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Hypocrisy and bad spin

Written By: - Date published: 12:19 pm, November 8th, 2012 - 43 comments
Categories: child welfare, local government, Metiria Turei, poverty, spin - Tags: , , , ,

NActUF are very good at using finely-honed, diversionary and distorting spin.  However, when debating 2 Private Members’ Bills yesterday, already lacking 1 needed vote before the day began, government speakers couldn’t even be bothered trying too hard.  Often in the debate son the first readings of these bills last night, the hypocrisy was glaring and the spin clumsy (full of tired right wing cliches).  On the other hand, Green and Labour MPs produced some very good speeches, demonstrating the difference between left and right wing principles.

The two Bills were Metiria Turei’s Income Tax (Universalisation of In-work Tax Credit) Amendment Bill— First Reading, and Darien Fenton’s one to entrench Free Public Library services. The top award for say-one-thing-do-another hypocrisy is shared by Nick Smith and Peter Dunne. The top prize for half-arsed clumsy spin goes to Maggie Barry.

Metiria Turei delivered a very good speech on child poverty, in introducing the first reading of Bill in October.  It is worth reading the entire speech because it lays out some of the shameful and appalling facts of child poverty in NZ. Something certainly needs to be done to fix the unfair Working for Families tax credit. Turei didn’t claim her bill would be the long term solution but said:

So here is my first step towards that fair future for our kids. My bill that we are debating tonight will relieve the worst poverty for these 150,000 children

In her speech concluding the first reading last night, Turei compared statistics from the 1980s to the present, for child poverty in NZ and Australia (1 minute into the video). They are damning.  Child poverty has gradually decreased in Australia, while it has stayed shamefully high in NZ.

The Bill failed at its first reading by one vote – Banks and Dunne voted against it – shame on them!  (Ditto for the Public Libraries’ Bill). In the General Debate yesterday, Turei makes a final plea to Peter Dunne to support her Bill.  She asked Dunne to honour a pledge he made before the 2011 election. Dunne had signed a pledge with a group, ‘Closer Together’ (1.30 mins into video), which stated,

As a politician I choose to commit to building a fairer New Zealand, and will actively support policy measures that reduce income inequality and ensure that will bring people closer together.

around the same time Dunne wrote:

I very much support your call for more detailed debate around the possible ways to reduce poverty and income inequality.

In another staggering example of doublespeak, Nick Smith and other Nats said they wouldn’t be supporting Darien Fenton’s Bill to entrench free public library services because:

  • libraries are soooo 1930s, and National will be providing a better service through Ultra Fast Broadband
  •  Nats don’t agree with government telling local government what to do
  • it’s just spending other people’s money

….. and then Maggie Barry waffled on about Labour’s Nanny state. Maggie clearly hasn’t been near a public library lately and knows little about how they operate.

In contrast, Phil Twyford gave an excellent speech.  He begins by outlining the difference between the NAct government’s individualistic, user-pays ethos, and the left’s philosophy of social inclusion and collective provisions.  He referred to the history of the rise of public libraries, at the same time as the development of public education and a belief in inclusive democratic participation. He was laughing with utter disbelief (3.23 mins into video) at Nick Smith’s hypocrisy, after what he did with ECAN.  Now, in this Public Libraries’ debate, Smith was arguing that the NZ government shouldn’t tell local governments what to do.

Jacinda Ardern also gave a very impassioned speech in response to Nick Smith (video begins with Nick Smith’s summation of his speech). In her summation Fenton highlighted the diference between the Auckland-based MPs, by saying that, after her speech,  Nikki Kaye will not be able to show her face anywhere near any public libraries, and just lost a load of votes.

The contrasts between the government and opposition speeches for these two Bills, show exactly why we need to end this destructive, hypocritical government; and why we need to replace it with a government based solidly on democractic, inclusive and fair, left wing principles and policies.

43 comments on “Hypocrisy and bad spin”

  1. Tracey 1

    “Nats don’t agree with government telling local government what to do”

    I wonder how Auckland got a Super City Council then… and ECAN got abolished never to have the light of democracy shone upon it again…

  2. Matthew 2

    How can anyone be against free libraries? I mean seriously… wtf

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      The Nats and their rich mates can’t make a profit from free-libraries.

    • Jimmy 2.2

      Whats free about them?…Rate payers are forced to fund other peoples reading habits.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        /facepalm

        You mean their own reading habits don’t you? After all, the library is open to all ratepayers.

      • Reagan Cline 2.2.2

        Wrong Jimmy. Other people are forced to pay for ratepayers reading habits because ratepayers as owners of land and capital use profits from the work of other people to pay for their books, internet access etc.

      • karol 2.2.3

        Ah, there you go – the right wing perspective that has a very narrow short term view.  When such community resources are freely available to all, we have a more inclusive society.  This means less disaffected people committing crimes.  An more informed citizenship encourages more democratic participation etc.
         
        I don’t have children, but I’m happy for my taxes to go towards a free public education system for other people’s children.  I benefit; we all benefit ultimately.
         
        It’s about what kind of society you want to live in.

        • felix 2.2.3.1

          “When such community resources are freely available to all, we have a more inclusive society.”

          Well yeah, that’s exactly why the Nats and Peter Dunne voted it down.

  3. vto 3

    Nick Smith is simply pure evil, just like Bill English.

    Where does he get off saying that the National government doesn’t like telling local goverments what to do?

    Fucking lying arsehole.

    Heard a glimpse on te wireless just before of someone giving him a bollocking and comparing his practices to what our men fought against in WWII at some select committee. Brilliant. More of this should be encouraged – these people need personal and heavy and consistent beratement over their treatment of our democratic principles. Shout them down. Walk away from them. Give them no respect. Give them the finger whenever you see them. Carter. Smith. Adams. Brownlee. Key and English.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Nick Smith is simply pure evil, just like Bill English.

      That’s true of the entire National caucus.

      Where does he get off saying that the National government doesn’t like telling local goverments what to do?

      Has this actually made the MSM yet? Have the MSM compared the removal of Auckland’s right to referendum on the Super City and the firing of ECan so that farmers get more water to poison against Nick Smith’s stated dislike of telling local government what to do? Wasn’t there also a bit about the City Rail Link in Auckland?

      This should be top news in the MSM as National shows itself to be totally hypocritical.

      • bbfloyd 3.1.1

        DTB……Don’t hold your breath….. When, and if it gets reported, murdochs fourth estate will report it as the “lefties” trying to waste our money again….

    • mike e 3.2

      Ol lizard smith eyes at it again slithering around in the national cesspit a morally corrupt slime ball!
      You can safely say he speaks with a forked tongue maybe thats why the ladies like him he should have resigned from parliament after using his office to conduct an affair with a constituent who was in a vulnerable state when she sort help from the Porn again Christian!!

  4. muzza 4

    Indeed these are two glaring issues, which expose all that is so nasty about “our democracy”, and our so called representatives. Its one of a few things

    1: They are nasty wrong-uns
    2: They are brainwashed
    3: They are being blackmailed/controlled
    4: All of the above

    There are not many serious choices in such continued disgraceful voting patterns, and blatant hypocracy! To what end will Kiwis continue to let the attack on our people, our country, and all its future go on, un-checked!

    Cast your vote as instructed to do so by your partys “owners”, and shut up! Don’t rub our faces in the fact that we are paying in hard energy, your costs, to spew this kind of dros out.

  5. Uturn 5

    It’s not up to the Nats to know anything of the practical implications of their policies. Thinking one step ahead is a drain on our economy.

    “…libraries are soooo 1930s, and National will be providing a better service through Ultra Fast Broadband…”

    The Nats are too busy to need the net, they do not know many books at libraries aren’t online. Better to have people stimulate the economy on breadline wages by buying a huge library of books at retail prices using a internet they can’t afford to pay for and which would be out of reach when library service no longer exists. With a rented house big enough to house their imaginary library and a landlord pushing them out every few years for the sake of more money, they can then cart 1000kg’s of books around the country.

    Still, fair’s fair, can’t have poor people knowing anything useful. Better to encourage an illiterate violent mob, trained in the polarised opinions of the media, who can’t be reached by the logical pleas of a terrified elite.

    “Nats don’t agree with government telling local government what to do…”

    That’s right, community libraries, they’ve always been under direct central government control, didn’t you know?

    “…it’s just spending other people’s money…”

    In an unexpected eureka moment, Nick Smith discovers a connection between governments and taxes.

    • Tracey 5.1

      Isnt dotcom taking over the delivery of a fibre optic cable?

      • Uturn 5.1.1

        Yep, Santa is coming. All that poor people need to do if they want a free present is to pay for Santa’s sleigh and reindeer upkeep, a handling fee for the workshop elves, and buy a special “gift receptacle”. Other than that, it’s totally free. The catch is that no one is really sure if Santa exists. There is also a rumour that he’s wanted overseas for stockpiling gifts.

  6. bbfloyd 6

    “and National will be providing a better service through Ultra Fast Broadband”… How typically halfwitted from the stars of “comedy central”….

    Imagine you are a child wandering through the library,…not quite sure what you want to read…then, a book takes your eye…you pick it out, and start to read,…It is on a subject that you hadn’t considered before, so you spend the rest of your life recounting how it came about that you found your lifes work just browsing the shelves of a library….

    Where is the adventure in accessing the library on the internet? Where is that unexpected discovery going to come from if the only books you see are on subjects you are already aware of?

    Am I to beleive that the story I’ve just told is one that can be consigned to ancient history, and inspiration can now be expected to come from epiphanies that we spontaniously experience right out of the blue? ….without any stimulous from any kind of unexpected source?

    Of course not, the wise old man says….. your teachers, and leaders will supply the necessary inspiration, as they know you better than you know yourself youngster…..trust them, they know what you’re doing….

    Online libraries…pffft…. btw…. I’m using myself as the hero of this little homily…..but I’m quite sure there would be many, many fine examples of just how vital the connection to (real) libraries has been to developing young minds……

    • karol 6.1

      bbfloyd, your comment reminds me of something that Jacinda Ardner said in her speech: that Norman Kirk was a keen user of public libraries, as part of his self-education.
       

      • bbfloyd 6.1.1

        Karol…. I havn’t the figures, but I would be very surprised if there aren’t thousands of examples of people “finding” important knowledge purely from trawling the shelves of the local library that could be gleaned…..

        It would make for an interesting study, to search out people who have had similar experiences to mine, and to show how that has affected/changed their lives…. not to mention the benefits that could accrue to the wider community from those lucky accidents…

        • The Woodpecker 6.1.1.1

          Try Bob Jones. I saw an interview on him, where he said when he had polio he spent alot of time reading and recons that time in his life is what enabled him to succeed.

          • muzza 6.1.1.1.1

            LOL, Nah Bob Jones succeeded because he was a thug, who then got picked up as part of the NZ gang!

    • David H 6.2

      Our Library has just been completely re built new building everything now I can take my son there to look, learn , and play. But for how long under this mob??

  7. Tracey 7

    Cos the house of every child in NZ has computers and unlimited internet access (downloadability).

    • bbfloyd 7.1

      I would mention the great library of Alexandria as a precedent setting example of what is lost when the physical knowledge is destroyed…. And in the modern sense, the isolation process being engaged in is reinforced by putting the kids in front of a computor for even longer than they do now…..

      There is a strong case that can be made for the environments created in places like libraries have beneficial flow on effects that allows a wider apreciation for the aquisition of knowledge, at least…

  8. lprent 8

    …and National will be providing a better service through Ultra Fast Broadband

    FFS: The useless pricks in National have screwed that up as well. Apparently you can’t get the fibre into apartment block boards (like mine). The reason?

    While you could literally service a lot of households from one relatively cheap splitter – apparently there is no way that Chorus will put one in because there no way to collect money from each occupier for the initial installation.

    So this is going to be interesting looking into this at my apartment where the fibre is in the process of being installed. Fortunately I carefully brought right next to the apartment blocks board and coincidentally have a hole for the cables. If it gets to be too much hassle or too expensive then I will stay on copper.

    Anyway, their fibre rollout appears to be getting few takers because this useless pack of idiots simply haven’t thought through how people are actually able to connect. At this point the takeup of residential onto fibre is apparently minimal – and one of the main reasons is that you can’t get it into older apartments buildings. Typical sloppiness by Stephen Joyce.

    But universal access to information? Nope – you get that from public libraries – the UFB might help there..

    • David H 8.1

      I really can’t see the use of it. I get reasonable d/l speeds now upto 1mps or more from some sites that’s enough unless you want to grab huge files 20gig plus. The biggest hindrance for me is whats the point when 90% of the sites I visit have me waiting for them for data and refresh rates are quite slow, so really whats the point also the speed i get allows all machines on my network to access the net and not notice a D/L in progress.

      • lprent 8.1.1

        Ah you obviously don’t live with a filmmaker like I do, or spend time as a programmer moving GB datasets and codeset around. I’d agree with you for the typical household. ADSL+ works fine. Hell I watch TV using it.

        The problem is with a AsyncDSL. While I can get GB files down pretty damn smartly, I can typically only send at a twentieth of the speed the other way – and the ratio is getting worse. On the first generation of ADSL it was only 8x.

        This means that shipping a screener to finland for a film festival can take quite a few hours and make the link largely useless for everyone in the house because you get timeouts sending URL requests… 🙁

        While it takes maybe 10 minutes to backup this entire site including the databases, if I ever have to restore it then it will take several hours. I have quite a few systems that I maintain on a volunteer basis and the lack of an ability to maintain them is crippling.

        What I need are better uplink speeds. What I am getting are dingbats in parliament who have about as much interest in tech as chorus has in customer relations. Previously I had few choices. To get fibre here would have been more than several years of charges. Now it is here and it appears that I’m not going to be able to get it.

  9. Tracey 9

    C’mon people. PEOPLE. These were aspirations… not real things unless you are on planet Key.

  10. Tracey 10

    ” Unemployment is up to a “shocking” 7.3 per cent as businesses lay off full time workers in tough times.

    Prime Minister John Key said the New Zealand figures were surprising and at odds with other data. ”

    stuff.co.nz

    Inotherwords, it’s wrong, nothing to see here, move on.

    • David H 10.1

      But this time he can’t refute it as it’s his own beloved Household Labour Force survey that he always quotes in the house.. But I see it’s business as usual from Key.

      • McFlock 10.1.1

        apparently his own anecdata trumps the HLFS.
        Just another case of tory delusionals believing they are correct and reality has it wrong.

  11. weka 11

     
    “…libraries are soooo 1930s, and National will be providing a better service through Ultra Fast Broadband…”
     
    Can someone tell me, is that actual NACT policy? Any text links? (I can’t watch video today).

    • karol 11.1

      Actually, in Question Time today, Clare Curran was asking for statistics to compare National’s promises of ultrafast broadband accessibilty pre-election, and the actual uptake.  Nats were aiming for something like 75% uptake by 2019 – best check the transcript for actual stats when it becomes available.

  12. millsy 12

    I hope that this is not the end of this issue, and measures to protect our public libaries find their way into Labour’s 2014 manifesto.

    • Jo 12.1

      I hope so too, Millsy. The swift and silent angel of bibliography, who puts books into the hands of people who didn’t realise they were looking for them (like bbfloyd’s child @ 6), cannot fly on UFB, she needs pages binding who knows what you might find when you think you’re looking for something else.

  13. fatty 13

    After Nat/Act/UF voted to keep kids in poverty Trevor Mallard calls a point of order and suggests an early dinner…nice one Trev, great timing

    • karol 13.1

      Well, I hope Mallard was just rushing off to find where Peter Dunne had got to (but probably he was not being so supportive of the Green co-leader).  Dunne didn’t even bother turning up personally for the vote, compounding his hypocrisy.
       
      Well as Idiot/Savant indicated today, will Dunne repeat his hypocrisy in voting against a Hone Harawira Bill that was drawn in the ballot today?
       

      A ballot for five member’s bills was held today and the following bills were drawn:

      Climate Change (New Zealand Superannuation Fund) Bill (Eugenie Sage)
      Electronic Transactions (Contract Formation) Amendment Bill (Paul Goldsmith)
      Dairy Industry Restructuring Amendment Bill (No 2) (Damien O’Connor)
      Employment Relations (Statutory Minimum Redundancy Entitlements) Amendment Bill (Sue Moroney)
      Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment Bill (Hone Harawira)

      • fatty 13.1.1

        Yeah, Peter Dunne should be held accountable. AmaKiwi posted this inspiring story, its a method the public could use on Peter Dunne…in front of cameras, name and shame him. It would get the point across about what happened yesterday, and also hold him accountable, perhaps then he won’t do the same again to Hone’s bill.

        • karol 13.1.1.1

          Very good idea, fatty.  While I think it’s important to highlight the National Party hypocrisy whenever it is evident (especially if Nick Smith gets returned to cabinet), but I also think it is very important to hold Dunne to account.
           
          He’s a fair weather supporter of campaigns against poverty.  This should be shown up in whatever ways possible, so that the media pay far more attention to his hypocrisy.
           
          Many people don’t realise that Dunne was too cowardly even to turn up for the vote on Turei’s Bill.  She tweeted:
           

          Peter Dunne could not even bother to front up for the vote on my child poverty bill.

  14. Jenny 14

    In their very late in the day rearguard campaign against free public libraries, and their campaign to dig up as much coal as possible in the age of climate change. I expect stove pipe hats and bustles to be the new fashion items to be sported by Nact members in the house.

    19th century campaign against the free library movement

    • karol 14.1

      Ah, yes, our miserly and self-serving government has no respect for hard fought democratic community services and resources.  And they just don’t seem to understand how such services make for a better society.

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    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    7 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    7 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    7 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago