Key’s Venezuelan snub

Written By: - Date published: 8:07 am, March 8th, 2013 - 277 comments
Categories: International, john key, Minister for International Embarrassment, Minister for Overseas Holidays - Tags:

John Key’s decision to not attend Hugo Chavez’s funeral is a snub of a major trade partner at a crucial time. Remember, this junket’s justification is that, for some reason, Key’s presence in these countries will improve trade. But, in snubbing Venezuela, he is insulting our largest export destination in South America – our second largest export destination for milk powder. Venezuela matters more than all the countries Key is visiting combined.

And it is a snub that will be noticed. It’s not like Key is in Wellington doing his job. While the funeral is on, Key will be kicking his heels in a hotel somewhere while the people he is there to meet are at the funeral. Isn’t that weird?

Key will arrive to visit the Chilean President but he’s off to Venezuela that day and says to Key ‘why don’t you come to – they’re a much more import trade partner for you and, as a more centralised economy, staying the good books of their government matters?’ and Key’s like ‘nah, I’ll just wait in your country until you get back’.

The only reason Key wouldn’t go is because Chavez was a successful Left leader and Key can’t see beyond their ideological differences.

And, as for the claims that Chavez was some kind of dictator. He’s more a democratic than Key – who’s imposed dictatorship in Canterbury. The Independent notes:

Over the coming days, you will be repeatedly told that Hugo Chavez was a dictator. A funny sort of dictator: there have been 17 elections and referenda since 1998. Perhaps you think they were rigged. When he won by a huge margin in 2006, former US President Jimmy Carter was among those declaring he had won “fairly and squarely”.

At the last election in October 2012, Carter declared that, “of the 92 elections that we’ve monitored, I would say the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world.” I was there: perhaps you think I was like those hopelessly naïve Western leftists who visited Potemkin villages in Stalinist Russia.

I was with a genuinely independent election commission, staffed with both pro-Chavez and anti-Chavez sympathisers, who had previously been invited by the opposition to run their own internal elections. We met with senior opposition figures who railed against Chavez, but acknowledged that they lived in a democracy. When they lost the election, they accepted it.

Indeed, Chavez himself has had to accept defeat before: back in 2007, he lost a referendum campaign, and did not quibble with the results. Until he came to power, millions of poor Venezuelans were not even registered to vote: but dramatic registration drives have nearly doubled the electorate. There are 6,000 more polling stations than there were in the pre-Chavez era.

On the other hand, the democratic credentials of many of his opponents can certainly be questioned. In 2002, a Pinochet-style coup was launched against Chavez, and was only reversed by a popular uprising. Much of the privately owned media openly incited and supported the coup: imagine Cameron was kicked out of No 10 by British generals, with the support and incitement of rolling 24-hour news stations. But Venezuela’s media is dominated by private broadcasters, some of whom make Fox News look like cuddly lefties. State television could rightly be accused of bias towards the government, which is perhaps why it has a measly 5.4 per cent audience share. Of seven major national newspapers, five support the opposition, and only one is sympathetic to the government.

The truth is that Chavez won democratic election after democratic election, despite the often vicious hostility of the media

Or maybe Key just doesn’t want to be reminded what a real leader can do:

his policies transformed the lives of millions of previously ignored Venezuelans. Poverty has fallen from nearly half to 27.8 per cent, while absolute poverty has been more than halved. Six million children receive free meals a day; near-universal free health care has been established; and education spending has doubled as a proportion of GDP. A housing programme launched in 2011 built over 350,000 homes, bringing hundreds of thousands of families out of sub-standard housing in thebarrios. Some of his smug foreign critics suggest Chavez effectively bought the votes of the poor – as though winning elections by delivering social justice is somehow bribery.

Speaking of smug critics, you would think this next passage was satire, but it actually shows the mindset of the elite:

Chavez invested Venezuela’s oil wealth into social programs including state-run food markets, cash benefits for poor families, free health clinics and education programs. But those gains were meager compared with the spectacular construction projects that oil riches spurred in glittering Middle Eastern cities, including the world’s tallest building in Dubai and plans for branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums in Abu Dhabi.

Here’s the response to that nonsense from Jim Naureckus of fair.org:

That’s right: Chavez squandered his nation’s oil money on healthcare, education and nutrition when he could have been building the world’s tallest building or his own branch of the Louvre. What kind of monster has priorities like that?

Venezuelan Poverty Rate

In case you’re curious about what kind of results this kooky agenda had, here’s a chart (NACLA, 10/8/12) based on World Bank poverty stats–showing the proportion of Venezuelans living on less than $2 a day falling from 35 percent to 13 percent over three years. (For comparison purposes, there’s a similar stat for Brazil, which made substantial but less dramatic progress against poverty over the same time period.)

Of course, during this time, the number of Venezuelans living in the world’s tallest building went from 0 percent to 0 percent, while the number of copies of the Mona Lisa remained flat, at none. So you have to say that Chavez’s presidency was overall pretty disappointing–at least by AP‘s standards.

 

Make no mistake, Chavez wasn’t perfect. In a country like Venezuela, where the monied elite are willing to resort to armed coups to get rid of anyone who stands up for the poor, you can’t be angel if you’re going to survive (remember Allende). But he did more good for more people in a month than Key will do in a lifetime.

Maybe its ideological opposition or maybe its shame that’s keeping Key away. Maybe he doesn’t want to be forced to see that a leader can be more than a clown in a silly hat, much, much more.

277 comments on “Key’s Venezuelan snub”

  1. Of course Key was going to snub Chavez’s funeral. After all Chavez showed what a leader with backbone and determination and the desire to help all the people he ruled can achieve.

    The PR onslaught on Chavez that he was “undemocratic” was because he insisted that the proceeds from his country’s resources be shared equitably.

    Key as a former merchant banker is at the opposite end of the spectrum to Chavez. He and his ilk have much to fear from the example that Chavez has made.

    • prism 1.1

      ms
      Exactly. Chavez was not One of Us of the Movers and Shakers In-Group playing Big Numbers at the top of the Sky Tower or any other building distant from ‘ordinary’ people with the buckets of money extracted from the system. So why should Jokey Hen bother about his funeral. There was probably a better photo op already organised.

      And last night I listened to a story from Kenya – people being evicted from their humble homes and bits of land by police and young male helpers (were called thugs) on the authority of a Court order from a different jurisdiction, four months old, over another piece of land. The people’s democratic representatives are enriching themselves by all means now at their disposal while they remain in power. And though it was said that it is usually Coast people being ejected, one also said that it’s not simply Outsiders ousting the Coast people ‘It’s the rich against the poor’.

      Humans everywhere seem to share this problem – that they can’t share their prosperity and want to aggregate it from others with less. Chavez made the effort to break through this process. He would have had feet of clay probably, that’s human. But the people believed him to be the sort of person who could deliver fair treatment and opportunities for a life. So he would not be a person King John of Charmalot would want to be involved with. He wouldn’t have good deals that would enrich his contacts. Better look at Mexico and Colombia Johnboy.

      Perhaps we will follow Colombia’s path under the rule of the NACT oligarchy. If we could get an illegal drug culture established that needed police state methods to control it, and it was in the interests of the USA to facilitate this control, it would help to keep the NACTs in power for practically ever.
      (From the USA State Department)
      Colombia is a middle-income country and one of the oldest democracies in Latin America. It has seen nearly half a century of intense armed conflict with insurgent and paramilitary groups perpetuated by their involvement in widespread illegal drug production and trafficking, along with criminal and narcotics trafficking organizations.

      Peace talks between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) began in Oslo, Norway on October 18, 2012 and negotiations will move to Havana, Cuba in November 2012. Long-term U.S. interests in the region include promoting security, stability, and prosperity in Colombia, and Colombia has made progress in addressing its security, development, and governance challenges.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Key is short sighted. He has proven that he is not a leader with NZ’s interests at heart. Just his own. A weak leader more concerned with how he would look to his American mates than ensuring our status amongst a dozen Latin American nations.

    • felixviper 2.1

      Exactly.

      My first reaction to this was “Key is a fucking idiot” but that’s wrong, he’s not doing this out of blind stupidity, he made a deliberate decision. He calculated that his own selfish interests are more important than ours.

      Once again he shows that in negotiations, he’s not really sitting on our side of the table.

      • geoff 2.1.1

        Yup, John Key doesn’t appear to have ideology beyond self-interest.

        • John 2.1.1.1

          Come on guys. No free press in Venezuela, economic meltdown due to Chavez’s economic illiteracy. You are hypocrites, you wouldn’t stand for his authoritarian excess if it was John Key doing it.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            Given that Chavez reduced outright poverty in Venezuela by roughly 70% in 10 years, and reduced unemployment by approx 50% in the same time, I’ll just conclude that you don’t understand what is coming out of your mouth.

            Success, by not following the advice of USA economists.

          • IrishBill 2.1.1.1.2

            On the matter of the free press I suggest you watch the film in the “recommended viewing” post.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    The Revolution will not be Televised

    I’ve posted this before but I think it’s suitable again: an irish doco crew were doing a “fly on the wall” special on Chavez in 2002 when the foreign supported coup against him and the Venezuelan people unfolded.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      There’s a marvellous scene where the coup leaders and their wealthy elite supporters cheer the dissolution of the peoples assembly, the dissolution of the supreme court, the firing of the Attourney General.

      • woodpecker 3.1.1

        Watched every minute of it…Brilliant. Worth every mg!

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          Yep haha. Great counter-revolutionary event. The shooting of civilians to create a pretext to depose Chavez was chilling.

    • RedLogix 3.2

      That’s the point when you realise that it really is a class war in the most visceral sense.

