Hipkins in China

Written By: - Date published: 8:39 am, June 27th, 2023 - 38 comments
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A weakened Russia is a Russia made more dependent on China. New Zealand is also deeply reliant on China.

I suspect Prime Minister Hipkins is at the realist end of the spectrum of engagement with China. China’s The Global Times certainly thinks so. Its feature on Hipkins’ visit said “New Zealand’s “proactive” diplomacy and actions with respect to China set “an example for other Western countries.”

“Despite the changing international situation, China and New Zealand have continuously promoted the institutionalized construction of their bilateral relationship, laying a solid foundation of political mutual trust,” wrote Qin Sheng, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

“Against the backdrop of increasingly fierce great power competition and escalating geopolitical risks, the stable development of China-New Zealand relations has important and exemplary significance in the international community.”

The article certainly noticed that Hipkins declined to join with US President Biden in calling Xi Jinping a dictator

He showed a basic quality that a political leader should have – knowing how to respect other countries.”

In realpolitik land, we just don’t have a choice.

We are going to have to continue to respect governments that we privately loathe. China is our largest trading partner, taking nearly 30% of our exports of goods and services. We are not as reliant on China as we once were on the United Kingdom, but it’s getting up there. We simply could not survive a trade embargo against us from China.

There is no sign that this reliance is decreasing.

Prime Minister Hipkins will meet with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang while in Beijing, and will also attend a World Economic Forum event in Tianjin. Prime Minister Albanese of Australia has an ‘in principle’ invitation but no date yet.

Leading delegations of our traders with others in the world is a basic job of being a Prime Minister, but doubly so as we seek to grind our way out of COVID and climate crises. We need to front up and deal.

The war in Ukraine is in some senses good for China: a Russia bled white by its own aggression will need China to lead Fortress Eurasia. China’s imports from Russia, mostly oil and gas, rose 49% last year to US$76.4 billion.

So we have a common path dependence.

China is the common centre of commercial gravity for both Russia and New Zealand. We both have mercantilist relationships as declining countries to a growing Chinese centre. New Zealand’s pure form of democracy is going to be increasingly an oddity in the rise of a coalition of Eurasian autocracies linked by geographic proximity to one another and geopolitical hostility to the West. And we are going to need them.

Shorn of Ardern’s idealism, Hipkins’ approach is ‘keep our heads down and stay trading’, and that is the realistic choice for us to make.

38 comments on “Hipkins in China ”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    I don't think it is a comfortable position for us to be in being so reliant on China.

    Firstly, we are likely to be heavily impacted by any economic issues in China. And, it seems that the chickens may be coming home to roost in that respect.

    Secondly, we lack the independence to criticize human rights abuses, independence of Taiwan, and other issues that would normally be things we would make strong stands against.

    And, finally, we are very exposed should military conflict erupt due to China seeking to invade Taiwan etc.

    So, we really need to be diversifying as fast as possible. Many international companies are exiting China right now for similar reasons. The quicker we can diversify the better.

    • SPC 1.1

      Limiting trading with a nation, so as to be free to criticise them, is a form of sanctions policy.

      If there is war over Taiwan trade would be impacted, so it is right to have a plan for our exports in that eventuality and sure that would require some diversification in the here and now. And in the mean time promote a diplomatic solution to that issue.

      • tsmithfield 1.1.1

        I don't mean intentionally limiting trade. But, rather, ensuring we are actively seeking new markets rather than focussing as much effort marketing to China. So, diversifying our marketing effort so that China isn't such a high percentage of the mix.

        I think, at the moment, China is 2.5 x our next biggest trading partner which is Australia. And, as Ad points out, about 30% of total trade.

        Not only nations, but also for companies, having so many eggs in one basket increases vulnerability should something happen with the biggest customer. So, diversifying is usually a good strategic option.

        • SPC 1.1.1.1

          Sure, but in diplomacy land there needs to be care as to how one explains the policy.

          • tsmithfield 1.1.1.1.1

            I don't see this as government policy. But more akin to wise decisions for individual businesses to make.

            Similar decisions to what many Western businesses manufacturing right now. For instance, many are setting up manufacturing in countries such as India rather than further investing in China.

