off then I think we are a desperately demented species and should die out not go to another Planet to continue our madness.

        • Draco T Bastard

          If we can’t make it on Earth I don’t agree we should have used up the last of our resources that could have been made available to humans to help them downgrade their expectations and manage on the smell of an oily rag

          It doesn’t take away resources to do that as it uses a completely different set of resources.

          Then there’s the fact that the space programs of the are actually fairly minimal. Little more than a mere $100 billion per year combined.

          We had a wonderful place here, if we kill this off then I think we are a desperately demented species and should die out not go to another Planet to continue our madness.

          Yes. We should protect the place we have. That’s a given. If we don’t we’re likely to wipe ourselves out before we can leave.

      • rod 6.2.2

        @DTB. How about Planet Key?

        • Whispering Kate

          Hell’s teeth, I want to sleep tonight, not be plagued with nightmares.

        • cleangreen

          Hey Rod we should send this reminder to john Key to give him nightmares like he gave us all.

          Happy new year for 2018 folks.

          This is a good read/watch to get all National trolls to get used to the change of government, now that MMP has chosen a “Labour coalition Government.

          2017: MMP comes of age
          1:25 pm on 23 December 2017
          Finlay Macdonald, Contributor
          @MacFinlay news@radionz.co.nz
          Opinion – As my personal contribution to the smooth functioning of parliamentary democracy, I’d like to suggest the National Party caucus be made to watch all three series of the lauded Danish TV drama Borgen.

          If you haven’t seen it, https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2013/nov/16/borgen-recap-season-three-episodes-one-two

          the programme follows the rapid rise of a young, charismatic female politician to leader of a minority government, requiring skilful coalition negotiations and the constant management of compromise and competing agendas.

          Big issues such as immigration, environmental standards, health care and state pensions force the various parties to balance their political ideals with the pragmatic solutions required to govern and stay in power.

          Sound familiar?

          Denmark is not a mirror of New Zealand, but the core ingredients of proportional politics in the two countries are broadly similar. Which is why a good old binge-watch of Borgen might be just what certain National MPs and their cheerleaders need to help them adapt to the realities of a new era.

          Put simply, 2017 was the year MMP came of age. Yet, like ageing duffers exasperated by new-fangled technology.

          The National Party has blamed everything and everyone except itself for the system not working to its liking.

      • Andre 6.2.3

        Uhh, the resources and effort required to send a few people off to make a self-sufficient colony somewhere else in the solar system is vastly greater than what would be required to maintain habitability on the one planet we know of that is capable of sustaining life. Let alone what would be required to send humans somewhere beyond the solar system.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Uhh, the resources and effort required to send a few people off to make a self-sufficient colony somewhere else in the solar system is vastly greater than what would be required to maintain habitability on the one planet we know of that is capable of sustaining life.

          Different set of resources and so having a decent space program makes no difference to the resources available for protecting life here.

          And the resources are tiny for the space program compared to the costs involved in protecting life on Earth. To protect life on Earth we have to change our entire infrastructure which is measured in hundreds of billions of dollars per year spent over decades. We needed to start doing that decades ago but the oil industry didn’t like that idea.

      • Matthew Whitehead 6.2.4

        Building on that…

        There are good reasons even if we want to live in a more sustainable way on Earth that we’d still want to have human outposts elsewhere in the solar system. (ie. extinction-proofing ourselves from large asteroids, etc…)

        Also, it’s conceivable that with just a little research development work we could start buliding self-assembling solar satellites that collect solar power in space and beam it back down to earth, making energy ridiculously cheap.

        I think it’s also important that once we’ve handled climate change and so on, we’ll want to have goals that we can peacefully co-operate on. Advancing science and exploring our solar system are reasonable reasons to have a space program, so long as it’s worth its budget. By and large, we don’t actually spend very much on space programs. They are incredibly cheap and have numerous indirect benefits. The tricky thing will be going into space in a net-negative or net-zero carbon future, which will probably mean licking that whole space elevator thing.

  7. red-blooded 7

    I think one of the big issues for people who write for, read and comment on TS this year will be striking a balance between hope, commitment to our own political values and agendas, loyalty to whichever parties, groupings or organisations we may identify with, idealism and (dare I say it?) realism. We have a new government and they have better values and priorities than the last one, but they still work within the same political paradigm and they won’t be able to fix everything. They’ll be should be going in the general direction that most of us want, on most issues, but they won’t go as far or as fast as many here would like, because they’ll need to keep an eye on the balance book and on the mainstream. While it’s fine to call them out if they act contrary to their announced policies or priorities, or if we disagree on a fundamental level with their decisions or actions, I also think we’ll have to cut them a bit of slack, at times. Parliamentary politics is the art of the possible, and sometimes we need to look at the broader view.

    Most of the time I’ve been commenting here we’ve been in full attack mode on a lot of issues, with a government that’s either ignored, denied, minimised or actively made many of these issues worse. This government is taking action on lots of the things we’ve been concerned about, but they don’t have a magic wand. Poverty, homelessness, climate change, environmental degradation… this problems aren’t just going to evaporate. There’ll be lots of steps needed, to make progress with big, complex issues.

    The current coalition only just won the popular vote in 2017. I really hope they’ll be a positive, progressive government and that they’ll be with us for more than one term (with or without NZF). I’m sure they’ll be criticised on this site at times and that’s fair enough – I guess I’m just saying, let’s try to be constructive and let’s remember the bigger picture. That’s my wish for TS in 2018. Not a cheerleading site, but able to accept and acknowledge progress when we see it.

  8. greywarshark 8

    Good words RB.

    Just thinking. The Left is generally trying for change, improvements, while the Right are conservative, incremental changes that hardly alter the status quo, once it is in a form that suits them. So the Left have to go at things with a head of steam so they have the momentum and mass to make changes. They may then overshoot the mark. They can be rigid – just do it like this, follow the recipe and all will be well. The Right are willing to fast-forward legislation to make things better for themselves, are more flexible as they have less ethical sinew, if any. The Left can be sanctimonious and authoritarian (though supposedly being for the ordinary person) as the Right.

    And in a way the Left are conservative too. That’s why they look for a conservative answer to the rising cost of superannuation, putting the age up to 67. It would be a truly Left innovation to be proud of if they came up with some other alternatives and took them up and down the country for public discussion.

    Could they truly consult every year on all things, both to get feedback and to explain the reasons for certain changes and new laws, what the intention was, how the feedback monitoring and stats are telling them about the outcomes, what the public have noticed that was good or bad? They would go to the enclaves, South Auckland, North Shore, the regions, Southland/Otago where there seems to be a diehard farming one etc. and attempt to get some realism into the hearts and minds, there would be a better informed voter coming forward and an increase in voters by say about 10%.

    It wouldn’t automatically follow that voting from that idea would cause an increase. But making voting day special with bands and balloons and children’s choirs, and kapa haka, coming in every hour or so, that would make all the difference in arousing interest and getting the families involved who you want to start voting and taking an interest in ‘their’ country, not an us and them mentality. There would be food and drink carts also, so feeding the body and the mind and the positive culture.

  9. Incognito 9

    The recent stats regarding the most commented and most popular posts here on TS give food for thought. Given that there are “currently approx 23x lurkers to commenters” (https://thestandard.org.nz/the-standards-most-commented-on-posts-of-2017/#comment-1431122) there seem to be remarkably many one-on-one (or two- or three-on-one) threads here in which the usual culprits active contributors are seemingly oblivious that they are ‘debating’ on a public and widely-read forum. There’s more to TS than just the comment or post you’re directly replying/responding to and the context is more than just (the) perceived ‘adversaries’ on TS.

    As humans we cannot focus on the small picture and on the big picture at the same time. We need to be more flexible and dynamic in dealing with issues and not always act/react from one fixed PoV (i.e. our own one!).

    These days, many people show limited range of movement, physically and mentally, so to speak, and it seems to be getting even less over time. Meanwhile, the world and life are getting more complicated and complex and yet we seem less well equipped to handle things, as individuals but also collectively. And it shows, doesn’t it?

  10. Ad 10

    The left in New Zealand got a lot right last year.

    – We co-operated as Labour and the Greens sufficiently enough to attract New Zealand First, and as a result of that government forming tens of thousands of people will get pulled out of poverty.

    – We have seen shifts in the mainstream media that make it impossible for commentators to deny climate change.

    – We saw a further positive shift in representations of historical sex crimes.

    – In Auckland we saw a lot more co-operation at ground level between the Greens and Labour activists.

    – We saw one really large dam killed off in Hawkes Bay, and as a result the Forest and Bird society got real respect in Wellington as not to be messed with even as the RMA was gutted.

    – We saw the debate turn about water and irrigation, thanks to whole bunches of activists.

    Quite a lot of really good stuff.

    • weka 10.1

      Nice one, thanks Ad.

    • red-blooded 10.2

      That’s true, Ad, and we should celebrate the things we got right. On this site, there was a lot of factionalism, though. I think we have to try to acknowledge the range of left opinion and activism, without claiming that there’s only one way to be “true left”. I know I spent a lot of my time leading up to the election defending Labour as a party of the left. Instead of attacking each other, we need to keep our eyes on the bigger issues.

      At national level, the Greens and Labour signed the MOU and I think the coalition agreement is a pretty good attempt to allow for occasional differences of opinion while still working together and sharing responsibility. I’d like to think we can operate in a similar way here – accepting that we’ll sometimes disagree about priorities or tactics but not trying to tear each other down on that basis.

      There’ll always be debate on TS, and that’s good and fine. There doesn’t have to be factionalism, though.

      • Ad 10.2.1

        Red, it’s pretty obvious how TS is viewed by Labour’s caucus. That caucus has been riven by factions and is having to be root-and-branched to calm it. Can’t really expect the same here.

        But it’s also not unreasonable for a fair volume of febrile contest to occur in 2017 given how low Labour and the Greens sank.

        Also, lefties get nervous on TS when across the world most of their parliamentary movements are in rapid decline, punctuated only by occasional pentecostal arm waving from minor movements that rapidly go nowhere.

        There was also no bigger issue this year than getting elected, and being competitive in debate is a fact of life in that.

        So no-one is trying to get elected in 2018, and the big redistributions that this government will be making at the start of the 2018 financial year will shut a fair bit of complaining up.

        It’s not quite like The Lorax here in NZ, but the outbursts of grumpy idealism have a reasonable basis.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          I strongly disagree. Left wing movements overseas are still going, but maybe just don’t get that much mainstream coverage.

          There’s an international economic storm coming, which will be very unsettling. We have a government with a late 20th century 3rd way approach, which is not what will be needed for the coming challenges.

          The NZ Greens’ left was knee capped during the election. Either that needs to be re-built – and probably needs leadership from Marama Davidson to do that – or I will be looking for a new or revitalised grass roots left in NZ, and possibly the start of a new left wing party (as suggested by Sue Bradford) – needs to be started this year.

          I’m not that excited by our current government, but it is a relief to get a break from the NACT government. I expect some good legislation to come, but nowhere near as game-changing as will be needed.

          • SPC

            The Greens were a little knee-capped by the Labourites in the former co-leaders family sure, but the leftist policy is intact and not going anywhere.

            There was the same idea that the Greens rejected the left when Turei was selected as leader over Bradford. Not so.

            If Labour and Greens are to succeed then the constant promotion of a new left wing party as per Harre/Dotcom needs to die – for all means build a genuine left wing activism new pressure group to build promotional campaigns for the cause, but don’t contribute to political division. That just waste votes. Be disciplined.

            • Carolyn_Nth

              The left didn’t die in the GP because Turei showed leadership on anti-poverty and economic and social justice. Davidson could probably re-build such a leadership.

              The Mana Party and movement was building before the the Mana-Internet Party debacle. There are no shortcuts to building a new party.

              At the moment there is no truly left wing party. There is a small constituency for a strong left party in NZ – one that strongly supports the precariat,beneficiaries, and all those struggling in the margins. And there should be room for that in an MMP set up.

              Solidarity for solidarity’s sake when it’s headed in the wrong direction, or just to protect a comfortable centrism, is pointless.

  11. SPC 11

    Woodstock’s first lady.

  12. SPC 12

    Times Up.


    A legal fund available to women who are subjected to harassment in the workplace.

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