web analytics

Inter-generational theft

Written By: - Date published: 10:24 am, May 2nd, 2012 - 49 comments
Categories: class war, Economy, employment, tertiary education - Tags:

Baby boomers strike again.

In 1989, University fees for domestic students in New Zealand were  less than $300. Moreover, for many students, 90% of that cost was met by the government through a fees grant. NZUSA has a very good history of fees in New Zealand.

But I just want to say thank you to the baby boomer generation.

Thanks for pulling that ladder up after you.

I think it is great that graduates are now going to have to repay their loans faster so that you can keep more of your income. Income that you’re probably earning with that fantastic degree you didn’t pay for. It’s not like we are entering the toughest job market in twenty years, with the highest housing prices and an increasing cost of living.

How about I, as a graduate, repay my loan faster when you give yourselves retrospective student loans to repay the state for that free degree you got? Or pay a general tax of thanks for that ladder we no longer have.

Yeah, didn’t think so. 

Instead we get asset sales, faster repayments, higher fees and Steven Joyce telling us to be grateful. 

49 comments on “Inter-generational theft”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Personally I’m fed up with this blaming everything on the baby boomers crap.

    You keep forgetting that in the 1980’s when neo-liberalism was being driven as the mainstream ideologogy, none of us baby-boomers were more than 35 yrs old. The establishment class that did this to us all were all in their 50-70’s.

    Nah.. the this ‘intergenerational theft’ nonsense is a dangerous diversion. The issue is class, always was.

    • Rupert the Beer 1.1

      Red has a point – working class baby-boomers aren’t exactly creaming it.

      • Tiger Mountain 1.2.1

        Yeah RL, it is actually class theft. In a general sense all previous generations leave a sting in the tail but there is more to it.

        Annoying as grey beards can be, and I don’t particularly like them pumping gas or doing other ‘entry level’ jobs, the ‘baby boomer’ analysis is primarily popular/academic sociological branding. As the Māori party found out, identity ultimately does not trump class, but the two can walk together.

        ‘Baby boomers’ via Mana movement and the small hard left parties are leading the current Hikoi “Aotearoa is Not For Sale”.

  2. KJT 2

    You mean the degree that I did not get, like most boomers I did not go to University, while paying 60 percent tax so the children of the rich could invest the ski-fields.

    It was not free. It was paid for by taxes on the working class who did not go to University.

    I did not mind the tax rates, because, I thought, at least my children would benefit.

    Again like most boomers I am paying to keep my adult children in education.

    Do you really think that we would vote to cut student allowances when it just means that we have to pay more to help our kids.

    Student loans have made University education available to many more people than in the 60’s and 70’s, when it was really only for the upper classes.

    I think it is totally fair that students repay a proportion of their costs.
    While I agree the level of loan and allowances should be more realistic..

    Again this is confusing the real battle, class, with generation.

    RWNJ’s are happy to have us blaming, boomers, beneficiaries, solo mums, anyone but the real cause, themselves.

    • IrishBill 2.1

      Bullshit it was for the upperclass. My entire (lower middle-class, state house) family got university educations from the fifties to the seventies.

  3. Richard 3

    and in 1989 tertiary participation rates were about 40% lower than they are now. There are a lot more students than there used to be. You can either fund a lot of students to a modest degree, or fewer students to a high degree. Unless you have a money tree, you cannot do both.

    • millsy 3.1

      Back in 1989 there was still a lot of industry training in place so you could join the workforce and do much of your training on the job. Not only with apprenticeships, but with cadetships in both the private and public sector. Then around that time, the NZQA/ITO system was put in place and you had to get a qualification from polytech first before entering the workforce in most cases.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Actually, we can.

      We need people in Uni/Polytech getting an education, doing research and development, what we don’t need and can’t afford is rich people.

  4. PunditX 4

    Good grief Jimmy what a whinge – are you a pom? This isn’t my generation pulling the ladder up its John Key and he’s your generation mate. I missed out on the freebie degree because where I come from you work your way through college and there were no loans. And besides the draft intervened and sent me to Vietnam helping me to miss out on that most middle class  of dreams, college and career.. Another story but until you can put that expensive education to good use and work out how get rid rid of this shower and replace it with a Labour Green government, pay up, shut up and stop blaming your parents…

    • vto 4.1

      “This isn’t my generation pulling the ladder up its John Key and he’s your generation mate.”

      Bullshit. The moves are in response to voters, obviously. So ask yourself why this government refuses to address superann. Paying every single person aged 65 and over in these times, no matter whether they have no income or a multi-million dollar income, is simple greed. Greed of the voters and greed of the politicians.

      Inter-generational theft is an entirely legitimate issue – especially as the population pulses and bulges with different age groups and their greedy demands. Good on you Jimmy Reid for raising it.

      It always gets people’s goat though doesn’t it – witness redlogix above. And try raising super ann with most recipients – blah blah blah I paid my taxes blah blah blah. Which is also a bullshit argument. They paid their taxes and consistently voted for governments like Muldoons who scuppered super schemes. Why has that generation that blah blah blah paid their taxes blah blah blah never put in place a scheme to deal with this? I suggest simple greed is the reason.

      Seriously, the older generation really get my own goat sometimes. In the Press today there is an article about a groupf of elderley who have berated CERA for their failures, which are all perfectly legit. However, one noo-noo in the audience claimed “it was our generation who built this country”. What a fricking dope. One generation did all the building of this country over 150-200 years?? ha ha ha – perfect example of woolly headedness on exactly this matter.

      • Uturn 4.1.1

        I don’t know if the whole Boomer Hate thing is relevent in itself, since the solution to the real problem is always at hand, but never applied. The reply Boomer Hate gets of “don’t blame your parents” always makes me laugh. But you make a good point. Someone had to vote in the nasties who “pulled up the ladder”. No one wants to admit to that. They didn’t vote themselves in. Wasn’t just a single term either. Age may not make everyone stupid, but some people have stayed stupid for longer than others.

      • Roy 4.1.2

        “Paying every single person aged 65 and over in these times, no matter whether they have no income or a multi-million dollar income, is simple greed. Greed of the voters and greed of the politicians.”

        Right on, vto! Whether it’s the BabyBoomers, many of whom have not yet retired, or largely the generation before them, unquestionably the Greedy Greys are screwing the young. I would contend that the blame mostly lies with the generation before the Baby Boomers but the older Boomers sure aren’t doing anything to turn it around. The younger Boomers, born in the late 50’s, are feeling some pain because their kids are still at uni, or are new graduates saddled with monstrous debt.

        As a Generation Jones (born right on the cusp between BabyBoomers and Gen X) I am very well aware that my older siblings, who are BabyBoomers, had it a hell of a lot easier going through uni than I did, and that my kids at uni have it a hell of a lot harder than I did. Why do Boomers keep lying about how it was for them? Do they really think nobody else remembers?

        We desperately need means-testing of superannuation, so that multi-millionaires don’t get it. Australia is supposed to be the economic model we should aspire to, and Australia certainly means-tests its old age pension (which it calls a pension, rather than some cute euphemism). We also need to rebuild the apprenticeship system for young people who are not particularly academic.

        • rosy

          I absolutely agree with the need to sort super. I absolutely agree that intergenerational theft is a real outcome of policy decisions. I absolutely agree that the student loans scheme is unfair . I absolutely detest arguing in boomer and genx/y terms.

          My parents had fixed interests loans and capitalising on family benefits to buy houses, my generation paid exorbitant interest rates on mortgages and huge deposits, but our education was cheaper than my children’s education. And students nowadays have it way better than my children did when they were charged above market interest on their student loans.

          Inter-generational wealth transfer (or theft, if you prefer) is an ongoing problem, partly due to planning in short time-frames and cost-benefit analyses that discount the future, partly due to the influence of voting blocks (young people – vote!! Please!), and all sorts of other partlys. It almost always has that difficult issue of class at the core.

          Does anyone doubt a fair chunk of the children of the asset strippers of the last neo-lib turn were/are not richer students than their parents were? Does anyone doubt a huge chunk of working class parents are seeing their children poorer? Does anyone doubt that on the whole parents want the best for their children, rather than steal from them?

          And all the while middle-class children are trying to hold onto the standard of living their parents have. This is what really crystallises the anger of gen x against boomers, I think.

          Using the boomer – gen y/x argument is static and provides no solution. It’s generation after generation after generation… and is uneven in it’s effects (and sometimes operates in reverse – clearly not recently). Jeez if this type of argument goes on the current greens, because they are part of Gen X accused of intergenerational theft of resources by their grandchildren. Work on the issues and enlist like-minded people to argue.

          Divide and conquer on demographic profile is futile for people who want a fair society. But if it helps to get rid of your anger, go for it. Just don’t expect any solutions while you’re venting – the haves won’t be listening.

      • KJT 4.1.3

        Take a big pull on whatever you are smoking and repeat slowly.

        Very few boomers went to University compared with the next generation.

        Those under 40 now are likely to have much higher lifetime earnings than the average boomer. because there are much less of us. Simple supply and demand.

        Hardly pulling up a ladder when you never climbed it.

        • vto

          KJT, I don’t understand how what you wrote there relates to what I wrote. I didn’t mention either university or boomers – my post concerned inter-generational theft and other issues in a general sense.

          It seems it may have been you taking a drag on something.

          (all assuming your post was in reply to mine).

        • geoff

          you fucking twat. you didn’t need to go uni to get a job back then. you just
          rolled out of school at 15 into an apprenticeship which you could rely on to become
          a job that would be secure for the rest of your life. Unemployment was fucking miniscule!

          The degree of uncertainty and saddling of debt that young people have to take on just to
          earn a paltry crust nowadays is fucking disgusting.

          I hope that whoever out there, perhaps not born yet, who has to look after these
          right-wing cunts in resthomes in their final senile years (most likely for minimum wage!), leaves them lying in their own piss soaked sheets for days at a time.

  5. just saying 5

    Maybe this is good news. I often hear people around these parts discount relative atrocities visited on the working class with “well it won’t be till the middle-class starts hurting that we can effect any real change” with an unspoken “sorry mate, not my fault, it’s just the way the world is”.

    So here we’re starting to see some policies which disproportionately impact on the middle-class coming out of National. People That Matter. Given those most in need have been waiting so long shouldn’t we be saying “Bring it on?”…

    And by the way, lest anyone make assumptions, I’m directly financially affected by these changes.
    pps. The whole time I was at uni part-time I saw the numbers of poor and returning adult students steadily decline, most of that time under a Labour government

  6. DH 6

    I think you need to look a little deeper than fees. In the ’70s not that many people went to ‘varsity, it’s only a fairly recent phenomenon that being a graduate is de rigueur for getting a well paid job or even a job full stop. Current spending on education, and children in general, is bleeding this country just as dry as spending on superannuation. Earlier generations never had ECE, WFF, Paid parental leave, computers in schools, indeed they didn’t have access to loans either so most had to fund their own tertiary education by whatever means possible.

    It’s the boomers who are still funding a large part of the existing education and family welfare spend so I think a little perspective is in order there. I’m not personally enamoured with paying taxes to educate people who fuck off overseas chasing a bigger pay packet but I don’t complain about it. Ce la vie.

    The systems sucks but it’s the whole system; not just education.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      We’ve hollowed out our economy over the last 30 years.

      We do not need, want or make space for the skills that universities are currently churning out in their undergrads.

      It’s good we’re giving Australia free university graduates though. They appreciate it.

      • bad12 6.1.1

        Yes they are wont to say quietly over the ditch in Oz that the most valuable thing we export to them is our people…

    • KJT 6.2

      There never will be jobs for all those graduates.

      Every Western country will need more builders, technicians and fitters in future.

      We already have so many lawyers and accountants we have to have make work schemes for them.

      Polytech or Uni instead of apprenticeships is an example of provider capture.
      Most jobs are better learn’t on the job.

      I have worked with many graduates where Uni has given them arrogance and a reluctance to learn. They know it all already.

      In fact we are better keeping student loans and spending more money on helping those who are falling behind in the early years.

  7. (A different) Nick K 7

    So true 🙁

  8. higherstandard 8




    The number of tertiary students (including domestic and international students) has nearly doubled, from 252,000 in 1994 to 469,000 in 2009.

    There were 426,000 domestic students in 2009, compared with 245,000 in 1994 and 315,000 in 2000.

    The proportion of people living in New Zealand aged 15 and over who participated in tertiary education in 2009 was 12.4 percent, up from 8.9 percent in 1994.

    • And back in the 80s, when people like me got to go to university for under $300 a year (in ’80s dollars), that proportion was even lower. Back then, it genuinely was ‘education for the elite’, unlike the squawking going on now. I’m picking that if the govt promised it would return to funding almost the entire cost of study but restrict entry to the same proportion of the population as back in the early 80s, Jimmy wouldn’t be any too chuffed about that either.

      Bottom line: we can’t provide what the baby boomers had, because we can’t return to such low student numbers. The real issue is with low wages, not student fees – if the govt wasn’t set on seeing our labour costs become competitive with Thailand and the Philippines, paying back a fraction of your tuition costs wouldn’t be a big deal.

  9. Shane Gallagher 9

    To those who are complaining about the number of students at tertiary level you are forgetting about something – educational inflation. You need to be better educated now to participate in the economy because the economy is now so much more complicated than it was “back then”.

    In the old days a primary education is what most people needed to get on in the world. Then is was secondary O-level (not being a kiwi I don’t know what the equivalent was here). Then it was Bursary/A-level.

    Then it became a degree or other equivalent trade qualification

    Now it is having a Masters that seems to be the way to “guarantee” a job when you leave uni.

    In the very complex and technical world we live in we need a better educated workforce. The median bar before was secondary level education – now it is a degree. And the “elite” are doing Masters and PhDs (even those do not guarantee a job these days).

    You want a modern cutting edge, knowledge based economy? Put your money where you mouth is and pay up.

    If you want Kiwis to be a cheap labour source for Australia – vote National.

    • KJT 9.1

      Better educated workforce?

      Hundreds more Lawyers than we need while the average age in the trades is 58.

      Yes we do. Better educated in practical skills.

      Bring back apprenticeships.

    • Uturn 9.2

      Well now this is an interesting idea, but why exactly do people need a masters in leaf raking, for example? There must be a point where the population becomes “over-educated” or perhaps more correctly labelled, “under-learned”.

      Higher education is a necessity for doctors and other vital services; and the electronic and engineering systems that support infrastructure. But no one needs a Masters or PhD to “get a job”. Perhaps the idea of higher education is now mainly connected to the silly aspirational game of being bettter than your peers; a social climbing rung, for lack of any other convenient prejudice to arrange society around. Because it’s an awful waste of resources to make a candidate for a gardener’s labourer position to get a Masters in raking before an employer will consider his application. The art of practical raking and the art of doing well with theoretical information are miles apart. And then Rich Boy will have no one to rake the leaves from his estate garden and god knows what will happen then, who will he blame?

      The knowledge based economy, while named ambiguously, usually relates to a rather narrow range of knowledge and is of limited use to a nation that wants anything more than wholesale unemployment and masses of over-educated people bewildered at why the streets are so dirty. There is a point where over-educating too many people will lead to a sudden explosion in the need for people who know practical applied skills and a re-balancing of the social arrangement, first on an equal footing and then strongly in favour of those who can “do”. AHah! Socialism wins again!

    • Carol 9.3

      Not only has there been qualification inflation in recent decades, as a boomer who got my first qualifications in the 70s, I have found that the ones I have are often never enough for what I wanted to do (which was far from extremely high paying work). I have found I have had to keep going back to uni (usually part time) to get more qualifications to remain competitive with younger folks more recently qualified.

      And, remember, if a person in their 50s-60s loses their job now, they are competing for jobs with (more desired) younger people with more and/or more recent qualifications).

  10. I blame the education system for the learned stupidity that blames our ills on other generations, foreigners, consumption, greed, identity crisis, mistakes, ego, complacency, bloodymindedness, bastardry, morality and statistics, and the education system.

  11. Carol 11

    I also never voted for the John Key government, and don’t agree with the changes they are now planning for student loans and/or allowance. All students should be getting a reasonable allowance. Their education is an investment for the future.

    But also, the current competitive mania over qualifications needs to be challenged.

    The focus should be on education for participation in a democratic society. Education shouldn’t be just to enter a competition for the (never enough, never fair enough) jobs that are available.

  12. mike 12

    The intergenerational theft argument is overly simplistic. There are a number of factors that go into the gen x and millennial generation’s situation. Similarly not all baby boomers or the generation before them have benefitted from the changes that have taken place from the 90s onwards. However this article is about the fact that the current generation of graduates has just been handed a pay cut.

    This continues the trend started by the introduction of the change in public policy and debate that occurred in the 90s when it was decided that actually education was no longer a public good with some private benefits but was solely a private good and just another commodity.
    The anger that this has generated has been directed at the boomers simply because they and the generation before them (who get lumped in as boomers) have been the generation making the decisions for the last 25 years and were a genration/s who did not have to deal with this.
    Yes I think blaming boomers for everything is simplistic but that anger is there, it is real, it has and will continue to have very real consequences. You ignore it at your peril.
    The greatest feeling we have towards boomers is not actually anger. Its a feeling of being really badly let down. Rather than stand up and fight for us, the previous generations appear to simply spend their time justifying their position and shouting down anyone who says otherwise.

    • DH 12.1

      Try looking up just how much the state forks out for education and then tell us it’s not a public good. Hint… tertiary alone takes nearly $4billion of our hard earned.

      See for yourself, scroll down to the bit on education…..


    • Carol 12.2

      Rather than stand up and fight for us, the previous generations appear to simply spend their time justifying their position and shouting down anyone who says otherwise.

      Plenty of us have, for a long time, and will continue to stand up and fight for a better and fairer education and future…. for me that has included going on many demos, protests, strikes and picket lines aiming for just that….. but the people making the decisions have still gone on making the decisions by and for the benefit of the few.

  13. lefty 13

    It’s nonsense to suggest working class boomers like myself that left school at 15 or 16, still have mortgages, and have to work for five years longer than their parents did before they get the pension have stolen from the next generation.

    Over the same period the rich have been appropriating a bigger and bigger share of the nations wealth and making the rest of us work harder each year. Their children will inherit massive amounts of wealth while ours will struggle paying off student loans, huge mortgages etc if they are lucky enough to have a job.

    I refuse to accept responsibility for the actions of the National and Labour party over the last thirty years because I have been fighting their shit every step of the way as a unionist, on the streets, and by every means possible.

    The intergenerational theft argument is a ploy to enable the international ruling class to keep on accumulating wealth at the expense of the rest of us. People like Jimmy are enablers of the ruling class and a menace to the rest of us.

    We should be focusing on the system that is destroying our society and our planet not falling into the neo liberal trap of blaming the victims for the crimes of the elite and turning generations against each other.

  14. Reagan Cline 14

    I finished a degree in 1970, having started 1964. At that time the globalisation thing hadn’t started and most of us shot through for postgrasd to US or London and then came back. I went to a provincial town where they needed someone – I did it because it made me feel good about being part of a good real NZ town where I could conrtibute and be “big fish in small pond” obviously useful and needed.

    Then Lange and his puppet masters fucked it all up.

    You need to realise that the boomers were by and large more altruistic and patriotic than today’s lot.

    The choices were more limited and many of us saw a career at home the best way to go. Now more people in the higher paid workforce are from overseas, having taken jobs that traditionally woulod have gone to NZ boomer generation.

  15. Foreign Waka 15

    I read these comments and there is this red thread of blame going through it. Many seem to forget that NZ was “restructured” in the 80’s and the so called baby boomers were the people paying for it. The ones who are close to retirement or have just turned 65 have the most traumatic experience in terms of loosing all than any University graduate right now. A new structure was introduced and with it a new way of doing politics. Both have had a substantial influence as NZ tried to do a 24h turnaround from a introverted economy dependent on Britain to an International country. And man this was a hurtful time! Note from the webpage:
    New Zealand became part of a global economy. With no restrictions on overseas money coming into the country the focus in the economy shifted from the productive sector to finance.[34] Finance capital outstripped industrial capital[30] and redundancies occurred in manufacturing industry; approximately 76,000 manufacturing jobs were lost between 1987 and 1992.
    Over 15 years, New Zealand’s economy and social capital faced a steady decline: the youth suicide rate grew sharply into one of the highest in the developed world;the proliferation of food banks increased dramatically;marked increases in violent and other crime were observed; the number of New Zealanders estimated to be living in poverty grew by at least 35% between 1989 and 1992;and health care was especially hard-hit, leading to a significant deterioration in health standards among working and middle class people.In addition, many of the promised economic benefits of the experiment never materialised. Between 1985 and 1992, New Zealand’s economy grew by 4.7% during the same period in which the average OECD nation grew by 28.2%.From 1984–1993 inflation averaged 9% per year, New Zealand’s credit rating dropped twice, and foreign debt quadrupled.Between 1986 and 1993, the unemployment rate rose from 3.6% to 11%.

  16. fatty 16

    “You need to realise that the boomers were by and large more altruistic and patriotic than today’s lot.”

    Yes. Gen X and Y are definitely un-altruistic and un-patriotic when compared to the boomers. We have been brought up in a society built upon the concept individual responsibility…NZ does not provide for us the way it did for the boomers.

    “At that time the globalisation thing hadn’t started…”

    This is a very important point. The boomers do not need Gen X & Y, that is why the ladder has been pulled up. Instead of needing the next generation’s skills and knowledge to provide doctors/nurses/lawyers etc immigration can now cover it…so the boomers see no need to pay for the later generations. Changes to our immigration laws have have coincided with cuts in tax, health & education – we now cherry pick immigrants based on their professional status. This is also why Gen X & Y are un-patriotic and un-altruistic.

    Nobody is saying that ALL boomers benefited from the introduction of neoliberalism, but as a generation they certainly did.
    There is a Pakeha privilege, there is a male privilege…and there is a generational privilege. Nobody with a brain believes that all Pakeha have benefited from colonialism, anyone that has studied post-colonialism knows that many victims of colonialism are Pakeha…just as some Maori benefited from colonialism (Maori elites have been around since the Europeans arrived).

    If you have posted here claiming that you are an unprivileged boomer then you are wrong…if you are claiming here that you have not benefited economically from being a boomer then you are probably right. They are not mutually exclusive.
    If you do claim boomers have not been privileged, then do you also claim that Pakeha privilege is a sham? Is male privilege also “crap”?

    I’m in the process of applying for an overseas postgrad university scholarship. The NZ universities are under funded and I can probably study for free overseas…if I stay here I will get a worse education and have a loan that will cripple me for life.
    I will return to NZ to work (probably with a doctorate) when the tax system is back to how it was 40 years ago…so that when I have kids they will not be economically crippled for life.
    I am proudly un-patriotic to NZ…you can all go shaft yourself with your neoliberal stick that you keep beating me with.

    • Carol 16.1

      I understand the concept of boomer privilege, in that there were more jobs easily available when we were young than now, and ones that provided a liveable income. Just surviving has become much harder. And I do think the stresses on young people have become enormous.

      But it has also become harder for many boomers who become unemployed in later life, not having the same level of qualifications as many younger people and not being of an age desired most by employers.

      However, I don’t think uni education was as easily available to the majority of boomers as you seem to think. Ditto for access to the higher paid jobs and promotion.

      But if you agree there’s Pakeha and male privilege (I’d add class privilege to that too), what then of non-Pakeha, female, gay, and working class boomers? Many would have not had the opportunities to do any degree, here or abroad, the way you are planning to do…. certainly not to get a scholarship to do a postgraduate course overseas.

      And what a contradictory way to end you rant against boomers…. with a solution that is all about you, and getting what you can out of it for yourself and your nuclear family. I think you’ve just undermined your whole argument.

      And when some of us boomers have spent decades pursuing ways to improve society for decades and agitating for a fairer world for all in many ways.

      • rosy 16.1.1

        Carol, everything I’ve seen you write on the inter-generational theft debate I fully agree with. Just letting you know so I don’t go around +1ing all over the place 😉

      • mike e 16.1.2

        tax rise for our best and brightest smart move DonKey speed up the numbers heading overseas.
        adding value at our expense to other countries economies.

    • Foreign Waka 16.2

      We hear you, don’t you worry. Just a few facts have gotten in the way. A lot of Baby boomers have lost EVERTHING to that neolib theory of trickle down when the market crashed and now have no time to make up for this before they retire. Hence the need to work until falling into the grave. You don’t really belief that everybody is singing and dancing when having to work til 70? Equally, I do not blame you going overseas to get an education. However, you need to hurry because this trend is taking hold in the even most education supportive countries (i.e. Germany, Scandinavian countries).

  17. fatty 17

    “However, I don’t think uni education was as easily available to the majority of boomers as you seem to think. Ditto for access to the higher paid jobs and promotion.”

    True…but university was not required and due to the trickle down effect via a fair tax system, as a result higher paid jobs and promotions were not needed to survive with dignity.

    “Many would have not had the opportunities to do any degree, here or abroad, the way you are planning to do…. certainly not to get a scholarship to do a postgraduate course overseas.”

    You say opportunity, I say my only option.

    “And what a contradictory way to end you rant against boomers…. with a solution that is all about you, and getting what you can out of it for yourself and your nuclear family. I think you’ve just undermined your whole argument.”

    Sorry, I forgot to add that you’ll also have to find another volunteer to help with the homeless people of Christchurch…and the mentoring I do with high school students. Plus the disadvantaged uni students I work with. Your assumption that I personally am un-altruistic and selfish is wrong. Generation X & Y are generally un-altruistic and selfish, but not all of us.

    “And when some of us boomers have spent decades pursuing ways to improve society for decades and agitating for a fairer world for all in many ways.”

    I’m well aware of that and I thank you for that…shame your generation has done the opposite.

    • Carol 17.1

      OK. I stand corrected on your altruism. I think a large amount of boomers have done what I did. Well, certainly when I was younger in NZ, and in my many years in London working in education, the whole aim of which was to provide better opportunities etc for the young. These were the people I worked with trying to develop better education programmes. And they were the people who I demonstrated with and stood on picket lines with in an attempt to stop the changes Thatcher was bringing in to education, with a government that less than 50% of voters voted for (FPtP – a government could do what they liked with less than 50% of the vote).

      I also left NZ in anger and frustration in the 1970s (as did quite a few of m generation) …. not to get an education, but to find somewhere I could find more liveable – it wasn’t all sweetness and light living here back then.

      I did get an education overseas (inside and outside unis), most of the graduate uni education done part time, subsidised by my employer while I was working fulltime. The aim was to improve my understanding of the world, my work and politics, rather than to earn a lot of money.

      I do think spending sometime overseas is very valuable for anyone able to do that. And it was very good for my political education, too.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

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

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

  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago