Judith’s very bad two days

Written By: - Date published: 8:12 am, September 2nd, 2021 - 50 comments
Categories: act, covid-19, david seymour, grant robertson, greens, Judith Collins, labour, Media, national, Parliament, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

Parliament, or at least limited members of Labour, National, Green and Act MPs is now meeting.  And the experience has been totally underwhelming.  A well run Zoom meeting would have achieved more.

On Tuesday National’s problem was that they went for the knock out blow in Parliament.  Each attack was easily parried away.  Chris Hipkins and Jacinda Ardern chose to try and talk National through the intracices of mass distribution of a highly unstable vaccine that needs refrigeration at very low temperatures and where the supply has to be managed.

It was a waste of time but it provided a couple of brutal slap downs.  For Collins:

Hon Judith Collins: Did the Government ask Pfizer to slow down delivery of vaccine so, as her COVID response Minister told Newstalk ZB in June, “We don’t end up with a whole lot sitting in the freezer.”, and is her Government now asking them to speed it up again, as her associate health Minister told media yesterday?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: The member is sharing factually and misleading information. We have over 10 million doses of Pfizer for our country’s roll-out. That is more than the number of people who are even eligible for a vaccine. What the Minister for the COVID-19 Response was referring to was, as we reach the point where all of those vaccines are delivered, how can we ensure that we see no wastage for the fact that we have more doses than we have people who are eligible to receive them, and we have expiries for vaccines for the RNA vaccine that are, at best, four months. I wish that the member would pay more attention to the detail of the Minister’s statements, rather than misleading people.

And for David Seymour there was this zinger from Chris Hipkins:

David Seymour: How can he be satisfied that the current alert level 4 orders are working if he doesn’t know how many inter-bubble transmission cases there have been, and the whole point of a level 4 is for people to remain within their bubbles to the extent possible?

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS: Perhaps if we were doing this via Zoom, rather than with all the distractions of the parliamentary debating chamber, the member might have listened to my previous answer where I addressed that.

Then yesterday things did not start off well for Judith.  She went full blast on Breakfast’s Indira Stewart who asked her some pretty tough questions which is strange because Judith just wanted to get Parliament sitting so that she could do the same.

This is without doubt the most damaging interview of a senior politician that I have ever seen and I have seen a few.  Well done Indira Stewart who did something really important, she kept her cool and she asked short but precise questions.

The questions were perfectly reasonable ones to ask, why did Collins insist Parliament meet in person, did she get tested before travelling to Wellington from a Covid hot spot and which parts of the Pacific community had she met.  The response from Collins, coincidentally appearing by zoom, was incredible.  She did her usual version of giving back double.  Her problem is that it did not make her look strong, just weird and out of control and certainly not the sort of leader you would want to look after the country in the middle of a global pandemic.

What did Judith do after this?  She then accused Stewart of having a political agenda, thereby drawing further attention to her train wreck of an interview and ensuring that even more of New Zealand would have seen it.

Then onto Parliament where Collins’s questions were again battered away by Jacinda Ardern.  Like this one:

Hon Judith Collins: Can she rule out having to delay vaccine appointments that have already been booked due to an anticipated shortage of vaccines?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Actually, that is incorrect. It is not that we have had a shortage of vaccines; it’s that we’ve put in additional surge capacity to allow a considerable increase in vaccinations. Through this period that we’re in now and leading into over September, we’d always planned around the supply that we had, which would have enabled us to, on average, deliver about 50,000 doses a day or 350,000 across the course of the week. When the outbreak started, we saw, of course, as you may expect, some demand lift, and we decided to then increase the capacity to provide surge vaccinations. That has led to over 500,000 doses being delivered a week. What we’re now seeking to do is meet that additional demand by seeking additional supply. Our goal, if we are unable to do that is, as much as possible, maintain the bookings that we have, but also, in those areas where there is big surges in demand and it is particularly high needs for us to vaccinate, keeping that additional surge capacity in Auckland and the upper North Island.

Ardern has the perfect way of handling Collins.  She keeps her cool, yet chides Collins for any spin and at the same time shows she, Ardern, is on top of the details.  Collins was left floundering.

Then on to the general debate where Robertson absolutely monstered Collins:

Collins response was coup inspiring.

My major concern is that the last couple of days may be for Collins what this facebook post was for Bridges.

The difference is that back in April National’s large caucus really thought that it was born to rule and that the Government benches were just around the corner.  Nowadays you can tell that their morale is shot.  I have never seen such a bad day in the House for National.  All of their questions were brushed away and their speeches were appalling.

Chris Bishop was the only one who showed any spine and any sense of what opposition means and I sense a run for the leadership by him is building.  Interesting times …

50 comments on “Judith’s very bad two days ”

  1. ianmac 1

    I do hope Collins stays on. The country needs her don't you know?

    • Ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      A Queen St Tax lawyer at the helm can only lead to 'good things'… for the rich listers

  2. JanM 2

    I think these childish displays of vitriol coupled with her clumsy attacks on the few capable mps in her party are clear demonstrations that she knows she is on her way down and out. It looks to me as though rather than try and mount opposition to get rid of her, her fellow mps are wisely going to just wait until she implodes. Sadly for those of us who do not want to see the resurgence of National, this shouldn't take long 🙄

  3. Ad 3

    Hey thanks for that Robertson speech – truly excellent, and great to see Collins in the frame squirming throughout.

    Recommended watching for anyone with 5 minutes to spare.

  4. Patricia Bremner 4

    That picture of her alone, standing, reading from notes… I agree Micky.

    You are out of your depth Judith, believing your own spin about the current situation.

    Clearly you have attackers without and within, caused by your 'give double what you get'.

    Your inability to quell your combative nature and pose reflective questions shows in your blaming others. 'The interviewer had a political agenda." and "Jacinda Ardern could have over ruled that"

    There is a growing swell of frustration about the National Party, and Act is benefitting from that and from the loss of New Zealand First.

    Judith represents a demographic which did well before covid, but the new digital age is proving a challenge and her stresses are exacerbated by this.

    Her choice of support people is indicative.. "the old guard" Her time has passed.

    • Her choice of support people is indicative.. "the old guard" Her time has passed.

      Indeed, and I think you've hit it on the head, Patricia.

      It strikes me that the Nats are fighting a political game from last decade – if not last century – and have clearly not grasped the reality that a global pandemic has changed the psyche of Aotearoa by leaps and bounds.

      The old hyper-individualism – the cousin to neo-liberalism – has, by necessity, been largely swept away. New Zealanders look overseas and see disaster in New South Wales, Fiji, Inidia, UK, Brazil, etc, and they shudder at what could befall us.

      So we either act in solidarity and stay alive (hence the rancour shown at MIQ absconders or city-dwellers buggering off to holiday "baches" during a L4 lockdown) – or we all do our thing; Delta sweeps through; and we end up with a death toll in the thousands. And with a hospital system that collapses and would not even be able to treat a broken limb.

      The Nats don't get this. For them, individualism and the free market are still their DNA. But Kiwis have moved on and Nats have been left behind.

      The sad thing for the Nats is that they had younger, Millenial talent who might've understood that they they were being washed out with the receding tide. But those folk retired from Party politics, leaving – as you put it – "the old guard".

      National is in a worse place than Labour was during the Key years. Much worse. At this rate, the Right will be represented by two parties of relatively equal size (ACT and National). And if NZ First ever makes a resurgence, that rightwing vote may be split three ways.

      I seriously doubt Nats will ever get back in power whilst PM Ardern chooses to stick around.

  5. Alan Ivory 5

    Some weeks ago Chris Bishop was running very good lines on Covid-19, identifying places where the government performance could be improved, and how it could be improved, without sniping or ridicule. It was constructive opposition.
    But this line ran counter to the line Collins was running.
    So we saw Bishop change course and start to run the rubbish Collins wanted.
    Then both Bishop and Willis got demoted. Clearly they’re a threat to Collins and others.

    • mickysavage 5.1

      My post tomorrow. I think that Bishop will be their next leader.

      • Sacha 5.1.1

        Disposable after the election – that fits.

      • Billyfish 5.1.2

        I recall a while back reading , I think on Kiwiblog, a reference to a future nat leader being part of the group just elected that election and being young and some other criteria (sorry for being vague). Of that cohort 2 have left the party in disgrace so only Bishop is left to fulfill the prophecy. Unfortunately he isn't that sharp and will , as mentioned above, languish and fail if elevated too far

  6. Sanctuary 6

    Collin's has hoped to profit from the sort of exasperating whataboutism and two-sidism you get from the horse race commentators of the gallery's court journalists. She has gambled she would get some publicity and her contextless sound bites would get airtime. She has actually succeeded, but unfortunately she is now in the position the Luftwaffe found itself in 1945 – increased sustained effort simply leads to higher losses.

    Collins mis-reads the public mood at every step and I've concluded she really does actually believe she has has the mood of the public. She has a public persona loaded with all the brittleness of the ever the bully, ever the victim mentality she portrays. If she was running the local pigeon fanciers club she'd wreck it, let alone a major political party. She is self-pitying, whiney, malevolent and cracks easily under pressure whilst demanding not just loyalty but mindless obsequious worship from her colleagues, where being talentless lick spittles is the prime qualification for promotion.

    The publc have seen enough of Collins, the trouble for National is she won't go quietly.

    PS – I reckon Bishop and Erica Stanford will be the ticket to run against Collins, not Luxton who smells to much like a potential disaster (like Muller).

    • Ad 6.1

      What are you seeing in Erica Stanford? I'm not familiar with her.

      • I Feel Love 6.1.1

        Bishop? The guy who snap chatted teen girls? Dear gawd.

        • Tony Veitch (not etc.) 6.1.1.1

          Bishop? The apologist for cancer? Gawd save us!

          • Billyfish 6.1.1.1.1

            And that's gotta be the campaign against him if he gets to be leader. Anti research and bollox wafflee supreme

        • Michael 6.1.1.2

          Stanford could neutralise Bishop's sexual gaucherie. She seems smart, poised and to possess reasonable judgment. So a real foil to him. OTOH, she did work for McCully before inheriting his seat, so perhaps she's too good to be true. I think she did a good job hitting Kris Faafoi over visas for nannies (an issue dear to her support base). Not sure if she's capable of more.

      • Sanctuary 6.1.2

        Nothing really, beyond she appears relatively normal, looks good from a central casting perspective, seems to come from the liberal wing of the party and was apparently a sufficient a threat to Judith to be part of her caucus meltdown when she had a go at Bishop.

        • Michael 6.1.2.1

          "relatively normal" – that's it. Stands out in a caucus straight out of American Horror Story.

          • I Feel Love 6.1.2.1.1

            It dawned on me Bishop has a Boris Johnsonesqe-ness to him, ineptitude & boofoonish.

    • swordfish 6.2

      .

      unfortunately she is now in the position the Luftwaffe found itself in 1945 – increased sustained effort simply leads to higher losses

      A better analogy would probably be the position the French Womens Auxilliary Balloon Corps found itself in towards the end of the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian War.

      I'd also suggest Collins is in almost precisely the same position as the German High Seas fleet after the Battle of Jutland in 1916, of which an American journalist observed – “the German fleet has assaulted its jailer, but it is still in jail”

      Not to mention a marked resemblance to the situation of Duke Leopold of Austria’s much-prized mercenaries in the 15 November 1315 Battle of Morgarten against the independence-seeking Swiss … of whom Louis X of france exclaimed: “They appear outraged by the ban imposed by the Bishop’s emissaries yet are reluctant to act for fear of Schwyz violence”.

  7. Reality 7

    Collins type of bombastic vindictive politics is back in the Muldoon era. NZ has long moved on. She is looking ridiculous now.

  8. Byd0nz 8

    Well I think Collins did a good job with that interview with Indira Stewart, her total ineptness must have inspired more viewers to tune into Parliament sitting time, the more people that tune into Parliament TV and see how useless the opposition parties perform will surely see the current Gvt win the next election with an increased majority.

  9. roy cartland 9

    TBH I don't get the slapdown in the first example; aren't the two of them just saying more or less the same thing, albeit JC in a flippant and colloquial way, but JA in a measured and detailed way?

    Is that the slapdown?

  10. Tricledrown 10

    After demoting others for lesser misteps Judith should demote herself.National supporters I know are spewing at how incompetent She is.

  11. gsays 11

    National have really missed a trick. Instead of going full wing nut and opposing everything they should have used Covid as a bi-partisan opportunity.

    They could demonstrate initiative show their imagination and, who knows, perhaps appear to be fit to govern!

    Instead they are stuck with this ego driven s@#t show.

    • AB 11.1

      Doubt that they could do that. They'll be too internally conflicted by the methods needed to fight Covid – state-led action, collective sharing of the pain, and explicit recognition of the mutual obligations and dependencies that bind us all together. Those thing are all pretty lethal to aspirational individualism.

      • gsays 11.1.1

        Good point about aspiring individualism.

        If they had a time machine, I wager they would do it differently, even if it were to only improve their individual chances of re-election.

      • Patricia Bremner 11.1.2

        Yes they have no real sense of community.

  12. Robert Guyton 12

    Aue!

    I tried to resist looking and only managed a minute or 2, but Judith's Collins' appalling performance was so much worse than anything I've ever seem from her, that it's worth saying and having watched.

    Just icky!

    Thoughtful National supporters must be despairing!

  13. Michael 13

    Crusher seems to have nipped Bishop's latest plot in the bud, by demoting him and promoting Woodhouse. One problem: that won't be enough to buy Woodhouse's loyalty if he calculates his fortunes are better served by switching to someone else. The glue holding the Nats together, for now, is money from the Party's backers, and muscle from the Dirty Politics crew. The latter are solidly behind Crusher, of course. With Peter Goodfellow hanging on as Party chair, the money might be solidly behind her too. Political donations are tax deductible so immediate pay off not essential. Even so, the money men must be doing their sums?

  14. coreyjhumm 14

    National is a disgrace. We have no opposition. Twice in national emergencies in 2020 and 2021 they have sought to cause division and thought only of themselves. Nzers will not forget this…. A lot of tory friends think all they need is a new leader and they'll be able to govern in 2026.

    Labour in opposition never politicized a national crisis, never hid information about potential covid threats just to attack the govt, never used insider info to attack the health system, make conspiracies… Kiwis will never forget that in their time of coming together national instead of cooperating attacked, attacked the govt, the health system civil servants and rolled their leaders twice because all they cared about is themselves.

    Then in 2021 in the middle of a pandemic demanded parliament sit in person putting the entire country at risk and shout and screech.

    Nzers won't forget this. It's not just a case of the leadership either , the liberal key wing is decimated the rural and bible thumpers who have nothing but contempt for middle moderate nz are in complete control

    I have a lot of tory mates, good honest moderate kind people, I disagree with them on economics and a lot of stuff but they are good people, ever since English left they've been ashamed of the party, they had a glimmer of hope when Muller and Kay tried to take the reigns (Kaye should never have gotten involved, she was one of the few genuinely likable tories ) then their entire lib wing pretty much resigned the wipe out was so bad and they are not focused on rebuilding and winning over the regions or suburbs they are focused on consolidating the right vote and keeping Judith in.

    Every Tory or swing voter I know now despises national now. They think they are dangerous. Former nats who voted lab last year are going to act nzf and top rather than National it's poisoned.

    I know any party can rebound look at Trudeaus libs and Arderns labour but this… This is different… It's like being in war with this virus and they are our weak link.

    I hope national gets it together for the sake of this country, we need an opposition to hold govts to account especially in times of crisis , work together when they can and keep them honest. What I think is going to happen is having one large labour party (for awhile) a medium nat party in the teens % and a bunch of small to medium weird right wing and center parties.

    National needs to get rid of these Looney's who are "just asking questions" and do whatever they can to become a moderate, liberal conservative center right party of the key model, I never would have voted Key but he was about as centerist as a Tory world leader gets…

    Without an opposition labour will never have to deliver on much because there's no alternative, noone keeping them honest noone poses a threat to them.

    Recently I've been really angry with labour but the actions of national … Good grief…

    • Michael 14.1

      Good analysis there. National is further to the Right than I've ever known it. Channeling Trumpian politics. I find it revolting but I'm not sure how many others do.

    • Sacha 14.2

      The more liberal Nat MPs were taken out in their electorate drubbing, while the churchy and fascist ones made sure they were on the list. Any idea how the party's donors and officials feel about the ascendant caucus faction?

      • KJT 14.2.1

        It really does seem that National's owners, sorry, funders, are set on them getting into power on the back of the extreme polarisation indulged in by the US repubs.

        Having had an unfortunate personal glimpse of how the Nat' ms back end works, it seems the nastiness, backstabbing and "born to rule" delusions have been turned inwards.

        Brash with the Iwi/Kiwi was a forunner?

        It doesn’t seem to play as well in NZ. Hopefully?

    • roblogic 14.3

      This is what happens to an organisation when it is unable to get rid of toxic leadership like Dirty Politics Judith. The good ones are shunted aside and the amoral power hungry bootlickers worm their way into favoured positions. Anyone who tells the truth is quickly thrown out. The rot comes from the top.

      Can’t say I feel sorry after the shit they pulled to stay in power for the previous 9 years

  15. Stuart Munro 15

    Judithulhu's electoral prospects are dead – but she's still dreaming.

    And who knows but with strange aeons even sledging the covid response might win a few punters.

    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Judithulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

    • roblogic 15.1

      I hope the electorate of Papakura is not R'lyeh. It doesn't have a "hideous monolith-crowned citadel" as far as I know. Perhaps there is a blasphemous cult somewhere in the Hunuas doing repulsive capitalist rituals.

      • Stuart Munro 15.1.1

        Rlyeh lies on the Challenger Plateau – we scraped a roughy net over it back in the day, but did not awaken any thing of consequence. I wonder if the world is ready to make of it a tourist destination like Hobbiton – I'm sure our seafood industry could stand the plug. Some of the major players appear to have been on team eldritch horror for some time.

  16. pat 16

    Well thats a performance that would make even Puckish cringe

  17. Tricledrown 17

    My husband is Pasifica,Collins

    My wife is Singaporean. Brash

    That's shows how out of touch Collins is .

    Collins is living in the past her Orewa moment backfired even her parliamentary snarl bully session was out of touch no media outlet covered it .Once you attack the Media as Collins did the Media will not be your friend desperate and flailing is not a good look,maybe it's a strategy to make Chris Bishop look like the good guy.

    • North 17.1

      In Collins' mind it is quite proper to abuse "Talofa !" to make illusory claim to affinity for and knowledge of Fa'a Samoa. And to say 'So there and fuck you !' to the questioner. Ugly.

  18. peter sim 18

    The natz have never accepted MMP. Now reality bites. MMP does not accept natz.

    The wealthy smug "born to rule" capitalist british imperialist class mind set probably still works in Epsom and no doubt in .federated farmer electorates. It may have worked in fpp times. Pandemics, climate change, demographic changes, among other international power plays affect what is achievable.

    Smug natz need to realise that blingsh and shonkey syd holland no longer rule. douglas, prebble, moore are irrelevant.

    The natz were born out of a marriage driven out of desperation.

    The farmers walked to the polling booths to vote for Labour in the 1930's.

    Ever since then they have dumped on Labour ( and the Greens)

    NZ is a small country and along way from historical trading partners. Not all (closer) trading partners are reluctant to restrain power aspirations against small isolated nations.

    Maybe I expect too much of natz politicians.

    The only things that matter to them are PROFIT and GREED, Social welfare (what is that?

    Is it possible that natz politicians could behave like sane rational fair minded adults?

  19. peter sim 19

    Pandemics and climate change demand combined government behaviour not media attracting nonsense. The media need no assistance from politicians.

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    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 23, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Health: Shane Reti announced the Board of Te Whatu Ora- Health New Zealand was being replaced with Commissioner Lester Levy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • HealthNZ and Luxon at cross purposes over budget blowout

    Health NZ warned the Government at the end of March that it was running over Budget. But the reasons it gave were very different to those offered by the Prime Minister yesterday. Prime Minister Christopher Luxon blamed the “botched merger” of the 20 District Health Boards (DHBs) to create Health ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • 2500-3000 more healthcare staff expected to be fired, as Shane Reti blames Labour for a budget defic...

    Long ReadKey Summary: Although National increased the health budget by $1.4 billion in May, they used an old funding model to project health system costs, and never bothered to update their pre-election numbers. They were told during the Health Select Committees earlier in the year their budget amount was deficient, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Might Kamala Harris be about to get a 'stardust' moment like Jacinda Ardern?

    As a momentous, historic weekend in US politics unfolded, analysts and commentators grasped for precedents and comparisons to help explain the significance and power of the choice Joe Biden had made. The 46th president had swept the Democratic party’s primaries but just over 100 days from the election had chosen ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Solutions Interview: Steven Hail on MMT & ecological economics

    TL;DR: I’m casting around for new ideas and ways of thinking about Aotearoa’s political economy to find a few solutions to our cascading and self-reinforcing housing, poverty and climate crises.Associate Professor runs an online masters degree in the economics of sustainability at Torrens University in Australia and is organising ...
    The KakaBy Steven Hail
    3 days ago
  • Reported back

    The Finance and Expenditure Committee has reported back on National's Local Government (Water Services Preliminary Arrangements) Bill. The bill sets up water for privatisation, and was introduced under urgency, then rammed through select committee with no time even for local councils to make a proper submission. Naturally, national's select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Vandrad the Viking, Christopher Coombes, and Literary Archaeology

    Some years ago, I bought a book at Dunedin’s Regent Booksale for $1.50. As one does. Vandrad the Viking (1898), by J. Storer Clouston, is an obscure book these days – I cannot find a proper online review – but soon it was sitting on my shelf, gathering dust alongside ...
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On The Biden Withdrawal

    History is not on the side of the centre-left, when Democratic presidents fall behind in the polls and choose not to run for re-election. On both previous occasions in the past 75 years (Harry Truman in 1952, Lyndon Johnson in 1968) the Democrats proceeded to then lose the White House ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    3 days ago
  • Joe Biden's withdrawal puts the spotlight back on Kamala and the USA's complicated relatio...

    This is a free articleCoverageThis morning, US President Joe Biden announced his withdrawal from the Presidential race. And that is genuinely newsworthy. Thanks for your service, President Biden, and all the best to you and yours.However, the media in New Zealand, particularly the 1News nightly bulletin, has been breathlessly covering ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Why we have to challenge our national fiscal assumptions

    A homeless person’s camp beside a blocked-off slipped damage walkway in Freeman’s Bay: we are chasing our tail on our worsening and inter-related housing, poverty and climate crises. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Existential Crisis and Damaged Brains

    What has happened to it all?Crazy, some'd sayWhere is the life that I recognise?(Gone away)But I won't cry for yesterdayThere's an ordinary worldSomehow I have to findAnd as I try to make my wayTo the ordinary worldYesterday morning began as many others - what to write about today? I began ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • A speed limit is not a target, and yet…

    This is a guest post from longtime supporter Mr Plod, whose previous contributions include a proposal that Hamilton become New Zealand’s capital city, and that we should switch which side of the road we drive on. A recent Newsroom article, “Back to school for the Govt’s new speed limit policy“, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am on Monday, July 22 are:Today’s Must Read: Father and son live in a tent, and have done for four years, in a million ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: As of 7:00 am on Monday, July 22, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:US President Joe Biden announced via X this morning he would not stand for a second term.Multinational professional services firm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 14, 2024 thru Sat, July 20, 2024. Story of the week As reflected by preponderance of coverage, our Story of the Week is Project 2025. Until now traveling ...
    4 days ago
  • I'd like to share what I did this weekend

    This weekend, a friend pointed out someone who said they’d like to read my posts, but didn’t want to pay. And my first reaction was sympathy.I’ve already told folks that if they can’t comfortably subscribe, and would like to read, I’d be happy to offer free subscriptions. I don’t want ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • For the children – Why mere sentiment can be a misleading force in our lives, and lead to unex...

    National: The Party of ‘Law and Order’ IntroductionThis weekend, the Government formally kicked off one of their flagship policy programs: a military style boot camp that New Zealand has experimented with over the past 50 years. Cartoon credit: Guy BodyIt’s very popular with the National Party’s Law and Order image, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • A friend in uncertain times

    Day one of the solo leg of my long journey home begins with my favourite sound: footfalls in an empty street. 5.00 am and it’s already light and already too warm, almost.If I can make the train that leaves Budapest later this hour I could be in Belgrade by nightfall; ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • The Chaotic World of Male Diet Influencers

    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    7 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    7 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    7 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    1 week ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    1 week ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • Kiwis having their say on first regulatory review

    After receiving more than 740 submissions in the first 20 days, Regulation Minister David Seymour is asking the Ministry for Regulation to extend engagement on the early childhood education regulation review by an extra two weeks.  “The level of interest has been very high, and from the conversations I’ve been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Government upgrading Lower North Island commuter rail

    The Coalition Government is investing $802.9 million into the Wairarapa and Manawatū rail lines as part of a funding agreement with the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), KiwiRail, and the Greater Wellington and Horizons Regional Councils to deliver more reliable services for commuters in the lower North Island, Transport Minister Simeon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Government moves to ensure flood protection for Wairoa

    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced his intention to appoint a Crown Manager to both Hawke’s Bay Regional and Wairoa District Councils to speed up the delivery of flood protection work in Wairoa."Recent severe weather events in Wairoa this year, combined with damage from Cyclone Gabrielle in 2023 have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • PM speech to Parliament – Royal Commission of Inquiry’s Report into Abuse in Care

    Mr Speaker, this is a day that many New Zealanders who were abused in State care never thought would come. It’s the day that this Parliament accepts, with deep sorrow and regret, the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.  At the heart of this report are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Government acknowledges torture at Lake Alice

    For the first time, the Government is formally acknowledging some children and young people at Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital experienced torture. The final report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State and Faith-based Care “Whanaketia – through pain and trauma, from darkness to light,” was tabled in Parliament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Government acknowledges courageous abuse survivors

    The Government has acknowledged the nearly 2,400 courageous survivors who shared their experiences during the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State and Faith-Based Care. The final report from the largest and most complex public inquiry ever held in New Zealand, the Royal Commission Inquiry “Whanaketia – through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Half a million people use tax calculator

    With a week to go before hard-working New Zealanders see personal income tax relief for the first time in fourteen years, 513,000 people have used the Budget tax calculator to see how much they will benefit, says Finance Minister Nicola Willis.  “Tax relief is long overdue. From next Wednesday, personal income ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Paid Parental Leave improvements pass first reading

    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden says a bill that has passed its first reading will improve parental leave settings and give non-biological parents more flexibility as primary carer for their child. The Regulatory Systems Amendment Bill (No3), passed its first reading this morning. “It includes a change ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Rebuilding the economy through better regulation

    Two Bills designed to improve regulation and make it easier to do business have passed their first reading in Parliament, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. The Regulatory Systems (Economic Development) Amendment Bill and Regulatory Systems (Immigration and Workforce) Amendment Bill make key changes to legislation administered by the Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • ‘Open banking’ and ‘open electricity’ on the way

    New legislation paves the way for greater competition in sectors such as banking and electricity, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly says. “Competitive markets boost productivity, create employment opportunities and lift living standards. To support competition, we need good quality regulation but, unfortunately, a recent OECD report ranked New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says lotteries for charitable purposes, such as those run by the Heart Foundation, Coastguard NZ, and local hospices, will soon be allowed to operate online permanently. “Under current laws, these fundraising lotteries are only allowed to operate online until October 2024, after which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

    The Coalition Government is accelerating work on the new four-lane expressway between Auckland and Whangārei as part of its Roads of National Significance programme, with an accelerated delivery model to deliver this project faster and more efficiently, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “For too long, the lack of resilient transport connections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

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  • 'Pacific Futures'

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    7 days ago
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