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It’s safe to get off the fence now, Len

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 am, March 31st, 2012 - 50 comments
Categories: business, Unions, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

The PoAL management looks as incompetent and divided as the Nats after their ‘bullet-proof’ contracting out plans were shot down by the Employment Court and a director resigned publicly admonishment management’s strategy.

Time to use that bully pulpit, Len. The workers have won this fight themselves – but you can make the end of the battle come quicker. Say you have no confidence in Pearson and Gibson, demand they drop their plans which have cost the council a fortune much already, and get the port back to work.

You can even go along to the workers’ victory party and pretend that you were on their side all along, rather than being a fair weather friend who only discovered which side you were on once the workers had won the battle themselves. You and Shearer can share a taxi.

50 comments on “It’s safe to get off the fence now, Len”

  1. well said JH.

    Brown’s only hope of redemption is to sack Pearson and Gibson.

    last chance to show us whose side you’re on Len 

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      I’m pretty sure that Len has already shown us which side he is on.

    • Slap shot 1.2

      That would be bad. Give them a chance to negotiate. The union is in a very strong position, and will likely now get a better deal. Then everyone can move on and get on with their jobs.

      Never humiliate a defeated opponent. Nothing good comes of it in the end. Winning is an occasion for a pint and a cheer, not gloating. The union has kept the moral high ground so far. Why throw that away? If Pearson and Gibson are to be sacked, then let it be quietly and after a decent interval. Right now it is time for the union to be the bigger man, as they say. There are a great many people who have come to a better opinion of trades unionism because of this dispute. Let’s keep them on side.

      • muzza 1.2.1

        Well said ….

        PS – Brown has shown which side he is on…he will not be making a vocal statement other than, when this is all sorted out, that he was please both sides came to an agreement!

        LB has either wilted under duress, or this is what he always was…brothers in arms the lot of them, IMO!

      • mickysavage 1.2.2

        What could help is the appointment of a progressive pro worker director to the board.  Someone like Mike Williams.  There are very few of these around though …

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.2.1

          Rewrite POAL constitution as per Ben Clark’s suggestion and have a couple of worker-directors on the Board.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 1.2.2.2

          They did have one, Nigel Haworth . Professor of Human Resource Development at UA.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.3

        Keeping incompetent directors/CEOs on just because you don’t want to embarrass them isn’t a good idea. It just gives them more time to make more mistakes that will cost even more to fix.

        • Akldnut 1.2.3.1

          It would be noble to keep them on until all the hoo-haa dies and then let them slip quietly into oblivion if it weren’t for the fact that they are such manipulating, callous lying pricks. (gosh I just described tha majority of Torys).

          Public stockade, whipped and lashed, tarred and feathered, drawn and quartered I say!

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.3

      What part of the holding company structure and the legislation Hide put in to protect the Council replacing the PoAL directors dont you understand ? I think Hide modelled it on the Green party election processes.

  2. tc 2

    The fence has left scars Brown will struggle to recover from, like Key and co he’s traded off a working class upbringing and then betrayed it but unlike the hollwmen backed Key he lacks the CT machine to spin away from it.
    Fletcher, Brewer and co would be pleased at this turn of events, making Brown look ineffective when he would’ve backed a winner as it may hand the right back the mayoralty.

  3. prism 3

    I noticed Rob Campbell has stepped down from PoL. On radio reports his union connection was mentioned. I looked at a report on 1984 and Lange’s short day followed by Douglas et al. These are quotes about the changes.

    Economist Peter Harris, who led the charge for the unions against what became known as Rogernomics….Rob Campbell, who at the time worked for the unions alongside Harris as an opponent of Rogernomics but later became a cheer leader, said the labour movement had expected a traditional Labour programme.
    (But the programme was revolutionary.)
    It transformed an economy from what Lange described as operating like a Polish shipyard into one of the most deregulated free market economies the industrialised world has known.