            I think a lot of businesses have become spooked about having all their eggs in one basket after the likes of Covid, the Ukraine invasion, and the prospect of conflict with China.

            • SPC 1.1.1.1.1.1

              There is a lot of value in preventing a GFC, pandemics and wars (Iraq, Ukraine and any new one – conflict with trading partners in general) and working together on global warming.

              • tsmithfield

                Yes, it would be a wonderful world if we could all work together on those sorts of issues rather than fighting needless wars.

    • Stephen D 1.2

      I’m beginning to wonder if our business community is all that fussed about diversifying away from China.

      Labour has led delegations to Europe and the UK. Yet the growth in those markets is not growing that rapidly.

      Why?

      • Ad 1.2.1

        Well we've had a Free Trade Agreement with China for about 20 years, and the European one only got signed this year, and the UK one only got signed this year.

        Since you asked.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Seems a reasonable appraisal given most folk accept neoliberalism as a perpetual norm. Is co-dependency with bad guys a good idea? Bit of a gamble, eh?

    Could work if they are only bad guys part of the time & do a nimble switch to being good guys the other part of the time. This is the two-hat theory of geopolitics – in contrast to de Bono's six-hat theory.

    Resilience & sustainability require a state to be sufficiently self-organising to achieve dynamic stability in its ecosystemic relations. You reckon our suit-wearing duopoly are up to that level of expertise? Not a snow-ball's chance in hell!

    So yeah, the old default into foreign trade dependency will persist. Addiction syndromes have plenty of inertia. Hipkins the dealer…

    • Patricia Bremner 2.1

      "The baddies"

      We have had shoddy treatment by our other trading partners, and this "China is the baddie" is a bit childish in view of Britain's past attitude to us, Australia's purloining of our best and brightest as if we don't exist, plus sending criminal gang members back here on the most tenuous basis. We have worked over years to change these aspects of our relationships with some success.

      We have been played by our own here in NZ where some encouraged here by past Governments were involved in some very shady dealings with property and trusts.

      China is the base of much of the material to make drugs which is a concern for us. Mr Six name may come up. So, yes there are baddies in all countries.

      The geopolitical moves mean any larger country would use us as a jumping off place. We are a wee player in the "Big boys playground" and behave accordingly.

      By being sincere, practising what we preach, and favouring "rule of law" we have standing in the International scheme of things beyond our size. We do take quite definite stances on issues which we believe in. We are trying to reach consensus on international law and sustainability. Big goals worth trying for.

      We export more than we import from China, and more added value needs to be developed. That takes agreement by the World Bank and friends, the players of no country who could sue if unhappy.

      The delegation has many things to consider, some of them truly difficult. There are few Goodies.

      We align with India in spite of it's odious caste system because it is "Democratic" and we would use them as a foil against dependency on China accordingly, but they have huge problems looming and few answers.

      To equate PM Hipkins as a "Dealer". That is an egregious slur of a metaphor. What would you call Key then? If you meant wheeler dealer in trade sense you should say so. imo

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        Yep, Key played the neolib dealer role just like Hipkins. Left=right on that. Pragmatism is a useful default & I get why so many find it appealing. I just feel it is bad to be dependent on any dealer. I kept away from them in the old days when they were so trendy and grow your own became even more trendy so I wasn't alone.

        I also get why many folks feel captured by the system – in the globalised world we can only survive via a subservient stance, they think. I don't blame Labour for being that weak. I just prefer a positive alternative.

        • Patricia Bremner 2.1.1.1

          What 'positive alternative' Frank?

          • Dennis Frank 2.1.1.1.1

            Back in the '90s the Greens adopted an economic policy based on sustainability as the primary principle. I was part of the working group (led by Jeanette Fitzsimons) that co-designed the draft policy pre-Alliance.

            When I took a look at it in 2015 on the party website I satisfied myself that the main elements we had agreed were still incorporated. Your being unaware of it is due to the current bunch of Green parliamentarians being too timid to inform the public (as were the earlier bunch in the prior decade, as were Jeanette & co when they entered parliament). People talk about resilience as if it were the right thing to do – they just don't actually do it. Incompetence…

            • Patricia Bremner 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks for the reply. Yes I am aware, I just was checking where your comments were coming from.yes

              • Dennis Frank

                Oh good. There's times when I find myself thinking "So we did all that work for nothing??" If they fail to front it during this campaign I'll have to dismiss them as a lost cause.

