Key, Brownlee: Not Auckland’s friends

Written By: - Date published: 9:26 am, July 1st, 2013 - 41 comments
Categories: accountability, auckland supercity, Gerry Brownlee, infrastructure, john key, labour, national/act government, privatisation, Privatisation, public transport, quality of life, sustainability - Tags:

There was a big fanfare about John Key’s u-turn embrace of the Auckland City Rail Link.  But, as usual with dear leader, it was all smoke, mirrors and sleight of hand stealth of the common good.

The construction of the Central Rail Link is so far in the future, Key will be long gone and won’t have to account for its funding; there’s more immediate funding and planning going into to work on the road system; and now the pressure starts for Auckland to sell its assets (first on the block most likely the Ports of Auckland).  I urge Len Brown to hold his ground on this:

Auckland Council wants to fund its half of the project through rates rises, road charges or a combination of both, but Mayor Len Brown has ruled out selling shares in Auckland Airport and Ports of Auckland.

And I urge Phil Twyford to stay focused and to keep exposing the distortions, diversions and anti-democratic maneuverings of Key and his ministers.  Last Thursday Twyford stated,

It will take more than a U-turn on the City Rail Link to turn around the Key Government’s difficult relationship with Auckland, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford.

[…]

“This survey also highlights the fact that the majority of Aucklanders  don’t believe the Government listens to them, nor do they trust it.

“The Government’s adoption of Labour’s policy on the City Rail Link was a final capitulation to common sense after three years of obstructing and denigrating Mayor Len Brown’s flagship project.

“The survey results indicate there is clearly something rotten in the Government’s relationship with Auckland.

I hope Twyford gives the government’s transport package the sort of examination that is being done on The Auckland Transport Blog (ATB).

Like Twyford they welcome the government u-turn, but posters on the ATB are far from impressed.   Matt L looks at “the good, the bad and the ugly” of the “transport package”; welcomes the U-turn on the CRL, but is less than happy with some of the planned road projects. For instance, Matt looks at the planned the AMETI/East-West Link project, that is

 a series of projects between Panmure and Botany – most crucially including a full busway from Botany to Pakuranga and onto Panmure.

Matt sums up this project, thus,

For this reason the East West Link actually reminds me quite a lot of the Puhoi to Wellsford project. In both cases there’s a definite problem that needs to be solved but in both cases smaller scale improvements that may deliver really significant benefits are being completely ignored in favour of massively expensive and destructive motorway options – seemingly for political reasons only.

And following detailed and informative analysis, with helpful graphs and images, he ends the post with this:

Overall, as I said at the start of the post there are useful bits of the announcements (CRL aside which is obviously a massive positive) in that we might see a Northern busway extension and an AMETI busway happen faster now. But there’s also a whole heaps of “over the top” projects which are pretty unlikely to achieve lasting benefits or could be replaced by far far cheaper projects which would deliver most of the benefits at a fraction of the price.

Patrick Reynold’s post today on the ATB focuses on the funding implications. Patrick begins by outlining the scope of Auckland Transport’s Integrated Transport Plan (linked to the councils, Auckland Plan), which the government now supports.  He argues that the ITP (Integrated Transport Plan) is total “rubbish”, with the result being that,

even with the eye-watering price tag of $60+ billion the transport network’s performance gets considerably worse over the next 30 years.

The underlying reason he gives for this is that most of the funding goes to road projects.  He graphically argues that the result will be:

  • more congestion
  • an increase in Greenhouse Gas emissions 
  • little increase in use of public transport to the CBD at peak times
  • little increase in “non-car modeshare during the AM peak period across the city”

Patrick argues that under-funding public transport and related infrastructure will have negative impacts: the costs of traveling on public transport will be higher than the cost of driving, public transport journeys will take too long, and too many jobs will not be within a 60 minute public transport journey.

He finishes the post stating that over the nest few weeks “we” are going to present an alternative, environmentally-friendly plan for Auckland transport, called the Congestion Free Network.  It will cost around the same as the government’s transport package and the ITP, but will have “superior outcomes”.

Key’s Auckland Transport “U-turn” is just a new slippery strategy for over-riding Auckland democracy, selling assets, and controlling the city for the road-loving, asset stripping, profiteering 2%.  And as Anthony Robbins said:

SHOW US THE MONEY!

And on top of that, show us a plan that will use the money effectively to provide a comprehensive transport system and related infrastructure: a system that works for the good of all Aucklanders and the environment we all live in; and without selling the assets that benefit us all, for the enrichment of the 2%.

41 comments on “Key, Brownlee: Not Auckland’s friends”

  1. Wayne 1

    Ah well Karol, this is a good Green approach to Auckland transport, but how influential will the Greens be?

    I wonder where Labour stands on the roading projects? I would be surprised if Phil Twyford signs up to Patrick Reynold’s analysis of the Auckland Transport ITP.

    With so much political capital now invested in the ITP by Mayor Len and the Govt, it looks pretty much unstoppable. Maybe a little bit of change around the edges, and on timing, but that would be all.

    It would certainly be a big call for Phil Twyford (as opposed to the Greens) to back the alternative “Congestion Free Network” as opposed to the ITP.

    And in any event, is a “Congestion Free Network” a believable promise? You had better think of a more salelable title!

    • North 1.1

      What you’re really saying Wayne Boy is this:

      “Hahaha……..my old boss has stolen a march. He’s got them Catch 22…….they’re buggered whether they do or they don’t. All going according to plan. Hahaha !”

    • lprent 1.2

      The basic problem is that almost all of the transport funding for Auckland is going into roading in an area that is already congested. Problem with putting in new roads is that merely having them means that within a few years they will fill with private cars running with a single driver to beyond capacity.

      Whereas putting in an effective public transport system pulls private cars off the road, reduces or constrains congestion, and means that the major investment in roads including all of the pain of building the frigging things (a cause of congestion in its own right) is removed.

      That isn’t a ‘green’ position – that is a statement of observed fact visible in every city that has congestion problems. You can observe it quite clearly in the traffic numbers going over the Harbour Bridge right outside my door at work. The opening of northern busway stopped the rise in congestion and the reduced the numbers of instances of massive car park on the bridge that happened every other day when I was last travelling in a car over the bridge.

      So yeah, Phil Twyford and every other Auckland Labour MP will be getting the message from me that I’m going to be very unhappy if they fall for this silly deferral play from National. All it does is to cause the required public transport upgrades we need to be deferred for most of a decade and wastes money on roading that will not come close to solving the actual transport issues. What it looks like is another subsidy to the truckers and road construction industry.

      • lprent 1.2.1

        I see that I forgot the most important point in there whilst doing the polemic.

        It isn’t about “green” issues. It is about being able to get to work without it taking hours or costing a bomb.

        Roads aren’t going to help as every Aucklander not wedded to their cars is now aware. The public transport has been steadily inching towards an improvement over the last decade and a half. Even those who literally work on the other side of the city (a friend of mine is currently living in Owera and works in Onehunga – lousy for PT commutes) would prefer to have fewer other people on the roads and in buses or trains during the rush hours.

        Exactly why National is committed to putting in more roads in Auckland is a interesting question. Perhaps you can explain their religious obsession with it? Personally I’ve always put it down to a bankroll issue for the party.

        • Rob 1.2.1.1

          Its not only people that require transport. There is a huge issue of getting raw materials and finished products in and out of businesses. If you consider that requirement that underpins a successful manufacturing environment then you will start considering other requirements outside the CRL. Its amazing that the left can hold seminars on how to boost manufacturing but do not once start to even consider the blindingly obvious issue of material logistics.

          • karol 1.2.1.1.1

            Rob: Its not only people that require transport. There is a huge issue of getting raw materials and finished products in and out of businesses. […] Its amazing that the left can hold seminars on how to boost manufacturing but do not once start to even consider the blindingly obvious issue of material logistics.

            Says who? Please do some research before you make claims about what the left is or isn’t considering.

            Green MP, Julie Anne Genter, from her post on The Daily Blog, 18 June 2013, about the proposed light rail for Wellington:

            We haven’t had the option of comparing the motorway against a real alternative. What needs to be investigated is the eminently reasonable option of safety and maintenance improvements to the existing roads in the region and investment in high quality public transport options like light rail and increased commuter trains, which move more people at peak and free up the existing roads for freight and those who drive. – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/06/18/trainspotting-with-julie-anne-genter-light-rail-for-wellington/#sthash.LSoU1Tjj.dpuf

            Julie Anne Genter, during Question for Oral Answer to Bill English, on Auckland’s Transport, 16 April 2013:

            Julie Anne Genter: Given that road users and freight will benefit most from the city rail link according to all the numerous studies that have been done on this project, because it is the best option to reduce congestion, why will his Government not make it a priority, instead of its election promises to the provinces?

            Bill replied it wasn’t a government priority but discussions were continuing.

            Genter again:

            Julie Anne Genter: Given that Auckland is expected to grow by more than the entire population of Wellington by 2031, why is his Government not prioritising smart infrastructure like this city rail link, which will unlock the capacity of our existing rail asset and take tens of thousands of cars off the road at peak time, giving Aucklanders real choices and freeing up the roads for freight and commercial traffic?

    • karol 1.3

      Wayne, anything other than a congestion free network is short sighted. It may seem to people on the North Shore, still focused on extended spaces of quarter acre sections, that a few road upgrades and a second harbour crossing will do the trick.

      Here in the west, we are seeing the increasing need for compact housing with the necessary infrastructure and easy commutes to accessible jobs. Only a comprehensive plan, including less focus on cars and more focus on affordable public transport, will do the trick.

      These days I think twice about a trip into Auckland CBD, and mainly only do so in conjunction with work. It’s time-consuming, expensive (with or without the car) and public transport (my preferred option) is way to slow and uncertain to be fit for the future.

      With the focus on New Lynn as a hub and transport-centre; and the intensification of the Massey area, there is a major need for investment in public transport, plus the infrastrsucture that supports walking and cycling.

      And there also should be a parallel focus on revitalising the regions, rather than just going with the idea of the inevitable exponential growth of Auckland.

      • lprent 1.3.1

        Fixing the ticketing systems on the train stations would be a good start from the sound of it. But there are a quite a few people out that way using the train these days.

        But at present, I’m just hanging out for the integrated ticketing system aka AT Hop to get on buses. Steven Joyce screwing up the introduction of it by intervening in favour of his mates at Infratil and then them managing to “fail” to integrate while they recovered their software investment in Snapper has delayed a integrated ticketing system by several years. One of those classic boondoggles of corporate whining and a useless and ineffective minister that listened rather than using their brains.

        I’m tired of carrying cash as being the only way I can jump around public transport

        • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1

          Steven Joyce screwing up the introduction of it by intervening in favour of his mates at Infratil and then them managing to “fail” to integrate while they recovered their software investment in Snapper has delayed a integrated ticketing system by several years.

          It was a balls up and Joyce should have been fired for it but the AT Hop should be on buses this year.

          The bit that’s irritating me about it is that the government isn’t declaring the AT Hop as a national, and open, standard. Doing that would ensure that the card could be used around the country.

          I’m tired of carrying cash as being the only way I can jump around public transport

          The more I think about it the more I think cash has come to the end of its use.

  2. North 2

    ShonKey Python to his masters: “Trust me gentlemen – we’ll deliver you up New Zealand. It may not happen overnight but it will happen.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10893978

    To the following idiots:

    – aspirationalists

    – cargo-cultists

    – “I’m alright Jack”

    – entitled “I’m better than you” snobs

    – beneficiary bashers

    – “Maori and Poly should get off their arse”

    – “sovereignty” is extreme Left

    – “democracy is well served in a triennial ritual”

    – “nothing to hide nothing to fear”

    – vainglorious while docile media

    All of you are to blame.

    All of you have been clipped. All of you have rolled over to the disingenuous, effete smile of a calculated liar.

    So when the heisters take the loot and fuck off to Hawaii with their knighthoods, when you too feel the cruel consequences, you’d better not redouble your morally indefensible reflex to demonise those down the food chain, the poor, the vulnerable.

    You do that and you’ll get it back in your face, hard. And you’ll richly deserve it.

    “It may not happen overnight but it will happen !”

    • muzza 2.1

      One way or another, the owners of the monetary system, the ultimate owners of all the debt, both private, and public, will get hold of, everything!

      Its a mathematical certainty, the variable, as North points out, is time!

      The constitutional revue, will tell a little more about how some of the *native barriers*, will be removed.

      NZ has shown that it will roll over, and indeed that is what is going on, right now.

      This country, is now so far into dangerous territory, damage control, is about the most there is left to fight for.

      Most don’t even know they’re in the scap yet!

    • Tim 2.2

      @ North – beautifully expressed!

  3. All this expensive transport infrastructure is bullshit facing global warming.
    Tunnels flood, motorways drown. Capitalist hubris.
    What’s needed are dykes and canals.

    • karol 3.1

      This dyke reporting for duty, rr.

      But, on the serious side, I think it’s a pity they never followed through the old plan to put a canal through Auckland (from around Green Bay, I think?) to the east coast.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        You’re thinking of Portage Road where boats used to be portaged across from one side to the other. I suspect shipping advances outstripped the plan to turn it into a canal and the Manukau Harbour is somewhat dangerous for shipping due to all the moving sandbanks.

        • karol 3.1.1.1

          Well the Portage route would be the shortest route. I’m not sure why it was not followed through, but I think it was maybe cost and the fact that roads and rail started to take off back in the early 20th century.

          I wasn’t thinking of it being use for shipping, but for smaller craft – public transport and freight.

  4. BLiP 4

    You gotta bear in mind with John Key that every portfolio he has, he’s fucked it up and lied about it, from the full-length of the country concrete cycleway to SkyCity, from BMWs to GCSB.

  5. fambo 5

    National man talk with forked tongue (apologies to Indigenous Americans and snakes)

  6. North 6

    Get Brownlee masquerading as Sergeant Schultz. Good enough for an Oscar except that Schultz was generally short on bombast.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10893978

  7. Coronial Typer 7

    So you’ve got $10 billion to spend.

    How would you transform Auckland better than this?

    Be entrepeneurial. Imagine anything you like.

    • QoT 7.1

      Subway system, pedestrian-and-tram-only Queen Street, commuter ferries from downtown to Mission Bay/Takapuna/Te Atatu. Symonds/Hobson/Nelson to form a public transport loop, congestion charge for private commuter vehicles within that zone.

      And free entry to Kelly Tarltons.

      Disclaimer: haven’t been an Aucklander for some years now …

      • karol 7.1.1

        I like the car-less Queen Street idea.

        More buses connecting with the trains.

        Just more focus on public transport, and pedestrians before cars, instead of motor traffic being given the main consideration.

        I am pretty sick of having to go all around the houses, and wait at a series of traffic lights, to get to a train station. And busy streets with no crossings near a bus station on the other side of the street.

        And why are there no change machines? I have used them in other countries.

        As Lynn indicates @ 1.3.1 above when I travel on buses it’s hard to always have the right change.

        See the article in the NZ Herald about the whole big note and bus issue. I’ve had a bad reaction from a bus driver when I’ve produced a $20 note. Sometimes it’s all the cash you have.

        At the weekend, waiting for a bus at a transport centre, there was a guy going around all the other people waiting, asking for change for a $20 note. No-one seemed to have spare change of that amount.

        There should be a change machine at every transport centre, even with a working transferable Hop card system.

        • QoT 7.1.1.1

          Oooh, transferable fare cards are a definite must. Especially ones which can be topped up en route (trying to find a Snapper top-up place in some parts of Wellington is a nightmare.)

  8. Wayne (a different one) 8

    “Gazumped” yet again – the left looking totally bewildered..

    • karol 8.1

      Actually, John Key’s attempt to spin his dodgy transport package, with it’s yawning gaps, and diversionary claims, is a sign of him being in panic mode because he knows Aucklanders want better public transport.

      • McFlock 8.1.1

        To tell the truth, though, I was a bit bewildered – by Wayne’s comment.
        Each to their own reality, I guess…

  9. tsmithfield 9

    Given the timing of the projects, Key doesn’t have to show the money at all. In fact, if the left believe that they will be in power at that point, maybe the left should be explaining how the projects will be paid for.

    • Murray Olsen 9.1

      Thank you for making your double standard explicit. I propose a free Parnell mansion for everyone, within the next year. If the right believe they will be in power during that time, they have to explain how they’re going to pay for it. Ooh, I like this silly game.

      • tsmithfield 9.1.1

        The fact is there is enough money to pay for the projects over the time span of the projects (unlike the rather silly example you gave). It is just a matter of determining priorities.

        So, would the left pay for the projects by shifting existing money around, or would they borrow more and tax more to pay for the projects. Or would they dump them altogether, or substantially modify them?

        • felix 9.1.1.1

          So does Key have to say how he’d pay for it or not?

          • tsmithfield 9.1.1.1.1

            No.

            • felix 9.1.1.1.1.1

              But Labour does?

              • tsmithfield

                The left appear to see the difficulties in funding the projects. By implication, they will have difficulty funding with projects within their own set of priorities. So, if they anticipate being in government at the time of the projects, they should be saying what they will do about them and how they will fund them.

                Anyway, I have already heard Key say, in a general sense, how they will be paid for. Given the projects are projected to start in 2020, it is silly to try and be more specific than that.

                • felix

                  So that’s a “yes” then.

                  National don’t have to say how they’ll fund things, Labour do. Righto.

                  • tsmithfield

                    Sigh….

                    I would be quite satisfied if the left were to say something like:

                    “given the length of time to the project, and the duration over which they take place, it is unrealistic to put firm numbers to the project at this stage. However, it would be our intention to follow through with the projects which would be funded through a combination of taxes and borrowing.”

                    I heard Key say pretty much exactly that on the radio the other day, and is no more than I would expect from any political party given the time frames being considered.

                    However, if the left are demanding a precise explanation of how the projects are to be funded, then they should show how they would do it, or if they would do it at all. If they can’t do this, then why are they carping on at National?

                    • felix

                      You said Key doesn’t have to say how he’ll pay for his spending promise.

                      Then you said Labour does have to.

                      Dress it up however you like, facts is facts.

                    • tsmithfield

                      National has already given an adequate statement about this IMO. They don’t need to say it again. If Labour wants to commit on a similar basis, then fine. However, if they want to demand more of National, they should be prepared to put up themselves first.

  10. karol 10

    Excellent post by Julie Anne Genter just up on The Daily Blog, and on the government’s Auckland transport plan.

    Some points she makes relevant to the discussions above:

    At an expensive luncheon put on by the Chamber of Commerce (held at Sky City, of course) the PM announced that central government would be getting behind most of the transport projects in the Auckland Plan. The vast majority are expensive, and unhelpful, highway projects.

    How any of these projects will be funded has still not been explained, and rail still isn’t the priority. Key and Brownlee are talking about a 2020 start date. Never mind that buses will be over capacity by 2021 without the CRL. National hope to take credit for a popular project, without actually committing any funding to make it happen.

    This is clearly a vote-winning exercise, done to placate the big Auckland business interests who will benefit from the project. Unfortunately, they still haven’t grasped the critical paradigm shift – spending billions on new highway capacity isn’t going to help congestion or reduce transport costs. It will make things worse.

    Today at an Auckland Mayoral Conversation event, Edward Glaeser, a Harvard economist (not known for being left wing or an environmental extremist) made exactly this point. The fundamental law of road congestion is that if you build more highway lanes, people drive more. This incurs all sorts of additional costs, including but not limited to: congestion, forced vehicle ownership, need for parking, high fuel use, associated environmental costs and crashes.

    […]
    Freight only makes up about 7% of vehicles at any given time, and 1% at peak. We have plenty of roads for freight and other commercial vehicles, the issue is commuters.
    What about buses? Don’t they need roads? Obviously buses don’t need extra highway capacity – they need priority on our existing roads. And if we make them reliable and effective, we won’t need as much highway capacity.

    Aucklanders aren’t wedded to their cars – it’s an abusive relationship they have been consigned to by successive decades of car-centric transport policy.
    […]

    John Key and the National Government still do not seem any closer to providing real transport choice, even if they have realised that rail might be popular in Auckland. Their concession is a win for rational transport in the public discourse, but to get the urgent rail investment we need, New Zealanders will almost certainly need to vote in a new government next year. – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/07/02/national-the-new-champions-of-auckland-rail/#sthash.R5jXRgL0.dpuf

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    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    4 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    4 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    4 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
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  • Extra support for rural families
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  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
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