  4. Ennui in Requiem 4

    Had to laugh, Key probably turned down the opportunity afforded to make NZ visible at an event all of Latin America will be represented at….probably because he thought his buddies in the USA would be offended. Now the United States say they are going to be in attendance. Smacked by his “friends”, lovely.

    • Toby Manhire tweeted well about the need for NZ to have someone at the funeral …

      “If only NZ had some senior statesman in the area …”

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      The USA wants influence in the next Venezuelan government – and note – they are still coming immediately after Venezuela expelled a number of top US diplomatic officers.

      Key is a fuckwit and I bet members of MFAT are apoplectic.

    • Joe Bloggs 4.3

      Dollars to donuts it won’t be Obama attending though – probably some minor diplomatic presence. As McCully is currently planning attendance at a similar level, I don’t see any smack-down here.

      • prism 4.3.1

        So you consider Obama of the USA and John Key (who) of NZ to be of the same importance and standing! Obama might choose to send a worthy proxy, Jokey Hen sending McCully is sending a minor official from our minor country. Let’s Limbo – how low can you go! Do they do that in Venezuela or was that the Carribean or Jamaica? Down here at the bottom of the world we don’t know too much and get a strange, perverted view of the world, like looking up women’s skirts.

        • Populuxe1 4.3.1.1

          Um, how exactly is the Minister for Foreign Affairs a “minor official”? Oh wait, you’re a nutter.

          • Colonial Viper 4.3.1.1.1

            Given that Key is in the immediate region, it’s a snub to a major trading partner, plain and simple.

            • Populuxe1 4.3.1.1.1.1

              Or a diplomatic dance to allow two significant strategic partners to save face. Just because you hate America, ignoring the fact that it’s a major trade partner and the world’s apex superpower would be an act of courageous stupidity.

              • Colonial Viper

                Seems like the heads of Brazil, Mexico and Argentina are all courageously stupid then, more so than our little US pocket politician John Key.

                • Populuxe1

                  Possibly that might have a little bit to do with regional posturing – that and they’re geographical neighbours, so it makes more sense for them to be there.

                • Murray Olsen

                  That would make Lange and our nuclear free policy courageously stupid as well. Since when is anything except slavish bootlicking of State Department officials regional posturing?
                  About the only question I have now is what pseudonym Pop uses on WhaleSpew. I suspect Joe Bloggs above has dropped in from there as well. One of sleaze boy’s favourite sayings is “dollars to a knob of goat poo”, which only needs a slight change to get “dollars to donuts”, which actually makes no sense because a dollar and a donut have similar values.

            • Shaz 4.3.1.1.1.2

              Perhaps there is a concern that Foreign Affairs no longer has the capacity pull together a briefing on all the people the PM might have met at the funeral what with the back office having been decimated and the remaining diplomats under pressure to rebuild the knowledge base that has so recently walked out the door. 😉

      • North 4.3.2

        NZ to be represented by Sir Les McCully Patterson ?

    • felixviper 4.4

      “Smacked by his “friends”, lovely.”

      Nah, his friends are Goldman Sachs and BoA. They won’t be there.

      • Puddleglum 4.4.1

        But they will be doing more than watching passively from the sidelines, I imagine.

        After all, there’s a lot of petro-money in this game and they have a duty to their shareholders …

        • felixviper 4.4.1.1

          I imagine you’re right.

          Perhaps I should’ve said they won’t be there to pay their respect

          • Draco T Bastard 4.4.1.1.1

            They don’t have any respect for people who help others, only respect for those like themselves.

    • Dr Terry 4.5

      Key’s enormous grandiosity causes him to think he is leader of a massive and mighty nation on par with the U.S. He is a politically piddling little nothing and keeps causing this country’s image to deteriorate in front of the world.

      I trust Shearer has grabbed this opportunity to attend the funeral? Am waiting to hear.

      • felixviper 4.5.1

        Shearer wouldn’t be seen dead at the funeral of a high profile left-winger.

  5. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5

    And if he’d gone, you’d be all “try hard wanna be trying to muscle in on the limelight”.

    • higherstandard 5.1

      Keith Locke thinks Key should’ve gone….nuff said.

    • freedom 5.2

      there is a little thing called protocol, it tends to be associated with heads of state,
      if you are a leader, and are ‘there’ when a tragedy befalls a nation, you attend
      there is no discussion

      perhaps he was worried they would turn him away at the door

      • Populuxe1 5.2.1

        Yeah, because no one in Ireland is still slightly embarrassed that Éamon de Valera and Douglas Hyde offered condolences to Nazi Germany’s representative in Dublin over the death of Hitler…

        • felixviper 5.2.1.1

          Oh, he’s a H1tler now.

          Cool.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5.2.1.1.1

            ..and we are Irish.

            • felixviper 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Well yeah, that’s how the analogy works. Or doesn’t as it happens.

              • Populuxe1

                If the point hadn’t gotten across, you wouldn’t be rustling your jimmies now.

                • felixviper

                  Err, you realise it’s possible to understand the intention of a particular analogy without agreeing that it succeeded, don’t you?

                  Actually no, going by your usual displays of lolgic you probably don’t.

          • Populuxe1 5.2.1.1.2

            No, but it;s an answer to what I think of the protocol argument

    • Colonial Viper 5.3

      We’ll never know, will we? All we can see now is that he’s snubbed a major trading partner, seemingly to curry favour with his US bankster mates.

      My bet: a report will come out that Key was feeling ill and couldn’t travel.

      • Dr Terry 5.3.1

        What, another dread “fainting” fit?

      • felixviper 5.3.2

        Maybe he was tired and emotional…

      • Don't worry be happy 5.3.3

        Key came down with a virulent attack of amnesia from which he has been increasingly affected…clean forgot who he was, what he was doing in South America and if he had a mistress…that sort of thing, No fit state to go to a funeral.

        By the way, Hugo, not sure if it matters to you now but “What you do for these the least of my brothers you do for me” Jesus.

  6. quartz 6

    So the same guy who changes laws and throws public money at a few hobbit contract jobs won’t take a one hour plane ride and attend a funeral to protect nearly half a billion dollars worth of trade???

    What a munter.

  7. johnm 7

    John Key represents: The 1% and antidemocratic Corporate control of our lives.
    “Neoliberal governments are blind to the emerging world of degrowth and continue apace facilitating the 1% to impoverish and cannibalize widening segments of the 99%, in essence producing more and more socioeconomically and politically superfluous people in the process. Neoliberalism can only operate in a social world where as the economy contracts -for thermodynamic reasons- wealth and other economic benefits continue to flow upwards, while the costs and burdens fall upon those outside the tiny elite.” Key represents the United Banana States of America. Where wealth inequality of the most extreme forms is the norm. See following short video.

    While Chavez represented the complete opposite of sharing all of Venezuela’s wealth with especially the poor. To acknowledge such a leader and his socialist policies would probably have caused severe physical symptoms of rejection, perhaps another black out and visit to a hospital, his wife Bronwyn holding him as he falls to the Church floor and he’s stretchered out to an ambulance. 🙂

    • higherstandard 7.1

      By all accounts Chavez certainly shared a lot of Venezuela’s wealth with himself and his family.

      • Sweetd 7.1.1

        According the ZB yesterday, he stole about $2 billion

        • quartz 7.1.1.1

          That’s a discredited claim from a front group. Tell me, did you hear it on the newes or on LArry Williams’ right-wing talking points show?

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1

            Remember, only theft from the country by Exxon Mobil, Bechtel and Goldman Sachs is acceptable.

        • prism 7.1.1.2

          What’s this ZB. Is it an echo of what comes out of the Beehive? Who said what, and what was their knowledge level and base? What a dopey reference Sweetd, can’t you keep your mind open for long enough to catch some facts as they come sparsely in on our media? And then think about those facts and why those ones get featured over others.

      • Puddleglum 7.1.2

        By all accounts …

        I think you’ll find it’s by one account.

        Specifically, it’s by one Jerry E. Brewer Snr, CEO of ‘Criminal Justice International Associates, USA’.

        They are a ‘Global Threat Mitigation’ firm, whatever that means, and Brewer, ‘by his own account’, is a “U.S. Government- trained COUNTERTERRORISM EXPERT and practitioner, with extensive service to Latin America and the Middle East as an intelligence community operative.

        You should try reading his ‘blurb’ about what the firm does. Pretty impenetrable gobbledygook.

        It’s amazing what wacky outfits you can find on the internet. Still, he certainly gets himself on lots of radio and tv shows.

        He must know the right people.

        Perhaps not so odd then that, suddenly, Brewer’s ‘estimates’ make global headlines the day after Chavez dies.

      • Murray Olsen 7.1.3

        By all accounts? Not even close. By the accounts of Fox News, the opposition thieves who’ve had their hands slapped, and a few right wing wank tanks. Maybe all the accounts you listen to, but far from all accounts, HS.

    • johnm 7.2

      He’d never have been able to hold his head up again with his Merrill Lynch mates.(Who would enquire; “You haven’t gone soft on commie bastards, have you John? Don’t forget your masters who made you rich and it wasn’t useless poor people Bud?! Hilary will give you a good talking to!”) This is traumatic stuff! 🙁

  8. RedLogix 8

    Yes I can see that’s a valid point hs. All political leaders should live as ordinary people on the median income.

    • higherstandard 8.1

      Yep nothing wrong with that.

      • felixviper 8.1.1

        lol, you’re such a c0mmie at heart hs.

        In seriousness though, do you have any ideas about how we could structure things so the PM and Cabinet, in their private lives, actually have to deal with a few of the day to day hassles that they rule on for the rest of us?

        • TightyRighty 8.1.1.1

          like lightbulbs and shower pressure? 5 star hotels don’t stay 5 star for long with piss poor shower pressure. The last labour government of course would not have realised till to late.

  9. Blue 9

    Key’s first reaction was ‘Ugh, he was a dirty leftie and the US never liked him. Not worth my time.’

    Born diplomat, he is. Then came the really funny part – that NZ would ‘send someone’ but of course, that person would be way below PM level, because you know, Venezuela wouldn’t expect the PM to come in person.

    They usually wouldn’t – if Key had been here in NZ. But he was in the area and his schedule had been cleared. Now they know that he’s avoiding them, any prospects he had in South America are down the gurgler.

    And the media continue to babble about sombreros and hot Presidential wives and ‘behind the scenes’ stories where they are the story. Key blundering his way through international relations with no fucking idea what he’s doing just passes them by.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Key is going to get to meet with mid-level aides for the rest of his latin american trip.

    • Rosie 9.2

      Oh dear God. Hot Presidential wives. It was yet another head in hands moment watching their (Shonkey and Nathan Guy) boyish giggley red faced expressions in response to a reporters comments about how “attractive” the wife of the Mexican President is. Nathan Guy had a particularly predatory smug look on his face. Pass the vomit bucket!!!

      As for Key’s rude non attendance at Chavez’s funeral, you’re right, it wasn’t worth his time in his mind. It was an ideological snub. He is way too scared of catching Socialist germs. He might come home with some silly ideas about developing an equitable society or some other nonsense.

  10. Smith 10

    – Homicide rate tripled in 14 years, only 11% lead to a conviction

    – 30 radio and television stations shut down for being anti-government. Our Bomber has carte blanche.

    – Leopoldo Lopez banned from running for office. Was never condemned by the courts but he used money from the wrong allocation to pay firefighters and teacher’s salaries. Why? Because government had withheld the appropriate funds

    – Oil profits that flowed to the U.S. now line Chinese pockets, not Venezuelan ones!

    John Key has nothing on this guy. You’re acting as if Chavez walked on water – he’s not a hero for chrissakes! Just another tinpot el jefe in a long line of them, and yet accolades are heaped upon him because his allegiance to this side of the spectrum means his crimes can be selectively overlooked.

    I don’t contest he got results when it came to literacy or poverty but come on, this slavish worship of his populism is utterly demeaning.

    • Lightly 10.1

      i don’t think anyone is arguing Chavez met the standards of a leader in a liberal democracy. But look at the reality he was facing. What he did do was halve poverty while under constant threat of an armed coup from the elite backed by the media and the USA.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        When you look at the coup documentary above, you can see that all the private TV stations in the country co-operated with the coup ring leaders in an attempt to misinform and misdirect the Venezuelan public.

        It’s no surprise that a lot of them were shut down afterwards.

        Hey Smithy

        – Homicide rate tripled in 14 years, only 11% lead to a conviction

        Link please!!!

        Or are you talking about killings of international banksters?

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.2.1

            Sorry mate, those TV stations and their owners were key elements of a coup to take down a democratically elected government.

            It was THEY who were on the side of Bainimarama. Funny that you are defending them.

            As for the violent crime rate – it appears it is a real problem with no one understanding the causes.

            • Populuxe1 10.1.1.2.1.1

              Riiiiiight, so those TV stations armed themselves and marched on the Presidential Palace? Or did they blow up all the pro-Chavez broadcasters? Did they do anything illegal or unconstitutional? Hmmmmmm.

              • felixviper

                No that’s not quite how it worked, but they were working on the same side as (owned by) the people who did all of those things. You’re closer than you think, especially with regard to the taking out of the only reliable sources of information during the coup.

                The film mentioned earlier documents all of this quite well.

                • Populuxe1

                  So they were still shut down not because they committed any crime, but because they were owned by people and broadcasted things Chavez didn’t like.

                  • Morrissey

                    So they were still shut down not because they committed any crime, but because they were owned by people and broadcasted things Chavez didn’t like.

                    No, they were shut down because they advocated, repeatedly and systematically, the assassination of the democratically elected president.

                    Now, either you know that and are simply playing silly games, or you are utterly ignorant. Either way, you have really disqualified yourself from being taken seriously by anyone on this forum.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Sigh. I only wish the same justification could be used to shut people like Michael Laws and Ann Coulter up. But unless the law is broken…

                    • TheContrarian

                      “they were shut down because they advocated, repeatedly and systematically, the assassination of the democratically elected president. ”

                      Got a link for that?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    So they were still shut down not because they committed any crime, but because they were owned by people and broadcasted things Chavez didn’t like.

                    No, they were complicit and co-operative in the execution of a military coup d’état overthrowing a popular democratically elected government, and replacing it with a self-appointed regime.

                    Chavez was taken prisoner by rebel military forces for 2 days, and held at a secret location where he was kept out of touch with the outside world and from his family.

                    This was a little bit more than simply broadcasting things that “Chavez didn’t like”.

                  • North

                    Under New Zealand law complicity in the unlawful overthrow of a duly elected government would be treason, if not as a principal then ceratinly as a party. Have a look at s 66 of the Crimes Act.

                    So there’s your crime, idiot.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      damn there’s some smart people in this country (that’s you mate)

                    • Populuxe1

                      There are quite specific conditions as to what constitutes being an active complicit party to treason.

              • Daveo

                Which TV stations were shut down? Name them.

                • TheContrarian

                  Here is a handy link for you Daveo.

                  http://www.rsf.org/34-broadcast-media-shut-down-at.html

                  • Daveo

                    There are no TV stations listed there.

                    What is listed is 32 radio stations (out of the country’s 870) being pulled off air because they couldn’t demonstrate a right to the publicly owned frequencies they were broadcasting on. Many of these stations were critical of Chavez, but then nearly all private media are critical of Chavez.

                    Have you been to Venezuela? The vast majority of the media is stridently critical of the Government. For you to claim that it’s some kind of caribbean gulag where there’s no free speech just shows your ignorance. If anything it’s quite the opposite – most media outlets in Venezuela make Fox News look reasonable.

                    Of course, it’s not the smartest strategic move for the Government of Venezuela to pull any station off air when there’s such a clear global campaign to tar Chavez as a dictator, but the fact remains it’s a country with a vibrant democracy despite its corrupt moneyed elite and staunchly partisan private media.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Well let’s start with Radio Caracas TV (RCTV). They “couldn’t demonstrate a right to the publicly owned frequencies” because Chavez withdrew their broadcasting licence.

                      “The vast majority of the media is stridently critical of the Government.” Shit, that’s very different to here isn’t it. Here you all bitch and moan that the media isn’t CRITICAL ENOUGH of the government. You are such a bunch of hypocrites sometimes. The mental gymnastics you must go through just to get out of bed in the morning.

                    • TheContrarian

                      There are several TV stations listed. Look again.

                    • Daveo

                      There are several TV stations listed. Look again.

                      Ah, two small regional TV stations that couldn’t demonstrate ownership of the publicly owned airwaves they were operating on. You still haven’t shown how this represents a clampdown on dissenting voices. The 34 stations were not all anti-Chavez, and there are 30 times as many still in operation, most of them stridently anti-Chavez. I know, I’ve spent time in Venezuela and I’ve heard them myself.

                      I’m happy to be corrected, but this smells like the usual bullsh*t.

                    • TheContrarian

                      As Colonial Viper says below:

                      “He curtailed judicial and press freedoms. Opposition groups and parties were frequently harrassed. Institutions were weakened, and law and order issues and corruption became increasingly disruptive.”

                      That isn’t bullshit. I am not anti-Chavez by any means…I don’t think he had dictator status but I don’t pretend he wasn’t an autocrat who centered power around himself.

                    • Daveo

                      Well let’s start with Radio Caracas TV (RCTV). They “couldn’t demonstrate a right to the publicly owned frequencies” because Chavez withdrew their broadcasting licence.

                      Yes, he did that quite openly. RCTV helped organise a violent coup, which involved the massacre of civilians, then continued to lie repeatedly in order to keep the dictatorship that replaced Chavez’s government in power. This is all on record. Rather than shut them down, he allowed them to continue to operate a cable channel (nearly half of Venezuelans have cable TV, and it’s available in most public places). What he did was remove their right to publicly owned airwaves. Personally, I don’t think he went far enough. He should have shut them down and put them in prison. How do you think CNN would fare if it participated in a violent coup against the US government that involved the massacre of civilians and then helped install a dictatorship?

                      “The vast majority of the media is stridently critical of the Government.” Sht, that’s very different to here isn’t it. Here you all btch and moan that the media isn’t CRITICAL ENOUGH of the government. You are such a bunch of hypocrites sometimes. The mental gymnastics you must go through just to get out of bed in the morning.

                      An independent and critical media is a crucial part of any democracy. That’s not what Venezuela has – it has a a corporate-owned propaganda service that opposes democracy and routinely uses lies and slander to advance the political and economic agenda of its owners. It’s in desperate need of reform. Having spent time in Venezuela and seen the reality I think Chavez is a saint for the restraint he has shown.

                    • Daveo

                      I am not anti-Chavez by any means…I don’t think he had dictator status but I don’t pretend he wasn’t an autocrat who centered power around himself.

                      There was certainly a lot of Chavez in Chavismo, and we’d be naive to deny he has a complex legacy, but it’s a strange sort of autocrat who introduces a new law that allows a minority of citizens to demand a presidential recall election provided they can gather enough signatures. Chavez in fact faced one of these recall elections under the law he introduced and won handsomely.

                      Sure, he ain’t perfect, but he’s trying to run a country brutalised by 500 years of slavery, feudalism and oppression, with a legacy of being an economic colony of the US, a moneyed elite that doesn’t respect democracy, a history of violence and human rights abuses (google ‘Caracazo’ for an example – 3000 civilians massacred, it’s Venezuela’s Tienanmen Square) and a media that refuses to accept basic journalistic norms. I’d say given all that he’s done bloody well.

                    • felixviper

                      “Here you all bitch and moan that the media isn’t CRITICAL ENOUGH of the government. You are such a bunch of hypocrites sometimes. The mental gymnastics you must go through just to get out of bed in the morning.”

                      Yeah, but even a brisk walk looks like gymnastics to a man with no legs.

                      You’ll note that no-one was complaining that the media was too critical of his govt. It’s just being pointed out that they are very critical, which is a fact, and it makes a mockery of any claims that he shut down all dissenting voices.

                      Really, it’s not that complicated to follow, Pop. No gymnastics required.

                  • Daveo

                    This might provide some context. Sounds like it’s part of a general law to limit concentration of media ownership. No surprise this wasn’t reported in the western press:

                    Nelson Belfort, the president of the Chamber of Radio Broadcasters and the Caracas-based Circuito Nacional Belfort, which owns five of the closed radio stations, described the move as a government “attack” that aims to limit freedom of expression. He said the CNB would appeal the decision.

                    However, Cabello explained that the measure is fully within the framework of the law and that the licenses are being revoked for violating regulations.

                    “I challenge those who operate the Circuito Nacional Belfort to provide a document showing that CONATEL has authorized them to operate the 102.3 frequency. They are saying that the station is theirs and it’s not true,” Cabello declared.

                    “They have started to say that we are revoking concessions and that is not true. The state is simply recovering the concessions that were being used illegally for more than 30 years. It is an act of justice that has to do with giving power to people,” he said.

                    The minister denied the government is trying to limit freedom of expression, saying those affected can continue transmitting their programs through the internet as the measure only applies to the use of the state-owned airwaves.

                    Cabello said that powerful families in Venezuela, who had “swindled” the people, had acquired many of the radio stations illegally and constituted “media latifundios” (a reference to large, privately-owned estates), whereby 27 families controlled more than 32% of the radio and television waves. Many of those affected own ten to twenty or stations, the minister added.

                    Telecommunications Law

                    New reforms to the Telecommunications Law aim to break up the “media latifundios” by limiting ownership of radio or television stations to three per private owner, according to Cabello. Under the reforms broadcasting concessions are designated as un-inheritable property, and are therefore non-transferable to family or colleagues in the event of the death of a concession holder.

                    The minister warned that those who continue to operate illegally without permits will be subject to sanctions under the Telecommunications Law. “There are various penalties, including confiscation of equipment and secondly they will be subject to suspension, for five years, of activity in telecommunications and can go to jail if they repeat these actions. We will apply the law regardless of their surname, regardless of who their families are”, he said.

                    http://venezuelanalysis.com/print/4683

                • quartz

                  The leaders of the 202 right-wing coup shut down channel 8 (the only public TV station).

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Yep…all the private corporate media kept broadcasting just fine, cheering on the self appointed coup leaders.

                    • Murray Olsen

                      I think Chavez was too lenient with the right wing coupist media that continually called for the “death of the monkey in the President’s palace”. Meanwhile, in Aotearoa we throw people in prison for joking about catapulting a cow at George Bush.

        • TheContrarian 10.1.1.3

          And this one specifically address the tripling claim:

          http://www.insightcrime.org/news-briefs/venezuelan-government-recognizes-record-murder-rate

        • Dr Terry 10.1.1.4

          Our PM is not only worse than was the constantly wanted and loved Chavez, he is not even equal to Chavez’ little toe nail (even if it is painted!) How dare anyone speak disparagingly of the Chavez wealth when our miserable little leader is himself so hugely wealthy (but cares not for the poor).

          Chavez had faults? So he was a member of the human race – stand up all you perfect people!
          In the meantime look up some of the incredible sayings of Chavez, such as “No part of the human community can live entirely on its own planet, with its own laws of motion and cut off from the rest of humanity.” (Something for Key to ponder while he sits out the funeral). Also: “We must confront the privileged elite who have destroyed a large part of the world.”

          Even America will be represented at this funeral and probably well represented at that. But Key is above it all.

  11. Nicolas 11

    This was a billionaire, a guy whose fortune was similar to what was amassed by the Castro brothers in Cuba.
    This was Venezuela for those who don’t know, a country amongst the 10 MOST corrupt countries in the planet. What do you suppose being a billionaire in one of the most corrupt countries in the world means? Hard work? Championing for the poor?
    New Zealand is ranked first alongside Denmark and Finland, according to Transparency International. Not saying I approve of Key (I won’t vote for the prick), but saying our prime ministers is actually WORSE than Chávez was?

    Wake up, people…

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    The only reason Key wouldn’t go is because Chavez was a successful Left leader and Key can’t see beyond their ideological differences.

    Actually, there’s one other reason why JK won’t go – he’s trying to butter up the US.

    • felixviper 13.1

      Key prolly wouldn’t be standing in the middle of the crowd in the street though dontchareckon?

      Oh also it’s his fricking job, not a question of where he wants to go for his holidays.

      • freedom 13.1.1

        “Oh also it’s his fricking job,” that’s what sticks in my craw, he has no choice, who ever thought he did is a fool, is strategically ignorant bordering on treasonous and quite possibly unstable, ah so it could have been any number of his current advisors then 🙁

  13. Nick 14

    Let’s see how Venezuela is actually doing today

    http://www.transparency.org/country#VEN

    Rule of law: Lowest 1% of all the worlds nations, -1.64 out of possible scores between 2.5 and -2.5. Probably something to do with having one of the highest murder rates and Chavez systematically ignoring the Constitution

    Judicial Independence: The lowest score out of 142 countries ranked. Again, probably something to do with Chavez firing all the judges who disagreed with him

    Press Freedom: 117/179 countries ranked: Probably something to do with Chavez systematic attacks on independent media: http://cpj.org/reports/2012/08/after-years-of-assault-venezuelas-independent-pres.php

    Global Competitiveness: 126/142 Countries ranked

    Open Budget Index: Ranked as having ‘minimal’ budget openness

    What about corruption? Transparency International has a Global Corruption Index

    Corruption Perception Index: 165 out of 176 Nations measured

    • quartz 14.1

      You’re citing the work of a neo-liberal think tank.

    • rosy 14.2

      On the other hand

      Of course, the most important source of Chávez’s continued electoral success has been the improvements in living standards that the majority of Venezuelans have experienced over the past decade: poverty reduced by half, extreme poverty by more than 70%, unemployment cut by half, a tripling of people eligible for public pensions and vastly increased access to healthcare and education.

      A man of contrasts. Looking for a villian or hero in Chavez doesn’t really make a lot of sense. Could the lives of the poor be improved without his autocratic bias? Is the economy on it’s knees? Obviously the people thought he was doing a good job, compared to whoever else was on offer. As the Nact supporters in NZ have said many times – an electoral win equals a mandate.

      I also reckon it’d help to be a poor South or Central American to fully understand the anti-imperialist and anti-US line that he played so loudly.

      • Murray Olsen 14.2.1

        The really poor in those countries often don’t think much about the US, Rosy. They’re too busy thinking about their next meal or drink of water. It’s often when they can take the necessities of life a little bit for granted and have the time, energy and literacy to look around that they begin to see it. As far as I’m concerned, this is the real reason why the imperialists and their apologists hate people like Chavez. They don’t give a stuff about his autocratic rule, or about any corruption that went on with him in charge, or even the increasing lawlessness in Caracas. They care about having a subservient and illiterate population under the thumb of a vicious ruling elite that sends its army officers to Fort Benning, its children to Harvard and Yale, and spends its holidays in Miami.

    • Colonial Viper 14.3

      Shame the commoners really like him and his policies though. It’s unacceptable to spend oil wealth on your own citizens eh?

      • Monique Angel 14.3.1

        Except he didn’t. He spent it on his re-election campaigns

      • Nick 14.3.2

        Yes, clearly when looking at a bunch of human rights measures what I really meant was that the real problem I have with Hugo Chavez was that he cared too much about poor people.

        Seriously though, I thought that the left believed that things like press freedom, judicial independence and ending corruption were important?

        • rosy 14.3.2.1

          ” I thought that the left believed that things like press freedom, judicial independence and ending corruption were important?”

          I agree they’re incredibly important. But it’s hard for me to damn the man’s legacy by ignoring the poverty reduction, health improvements, educational improvements and increased democratic participation. I also feel it’s wrong to praise him absolutely because he was unable to string together the democratic institutions that we take for granted.

        • Populuxe1 14.3.2.2

          Yeah, funny how Hitler or Peron did much the same to secure populist support.
          Panem et circenses, people. Get the mob behind you with sops and then eliminate all constitutional restraints on your powers as the first step to being President For Life….

          • Colonial Viper 14.3.2.2.1

            Yes, disadvantaged people in poverty = the mob

            Good on you P1. Only well educated banksters should be in charge, not leaders who pander to the unwashed filth.

            • Populuxe1 14.3.2.2.1.1

              Here everybody, have some bread and circuses while I give myself sweeping authority to do what I like…. No you sad fool, the Banksters should not be in charge, nor should leaders who centralise power on themselves and favour specific demographics over the country as a whole, because that’s not governance, it’s the road to dictatorship.

          • Murray Olsen 14.3.2.2.2

            “poverty reduction, health improvements, educational improvements and increased democratic participation”

            Which of these did Hitler provide for the German people? I’m beginning to think you’re a badly written bot.

              • Colonial Viper

                Leaders have to serve their people P1, otherwise they tend not to hang around very long.

              • Murray Olsen

                Poverty reduction – runaway inflation was stopped and there was more manufacturing as they prepared for war. However, workers had less rights and unionists were imprisoned.
                Autobahns – built for the military. Most Germans didn’t have cars.
                Bread and circuses – German bakers have always been good, but the circuses would have been a lot better with you as clown.

                I hope that if you ever get hungry and poor enough to not know when you’ll eat next, you’ll insist that any food comes from some organisation that meets your high standards.

                • Populuxe1

                  I have been hungry and poor enough, you patronisng fool, that’s why constitutional law and transparent democracy should be sacrosanct, not a privilege or a bribe.

                  By the way, Chomsky has some interesting things to say about Saint Hugo

                  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/03/noam-chomsky-hugo-chavez-democracy

                  • Murray Olsen

                    Chomsky is another idealist, just like yourself. At best he’s an anarchist who thinks people should just start being nice to each other. Criticism is easy; actually improving the lives of millions can be a little more difficult and people can get their hands dirty.
                    You’re sounding more and more like a tool of the US State Department. I’ve never seen you so upset as you are with Chavez, a guy who made the thieving elite and foreign oilmen take a bit of a back seat in his country. You refuse to consider the conditions that Chavez worked under, with the owners of the media constantly fomenting coups and assassination attempts. They closed down the Supreme Court, they tried to install an American puppet in an unsuccessful coup, and all you can worry about are their bourgeois democratic rights. They’re bloody lucky they weren’t used as lamp post decorations.

    • Dr Terry 14.4

      The whole point is that Venezuela has improved VASTLY when compared to what it was prior Chavez. Can as much be said for New Zealand since coming under the sway of Key?

    • ordinary_bloke 14.5

      .. apologies for double-posting, but the point has to be made.

      Transparency International uses a Corruption Perception Index (CPI) to compare levels of economic crime in different countries and has consistently ranked New Zealand as one of the least corrupt countries in the world. However the rankings are primarily based on opinion surveys rather than empirical evidence – and Transparency acknowledges that corruption is “to a great extent a hidden activity that is difficult to measure”.[3] Notwithstanding the subjectivity of its corruption scale, it has ranked New Zealand as one of the least corrupt out of 183 countries since 2003.[4]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_New_Zealand#cite_note-51

  14. One Tāne Huna 15

    That our Prime Minister has declined to attend Hugo Chavez’s funeral is simply shameful. Not to mention stupid and gratuitous.

    Goodness knows what the motivation is for the snub. It’s a monumental blunder in foreign policy terms – not to mention trade policy. I hope the next government can mend the damage Key has done in South America.

  15. fenderviper 16

    Truth be known Key is probably in S.America to secure the cocaine required by the high-flying bankers and hangers-on to give them the drive to rob the nation of its wealth and keep the smile and wave roadshow operating.

  16. Bill 17

    Thankyou Eddie and Karol for penning these posts.

    On the topic of this one – (but putting the economics aside): Has there been a more important political leader on the American continent? Maybe. But Hugo Chavez was certainly one of its most important political leaders. And NZ, through JK has snubbed any recognition of that fact. And that’s both stupid and shameful.

    I’m no uncritical sychophant, but on what I regard as the idiotic vilification and damning faint praise being meted out to Chavez (and by extention the Bolivarian Revolution) by the usual suspects on this blog and by the msm ( the reporting by the Guardian’s Rory Carroll being just one example of many) I really only have a simple observation to make – and then I’ll leave the discussion because I can’t be bothered with the ill informed and infantile bullshit that is bound to keep flying around.

    For years our (il)liberal media have propagated a negative stereotype of Chavez as a dictator and a clown. Well, the proof or otherwise of that line will become evident in the near future. If he was as most of ‘our’ western media have consistently claimed, then affairs in Venezuela will naturally and quickly default back to pre-Chavez ways. But if there have been genuine seeds of revolution planted deeply enough and dispersed widely enough then, barring the very real possibility of interference or deliberate disruptions designed to roll back any gains, all the years of reporting by ‘our’ media is going to be exposed as utter bullshit and Chavez’s legacy will be a progressive deepening of a revolution informed by democratic ideals and values.

    It really is that simple.

    • That’s because by most civilized measures he was a dictator and a clown. Traits that some commentators here seem to appreciate but don;t expect the rest of the general populace to fall prey to the religion of socialism.

      • Dr Terry 17.1.1

        Monique – may I suggest that you drop the title “Angel” from your pseudonym, instead think about a man who is somewhat close to being a “Saint”. Read Bill – he is rational and he has got it right.

      • Murray Olsen 17.1.2

        Try to keep up, Monique. This thread isn’t about Brownlee or Key, nor is it about Brash or Banks.

    • johnm 17.2

      Hi Bill
      Here’s an article on Chavez by another man who knows and tells the truth instead of lies and spin, Steven Lendman:

      “Media Scoundrels Pillory Chavez Before He’s Buried”
      http://sjlendman.blogspot.co.nz/

      ” Chavez used Venezuela’s oil wealth responsibly. Everyone benefitted. Populism replaced neoliberal harshness.
      Bolivarianism prioritizes vital needs. Living standards improved remarkably. Disadvantaged Venezuelans benefitted most.
      Child mortality fell from 20 per 1,000 to 13. Unemployment dropped from 14.5% to 6.4%.
      Income inequality is Latin America’s lowest. Poverty was cut in half. Extreme poverty fell over 70%. Economic growth in 2011 was 4.8%. In 2012, it was 5.6%. Forecasts estimate 6% in 2013.
      Hundreds of thousands of new homes were built. Commerce grew 9.2%. Communications advanced 7.2%. Manufacturing increased 2.1%. Oil sector production increased.
      Growth created jobs. Millions got free healthcare and education. They did so for the first time. Pension eligibility tripled.
      Pre-Chavez years were disastrous.” From 1980 – 1998, per capita income fell. Chavez turned disaster into success. Venezuela’s future looks promising. Give Chavez the credit he deserves.”

    • Murray Olsen 17.3

      Bill,
      ” barring the very real possibility of interference or deliberate disruptions designed to roll back any gains”
      It is a 100% certainty that there will be interference and deliberate disruptions. There already is, so why would they stop now? There is too much oil for the Empire to leave alone, even if they were willing to take the chance of having a significant population that had some idea that they should have a few human rights and a bit of self determination.

      My fear is that the “Bolivaran revolution” may have been too much of a one man band, relying on the charismatic leadership of Chavez, and may not endure. I hope I’m wrong, but I think the last thing the situation is there is simple.

    • mario 17.4

      Lucid as ever Bill, I believe changes were deep enough to have a lasting impact and continue. Disruptions were always there and will surely continue, but I don’t see despair in millions of supporters (great sadness is naturally there) and they seem radicalised enough to continue strongly. Maduro should win and stay on Chavez course. Regarding the governing leadership overall, although there are reasons for legitimate criticism importantly there seems to be much genuine action arising from self criticism.

      Take for example those last elections for governors where in spite of the huge victory the strongest criticism from grassroot organisations was that their voices were mostly ignored with candidates being handpicked and imposed by the party line. Well for upcoming mayoral elections it seems there will be much better cooperation with the grassroots to address this. I picked up on it from several articles on venezuelanalysis.com and remains to be seen to what extent they will go with it, but to me it seems like a huge progress in thinking and a crucial piece of any revolution. It reminded me of something Chomsky said in some interview long ago – that in a normal functioning democracy you would have communities organising to decide on the platform (priority of issues) and selecting best candidates to represent it, instead of having platforms and candidates imposed on the public from the top like is usually the case.

  17. Believe whatever you want to believe cultists. The truth is Chavez was barking mad and presided over the ruination of his country.

    And Key won’t attend the funeral because of the socialist taint. Why would you? Chavez trampled out most trade – and lack of trade is what keeps the poor, poor. His time was much better spent on relations where the trade outcomes could be improved.

    Venezuela is the only member of OPEC that suffers from shortages of staples such as flour, milk, and sugar. Crime and violence skyrocketed during Chávez’s years. On an average weekend, more people are killed in Caracas than in Baghdad and Kabul combined. (In 2009, there were 19,133 murders in Venezuela, more than four times the number of a decade earlier.) When the grisly statistics failed to improve, the Venezuelan government simply stopped publishing the figures.

    Socialist dictatorships are generally not nice places to live. And if any of you Chavez supporters were over the age of 30 you’d know that. That’s why, the older you get, the more right wing you get. Don;t fight it luvs. A need for collectivism (aka Jacinda Ardern) is a sign of immaturity. Aka Jacinda Ardern

    • felixviper 18.1

      Oh grow up, you’re an embarrassing little upstart trying to teach your grandparents to suck eggs.

      • Dr Terry 18.1.1

        Well Monique it is true that “it takes all kinds (and perspectives) to make a world.” Regrettably, we must reconcile ourselves to residing with the likes of you with your horrendous views.

      • Colonial Viper 18.1.2

        Interestingly, it’s Monique who is the (neo-liberal) cultist.

    • johnm 18.2

      Hi Monique
      If you want the truth about Chavez you should read the following link:
      http://sjlendman.blogspot.co.nz/
      The countries facing ruin now are the U$ and the U$K there people are being mercilessly being impoverished with austerity to bail out banksters and the wealthy elite.

      “He achieved impressive economic growth and prosperity. Britain’s government pales by comparison. It’s lawless, corrupt, dysfunctional, and hugely unequal. BBC’s its propaganda mouthpiece. Don’t expect it to explain.
      Chavez used Venezuela’s oil wealth responsibly. Everyone benefitted. Populism replaced neoliberal harshness.

      Bolivarianism prioritizes vital needs. Living standards improved remarkably. Disadvantaged Venezuelans benefited most.
      Child mortality fell from 20 per 1,000 to 13. Unemployment dropped from 14.5% to 6.4%.
      Income inequality is Latin America’s lowest. Poverty was cut in half. Extreme poverty fell over 70%. Economic growth in 2011 was 4.8%. In 2012, it was 5.6%. Forecasts estimate 6% in 2013.
      Hundreds of thousands of new homes were built. Commerce grew 9.2%. Communications advanced 7.2%. Manufacturing increased 2.1%. Oil sector production increased.

      Growth created jobs. Millions got free healthcare and education. They did so for the first time. Pension eligibility tripled.
      Pre-Chavez years were disastrous.” From 1980 – 1998, per capita income fell. Chavez turned disaster into success. Venezuela’s future looks promising. Give Chavez the credit he deserves.

      Carter Center representatives monitor Venezuelan elections. Jimmy Carter calls its process “the best in the world.” He does for good reason. It’s open, free and fair.
      It shames America’s sham process. Duopoly power runs things. Republicans and Democrats replicate each other. They’re two sides of the same coin.
      They’re beholden to monied interests. They sold their souls for power.

      People have no say. Voters get the best democracy money can buy. Neoliberal harshness, permanent wars, and police state repression follow.

      Venezuelan democracy is genuine. Voters need no persuasion. Chavez instituted the real thing. Venezuelans want it no other way.

      Expect what he began to continue. It’s hardwired to stay. It’s part of Venezuelan culture. It won’t fade and die.”

    • johnm 18.3

      Hi Monique
      “The truth is Chavez was barking mad and presided over the ruination of his country. ”

      unadulterated garbage! 🙂

    • scotty 18.4

      Thanks for being so open as regards your bigotry, no wonder you are so bitter.

    • freedom 18.5

      if ideas were people then your ignorance would no doubt be surpassed by your loneliness

    • halfcrown 18.6

      Try not seeing Fox News too much, Try reading and seeing other sources of information, you may learn something.

  18. Dr Terry 19

    Has anybody heard yet from Shearer, not words, I am talking about deeds!

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      I can’t see any press release from Labour re: Hugh Chavez’ passing away. Maybe I missed it?

  19. johnm 20

    Hi Monique 🙂

    The artist taxi driver talks on Chavez:
    “Viva Hugo Chavez: respect his ideals not Western Oil Pigs”
    Have a look at this Monique:

    “Long live the spirit of Hugo Chavez. Anyone that tells the US government to fuck off is alright with me.”

  20. johnm 21

    Another assessment of Chavez. he came to power after:
    “Chavez, who was 58, came to national prominence as the leader of an abortive military coup against the corrupt regime of Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez, the leader of Accion Democratica, a social democratic bourgeois party. Andrés Pérez was responsible for the bloody repression of the “Caracazo”—a popular uprising against IMF-dictated austerity measures in which up to 3,000 were killed.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/03/06/hugo-m06.html

    “a popular uprising against IMF-dictated austerity measures” Same stuff that’s impoverishing Greece and Ireland right now.

  21. johnm 22

    On the Legacy of Hugo Chávez by Greg Grandin
    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/03/06-2

    “Hugo Chavez was a brilliant man, a good man whose star shone for the poor and dispossessed of this world. That star still shines. RIP

    Exxon, Hugo kicked their scum sucking butts out of his country…

    Imagine the U$ with the Socialist leadership Chavez gave to Venezuela: Nationalized oil/gas; FREE health care; backing students for college; FREE schooling for most in poverty no matter their age; land for the landless; etc. etc.

    Until Greed Capitalism is run out of town, the unfairness, suffering, and depression-that-could-lead-to-violence will continue….”

  22. Te Reo Putake 23

    A list of heads of state and government from around the world who plan to attend Friday’s state funeral for Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and who won’t be networking with NZ PM and top business spruiker John Key over the sandwiches and cups of tea after the ceremony because he can’t get his head around why he should go:

    -Antigua and Barbuda: Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer

    -Aruba: Prime Minister Michiel Godfried Eman

    -Argentina: President Cristina Fernandez

    -Belarus: President Alexander Lukashenko

    -Bolivia: President Evo Morales

    -Brazil: President Dilma Rousseff

    -Chile: President Sebastian Pinera

    -Curacao: Prime Minister Daniel Hodge

    -Dominica: Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit

    -Dominican Republic: President Danilo Medina

    -Ecuador: President Rafael Correa

    -El Salvador: President Mauricio Funes

    -Guyana: President Donald Ramotar

    -Haiti: President Michel Martelly

    -Haiti: Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe

    -Honduras: President Porfirio Lobo

    -Iran: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

    -Jamaica: Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller

    -Mexico: President Enrique Pena Nieto

    -Nicaragua: President Daniel Ortega

    -Panama: President Ricardo Martinelli

    -Peru: President Ollanta Humala

    -St. Kitts and Nevis: Prime Minister Denzil Douglas

    -St. Lucia: Prime Minister Kenny Anthony

    -St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves

    -Suriname: President Desi Bouterse

    -Trinidad and Tobago: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar

    -Uruguay: President Jose Mujica

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      The US and European power block is avoiding the event like the plague. I would have thought that both Russia and China would have a significant presence.

      • Te Reo Putake 23.1.1

        Obviously, its strongly weighted toward South and Latin American countries, which is why Key should be there, but it also reflects modern imperialism’s desire to not give any credence to a leader who put his people first, ahead of the needs of international capital. I imagine most western countries will send 2nd or 3rd level delegations (ie no higher than Minister of Foreign Affairs and more likely Minister of Trade or just the local Ambassador and the trade consul).

        In terms of networking, we trade with just about every country on the list and have Commonwealth links with most of the rest. Why wouldn’t we want to be there?

    • Populuxe1 23.2

      Ah yes, all countries he liberally courted with petrobucks and with the possible charming exceptions of Iran and Brazil, no major regional powers, but plenty of third world basket cases and banana republics. I notice Russia and China aren’t going either, which sort of demolishes the whole Western boycott myth.

      • Colonial Viper 23.2.1

        Yes I thought similarly, although I believe China will be very well represented due to China’s interests in Venezuela’s energy reserves. And Russia – well their military ties through good times and bad are well documented so I think that’s secure too.

        • Populuxe1 23.2.1.1

          Well I should hope Venezuela and Russia’s ties should be tight, what with Chavez buying all those Russian weapons for FARC and all…

          • Colonial Viper 23.2.1.1.1

            Uh, no. Venezuela is one of Russia’s main military customers, buying armored vehicles, main battle tanks, MiGs as well as light arms and munitions.

            I do note however that Columbia was not on the list of heads of state visiting Venezuela – given that Columbia is heavily pro US that’s not a huge surprise.

            • Populuxe1 23.2.1.1.1.1

              Pity the Australians aren’t going

              “In addition, Chavez apparently provided thousands of Colombians, including many of the guerillas, with Venezuelan papers. Intelligence agencies fear that senior members of FARC have also traveled to Germany using Venezuelan passports — tourists from Chavez’s Venezuela are given more lax treatment when entering the country than Colombians.

              Chavez also apparently helped the FARC rebels obtain weapons by putting them in touch with two Australian arms dealers. His intelligence agents promised FARC that they would get them parts to build surface-to-air missiles. In an e-mail to Reyes on March 1, 2007, FARC commander Timochenko wrote that the Venezuelans would “guarantee travel for one of our men to the Middle East, so that he can take a course in the use of the missiles.” The purchase of complete weapons systems, Timochenko wrote, is “very complicated, because of the existing inspections.”

              http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/the-colombian-connection-how-hugo-chavez-courted-farc-a-557736.html

              • Colonial Viper

                Colombia appears to have deliberately flooded Venezuela with the cocaine trade. Perhaps some push back was in order.

      • Pascal's bookie 23.2.2

        “no major regional powers

        Who were you thinking of?

        Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Peru, who’s missing?

        • Populuxe1 23.2.2.1

          Brazil is the most powerful country in South America, Argentina in second place comes well behind. Regional power is defined by the amount of influence they can exert beyond their borders, which none in your lest bar certain exceptions in the case of Mexico and it’s shared border with the US can be said to have. Aside from the unsurprising absence of the Western Allies, there is no China, Russia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Japan, South Korea, Ukraine etc.

  23. joe90 24

    As an aside, years ago I read John Gunther’s Inside Latin America, written shortly before the US entered WW2, describing Venezuela fifteen years into the oil boom. Caracas had the highest cost of living in the world with food prices typically 20-30 times higher than in the US due largely to the mismanagement by the ruling classes of the huge cash influx.

    And because of the obstructionism and feudal social systems of the landed classes, the land-owners had refused to modernise production methods, cheap and plentiful labour, when the poor fled the countryside to work in and around the oil-fields, domestic production collapsed.

    When Gunther arrived in 1941 most food along with almost every other sort of goods was imported and heavily taxed with tariffs to support the non-existent local agricultural sector and although oil money had been coming in since the twenties there was no industrial base.

    .So despite what the RWNJ’s say it took nearly sixty years and the election of Chavez to elicit any sort of meaningful change for a majority of Venezuelans.

    .

  24. Interesting division in the comments for this post. The lefties wish to celebrate the good that Chavez did for the poor of his country and this is not denied.

    The righties then launch into attempted character assassinations of him but ignore the good that he achieved.

    This is a bit of smoke screen doncha think?

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      Hmmmm somehow I don’t think the Righties view Chavez sharing the elite’s rightful wealth with the unwashed heathen as “doing good”.

    • Populuxe1 25.2

      I am not right wing – I don’t give a flying fuck about petty ideological bickering. I have a vision of ideal governance being a liberal democracy with effective welfare, public institutions, free press, independent judiciary, and human rights and liberties to be universal and protected by constitutional law. Anything that diverges from this is only going to get my contempt and scorn, left wing OR right wing, and Hugo Chavez definitely qualifies. No why don’t you sing a rousing chorus of “Don’t Cry For Me, Venezuela” while they embalm his corpse as a tourist attraction.

      • Morrissey 25.2.1

        I am not right wing – I don’t give a flying fuck about petty ideological bickering.

        Oh yes, you go for the really big issues, of course. Like loudly repeating the black propaganda of the British establishment at its most vicious and corrupt.

        I have a vision of ideal governance being a liberal democracy with effective welfare, public institutions, free press,

        That’s even odder than the claim to not “give a flying fuck” about petty bickering; I seem to remember you joining in the British government-led character assassination campaign against Julian Assange. When did you change to supporting a free press as opposed to trying to shut it down and persecute journalists?

        …independent judiciary,…

        Like the outstandingly independent Swedish judiciary perhaps?

        … and human rights and liberties to be universal and protected by constitutional law.

        But not for dissenting journalists, of course. Gotta have limits, don’t we!

        As for your risible comments about Hugo Chavez: I don’t care how mean-spirited and callous you are, but your flagrant lying is something else entirely.

        • McFlock 25.2.1.1

          Intentional derail, or just your derailed thinking?

          Even if – and a big fucking if – you were correct on the Assange issue, disagreement on that single issue does not negate his statement about his own general belief system.

        • McFlock 25.2.1.2

          pop’s own statement about his belief system. Missing that edit function 🙂

        • Populuxe1 25.2.1.3

          Julian Assange is not a journalist – journalists may well avail themselves of Wikileaks in their research, but Assange exhibits very little editorial process or evidence of fact checking in his activities to constitute journalism. Also, as regards my emphasis on constitutional human rights, I happen to believe that if a person accuses someone of a violation of their person, they should have the right to an investigation and a trial. The rest of your frothing is just a rather sad attempt at deflection.

          • Colonial Viper 25.2.1.3.1

            You may not regard Julian Assange as a journalist but he is at a minimum, a publisher.

            I happen to believe that if a person accuses someone of a violation of their person, they should have the right to an investigation and a trial.

            So do I.

            Can someone guarantee that Assange will actually get to that trial, and if convicted of violating another person, gets to serve out his prescribed sentence? (As opposed to being whisked away on completely unrelated matters?)

            • McFlock 25.2.1.3.1.1

              Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.
              This is a derail.

              If you really want to rehash it, we should go to open mike. But promise me you actually have something new.

            • Populuxe1 25.2.1.3.1.2

              I can’t guarantee that Assange will actually get to trial because he’s doing his darnedest not to get there – in any case this belongs in Open Mike.

            • Colonial Viper 25.2.1.3.1.3

              yeah plus I think this one has been done to death.

              Having said that…its only a minor derail…will the next Venezuelan administration view Assange as favourably???

          • Morrissey 25.2.1.3.2

            Julian Assange is not a journalist – journalists may well avail themselves of Wikileaks in their research, but Assange exhibits very little editorial process or evidence of fact checking in his activities to constitute journalism.

            So does the New York Times. Unlike much of the output of that semi-official state outlet, nothing that Assange has released has been proven to be false. That’s the trouble with Assange of course, and that’s why he must be obliterated. (God damn those Ecuadorian paisanos!!!)

            Also, as regards my emphasis on constitutional human rights, I happen to believe that if a person accuses someone of a violation of their person, they should have the right to an investigation and a trial.

            A couple of young women were manipulated or forced to make a spurious allegation against him. They both retracted the ludicrous allegation, but the Swedish prosecutor ignored that fact.

            The rest of your frothing is just a rather sad attempt at deflection.

            I think anybody who reads this and other conflicts I have engaged in with you can see quite plainly who is lying.

            • McFlock 25.2.1.3.2.1

              trool.

            • Populuxe1 25.2.1.3.2.2

              The New York Times isn’t a semi-official state outlet, it’s a privately owned company.Take it to Open Mike, I’ll kick your arse there.

              • Morrissey

                The New York Times isn’t a semi-official state outlet, it’s a privately owned company.

                It’s privately owned, but it’s the conduit for government propaganda.

                Take it to Open Mike, I’ll kick your arse there.

                Suddenly you’ll become Superman?

          • Murray Olsen 25.2.1.3.3

            The Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles was denied the right to a fair trial in Venezuela after being accused of participating in several terrorist activities. Why? Because the Americans protected him and refused to extradite him to a country where they claimed he ran the risk of torture.

    • Funny how all these comments reinforce the diversionary nature of all of the anti comments in this post.

      The essence is that Key is being a tool in refusing to go to Chavez’s funeral. Whether or not people agree with Chavez’s world view or his actions he was a respected world leader and Key could do really well for our country’s interests to go to the funeral. It is just a couple of days in his life. Not going is so naif.

      • Murray Olsen 25.3.1

        I agree wholeheartedly. Many in Latin America will take this as a deliberate insult. Helen Clark did some good work there in raising our profile, while Key has worn a silly hat, ogled the Mexican first lady, and insulted Venezuela. I find it revealing that so many contributors, some of whom I have never seen before, use the discussion on this to attempt an unneeded assassination of Chavez.

    • geoff 25.4

      Too right, MickyS, I was just thinking that myself. They can’t argue the points so they attack the person.

  25. TheContrarian 26

    “The righties then launch into attempted character assassinations of him but ignore the good that he achieved.”

    Personally I am ambivalent towards Chavez – he did good but also did things not so good. You’re comment could just as easily read:

    “The lefties then launch into attempted character praise of him but ignore the bad that he did.”

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      He curtailed judicial and press freedoms. Opposition groups and parties were frequently harrassed. Institutions were weakened, and law and order issues and corruption became increasingly disruptive.

      • Populuxe1 26.1.1

        Thanks for being big about it, and yes he did a lot in terms of increasing the standard of living for the poor, but with all the weakening of those other institutions, what kind of a future has Chavez left them?

        • Colonial Viper 26.1.1.1

          It’s a big question. We’re going to see what internal and external pressures emergy on Venezuela over the next several years. As other people have noted, the true Chavez legacy may not be known for another decade.

          • Populuxe1 26.1.1.1.1

            My main problem with it is that by making those revisions to the constitution, should a right wing populist get into power there will be little to check them. My main difficulty with populist politics is it tends to reduce the electorate to a Pavlovian entity to be bribed, rather than equals to be reasoned with.

            • Jim Davis 26.1.1.1.1.1

              He didn’t ‘bribe’ the electorate, he empowered the poor and redistributed the proceeds of the country’s oil wealth to reducing poverty and inequality.

              • Populuxe1

                Um, for improving their lot he charged a fairly hefty price in politicising the electoral college and basically giving himself the constitutional power to be president for life – after all you can’t really vote for an alternative if there is no real alternative. That’s like saying National’s tax cuts or Labour’s tax free student loans weren’t bribes.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Oh bullshit. Venezuela’s last election had an over 80% turn out rate.

                  That leaves NZ’s “democracy” in the dust.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Well, no. And it dropped significantly when compulsory voting was rescinded.
                    http://www.idea.int/vt/countryview.cfm?CountryCode=VE

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hmmm, try the recent 2012 presidential elections.

                      With 90% of the ballots counted Sunday night, Chavez has 54.42% of the vote compared with 44.97% for Capriles, according to Tibisay Lucena, president of the National Electoral Council.

                      Chavez had secured 7.4 million votes and Capriles 6.1 million votes, election officials said.

                      The country saw one of its highest participation rates in decades, with almost 81% of voters going to the polls, Lucena said.

                      In fact, some polls were kept open two hours after their scheduled closing because lines of voters were waiting for ballots.

                      http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/07/world/americas/venezuela-elections

      • TheContrarian 26.1.2

        Agree (though I wasn’t specifically referring to you CV)

    • geoff 26.2

      No. The lefties attempt to point out the success of Venezuela under Chavez and the righties attempt to smear Chavez.
      I couldn’t give a fuck about Chavez the person, I’m only interested in the undeniable success of his change to socialist policies. If scoailist policies managed to succeed even under the weight of a corrupt, dictator then imagine how successful they would be in a modern western democracy?
      Oh that’s right, we already know how successful they would be, it’s called Scandinavia.

      • Murray Olsen 26.2.1

        Remember that it’s the weight of a “corrupt dictator” plus all the destabilisation efforts of the US and the traitorous elite inside Venezuela. This makes the successes even more notable. In many ways, Venezuela has been going forwards while countries such as our own have been going backwards.

        • Colonial Viper 26.2.1.1

          We criticise Chavez now for highly executive, arbitrary and un-reviewed decision making. But he was a man who knew that things had to change, and not on geologic timescales. And I’m betting you that he relied a whole lot on his cabinet’s creativity and heavy lifting.

          Research shows that between 0 and 5 years of age, the prospects of a new person either brighten or dim considerably, in terms of both educational and social achievement. If Chavez had dicked around with white papers and blue papers and green papers, especially after 2 decades of dramatic declines in living standards for most Venezuelans (I mean, we are talking catastrophic poverty levels in 1998) he wouldn’t have got the results seen today. A 70% decrease in outright severe poverty. I mean, that is amazing.

          This is one thing which fucks me off about Labour. Every year you waste pussyfooting around with half and quarter measures, you are effectively and statistically condemning thousands of young people to poor whole-of-life outcomes.

          As an example, Labour is going to build 100,000 in 10 years. I mean WTF. It seems like a completely arbitrary round number not anchored in any operational detail (and I bet it is a number that someone thought was manageable but wouldn’t depress middle class investment asset prices).

          You’ve got 160,000 unemployed people FFS. Build that shit in 5 or 6 years.

  26. I’m pleased key isn’t going because he would embarrass us all with his fakery and I can’t stand him fawning around trying to be the big man. Key is not my leader and not someone I respect, in fact the sooner he fucks off the better.

    RIP Hugo and thank goodness you won’t have our slippery snake fake crying when your people say goodbye.

  27. Colonial Viper 28

    RT’s “Breaking the Set”.

    Special on Hugo Chavez from 15:00 in. Interesting point that Hugo Chavez opened the doors for indigenous/black heads of state in Latin America. Where before heads of state were almost invariably white.

    Key’s Venezuelan snub

    CEPR report on Venezuela after 10 years of Chavez rule:

    During the current economic expansion, the poverty rate has been cut by more than half, from 54 percent of households in the first half of 2003 to 26 percent at the end of 2008. Extreme poverty has fallen even more, by 72 percent. These poverty rates measure only cash income, and do not take into account increased access to health care or education.

    also

    Over the decade, the government’s total public debt has fallen from 30.7 to 14.3 percent of GDP. The foreign public debt has fallen even more, from 25.6 to 9.8 percent of GDP

    (largely due to Chavez’ nationalisation of oil assets)

    http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/venezuela-2009-02.pdf

  28. Murray Olsen 29

    Since Yoani Sanchez has been mentioned in relation to Chavez, Cuba, and Brazil, here’s an article about one of the Brazilian politicians who sponsored her trip to Brazil. Sorry that it’s in Portuguese (maybe use a translation tool), but basically he’s telling black militants they should just go back to the zoo.

    http://www.pragmatismopolitico.com.br/2013/03/jair-bolsonaro-agride-militantes-do-movimento-negro-voltem-para-o-zoologico.html

    PS. Everything I have written about Brazil and Chavez in these threads has been approved by and discussed with a Brazilian from Rio Grande do Norte, before posting. These are not just the idle thoughts of some gringo, but a commentary informed by several years working in Rio and São Paulo, in places ranging from the Paulista favela of Paraisópolis to the campus of the Universidade de São Paulo, and by stays of various lengths in places from Florianópolis in the south to Fortaleza in the northeast. If I’m wrong in what I post here, it’s not out of ignorance of the situation.

    • prism 29.1

      Murray Olsen
      Did you spend any time in Curitiba sough of Sao Paolo. I heard a very positive report on the city’s mayor on Radionz from previous Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment in 2002 Morgan Williams.

      • Murray Olsen 29.1.1

        Yep, I spent a little time in Curitiba. It’s one of the most European of Brazilian cities, and the ex Mayor, Jaime Lerner, did a lot for urban development and basic habitation. As governor of the State of Paraná, Lerner and one of his successors, Roberto Requião, did a lot to keep transgenic soy beans out of the state. Even though they were respecting Federal Law by doing this, when they checked all the soy beans being exported through the port of Paranaguá, it caused huge disruption on the roads. Lula’s federal government put huge pressure on them to let the Monsanto rubbish through to the ships.

        On the negative side, I did hear anecdotal stories of the Paraná police turning back migrants from the Northeast of the country at the Curitiba bus stations, but I have never seen this documented. Curitiba has a reputation as the most boring city in Brazil 🙂

        • prism 29.1.1.1

          Murray O
          Boring Curitiba eh, if I was in Syria I would think that was heaven. There is so much pressure on leaders that someone who merely tries to strike a fair course and gets there sometimes is a hero.

          • Murray Olsen 29.1.1.1.1

            I didn’t find it boring, but it didn’t have the lovely chaotic qualities of other Brazilian cities. I have a sneaking suspicion that those who call it boring are a bit jealous.

  29. peterlepaysan 30

    Key is a Wall Street puppet performing as his Wall Street and Washington puppet masters and mistresses want him to.

    Some pull his strings.

    Some use him like a glove puppet.

    No wonder, as NZ tourism minister he spends his holidays in Hawaii.

  30. Roy 31

    I remember reading somewhere that Jim Bolger became personal mates with Bush Senior at the State Funeral of either Andropov or Chernenko. The fact that Bolger and Bush Senior were at the funeral of a leader of the USSR shows that the protocol is that if a head of state dies, you attend the funeral, no matter how much you oppose their ideology. Okay, the USSR was a bigger player on the world stage, but Key was already in South America. Sending someone else would only be excusable if Key was busy in New Zealand (as if he is ever busy anywhere). His failure to attend the funeral was a disgrace. He has shamed our nation.

  31. prism 32

    Trouble is he has strayed too far away from his focus groups who would have made up his mind for him.

  32. Te Reo Putake 33

    In news completely unrelated to Key’s no show at the funeral; this just in: http://en.apa.az/news_venezuela_bans_alcohol_for_period_of_cha_189098.html

  33. xtasy 34

    John Key planned to visit Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Brazil according to this link:

    http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/key-visit-south-america-trade-boost-5353218

    He apparently already had to cut short his visit to Chile, heading to meet President Pinera (son of a minister who served under the Pinochet era government!), just to get some photos and say some nice words for the media and protocol. Pinera is heading to the funeral, despite Chile’s rather conservative government not feeling all that warm towards Chavez and his party.

    Indeed almost all of Latin American and Caribbean LEADERS seem to be heading for the funeral:

    http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_22739590/leaders-attending-chavez-funeral-venezuela

    As Brazil is his next destiantion and President Roussef also supposed to travel to Venezuela, is Brazil going to be taken off the list, and will Key head home early then?

    In any case, it looks stupid to have Key make the decision he made. But does anyone really wonder, given his background and actual true agendas and priorities?

    At least he could have sent Nathan Guy off to represent NZ there in Caracas, given he is next highest NZ official there at present (in South America).

    But do not blame Key, at least he honestly shows his coulours and intentions for a change.

    • Murray Olsen 34.1

      Dilma should translate Key into Portuguese and call him Senhor Chave. When Condoleeza Rice said something stupid, they called her Condoleeza Arroz.

  34. geoff 35

    The real shame is that Key is missing out on seeing how a man who championed for the people gets celebrated. It might have had a positive effect on him.

  35. peterlepaysan 36

    Key epitomises Wall Street ethics.

  36. millsy 37

    So anyone know who represented NZ at Chavez’s funeral?

    To be honest, I doubt that the people of Venuzuela would have wanted Key at his funeral. He is completely against what HC stood for.

    Though Labour are no better. There seems to be no acknowledgement of his death on Red Alert or the LP website, given that he was probably more closer to Savage, Fraser, Nash and Kirk than Mallard, Curran and Shearer will ever be.

    Its a pity Helen didnt forge any links with the Bolivarian Republic when she was in power/office. An oil for milk powder deal seems to me to be a win/win, and Chavez would have our historical social security system to use as a template.

    • Murray Olsen 37.1

      Shearer wouldn’t have gone. Helen may have. If she’d proposed a milk for oil deal, I can imagine the righties screaming, but selling it for dollars somehow doesn’t cause a peep.

      Labour should be ashamed of their 1984 past. Why is it that the front bench seem far more ashamed of what they did before then? I can’t wait for the rest of the left to get big enough that they can be ignored. Or for them to change, but I think that’s the less likely option.

  37. Colonial Viper 38

    I can’t wait for the rest of the left to get big enough that they can be ignored.

    Agree with the sentiment, with the distinction that Labour is not a left wing party: it is a centrist political party sympathetic to the ongoing use of free markets and orthodox economic mechanisms and objectives.

    • ordinary_bloke 38.1

      +1

      Key hugely over-rates himself. A small-town boy from a small country living off fables from his Merrill days left the Presidents of Mexico and Chile looking distinctly bored, underwhelmed, and disengaged in his presence.

      They don’t need a NZ’er to tell them about Merrill.

      Key’s lack of empathy and understanding of America Latina was further demonstrated in his gauche response to Chavez’s funeral.

      Apart from reports of sales of LAV’s to Colombia, it is starting to look like a diplomatic disaster.

      Images of Colombian ceremonial guard in Prussian coal-scuttle helmets leads to questions of who exactly it is that we are dealing with over there.

      The trip would otherwise have had the effect of distancing him from the scandal of emails released on the Standard showing that, during the Hobbit “dispute” the Government and others lied to the people of New Zealand to maintain a perception of a crisis.

      This must have been the last thing Key’s PR agencies wanted.

      Has anyone noted the number of beneficiary-bashing advertisements around ?

      There is always Brasil, but don’t hold your breath.

    • Murray Olsen 38.2

      Yeah, that was sloppy of me. However, to the extent that many of the people in Aotearoa in need of left wing solutions still look to Labour, they are still a party of the left. I hope it becomes clearer that this is mainly illusion and wishful thinking, and that parties more deserving of the label become more influential.

  38. Roy 40

    I’m not impressed by a pic in the Dom-Post this morning of Key strolling past a Chilean honour guard and not even wearing a necktie. He is an embarrassment to the office of Prime Minister. They are probably thinking ‘What a slob’.

  39. Sam 41

    [r0b: updated on request of Sam]

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    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    5 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    5 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    6 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    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
    6 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
    6 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. ...
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
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