It’s not just the polls

Written By: - Date published: 1:15 pm, July 15th, 2008 - 41 comments
Categories: articles - Tags: , , ,

Jordan Carter posted a month or so back (a little controversially) on how much easier life might be for some on the left if they didn’t believe it was necessary to give due moral regard to others – selfishness certainly seems simpler.

New research suggests that Jordan may well be right. The study has concluded that individuals with conservative ideologies are happier than liberal-leaners. The apparent reason? Conservatives are better at rationalising social and economic inequalities.

“Our research suggests that inequality takes a greater psychological toll on liberals than on conservatives,” the researchers write in the June issue of the journal Psychological Science, “apparently because liberals lack ideological rationalizations that would help them frame inequality in a positive (or at least neutral) light.”

Here’s the article (apologies for the source).

41 comments on “It’s not just the polls ”

  1. roger nome 1

    I wonder if this could be related to the fact that right-wingers (in my experience) tend to come from more privileged backgrounds, and therefore have less personal experience to empathise with socially disadvantaged groups and people.

    Certainly, it’s a well known fact that councillors tend to have personal experience in whatever field they deal in.

    i.e. drug councillors will often be ex drug-addicts, etc… I’ve always thought that this is due to partly their extra incite/understanding of the field, and partly their extra empathy for such people.

  2. roger nome 2

    oops – should have been “insight”…

  3. Stephen 3

    Conservatives in the US tend to be religious, and religious people are usually cited as happier than the non-religious…

  4. jbc 4

    Interesting article. Not quite what I expected. Aren’t righties supposed to be all bitter and twisted?

    Roger: I don’t think it is necessarily a lack of empathy that is the root of this. It seems that the explanation is a step abstracted from the basic emotion – more about how your mind puts it all together in context.

  5. Edosan 5

    I remember an american study some months back about differences in thinking between liberals and conservatives more generally. Apparently some conservatives were a little offended but i think the results are reasonably neutral.

    Here’s an article:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-politics10sep10,0,5982337.story?coll=la-home-center

  6. I’ve also noticed that conservatives have a very limited capacity to handle complexity. Hence the tendency to see everything in black and white terms, go for quick, simple answers to complex problems, etc.

    Hell, left-wing extremists used to sit around trying to impress each other with their grasp of Marxian theory and obscure events in Russia almost a century before. (Maybe still do.) There were some exceptions amongst the right-wing, but I never found many who could intelligently discuss Burke, and a lot of the neo-liberals have a particularly dumbed down understanding of neoclassical economic theory.

    So it’s not just that they don’t care so much, it’s that they don’t understand enough to care, IMHO.

  7. Stephen 7

    There’s some research on charitable giving (conservatives giving more), for whatever reason (would invoke religion again though)

  8. Edosan 8

    Of course, the value of having a grasp of Marxian theory and obscure events in Russia is another question entirely.

    I’ve found i always have a hard time arguing with conservatives in general as the way their minds work takes the conversation down a very limited path. I have other things to say but it would take too long (for me to structure my thoughts and get them out) and they get too impatient.

    grrr, it angers me.

  9. jbc 9

    jafapete, your head is in the clouds, mate.

    Those that discuss Marxian theory and neoclassical economics might make up a fraction of a percent. that doesn’t explain the research.

  10. coge 10

    Back O/T, what an interesting view. My belief, in a very general sense, is those on the right have an abundance mentality, while the left have a scarcity mentality. Holding to any of these views for many years has a great determining effect on an individuals life path.

    Here is a strange & contrasted opinion, but the Ayatollah Khomenhi seemed to have strong left wing views. After the Iranian Revolution, the Ayatollah made a host of promises to the Iranian population. Guaranteed housing for all free education & public transport etc. Later there was some dissent expressed as the price of basic food supplies had gone up by a fair amount.
    Ayatollah Khomenhi expressed surprise, that he expected the population to be content by the type of Govt that had been established & not to concern themselves about the price of food. In a western style democracy such Government attitudes toward economic hard times would usually result in a new govt being elected.

  11. roger nome 11

    jbc:

    “Roger: I don’t think it is necessarily a lack of empathy that is the root of this. It seems that the explanation is a step abstracted from the basic emotion ”

    I didn’t mean a lack of empathy per se – just a lack of empathy with certain people. i.e. when a weathy person’s child dies of cancer they will often donate many millions to cancer research, because their experience has given them empathy for such people.

    Like wise, materially succesful people who have grown up amidst or in poverty will often be lefties, where as people with no personal, emotional expreience with poverty will often be right wing.

    I certainly don’t think it correlates perfectly, because I’m sure there’s many people who don’t fit this model. All I’m suggesting is that it’s probably a significant factor.

  12. Lew 12

    coge: “My belief, in a very general sense, is those on the right have an abundance mentality, while the left have a scarcity mentality.”

    This is probably the sanest thing I’ve heard from you. I think you’re right, and it explains the differences in the consumption mentalities of extremists on both sides (Donald Trump vs agrarian-commune-dwelling subsistence hippies), and by the same token why environmentalism (essentially the proposition that exploitable resources are finite and therefore permanent growth is logically impossible) tends to split along left/right ideological lines.

    Those who believe resources are limited take the view that it’s responsible for mankind to consume less, or perhaps the same, but to share it more evenly, which means some consuming less that others can consume more – while those who believe resources are unlimited want everyone to consume more.

    L

  13. randal 13

    modern conservatism is based on the strength of the relationship to money and energy supplies as the predominant giver of meaning to our otherwise meaningless existence. when the energy is gone then there will be a new revolution based on human attributes as most other resources wil be used up too. any psycholgical weltanschaung is only temporary and for what it is worth never universal either. goodbye yellow brick road.

  14. all_your_base 14

    Hey Stephen, the researchers seem to be claiming that results are independent of “church attendance”.

  15. roger nome 15

    I’ve also seen scientific studies which posit that conservatives are less able to accept changing stimuli, and more able to accept cognitive dissonance (i.e. hold multiple, logically inconsistent views).

    i.e. – this is from edosan’s link

    Previous psychological studies have found that conservatives tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments whereas liberals are more open to new experiences.

    Perhaps these things are inter-related – i.e. Conservatives are more stressed out by change, and so when they learn new facts that conflict with their current knowledge, they’ll simply ignore it to avoid the stress that changing their mind causes.

    This would also fit in with jafa pete’s argument that “conservatives have a very limited capacity to handle complexity” – i.e. the complex grey areas of reality mean constant re-evaluation of previously held views, which causes them too much stress.

    It also perhaps explains why conservatives are happier. They have an ability to ignore the unhappy truths of reality, which conflict with their world-view, whereas liberals tend to internalise them.

  16. Rob 16

    I don’t believe that sitting down discussing Marxism would make any one happy especially when you think of all the poor people murdered under Stalin that would be enough to touch the most inhumane heart.

    Conservatives are more likely to be happier because they have a true sense of traditional values. Liberals know no boundaries no accountability’s no responsibility.

    Its pretty hard to be happy when you watch your ideal Political system (Communism) fail miserably where ever it has been in place because it couldn’t completely crush the Human belief system. It was great to witness the joy on the faces of those from East Berlin as the wall came down and they were set free from the shackles of communism.

    I guess if you are a Conservative you have a lot look forward to more inspirational and aspirational rather than just being told your good for the Welfare dependency and that’s as good as it gets. Isn’t it fantastic to see how well the majority of Maori’s are doing in Australia when they broken free from the chains of welfare dependency.

  17. Phil 17

    I suspect there are a whole range of ‘lurking variables’ that are producing this correlation. Obviously the present economic situation of the respondent will be a significant determinant in happiness, and is also a factor in political preference.

    Stephen has nailed another possibility – people with religious beliefs tend to be happier than thiose without. Of course, this has very little to do with the actual belief, and more with the sense of community that develops around it… maybe the LWNJ’s that post/comment on The Standard just have no friends? (joking…)

    Nome’s link back to childhood is also interesting. The family’s socio-economic status has consequences for their children’s physical and psychological development, and that this would translate into adult political preference isn’t a stretch.

    jafa,
    “I never found many [conservatives] who could intelligently discuss Burke”

    jbc was being tactful when suggesting your head was in the clouds – it’s clearly somewhere much closer and smellier to home, you obnoxious, arrogant twat. (not joking – you’re a fuckwit…)

    [lprent: Usually you have a better standard than this. I’ll save my comment for you to a later time. I’m about 8 hours late on this one]

  18. roger nome 18

    “Conservatives are more likely to be happier because they have a true sense of traditional values. Liberals know no boundaries no accountability’s no responsibility.”

    That’s just meaningless. Why don’t you try making a rational argument? That’s at leas one thing I know is within the grasp of the conservative mind 🙂

  19. roger nome 19

    “it’s clearly somewhere much closer and smellier to home, you obnoxious, arrogant twat. (not joking – you’re a fuckwit )”

    phil – little advice … from what i’ve seen slinging obscenities at othe users will probably get you banned here.

  20. Phil 20

    Duly note roger, and in this case duly disregarded.

    The attitued displayed by jafapete in his comment speaks volumes about where ‘born to rule’ and ‘we know better than you’ attitudes really lie in the political spectrum, and it sure as hell isn’t centre-right.

  21. “Isn’t it fantastic to see how well the majority of Maori’s are doing in Australia when they broken free from the chains of welfare dependency.”
    I woudln’t think that someone on a benifit could afford to move to australia, its far more likely that they have broken free from the chains of racisim.


    “The attitued displayed by jafapete in his comment speaks volumes about where ‘born to rule’ and ‘we know better than you’ attitudes really lie in the political spectrum, and it sure as hell isn’t centre-right.”

    Not in the Greens either, so must be either National or Act?

  22. Solidarity 22

    The point raised by Jafapete about the left engaging at a deeper academic level is a bit chicken and egg.

    Academics tend to be left wing because the market doesn’t price them as high as they believe they should be (in comparison to the remuneration of other professionals) and that gets them bent out of shape.

    Reaching for the left wing doctrine seems to give them a greater sense of self worth.

    [hilarious. The assumption that everyone bases their self worth on the amount of money they earn is so rightwing. The idea people would even go so far as to adopt a political philosophy to rationalise their comparatively lower incomes is pure comedy. SP]

  23. roger nome 23

    coge: “My belief, in a very general sense, is those on the right have an abundance mentality, while the left have a scarcity mentality.’

    nah – it’s liberals that are more likely to be involved in multi-partner relationships (polyamory). That points to a belief in an abundance of love/affection, whereas conservatives tend to look at those things as scarce resources to be rationed.

  24. MacDoctor 24

    Seeing as we are apparently really into sweeping generalizations today, let me generalize: 🙂

    I think you will find that the right/left political divide is also the divide of individualist Vs Collective thinking. An individualist will tend to see deprivation as something that an individual must address. A good individualist will be willing to give a helping hand to another individual rather than a group. This would be why conservatives not only tend to be more generous of money but also more generous of time – they like working on an individual level.

    Your collective thinker, OTOH, tends to see the problem as a group one and therefore looks for group solutions. A good collectivist would seek to address poverty, rather than a poor person. This is not a bad thing at all (we certainly need both types of people) but helping a group is an intrinsically frustrating thing (whereas helping a single person is often very satisfying). This will be why social thinkers tend to be less happy than individualists and why right wingers are happier than left wingers.

    Note: It has obviously nothing to do with how good or bad people are, How compassionate they are or how dumb/clever they are. You can find good, compassionate, intelligent people in all spheres of the political spectrum (to mix a metaphor).

    Captcha: Swift benefiting – Yes please!

  25. J 25

    “I wonder if this could be related to the fact that right-wingers (in my experience) tend to come from more privileged backgrounds.”

    That’s interesting because most university students and graduates in cushy state sector jobs i.e. privileged, I know tend to believe in some kind of socialism. It’s no good talking them out of it and I just accept it as a youthful indiscretion which will soon correct itself as soon of the financial responsibilities of paying for a family, shouldering a mortgage and seeing the effect of taxes on your gross income becomes apparent.

  26. ants 26

    This is nothing but self righteous BS. The left are happy because they are mainly employed by the public sector or are getting benefits from the government.

    As I’ve stated before there is no moral code involved in voting – 99% of all people vote for selfish reasons – i.e. Student loans, better tax rates, Working For Families, public sector bloat etc etc etc.

    Anyone claiming otherwise is full of it – Ask 10 random voters in the street what they stand to gain if the party they are going to vote for wins the election and I guarantee not ONE of them will mention a moral duty and empathy for other people.

  27. ants. that comment on how you believe others think shows more about you than people in general. The people I’m privileged to call my friends vote for reasons bigger than their own narrow self-interest.

  28. jbc 28

    Edosan (& others): that’s an interesting study referred to at that latimes link.

    I recall some similar topics being touched on in The Blank Slate. It’s an interesting read – even if you don’t agree with Pinker’s conclusions.

  29. Felix 29

    J:

    most university students and graduates in cushy state sector jobs i.e. privileged, I know tend to believe in some kind of socialism.

    In my experience the vast majority of people everywhere in the world believe in some form of socialism, although the terms they use to describe it differ somewhat.

  30. jbc 30

    Felix:

    In my experience the vast majority of people everywhere in the world believe in some form of socialism, although the terms they use to describe it differ somewhat.

    That seems true enough in my experience too.

    I’d add that most people also believe in some form of meritocracy (although perhaps unwittingly for some). They differ in how and where they choose to apply it.

  31. .carla 31

    Has anyone calculated the impact of the 90 day rule on dissuading workers from changing jobs? Why would someone who values a regular wage risk changing jobs if they might be sacked for no good reason and end up with no income? I would have thought that factor would make it even harder for employers to get the staff they need. It also makes it harder for employees who aren’t particularly happy to change to a job they’d like better, or might be better at.

  32. Ari 32

    Back O/T, what an interesting view. My belief, in a very general sense, is those on the right have an abundance mentality, while the left have a scarcity mentality. Holding to any of these views for many years has a great determining effect on an individuals life path.

    In terms of resource consumption, sure. In terms of social freedoms, the opposite tends to be true. 🙂

  33. Anita 33

    .carla,

    Do you think there’s a possible balance here where employers get the right to provide only probationary (recant at whim) employment contracts and employees get a mirroring right to provide probationary (recant at whim) resignations? 🙂

    (yeah yeah, bad on so many levels, but still funny! 🙂

  34. .carla 34

    Hmm. Yeah, funny 🙂 but on a serious level, I think employers get less out of security than staff do.

  35. Anita 35

    .carla,

    No, nor am I.

    With big employers the balance is very clear, a single employee’s need to buy food for their family outweighs the shareholders’ need for a invisibly higher dividend.

    It’s more complex with SMEs, particularly SEs, where one may be balancing the employee’s grocery money against the owner’s. Being able to fire new employees at whim isn’t either necessary or effective at managing that situation.

  36. r0b 36

    Stephen: There’s some research on charitable giving (conservatives giving more), for whatever reason (would invoke religion again though)

    I’ve heard this before, asked for the evidence, and not got it. So Stephen can you point me to your source for this?

    Because the stuff I have seen says the exact opposite, that the poor are more generous with their donations:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2001/dec/21/voluntarysector.fundraising

  37. ak 37

    rOb: the stuff I have seen says the exact opposite, that the poor are more generous with their donations:

    That’s certainly been my observation rOb – based on extensive experience from back in the day when we did door-to-door collections.

    Latterly I’ve found tories will give more to environmental efforts – but the teensy fact that everyone’s overlooked is that they have bucketloads more from which to give: it’s the old Widow’s Mite story, and on a “percentage of income” basis lefties would be miles ahead in my experience – a no-brainer really when you look at the contrast in political attitudes. Dog-eat-dog versus give a mate a hand.

  38. r0b 38

    a no-brainer really when you look at the contrast in political attitudes. Dog-eat-dog versus give a mate a hand.

    And there you have it in a nutshell really.

  39. Ben R 39

    “Stephen: There’s some research on charitable giving (conservatives giving more), for whatever reason (would invoke religion again though)”

    That research is by Arthur C Brooks who also did the research on happiness. Religion does seem to play a big factor.

    “In 2000, religious people gave about three and a half times as much as secular people — $2,210 versus $642. And even when religious giving is excluded from the numbers, Mr. Brooks found, religious people still give $88 more per year to nonreligious charities.”

    “Mr. Brooks agreed that he needed to tackle politics. He writes that households headed by a conservative give roughly 30 percent more to charity each year than households headed by a liberal, despite the fact that the liberal families on average earn slightly more.”

    http://philanthropy.com/free/articles/v19/i04/04001101.htm

    Ak,

    “that the poor are more generous with their donations..
    That is also my experience from a short period doing door to door collections.”

    In my brief experience doing door to door collections I found ‘poor’ areas were quite generous. I didn’t collect in any wealthy suburbs though, so couldn’t compare..

  40. Lew 40

    jcb/Felix: That’s it, I’m starting the Socialist Meritocracy Party. From each according to how awesome other people are, to each according to how awesome she is!

    L

  41. jbc 41

    I’m starting the Socialist Meritocracy Party. From each according to how awesome other people are, to each according to how awesome she is!

    😀

    Unless everyone thinks everyone else is totally awesome then I think I spot a flaw…

    I think the original slogan was closer to the mark – it has a kind of symmetry to it.

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    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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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. ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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, ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    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
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
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