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Kelvin Davis on Christmas Island

Written By: - Date published: 11:55 am, October 19th, 2015 - 39 comments
Categories: australian politics, crime, human rights - Tags: , , ,

Yesterday I wrote about our lack of influence on Australia on the detention and deportation of Kiwis. Today Key is trying to dress up Aussie platitudes as scraps of progress. But Labour MP Kelvin Davis is taking action:

Christmas Island ‘just like a prison’

Mr Davis is on the island, more than 2500 kilometres northwest of Perth, where about 40 New Zealanders are being held in detention.

Christmas Island was like a bush-covered rock in the ocean, with a hot humid climate and the compound the detainees were in looked just like a prison, he said.

“There’s big fences with razor wire, there’s buildings that look just like a prison in New Zealand – these guys are prisoners, the difference being that they don’t know when their sentence is going to end. It could be tomorrow, it could be in three years time and there are people who have literally been there for three years.”

Mr Davis said he hadn’t been able to get inside the detention centre yet, but he said he had been told the situation inside was not good.

He rejected Prime Minister John Key’s assertion that his trip there was a political stunt, saying his intention had been to draw attention to the plight of kiwis in detention, which is what he said he had done. …

Might be worth watching TV3 News tonight (for a change).

39 comments on “Kelvin Davis on Christmas Island”

  1. Kevin 1

    I bit like Gitmo without the waterboarding.

  2. Tracey 2

    Key: You tell everyone how great I am and how much your and everyone in Australia admires my economic management?

    Turnbull: And I will pretend how hard you pushed me.

    Key: You really do live up to your name!

  3. RedLogix 3

    Someone needs to check their own Agreements:

    ANZCERTA—its genesis and the present

    The first trade agreement between Australia and New Zealand dates back to 1922, and essentially stated that each party would trade with the other. This was followed by the Australia New Zealand Trade Agreement in 1933, by which the two countries gave each other preferences and some special rates of duty. A partial free trade treaty, the New Zealand Australia Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), entered into force in 1966, leading to the removal of tariffs and quantitative restrictions on 80 per cent of trans-Tasman trade by the late-1970s. Because NAFTA was not structured to address the changing international economic environment and because it lacked an effective mechanism for removing remaining restrictions, Australia and New Zealand agreed to develop a more open bilateral trading system.

    The objectives of ANZCERTA are to:

    strengthen the broader relationship between Australia and New Zealand
    develop closer economic relations between the Member States through a mutually beneficial expansion of free trade between New Zealand and Australia
    eliminate barriers to trade between Australia and New Zealand in a gradual and progressive manner under an agreed timetable and with a minimum of disruption
    develop trade between New Zealand and Australia under conditions of fair competition.

    Since 1 July 1990, all goods meeting ANZCERTA Rules of Origin criteria can be traded across the Tasman free of duty and quantitative import restrictions.

    The Trade in Services Protocol brought services into ANZCERTA from January 1989 allowing most services to be traded free of restriction across the Tasman with limited exclusions which were last reviewed 2014.

    ANZCERTA has underpinned a strong growth in trade across the Tasman with an annual average growth in two-way trade in goods of 6.7 per cent, from 1983 to 2014. New Zealand is currently Australia’s sixth largest trading partner, ninth largest source of foreign investment and third most important destination for Australian investment abroad.

    Over the 32 years of CER, the composition of trade between Australia and New Zealand has changed dramatically, reflecting changes in technology, competitiveness, domestic industry structure, trade liberalisation and consumer demand.

    ANZCERTA forms the foundation of a broader economic and trade relationship with New Zealand. It is supplemented by more than 80 government-to-government bilateral treaties, protocols and other arrangements—covering trade and the movement of people, investment, aviation, business law coordination, mutual recognition of goods and professions, taxation, health care, social security, superannuation portability, food standards and government procurement.

    http://www.austrade.gov.au/Australian/Export/Free-Trade-Agreements/ANZCERTA

    While CER (as it is commonly known) was primarily a trade agreement – there was always clearly a ‘free travel between the countries’ component, not unlike the same provisions in the EU.

    The problem for NZ is that the agreement has never properly addressed the rights of New Zealanders working in Australia under the broad cover of CER. Because most of them do not vote in either country, both governments have failed to do much to protect their interests.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      Kelvin is doing great work – and deserves much stronger backing from Labour back home. And while this human story is important – I’d argue we need to see it in the context of how we want to evolve the broader CER arrangement.

      NZ is an important economic partner of Australia – and in that context we have plenty of strings to pull if they don’t want to play nice.

      • KK 3.1.1

        Kelvin was sent there by Andrew Little as his Corrections spokesperson, because Andrew was in NZ meeting Malcolm Turnbull at the time. Jodi Ihaka who is supporting Kelvin (see tweets in post) is a staff member from Andrew Little’s office.

        Not sure what you’re on about. These days it’s people always attacking Labour on this site without basic facts.

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.1

          As an outsider looking in it appears that Kelvin is making this trip – out there on his own. I’m delighted to accept your comment at face value – but that’s not how it’s looking in public right now.

          • KK 3.1.1.1.1

            Lesson there about not jumping to conclusions I guess.

          • Ed 3.1.1.1.2

            It certainly make me ask just what help he could (and perhaps should) be getting from the New Zealand government. This is a member of the New Zealand Parliament wanting to talk to New Zealand Citizens. If it not a prison, why should there be a problem?

            What is our New Zealand embassy doing to help these citizens – being held in detention against their will with no charges against them?

            New Zealand could be doing better – the question has to be whether our government is asking our representatives in Australia to avoid helping those unfortunate to be in prison without trial.

  4. Bill 4

    I’m half remembering NZ deported two Indian children a few years back. It was covered by Campbell Live. I believe they were going to wind up in the slums of Mumbai. I can’t find links, but found this one about Hemani Mall that seems similar.

    Hemani eventually won her case.

    Then there’s the case of Nicole Mihai who married a kiwi, had a child, separated and was then told she was to be deported but couldn’t take her two year old with her.

    And so it goes on and on.

    So, some questions.
    Are people upset because people are being deported? Or are people upset that people are being sent to detention camps?

    And if people are upset at Kiwis being deported from Australia, are they as up in arms when NZ deports people? Then again, if it’s the detention center angle that people find unpalatable, are they as concerned for all the other people banged up on Manus and Nauru as they are for the Kiwis on Christmas?

    • mpledger 4.1

      If these NZers had gone to Australia and then committed some terrible crime (rape, murder, aggravated assault) than I would have no problem with Australia sending them back to NZ. And I have no problem with people being sent back who went their illegally.

      But Australia has gone after people who have really minor offenses, people who have lived the majority of their lives in Australia, people who went there when they were very young and people who had lived a valuable life since committing the crime many years ago.

      The retrospective nature of the law is totally unjust – some of these people might not have committed a crime if they had known that the consequences were going to be deportation to a country they had no memory of and where they know noone. There was one guy who committed arson with his boss so his boss could get the insurance money – it’s incredibly likely that the boss was the instigator and planner and the employee just went out of misplaced loyalty but he’s getting detained and then, most likely, sent to NZ, away from his family and extended family.

      The fact that they don’t let people live in the community while their deportation order and appeals are sorted out is diabolical – it robs their family of any income that the person could be earning to support the family and it robs the children of time with a parent. It robs the person of access to quality legal advice.

      Given Australia’s history of the forced removal of children from their families, you’d think they’d have learned. But, it’s going to bight them on the ass when all these Australian kids of NZ parent/s grow up deprived of a parent because of their own government.

      NZ should not allow NZers to go to Australia except for 2 week holidays, once a year. The Ozzies might start realising the benefits that NZ workers bring to their economy and feel guilty about how they have been shafting them.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        Hmm. So thanks for that. I honestly expected to just sit watching tumbleweed while ‘waiting’ for any response to that comment.

        But here’s the thing. Did you view the link on Hemani Mall? Had lived here her whole life and was slated to be gone. Or the link to Nicole Mihai – told she’s being deported but not allowed to take her child?

        No crimes or offences committed by Hemani. And Nicole only unfortunate enough to have a broken relationship.

        These are NZ cases, not isolated, and not at all a million miles away in essence from the Oz ones. In fact, it could be argued that NZ is acting more atrociously than Oz is – at least over the highlighted cases from there.

        Sure, the detention camps are another layer of shit thrown at those people. But as I asked in the original comment, if the outrage is at the camps, then is it to be reserved for Kiwis while others on Nauru or Manus are to be damned to twist in the breeze by public indifference?

        • weka 4.1.1.1

          I don’t think the ‘layer’ is as incidental as that, I think it’s the main point. If you put up a story like Nicole Mihai’s only set in Australia and about a NZ woman, I think most people would find both stories equally shocking and unjust. If one of those women also got put in detention indefinitely, I think you’d find most people would judge the stories differently.

          Not sure that Nauru is comparable either.

        • mpledger 4.1.1.2

          My post was long enough as it was so I stopped.

          The problem is, with both cases, that rewarding people who have children born in NZ with residency, when they have no entitlement otherwise, encourages others to try and do the same. NZ citizenship is a great gift and NZers should have the sole right to bestow it, not have it taken by those willing to break the law to get it.

          In both cases, the people knew a priori that they didn’t have the right to be here. If they wanted residency they should have gone about it properly.

          This is different to the NZers in OZ case. The NZers had a legitimate right to be in OZ and it’s only a change in policy in the last year that has changed the ball game.

          (However, in the case of Nicole Mihai, I think she should be allowed to stay since her child can not leave with her and she is the primary care giver and so the benefit to her NZ son should tip the balance. )

    • So, some questions.
      Are people upset because people are being deported? Or are people upset that people are being sent to detention camps?

      Australia has every right to deport NZ citizens with criminal records, and it’s none of the NZ government’s business. So, not the first one. However, no country has the right to detain people indefinitely without charge, and a country doing it to NZ citizens is very much the NZ government’s business, and NZ’s Prime Minister should be roasting his counterpart publicly in the media for it but hasn’t been because he’s a piece-of-shit corporate weasel masquerading as a prime minister. So, the second one then.

      • Bill 4.2.1

        So, the second one then.

        And does your anger extend to the adults and children from other countries being held in remote island detention camps by Australia, or does empathy shut down at the edges of ‘Kiwi-ism’?

        • sabine 4.2.1.1

          yes.

        • Psycho Milt 4.2.1.2

          Depends how you define anger. The fact that Australian governments of whatever stripe treat refugees appallingly is disgusting, but at a fairly abstract level, given that we aren’t Australians. The NZ government staying quiet while NZers get the same treatment is disgusting on a much more visceral level, if you’re a NZer yourself.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Yup – but it was the comment thread under the Guardian story which is interesting.

      Many of the comments were more sympathetic to NZ than we are to ourselves.

  5. Bea Brown 7

    What is Kelvin Davis trying to achieve?
    How will it help Labour?
    Who is footing the bill?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      He can be reached through Labour’s website – why don’t you ask him?

      I’m glad he’s there, if only to demonstrate that not all New Zealanders have National Party values.

    • Tracey 7.2

      You’re right, it would be more appropriate for the PM to go, but he has ruled it out. probably needs plausible deniability of the treatment of NZ citizens which he would lose if he visited.

    • mpledger 7.3

      To shine a light on the shabby treatment that NZers are getting at the hands of the Australians – IIRC the Australians aren’t allowed to report on conditions at these detention camps by law.

      Who knows how it will help Labour. It will help people – isn’t that the point of politics.

      The same people who foot the bill of all MPs travel that is work related. And I am happy to pay for it – forcing people into camps who have already served their time for crimes they have committed is unjust. They should be at large in the community where they can be of benefit to their family until all proceedings have ended.

    • RedLogix 7.4

      Kelvin is doing what successive NZ govts have totally failed to do – promoting and protecting the rights of New Zealanders who are living and working in Australia as they are entitled to do under the CER arrangements.

      Successive NZ and Australian govts have found it convenient to erase these people from their calculations because they have been marginalised from the political process. Very often though, the right thing to do is not necessarily in ones own best interests. Sometimes doing the right thing takes a conscience and some guts.

    • Grindlebottom 7.5

      I think it’s a bit of a stunt to be honest but it’s a worthwhile one if it focuses attention on these detention centres that seem to be dreadful places bloody dreadful places.

  6. Grindlebottom 8

    I’m unhappy about the [reported] automatic cancellation of special category visas and deportation of kiwis who’ve served (or been sentenced to) jail sentences of a year or more if they’ve lived there for longer than 10 years. Because we don’t deport aussie citizens in the same circumstances after 10 years.

    I’m also opposed to keeping kiwis (and others) in detention centres pending resolution of their appeals against deportation.

    If they’ve spent less than 10 years in either country and they’ve committed serious or repeated offences, I’m ok with their being booted back to their country of citizenship, subject to appeal on humanitarian grounds.

    I’m also not happy about the Aussies holding asylum seekers in detention on Manus and Nauru where “…both centres have been plagued by allegations of assault, rape and poor health care. Detainees suffer psychologically from the ongoing and endless uncertainty about their future.” I’d maybe be less aggravated by it if their detention centres were in Australia, more humanely run, their cases were speedily decided, and if they were granted asylum in Australia if their cases were approved. We haven’t had to face the same problem the Aussies did with ever-increasing boatloads of people-smuggled asylum seekers so I don’t feel so strongly about detaining such people while their identities and circumstances are checked out.

    • Bill 8.1

      Well, that’s a bit of a genuine relief.

      Thank fuck that at least someone is willing to explicitly join the dots and view matters in a wider context and under the auspices of ‘people’ rather than putting blinkers on to exclude anything ‘peripheral’ to Kiwis and what’s happening to them. – thankyou –

      By the way, your link is busted. I’ve fixed it, but am also indulging a piece of shameless re-cycling with this one.

      • Grindlebottom 8.1.1

        Thanks for fixing the link. Have had continual probs trying to do short links. Not sure what I’m doing wrong.

      • weka 8.1.2

        Thank fuck that at least someone is willing to explicitly join the dots and view matters in a wider context and under the auspices of ‘people’ rather than putting blinkers on to exclude anything ‘peripheral’ to Kiwis and what’s happening to them. – thankyou –

        I’m not sure about the blinkers bit/peripheral bit. I think putting people in detention for immigration issues is wrong full stop, wherever they are and wherever they’ve come from. I also understand why some NZers will be more shocked by the treatment of the NZers in question than other immigrants. This is because NZ and Australia have traditionally had a close enough relationship that means that this kind of thing would not be expected. Many NZers also have family or close friends that live there.

        It’s not about excluding anything or making it peripheral, it’s about the natural human characteristic of feeling more for the people you are close to. That’s a different thing than one’s politics, and the challenge there is for people to prioritise their politics according to justice not personal feeling alone.

        • Grindlebottom 8.1.2.1

          Sometimes there could be issues warranting detention. If someone being deported or told to leave voluntarily for good cause absconds, for example, and is subsequently located. Or if someone enters the country as an asylum seeker or on a legitimate visa with a false identity & subsequently turns out to be a serious criminal, security risk, or terrorist.

          Was just reading this review of New Zealand’s approach to detaining asylum seekers. While it expresses concerns about a recent amendment to the Immigration Act 2009 allowing detention of any “mass arrival” asylum seekers, on the whole NZ doesn’t detain many asylum seekers in secure facilities (the only secure facilities we have are police stations or prisons). NZ releases most into the community with conditions, as soon as possible, or uses “open detention” in non-secure facilities like the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre while their refugee or protected person status claims are determined.
          http://www.globaldetentionproject.org/countries/asia-pacific/new-zealand/introduction.html

          • weka 8.1.2.1.1

            I take your point. I suppose the issue is about how humane systems are, and lessening the need for indefinite detention unless absolutely necessary (eg for people arriving here illegally who have histories of violent crimes).

            For people that have been living here for a long time, I think there are better solutions than detention centres.

            Thanks for the overview of the NZ situation, that’s helpful.

  7. infused 9

    In this case, I think NZ should match their actions.

  8. Grindlebottom 10

    Here’s John Key’s latest thoughts – kiwis in detention centres appealing against their deportation should just come home, tomorrow while their appeals are determined.

    Don’t think he’d have too many takers. I suspect many will be suspicious about their chances of being allowed back in to Oz once they’ve left the lucky country.

  9. RedLogix 11

    The point Key is missing totally is that NZ is no longer ‘home’ for many of these people.

    Gordon Campbell makes the extraordinary point that the change in the deportation rules was passed through the Australian Federal Parliament with the justification that it was to be used to target ISIS extremists and potential terrorists.

    The justification for this brutal treatment? Incredibly, these New Zealanders and their children are being lumped together with Islamic State as a threat to Australian society. (So much for being Anzac brothers.) In Australia, the immigration crackdown was supposed to enable would-be jihadis (and their funders and recruitment agents) who held dual citizenship to be deported from Australia. It would be entirely possible for the Australians to distinguish between terrorists and their accomplices on one hand, and New Zealanders resident in Australia with their families on the other. To date, the Aussies have shown no interest in doing so.

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2015/10/13/gordon-campbell-on-our-inability-to-stand-up-to-australia/

    Key has been humiliated – he talks up the ANZAC family thing – and gets pissed on.

    • Grindlebottom 11.1

      Key has been humiliated – he talks up the ANZAC family thing – and gets pissed on.

      He not only gets pissed on, he turns round and shakes it off on us.

      Good on Gordon Campbell for that bit of background.

      • RedLogix 11.1.1

        This whole issue shows up the awful flaws of the entire SCV444 scheme. The entire thing is a misbegotten crock with a contradiction at it’s heart.

        The SCV444 which is the visa which allows New Zealanders to live in Australia on indefinitely is described as a ‘temporary visa’.

        It shows up when you go to apply for the Medicare card (which you absolutely need to access any health providers at all) – you are asked to sign a “Statutory Declaration” that you intend to stay in Australia ‘permanently’. Which given that the visa which allows you to be here is described as ‘temporary’ – doesn’t make a lot of sense.

        What it boils down to is that the Australian govt treats you as permanent for tax purposes – and temporary for pretty much all others.

        And it’s how we finish up with people who are effectively Australians – having lived there all their lives – but can be ejected from the country on a bureaucratic whim.

        One of the core elements of the original CER agreement back in 1966 was the ‘free movement of people’ between the countries. Clearly time and circumstance have moved on – and the current rules are a distortion of how most Australians and New Zealanders regard the relationship.

        New Zealand is an economy at least as large as the state of Victoria – and we are a major economic partner of Australia. Despite what many people think we do matter to Australia in many ways – but we have allowed ourselves to be politically neutered – we have no political leverage in Canberra. There is the root of the problem.

  10. savenz 12

    +1 to send Davis by Labour. Good move for justice and highlighting the problem.

    Nice to see some action.

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  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    1 week ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    1 week ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    1 week ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Should I ditch my fossil-fueled car?
    Yes. Reducing the number of cars in your household, or switching from petrol/diesel to electric, will dramatically reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. It’s one of the easiest and highest-impact climate steps you can take. New Zealand is being flooded with cars The New Zealand vehicle fleet is increasing rapidly. In ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Planet History: Taking Tea with Quentin
    This interview with Quentin Crisp is part of a series of articles republished from Planet, the independent magazine I edited in the early 90s from a base at 309 Karangahape Road, along with Grant Fell, Rachael Churchward, Fiona Rae, David Teehan, Mere Ngailevu and others.Inevitably, you forget things, and over ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #1, 2020
    Supply Side How are we doing with CO2 emissions? It's an important question, increasingly posed to a mixed bag of CO2 contributors who may or may not provide accurate reportage. Liu et al present a new, additional means of measurement based on satellite observations of nitrogen dioxide co-emitted from ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Donald Trump’s strategic gamble
    There’s a meme going around the Internet at the moment claiming that Donald Trump is a bit of an idiot. To outside eyes it does seem as though the President of the United States thumbs his nose at his own countries laws and administration far too often to be taken ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Is the prostitute the seller or the sold?
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman, Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the third part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna Whitmore. Part 1 was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • The climate crisis is also a biodiversity crisis
    Dr Andrea Byrom Like many of us, the summer break has seen me transfixed with horror at the scale and magnitude of the bushfire crisis in Australia. As an ecologist, I can’t help but be appalled at the loss of some of Australia’s most beautiful ecosystems and landscapes. And ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Apathy in the face of disaster
    Warning: This article contains topics that might trigger right wing snowflakes!Unless you’ve had your head buried in a billabong for the last four months you’d of heard about the Australian bush fires. The fires have been unprecedented, with approximately five million hectares (12.35 million acres) of land burned nationwide. More ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Jeremy Clarkson – God is an arsonist
    You've really got to wonder if Jeremy Clarkson is worshiping the right deity? I mean thinking that Australia is somehow deserving of the calamity that has befallen it in the form of unprecedented bush fires is one thing, but claiming God intentionally likes to cause people and animals immeasurable pain ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour opposes leisure
    Finland's new Prime Minister has made headlines by pushing for a 4-day week. So what does new Zealand's "centre-left" government think? Nope. They'd rather people kept working themselves into misery and death:The Government does not plan to follow Finland's lead to encourage businesses to offer staff a four-day week. [...] ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Who’s afraid of the non-native accent? Everyone … unless you tell them about it
    As someone who learnt English late-ish in life, I was always on the look-out for signs which betray my foreignness, afraid that my clumsy mispronunciation or syntactic misalignment will give away my outsider status. And for once, sadly, my worries were well-founded it seems. It’s bad, prejudice is rife! In ...
    SciBlogsBy Andreea Calude
    3 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    4 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    5 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    6 days ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    7 days ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    1 week ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Mark expresses “absolute confidence” in NZDF forces stationed in Iraq
    While feeling worried about increased Middle East tensions, Defence Minister Ron Mark said he had "absolute confidence" in New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) leadership. His statements come as the fate of Kiwi troops stationed in Iraq comes under intense scrutiny. Forty-five Defence Force personnel were thought to be in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • ‘No Body, No Parole’ Bill is pointless dog-whistling
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order National MP Tim Macindoe Member’s Bill, Concealment of Location of Victim Remains Bill does not do what he claims. The Bill specifies a requirement for the Parole Board to only “consider” denying parole if an offender refuses to disclose the location of the body. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Hon. Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
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