Is New Zealand or the United States the Covid cot case?

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, August 22nd, 2020 - 28 comments
Categories: covid-19, Donald Trump, Gerry Brownlee, health, immigration, International, jacinda ardern, Judith Collins, labour, national, same old national, uncategorized, us politics - Tags:

It has been an interesting week in Aotearoean politics.

Instead of smashing through a political advantage Jacinda Ardern chose to delay the election for a month.  Judith Collins and the National Party were given a breather to actually come out with some policy and to make sure that they had candidates in each seat.  Although time will tell if they have succeeded.

And the President of the United States chose to diss Aotearoa’s Covid response and suggested that there was some sort of similarity in the respective countries’ performances.

There was one basic problem with his comments.  He was wrong.

Being wrong has not stopped Trump from saying or doing stupid things in the past.  But there is this problem otherwise known as regular elections which could present him with problems.

What is interesting is what New Zealand’s right wing parties are doing.  When you look at National it is essentially saying similar things to Trump.  Dissing the country’s Covid response, even though compared to every nation in the world apart from Taiwan it has been phenomenal, is pretty strange.  And the relentless negativity dished up by the Herald, by Newstalk ZB and by National MPs still on the country’s payroll appearing on guest slots on Magic Radio is pretty galling.

Perspective is important.  The country’s quarantine system is performing pretty well, remarkably well compared to almost every other advanced nation.  Analysis of the breaches bears this out.

One of the community transmission cases is a poor maintenance worker who apparently pressed an elevator button shortly after it had been pressed by a returning resident who had covid.  Experts all agree that it is exceedingly unlikely that the virus would be transmitted this way but you can bet that after this the hygiene standards in the Covid hotels were just wound up a few notches more.

The second case, which has spread parts of the Auckland community, is still being investigated.  Genome analysis suggests that it did not come from anyone in quarantine.  Although the scientific consensus is skeptical to the idea the best explanation still is that it came in through imported food.

Jacinda Ardern is right.  This is a really tricky virus.  Responses have to be quick and decisive.  And defensive systems have to be multilayered and ever evolving as we learn more about the virus’s capabilities.  Now is not the time for retrospective naval gazing unless and only if it improves our defensive systems.

This week National announced its border policy.  The two headlines from the policy was a new organisation, the NZ Border Protection Agency, to “provide comprehensive oversight and management of COVID-19 at the border”.  Just what we need.  Six months of uncertainty, getting people to apply for new jobs and have existing leadership put into a caretaker role as they wonder what will happen to their positions.

There are examples in our recent past of setting up new entities to handle national disasters.  For instance there was the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Agency, an organisation that Gerry Brownlee was instrumental in creating.  In 2016 Treasury gave CERA’s Christchurch Central rebuild project the worst possible rating project the worst possible rating, confirmation that the project was failing to meet schedule, budget, or quality targets.

The second major proposal was to require a clean Covid test before a person bordered a plane to return to Aotearoa.  This proposal would be complex and difficult.  What about a person who was in a country where these tests could not be obtained?  How do we account for fraud?  What about their rights as a citizen and New Zealand passport holder?  What about whanau wanting their loved one to be returned?

And it would not necessarily make us safer.  Air terminals appear to be breeding grounds for the disease and a person with a clean test three days before a flight could still be infected with the disease overseas and then return with it.

Would either of these policies have made a difference?  I doubt it.  While public health officials were writing job applications, clearing out their desks, moving premises and meeting their new leaders they would not be doing the work that was actually important.

And the testing policy would not have made any difference in the current two spreads.  The poor maintenance worker who apparently contracted the virus from a woman who had recently flew in from the states may have still been infected depending on when the woman’s symptoms appeared.  And the cause of the major cluster still has not been identified although transmission from someone in quarantine has been ruled out.

National also wants to “[p]repare a more effective response to future outbreaks, should they occur, allowing lockdowns to be more targeted and shorter in duration”.  Who could disagree with this?  But how would they achieve this?  From the looks of it by doing the same sorts of things the Government is doing anyway but reinforced by the raising of Judith Collins’ eyebrow.

National’s policy is a combination of simplistic snake oil solutions to what is a really complex problem that has defeated countries better resourced than ours.

The Herald is really starting to show its bias, if ever confirmation was needed.  It gave prominent space (in premium) to Steven Joyce, he who cannot operate a spreadsheet, and let him pontificate on how disastrous the Government’s handling of Covid was.

He notes that it is almost certain that the virus came through the border.  Apart from the possibility that it magically materialised out of nowhere this would appear to be a likely explanation.

He said that Ardern has repeatedly said that the border was safe.  It would be good if he could point out where because Ardern and Bloomfield have repeatedly, repeatedly told us that we have to prepare for the possibility of a second outbreak.

He echos the talking points that all right wing commentators are talking about and talks about a “repeated comprehensive failure”.  With what appears like two incursions by the virus after the return of 40,000 kiwis from overseas this is overly dramatic hype.  We have to aim for Perfection and we are not quite there yet but we are still not seeing the unrestricted community spreads of the disease so evident throughout the world.

He also says that we should forget the party politics!  At the same time that Judith and Gerry are undermining trust in the response as a political tactic!

His thinkings are being reinforced by others.  The writers of any column that contains variations of “comprehensive failure” can be added to the cabal of right wing commentators determined to see National back in power.

National is happy to sap at our confidence and at our pride for political advantage.  This is their only chance to return to power.  But at a time where collective effort and support for the Government’s actions is more important than ever it should consider going easy on the politics.

28 comments on “Is New Zealand or the United States the Covid cot case? ”

  1. dv 1

    I saw some one saying trump was meaning increase in term of growth of cases meaning (i think) 6 from 0 is 6/0 is infinite growth.
    i don’t think Trumps would have been smart enough to work that out.

  2. PsyclingLeft.Always 2

    Trump the buffoon (albeit a dangerous one)…spreading fake news. Well thats a given. Good on Jacinda pushback : ) Here we have our own buffoon (not quite so dangerous) "CT" Brownlee disseminating garbage.

    Re the "majick radio" …and the Hosko…and Hawkesbyo…how the hell did they ever get to be the GO TO mouthpieces? Defies belief in Rationality. Hope Voters remember who stopped us becoming a Covid disaster.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 2.1

      Yes, it's precisely because opposition National party MPs can't claim any significant role in preventing NZ from becoming a Covid disaster that they must continue to insist we are a disaster. Against a least effective PM that dull strategy might pay off – as things stand it just serves to reinforce the impression of a shambolic and stupid opposition.

      Suspect some to their mates have already bent their minds towards turning the Covid-19 pandemic into a nice little earner.

      "The largest SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies) in history occurred in July 2020 when Pershing Square Tontine Holdings raised $6b. It’s run by Bill Ackman who famously turned a bet of $40 million into $3.9b when Covid-19 caused sharemarkets to plummet earlier this year.

      The reality is summed up by the Financial Times. “It is hardly a ringing endorsement of efficient markets that such a cumbersome invention as the SPAC is the thing that is thriving in lieu of IPOs”.

      The one thing you can be sure of in a crisis – there’s money to be made."

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/300075926/heres-how-people-make-money-in-a-pandemic

      https://www.kiwiwealth.co.nz/blog/in-case-you-missed-it-covid-19-perspectives
      [many links]

    • Peter 2.2

      On any day there are scores of thousands working in the middle of Wellington going about their normal business, living normal lives.

      If one person goes crazy in the middle of town, through mental health issues, being under the influence of something or just through sheer cussedness who is going to be the big story of the day?

      In the same way your "majick radio …and the Hosko…and Hawkesbyo" are the go to ones. They are the crazies, the outliers, the attention seekers. It is their job to be that and most of 'em have the totally right qualities to fit the bill.

  3. Anne 3

    Whenever Trump makes a mistake which is apparent to everyone with only half a brain, he casts blame on what or who he perceives to be a suitable scapegoat. That is the normal response of a narcissistic sociopath/psychopath.

    A while back he made an ass of himself attempting to recalibrate a weather map with a black pen because he wanted the path of an impending hurricane to extend into Alabama as he had claimed it would do. He attempted to lay the blame for the mistake at the feet of the weather scientists and iirc forced a very senior scientist to resign his position.

    He apparently thought that if he added an extra isobar to the map, the hurricane would see it and accordingly change its course. 😯

    I put his latest into the same category. The current US administration handling of the pandemic has been an unmitigated disaster and no other country on the planet has overtaken them with respect to the consequences. So he turns to New Zealand whose record has been repeatedly praised by the WHO, and tries to equate a tiny outbreak with the ever burgeoning case-counts in America.

    • Mike Smith 3.1

      @ Anne

      Apropos of nothing, I’m reading Catch-22 at the moment, a useful antidote to the real craziness. Yossarian moved the bombing line north to avoid the dangerous raids over Bologna..

      • lprent 3.1.1

        That was a good book. Reminds me that I must find out if the recent TV (series?) on it is in any of my entertainment subscriptions.

        On a complete aside. Just watched the first episode of Star Trek: Picard – showed up on Amazon. That is a hell of step up in the quality on any previous Star trek production – including the movies. My partner was ecstatic – but cruelly cut me off the incipient binge watch.

        She had work to complete that has to be done before another project start ran into it. I thought I was the damn workaholic in our household! Totally unfair… (emulating Sheldon of Big Bang Now 😈 )

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    This is just classical Trump deflection. I expect the correct response is not to produce a balanced rebuttal, but to rubbish Trump as a laughably unreliable source. The Gnats siding with him are merely illustrating their essential spinelessness.

    Although the scientific consensus is skeptical of the idea the best explanation still is that it came in through imported food

    Given that an Auckland mail centre is involved, that too is a plausible transmission path.

  5. Kat 5

    Would the Herald, National supporting media et al be so keen to publish "shock news to hand" opinions that the virus is being spread by right wing activists. You can bet the house on it that left wing activists would be the headlines if it were National in govt. A sinister thought, but you know, Bill Gates was in town(sarc).

  6. greywarshark 6

    Here's a bit of sarcasm from Martyn Bradbury over at DTB about the Covid-19 disputes and criticisms.

    The middle classes who feel vulnerable for the first time in their lives see their sacrifice during lockdown as the greatest act of courage since Kiwis stormed the beaches of Gallipoli, so our fuse for incompetence is short and our solidarity that Jacinda has empowered can become a toxic backlash that vents fears as angry bigotry and spite.

    It shouldn’t be this way, we should in fact feel huge pride and satisfaction in the border process and the track trace programs.

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/08/21/why-the-criticism-against-governments-border-screw-up-is-actually-incredibly-unfair-chill-out-kiwis/

  7. PaddyOT 7

    "At the same time that Judith and Gerry are undermining trust in the response as a political tactic!"

    Gerry Brownlee poses
    unfavourable risks to NZ's credibility.

    On the day the poisoning of Russian Opposition Alexei Navalny makes international headlines, so too does Brownlee.

    Brownlee brings international embarrassment again having failed to learn from the ridicule he brought NZ over his fake Finland facts in 2012.

    On Al Jazeera, " Coronavirus and conspiratorial dog-whistles return to New Zealand".

    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/coronavirus-conspiratorial-dog-whistles-return-zealand-200820113656292.html

  8. Red 8

    It’s typical press, build you up and then crash you down, Jacinda enjoyed the accolades, global adoration, did a dance and all that so just needs to live with the down side. Saying all of that this whole “It’s a global competition on who is doing better is bs and we / Jacinda/ Mickey should not even play into it.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 8.1

      Quite right Red, it's not a competition – nevertheless "We don't know how lucky we are"

  9. barry 9

    With the maintenance worker we were lucky to pick it up. it was due to the increased testing of MIQ staff. Most likely otherwise we would never have known, and he wouldn't have infected anybody else. It appears that as many of 80% of infected people don't pass it on.

    Most infections happen in the home, and the big cluster-causing events happen in cool stores, meat works, churches, restaurants & pubs etc. This explains the current cluster. It seems to have originated in the cool store and spread through families and churches.

    There is no good evidence for any cause, and the trail has probably gone cold. It seems it didn't come from MIQ. It could have come from an airport. Transit passengers , air crew, horse grooms could all pass it on. Most likely it came through a sea port either on packaging, or as an infected driver. We will probably never know.

    So were we complacent? We stopped testing. Hipkins expressed his frustration that testing numbers were too low for weeks before. The first coolstore case was symptomatic (off work sick) for 9 days before getting tested. He must have seen a doctor. Why did the doctor not refer him for testing a week earlier – then the cluster would be much smaller.

    But were the people complaining any better? Did the reporters scan QR codes? Tell people to get tested? No instead they just reported Browlee's conspiracy theories.

    If we get back to level 1 then we have to be more vigilant.

    We don’t want Trump to be right.

  10. Red 10

    Agree Drowsy 100pc, however would also argue what is the best policy and response from a total cost point of view, Heath, society, economics etc will really only be determined in 5 years time looking back. We are lucky in present terms but what will our county look like in 5 years time visa vie others, this is the time then to have debate what was the best response and weigh up the value of each. ;NZ has chosen it’s course, we have to accept and work with it and hopefully it works out

  11. Corey Humm 11

    Trump is clearly still seething that NZ didn't give him the green light for his hotel way back when, I also think NZ being held up as a model for covid recovery and all the "women leaders handle covid better than male leaders" posts by liberal ish media stuck in his craw, so he now gets to attack a female leader, a country that said no and the extermination strategy all in one go while he tries to distract from his own election.

    ALSO… We have an election coming up and he knows it "I heard people were really angry when you were elected" is what he said when he met Ardern, in the UK election he kept making statements attacking Corbyn and saying he wouldn't want the NHS in a trade deal, he did the same thing in the Australian election and he kept attacking Trudeau during the Canadian election, all three those right wing parties won (Trudeaus liberals got less votes but more seats that the Tory's and absolutely thumped into minority status) I wonder if he'll keep attacking the nz NZ govt during ours and if so what the result would be, most Nats in the cities hate Trump and NZ loves talking crap about the Yanks so I reckon it helps the left everytime he opens his mouth but on the other hand we've never had a foreign leader openly dump on our leaders during an election and the media loves it when nz is mentioned so will report about it non-stop what will be interesting will be to see nats response as most nats in the cities despise trump and most hate the Republicans, I'd wager everytime he opens his mouth labour goes up in the polls and if Judith doesn't push back against him the media will make a big deal out of her not doing so

    One thing I've wondered in the last couple not days…. Imagine what Piggy Muldoon would have to say about his attacks on nz. "Don't you look me in the eye you're just an oompa loompa slumlord "

  12. I Feel Love 12

    #nzhelhole trending on Twitter…

  13. David mac 13

    For the US to have the same 'Explosion of cases' as NZ, 2 days ago they would of needed 1452 new cases, they reported 50,000.

    They have 4% of the world's population and 25% of the active Covid-19 cases.

    I think they've screwed up because the United States haven't been. A lack of unity has led to the cluster fornication. The US need a President, not Mr Responsibility Teflon someone capable of mustering their team of 330 million.

    • Stuart Munro 13.1

      Dead right – if che gelida malina really knew the art of the deal, he'd've hired our team, or Taiwan's by now.

  14. RedBaronCV 14

    but the silver lining is

    -trump will never come here.

    -with any luck he will discourage bolt hole republicans who want to come here after they have messed in their own country

    • Jum 14.1

      I thought that was why he was trying to discredit NZ. He wants the greed to stay in US. I don’t want them here either.

  15. joe90 15

    Entire nation in contention for 2021 Darwins.

    https://twitter.com/DecoherenceWave/status/1296986050175238145

    BROOKFIELD, Wis. — The Elmbrook School District will reopen five days a week to in-person learning. The decision came after three and a half hours of discussions by school board members.

    Along with returning to in-person learning, the board also made a decision on requiring students to wear masks. However, not everyone liked that idea.

    “Six-foot distance and wearing masks are pagan rituals of satanic worshipers,” said parent Heidi Anderson. “My kids are Christian they are not subject to wearing masks

    https://www.tmj4.com/news/local-news/elmbrook-schools-decide-to-return-to-in-person-learning-5-days-a-week

    • Wensleydale 15.1

      If Heidi Anderson was any more stupid, she'd be some sort of root vegetable. I feel genuinely sorry for her children.

  16. Enough is Enough 16

    "Aotearoean" Is that a word?

  17. Enough is Enough 17

    What we have learned over the past couple of weeks is there were some things not happening as perfectly as they could be. Regular testing of front line staff being the obvious one.

    You will recall in June, the two sisters who drove around the country with covid had been released from isolation early on compassionate grounds without ever having had a covid test. We got lucky there as they didn't spread.

    The public outrage and strong criticism of the MoH and the government after both of those events has resulted in an improved border. We are learning all the time.

    I think it is extremely silly to say take the politics out of this. The tough questioning (although at times misdirected by the Nats) is vitally important in these times. Yes they are wanting to embarrass the government, but at times it seems like the government is failing to ask those same questions of the ministry. None of us are ever going to vote National, but we need them in there questioning and even challenging everything the government does in these very difficult days to stress test and really strive for that perfection we all want.

    • Rosemary McDonald 17.1

      …but at times it seems like the government is failing to ask those same questions of the ministry.

      Nail hit squarely on head.

      Methinks, perhaps, those days are just about done. There has been a change in the tones of our elected representatives (especially the PM) when discussing things Ministry of Health.

      Tiny wee grain of hope that this dysfunctional ministry, that has enjoyed a free reign for so many years at the expense of the most vulnerable, is going to be roped in and made to enact government policy. Actually perform in the way we, the voters, have democratically decided on the back of promises of policies specified in manifestos.

      The entrenched bureaucracy might have to be culled.

  18. Observer Tokoroa 18

    Michael Morrah at work

    – among other things journalist Michael Morrah has enjoyed carving up the truly impressive Dr Bloomfield.

    Thereby roughing up his own reputation.

    I take it that he does not ever drag any of his Herald colleagues through dirt.

  19. PsyclingLeft.Always 19

    Americans lead surge of Bolt Hole seekers….

    "The policy is set up to encourage the human capital to come into the country – people who've got business experience, who know how to make money and how to share the wealth," he said. "And those are the sorts of people I think we need to continue encouraging, especially when we're moving into what appeared to be recessionary times.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/424375/covid-19-number-of-investor-visa-applications-soar-since-outbreak

    "How to share the wealth"…Really? Again , not sure if its in their DNA…

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  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    5 days ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    5 days ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    6 days ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    7 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago

  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
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