web analytics

If I were National’s campaign strategist

Written By: - Date published: 11:05 am, April 24th, 2008 - 61 comments
Categories: election 2008, national - Tags: ,

National will not win by running on its rightwing principles and policy. For 20 years, New Zealanders have consistently said they do not want to sell public assets, they do not want weaker employment law, they do not want tax cuts at the cost of public service cuts, and they like government assistance like Kiwisaver and Working for Families. This, National has already realised. Given that, the strategy becomes obvious and it is the one that National has run.

Eliminate ‘scary’ perceptions by adopting all the Government’s policies, except those that go to the heart of why National is a party the employment relationship. There’s no point for business having a National Party if they’re going to start standing for better wages and workers’ rights. But adopt everything else. This will mean flip-flops; do them sharply and brazenly. If possible, pretend your new position has always been your position.

Don’t risk scaring away votes with significant differentiating policies. In fact, try to neutralise the question of what you would do with power as a campaign issue altogether. Having Key as leader helps here: he doesn’t have the rightwing record Brash and other senior National MPs have, he comes across like a nice guy, and he genuinely doesn’t care about National’s principles; he cares about winning.

Attack, attack attack. It doesn’t matter what the topic is nor how valid the attack, just make it. Find some good labels: ‘tired’, ‘corrupt’. Focus group and roll out a new attack phrase every few weeks to be repeated at every opportunity by every MP and ally (eg. ‘they’re just making personal attacks while the economy burns’). Keep everyone on message; repeat something enough and repeat it consistently and it becomes accepted fact. Keep the focus on Key, and keep him as the ‘clean man’ (leave the nasty stuff to Power, Ryall, the Smiths, and English). Don’t have Key speak in public too often: the more he speaks the more likely he is to say something seriously off message that will be costly.

The downside of this is, once elected, National will not have a public mandate to do anything. But that’s OK. The priority now is stop the creep to the left. Play it cool. Win this election and wait for the second term to starting moving right.

Your opponents have nine years of baggage and a bored media against them. This should be easy. Play it cool, don’t scare the horses, keep on smiling, and it’s in the bag.

61 comments on “If I were National’s campaign strategist”

  1. If I was the Nat’s campaign strategist I’d use an intermediary such as DPF to line up collusive campaigns with wealthy Christian backers. I wouldn’t want to get caught doing it though…

    http://newzblog.wordpress.com/2008/04/24/dpf-national-and-the-christian-right/

    Sorry for the link-whoring guys.

  2. Steve Pierson 2

    Yeah. We’re not kiwiblogblog, so we don’t talk about Farrar much, but I wouldn’t be leaving all my parallel campaigning up to Farrar if I were them. His reverse midas touch is legendary.

  3. Macky 3

    I hear around the place that there have been some pretty unpleasent caucus sessions recently for the nats. I don’t know the specifics of the arguments but its got to be about whether they stnad on any principles or do whatever it takes to win

    Key would be advocating whatever it takes I’m sure but a lot of MPs come from more right- wing positions than he does and they’ll be asking what the point of being government is if they’re just going to be labour/

  4. Billy 4

    They are sort of in the position that New Labour in the UK was in before the 1996 election. The government is so unpopular, anything you say can only hurt your chances. Shut up and you’ll win.

    For this reason, contrary to what they’ve promised, I think the Nats will see if they can get away with releasing no policy at all right up to the election.

    Everyone on the other side of the spectrum to the government is already going to vote for you, so you have to move closer to the government’s position on the spectrum to pick up everyone else.

    I hate it. They believe in nothing and nothing will have been gained by voting out Labour, except that one might expect less apetite for the silly social stuff (God I miss not being able to smoke in the pub).

  5. Tane 5

    (God I miss not being able to smoke in the pub)

    Amen to that Billy. I found one local that let me smoke in the pub on quiet weeknights but they changed ownership and went upmarket, damn them.

  6. mike 6

    “(God I miss not being able to smoke in the pub)”

    and we all remember what it was like to enjoy some Pinapple Lumps with the kids… http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10505902

  7. Tane 7

    Mike, if Pineapple Lumps are ever banned in this country I’ll buy you that one-way ticket to Australia you’ve been after for so long.

  8. Joker 8

    Steve, Your posts are starting to really show that you are becoming consumed with your ideology.

    You write like a man who truly believes that the National Party is full of sinister Shylock-esque characters. If this is really what you think then you have lost touch with reality.

    Some Nats may have nasty streaks (granted) but really they are a bunch of people who differ in thinking to you in some areas on how to make New Zealanders happier and wealthier.

    I dont want to sound like a dick but it may be a good idea for you to take some time out from thinking so obsesively about this stuff and perhaps get a girl/boyfriend to pursue other interests with.

    Captcha: Grams line – sounds like the recipe for a good night out

  9. mike 9

    “Mike, if Pineapple Lumps are ever banned in this country I’ll buy you that one-way ticket to Australia you’ve been after for so long.”

    No thanks Tane – I like it here and it looks like its going to get even better come Nov.
    Like JK said ” This is a great country – if it was a company I’d buy it and replace the management”

  10. Steve Pierson 10

    joker.

    Which part of my argument are you criticising? the ‘nasty stuff’ line? it’s not saying they’re nasty people, it’s saying what should be obvious – their job is to do the nasty attacks while Key stays clean – Labour employs much the same strategy with Clark above the fray while Goff, Mallard, and Cullen get into it.

    I don’t think they’re full of sinister shylock-esque characters. I think they represent a base within society, business and wealth, and want to see that base in power. To do that they have to adopt certain strategies. It’s just a fact of life. Do I agree with their ideology? No. Do I understand why, given their ideology, they campaign as they do? Yes.

    oh and thanks for the advice, I’m always trying to get my partner to pursue other interests with me more often.

  11. Tane 11

    Like JK said ‘ This is a great country – if it was a company I’d buy it and replace the management’

    I guess that means his “New Zealand Sucks” campaign is an attempt to damage the company’s share price and make it an easier target for takeover?

  12. outofbed 12

    If I was the Nat’s campaign strategist I’d take the Greens down any possible way I could
    They are the people who stand in the way, being in opposition or being government
    Green under 5% Nats in
    Greens Over 5% Nats out

  13. outofbed 13

    although probably not a good idea to use the EB this time!

  14. Steve Pierson 14

    outofbed. I think you’re right. In fact I think it’s in National’s interest for both the Greens and New Zealand First not to get back in. However, it’s not easily done – how does a major party reduce the vote of a minor party on the opposite side of the spectrum that has a very solid base?

    It’s one of the lesser issues that I couldn’t really get into in a post that’s meant to be under 300 words.

  15. Joker 15

    Apologies Steve. Looking back on my post I was being nobbishly condescending.

    It is when you say things like:

    “There’s no point for business having a National Party if they’re going to start standing for better wages and workers’ rights”.

    that I think you are off the mark.

  16. Susan 16

    Inspiring speeches might help.

    “We must move forward, not backward. Upward, not forward. And always twirling twirling twirling towards freedom”

  17. outofbed 17

    Well they get someone like N smith to front Green initiatives to drag the 2-3000 vote that would get the Greens under the 5%
    And then (as rumour has it) you quickly replace Mr Smith as the Environment Minister post Election as he is too Green

  18. Phil 18

    I used that one earlier in the week Susan…

    Flip-flopping at warp speed

  19. Joker, Steve in fact writes almost the same as one of Helen’s press jockey’s which begs he question as to why she didn’t just get him to write her answers…he will anyway, well He’ll try dome lines here first to see if they resonate then feed them into the focus groups and voila! Clark has a position.

    If I was Labour’s campaign strategist I would counsel to drop the smears and attacks, no one is listening and the opposite effect of what was intended is happening, but as it their only strategy is it any wonder it has been suggested here by a ninth floor staffer?

    [bro, you ran a sycophantic interview with a guy whose ‘most explosive political biography in New Zealand history’ has been greeted with universal yawns. The leaders of the political parties, including the PM, have agreed to be interviewed by us using the questions our readers (you know what they are, eh?) submit. Says something where you stand in the scale of things. And no, I’m not a media person for any party or organisation. SP]

  20. Hey Cameron – I understand the auditors investigation (which cited amongst other things sloppy and incomplete paperwork) into your failed business venture was never followed up. Is that because you settled after the liquidation?

    I also noticed you’ve not had a lot to say about absolute power – wasn’t it supposed to bring the government to its knees?

    Here’s some advice dumbass – go back to your little filthpit and don’t bother coming around here or anywhere else accusing them of smears until you act like a real man and apologise for yours. Moron.

    [play nice. it’s ok to criticise someone when they’re being hypcritical but the ‘moron’ comment isn’t needed. SP]

  21. Oh Michael sweetie, be very, very careful about what you say, very careful.

  22. James Kearney 23

    Steve in fact writes almost the same as one of Helen’s press jockey’s which begs he question as to why she didn’t just get him to write her answers

    Doesn’t that suggest that Steve isn’t in fact one of Helen’s press jockey’s?

    he will anyway, well He’ll try dome lines here first…

    If that’s the case why wouldn’t he have written them earlier? You inhabit a strange universe Whale. Back to your pornography son…

  23. James Kearney 24

    Oh Michael sweetie, be very, very careful about what you say, very careful.

    Busted Whale. Corrupt failed businessman. How does it feel?

  24. Ha! Or what? You’ll threaten to sue me and then back down? Oh no wait a minute you’ll get your mate eddie to stalk me! I’ve got a better idea Cameron. Why don’t you HTFU or STFU. You’re a pussy and a bully Cam but I’m a bigger bully than you’ll ever be.

    Oh and Cam? You’ve still not answered my question – did you settle?

    [Sod, settle down. You’re only encouraging Cameron’s trolling and ruining the thread for everyone else.]

  25. gobsmacked 26

    (ignoring the usual mudfight, and on topic …)

    Billy said: “They are sort of in the position that New Labour in the UK was in before the 1997 election.”

    I agree, but with one crucial difference. UK Labour had been shattered by the unexpected defeat in the previous election (after the Tories had dumped Thatcher they recovered enough for Major to scrape back in). As a result, Blair (and his predecessor John Smith) were able to make changes to party structure and personnel. After 4 defeats in a row, the Labour party was ready for internal change. And the MPs elected in 1997 were more “moderate” than in the 1980’s. In short, New Labour really WAS new (for better or worse, but that’s another story).

    There is no New National. The party hasn’t changed at all. The candidates are no different from before, and depending on the party list rankings, the 2008 caucus could actually be moving to the right. They certainly aren’t choosing liberals or centrists in the electorates.

    So National are doing fine in the polls as an opposition party. But how are they going to govern, when the leader is forcing the caucus to do so much they don’t want?

    I don’t think their strategy is smart at all. It is a sure-fire recipe for internal conflict, and one term. This idea that National can win power first, and persuade the public later, is FPP nonsense. They are never going to be more popular than they are now. “Clark and Cullen Out” is not much use as a rallying cry once they’ve gone. Do National seriously believe they will get more votes once they start breaking promises?

    If you can’t argue for what you believe when you’re well ahead in the polls, when can you?

  26. mike 27

    “Do National seriously believe they will get more votes once they start breaking promises?”
    Lets see – broken promises: Chewing gum tax, OECD rating, 5% of taxpayer paying envy tax, shorter waiting lists…..

  27. gobsmacked 28

    Mike – resulting in more votes?

  28. mike 29

    gb: I’m sure National will get more voters once people see that if they work harder they can ahead instead of being ass-raped by the good Dr whenever they try to earn a little extra.

  29. gobsmacked 30

    Oh dear.

    Mike, my post is for those interested in the OP, some analysis of strategy, regardless of who we vote for. Steve P makes the case for the current strategy, I’ve made an argument against. It’s for the grown-ups to discuss.

    If you have something to contribute beyond a fixation with your nether regions, please do.

  30. mike – you mean the Hon. Dr. Lockwood Smith?

  31. j 32

    Rodinsod
    Doing defamation in law school at the moment. Just out of interest can you actually prove the whaleoil is a corrupt businessman? I’m just trying to work out your hypothetical defence should it go to court. Usually you’d have issues with identification but I think you done that.

    As far as I know no one in NZ has been sued for blog comments so it could be groundbreaking stuff.

  32. mike 33

    Very patronising gb, we you make stupid statements like “They are never going to be more popular than they are now” my response about tax relief is on topic

  33. Steve Pierson 34

    j. he might argue truth, or honest opinion. or he could argue that there is no defamation as the comment wouldn’t tend to lower public opinion of whaleoil – on either the grounds that no-one believes a word of what robinsod says or whaleoil’s reputation is already lower than a snake’s belly. And, anyway, it’s like I always say: never sue in defamation unless it’s really really justified. it’s not worth having the smear repeated and dissected repeatedly in public.

    Seriously, folks, let’s have a little less of the personal stuff and a little less of the empty threats of legal action, you’re getting the second year law students worked up.

  34. j – If you bothered to read my comment you’ll see that I simply asked a question based on the facts available from a public legal document. I would suggest that you either study a bit harder or consider changing courses.

    Oh and j? if you really are keen on becoming a lawyer you should work on your writing – “but I think you done that.” is nonsensical.

  35. no-one believes a word of what robinsod says

    Steve – I am more than happy to publish the auditor’s report and provide a link if you have concerns about the veracity of my information.

    [just winding you up, old boy. loved the book review, btw. as for the auditor’s report, I don’t think it’s something the standard would be interested getting into but if you want to post it somewhere and put a link in a comment, hey it’s a free internet. SP]

  36. Matthew Pilott 37

    Did everyone else know that mike’s idea of an ass-raping is for someone earning $100,000 to be paying $2,400 tax more than someone on $60,000. You’re like a child, crying because it’s past your bedtime and you don’t wannagotobed!

    If that’s stopping you from ‘getting ahead’, mike, then I suggest you have very little talent for getting ahead as it is.

    Steve Pierson, I can’t disagree with one of your points more.

    The downside of this is, once elected, National will not have a public mandate to do anything.

    If they are voted in without laying a platform apart from that of Obamaesque ‘change’, then they’ll have a mandate to do anything and everything. I hope the swinging public and those weaker (i.e. not too dedicated) NP voters, and the opposition (us!), can hold them to account; to release some policy prior to the election – otherwise they could do pretty much anything.

    That worries me a whole lot.

  37. r0b 38

    In haste, in transit, on dialup (argh!). But surprised to see no mention of the Maori party.

    IIWNCS I would be jettisoning my Orewa baggage fast, making friends with the MP, keeping quiet about Maori seats, and working out how to give the MP what it wanted re the foreshore wihout startling “mainstream New Zealand”.

    Otherwise I think Steve pretty much nailed it. Head down, no policy, sleepwalk to victory.

  38. outofbed 39

    I actually don’t think they are sleep walking to victory ,After Labour keeps gifting them opportunities to be attacked The Nats are only ,what 3 or a charitable 5% ahead of a left centre coalition.
    We know this gap will close in the election campaign as it always does.

    The National party in the form we know it is never to going to gain power It might after the defeat in the next election split into two and the center leaning part may form a coalition with someone in 2011
    But this election Not a fucking chance

  39. Steve, Ii think you have summed up the best possible strategy National could use. It’s a no brainer really and it appears that they are going to follow this strategy all the way to the wire.
    Of course your comment about them having no public mandate to do anything is true as well. Luckily for National the public have become accustomed to fundamental changes once a party has attained the treasury benches.
    Labour have done a tip top job in ramming through changes that were hitherto unannounced prior to winning so i don’t see any significant problems with national promising one thing and then changing it all after they get in.
    it’s what we expect from our politicians.

  40. Steve Pierson 41

    ouofbed. I agree. I don’t think they’ll win. Hell, I wouldn’t bother exposing them if I thought it was pointless. I just think this is their optimal strategy to win, and the strategy they’ve adopted.

    r0b – yeah, no mention of the minor parties – have to keep the post short. and minor parties don’t really feature in their strategy – you see Key constantly referring to getting over 50% alone. Minor parties will be the backup plan and I guess they’ll wing it. ACT and United Future will be first choices. NZF or Maori Party would be next.

  41. j 42

    I was going for truth and honest opinion as well.

    But I don’t think Robinsod has a chance with honest opinion as he is representing opinion as fact which is a big no no.

    He could also be sued by the auditors as well as he calls their work sloppy and incomplete which has the inference of incompetence, unprofessionalism and failure to discharge their statutory duty.

    Truth would be a bitch too because Robinsod would have to prove the imputation that whaleoil bribed the auditors to look the other way and not investigate the liquidation due to Robinsod’s claims of questionable paperwork.

    [i think he’s saying the auditors’ report finds whaleoil’s paperwork was sloppy and incomplete. Always liked honest opinion myself, so easy to frame a statement as opinion implicitly or explicitly, rather than fact. SP]

  42. mike 43

    “We know this gap will close in the election campaign as it always does.”

    The gap will widen this year as people really start to struggle with record living costs and flagging economy.

    Labour could not have aworse run into election year – their personal attack politics is backfiring and there will be worse to come with the EFA/ antismacking ref etc.

    Great to see you guys pumping each other up in the face of defeat though – if nothing else you pinko’s are resiliant.

  43. randal 44

    I think J might actually be dave re-incarnated. just as well he is a second year law student as he cant be prosecuted yet for claiming he has a degree to which he is not entitled….tee heee…I’m a linguist but only an amachewer

  44. j 45

    Um no I’m not dave.

    Considering there are about over 1000 odd law student at any one time in NZ it is not impossible that there is more than one posting here.

    In a way I’m torn as part of me wants see Robinsod sued mostly because it would be a fascinating and precedent setting case but also because he’s slightly creepy. But, on the other hand I wouldn’t want our freedom of speech to be encroached upon.

  45. Absolute Power 46

    I agree j freedom of speech is vital in a moral democracy.

  46. outofbed 47

    “Great to see you guys pumping each other up in the face of defeat though – if nothing else you pinko’s are resiliant”

    Look at this Mike

    http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/0804/3poll200408.pdf
    The undecideded vote % is closely linked to the LAb %

    It is ( the undecided) just not going to go to the Tories
    There is one thing registering your discomfort with Lab to a pollster it is quite another to actually put your tick in a National Party box

    It is highly unlikely that The Nats will form the GOV in 2008

    The fact is that most of the media do not seem understand MMP or maybe they just want to mislead, I don’t know.
    It is very close at the moment but
    I wouldn’t be panicking just yetl if i were a Lab supporter

  47. Adolf Fiinkensein 48

    Don’t worry your little head Steve. You’ll never be National’s campaign strategist.

    Just worry about how you’re going to find jobs for all your unemployable erstwhile Labour seat warmers.

  48. DS 49

    “I wouldn’t be panicking just yetl if i were a Lab supporter”

    Agreed. Worried, yes. Panicked, no.

  49. j 50

    “It is highly unlikely that The Nats will form the GOV in 2008

    The fact is that most of the media do not seem understand MMP or maybe they just want to mislead, I don’t know.”

    Yeah bro, thats it
    people who spend their professional lives analysing and writing about politics haven’t got a fcuking clue about the subject.

    or could it be that you’re in deep denial.

  50. Nah, they’re amateurs. A bit like you j.

    Adolf – why should anyone take you seriously when you name yourself after Hitler. That’s just stupid.

  51. AncientGeek 52

    j: Depends which ones you read. My advice is to look at the ones who have been looking at at least a minimum of say about 6 elections. Then they have a bit of perspective.

    Even amongst those you need to avoid the more excitable ones who tend to move with the winds. For instance Chris Trotter who seems to flip-flop almost as fast as Key does.

    I’d watch the old fogy political commentators. They’ve seen it all before. So far they’re not calling any kind of a landslide, because that is hellishly hard under MMP. It is going to be a very hard fought election because the polls are getting the opinions of the accessible.

    At this point I think it is all going to come down to an ability to form minority coalitions. That is not known to be a significant skill amongst the Nat’s. It involves listening, negotiating with, and actually working with coalition partners. It is bloody hard to charm your way to a MMP coalition.

    I’m looking forward to the rather amusing bursts of outrage again from the rabid right with their perennial cries of ‘stolen’ elections. The reality is that the Nat’s still seem to be living in the past and operating as if it was still FPP. But of course that is the fate of most conservatives (with a small ‘c’)

  52. j 53

    “Nah, they’re amateurs. A bit like you j.”

    Very touchy. I guess if they were slanting the coverage to labour then they would be propagand… um… professionals.

    I actually respect trotter and he seems very willing hold fast to his principles as speak out even if they are unpalatable and inconcenient to labour supporters at certain times.

    Some people here tend to get mixed up between loyalty to party and to leader. It’s certainly important to know the difference.

  53. j – no. The bulk of them are amateurs. I watch them making the most uninformed remarks every day. Just as I watch blog commenters and posters do the same.

    Hmm captcha is “him Melville” I wonder who here is Ahab?

  54. Billy 55

    Surely there’s a white whale joke in there somewhere.

  55. Absolute Power 56

    Billy, I think the joke is the most unfortunate Robinsod, who thinks his opinion of bloggers is relevant to circustances in the big wide world of blogosphere. In my humble but equally relevant opinion I think the poor robinsod chap is suffering from a delusional syndrome.

  56. Ted 57

    The poppy on the banner is a nice touch.

  57. outofbed 58

    J , I am most certainly not in deep denial

    I know that J Key will have to operate a gaff free environment closer to the election
    I know by observation that J Key is not up to that job
    I therefore know that The Nats wil not get as many votes as the polls at this stage suggest
    I know that the”don’t knows are close tied to the Lab %(see above http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=1772#comment-30805)
    I know the National Party are going to have the biggest percentage of party votes
    I know that the MP is most unlikely to support the Nats
    I know the Greens are most unlikely to support the Nats
    I know therefore the Nats coalition options are limited

    So I can make a pretty fair guess that the NAts are not going to have the numbers to Govern

    With respect I don’t think it is I, that is in denial

  58. j 59

    I think you left some parties out or are the limits to how much you know.

  59. lprent 60

    Ted: “The poppy on the banner is a nice touch.”

    More out of guilt than anything else. I woke up this morning to a dawn service on the radio, and realised I’d forgotten my resolution from last year to attend.

    The old soldiers in my family are dying out, and the younger soldiers like my sister-in-law (Bosnia) are too busy raising kids. But the rememberance of the cost and sacrifices of war needs to be kept up.

    Beside I have remote cousins serving offshore at present.

    So I crawled out of bed and did some minor artwork. A small contribution, but better than nothing.

  60. Oh it’s good to be back online. Dial up is just diabolical.

    I wonder, with the house market diminishing, food prices going up because of hedge funds speculating amongst others and hundreds of thousands of NZers having lost their money because of the finance companies collapsing due to the sub prime crisis, John Key buying a luxury mansion in a luxury resort in Hawaii were in the poorer areas people are starving because of artificially inflated food prices would be a somewhat misguided political move, wouldn’t it?
    It’s a bit like giving NZers suffering the consequences of the international finance markets speculative moves (Yes, I mean those of his bankers cronies higherstandard) the finger, isn’t it?

    It also makes perfectly clear what he will do after his “political career”; Enjoy the company of other “rich pricks” in paradise while it’s people are starving as the result of their policies.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,549187,00.html

    I wonder where John Key diversified his money into after he came back from Merrill Lynch, as he said he had in a recent interview, he’s not stupid and he has mates who tell him were the next bubble is going to be. Perhaps a good question to add to my already long list of questions. Or perhaps to ask him as part of the Standards questionnaire.

    captcha: allegedly Smith, sounds like good blog name to me.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The coronavirus outbreak in China: what a difference a week makes
    When it comes to emerging infectious diseases and outbreaks, so much can happen in a week. In the case of the coronavirus outbreak in China, I’ve gone from not being too alarmed, to thinking “oh, crap!”. But that still doesn’t mean we should all panic. As I’m writing this on ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    16 hours ago
  • National cries wolf over Coronavirus
    Opposition MP Michael WoodhouseLast week, the current National Party leader, Simon Bridges, claimed that the Minister of Health wasn’t leading on ‘significant issues that matter to New Zealanders within his Health portfolio’ when commenting about the Government’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak.This silly comment was made despite David Clark working ...
    1 day ago
  • Fluoridation and sex steroid hormones – or the mouse that roared
    All the recent research anti-fluoride campaigners promote as “evidence” of harm from community water fluoridation amount to cherry-picking a very few statistically significant results from a large number of non-significant results. The whole exercise is a bit like the “Mouse that Roared.” Credit: The Mouse that Roared – TMTR Intro ...
    1 day ago
  • Leave Neve alone
    Neve Te Aroha Gayford at RatanaI’m sure I’m not the only one to notice that the Ratana birthday celebrations this year were a well-attended event that went off without much of a hitch. This is in stark contrast to previous years, where some form of controversy has usually taken centre ...
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #4
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 19, 2020 through Sat, Jan 25, 2020 Editor's Pick The companies that have contributed most to climate change Thought-provoking readings on those most responsible for the pollution. Sometimes, ...
    2 days ago
  • The swimming pool paradox
    It’s another warm day, but the breeze isn’t helping much, so off I go to the inviting outdoor swimming pool (banner picture) at the other end of campus. It’s an unheated pool (well, there’s no artificial heat source), which means one thing: It’s going to feel cold when I get ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • 100 seconds to midnight
    The Doomsday Clock is a tracker created by he Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for how close we are to global destruction. Created in 1947, it got worse as the Cold War started, then improved as it cooled down, then got worse again as Ronald Reagan tried to confront the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A multitude of drops: Social tipping points in climate action
    If you’re here, you probably know that the climate crisis is upon us, that it’s getting steadily worse, and that attempts to address it haven’t worked yet. People are still driving and even advertising SUVs with impunity, and oil companies are exploring like crazy, even in New Zealand. Politically, socially, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • The Thoughtful Mr Parker.
    Stunningly Wrong-Headed: So blinded are the “left-wing” believers in free markets and free trade (like Trade Minister, David Parker) that even when they are staring directly at the wreckage of the lives and communities which these “unconscionable freedoms” (to borrow Marx’s telling phrase) have left in their wake, they cannot ...
    4 days ago
  • What’s the problem with all science being “done” in English?
    I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which ...
    SciBlogsBy Andreea Calude
    4 days ago
  • Snakeflu?! An intriguing source suggested for new Chinese coronavirus
    The whole world is on edge over a coronavirus outbreak that started in early December in Wuhan City, China. The virus is thought to have first infected people working at a seafood and live animal market. So what could the original source have been? There’s no official word yet, but ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Simon’s Philippine jaunt: #LittleBoysPlayingToughguys
    Not too far back, Simon Bridges the Leader of the Opposition and National Party, went on an excursion to China. This was arranged not by MFAT (NZ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), but by their MP Jian Yang – a man who also just happened to “forget to mention” ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Will Turia ever forgive Labour?
    Dame Tariana Turia with former PM John KeyWhat is it about Tariana Turia’s grudge against the Labour Party? Not content with attacking the Government over Whānau Ora funding, which was increased by $80 million in 2019, she has now made it personal by saying that Jacinda Ardern is out of her ...
    5 days ago
  • What are the recent fluoride-IQ studies really saying about community water fluoridation?
    Scaremongering graphic currently being promoted by Declan Waugh who is well known for misrepresenting the fluoride science This graphic is typical of current anti-fluoride propaganda. It is scare-mongering, in that it is aimed at undermining community ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #3, 2020
    Biography of a policy metric Bård Lahn performs a sweeping literature review to present the history of our notion of a "global carbon budget" and how this number has come  to encapsulate a massive amount of scientific research into a useful, easily grasped tool in our policy skill set.  A ...
    5 days ago
  • Oxfam Report: Time to Care – Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis
    January 2020 Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • How to avoid being a cunt to hospo workers’
    Working hospo is hard mahi for many reasons, from long hours and gruelling high-volume weekends to customers who treat us as their servants. There are always lovely and polite customers who treat hospo workers with respect and kindness but, throughout my 15-years in the biz, I’ve collected a number of ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • 2019-nCoV (the new coronavirus): Should we be concerned, and will there be a vaccine?
    Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    6 days ago
  • The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?
    By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    6 days ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    7 days ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    7 days ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    1 week ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Should I ditch my fossil-fueled car?
    Yes. Reducing the number of cars in your household, or switching from petrol/diesel to electric, will dramatically reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. It’s one of the easiest and highest-impact climate steps you can take. New Zealand is being flooded with cars The New Zealand vehicle fleet is increasing rapidly. In ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Planet History: Taking Tea with Quentin
    This interview with Quentin Crisp is part of a series of articles republished from Planet, the independent magazine I edited in the early 90s from a base at 309 Karangahape Road, along with Grant Fell, Rachael Churchward, Fiona Rae, David Teehan, Mere Ngailevu and others.Inevitably, you forget things, and over ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #1, 2020
    Supply Side How are we doing with CO2 emissions? It's an important question, increasingly posed to a mixed bag of CO2 contributors who may or may not provide accurate reportage. Liu et al present a new, additional means of measurement based on satellite observations of nitrogen dioxide co-emitted from ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Donald Trump’s strategic gamble
    There’s a meme going around the Internet at the moment claiming that Donald Trump is a bit of an idiot. To outside eyes it does seem as though the President of the United States thumbs his nose at his own countries laws and administration far too often to be taken ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Is the prostitute the seller or the sold?
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman, Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the third part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna Whitmore. Part 1 was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • The climate crisis is also a biodiversity crisis
    Dr Andrea Byrom Like many of us, the summer break has seen me transfixed with horror at the scale and magnitude of the bushfire crisis in Australia. As an ecologist, I can’t help but be appalled at the loss of some of Australia’s most beautiful ecosystems and landscapes. And ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    5 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    6 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    7 days ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into constructionProvincial Growth Fund supports Waika...
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into construction
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • New Zealand to support Pacific Public Sector Hub
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced New Zealand’s support for a Pacific-led hub that will strengthen public services across the region. “Strengthening public services is a core focus of New Zealand’s Pacific Reset, as efforts to improve democratic governance in the Pacific contributes to a strong, stable and more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago