Herald cans fact-checking, opts for dogwhistles

Written By: - Date published: 11:35 am, March 17th, 2010 - 57 comments
Categories: articles - Tags: , , , , , ,

The New Zealand Herald has never been shy of attacking blogs for their lack of journalistic standards and editorial rigour, but given some of the paper’s recent work you’ve got to wonder who they think they’re kidding.

Take today’s piece by Dita De Boni pontificating about Charles Chauvel and those screaming kids on his plane.

The piece is simply woeful. De Boni can’t even get the identity of the main protaganist right, referring to the blogger in question as “Clint Heine”. Just amateurish. Clint is the owner of the blog, the guy who made the attacks on Chauvel is Wellington orthopaedic surgeon and ACT Party activist Fred Phillips*.

It gets worse. De Boni’s intro to the piece declares: “Sometimes child-free adults need to have some sympathy for parents of noisy and fractious children on planes”, obviously making the assumption that because Chauvel is gay he doesn’t understand what it’s like to have kids.

It’s no wonder she got this impression from the news coverage. Fred Phillips and his wife Stephanie have been pushing the homophobic dogwhistle for all it’s worth, telling TVNZ “the pre-schoolers were well-behaved and Charles Chauvel just is not used to kids.”

But of course, Charles does have a kid. As Zet put it last night:

Gotta love that ACT woman saying Chauvel wouldn’t know what it’s like to have a young family. A variation of the line the Right used to use on Clark. In fact, Chauvel has a four year old son. I know! A gay with a kid! Carter and Hague have children too. What a world!

De Boni, like many journalists, simply hasn’t done her research. She’s picked up on yet another a right-wing smear campaign aimed at targeting a gay Labour MP for his sexuality and has repeated the story with framing intact. No fact-checking, no critical analysis. In fact, not once does she mention that an ACT Party activist might have a political interest in embellishing the story or even lying to make Chauvel look bad.

The fault isn’t entirely hers though. She’s sloppy, but she’s hardly the first columnist to be guilty of that. The real fault lies with the Herald’s failure to fact check her or require some basic research and critical analysis from its writers. It’s a basic failure of editorial standards.

As I said yesterday, this is what happens when the right’s smear machine meets an increasingly tabloid news media. There’s more of this dirty personal smearing to come, and I’d suggest Labour gets a strategy in place soon to counter it. Using Charles’ excellent front-footing of this issue as a case study would be a good place to start.

[The Standard was informed of Fred Phillips’ identity yesterday afternoon but chose not to publish it in the interests of his privacy. Now that the name has been published in the Dominion Post it is in the public realm.]

57 comments on “Herald cans fact-checking, opts for dogwhistles”

  1. Lew 1

    The real fault lies with the Herald’s failure to fact check her or require some basic research and critical analysis from its writers. It’s a basic failure of editorial standards.

    This is the only failure I can see. De Boni is the Herald’s mummy-blogger, she writes in the style pages. She’s not an actual journalist, or at least, is not expected to be one in this role — and the piece simply isn’t a news story in form, structure or content.

    So the problem is with publishing her musings as actual news, rather than as … musings.

    L

  2. yup, journalism R.I.P 2

    i read it, then read a few of her other pieces and then went to the shed and headbutted the wall a few thousand times. Then went back and read it again. It didn’t help, but the headache and all the pretty lights in front of my eyes made the silly words dance so it wasnt a complete waste of time

    • Bored 2.1

      Look here, the only “piece” in the article is De Boni…I seem to have caught some gutter press virus and need some political correction. My brain hurts too.

  3. A Nonny Moose 3

    “De Boni’s intro to the piece declares: “Sometimes child-free adults need to have some sympathy for parents of noisy and fractious children on planes’, ”

    Ha! It doesn’t declare that now. It’s been edited out now that they’ve been sprung.

  4. gobsmacked 4

    The smear has backfired, because most people (not just the usual suspects on the poli-blogs, but the general public) don’t know or care about an MP they’ve never heard of, but do have an opinion about passengers/kids on planes. It’s a story people relate to, and Chauvel has come across as an ordinary, reasonable person. Generally, people can at least see his point of view.

    On the other hand, you have the priceless expression on Stephanie Phillips’ face, when asked about the couple’s political motivation on Close-Up last night. Followed by the longest pause in the history of interviews. Hilarious! (The interview’s worth putting up here, IMHO).

  5. Julie 5

    I generally find De Boni OK, so this column is disappointing to me. I agree with Lew that most of the responsibility lies with the Herald for running an opinion column as high profile news, and for failing to fact check.

  6. Andrew 6

    “*The Standard was informed of Fred Phillips’ identity yesterday afternoon but chose not to publish it in the interests of his privacy. Now that the name has been published in the Dominion Post it is in the public realm”

    Eddie, sorry, but you are now banned from this site for stating that a computer program can be informed about something and then make a concious decision on that something. Please read the policy, I have copied the relevant section below:

    “attributing a mind to a machine (ie talking about The Standard as if it had an opinion) is not allowed”

    [Eddie: The Standard has policies and guidelines. This was one of them. Don’t be a troll.]

    • IrishBill 6.1

      That’s hilarious. You’re a real funny guy. Now have you got anything to say about the topic of the post, funny guy?

      • Andrew 6.1.1

        don’t be a dick, and yes i am a funny guy and i was being rather sarcastic. But I see people get picked up on this all the time. All i expect is a level playing field. If we can’t refer to “the standard” then i would also expect this to apply to the authors of post as well. if we have posters referring to “the standard” then we can expect commenter’s to do the same.

        back on topic … yes i agree that the piece is simply woeful and was not at all news worthy.

    • lprent 6.2

      Ah damn. I’d like to comment on this, but something is wrong on vodafones 3G data network at present. Not getting any traffic.

      This comes via the work system which has a lot of javascript restrictions…

      • poxywog 6.2.1

        well that would have to be as off topic as any comment I’ve seen result in a banning. Give yourself an uppercut and move to XT

      • lprent 6.2.2

        Back again….

        I’ll amend the post because I’m getting sick of that phrasing and the inevitable discussion that follows.

        • Eddie 6.2.2.1

          Lynn, I’d strongly prefer it if you didn’t change anything. I used the term “The Standard” deliberately. While it doesn’t have opinions, it can have editorial policies and guidelines such as respect for privacy. I discussed this with other authors yesterday when we were told Phillips’ identity.

          If the trolls can’t understand the difference between an editorial opinion and an editorial policy it’s their problem, not ours.

          • lprent 6.2.2.1.1

            Disagree. We cannot expect to get others to treat the site as being a coop of authors if we imply that there is editorial control.

            Each time this comes up it makes the comment stream diverge into that spurious argument (and I have to firefight it). Either we do have an editorial control and a explicit decision is made that way, OR we don’t – in which case don’t refer to it as in the collective sense.

            Until that decision is clearly made and the policy updated, then I will modify the posts to conform to the current policy.

            • Eddie 6.2.2.1.1.1

              Lynn, it’s a fine distinction but it’s an important one. Happy to continue the discussion over email rather than in public, but having a collective agreement to not breach someone’s preference for privacy is not the same as having a hive mind or central editorial control.

              Just because a few trolls can’t understand that fine distinction doesn’t mean we should change the way we do things.

              • lprent

                That wasn’t exactly my point either. Actually Andrew correctly brought up exactly my point. But this is better discussed on e-mail.

      • vto 6.2.3

        But lprent how on earth did you make that comment then? That is seriously unhinged logic and action going on …

        [lprent: I also have the work network. It has quite a strong firewall that hampers editing so I don’t usually use it. Who’d live in a system where the failure of one network would knock you off the net? ]

        • felix 6.2.3.1

          I’d like to register my confusion too, v, but unfortunately I’m not connected to the net either.

          • Rex Widerstrom 6.2.3.1.1

            That’s done it, felix. I’ll now forever imagine you, Tron-like, skating through my laptop’s CPU and leaving comments only I can see 😀

            Lynn: Don’t know if it was only me but I started out getting a 500 error earlier today (roughly 3pm your time), then a weird eefect whereby I’d click the bookmark, it’d say the site was loading in the status bar, but then nothing would happen… no 500, 404 or other error, just a blank tab. I assume the connection was being dropped entirely.

            • lprent 6.2.3.1.1.1

              Nope there is something odd happening at the server with very high CPU spiking outside of my virtual server. Each time it spikes, mySQL starts to crawl, the site backs up, and everyone starts getting errors or strange screens.

              I’ve dialled the site parameters back to ensure it stays operating. That includes disabling the search which is pretty intensive on the site.

              I’ve requested that support at the other end has a look at the problem. Hopefully I’ll get it resolved shortly.

              In the meantime it seems to be quieting down at the other side…

  7. Bored 7

    On a more serious note, Chauvel should have kept his lip buttoned, to the gutter media what he did was akin to a soldier lighting a fag and getting shot by the sniper. Bloody stupid.
    Chauvel might have been better to offer concerned assistance to the mother and helped out (or atleast offered) .mind you the jornos might then have labeled him a child molester. You can’t win but there is no need to become a target.

    • poxywog 7.1

      [Eddie: I’ve asked you to change your username already. This is clearly derivative of another commenter and is arguably racist. You won’t receive another warning.]

  8. randal 8

    get a life bored.
    Hats off to Charles Chauvel for asking for order.
    people like you bored are trying to squeeze the juice out public life without realising that the voters of new zealand ares standing up and cheering for Charles Chauvel for taking a stand.
    so go back to your tory masters and ask for fresh instructions.

    • Bored 8.1

      Erggg!!! That hurt Randall, have not been called a Tory before. Ouch, to the doctor for treatment.

      So for the record I once saw a similar scenario inflight, the business lady in front of the screaming child started kicking up an equal fuss, and bitched and moaned alarmingly. I offered her my seat, she refused, so I told her to shut up and stop whinging. Its what you do that counts, not what you complain about.

  9. Olwyn 9

    This whole story is just rubbish from beginning to end, and all it reveals is the by now built-in bias of our MSM. If a down-at-heel family had been on the same plane as a National MP, and the incident was identical, even to the point of involving a gay National MP, the story, if there was one, would have been about the problem of unruly children on planes, the danger to other passengers, what airline staff have to put up with, and so on.

  10. toad 10

    Note to ACC claimants: If ACC attempts to refer you to Fred Phillips for an assessment of whether you are still incapacitated by your injury, ask for another orthopaedic surgeon.

    • Georgie 10.1

      If he chopped off the wrong leg, would he get his Mrs to explain?

    • OTT don’t you think Toad? Out of all the comments made here, yours is the silliest. The Standard has actually (and I hate to say it) done a fair appraisal of this… apart from the political bias, as I know he’d write about any MP if it was done. So much that I have only written any feedback here and no other blog….

      But don’t be too worried, I don’t plan on polluting your blog much longer 🙂

  11. tc 11

    Ah let’s all wade ankle deep across the Herald’s journalistic talent pool…..she’s also a TVNZ hack as well so there’s no surprises the tabloid ethos is applied being ” don’t let truth get in the way of a good story/smear/whatever”

  12. richgraham 12

    Right on “Bored”. Mr Chauvel should have talked to the children whose behaviour he says offended him. That he didn’t sort of reinforces the “he’s gay so doesn’t know much about children” line. Children are people you know, amazing eh ? Instead of whingeing, instead of griping, instead of complaining, instead of rolling your eyes, instead of ‘suffering in silence”, TALK to the children.
    And that way, earn the Labour Pary some friends and so reduce the numbers of enemies.
    Score – Mr Chauvel – 0, Mr Philipps – 4.

    • gobsmacked 12.1

      Rich Graham, don’t be so stupid.

      ACT Blog latest: “Gay Labour MP approaches three year old on plane … He was a stranger, it was creepy says Mrs BoomtownPrat, a wholesome blonde heterosexual parent who loves her kids …”

      RichGraham, what do you think of the parents who said NOTHING to Chauvel on the plane, and then rushed home to blog about it? Clearly they were so annoyed they just … did and said nothing at the time. Funny, that.

      Chauvel was their target simply because he is Labour, and he exists. That is all.

      (If you doubt this, spend five minutes reading Fred Phillips’ views online. Not hard to find).

      • Clint Heine 12.1.1

        My co-blogger is neither racist nor homophobic. I *do* have a number of authors on my blog and some do have leanings that do verge on homophobia. I have spoken to those who do make these remarks on my blog. Funnily enough, the worse two I ever had was a Nat and a Labour supporter…both horrifically anti gay – and booted out after one post.

        It wasn’t an attack on Labour, but I know you won’t believe that. I know him well and he is a parent and a professional first – politics is a distant third. If it was any other MP he would have said the same.

        • Marty G 12.1.1.1

          You’re a homophobe who posts porn on your website. And a coward who removes it because you’re scared of the media seeing it.

          • Clint Heine 12.1.1.1.1

            Marty G… dude, where have I *ever* written anything homophobic? Seriously. I have never made comments about that, I’m as liberal as you can get. Get it right!

            I may be a lot of things, but that is well wrong.

            • Marty G 12.1.1.1.1.1

              you play host to homophobs, who you let write on your blog. I don’t see any substantive difference.

              and you’re a pornographer without the courage to keep your work on display when it comes to public attention. Bit like Slater.

              • I can’t regulate who comments on the blog. One of my contributors isn’t as liberal as me and I have spoken to him about this. That does not make me homophobic. That only shows you as ignorant.

                My work is on display. I just removed one link to it. It’s still there and easily found. Surprisingly, you seem upset that you can’t click on it quickly enough… which is a little creepy considering you apparently “object”to it.

              • Pascal's bookie

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                If you have a racist friend
                Now is the time, now is the time for your friendship to end

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                Be it your brother
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                now is the time, now is the time for your friendship to end

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                Or any other
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                Tell them to change their views
                Or change their friends
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                And if your friends are racists don’t pretend to be my friend

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                The Specials

    • lprent 12.2

      rg, you’re completely inaccurate. Mind you, you’re probably as accurate as this dipshit ‘journo’

      The Prat overheard a private conversation between Charles and the person next to him. Even his own account states that amongst all of the other probable inaccuracies that are in it.

      That is what the fuss is about. You appear to be trying to make a mountian out of a molehill. It says more about your level of stupidity than it does about anything else.

      • Bored 12.2.1

        RG may be innacurate with what happened (who really knows, its all conjecture, hearsay and journalistic license / beat up) but I think what he says about talking to children or other problem people is a good message. And pertinently Jonkey would not have missed the phot op!

    • toad 12.3

      Seems Mr Phillips is not always that polite himself:

      BoomTownPrat
      17 December 2007 at 12:38 am

      I think this is your problem

      “r0b, I think he was asking about whether the newly selected Labour candidates will support the Electoral Finance Bill, which struck me as kind of stupid considering it’ll be law in a matter of days.’

      unfortunately many new zealanders have good memories, you arrogant fuck.

      If he talks to his children the way he blogs, I’m not surprised they are badly behaved.

    • Bored 12.4

      RG We agree at last, much as I dont like admitting it I think Jonkey would have taken the photo shot opportunity and done just that….headlines “Key rescues distressed parents in flight”.

      I do however think Chauvel has been misrepresented and hung out to dry over nothing much. He needs to be more alert to the upside opportunities. As for the jornos its a crap cheap story.

  13. freedom 13

    on a side note to the above editorial comments, please refrain from using actual names as those of us who try to respect the T&C’s feel a bit four legs good two legs better

  14. The herald set a precedent with the Bailey Kurariki smear so look forward to more…

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10629000

    2 journos corroborating each others story can now make serious sexual assault claims against a named person, with no history or previous record for these types of charges, in the media, while remaining anonymous themselves and prior to the charges being investigated through the appropriate channels. As long as they cry victim and go for name supression their arse is covered !
    The herald now knows they can hide behind the veil of journalistic truth and chuck shit because even if the shit doesn’t stick, the smell lingers so now I’m wondering if that was the De Boni womans handiwork as well.

    Lucky for them Bailey’s just a fucked up kid but would they have done the same to a “person of greater worth” with a high priced lawyer and could they still get away with being anonymous journalists working for a frontline mainstream newspaper ?…i wouldn’t have thought so but now i’d say yeah, if it fits the political leanings of their overlords.

    Place bets on who’s next on the smear list ? I’d wager whoever’s running against rodders in epsom ?

  15. BLiP 15

    Not only has the New Zealand Fox News Herald printed the factless musings of its resident Mummy, it has also linked Chauvel’s alleged comments with Ivana Trump’s “air rage” incident last year.

    Tabloid heaven: homosexuals, children, crime, and celebrities all in the one story.

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    The real fault lies with the Herald’s failure to fact check her or require some basic research and critical analysis from its writers. It’s a basic failure of editorial standards.

    The NZHerald isn’t a newspaper any more – it’s an opinion piece and the opinions are almost invariably wrong as they’re not based in reality.

  17. Hi Guys

    Sorry that what I thought was a pretty innocuous piece on CC was so offensive to y’all.

    Firstly, I did get the Clint Heine bit wrong, and that WAS sloppy. I agree. I sent through a correction earlier on but it hasn’t appeared yet.

    Secondly, I don’t know much about CC, I didn’t realise he had a child, true. But what I was meaning to convey was that he didn’t have a child on the flight and was therefore “child free”, ie, without child. To suggest it has anything to do with his sexual orientation is really daft. In fact, the most judgemental of parents, I have found, are other parents, regardless of what they get up to in the bedroom.

    Thirdly, yes I was a TVNZ “hack”. I was also a NZ “Herald “hack”, but unfortunately being on strike with your fellow work mates for almost three weeks doesn’t endear one to management much. Luckily for me, but obviously not for you guys, Herald Online had me back as a blogger many years later.

    Again, just want to reiterate I have nothing against Labour party members, gay people, Bailey Kurariki (well, hang on a sec…) or even people who call me a “dipshit”. Hey, you’re entitled to your opinion like the next person.

    regards
    Dita

    • MikeG 17.1

      “But what I was meaning to convey was that he didn’t have a child on the flight…”

      Tui billboard anyone?!!

    • Lew 17.2

      Dita, the article wasn’t nearly as offensive as the fact it was treated as front-page news. That’s not your fault, though.

      L

    • Try getting me to explain that I don’t have any children in New Zealand Dita. That was an interesting one to front up to when I woke up yesterday morning.

      Eddie – I take my hat off (honestly) for not revealing the name until it was public. Thank you.

      What bugs me, is that my blog has been deemed as homophobic and racist. I can get the homophobic stuff, as a few readers are blatantly nasty gay-haters – but the racist bit is baffling. The MSM have been in my opinion, a disgrace. This is not journalism. Man got offended by a comment made by an MP on a flight, he got home and vented it out on my blog, end of story.

  18. Lindsey 18

    So hard to do real journalism, so easy to interview your word processor and jump on the populist bandwagon with no thought as to the origons of the beat up “story” from the ACToid blogger.
    Professional – not!

  19. Richard 19

    It takes a brave (or foolish) soul to read the feedback comments on a Herald blog, but I did in this case. And, surprise surprise, most were sympathetic to Chauvel’s actions as the parents did nothing to calm the kids, therefore showed contempt for their fellow passengers. Chauvel’s comments were obviously aimed at the parents, not the kids.
    Most comments were of the line that kids will be kids, and if the parents are doing all they can, then so be it, they sympathise with the parents and can put up with it. But if the parents don’t give a shit that their darling toerags are making life hell for the other passengers, then they sympathise with the actions of Chauvel.

  20. SPC 20

    It’s up to the Herald to check the facts in their blogs (off line columns) – especially if they want to be taken seriously as a media standing by the quality of their product – being a critic of blogs for lacking journalism standards.

    Being a media, means being accountable for one’s own brand.

    People write blogs to share commentary, sometimes they do so to inform and that’s where their research would come in.

    People who blog and those who comment on blogs often are influenced by media into accepting a false understanding of a situation – and I doubt many will deny that is true of them – particularly when doing a commentary of recent event.

    Lew had the rights of this earlier, the Herald made the blog into a news story without checking the facts and the error is on their part – probably because it was mislead by other media which simply broadcast a women so out of touch with the real world she presumes gay people don’t have children. The wider dog whistle is about Labour, having MP’s without children, not understanding parents – WFF must really hurt when ACT wants the money to give the few and not the many an even larger tax cut.

  21. Bob 21

    Most of my fellow medicos regard orthopods as being, ahem, ‘intellectually challenged’ – “strong as oxen and twice as clever” as the old saw goes. Go easy on him, his reasoning capacity is severely limited, as evidenced by the content of his blog posts. Boomtown seems to be superfluous.

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    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    4 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    4 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    5 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    5 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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