      • Anne 2.1.2

        Excellent stuff Patricia.

        And it looks like Hipkin's approach has paid off:

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politics/chris-hipkins-makes-his-way-to-tiananmen-square-for-meeting-with-president-xi-jinping/3DSFO3UP2JGH3DXDCZN5AZWJ3I/

        Something that needs to be remembered too. Many decased ago two Kiwis laid the ground work for the good relationship with China. First there was Rewi Alley who do so much for the

        • Anne 2.1.2.1

          Please ignore my last comment. 🙁

          The full version:

          Excellent stuff Patricia @ 2.1

          And it looks like Hipkin's approach has paid off:

          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politics/chris-hipkins-makes-his-way-to-tiananmen-square-for-meeting-with-president-xi-jinping/3DSFO3UP2JGH3DXDCZN5AZWJ3I/

          Something that needs to be remembered. Many decades ago two Kiwis laid the ground work for the good relationship NZ has with China. First there was Rewi Alley who did so much for the Chinese people over the decades, and the Chinese formerly recognised him as an important foreigner in their country. The second was Warren Freer, a former Labour Minister in the 1970s. He had long recognised the huge trade potential that existed and he visited China many times in his efforts to set up dialogue with their trade officials. He was derided and accused of being a communist by his own party leader, and others, and sent to coventry for a period of time.

          But one person understood what he was trying to do and encouraged him behind the scenes. It was the PM and National Party leader, Keith Holyoake.

          It was officially recognised in the early 2000s that their attempts to bring about a good relationship, saw China sign the first trade agreement ever (the FTA) with a western country. I believe that good will still exists today.

          • Patricia Bremner 2.1.2.1.1

            Yes Anne, (I'm up with a pinched nerve in my neck..Proper pain in the neckwink)

            Many past Socialists saw the Chinese as developing differently to Russia, and a suitable trading partner when Britain and USA became protectionist. Given the Opium Wars it is amazing they accepted us. The Chinese are pragmatic.

            We lost sight of balance and sustainable practice, and chased the timber dried milk and beef wagon plus uncontrolled tourism..

            This has damaged our environment. We have to be smarter. The Gaming, Natural beauty products Cultural and Educational exchanges, and other added value products are part of this Delegation, along with traditional fare.

            Rewi Alley discovered a people willing to work collectively to help improve lives. He laid groundwork for the trust and sharing of ideas. The Chinese think in thousands of years, and their terraced gardens protected against soil loss many hundreds of years before we rabbited on about sustainability.

            They have single mindedly tried to pull their people out of poverty, with some success. Their current Leader is a smart but bullish character. So that needs watching as their system is the opposite of ours, and each has flaws.

            Cheers Anne. Keep wellsmiley

  3. SPC 3

    On the diplomacy side of it, it would be a good time to give the Chinese some advance notice of a future (public) decision to become part AUKUS 2.

    On the economic side, possibly seeking investment partners to local funds in building long term rental accommodation.

    Another area of interest to us would be lowering our construction costs (alternate supply lines to the local monopolies and maybe even partnerships in factory built homes (some here and some there).

    And after Simon Upton's pro Onslow project opine sound them out as to partnership in the build (also to lower the cost).

    Then there are Auckland projects etc.

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    “Reliant” and “Realism” are not necessarily the models this sparsely populated country should maintain.

    Mutually beneficial bilateral trade and cultural relations are where it is at if NZ aims to give “Washington, Moscow and Beijing” the swerve in terms of being subservient to imperialist powers of any stripe. Although India seems close to joining that three also.

    The Non Aligned Movement of nations would be great for Aotearoa NZ if it could be revived.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-Aligned_Movement

    AO/NZ cannot have a truly independent foreign policy while we are tied to 5 Eyes security arrangement, and the Anglosphere generally.

    • Ad 4.1

      Thank God one commentator still has a pulse.

      Holy Jesus where would we be with a full Realist foreign policy.

      • Tiger Mountain 4.1.1

        n.b. feel free to use the <sarc> tag in future…so more readers can fully experience your devastating wit

    • SPC 4.2

      Does any nation have a truly independent foreign policy?

      The term foreign policy implies in relation to others.

      • Ad 4.2.1

        As if cosmically timed, on the same day Hipkins is in China doubling down on our most important foreign policy – the NZ-China Free Trade Agreement – our previous most important foreign policy becomes relevant:

        "Even before Japan announced its decision in April 2021, Pacific states, meeting for the first time in December 2020 as States Parties to the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Rarotonga), “recalled concerns about the environmental impact of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactor accident in 2011 and urged Japan to take all steps necessary to address any potential harm to the Pacific”.

        They “called on States to take all appropriate measures within their territory, jurisdiction or control to prevent significant transboundary harm to the territory of another state, as required under international law”.

        These important statements stem from key international legal rules and principles, including the unique obligation placed by the Rarotonga Treaty on Pacific states to “Prevent Dumping” (Article 7), in view of our nuclear testing legacy and its permanent impacts on our peoples’ health, environment and human rights.

        Pacific states therefore have a legal obligation “to prevent the dumping of radioactive wastes and other radioactive matter by anyone” and “not to take any action to assist or encourage the dumping by anyone of radioactive wastes and other radioactive matter at sea anywhere within the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone”.

        https://www.forumsec.org/2023/06/26/statement-pacific-islands-forum-secretary-general-henry-puna-on-the-fukushima-treated-nuclear-wastewater/

      • Tiger Mountain 4.2.2

        Possibly not, independent need not infer isolationist as we all exist in the same world, it means not consistently being “under the thumb” of larger powers when political decisions are made by smaller nations.

  5. Patricia Bremner 5

    Dennis Frank @ 2.111Do you still look at your personal use of Trade Dennis?( To be self sufficient is difficult.)

    I have, and I use a product from Belgium, plus products from India which are currently keeping me alive. My masks are NZ and China, vaccines from USA. (We could make two of those items at far greater cost, which would reflect their environmental cost.) The others… No.

    My point is, the players of “no country” have turned trade and production into chess. We are a pawn, trying to be a Knight.
    I got an error sign, then this detached sorry.

    • Dennis Frank 5.1

      I'm more pragmatic than ideological Patricia, so yes, I do use products of trade. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. I'm not into purist aversion to trade. It's a question of balance around dependency. As a nation, we depend on foreign trade for our standard of living. We can reduce that by strategic import replacement.

      The right are averse to that since they interpret it as subsidies for local-made stuff, so tariffs don't get used. The left have gone along with that since Roger Douglas made it happen. Well, a shift back towards socialism could succeed if the cost-structure were designed to produce a nationwide consensus that resilience makes it worthwhile…

  6. Adrian Thornton 6

    "We are going to have to continue to respect governments that we privately loathe"…..I assume you are implying the country in realpoitik land that most of the world regard as the primary existential threat to world peace..therefore stability…the USA..

    People Worldwide Name US as a Major Threat to World Peace. Here’s Why.

    https://truthout.org/articles/people-worldwide-name-us-as-a-major-threat-to-world-peace-heres-why/

    • Ad 6.1

      The weak and small loathe the powerful. Often privately.

      • Adrian Thornton 6.1.1

        The small and downtrodden often rise up and cut the heads off the powerful too…

        • Ad 6.1.1.1

          Unless they can make deals.

          Which is what we've done. Reasonably well.

          • Adrian Thornton 6.1.1.1.1

            Yes I agree NZ has done pretty well negotiating the dangerous waters between the rising trading giant of China and the unhinged specter looming menacingly over the globe of the USA as it desperately clings onto is fast fading hegemony….all the while edging the entire planet ever closer to catastrophe.

            Too bad our own media can't negotiate the nuances of geo-politics as finely as our govt has done in this particular engagement.

  7. Mike the Lefty 7

    A fact of human existence is that sometimes you have to make pacts with the devil because he has a lot more to offer than the angels.

    • Adrian Thornton 7.1

      You lie down with dogs you get up with fleas my friend…and remember the tiny little flea can sometimes be carrier of the plague.

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    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    5 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    5 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    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 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    6 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1

    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor

    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15

    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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago

  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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.  ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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
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