    Link – http://www.sharechat.co.nz/article/07c29b10/opinion-the-rogernomics-revolution-20-years-on.html

    So the present PoL dispute has connections way back. The ports were known to be tightly controlled and it was thought they got better wages and conditions than was reasonable. There didn’t seem to be a way to work with union to modernise, control costs and improve handling rates. It seems that business has now achieved that, has a well functioning port, so why contract out and lose steady jobs that people can build a life around?

  4. ianmac 4

    It would be interesting to see exactly where the Mayor stands legally in such disputes. Wasn’t the idea to prevent the Mayor from interfering in any way with the Industrial matters – keep at arms length?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      No doubt you are right. Because the neolibs love it when business interests have sole rule over the corporate domain, without the inconvenience of democratic or community interests having a say.

    • Eddie 4.2

      he has little institutional power – he has one vote on the council, which would have to direct the council’s investment company ACIL to act against the POAL board or face the sack. But he is mayor of all auckland too – that’s a lot of political power when he speaks, which is what teddy roosevelt was talking about when he talked about the bully (ie good) pulpit.

  5. Craig Glen Eden 5

    Browns a disgrace I had high hopes for him but this whole situation has shown him up for what he is, one word, gutless.I cant wait to see him out at some event, I will tell him face to face what I think and no political bullshit will be accepted for the contempt he has shown for working people.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    It is past the last chance saloon for Len. The next ‘Lenslide’ will be his slide out of office. So the supercity will be looking a split mayoral contest as per usual.

    Does Len realise that his compliance with POAL/ACIL union busting will earn him no favours from Wellington? Joycie’s roading lobby is still going to freeze out him and the inner city loop.

  7. lefty 7

    Its now time to start working on a genuine left ticket for Mayor for the next elections.
    Cathy Casey or Mike Lee are the most obvious candidates for the position – they both have the advantage of not being associated with Labour and its serial sell outs of the working class as well as being intelligent, competent and principled.

  8. captain hook 8

    on the surface this is a classic left/right debate but scratch the surface and it is about corporate interests taking away any freedoms they can.
    if there are winners there must be losers and these people are psychopaths using the industrial apparautus to to work out their camouflaged propensities on an unsuspecting populace by creating losers.
    creepy stuff.

  9. Jenny 9

    Mayor Brown has backed a bunch of right wing losers, to do as they saw fit. This ignominy will always be his.

    Can he redeem himself?

    I don’t know.

    But I agree that Mayor Brown at the very least, should now take some responsible remedial action.

  10. Kevin Welsh 10

    Independent Left ticket for Auckland and Cunliffe/Little for Labour. Ticks all the boxes for me.

  11. Jeremy 11

    why didn’t the union just accept a 2.5% increase at current terms?

    • Eddie 11.1

      because that’s not what they were offered, that’s what they were offering and the port management rejected it.

      They were offered reduced hours without guaranteed shifts in exchange for a 10% hourly increase – which equated to a 20% annual pay cut.

      • Jeremy 11.1.1

        From NBR:
        “After unsuccessful negotiations, during which the union rejected a 2.5% wage increase with a rollover of the existing CEA and no changes to the terms and conditions, PoAL made 292 jobs redundant – including 235 union members – and introduced competitive stevedoring at its Bledisloe and Fergusson container terminals.”

        • KJT 11.1.1.1

          Where their work would be contracted out. Which meant permanent employees on decent wages could be replaced with temporary contract labour undercutting their terms and conditions.

          Resulting over time for large pay drops for all wharfies.

          Havn’t you figured out what it is about yet. POAL was working to bypass the collective agreement and employment law protection by contracting out.
          Something that has now happened to far to many of New Zealand’s workers.

          • Jeremy 11.1.1.1.1

            So you are telling me that the port company needs permission from the union to contract out work? or that the union is holding the port company to ransom?

            • Eddie 11.1.1.1.1.1

              The port must act within the law. That means it must bargain in good faith, it must reach a collective agreement if at all possible, it mustn’t lock out without two weeks’ notice – all things it failed to do.

              • Jeremy

                I’m aware of this good faith bargaining. It doesn’t change the questions however. I’m satisfied Len Brown has met both parties I trust his judgement.

        • Eddie 11.1.1.2

          That’s a typo by NBR. The previous sentence is the employer’s offer which the workers rejected, the sentence you quote is actually the union offer, which the employer rejected.

          All the other material shows that the union offered 2.5% with no changes to conditions, the port offered 10% with contracting out.

  12. Fortran 12

    MUNZ won the battle – great.

    But the War – um – I doubt it.

    • felix 12.1

      Yeah, you’re probably right. I mean you’ve been right about everything else so far.

  13. Darien Fenton 13

    “You and Shearer can share a taxi”

    14 Labour MPs plus David Shearer who spoke at the rally? Only political leader to speak at the rally? Only political leader I’ve seen at the picket apart from Hone?

    • IrishBill 13.1

      I agree with Darien. I think Labour has shown support and I don’t think that politicising this dispute would have been strategically useful – all it would have done would have made it more likely that government would get involved (as they had planned to until PoAL made it too toxic to touch) and they wouldn’t have done the workers any favours by doing so.

      I said a few weeks ago that PoAL was on the ropes and they’ve certainly taken a beating since, but right now the union still has to get a deal before this is a win.

      • Ad 13.1.1

        Who doesn’t know that Darien Fenton had to beg, plead, and drag that Shearer kicking and screaming to the protest to show any solidarity at all.

        “I don’t think politicizing this dispute would have been strategically useful…”
        I would put it to you that this has been political for some time.

        Simply imagine what would have happened if Shearer had actually shown leadership on this with the Union from the start. National would be defending on yet another front.

        Right now National are fighting on the ACC front, none of which Labour can take credit for.

        At some point the Labour leadership has to grow a set of principles and defend them. If protecting organized Labour isn’t one of them, then the Labour Party should fold up its tent and go home.

    • JH 13.2

      Fair enough. I admit you guys got on board with the workers, if belatedly. And that delayed support probably wasn’t a bad thing in terms of winning the battle for the workers because early Labour involvement would have triggered government action.

      The concern is just whether Labour’s delayed reaction was due to that kind of strategic thought or just that Shearer really didn’t know which side he wanted to be on.

      • Anne 13.2.1

        The concern is just whether Labour’s delayed reaction was due to that kind of strategic thought or just that Shearer really didn’t know which side he wanted to be on.

        I recall a photo (think it was originally on Slater’s blogsite – he had been following them?) of Parsloe and Shearer walking together on a street deep in conversation. This was in the early days of the dispute. Not long afterwards Parsloe was interviewed and he commented to the effect that it was the view of the union that it would be better if Labour stayed on the side-lines.

        That suggests to me it was a strategic position both parties had agreed to..

  14. Vicks 14

    + 1
    Damn right Darien and Shearer made it clear that he was opposed to casualisation at the brginning of this dispute. Misleading people into accepting that it was otherwise JH is no better than what the RWNJ get up to and screams of a whole other agenda. Move on.

  15. Craig Glen Eden 15

    While Im not a Shearer supporter I have to defend him because as DF has said above he did front at the Rally and while the greens had people there, there was no greens co leaders so its a bit rich to attack Shearer for being unsupportive.

  16. Jenny 16

    Will Mayor Len Brown do anything at all?

    Is the current mayor trying to turn the Auckland super city mayoralty into a purely ceremonial role?

    Something akin to the British monarchy, or the Irish President, perhaps?

    Someone to attend official ceremonies and cut ribbons etc?

    Is this what we want?

    And if it is, should he get paid so much?

    • David H 16.1

      “Will Mayor Len Brown do anything at all?”

      Such as??? Fall on his Sword. And beg the peoples forgiveness, would do for starters.

  17. Uturn 17

    I expected Shearer to flex some political muscle, if he has any, and use his position to give a clear voice to the working people against that group that are just like POAL board – our incumbent government. His job is not to imitate normal MPs with words of personal support, or hide away like a mayor who prefers his job to doing his job.

    Leaders have far more power and if they get involved in an issue and try to say they have no power, then say their power wouldn’t help, then they may as well have stayed home. No one was convinced Shearer couldn’t help, it was a manufactured political line to buy him time in his career. Back then, the price that was going to be paid for Shearer’s career was not only the livelihoods of the wharfies, but if their defence failed, the livelihoods of the workers of any other company that followed a similar casualisation suit. The union could have been broken, with people now beginning the spiral down into losing homes and family life balances. Passing round the bottle just before the final battle – a battle yet to win – and kidding ourselves he’s really on the side of the workers is just plain dumb.

    Talk of not embarrassing an opponent that was about to starve and destroy families is equally silly. Would you release diseased wild dogs back into the community, once you’d caught them, too? The least you’d do is contain them, warn people about them, show them for what they are so they could be identified. If that hurt their feelings of needing the freedom to freely destroy, then what a shame. No amount of hugs and moral high ground will protect against the nature of greed. Greed never gives up.

    Hiding behind unproven claims that “it wouldn’t help”, to reluctantly do as little as possible to give people a voice at the highest level, choosing instead to consider showing up at a picket as a true measure of a leader’s resources, is a betrayal. I agree with James Henderson: Shearer and Len should get in a taxi together, head out south, to the airport. To bad if it means a few Labour MPs need to consider the uncomfortable truth about where their allegiance lies.

    • the sprout 17.1

      well said uturn

    • Vicks 17.2

      Shearers response was perfectly appropriate and his message was clear. The only rabid dogs I can see are the ones contributing ranting posts like yours Uturn!!! So if you are going to bite someone – bite someone deserving like the nact snots who set up the supershitty otherwise put your damn muzzle back on.

  18. coolas 18

    As this dispute was always about POAL busting the union, all politicians who expect the support of workers should have come out clearly on the side of MUNZ. For fuck’s sake. There’s a battle going on here. Casualisation of labour reduces workers to a resource given less respect than money. Only through organised labour can worker’s rights be preserved and enhanced. Maybe we have to go through this shit to see the pendulum swing. Workers on the Board would be an ‘elegant’ conclusion to this. And Len’s the man who can do it, or, at least support the idea.

  19. JamesGeorge 19

    Putting the ethics of the situation to one side for a minute, Len Brown has shown us exactly what an incompetent politician he is.
    When Brown first confronted this issue he had a pretty clear cut choice to make. One pick would give him a win win situation, the other, a lose lose.
    Guess what? Brown chose the lose lose. By siding with the POAL tories Brown put himself in a situation that must leave him damaged no matter what the outcome. If the neo-liberals had won Gibson & Co would get all the credit from Wellington for fighting the good fight and Brown would be ignored by the tories. The humanists of Auckland on the other hand would hold Brown responsible for the demise of one of the last strong trade unions, leaving Brown seeming like a quisling & a scab.
    If the neo-cons lost as they certainly seem to have, Brown gets regarded with contempt by humanists and labourites alike. If only because he chose to be on the wrong side when one of the greatest victories for working NZers this century went down. Meanwhile the Tories in Wellington and their Auckland acolytes have a handy scapegoat for their loss -Brown. He won’t be getting any favours outta Wellington; in transport or anything else.

    Conversely if Brown had publicly spoken out for the wharfies from the get go he would have been in a win win situation. If the wharfies win he’d be regarded as being an integral part of the biggest victory for organised labour in NZ this century. If the wharfies lost, Brown could have blamed every decision that went against Auckland emanating outta Wellington on the Nats petty vindictiveness for him being on the wrong side.

    That would not have hurt him electorally either. By the time we all get to pick our council again jonkey and his band of 1% bumkissers will be on the nose with the vast majority of Auckland’s voters. Meaning many voters who may not usually vote for a labour mayor would also vote for Brown because Brown had identified as a opponent of soul killing inhumane capitalism. Their vote being a way of letting Wellington know how they felt about having a government that puts the interests of ordinary kiwis last.

    The RWC transportation mess where Brown let himself get manouvered into being scapegoated, the one who screwed the pooch, should have told us what a ‘scared of tories’ little naif Brown really is deep down.

    Now I’m gonna get back the the Unthanks marathon I’ve been grooving on since I heard the wharfies’ great news. Grinning to myself thinking no matter how much the herald n the other fishwraps try n play this down, more than a few smart young people will have realised that the me me me meme fails in the face of real solidarity from a committed band of comrades.

  20. Jackal 20

    Will Len Brown save face?

    Len Brown still has the chance to save face by taking control of the situation and ensuring that the dispute between POAL and MUNZ is resolved…

  21. Carol 21

    Oh, Len, you’re doing it all wrong, supporting the dubious side on contentious issues… trying to curry favour with the more conservative and centrist voters… Now you express some moral outrage, but wide of the mark. Where were you when the unaccountable POAL has been trying to act undemocratically and without consultation with ratepayers and residents?…… from insult to injury:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10795919

    Auckland Mayor Len Brown has spoken of his fury at being kept in the dark over a deal to give highly-prized coastal land to Maori.

    Brown says the government briefings on the deal to give $13.8 million of land in Devonport to Ngati Whatua did not “cut the mustard”.

    His comments came after it emerged at least two councillors were told of the deal a year ago – but a secrecy arrangement bound them to keep the mayor in the dark.
    […]
    “A confidential briefing for the Hauraki Gulf Forum – an autonomous body – does not cut the mustard.”

    The document setting out the April 2011 briefing was accepted at the forum – which has seven Auckland Council delegates – by councillors Mike Lee and Wayne Walker.

    It stated: “While we believe it is important to ensure the forum is consulted on this matter, it is imperative that this matter is treated as confidential and not discussed outside the forum’s meeting.”

    Lee said he was opposed to public land being used for settlements but that his feelings on the subject were not strong enough to break the confidentiality obligation.

    Forum members come from three government ministries, six councils and local iwi. Christine Fletcher, Sandra Coney, Mike Lee, Denise Roche, Paul Downey, Des Morrison and Wayne Walker were Auckland Council’s members. Roche and Coney had left by the time the secret briefing occurred.

    But there seems to be different interpretations as to whether the lland deal involves “prime coastal real estate”.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6673729/Angry-residents-threaten-to-take-over-naval-base

    Furious Devenport residents are threatening to occupy a naval base in a move usually used by Maori to draw attention to disputed land.

    The public stoush is over a 3.2 hectare chunk of Auckland land, valued at $30 million, promised to Ngati Whatua in a Deed of Settlement in November.
    […]
    Furious Devenport residents are threatening to occupy a naval base in a move usually used by Maori to draw attention to disputed land.

    The public stoush is over a 3.2 hectare chunk of Auckland land, valued at $30 million, promised to Ngati Whatua in a Deed of Settlement in November.
    […]
    Ngati Whatua spokesman Ngarimu Blair said there is a misconception the deal involves the coastal area, sports field and surrounding reserve.

    “We’re not buying that. We never were. We’re only talking about the navy barracks, the sheds, carpark areas and building which we are purchasing and is set well back from the coast.”

    The RNZ Navy, which leases the land, will be offered a minimum lease of 15 years under the agreement.

    Adjoining Takapuna Reserve and Narrow Neck Beach – totalling 11.9ha and covering the shoreline – remains in the public’s possession and unaffected by the deal.

    Plans are also under way to formalise a public walkway on the eastern strip of the base. Currently the navy can revoke access at three months’ notice.

    “We’re the last people to restrict public access to great pieces of land on the harbour or river. We did the same thing for our land at Bastion Point,” Blair said. “We’re very sensitive to these issues.”

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    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    6 days ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • More bad faith
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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