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ImperatorFish: On “The Issues That Matter”

Written By: - Date published: 12:43 pm, September 5th, 2012 - 36 comments
Categories: identity, labour - Tags: , ,

Scott at Imperator Fish has kindly given us permission to syndicate posts from his blog – the original of this post is here.

I see that Jordan Carter has written a piece in response (I presume) to Stuart Nash’s blogpost about Labour’s “mistake” in focusing on issues like marriage equality.

Nash writes that, while he’s a supporter of marriage equality, the whole issue has been a distraction to Labour, and that Labour should be focusing on “the issues that matter”.

I’m aware that a number of people within Labour believe that the party came unstuck during the Helen Clark era over a perception that Labour were more interested in social engineering and identity politics than, say, improving the lives of ordinary New Zealanders.

Like Jordan, I really struggle with this viewpoint. Marriage equality is important, because to progressive and liberal-minded people it is unfair that gay couples do not have the same rights as heterosexual ones. Marriage equality may not be the single most important issue of the day, but for many people it is an important one. It should not be written off as a “side show”.

If Labour Party strategists (although it should be noted for the record that Stuart Nash is no longer a member of Shearer’s strategy team) cannot see any benefit in supporting legislation that promotes equality for a group of people in our society who experience discrimination, then the party really does have problems.

And they should be able to draw lessons from the success of Louisa Wall’s campaign and apply those learnings in other policy areas. One thing marriage equality campaigners did well was frame the issue in a positive way that most people could understand and identify with (and this post by Lew Stoddart is a must-read on the framing of the campaign messages). The fact that so many people got behind the campaign and were motivated to get involved proves that marriage equality is one of those “issues that matter.”

Progressives want a Labour Party that stands up for people who experience unfairness and inequality through no fault of their own. Labour strategists may worry about the party becoming unfavourably associated with “identity politics”, but it’s hardly a surprise when most of the messaging from Labour on the “issues that matter” goes over the heads of the average Labour voter. If people cared so much about asset sales they wouldn’t have voted in such large numbers for John Key. And while I like some of the policy work being done by the party in the area of economic development, it’s all a bit too intellectual to be understood by the average voter. Simple messages work, as do appeals to fairness and community. That’s why the marriage equality campaign was a success. Labour ignores those lessons at its peril.

(NB: Jordan has clarified his post was in response to Mike Williams on the radio rather than Stuart Nash on the interwebs)

36 comments on “ImperatorFish: On “The Issues That Matter” ”

  1. SoSoo 1

    If marriage equality is not the single most important issue of the day, then more important issues should not be shunted aside to make way for it. Asking for gay marriage to be postponed while more important issues are sorted out is not to be against gay marriage. It is only to recognise that is less important than other currently pressing matters.

    It’s the same old trick. The left wants a bunch of things, the most important of which will cost money to “the people who matter in society” and others which cost them nothing or very little (like gay marriage). The right stop the left focusing on its most important goals by drip feeding acquiescence to the cheap or free issues.

    In ten years time some NZ children will be eating grass, whilst Labour will be claiming victory over some minor point of identity politics.

    • gobsmacked 1.1

      Oh God, another day, another distracting claim of “distraction”.

      Evidence? Let’s cut to the core …

      1) Where is the evidence that Louisa Wall’s bill is losing Labour votes?

      2) Where is the evidence that Labour’s “more important issues” are winning votes?

      A distraction from what? Roof painters? What Shearer/Robertson/Parker message is not getting through, because of that pesky gay marriage thing? What great speeches have been overlooked?

      Has – for example – the petition for a referendum on Asset Sales been impeded in any way by this private member’s bill? Or are the signatures still rolling in, because (get this) people can care about more than one thing?

      Evidence, please.

      (There is, of course, plenty of evidence of “distractions” by Sua William Suo and Trevor Mallard and now Stuart Nash – but that’s not the kind you mean, is it?).

      • SoSoo 1.1.1

        How about the last 30 years where the Labour party has done little, if anything for “people who experience unfairness and inequality through no fault of their own” when this requires dealing with actual economic inequalities? Labour has caused more inequalities in this respect in the past 40 years than it has remedied, and there appears to be no sign of that changing any time soon.

        As someone said below:

        “The issues that matter are related to why so few people turned out to vote.”

        We’re in the worst recession for decades with a completely discredited economic model, and the Labour Party can’t even rally around an economic policy that isn’t merely defensive against the predations of the right. If they can’t do better than that, then for me they aren’t worth voting for, whatever their stance on gay marriage is.

        • gobsmacked 1.1.1.1

          You haven’t addressed the issue at all.

          Your argument is “Labour are failing”, which most people on here – including me – are pointing out all the time.

          Yes, Labour are failing on economic policy (and much else). Nothing you have said links that failure to a popular private member’s bill which rectifies an injustice.

          What is being “shunted aside” (your words)? The bill was drawn from the ballot on July 26. Before that, there was NO “distraction”, because there was no bill. So, what was happening prior to July 26?

          If you want to argue against marriage equality, then go ahead, argue against marriage equality. But if all you’ve got is the “distraction” card, then you’re both wrong and dishonest. Again I ask … a distraction from what?

          • Stuart Nash 1.1.1.1.1

            A distraction from the worst levels of child poverty in decades, from the widest gap between the very small minority and the suffering majority, from the good hard working people up and down this country who are losing their jobs. Its a distraction because it has sucked the oxygen away from debate around other issues. This is exactly what the Nats wanted. When was the last time you saw an opinion piece on child poverty and what a national shame it is? These are the issues that Labour needs to prove it has the solutions to. Fariness and equality of economic and social opportunity is so important and yet somehow we are MIA from the debate on these, and other, very important issues.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Stuart. Good to see you about. I agree with you. Although I support Louisa’s Bill, we need to remember that it might modestly alter the lives of a few tens of thousands of people.

              Compare that to the massive number of NZers living in poverty – its clear where Labour needs to be focussing the discussion.

            • QoT 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Here’s the thing, Stuart: that “oxygen” was “sucked away” from other issues not because Louisa Wall dared advocate something she (and 2 in 3 New Zealanders) believes in, but because there are vocal and media-attention-grabbing opponents to it.

              So I guess as far as you’re concerned, Louisa Wall should have sat down and shut up because Colin Craig and Bob McCoskrie are better at playing the media than Labour is.

              And the most recent piece I saw on child poverty was … oh. Posted 18 minutes ago on Radio New Zealand.

              The problem isn’t that marriage equality “sucked the oxygen” away from child poverty, Stuart. It’s that Labour has come up with no better answer than “extend our deliberately-anti-beneficiary WFF tax credits to beneficiaries and then wonder why no one thinks that sounds like a good idea”. Oh, and getting David Shearer to “tour the heartland”.

              And yet no one cares what Labour is saying on child poverty? I am so, so surprised.

            • gobsmacked 1.1.1.1.1.3

              Stuart, you are talking about what you wanted Labour to talk about.

              I was talking about what Labour were talking about. Like roof painters.

              David Shearer made his first speech at the beginning of the year. In it, he talked about suspending payments to the Cullen fund. That was the headline that came out of it. Not child poverty. And so it continued for six months. What have Shearer and Parker and co been talking about? Not gay marriage. There has been no narrative, no consistency, no inspiration, nothing. Whose fault is that?

              MIA? Too damn right. Labour were MIA long before a ballot on July 26. And you know it.

              Stuart, you are not stupid, and nor are (most) people here, so please don’t play the old political game of attacking the knights instead of the king. Your criticism should be directed at the people in charge, but instead, you (implicitly) direct it at Louisa Wall and co. Why? Because it’s easier.

              If you would like to tell David Shearer and his “strategists” that they have seriously under-performed since David became leader, for reasons that have nothing to do with “gay marriage”, then please go ahead. They don’t listen to us, but they might listen to an old colleague. They certainly need to listen to somebody, and soon.

              Good luck.

            • fatty 1.1.1.1.1.4

              “When was the last time you saw an opinion piece on child poverty and what a national shame it is?”

              The editorial in today’s Bay of Plenty Times was all about how the Government needs to focus on child poverty.
              Try google news, search ‘Labour Party NZ’ and see what comes up. Sorted by date, gay marriage only comes up as the 9th entry – one week ago on the 30th August.
              Nobody is talking about the Labour Party in relation to gay marriage.
              Also, hardly anybody is talking about the Labour Party in relation to child poverty…or anything.
              It appears as if nobody cares about what Labour has to say on any issue…that is the problem. Gay marriage is being used as an excuse by a party that is failing to communicate with voters about anything.

    • QoT 1.2

      shunted aside

      Yes, I thought it was disgusting the way Louisa Wall tackled the Clerk of the House to the ground during the ballot, forcing her to pick Wall’s bill first in defiance of all proper Parliamentary process.

      • kiwi_prometheus 1.2.1

        It should never have gone in, in the first place. Stupid “Identity Politics” nonsense. Trust a rad fem to be all on board. It should have been dropped back in the hat.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1

          Ah, yes, because having the same rights as everyone else just isn’t all that important.

          /sarc

          • kiwi_prometheus 1.2.1.1.1

            Again, if its all about “Love Rights!” then how can you stop a sister and brother who fall in love from getting married? You would be taking away their rights!

            • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Incest is illegal and that applies to everyone.

              • Stuart Nash

                you miss the point: of course human rights are important, but there are some issues that are so pressing and so pivotal to who Labour is, who we represent and what we believe that they MUST take priority: like child poverty; like a growing unemployment, like a tanking economy, like education and health.  Im not arguing that gay marriage isn’t important, because it obviously is to some people, but I would assume that even for the people directly affected by the inability to marry, the issues affecting the health and well-being of a great many families up and down this country are more important.  

                What about the right of every Kiwi kid to a decent education and 3 square meals?  Because I can guarantee there are thousands of children who are not getting the education they deserve nor are their tummy’s full when they go to bed.  Now that’s not fair.!  

                Anyway, I have made my point, Louisa’s Bil is on the way to becoming law and so now can we please focus on taking down this government by tackling them head on re the issues mentioned above.  

                • Draco T Bastard

                  you miss the point:

                  No, I don’t. The point is injustice and by calling the same sex marriage bill a distraction you perpetuate that injustice.

                  Not what I’d call a principled stand.

                  What about the right of every Kiwi kid to a decent education and 3 square meals?

                  But Labour won’t do anything about it because they fail to see what’s causing that poverty. They’ll look at maybe raising taxes a couple of percent, put in place a CGT with holes a truck could drive through without scraping the sides.

                  We cannot afford the rich.

                  Anyway, I have made my point,

                  No you didn’t because you didn’t have one.

        • QoT 1.2.1.2

          rad fem

          Oh, k_p. Every time you try to label me as such I just find myself laughing so hard I fall down.

  2. js 2

    Human rights rarely seem important to those who have them, but are critical for those who don’t and are vital for an egalitarian society. PM Peter Fraser was one of those leaders who fought for the UN Declaration on Human Rights in the 1940s. I guess there were those at home who called that a distraction too.

  3. Dr Terry 3

    I think the article above, and the comments here, make a number of very good points. This is a discussion well worth pursuing. Thus far, thanks to all.

  4. King Kong 4

    “Progressives want a Labour Party that stands up for people who experience unfairness and inequality”

    This is where you dickheads get it wrong. The Labour party should be a party that represents all of New Zealand not just fags and losers.

    Leave the bene cuddling to Mana and get on with being a credible party with a slight left of centre bent.

    • All of New Zealand includes queers, you loser. 😉 You can’t have “all of New Zealand” by excluding part of it. The conservative parts are welcome to their rights the same as the liberal parts, and I will fight just as hard for their rights as my own.

      The moment you start actually advocating for rights that don’t effect you is the first moment you’re actually worth listening to.

    • mike e 4.2

      primitive primate thank god for evolution as you have been left behind ,Your obviously not from the bonobo side of the family .

  5. Murray Olsen 5

    The bill came up on the ballot. Should Labour NZ First and the left parties have voted against it because it’s not about one of the “important” issues? I don’t think so. They can get as many bills about other things on the ballot as they like, but anything against asset sales, for strengthened bargaining power for unions, against fracking, or even in favour of smaller class sizes would be defeated because the Tories have a majority. This is one of the few issues that the law can be changed on while in opposition, so I see it as a win.
    This doesn’t excuse Labour from doing other things that opposition parties should be doing. NZ First and the left parties make a reasonable job of raising issues from the opposition benches, and holding the government to account on some issues. Why can’t Labour do it as well?
    Another issue of the day: which of the Paganis is King Kong?

    • kiwi_prometheus 5.1

      “This is one of the few issues that the law can be changed on while in opposition, so I see it as a win.”

      Ok, good point.

  6. tracey 6

    Kk, no single party can represent all nzers. You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of how our political system works. You seem to be saying labour should represent all nzers by failing to suppirt some nzers. Anyone got a banana for kk?

  7. BernyD 7

    They all matter, that’s why they’re called issues, surely?

  8. peterlepaysan 8

    The issues that matter are related to why so few people turned out to vote.

    End of story.

  9. kiwi_prometheus 9

    Its still flawed on a philosophical level. Marriage necessarily involves the unique condition of a relationship between a man and woman. It’s not just about lurvvve, otherwise a mother could marry her daughter if they so wanted using that argument.

    The only counter strike when I was being mobbed and before the argument got shut down was a Deconstructionist derivative about the above idea being too “binary”. 🙄

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Its still flawed on a philosophical level. Marriage necessarily involves the unique condition of a relationship between a man and woman.

      Nope, you’re wrong as has been pointed out to you before.

      It’s not just about lurvvve, otherwise a mother could marry her daughter if they so wanted using that argument.

      WTF is it with idiots coming up with blatantly stupid arguments?

      • kiwi_prometheus 9.1.1

        “Nope, you’re wrong as has been pointed out to you before.”

        As I pointed out above, the only response was the Deconstructionist “binary” BS typical of the Feminist ideologues.

        “WTF is it with idiots coming up with blatantly stupid arguments?”

        Yes claiming marriage is a love right is definitely blatantly stupid. As I pointed out, on that ground why can’t an uncle and a nephew marry, it would be a violation of their love rights not to allow them according to Team Love Rights.

        • framu 9.1.1.1

          “on that ground why can’t an uncle and a nephew marry”

          possibly because its illegal for them to have a relationship in the first place.

          do you really not get it or are you being thick on purpose?

  10. fnjckg 10

    whos’ that clomping on our bridge?
    why, Me, said the baby billy goat gruff

  11. Nunya 11

    As others have pointed out there are plenty of kiwis suffering much worse injustices caused by decisions made by the Lange labour government, and to a lesser extent, the Clark pseudo labour government. The failure of that government to properly repeal the worst aspects of the Nats employment contracts act is the reason that so many kiwis are working their asses off for a wage that is insufficient to feed and clothe themselves.

    For some strange reason some of those poor buggers who copped the roughest end of the pineapple are still voting labour.
    Unlike many G&L voters who deserted labour in droves once everything had been put into place to allow them to enjoy a creature comfort rich, bourgeois lifestyle.
    Back in 2008 many G&L voters were more concerned with tax cuts than being able to call their relationship a marriage.

    Oblamblam dragged the marriage thing outta the box marked ‘cheap promises the rethugs won’t steal’ as soon as he realised that indifference can cost him the prezdency in November. People don’t care he hasn’t helped amerikans – his obamacare cements the right of the insurance corporations to control amerikan health services and it criminalises those wage earners who refuse to buy into the crooked health industry’s crooked health insurance plans.
    Oblamblam publicised the gay marriage issue in a vain attempt to get a few dem party activists back in the fold. The volunteers who do all the real work had deserted oblamblam when he refused to close Gitmo, bombed Libya into smithereens and began sending hit squads out to murder anyone who disagreed with his imperialist mind-set. So the G&L marriage thing was dredged up to make the dems seem relevant and hip. All to get kids who know no better convinced that a vote for oblamblam will bring peace on earth to all mankind as long as they trudge the streets putting his lies and lying sound bites through every mailbox.

    All the corrupt closet neo-liberal ‘social democrat’ parties around the world followed suit. Here was an easy and cheap way to ‘engage the masses’ without getting offside with their corporate backers.
    Too bad that much of those masses will only stick with the party as long as there are G&L ‘injustices’ to be sorted.

    Ooops! Doesn’t that mean it will never truly be ‘sorted’? Face it it just isn’t in the interests of these so called social democrat parties to properly address G&L issues cause as soon as they do many of the voters will be back to worrying about reducing their tax, & forgetting completely about the peeps on the bottom of the economic heap whose needs were sacrificed to help G&L kiwis to get justice.

    Labour has no chance of being the second largest party in parliament next election, much less the largest, unless they can convince the million who refused to vote at all, that they truly mean to stick with the average kiwi shit kicker.

    At the moment NZ Labour are showing no sign of doing anything other than indulging in the type of elitist niche politics that may garner a few one off votes for as long as a segment of bourgeois NZ can claim to feel oppressed.

    However, rebuilding the labour party into something meaningful, something that doesn’t require social justice issues have to be lucky enough to get pulled from a hat, requires rebranding the party as being a political movement that is 100% devoted to immediately addressing all forms of injustice, especially economic injustice. If the labourites do that they won’t hafta spend their time convincing gay men, many of whom spent years trying to humanely extricate themselves from disastrous marriages that they were wrong, that marriage is indeed the solution to whatever they think ails them.
    It is a bullshit policy adopted for cynical political reasons and most thinking kiwis, gay and straight, see it for exactly that.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      However, rebuilding the labour party into something meaningful, something that doesn’t require social justice issues have to be lucky enough to get pulled from a hat, requires rebranding the party as being a political movement that is 100% devoted to immediately addressing all forms of injustice, especially economic injustice.

      Kick ass dude.

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  • The coming US shitshow
    Today President Trump once again refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the US election. Coincidentally, The Atlantic has a long article on exactly what that means, from voter suppression by armed thugs in the name of "ballot security", to refusing to allow the vote ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A moral void
    That's the only way to describe the SIS, who - like their British counterparts - decided to look the other way on child abuse: The SIS knew a young woman was being sexually abused by her father but failed to lodge a complaint with the police, effectively allowing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will Goldsmith resign?
    The National Party’s campaign has gone from bad to worse with a further two large miscalculations being uncovered in their alternative fiscal plan. Firstly, National’s economic spokesperson and list MP, Paul Goldsmith, used May's Budget figures instead of last week's PREFU numbers, and came up with a whopping $4.3 billion ...
    5 days ago
  • The Adventures of Annalax: Part IX
    The initial session was a struggle. Annalax and Magni tried sorting out the details with the Isaac twins (the people pursuing the mountain trip). Annalax happened to mention his devotion to Lolth… whom the Isaacs, being ...
    5 days ago
  • This is bullshit
    On March 13, three plainclothes police officers kicked in Breonna Taylor's door under a no-knock warrant targeting another person. When a person inside reasonably assumed they were home invaders and (this being America) started shooting, they shot up the place and everyone around them - killing Taylor. Today, one of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Arctic sea ice is being increasingly melted from below by warming Atlantic water
    Tom Rippeth, Bangor University Arctic sea ice today (white) is covering a much smaller area than in 1980-2010 (orange line). National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CC BY-SA Each September, scientists like me look out for the point when the Arctic’s meagre summer fizzles out and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • The long-term health burden of COVID-19: further justification for NZ’s elimination strategy
    Prof John D. Potter* This blog briefly surveys the emerging scientific evidence on the longer-term burden of symptoms and disease in survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these symptoms point to damage in the brain and heart. These long-term harms add to the wide range of other reasons for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Going High, Going Low: An Assessment Of The First Leaders’ Debate.
    Uncrushed: Jacinda Ardern knew exactly what was expected of her in the first Leaders' Debate. Labour’s dominant position, three weeks out from the general election, is constructed out of the admiration and gratitude of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who, more often than not, vote National.  Nothing she said ...
    5 days ago
  • The smokefree policies of political parties: Do they care about people who smoke?
    George Thomson*, Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards In this time of Covid-19, helping people who smoke to quit their addiction has an even greater importance. Smokers are more vulnerable to many harmful health effects, including severe effects from the virus. Policies that support people who smoke to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • The Fog Of Economic Policy Is Starting To Clear…
    Bryan Bruce, https://www.facebook.com/www.redsky.tv, 19 September 2020 National’s economic policy of temporary tax cuts yesterday proved, if proof be needed, that they are unapologetic neoliberals. While their claim that with more money in their pockets people will spend more might sound attractive, the reality is that tax cuts always benefit the ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #38, 2020
    Highlighted article: Carbon pricing and planetary boundaries  Engström et al take what might be called a systems approach to evaluating carbon pricing, taking into a account various economic sectors affected by and affecting paying for emissions. The conclusions are overall a rare pleasant surprise— a feature predicated on cooperation.  Abstract: ...
    6 days ago
  • Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes
    Nathan Mietkiewicz, National Ecological Observatory Network and Jennifer Balch, University of Colorado Boulder CC BY-ND Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: China steps up
    China has increased its climate change ambition, and set a target to be carbon-neutral by 2060: China will reach carbon neutrality before 2060 and ensure its greenhouse gas emissions peak in the next decade, Xi Jinping has told the UN general assembly. “China will scale up its intended nationally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Humans have dealt with plenty of climate variability
    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 How much climate variability have humans dealt with since we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous perspectives on unrestricted access to genomic data
    By Genomics Aotearoa researcher Maui Hudson, University of Waikato It is vital that genomics research respects genomic data and genetic heritage from indigenous communities. Genomics research is a rapidly growing field of study, and there is a strong push to make the huge amount of data being produced open ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    6 days ago
  • Terrible luck: lockdowns on learning and youth job prospects
    What is bad luck? Bad luck is spilling spaghetti sauce down your shirt right before an important meeting. When the person in front of you gets the last seat on the bus, that’s bad luck. Bad luck is when it’s sunny outside, so you leave the house without a coat, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
    Is the private health system impacting negatively on the public health system? Health commentator Ian Powell evaluates a recent NZ Herald article by Natalie Akoorie (“Public v private healthcare: Moonlighting, skimming, duplication – should NZ do better”), and looks at how the dual system works, and concludes that the answer ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • A rabbit-hole election debate: So do you want more avocado orchards?
    We live in strange and unusual times. It’s been a century since we’ve endured a global pandemic like this, more than half a century since we’ve had economic woes like this. So maybe we got an opening election debate for the times - because that was a strange and unusual ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The Looming Fight.
    Social Distancing Be Damned - It's Jacinda! Shortly after ascending to Labour’s leadership, Jacinda described herself as a “pragmatic idealist”. It was an inspired oxymoron – packing into just two words the essence of the social-democrat’s dilemma. It was good to know that she knew what lay ahead of her. ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
    Back in 2017, the UK announced that it would ban the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. Its a basic climate change measure, aimed at reducing emissions by shifting the vehicle fleet to cleaner technologies. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, they're planning to bring it forward ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    1 week ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
    Becky Casale Elon Musk reckons his Neuralink brain implant is much more than a medical device–that one day it will drive a symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence. “Good morning! I’m Dr Benedict Egg and I’ll be supervising your Neuralink insertion today. Do you have any questions?” “Yes, Doc. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
    After stamping the Coronavirus out via strict lockdown between March and May, New Zealand went through a good three months without any community cases. Then a local outbreak in Auckland rather buggered things up last month. Auckland’s been in level 3 and level 2.5 for the past six weeks. ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
    Who's causing our skyrocketing emissions? As with most of our other problems, It's the rich: The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    1 week ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
    Crusher Collins - National Party leaderWe all know that the National Party is desperate to gain some traction during this election campaign and have been throwing pretty much everything at the Labour Party in order to try and undermine Jacinda Ardern and what the Coalition Government has achieved. But unfortunately ...
    1 week ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Pasifika churches gain from PGF funding
    Pasifika churches around the country will receive a total of nearly $10 million in government funding for renovations and improvements which will improve facilities for the communities they serve and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio have announced. The funding will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Job numbers up in August
    New data from Stats NZ today shows a rise of more than 9,000 filled jobs from July – driven mostly by the education and training sector, Grant Robertson says. Filled jobs were up 9,147 to 2.2 million in August 2020 compared with July – with 7,409 of those in education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Māori development receives funding
    Māori development projects across the country will receive a total of $18.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund that will create infrastructure and permanent jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “These projects will support economic development in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti, Manawatū-Whanganui, Waikato and Southland to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Hand-up for owners of earthquake-prone units
    From today, owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings can apply for financial support to fix their homes, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing financial hardship over earthquake strengthening costs. “We understand how complicated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PGF backing successful Māori enterprise
    Whanganui will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment in a local food-processing company which will help the company increase production and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. Kii Tahi Ltd, which is owned by South Taranaki iwi Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi, will receive a Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hokitika Landmark earmarked for $22m restoration
    Seddon House in Hokitika, once a hub for government on the West Coast, has been earmarked for government use once again. “Today we’re announcing a $22 million investment from the Government’s $3 billion infrastructure fund for shovel ready projects for the purchase and restoration of Seddon House in the heart of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Town halls and war memorials in PGF renovation programme
    Town halls, war memorials and other community landmarks across the country will be renovated thanks to grants totalling just under $12.4 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says more than 1000 jobs are expected to be created during the renovation programme. “Town halls, other ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes two diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced two new diplomatic appointments: •         Michael Appleton as New Zealand’s first resident High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. •        Tredene Dobson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Viet Nam.  Sri Lanka “New Zealand is opening a post in Colombo in 2021 because we are ready ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins
    The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to the 2020 winner Graeme Atkins while in Gisborne/Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa. “Graeme Atkins of Ngāti Porou is a Department of Conservation ranger whose contribution to conservation goes well above and beyond his employment,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Early help for whānau who need extra support
    The Government is investing in a new, whānau-centred early intervention prototype designed to strengthen families and improve the safety and wellbeing of children. The new programme, Ngā Tini Whetū, is a collaboration between Oranga Tamariki, Te Puni Kōkiri, ACC and the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency (WOCA) and was announced today ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Parliament to install solar and cut carbon
    Parliament is leading by example by taking action to cut its carbon footprint by installing solar and improving energy efficiency, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today. The Minister confirmed that Parliamentary Services will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to install solar PV and LED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tuvalu Language Week theme promotes community resilience in the face of COVID-19
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the 2020 Tuvalu Language Week theme of “Fakatili Te Kiloga Fou” which means “Navigating the changing environment” is a call on all Pacific peoples to be strong and resilient in the face of COVID-19. “This theme is a reminder to us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • International sport back up and running in New Zealand
    The Government is welcoming today’s announcement that the West Indies and Pakistan cricket teams will tour New Zealand this summer.  “A lot of hard work has been undertaken by sports officials including New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand and government officials to ensure that international sport can return safely to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 1BT funds for Northland forest taonga
    Northland’s indigenous tree canopy is set to grow for the benefit of mana whenua and the wider community thanks to nearly $2 million in One Billion Trees funding, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Komanga Marae Trust has received more than $1.54 million to restore and enhance the native ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better health care for West Coasters as Te Nikau Hospital officially opened
    The Government has delivered a new hospital for Greymouth and is starting work on a much needed new health centre in Westport, ensuring local communities will benefit from better access to high quality integrated health services. Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare officially open Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government backing local with PGF loan
    A West Coast distillery will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment that will enable it to expand its operations and create jobs in the town of Reefton, Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Reefton Distilling Co will receive a $928,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Primary sector exports and jobs up again
    Primary sector exports and jobs are up again, demonstrating the sector’s underlying strength amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and US-China trade war, and supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery. Stats NZ today reported New Zealand’s merchandise exports in August were up 8.6% on a year ago, driven by an increase in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clean energy future for more schools
    Schools across Aotearoa New Zealand will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The Minister has allocated $50 million from the Clean Powered Public Service Fund to replace, or convert, coal boilers in schools with clean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Building business strength with digital tools
    New training and tools for digital commerce will give small businesses, especially in the tourism sector, the support they need to adapt and innovate in a COVID world. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced details of how $20 million digital capability funding set aside ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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