web analytics

If you’re political, your opinion doesn’t count

Written By: - Date published: 9:31 am, November 14th, 2010 - 55 comments
Categories: activism - Tags:

It’s disconcerting to see National and its blogging lackies running smear campaigns against anyone who has what they deem to be “political connections”.

The government’s current strategy to deal to individual opposition is find a link to Labour or the Greens and dismiss the outspoken person on the basis of political bias. This tactic is not only underhanded and wrong, it’s incredibly damaging to our political culture.

In modern New Zealand we have a huge problem with political engagement. There are now relatively few people willing to stand up, organise, and voice an opinion. We shouldn’t be surprised that these few interested people have some connection to political parties. Of course they will. Political parties are one of the few places these people can get together and debate political ideas and policies.

In fact I would say those who have some level of political engagement are often the best people to voice and represent a position on an issue. They’re actively engaged and know the ins and outs of the issues.

Researching and smearing some poor individual because of political connections suppresses the voices of some of the few people in this country who are willing to speak out. It’s stifling of individual opposition and reduces the pool of opinion even further. Not only that but it puts off anyone else who ever thought of engaging politically.

We on the left have been guilty of this in the past as well. But I’m especially disturbed by the research and effort that has gone into this strategy recently by National and its allies.

It’s time to turn this strategy on its head. Let’s praise people for standing up and voicing an opinion. Let’s forget about whether they are or have been a member of Labour or the Greens or any other party. All citizens of NZ are entitled an individual opinion. And they deserve to have that opinion heard and respected, and not undermined by a vicious and nasty Parliamentary-run strategy.

– Simon S.

55 comments on “If you’re political, your opinion doesn’t count”

  1. The Baron 1

    That’s not really the issue here though Simon. The problem is that these so called free and independent thinkers are running exactly the same lines as the Labour party. They are clearly politically aligned, and therefore are being called upon it. Far better to be upfront and admit your allegiances, rather than pretending to be neutral and unbaised and have your credibility called into question.
    I seem to remember that it is the left who first freaked out about parallel campaigns like this – remember the brethren? Despite the fact that this isn’t an election, how are are these shadowy proxy players any different in theory?

    • Bob Stanforth 1.1

      Nicely put, so, to summarise:

      Blue=bad
      Red=good

      Right, time for breakfast 🙂

    • How are are these shadowy proxy players any different in theory?

      Well one group was spending huge amounts of money supporting one particular party and thereby undermining election spending limitations imposed on all political parties. It is not a case of restricting free speech, just very expensive speech that may undermine the democratic process.

      The other group involves individuals who have clearly formed principled positions taking a stand against, as in the latest case, the stupidity of National’s slogan based educational policies.

      There are a million ($) differences …

      • The Baron 1.2.1

        Thanks for that example Greg – and you raise some interesting points.

        See if you were to stand up and give some clearly formed principled positions on the issues relating to conveyancing and will writing in West Auckland, I would probably take you as an expert. If however that was a strongly contentious political issue, I would probably write you off as being the nice little Labour lap dog that you are.

        BTW, still no answer as to how Te Atatu is coming along. Do you live in the electorate?

    • Ari 1.3

      Because the parallel campaigns weren’t honest about who they are and tried to excercise their “speech rights” through money. These are people standing up with their real names, not hiding behind piles of money, and simply speaking out. I have no problem with people doing that on the other side of the political spectrum, either, but your example is clearly disanalogous.

    • KJT 1.4

      Rubbish. I am a trained teacher and a Greens member. Haven’t supported Labour since 1984.
      Many Teachers against National standards voted National last election. Does their opinion count?

    • bbfloyd 1.5

      well done baron… a neat demonstration of exactly what the post is about..another, simpler example can be found in the H section of your dictionary.

      • The Baron 1.5.1

        Oh ok, so I look forward to you applauding the next time Don Brash tells us what he thinks as being free and independent advice from an expert ex-Governor of the Reserve Bank.

        But of course, that will be different then won’t it.

  2. Good post.

    The right’s campaign if you want to call it that recognises that left activists are entirely different to their right wing equivalents and much more likely to be active in campaigns to change people’s opinion.

    The left will do much more of the grassroots stuff such as letter writing, public protests, door knocking, petition gathering and blogging. The right rely on the MSM that it controls and a few paid professionals to do the same amount of consciousness forming.

    So this attempt to discredit leftie activists is an attack on our strength and an admission of their weakness. And it has this hypocritical underlying message that we are being “political” in wanting to improve the plight of the many whereas they are being “apolitical” in wanting to improve the plight of the already wealthy.

    They are acting like bullies the way they try and silence and marginalise dissenting voices. I agree that it is time that we stood up to them.

    • prism 2.1

      I think that it shows some unintended honesty from NACT – they are stating that they are only interested in serving their party political supporters. They aren’t in power to serve the country as a whole or waste their time listening to the ‘political ramblings’ of Labour and the Greens. who are virtually disenfranchised under this type of authoritarian, capitalist government.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    Do you have some examples of this happening that you can link to?

    • freedom 3.1

      you’re stirring aren’t you Lanthanide?
      That cannot possibly be a serious question.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        No, I’m not stirring, and yes, it is a serious question.

        The example given by ianmac is “National Standards”, which is acceptable. But note that this isn’t mentioned anywhere in the posted article; the reader is just supposed to know what is being talked about.

        One of the aims of this site is to bring discussion of the left political space to a wider audience – it’s difficult to do that if your articles assume the reader knows what’s you’re talking about.

        • Zorr 3.1.1.1

          Just being doing a little Googling… but here are some examples

          This one is a little silly to say the least:
          http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/4332232/Principals-plotted-takeover-email

          A post on Red Alert referring to Audrey Young’s piece when Tolley tried to get the research removed from the Parliamentary Library because it was too “politically biased”:
          http://www.labour.org.nz/news/tolley-takes-aim-senior-journalist

          That is just the ones I found to do with claims of political bias in what should be a nonpartisan scientific debate. If I were to include the multiple articles showing Tolley being obtuse, misrepresenting, or just plain old lying there would be much more here.

          (total time taken for this was about 5mins – there is sure to be more out there)

        • Bunji 3.1.1.2

          There were also the attacks on people with Labour links who had been fired under the 90-day law without explanation. As though being Labour was a good reason to be fired…

          • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.2.1

            And if you’re a member of the Labour party then it’s not possible to be sexually harassed by a National party minister, because you are obviously setting him up.

    • ianmac 3.2

      The whole debate Lanthanide, over National Standards is clearly framed around Left and Right. For example one of the spokesmen for the BOT was rubbished, not for his reasoning, but because he had Labour connections.

      • Joachim's 3.2.1

        Time to pick up the fact that ad homineim attacks are the only thing National has left in their emptying armoury.

  4. Joachim's 4

    I think that our current Cabinet have biased political connections and everyone of them, to a number, should be thrown out.

  5. ianmac 5

    Yesterday on Open Mike Pascal’s Bookie gave a link to a discussion between Maddow and Stewart. (Hope you don’t mind Pascal?)
    13 November 2010 at 11:41 am item 6
    Simon’s point above seems to be exactly what Stewart was concerned about in the USA. The debate is couched in a Left v Right rather than the validity of issues. Very dangerous because if we get used to condemning the ideas of the other side just because they are on the other side, then we are not very deserving of democracy.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/#40141311

    (50 mins)

    • Zorr 5.1

      Loved that interview. Despite the various criticisms that are leveled at Jon Stewart I still find him a very principled person with an excellent understanding of his place in society.

  6. J Mex 6

    My guess is that this post had to be a ‘guest post’ because pretty much every regular author from The Standard has at one point or another denounced the opinions of some “poor individual” because of ‘right wing’ or business connections.

    • KJT 6.1

      That is because the right wing are so often divorced from reality.
      Some of us also have “business connections”, but are concerned about the way society is heading.

    • r0b 6.2

      Interesting claim J Mex. Could you link to a couple of my examples of this please?

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Researching and smearing some poor individual because of political connections suppresses the voices of some of the few people in this country who are willing to speak out. It’s stifling of individual opposition and reduces the pool of opinion even further. Not only that but it puts off anyone else who ever thought of engaging politically.

    Sounds exactly like what NACT would want. Less people politically engaged means more people willing to believe their lies.

  8. Bill 8

    Y’know, if the parliamentary left actually stood for anything that was obviously distinct to what the parliamentary right stood for, then the smears wouldn’t matter. If an idea or thought was being discredited because of the political allegiance of the person disseminating the idea, but that person’s political allegiance was indicative of a distinct political ideology or programme, then the smear could easily be taken, turned around and used to promulgate the bigger ideological picture.

    But as is said time and time again, the left and the right of parliament are merely legs of the same beast. So the smear gains traction or efficacy in the same way as school yard name calling does. There is no deeper or meaningful come back that would make the name calling or smearing an expensive exercise for the perpetrator. All there is, is the to-ing and fro-ing of a vacuous popularity contest.

    Boil the jug and grab the bickies. Don’t bother to flick the remote, there’s only one programme and it’s showing on all channels. Cheap B grade TV mentality has crawled out of the box and infested our polity. Whoop.

    • freedom 8.1

      which is why many of us do not have any political party affiliations
      but still believe that the ideals of a principle, ie people over profit, is what matters

      the Left-Right paradigm of Politics boils down to an inability to face the core issue and instead dress it up with meaningless labels so all manners of confabulation can protract discussion thus avoiding any relevant action resulting in inordinate periods of unproductive naval-gazing and social programming that lead nowhere and consume anything that may have been useful.

      • Bill 8.1.1

        Yup. Basically. Not so sure about the protracted discussion though.

        The political discourse…(need a new term to describe the farce we are subjected to), has degenerated to evaluating the worthiness of issues on whether you’re a mate of John’s or a mate of Phil’s. Bearing in mind that people back winners and that Labour are perceived as being 5/8ths of f*ck all distance removed from National, once the affiliation…worthiness… is established, the issue (that was never subjected to scrutiny in the first place) disappears.

  9. trademark 9

    The battle for the apolitical, common sense, number 8 wire, she’ll be right centre continues…

  10. Jenny 10

    I have noticed that for a long time now, in fact from it’s inception that ACT Party is very quick to way into their critics as being “political”.

    Or when someone puts up an opinion counter to theirs, they are immediatly accused of “playing politics”.

    What I have oft determined is that what these right wing politicians label “politics” or “being political” is actually what other people would call democratic or calling for democracy.

    • Jenny 10.1

      Democracy is something that the right wing can’t stomach. This is why Roger Douglas invoked the policy of TINA, the philosophy that “Their Is No Alternative” (That is – to the neo-liberal policies that he and his followers espouse).

      If anyone dares suggest an alternative to their right wing neo-liberal nastiness they are condemned by ACT for playing politics.

      That this sort of dirty pool has spread to the National Party is disappointing but probably inevitable as ACT extremists seem to be the ones calling the shots in this administration.

      National should remember that it was Mussolini who on taking power famously declared the end of politics.

      This right wing mantra of being above politics was carried to it’s extreme by Hitler. Even the boy scout movement was considered “too political” for him, and was abolished.

      • Joachim's 10.1.1

        The greatest fear of the Right is that ordinary people become more politically aware and politically savvy. And coincidentally it is only when that happens that I think that politicians on the Left will get the courage they need to lead the country in the ways that we are looking for.

  11. Certainly I’ve heard (not necessarily from Standard authors) opposition to critics of the last government based on the affiliations of the people making the criticism.

    For example, there was the campaign about the lost generation of people leaving the country, whose voice was attacked because he’d gotten support from the Business Round Table.

    Similarly, John Boscawen was attacked during his campaign against the Electoral Finance Bill, not just for his message, but because he was an ACT member and associate member of the Business Round Table. It was suggested that these memberships devalued his message.

    • Anne 11.1

      @ Graeme Edgeler
      He was attacked because a large portion of his ‘message’ was in fact spin and misinformation. At best, his campaign was based on an exaggeration of the truth and at worst, it was a total misrepresentation of the truth. That’s not to say there weren’t gremlins in the Electoral Finance Bill, but most could have been rectified without the politically motivated vilification – much of which came from Boscawen. The huge irony of his campaign was the many thousands of dollars he poured into it which was the precise reason the Bill came into being in the first place. To prevent politicians like him from tilting the playing field in their favour by ‘buying’ electoral success.

      • As someone who was fighting for amendments to our political financing system, I can tell you that this isn’t true.

        And thank you for proving my point.

        • tea 11.1.1.1

          Yes the Electoral Finance bill was the height of rational discussion I recall.

          When does the statute of limitations on the ‘it’s ok they did it’ run out?

          There is a bankruptcy of ideas at the moment anyway. There’s no discussion about where NZ is headed or why we are headed that way. That is supposed to be the election process I guess but it is hard to recognise select committee-less instant democracy.

          Did the EFB pass under urgency? There is a dismissal of all criticism ‘hand-wringing academics’ and ‘latte-sipping’ whatever Cosgrove said for example.

          Criticism of this kind is about shutting down the debate-will be interesting to see the response to Roger Kerr, Wheldon etc printed in the Sunday Star-Times.

        • Anne 11.1.1.2

          Graeme Edgeler
          I read Boscawen’s newspaper advertisements very carefully. Some of his claims concerning the political outcomes of the Electoral Finance Act were bollocks and I suspect you know it. I have proved no point of yours. What “amendments to our political financing system” you may have been advocating for at the time have nothing to do with the point I was making.

          Yes, the bill was hastily put together (due to lack of time) and it was less than perfect. But it was a first attempt to address a problem of inequitable political financing, and the questionable ethics being used by the National and Act Parties at the time. If the truth is known they’re probably still doing it too.

          “John Boscawen was attacked during his campaign against the Electoral Finance Bill, not just for his message, but because he was an ACT member and associate member of the Business Round Table.”

          A bit of bs there mate. It was Boscawen doing 90% of the attacking, and it went on relentlessy for all of 2008. Did you expect Labour to sit on their hands and not defend themselves against his claims?

          • ianmac 11.1.1.2.1

            Ironic that MPs are calling for openness for judges re their interests and their Trusts. Hypocritical given that MPs have so much in hidden Trusts.

          • Graeme Edgeler 11.1.1.2.2

            Yes, the bill was hastily put together (due to lack of time) and it was less than perfect.

            Time was not lacking to put the bill together. The election for the 48th Parliament was in September 2005. The EFB was introduced in July 2007, almost two years later. Given that regulation of political finance was in Labour’s manifesto in 2005 and 2002, one would have hoped they’d be able to do something without being rushed.

            A bit of bs there mate. It was Boscawen doing 90% of the attacking, and it went on relentlessy for all of 2008. Did you expect Labour to sit on their hands and not defend themselves against his claims?

            Boscawen played the ball the entire time. He stayed completely away from the Free Speech coalition and their dictator billboards precisely because he didn’t want to attack the people responsible. He wanted to attack a government policy. And he held a government responsible for that policy. He never argued that people should be ignored because of their political affiliations (as people within the Government argued he should be because of his)

            When does the statute of limitations on the ‘it’s ok they did it’ run out?

            I’m not saying attacking the person is okay. I’m saying it’s not okay. I’m saying it’s not okay when National does it, and it’s not okay when Labour does it, but that its hypocritical and dishonest to claim National does it and Labour didn’t.

            The Labour Government, and supporters of it argued against John Boscawen and said his arguments were worthless because of his political affiliations. He did not do likewise.

            Some of his claims concerning the political outcomes of the Electoral Finance Act were bollocks and I suspect you know it.

            Boscawen’s advertisements were mostly against the Electoral Finance Bill. It would have banned political parties from issuing press releases in election year. It would have required people handing out political leaflets at rallies to make statutory declarations before doing so, etc. etc. I recall there being a few problem with his first newspaper ad against the EFB, but he listened to Steven Price and myself, and had them corrected is his second. Although I was on the other side, his campaign was a prototypical real issues-based campaign, focussing on real arguments and policy: not vapid statements and one-liners.

            But it was a first attempt to address a problem of inequitable political financing, and the questionable ethics being used by the National and Act Parties at the time.

            This was the major problem with it. The Labour Party had knowingly overspent at the 2005 election, by hundreds of thousands of dollars, but the government didn’t recognise it was the problem. It’s disappointing that supporters of it still don’t. Something needed to be done, but it needed to be done in respect of actions undertaken on all sides.

            • mickysavage 11.1.1.2.2.1

              For me the friustrating part of the debate concerning the EFA was the failure of many to actually address the specifics. I agree that this was not helped by timing, it would have been better for a shorter less ambitious bill to be introduced for consultation although compared to this Parliament’s attempts at consultation the effort by the last Labour Government looks to be exemplary.

              Firstly as to the need either you cap election spending or you do not. NZ has had caps for many many years and I do not know of one Western Democracy that does not have caps. Without caps the wealthy will win most of the time. If people prefer this then I guess they oppose caps.

              If you accept there should be caps then a third party identification certification and limitation regime is vital.

              2005 showed a third party (Exclusive Bretherens) being willing to spend a huge amount of money ($1m) supporting one party (National).

              Secondly if you want transparency then you need to know who are making donations. The obligation for accumulators to say where their money was coming from was addressed to this point.

              To me the EFA was a fair attempt to address these two issues. Unfortunately the debate became really clouded. For me I thought that it was because many (not all) preferred to prevent it rather than actually address the details.

              • NZ has had caps for many many years and I do not know of one Western Democracy that does not have caps.

                1. New Zealand has not had spending cap “for many many years”. Although electorate campaign spending was capped prior to MMP, political party spending was not.

                2. The following western countries are among those that do not have spending limits for national elections: The United States of America. Australia. Norway. I am sure there are others, but haven’t the time to make a list 🙂

  12. Fisiani 12

    If you’re political, your opinion doesn’t count
    Not in Mana it don’t.
    The by-election has 7 candidates
    3 Left 1 centre 2 Right and one single issue
    Left
    Kris Faafoi -the lightweight token PI annointed by Phil Goff (the clear favourite by a country mile)
    Matt McCarten -the feisty union official campaigning for traditional Left values
    Jan Logie -the giggling flaky watermelon (outside green but red inside)
    Centre
    Hekia Parata – the Maori from Ruatoria who refuses to accept being brown or poor dooms you to failure. Hopefully she will be given a 365 day work trial as MP for Mana
    Right
    Colin du Plessis- the bumbling foot in mouth ACT refugee from SA
    Sean Fitzpatrick- the fundamentalist but actually likeable Martial arts teacher
    and the Cannabis guy.
    All openly believe in their cause and nail their colours to the mast.
    You are defending the deceivers who masqerade as independant commentators when they are in fact committed Lefist agitators. You are only annoyed that they are found out so often.

    • Marty G 12.1

      the school board people aren’t “masqerad[ing] as independant[sic] commentators”. They are members of the boards, speaking on the boards’ authorities. That they also happen to be politically active is neither here nor there, they never claimed to be non-political and there is no bar on a politically active person being on a Board of Trustees.

    • Joachim's 12.2

      Everyone in NZ should become a little more politically aware, and that means that more people will be – or should be – politically active. They will are popping up everywhere.

      And since the Right hate turnout and political awareness amongst ordinary workers, this will be a particularly sharp needle.

  13. Zanzibar 13

    I disagree that the Left own MSM and we are more into protest. Protest and media attantion dovetail. Case in point – so it’s OK when our side might say use a friendly Editor to savage the National party by managing a lobbying campaign that we’ve organised via massive collusion with affiliates like churches eg 0.05 saves lives, and not declare the allegiance to the political strategy? Ally Sue Bradford is running media training for community groups interested in 0.05 advocacy – a key tactic in our electioneering.
    Does the allegiance just come off so obvious in game, set and match as to who is behind the astro-turfing, as to make declarations to the Public of ones affiliations unnecessary? When Editors are saying bad Ministers, bad Party and Good MPs, good Party yonder at every possible juncture. Or do the connections just not matter, because Editors cannot possibly be biased or leveraged?
    It is considerd so important in a democracy to know who owns the horses mouth in America (lest the Public interest be undermined) that astro turfing with sock puppets and so forth is an offence against the spin drs professional organisations conduct code. Sock puppet editors including bloggers if media trained would have to cop to whether they had convivial meetings with PR agents for their fave political party, or else face disciplinary action. Declare NOW is the rule.

  14. BLiP 14

    Are you now or have you ever been a member of . . .

    . . . how long before that’s the first question on any public service job application?

  15. Carol 15

    Matthew Hooton on Nine-to-Noon this morning dismissed Jane Kelsey’s views on free trade by saying she is a “mad conspiracist”. Kathryn Ryan said, “You can’t say that.” Hooton said, that she is and that she’s a extremist far left winger… ie, that means her latest book is irrelevant according to Hooton.

  16. Anne 16

    @ Graeme Edgeler 12:43am
    You make some salient points with which I agree, but I cannot agree with your seeming assumption that Boscawen’s motivation was genuine. I guess my view of his role in the EFA debate is coloured by a previous experience. For a short time I was in a unique position where I could observe him (together with some of his political friends) first hand. To say I was less than impressed is an understatement.

    “The Labour Government and supporters of it argued against John Boscawen and said his arguments were worthless because of his political affiliations.”

    I’m not saying some in Labour didn’t make that observation but, in my view, it pales into insignificance compared with some of the claims made by National and it’s supporters against members of the Labour govt.

    This year I have seen and heard Boscawen in parliament manipulating temperature soundings and related figures in an attempt to discredit NIWA in a not unsimilar way to his discrediting of the EFA. As someone who in the past contributed to those soundings, I have even more reason to question his motivations and honesty.

  17. Anne 17

    Oh dear. Forgot to hit reply. Sorry.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The Second (And Final?) Crucifixion Of Winston Peters.
    Stag At Bay: Twelve years ago, Winston Peters was still robust enough to come back from the political crucifixion which his political and media enemies had prepared for him. In his seventies now, the chances of a second resurrection are slim. We should, therefore, prepare for the last gasp of ...
    2 hours ago
  • Earth’s artificial rings
    Satellites pass over NZ all the time (literally). Here I focus on the 187 Planet Labs ‘Dove’ Earth-imaging satellites, and I show that one can determine in advance where they will be, enabling scientists on the ground to correlate their environmental and other data collection with opportunities to get imaging ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    10 hours ago
  • Softy Jejune Parson – the new Mother Superior of Wellington
      The Council of Disobedient Women has learned that the Prefect of Aro Valley has been promoted to a new role with the blessing of the Pope of Wellington. Softy Jejune Parson has been appointed Mother Superior of Woke Wellington for the work she has been doing calling out heretics, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    12 hours ago
  • Atlantic shakeup: US and UK leadership contenders ripping up the usual scripts?
    On both sides of the Atlantic, some purportedly “contentious” and “difficult to deal with” leadership contenders to lead the US and UK, as President and Prime Minister respectively, seem to have thrown a few spanners into the works of the normal messaging most are used to hearing constantly. Except they’re ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    13 hours ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Australia’s secret prisoner
    A prisoner stripped of their name, imprisoned for a secret crime after a secret trial, with all details legally suppressed for secret reasons. A story by Kafka or Dumas? China? No, its just the latest stage of Australian tyranny:An Australian citizen was prosecuted, convicted, and jailed in the ACT last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Bridges should put his money where his mouth is
    Stuff has more details on what New Zealand First's slush-fund has been funding, with much of the spending directly benefiting the party. Which makes it look a lot like hidden donations, rather than the completely-innocent-giant-pile-of-cash Winston is trying to portray it as. The Electoral Commission is now investigating, but Simon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • The APEC police state enabling bill
    I've joked before about how hosting international summits effectively turns part of your country into a police state for the duration. Well, New Zealand is hosting APEC in 2021, with events throughout the year in Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland. And the government has put up a bill to give itself ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • Why coastal floods are becoming more frequent as seas rise
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I saw an article claiming that “king tides” will increase in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    23 hours ago
  • The cost of a range clearance.
    It has been revealed that firing ranges used by the NZDF while deployed to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, contained unexploded ordnance that caused numerous deaths and injuries after the NZDF withdrew the PRT in April 2013. In 2014 seven children were killed when an unidentified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    24 hours ago
  • Still denying responsibility
    Stuff's story on NZDF's negligence around its Afghan firing ranges has produced a result, with a commitment from the Prime Minister for an urgent cleanup. But this doesn't mean NZDF is accepting responsibility for the deaths and injuries that have occured - they're still refusing compensation. Which given that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A corrupt practice
    Last week RNZ broke the news on NZ First's mysterious "foundation" and its dodgy-looking loans. The arrangement seemed to be designed to evade the transparency requirements of the Electoral Act, by laundering donations. But now Stuff has acquired some of their financial records, and it gone from dodgy to outright ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Democracy “A Bit Bonkers” – Thoughts Inspired By Lizzie Marvelly’s Latest Co...
    Didn't See It Coming: NZ Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly's latest column merits serious scrutiny because such a clear example of anti-democratic thinking is encountered only rarely on the pages of the daily press. Which is not to say that the elitism which lies at the heart of such social disparagement ...
    2 days ago
  • Colombia: historic memory, massacres and the military
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Initially it was reported that in an aerial bombardment that took place on August 30th seven children were massacred; the figure then went up to eight and then on November 11th Noticias Uno reported that, according to people from the community in close proximity to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • On the road to Net Zero, the next step is to update our UN pledge
    A lot has happened since the UN’s report on 1.5ºC was released in October 2018. New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill has passed, and enshrines the 1.5ºC goal in law. The UK and France have also legally strengthened their targets to Net Zero 2050. The School Strike For Climate and Extinction ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 days ago
  • Corruption as usual
    Next year is an election year, and Labour needs money to fund its campaign. So naturally, they're selling access:Labour is charging wealthy business figures $1500-a-head to lunch with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at its annual conference later this month. [...] On the weekend beginning November 29th, around 800 delegates will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Fairer rentals
    Yesterday the government announced its changes to tenancy laws, including an end to no-cause evictions, limits on rent increases, and anonyminity for tenants who defend their rights against bad landlords (sadly necessary because landlords are scum who maintain blacklists of "uppity" tenants). They're all good moves, and have resulted in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Another NZDF coverup
    In 2003 New Zealand sent a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to support America's doomed war there. While there, they conducted regular weapons practice on local firing ranges, littering the landscape with unexploded ammunition. These ranges weren't secure - they're on land used by locals for animal herding - so ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    3 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    3 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    6 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    23 hours ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    24 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    2 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    2 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    7 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago