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Is it OK for a woman with an opinion to host TVNZ’s Breakfast?

Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, January 16th, 2018 - 128 comments
Categories: greens, journalism, Media - Tags: , , , , , ,

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It’s great news that Hayley Holt has landed a cool new gig hosting TVNZ’s Breakfast show. It’s not so great that before she even gets on the air we have to endure the pontification of some pundits about whether or not it’s “OK”, given she stood as a Green Party candidate in the 2017 election. As if she needs their permission before it can go ahead.

And methinks some people doth protest too much.

How is this even a question?

We on the left have had to put up with the likes of Paul Henry and Mike Hosking, one of whom ran for Parliament as a Tory and the other might as well have, unapologetically spouting their right wing nonsense on the issues of the day, largely unchallenged in front of their audience, every day for the last 20 years or more.

Now it looks like we are finally going to see a semblance of balance and all of a sudden we are deemed to need a tiresome public debate on whether or not it’s OK to have a woman with an opinion hosting Breakfast.

Sure, there was a public debate on whether or not it was a good idea to have John Key’s biggest fanboy host the leaders’ debates last year, but Hosking has a long and well documented track record of being incapable of keeping his opinions to himself. Holt hasn’t even had a chance to show us she will do the job with even handed professionalism yet. Double standard much?

Whether or not someone has stood for a political party in the past should not be the test of an appropriate person to front political content. The test should be can they do the job without fear or favour?

Kim Hill is an example of someone who has had a long career as the premier interviewer in New Zealand giving both sides hell. I’ve listened to her for 20 years and I have no idea who she votes for.

Maggie Barry also had a distinguished interviewing career and surprised me a little bit when she turned out to be a Nat.

Objectivity is the ideal model, but there is also room for bias as long as it’s up front so we can take it into account, and as long as it’s balanced with an equally strident opinion on the opposite side of the debate.

But rather than be a cheerleader for the left as Hosking and Henry are cheerleaders for the right, after all this commentary, I suspect Hayley will feel a strong urge to overcompensate and be harder on the left than the right. And that is more than likely what right wing commentators are shooting for in taking aim at her now.

128 comments on “Is it OK for a woman with an opinion to host TVNZ’s Breakfast?”

  1. mickysavage 1

    Agreed.

    Hayley has the further advantage over Hosking and Henry that she is sane.

    • Ed 1.1

      And further advantages over Richardson and Garner that she is intelligent and not a misogynist dinosaur.

    • Puckish Rogue 1.2

      Do you have any evidence that Hosking and Henry are insane?

      • Robert Guyton 1.2.1

        Great question, Puck; do you suspect that to be the case?
        Can we do an informal vote on the issue?

        • Puckish Rogue 1.2.1.1

          I ask because Hayley Holt does have a mental illness so maybe not the best line of attack for mickey to use

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.1

            Hayley Holt does have a mental illness

            [Citation Needed]

            • Puckish Rogue 1.2.1.1.1.1

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoholism

              https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/celebrities/94322454

              “‘I’m an alcoholic and I go to AA meetings because it’s the only way I know I’m going to be able to stay sober,” she told Sunday.”

              • Seems to have her addiction under control.

                Many don’t – like John Key and his tendency to pull pigtails.

              • North

                Attendance at AA ? Well that might suggest she’s au fait with the matter of ‘resentment’. Which Hosking and Henry vaunt unashamedly all the time…….to your feverish clapping PR. Piss off with your cheap and nasty pejorative.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Have I said theres anything wrong with being mentally ill? No I have not.
                  Have I knocked Hayley Holt for being an alcoholic? No I have not.

                  mickeysavage suggested that Holt has an advantage over Hosking and Henry as she is not insane yet Holt is an admitted alcoholic so actually does have a mental illness

                  You should take your ideological blinkers off every now and then, it might help you gain perspective

          • Whispering Kate 1.2.1.1.2

            If that is the case, then most New Zealanders will a mental disorder of some kind. Fear of flying, enclosed spaces, the dentist, spiders, smoking ciggies, over/under eating, hypochondria. God almighty , fear of the future with climate change – its endless.

            Leave Ms Holt alone – she will do a good job and is a helluva lot more rational than some jocks we have on the airways.

            • Puckish Rogue 1.2.1.1.2.1

              I’m not knocking Hayley, I’m suggesting that calling Hosking and Henry insane maybe isn’t the best thing to be doing

              • Well, I must admit that psychopath is probably a better descriptor for those two.

                • JohnSelway

                  Throwing around terms like psychopath is unhelpful and wrongheaded.
                  Psychopathy is an extremely specific mental illness and not “someone who has views that are the opposite of yours” which is the manner you seem to be using it in.

                  Hosting and Henry are psychopaths? I’ll use a phrase your fond of:

                  [citation needed]

                  • http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/non-fiction/spot-psychopath/

                    You’ll find that many of the traits listed there are mirrored in those two and many other RWNJs.

                    • JohnSelway

                      So no citation for Henry or Hosking being psychopaths.
                      Just armchair psychology from someone I assume is a) not qualified to make said diagnosis, b) has never had any contact with either hosking or Henry outside of catching them on TV and c) hasn’t met anyone who has either been qualified to diagnose, has diagnosed or even knows either person intimately enough to make such a bold claim.

                      So yeah – making such claims is specious at best

                    • ropata

                      Yeah DTB, Hosking will run you over in his Ferrari for saying that.

                      Hosko is a hero of the poor oppressed property owners of Parnell in their fight against those smelly poor people making the place look untidy.

                • Ankerrawshark

                  Or in Hoskins case narcissistic

          • Brigid 1.2.1.1.3

            What do you call it when a pretense is made to show concern and also uses the issue to insult the other?

            That’s what you’re doing Puck isn’t it.

            • North 1.2.1.1.3.1

              Brigid you characterise PR magnificently. PR is sneaky.

            • Puckish Rogue 1.2.1.1.3.2

              What do you call it when someone is so one-eyed that don’t see a problem with throwing about terms like sane as long its done to “the other side”

      • Ed 1.2.2

        They are certainly bullies.

      • Yes – they vote and support either National or ACT.

      • McFlock 1.2.4

        What’s the clinical term for being a fuckwit with more ego than sense?

      • Chris 1.2.5

        Most of their appearances on TV.

    • jcuknz 1.3

      Doesn’t worry me as I do not watch TV. Talk about pontificating about nothing.

  2. Stunned Mullet 2

    I have no doubt that if the shoe was on the other foot there would be howls of outrage from the other side of the aisle.

    Who really cares – I say good on her for finding a fine trough to gorge at.

  3. adam 3

    The right wing in this country are a bunch of pc moaning idiots.

    Did I say that out loud enough.

    • cleangreen 3.1

      “The right wing in this country are a bunch of pc moaning idiots.”

      Keep saying it Adam; – as the line becomes truth after one says it long enough,

      That’s what the right wing-nuts do as they say things over and over repeatedly until they hope the line is adopted as the truth.

  4. Ed 4

    This is the wretched Neandarthal level at which Henry operated.

  5. Bill 5

    The intent of some, by slamming anything even remotely associated with the left, is precisely to “encourage” compliance with supposedly neutral right-wing attitudes.

    It works at the political party level too – so NZ Labour are “reminded” which side of the bread they ought to see as being buttered.

    It works on the feint hearted.

  6. bwaghorn 6

    Good luck to her. Between that and the project on 3 current affairs is worth watching again

  7. mauī 7

    She’s been on tv in one form or another for what probably almost 10 years now? I can’t remember any political issues she’s been involved with in that time, she very much comes across as apolitical if anyone has seen her.

    Meanwhile Hosking and Henry have been able to dish out their own party propaganda however and whenever they liked.

    The mainstream media is so lame stream as one commentator puts it.

  8. savenz 8

    Have absolutely no idea what all the fuss is about. About time they actually modernised at TVNZ and tried to appeal to people over 65.

    Clearly they can work out that more people in this country voted for Labour or Greens and they outnumber 50%, then work out those voting for NZ First (which was less than it should have been for a variety of reasons including the ‘superannuation’ expose right before the election). Therefore the right wingers TVNZ champion are not suitable anymore.

    Take off those who don’t speak English as a first language from Asia and probably read news in their own language and those who are Maori and (hopefully) get news from Maori channels then it seems pretty clear, why they needed to pick a more left leaning person for the role.

    Finally a commercial decision rather than a political one, from TVNZ.

    It would be great to see John Campbell back on TVNZ on prime time if they want to actually get some new viewers who will otherwise just turn to social media to get news (if they have not already).

  9. savenz 9

    In fact, it actually is almost inspired.

    TV3 used to be the ‘younger’ hipper TV station but Natz loving Mark Weldon destroyed that with his political based decisions like axing the most popular guy on TV, John Campbell that made viewers switch off.

    So it is clear that if TVNZ actually managed to switch it around and grab the centre left viewers as well as their loyal aged base then they can actually compete better and wipe off TV3.

    They may actually need to get some sort of social media presence though. But I guess one step at a time for the dinosaurs.

  10. Matthew Whitehead 10

    Ben Thomas, who works with Matthew Hooton, was also complaining, which is the height of irony given Matthew Hooton’s firm won’t disclose his clients, and thus has undisclosed conflicts of interest, which is a far bigger deal. Hayley Holt’s positions are well known, and like Henry and Hosking, her lean can be arbitrated by public opinion and weighed against the quality of journalism she brings. (Being a leftie, she’s likely to do good journalism anyway, because it’s something we believe in. Of course, Henry and Hosking were both rubbish, and neither were moved on from news-related positions despite being terrible at them, and were kept on purely for ratings with older bigots, cementing their existing audience at the cost of any potential future growth)

    I think it absolutely does make sense for the ‘shub to try to grab a younger, more progressive demographic with their news. I used to be a loyal watcher before Mark Weldon, now I basically just don’t turn on the TV.

    • Ed 10.1

      RNZ should never be using Hooton if this is the case.

      • Matthew Whitehead 10.1.1

        It definitely is the case, and I wish they wouldn’t. There is no reasonable disclaimer you can give to Hooton, Thomas, or anyone at that PR firm, that allows you to proceed with their commentary without having a potential conflict of interest. They should be blanket-banned from all political media until they disclose their clients.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 10.1.1.1

          Or at least everytime they are on air, there should be an introduction that makes clear they have undisclosed clients, and therefore potentially undisclosed conflicts of interest. Just tell it like it is so people know.

  11. The Fairy Godmother 11

    Interesting that the top comment on Stuff’s face book page got 128 likes against the actual article on 80. It stated
    “Paul Henry was a National party candidate. I didn’t see this sort of
    article when he hosted breakfast.”

    It seems that a lot of the readers saw through the nonsense.

  12. Chris 12

    I look forward to seeing the hard hitting interviews with Shaw and whoever the new co-leader turns out to be.

    Or any subject remotely associated with the Greens involvement with the government

    I think I might be waiting a while

    Seems like a pretty cool chick though

    She should do alright

  13. tc 13

    “Now it looks like we are finally going to see a semblance of balance…” serious optimism there which is nice but undeserved IMO.

    TVNZ has zero track record in providing quality objective content by inserting shills like Hoskins and suck up’s like Corrin Dann who fell in line with the $11Billion billshit in the campaign rather than do his job and expose the knowing lies.

    This has nothing to do with hayley Holt IMO and everything to do with a dead in the water management trying to look relevant by changing the wallpaper.

    The house needs a total renovation or be smashed down and replaced by a public broadcaster ! The management needs to be purged.

    I’d still give her the gig but the problem at TVNZ remains….it’s management.

    • Chris 13.1

      At least Hosking is open with his bias.

      On the other side so is Campbell.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1

        Hosking’s bias is obvious. That’s not the same as being ‘open’. To look at it another way, if what Hosking does is ‘open-ness’, I doubt Holt will ever cross the line.

        Meanwhile, have you found that reputation lying around anywhere? I just can’t seem to put my finger on it.

        • Chris 13.1.1.1

          I have zero idea of what your second paragraph is on about and you ignored Campbell in your post

          • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1.1.1

            My second paragraph concerns TVNZ’s reputation for the hard-hitting interviews you’re looking forward to*. Where is this alleged reputation?

            I didn’t question your characterisation of Campbell’s position. Would you like me to?

            *at comment 12.

      • ropata 13.1.2

        The difference is that Hosking is uneducated and thick as 2 short planks. His kneejerk reckons are not based on any facts or research, effectively making his listeners dumber

  14. SPC 14

    There are those who call for the sale of TVNZ (now there is no Henry or Hosking they will call it left wing) and RNZ (they already call it left wing, even before their guy removed Campbell from TV3).

    Why

    1. to promote their own right wing social media
    2. to disparage state owned media as biased (this appointment is being used to
    dog whistle)
    3. to frighten the state media into fearful compliance (if this media offended National
    they might get sold off) – as with the funding management of charities (too activist and …).

    Note how effective the National threat to abolish Maori seats was in forming coalitions with the MP – the gloved fist and the docile partner indeed.

  15. Sanctuary 15

    Farrar’s bleating about Ms. Holt, coming after his creepy obsession with Golriz Ghahraman, has nothing to do with her skills as a journalist. Rather, it informs us yet again of the rather troubling pattern of behaviour from the political right of misogyny and barely repressed sexual jealousy towards attractive and powerful young women that they cannot control.

  16. James 16

    Good on her for getting the job.

    Hope she makes a good go of it.

    If she ends up being viewed by people unfavourably I assume people on here will be ok that she gets the same level of abuse that hosking etc get (all is fair right?).

    • Stuart Munro 16.1

      It’s not a matter of being viewed unfavourably – it’s a matter of meeting basic journalistic standards. Hosking was wont to editorialise – a very poor habit for a journalist and in no way made up for by any of his other professional abilities. Had he worked as hard on stories as Campbell the left might’ve have had reason to fear him instead of merely loathing his lack of professionalism. Remember who got Metiria’s scalp – not one of your rightwing pretenders – Campbell, the only real journalist in the hunt.

  17. Hornet 17

    “Kim Hill is an example of someone who has had a long career as the premier interviewer in New Zealand giving both sides hell. I’ve listened to her for 20 years and I have no idea who she votes for.”
    Kim is the ideal. There are very few like her in that regard.

    “Objectivity is the ideal model, but there is also room for bias as long as it’s up front so we can take it into account, and as long as it’s balanced with an equally strident opinion on the opposite side of the debate.”
    Indeed. And that is why Hayley should be given a chance to do her job before being judged. Everyone knows her political leanings, which if anything may make her more cautious about showing any bias. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing how it all pans out.

    • NZJester 17.1

      The right had a bias player center stage for years on TV spouting out right wing rubbish. A left-wing voice on the TV will be refreshing. She is unlikely to spout out things that can not be backed up with facts, unlike someone who made an incorrect political statement on air before the last election that was factually wrong and easy to check on.

  18. Gristle 18

    Castle your mind to America where if you are the slightest bit critical of the Right then you appear ineligible to undertake so many roles. For example, the FBI, the Mueller investigation and certain agents are thought to be corrupted because two people texted each other that Trump (and Sanders) would be disasters as POTUS. Where as when Investigations of Pres Clinton (and Democrats had control of the legislature) it was deemed necessary to Republican (rabidly Republican) to control the investigation.

    It as though an Overton Windows operates for the Right in that any movement away from a strong pro right view is unacceptable.

    In this light the opposition to Ms Holt’s appointment can be understood.

  19. NZJester 19

    The fact she was a candidate for the Greens is likely just small reason the right doesn’t want her on air. What a lot of right-wing males don’t like the most is a woman with opinions.

  20. TB 20

    Is any one else feeling any sympathy for “Sir” David Farrar? He has gone from unofficial cabinet minister, and adviser to the Prime Minister, to a demented political hack, second only to Slater…,

  21. Jackel 21

    Treating her like a car, looking at her like a b****h and begrudging every concession you feel you are forced to make is the way of boys not men. Should she have an opinion that deviates from brutally jack booting the workers, then every tory in the land will be earnestly praying fire and brimstone upon her gallant head.

  22. Doogs 22

    1. Hosking, and probably Henry too, do not have mental disorders. However they present with symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder with touches of paranoia. Yes, I have looked them up and in both instances it fits.

    2. Hayley Holt is a competent young woman whose sporting and terpsichorean skills are not in question. She has also been a media presenter for some time without her competence in this area being questioned. Suddenly, before she even begins her new role on TV, she is in the gun for having been a political candidate. Where from? Hah! Do I really need to ask? Hooton, Henry, Hosking, Garner, Farrar, Richardson et al continue to purvey their lines of neo-liberalist rubbish untrammelled by the burden of criticism.

    3. Television in NZ is in serious need of a complete shake-up. I won’t go into detail, because we all know it – reality (which are not reality at all) shows, low grade journalism, stupid shows masquerading as journalism (TV3 at 7), rubbish sit-coms, etc.

    • ropata 22.1

      Hooton, Henry, Hosking, Garner, Farrar, Richardson et al continue to purvey their lines of neo-liberalist rubbish untrammelled by the burden of criticism

      BAU for the Dirty Politics machine. All the players are untouched except for Ede and Slater.

  23. millsy 23

    The problem that Farrar has is that she is left. He would much prefer National supporters and members in every echelon of the media.

  24. R.P. Mcmurphy 24

    Hayley Holt is turning into a superior journalist and hopefully she will ready for the next election. The knockers are pissed of because they resent her personal and intellectual development.

  25. Ed 25

    Steve Cowan, as usual, gets to the heart of the issue.

    I have no real opinion about Holt’s appointment other that she strikes me as being yet another ho-hum presenter who will provide little new political insight for her viewers. She will be a safe pair of hands and that’s all that is required of her. She ain’t no Abby Martin. Or Laurie Penny. Or Naomi Klein. Some will say she is eminently suited for the Breakfast audience, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

    My complaint is that TVNZ, once a public broadcaster in the real sense of the word, has become a vehicle directed by commercial objectives and a perceived deference to whoever its political masters happen to be at the time. It leads to a narrow range of political views and opinions that leave the neoliberal status quo unquestioned and unchallenged .

    Hosking. Henry. Holt. Barry. The names are interchangeable. It doesn’t matter who is hosting the shows and appearing on our television screens every weekday, the logic of the system remains intact.

    • weka 25.1

      If someone thinks there is no difference between Holt and Hosking/Henry, then I think their politics are suspect. By all means bring on the revolution, but in the meantime, having someone who gives a shit and isn’t a RW shill on the national broadcaster is useful. It starts sending out different messages to the people who will be the ones that the revolution depends upon.

      • Ed 25.1.1

        Cowan’s politics are not suspect.

        http://nzagainstthecurrent.blogspot.co.nz/

        • Sam 25.1.1.1

          It dosnt mater who they are who represents TVNZ. They still represent TVNZ…

        • Ed 25.1.1.2

          Here is his most recent offering.

          ON OPTIMISM AND PESSIMISM

          We live in scary times but NZ Herald columnist Rachel Stewart has concluded that the fight must go on.

          IT WAS ONLY a few months ago that Rachel Stewart was writing that, in the aftermath of Jacinda Ardern’s elevation to Prime Minister, she was basking in the glow of a new found optimism. It appears though that Rachel’s optimism has been shortlived. The new year finds her in a more sombre mood.

          ………

        • weka 25.1.1.3

          “Cowan’s politics are not suspect.”

          Yes, they are. For the reasons I gave. They get lots of things right, doesn’t mean they’re perfect.

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    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    5 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    5 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    5 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    5 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    6 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    7 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago

  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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