In Defence of the Nanny State

Written By: - Date published: 3:41 pm, February 8th, 2011 - 63 comments
Categories: Social issues - Tags:

I get frustrated with the right claiming “Nanny State” on everything (except when it’s them banning cell-phones when driving etc).  So it was with interest I read famous philosopher Alain de Botton‘s piece on the BBC yesterday: In defence of the nanny state.

As he puts it:

A key assumption of modern politics is that we should be left alone to live as we like without being nagged, without fear of moral judgement. Freedom has become our supreme political virtue.

Sections of the public grow more or less apoplectic at the idea that governments might want to teach us anything. Even modest measures like trying to get people to eat less fatty food or drive less petrol-guzzling cars tends to provoke howls of protest that this is going simply too far.

He makes an interesting point with:

We don’t currently live in a “free” society in the true sense of the term. Every day, our minds are assaulted by commercial messages that reach us from all sides. The whole billion-pound-a-year advertising industry runs counter to any assertion that we’re currently free and un-nudged as it stands.

A libertarian state truly worthy of the name would accept that our freedom is best guaranteed by an entirely neutral public space. It would judge that it was no assault on liberty to deprive us of all advertisements in fields, city streets, taxis, websites, phone booths, tube stations, dentists waiting rooms, airport concourses or Hollywood films.

and:

The true risks to us turn out to be different from those conceived of by libertarians. It is not always or even primarily the case that we find ourselves at the mercy of some external, paternalistic authority whose claims we resent and want to be free of. Only too often, the danger runs in an opposite direction. We face temptations and compulsions which we revile, but which we lack the strength and encouragement to resist, much to our eventual self-disgust and disappointment.

But read the whole thing, as your dose of daily philosophy.  De Botton has actually been doing a whole series of pieces for the Beeb – oh that we should get such high quality content as top philosophers to be in our public broadcasting…

63 comments on “In Defence of the Nanny State”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    oh that we should get such high quality content as top philosophers to be in our public broadcasting…

    That would be nice but it ain’t gonna happen as then the populace will start questioning just what and who is behind the curtain.

    • Zorr 1.1

      His BBC series on Status Anxiety is a good watch.

      • M 1.1.1

        Agree – this series amply demonstrated how people get caught in the ‘more’ trap.

        Thanks Bunji for this article – now, do I have the courage to put it on the wall at work?

  2. TightyRighty 2

    umm, so he states we aren’t we free to make our own choices regarding whether or not to listen to advertising as a reason for more state interference? how patronising

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      We aren’t free and that is simply reality Tighty. If you do not acknowledge that you are simply part of the problem.

      Example. Drive down the motorway into central AKL and see if you can avoid crashing when you look away from every advertisment, billboard and marketing logo there is out there.

      Go into your local supermarket or Warehouse and see if you can do your shopping without hearing a single ad over the PA system.

      We aren’t free.

    • Bunji 2.2

      I’d put it more that with any company with its own agenda being allowed to influence you, why shouldn’t a benign state with you & your community’s interests at heart be allowed to?

      • TightyRighty 2.2.1

        Bunji this is a big concept, but legislation and advertising are two different things.

        Viper, you pathetic excuse for a person, I can choose to not buy something advertised. It’s not difficult. You rail on about consumer capitalism, its the choices that consumers make that are the problem, not the fact people can buy things that other people sell. I never shop at the warehouse. Why buy junk that isn’t even produced locally? This is probably to advanced for you though. Choice, a heady concept I know. Fucking peasant.

        [lprent: And people wonder why I don’t like flamewars – they’re intensely boring to read. ]

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          Hey Tighty, don’t get upset mate, you can CHOOSE not to read my comments after all

          😀

          But bet you can’t help yourself

          😀 😀

          Choice, such an interesting phenomenon, eh, why do people choose so badly, so often.

          😀 😀 😀

        • prism 2.2.1.2

          Tighty Righty – I think you made a typing error, I hope. Did you mean to say plucking pheasant, or fucking pleasant?

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.2

        That is correct. Because in most things a starting default position is required anyway. (e.g. Sign up as an organ donor or don’t sign up as an organ donor).

        So might as well make this starting position one which is expertly considered, commercially unbiased and helpful for most people, as opposed to one which is profit driven and helpful for corporate interests.

        • TightyRighty 2.2.2.1

          i repeat, fucking peasant. why would we do anything if it doesn’t increase our utility in some manner. your model is dead. face it.

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.2.1.1

            Still CHOOSING to read my comments I see (in fact according to you, reading MY comments must increase YOUR utility in some manner lol)

            😀

            I CHOOSE to see my model of choice (libertarian paternalism) as being very much alive, thanks. I believe according to you, its my RIGHT to CHOOSE to keep explaining it to people as well.

            😀

          • Zorr 2.2.2.1.2

            Ad hominem attack. A perfect reason to agree with you.

            Oh wait, no it isn’t.

            Why is chocolate icecream so successful if it is just sugar and fat in a tasty package? It provides no necessary nutrition that is not otherwise available. It doesn’t “increase our utility” at all. This isn’t an argument against chocolate icecream, I love the stuff, but it does show the limitations of your argument.

            • TightyRighty 2.2.2.1.2.1

              did you gain pleasure from eating it? your utility increases, utility is not strictly measured by money or goods. simpletons on here today.

              • Colonial Viper

                You’re not so smart yourself 😀

              • Zorr

                Would have hoped (captcha) that life didn’t break down in to an even more farcical version of The Sims… x_x

                I’m done with fighting at your level because I can’t be bothered being dragged down there. Have fun.

    • tighty Righty,

      Not sure if you have heard of Isaiah Berlin? He wrote a famous essay called ‘Two Concepts of Freedom’. It is well-loved by right wing libertarians as it clarifies the notion of negative freedom.

      Interestingly, Isaiah Berlin recognised how deliberate decisions to manipulate preferences and values amounts to a loss of liberty. Notice the examples – highlighted – he provides in that famous essay):

      This makes it clear why the definition of negative liberty as the ability to do what one wishes – which is, in effect, the definition adopted by Mill – will not do. If I find that I am able to do little or nothing of what I wish, I need only contract or extinguish my wishes, and I am made free. If the tyrant (or ‘hidden persuader’) manages to condition his subjects (or customers) into losing their original wishes and embracing (‘internalising’) the form of life he has invented for them, he will, on this definition, have succeeded in liberating them. He will, no doubt, have made them feel free – as Epictetus feels freer than his master (and the proverbial good man is said to feel happy on the rack). But what he has created is the very antithesis of political freedom.

      Isaiah was a smart guy who normally would be counted amongst the ‘friends of freedom’ by the right.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Its pretty clear that people make shit choices on a minute by minute basis. Choices which disadvantage themselves or which are clearly irrational. Occasionally they make good ones but they are relative rarities. Free marketers, financial whizzes and marketing professionals know all of this full well and make good use of it.

    Example. People will happily pay more for anti-terrorist insurance than they will for comprehensive insurance which includes the same anti-terrorist protections.

    Example. People are more likely to vote for the name at the start of a list. If you juggle the names around randomly, they are still more likely to vote for the name at the start of a list.

    Example. If you say to people that shifting power companies will save them $20/month they are less likely to change then if you say to them that staying with their current power company will cost them $20/month extra.

    • Blondie 3.1

      “Its pretty clear that people make shit choices on a minute by minute basis.”

      Like the moron who keeps choosing to read and comment on your comments, in spite of himself?
      Then again, he seems the sort who gains great pleasure (read: utility) in arguing.

      And yes, you’re completely right that one has little choice in one’s exposure to advertising – unless one chooses to join the Amish.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        You can choose to drastically decrease the amount of advertising you see, by doing outdoors activities instead of watching TV, listening to National Radio instead of other stations, putting ‘no junkmail’ sign on your letter box and skipping past ads in magazines/newspapers.

        Unfortunately when you go shopping you’ll most likely be confronted by advertising, either in-store or on-line.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.2

        Thanks Blondie. I don’t think its that controversial. The evidence that people make bad decisions all the time, decisions which hurts their own interests (as well as costing society shed loads of money), literally surrounds us on a daily basis.

        Yeah Lanth, hardly ever watch TV these days. It just hurts the brain.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3

        Don’t watch TV, don’t listen to radio or read the newspaper and ignore the billboards. I use Adblock+ to minimise advertising from the internet. It is possible to get away from advertising – interestingly enough, the amount I was spending also decreased once I did so.

  4. Anthony C 4

    Adam Curtis has a good doco that deals with a similar issue, can’t remember which one it is exactly although it might be The Trap.

  5. I always thought that most nanny state policies could be equated with civility.

    I am also going to go out on a limb here …

    There should be standards for light bulbs so that we only use the efficient sort that last three times as long and only use a fifth of the energy of ordinary light bulbs. For our kids future we have to do this and anyone who jumps up and down and says “nanny state” is an idiot.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      micky, over this kind of thing and shower heads, LAB were simply shit at selling their vision.

      The Left have this awful trait of thinking “this is common sense, therefore people will see it for what it is and will like us for it”.

      Nope.

      If you cannot get the public to buy your vision of an energy efficient, cost saving, power saving, sustainable future within which light bulbs, shower heads and incentives for small cars and public transport are merely the detail within a powerful and common sense larger context its easy to be made vulnerable on each aspect of finicky apparently over-controlling “nanny state” detail.

      Which is what NAT and their advisors exploited extremely successfully, and LAB face planted on.

      Come to think of it, who in the last LAB govt was actually championing to the public an advanced vision for a sustainable future for NZ, her people and our economy?

      • mickysavage 5.1.1

        I agree with you Viper.

        With some policies, especially the really obvious ones Labour should just say “don’t be so stupid. There is a huge benefit here. It is not a matter of choice, it is a matter of what is good for all of us. Bulbs last much longer, are much cheaper to run and save energy.”

        Regrettably a lot of the time our message is not that simple.

    • higherstandard 5.2

      Yes the light bulbs………….. won’t anyone think of the children…….. (wrings hands)

      • mickysavage 5.2.1

        Well hs, efficient light bulbs last longer, use much less power than ordinary bulbs and allow us to use hydro rather than coal fired power. So why should not the state say that we will use them?

        • Herodotus 5.2.1.1

          Becasue at the time one cost $ and the other $5. For many as you and others have commented do not have the disposable income to replace these bulbs.
          This is one of the signs of pioverty- that to keep within a budget some decisions are not fo rthe long term best interests. Same as buying a Kg of weetbixs may be better use on $ but then bulk buying is not within everyones budget.
          then we have the costs of disposal. technically broken and dead mercury bulbs are to be disposed sepreately and within land fills contaminated material is to be isolated and contained. Over million people (guess 15+ million bulbs in Jafaland alone). Do you really think that the majority will be disposed off correctly. If not then we have major mercury contamination on land fills-that are used in later dates as recrecation areas. Just look at the cost to clean up Victoria Park. So what appears as a solution is not always the case. refer Bio fuels and the unintended consequence on food prices. But Micky keep on smiling and fighting the fight 😉

          • Lanthanide 5.2.1.1.1

            The amount of mercury in these bulbs has actually been extremely exaggerated. Yes, they’re supposed to be disposed of properly, but they’re honestly the least of our worries for what goes into land fills.

          • mickysavage 5.2.1.1.2

            Agreed Herototus.

            That is why for the benefit of the planet we need to improve the plight of the poor. Improves society AND saves the environment. What more reason do you need?

            • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.2.1

              That is why for the benefit of the planet we need to improve the plight of the poor.

              But where’s the guts to do it.

              Where are the advanced industries which will be offering the $20-30/hr jobs to our kids (and I don’t mean Australia).

              Where are the measures to reintroduce penal rates for overtime and stat days, and tilt the balance of power towards capable unions and hard workers.

              Where is the new understanding of social democracy/democratic socialism coming from in NZ culture.

              Where are the measures to deflate the property asset bubble and convince businesses to shift capital and technology into their operations.

              Where are the generous carrots for beneficiaries to get qualifications, find part time jobs, or better still full time employment.

              Where are the measures to bring basic utilities required for living back under full Government control and pricing regulation. Power, water, basic internet, basic banking, basic phones/txt.

              Where’s the willingness to increase the tax base to cover assets using a CGT and an Estate Tax, and to use that money to build a common wealth accessible to all NZ’ers.

              Where are the courageous measures to reform our failing, high recidivist corrections system.

              Where’s the proposals to revise our entire monetary system and get us off the interest bearing, infinite growth demanding, debt based mill that modern banking institutions have placed every economy of the world.

              There’s enough work here for 40 years at the rate we’ve been going but we don’t have 40 years to get all this done, unless we are willing to sacrifice another couple of generations of NZ’ers on the scrap heap.

              • Wow CV

                Very good. Dare I say it but it sounds like a visit back to the 1970s …

                • Colonial Viper

                  Heh dude, chur. I mean, knocking the minimum wage up to $15/hr is an OK start but not really the ‘brave new world’ (ahem) we are looking for.

                  Serious question – why not develop a Social Democracy which has the likes of Sweden and Norway looking at us going – how the hell did New Zealand do that.

    • Herodotus 5.3

      You forgot that these same bulbs cost 5-10x as much. For many this is a condesending attitude that yo have expressed Especially with NZ being a low wage economy and this been such for over a generation, even the wealthy (families on $100k) are not swinning in luxury.
      Sure if we can afford to keep this fine country “clean and green” fine. But many have limits on what they earn and as a consequenceon whatthey spend spend, and paying more for power and less than a $ on bulbs makes survival almost attainable, instead of the $5 for an eco bulb.
      Being clean and green is easier for the wealthly who can afford such. For many it is cheep food that maynot be nutritinist but keeps the children quiet, happy and fed.

    • KJT 5.4

      State restricting freedom.

      Search and surveillance bill.
      Loss of the right to silence.
      Star chamber evidence rules.
      Arming police.

      OK when the right does it!

    • Drakula 5.5

      Micky I would agree with you from an environmental perspective but I would not like to see the complete end of the flouro candescent filament lights for a number of reasons;-

      The very economical philips lights that you are talking about (which I use except for reading) are really miniature neon lights that work with gas; so they tend to pulse.

      I have known people who get very bad, blinding headaches and people going into epileptic seizures with such lighting, but not with the filament lighting and the old filament lighting is much better for reading.

      Should the filament lights be banned; well what would these poor sods do?

  6. Sections of the public grow more or less apoplectic at the idea that governments might want to teach us anything. Even modest measures like trying to get people to eat less fatty food or drive less petrol-guzzling cars tends to provoke howls of protest that this is going simply too far (my emphasis)

    What sickening arrogance. I’m given to regular bouts of apoplexy about everything from being told what lightbulbs I can and cannot buy to being told I no longer have a right to silence; it matters not one whit to me whether the hectoring know-all is wearing a red ribbon or a blue one.

    If, on the other hand, a politician feels passionately that I should buy long life lightbulbs I’m more than happy to have him or her teach me why that’s a good idea. Why, if I find myself in agreement I might even agree to help him or her implement the idea in a non-dictatorial way… like the scheme I recall reading about decades ago in which a small legislature bought up enough energy efficient items to go round and then allowed people to get them from the local power retailer and amortise the cost, interest free, over as many power bills as they wanted.

    But teaching isn’t what de Botton’s excusing, despite his clumsy attempt at obfuscation. As the third paragraph quoted reveals, he’s justifying politicians – people who’ve shown themselves to be liars, thieves, wankers (literally and figuratively), fruadsters, identity thieves and worse – interfering in our lives to protect us from being overwhelmed by, amongst other things, the very temptations in which they indulge themselves.

    As for his argument that a truly libertarian state would be bereft of advertising, that’s an even greater nonsense, unless he thinks it would also be free of philosophers spouting their thoughts. Information is power, and sometimes information is delivered via a commercial and sometimes via a BBC talk.

    Arm the populace with as much information as is possible so as to enable educated decisions; encourage and incentivise behaviour you feel is positive; but don’t restrict liberty in the name of protecting us from our worst selves, unless you have truly achieved perfection and omniscience. Otherwise you’re simply paternalistic and narcissistic. As de Botton seems to be both, it’s easy to see why he’s happy to stand aside and allow his fellow narcissists in the legislature erode our freedoms.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Oh shove your ‘sickening arrogance’ Rex Almost none of us have had an original thought in all our lives. Everything most of us know we learned of someone else… ergo… someone else taught it to us either via directly in a pedagogical sense, or we absorbed it indirectly from the current discourse in the public sphere.

      If you actually think about it the modern idea of ‘choice’ is mostly a complete illusion. We cannot choose our parents, our gender, our genetic or cultural heritage, the nation of our birth, most of us have little choice about around how wealthy or successful we will be. Almost nothing about our lives is anything like ‘free choice’. In a materialistic sense there are always influences and limitations to one degree or another.

      It is only in an ethical or moral sense that we have true sovereignty over our choices… but that is far from what most people have in mind when they think of the word ‘freedom’.

      • mickysavage 6.1.1

        Rex sums up the counter argument well. It does not have to be rational, just heart felt.

        People do not want to be told what to do. Even if their planet’s and their kids’ future depends on it. It does not matter how stupid we think this is, they do not like it.

        They prefer to be educated, but because of current commitments they are not able to spend any time being educated until October 2013.

        This may appear to be something out of Alice and the Wonderland but it does reflect the current perceived reality.

        • Rex Widerstrom 6.1.1.1

          They prefer to be educated, but because of current commitments they are not able to spend any time being educated until October 2013.

          Actually, if you asked them to schedule time for it they’d tell you they were busy till way past then, micky.

          That’s why I regularly seethe about our media and our politicians. Either could slip in some education amongst the stuf they pump out.

          The media, alas, are a lost cause both because of their race to the bottom and the increasing fragmentation of the media space.

          But our politicians have a unique access to a certain percentage of the evening news and the column centimetres of our newspapers and even the apps on our iPads.

          And what do they choose to do? Talk about how they’d like to bone Liz Hurley and dye their hair so everyone talks about that.

          • KJT 6.1.1.1.1

            The root of the problem is that politicians of all types act as though they have the right to tell us what to do. Politicians are our employees and should be responding to our wishes.
            Their duty is to educate and inform the public. Honestly! Not coerce.

            Agreed the so called journalists do not help now they have decided to be interpreters instead of reporters of news.

            This is supposed to be a democracy., not a three yearly revolving dictatorship.

          • mickysavage 6.1.1.1.2

            So Rex

            I think we agree that energy efficient bulbs are a good idea but there are all sorts of impediments to persuading people to use them.

            I also agree that our politicians tend to concentrate on the banal, rather than the important.

            Help, I agree completely with Rex. Does he want to become a member of the Labour Party??

            • Rex Widerstrom 6.1.1.1.2.1

              Heh, don’t feel there’s a tear in the fabric of reality micky 😉

              It was admiration for Norman Kirk… and particularly the huge impression that public reaction to his death made on me (here was a man who truly mattered to people) that drew me to politics as a youngster.

              And when Winston and I parted ways, Michael Hirschfled (another whom I hugely admired and whose loss was all but irreplaceable) asked me to join but my feeling was it was too soon… I wasn’t about to mimic Peter Dunne.

              Alas since then just about everything they’ve done, and a lot of the people they brought on board, made me think I’d escaped a fate worse than death.

              Bit like NZF really… if they ever stop admiring themselves in the mirror and look back at the principles they’re supposed to be espousing… you never know.

              And incidentally RedLogix, de Botton’s “the peasants are so fucking dumb and have such a lack of self control they need to be slapped about the head with fines and restrictions… but purely for their own good” wasnt, I think, a founding precept of the NZ Labour Party as it was the bloody peasants what did the founding!

              • Ha Rex

                Capcha: should, how much reason do you need??

                About Norman Kirk, good comment. What really fecked me off about Key and McGehan Close was that he was stealing a bit of big Norm’s legacy and pretending that he was the same. He was not. The last week’s return to McGehan Close publicity shows that Key was just out for a photo opportunity, not meaningful change …

      • I’m in agreement with what you’ve written, RL. I’ve probably been imprecise in my original comment… I don’t think it arrogant to attempt to teach us – read on and you’ll see that’s what I’m advocating – but that it’s arrogant to characterise as “teaching” the banning / fining / punishing and all the other tools of nanny statists, left and right, like to use to impose their view of what we ought to be doing.

        It’s also arrogant to characterise people as “fac[ing] temptations and compulsions which we revile, but which we lack the strength and encouragement to resist, much to our eventual self-disgust and disappointment”.

        The only people I’ve ever met who fit that descriptions are addicts of various kinds… and even they don’t respond to nanny state banning their addiction of choice. Indeed the only help for them comes from the teaching de Botton claims to see as the answer, but then goes on to advocate the heavy hand of the state grasping us tightly to save us from ourselves.

        [As an aside, so what that we can’t choose our geetic or cultural heritage etc. No one can grant us those choices so they are not freedoms which can be curtailed. Basking in the warmth of an incandescent lighbulb, however, is].

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1

          Well if high efficiency light bulbs are such a great idea simply make it easy to choose them. It can all be done by guiding people in the ‘correct’ direction but without unduly restricting or eliminating the free choice to use bad old incandescent bulbs.

          Put a 50c tariff on all the “bad bulbs” and use it to subsidise the “good bulbs” reducing the price differential.

          Then require that all the bad bulbs have plain non-descript packaging and take up only half the shelf space on a lower shelf than the “good bulbs”.

          Make it so that supermarkets (where most people buy their bulbs) cannot sell old fashioned incandescents with power ratings over 100W (this will affect the 150W and 200W varieties).

          People can still make a separate trip to hardware and electrical stores to get the big ones though, but of course its a tad less convenient to do that.

          To complicate matters I see that Philips have a range of better “bad bulbs” which are 30% more energy efficient.

          • Rex Widerstrom 6.1.2.1.1

            I’m wracking my brains now to recall any detail about the experiment I mentioned above. I was a small place, I think an island (Rhode Isand??!) where the legislature decided that hot water cylinder blankets, energy effiicient lightbulbs and the like should be encouraged.

            So they not only used advertising to say why, but they laid on enough for everyone (I seem to recall ~3,000 households) and said “order whatever you want, pay it off on your power bill over a choice of periods, with no interest”. The uptake rate was in excess of 90%, I clearly remember that much.

            I could have it wrong but I think it cost them next to nothing overall because the state owned the power company and it had to buy in less power.

            I went running excitedely round the NZF office waving the thing because that’s exactly how I think legislatures should implement change and was told “Meh, that’s Greens stuff”. I threw it away. Damn, I wish I hadn’t 🙁

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Depend upon the situation. Different policies require different methods of implementation.

              You’re example above suits the state buying the blankets initially but what about new homes? There you would need regulation saying that the blankets are compulsory and/or that hot water cylinders meet some sort of energy loss specification.

              Light bulbs are better using the pure regulatory approach. Purchasing a few million light bulbs and distributing them would actually be inefficient as it produces a large amount of unnecessary waste as the still working incandescent bulbs are thrown out.

              Then there’s the other advantage that regulation can bring in in the form of entrepreneurship. Standards can encourage research and development. The regulation on the light bulbs was efficiency standards. Incandescent weren’t specifically illegal under it but they didn’t match efficiency standards required. If there was enough demand for such light bulbs then someone may have actually gone out and developed them. This can certainly be seen in car development: European cars, developed for a strict energy efficiency regime are now the most efficient cars in the world. US developed cars that don’t need to meet those standards aren’t.

              • You’re example above suits the state buying the blankets initially but what about new homes? There you would need regulation saying that the blankets are compulsory and/or that hot water cylinders meet some sort of energy loss specification.

                Surely the same formula would apply? You’re building a new house in that area and you see all the advertising that says “Hey, energy efficient products will save you $X on your power bill! Come get some and pay them off over X years so, with the savings you’ll make, you’re getting them for free”. You respond the same way as a person with an existing house.

                And/or they allow builders to fit out their new houses, sell them as “energy efficient and cheap to run” and amortise the payback the same way.

                Incandescent weren’t specifically illegal under it but they didn’t match efficiency standards required.

                With dissembling ability like that, you have a great career in politics ahead of you: “Sorry Hone, we’re not actually throwing you out of the party, you just haven’t met the ‘kowtowing to John Key’ standards required” 😛 😉

                • Draco T Bastard

                  With dissembling ability like that,…

                  😛

                  Context is everything. If somebody developed incandescent light bulbs that met the standards then they could be used.

      • Puddleglum 6.1.3

        Exactly (RL, above).

        One of the greatest conceits (as well as one of the most liberating political ideas) is that we are our own creations. We are all creations of this world even to the point that our chance of some personal, individual autonomy (something I would encourage) is, itself, created by this world – not ‘chosen’ by us individually.

  7. OleOlebiscuitBarrell 7

    I was in the gulag.I faced meagre food rations, inadequate clothing, overcrowding, poorly insulated housing, poor hygiene, and inadequate health care and was compelled to perform harsh physical labour.

    On the plus side, I had to endure no advertisements.

    I felt so free. Good times, good times.

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    RedlineBy Daphna
    23 hours ago
  • Sophistry and bullshit
    I spent some time reading the Regulatory Impact Statement and Bill of Rights Act advice for the government's odious control order scheme today. I am not impressed with either of them. Starting with the RIS, it is built on some pretty questionable assumptions. For example:Unless individuals have been convicted of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    24 hours ago
  • I’m so fly, I’m #NoFly!
    #NoFly: Walking the talk on climate change, by Shaun Hendy. BWB Texts, 2019. Reviewed by Robert McLachlan In June 2018, Swede Maja Rosén founded We stay on the ground with a pledge not to fly in 2019, and a goal of persuading 100,000 other Swedes to join her. In August, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • Punishing the young
    We all know that NZ First is a party of and for old people who hate the young. But they've topped their previous pedophobia with a proposal that all young people be forced to do 100 hours community work:NZ First wants all young people to do 100 hours of community ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Journalism, clickbait, & ideas of classical beauty – but not science
    A couple days ago the NZ Herald published a story with the headline, “Science says Bella Hadid is world’s most beautiful woman“, and followed up with the ridiculous statement that Supermodel Bella Hadid has been declared as the world’s most beautiful woman following a scientific study into what constitutes as ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 day ago
  • Is Simon’s Smile Sustainable?
    A Sustainable Proposition: With as much as 18 percent of the electorate declaring itself “undecided” about who to vote for, there is obviously plenty of space for a party like former Green Party member, Vernon Tava's, about-to-be-launched "Sustainable NZ Party" to move into. The most hospitable political territory for such ...
    1 day ago
  • What the actual Hell?
    Keir Starmer has hinted that Labour might vote in favour of the Johnson government's shoddy deal, with the proviso that a second referendum is attached:Speaking to BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We will see what that looks like but it makes sense to say that by whatever ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    3 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    4 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    4 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    5 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    5 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    5 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    6 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    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 There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    6 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    7 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    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 Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
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    5 days ago
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