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Labour’s deputy

Written By: - Date published: 10:08 am, October 15th, 2015 - 85 comments
Categories: Annette King, labour, leadership - Tags: ,

An anonymous editorial in The Herald this morning is a mostly well balanced discussion of the issue of Labour’s deputy leader:

Little facing dilemma over deputy choice

Labour’s leader, Andrew Little, faces a dilemma over what sort of deputy he needs. Probably he would be happy to retain the party’s present deputy, Annette King, but he said a year ago the position would be re-opened about now. Ms King has been excellent in the role – loyal, experienced, sensible in public statements, liked and respected by friend and foe, a safe pair of hands. …

But whether Mr Little likes it or not, there is much interest in the possible promotion of Jacinda Ardern. She is young, presentable and appears to have a popular following. A political party in Labour’s predicament cannot afford to let her appeal go to waste. …

Labour needs to project the image of a fresh, new potential government. Ms Ardern can help project that image. Ms King cannot. …

“Fresh” and new vs “experienced” and well respected – a case to be made each way. I don’t think Labour can go wrong, they are both excellent choices, and either would fully support the other whatever decision is made.

Our anonymous editorialist then gets a bit more speculative:

The bigger problem for Mr Little may be that Ms Ardern probably projects that image better than he does, and the last thing he needs is a deputy whose promotion might cause her to be seen as a rival to himself. Ms Ardern no doubt would deny any wish to replace him, and mean it, but if her public reception was much better than his, she would be a contender.

Jacinda has already sincerely and convincingly denied any wish to be leader, and I’m pretty sure that Labour has no appetite at all for another leadership process prior to the next election! So, let’s see the deputy leadership resolved, and a united Labour team getting down to the hard work of the next two years…

85 comments on “Labour’s deputy”

  1. Bill 1

    I can’t see where the choice is.

    I’m pretty sure Little stated that King would not be deputy in a year as opposed to saying that the position would be open – ie, ‘readvertised’.

    Anyway. Ardern as deputy essentially kills any ambitions Robertson might still harbour for that leadership position.

    • dukeofurl 1.1

      many has been the deputy that has NOT gone on to leadership. Who was Goffs deputy and Shearer and Cunliffe after that ?
      Clark and Cullen are another case in point

  2. Atiawa 2

    Andrew needs a Deputy prepared to work as hard as he does.

  3. Hami Shearlie 3

    Jacinda never ever got the better of Paula Bennett in Parliament – that says it all really- She hasn’t been able to win her seat , mind you neither has Andrew Little! Do we really think that Little is a better leader than David Cunliffe was – I sure don’t!

    • savenz 3.1

      +1

      Cunliffe is a lot smarter than Little. Being a barrister means Little thinks he is smarter than he actually is, and is much more able to be manipulated with talk rather than a gut feeling of whether something is right or wrong. And we know how popular barristers are – NOT!

      Little’s half position on spying and TPP which has pretty much dropped support Labour back to where Cunliffe was on increasing pensions and more taxes.

      Labour just seems to want to be as unpopular as possible.

      As for Arden – if you can’t win a seat and the right seem to love you as does MSM – beware!

      The right want an inaction leader in Little and sincere but fairly clueless deputy in Arden who also can not win a seat.

      Nobbled from the inside.

      • Chooky 3.1.1

        +100 savenz… re “As for Arden – if you can’t win a seat and the right seem to love you as does MSM – beware!”

        • leftie 3.1.1.1

          @Chooky

          Exactly, and the right have become Ardern’s cheer leading squad, begun by Audrey Young, who began to include her in the preferred PM polls. That was strange in itself because Ardern has done nothing to warrant that inclusion in the first place. National with the aid of msm are trying to manipulate Labour again.

    • Chooky 3.2

      +100 Hami Shearlie…re- Jacinda ( and she was not loyal to David Cunliffe)…. imo Annette King does a good job as deputy….and the older generation do go out to vote

      If David Cunlife were still leader, as the grassroots Labour members wanted, Labour would win the next Election in coalition with NZF and the Greens

      • The Fan Club 3.2.1

        You do realise Annette was pretty much the king of the ABCs right? If we went by “grass roots Labour members” wishes, Robertson would be leader now, he won the members section at the leadership election…

        Aside from that, pleased to see the usual sexist, ageist bullshit being thrown at a skilled young woman.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    The job of Deputy Leader is to maintain discipline in caucus and to front up and take the bullets for the Leader on difficult issues.

    Annette King is up to it. Is Jacinda.

    • Phil 4.1

      The job of Deputy Leader is to maintain discipline in caucus

      King was Phil Goff’s deputy… you’d hardly say that was a period of great caucus discipline and unity.

    • leftie 4.2

      @CV

      No, Jacinda is most definitely NOT up to it. I do not think it should be an issue sticking with King.

    • McFlock 4.3

      Isn’t discipline the role of the Whips?
      I would have thought the role was more about deflection on difficult issues, but also being able to avoid making shit up when under pressure.

      Either way, both of them are perfectly capable of doing the job.

    • Anne 4.4

      +1
      My understanding: Annette agreed to take on the job of deputy for one year only. I hope she has changed her mind. Watch her at QT time in the house. Whenever Little gets up to ask questions she’s ready with her acid barbs knowing they will be picked up by his microphone. Never misses an opportunity to rattle JK’s cage and he doesn’t like it.

      Keep her Labour if she’s willing to stay in the job. She’s at the peak of her game. Jacinda’s turn will come…

      • Chooky 4.4.1

        +100….about Annette King

        ….but I do wonder why some people keep saying “Jacinda’s turn will come”…and “Never mind Jacinda, your turn will come”

        ….why?

        ( who has she been anointed by?…who is spinning for her? ….her performance does NOT warrant this…she had a dream hand of cards in opposition against Paula Bennett…but made no headway)

      • leftie 4.4.2

        @Anne

        Should it though? I am not convinced that Jacinda’s turn should come.

  5. Westiechick 5

    Jacinda does not impress me. I do not think she speaks effectively on Labour issues. I don’t think she supported the leader during the last election. She is “young” and photogenic. Is that enough? Is there anyone else photogenic available? Annette is great but she has been an MP too long – the Deputy needs to look a bit newer.

    • Phil 5.1

      I’ve seen Jacinda present in a couple of different forums (most recently, a while ago now, on CCCFA alongside… Carol Beaumont or Louisa Wall?) and came away with the opposite impression. Jacinda’s sharp and articulate.

      • Anne 5.1.1

        Jacinda’s sharp and articulate. Yes she is but I think she would be the first to concede she needs more experience for the job.

        • miravox 5.1.1.1

          ” I think she would be the first to concede she needs more experience for the job.”

          She became an MP in 2008? Same a s Grant Robertson. I can’t recall anyone saying he needed more experience for deputy.

          She’s either good enough now, or not at all, I reckon.

  6. One Two 6

    TPPA will potentially relegate the NZ government to a moot entity, so its entirely appropriate to use physical and biological discussion points around ‘leadership’ candidates

    • Bill 6.1

      I think you can forego talking about ‘potential’.

      The more I’ve looked into the structures and parameters of the TPPA, TTIP etc, the more obvious it’s become that the even the sham of democracy is being placed into a wooden box.

      ‘Interesting’ times…

      • One Two 6.1.1

        While I’m cautious in using absolutes, things I am certain of is that corporations are locking in greater controls ,and the nation state is finished on current track.

        The consequences of such I am unclear about, but suspect it will lead to increasing levels of resistence and probable violence.

  7. Ad 7

    Hate to think too darkly, but in terms of cleaning up after a potential Labour defeat in 2017, I’d go with King cleaning up the mess, over Ardern.

    In fact I’d go with King as Leader and Ardern as Deputy in a post-2017.
    Ardern isn’t ever going to be leadership material – Deputy would peak her.

    Ardern deserves plenty of my respect for getting close in Central Auckland’s super-rich seat. But that’s it. She’s had enough terms to get good hits on the government, and has landed not a scratch.
    She’s far too obvious as an undermining force in caucus.
    Nor has she developed strong policy internally, despite qualifications, experience in Clark’s office, and rhetorical capacity more capacious than the Hindenburg’s.

    But Ardern would bring good supportive MSM profile, and her skincare range should keep her bracketed “young” for some time.

    Should Little lose (let’s charitably call that 50-50), King would be an excellent centrist with caucus headkicker credibility, good Parliamentary scalps, and some surprising donor networks. Ardern could just whip majorities between her magazine cover-shoots.

    • Chooky 7.1

      really does Labour NEED this?!…I know you are speaking tongue in cheek

      maybe it should be called the Labour Flossy Party or the Labour Cosmopolitan Party…how about a swimming costume line up?

      …actually bring back David Cunliffe….that would be a winner…and he is the Labour membership choice!

  8. Michael 8

    It doesn’t matter who Labour picks as its deputy leader – or its leader, for that matter. It is still unelectable until it decides whether it wants to be a progressive force for social justice or remain committed to the neoliberal status quo. If the second course of action is pursued, Labour may well gain office at some stage in the future but it will never obtain political power.

    • Ad 8.1

      If the government changes in 2017 it will be a minor shift within the first term, nothing more. “Progressive force for social justice” is some other universe.

      A win will be because of very minor polling shifts from what they are now, a handful of seats shifting, and the ability to form a coalition by working as a potential alternative government beforehand.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        If nothing substantial changes, why change the government?

        • weka 8.1.1.1

          National will do more damage than Labour.

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.1

            That’s not what voters think. And its not reflected in the opinion polls now.

            • weka 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Were you asking what voters think? I thought you were asking for some reasons to change the government even if Labour is still neoliberal.

              • Colonial Viper

                In terms of actual damage, yes there would be less from Labour, but the damage is greater in terms of legitimising the globalised market led/neoliberal model of the economy..

                • weka

                  I think it could be argued either way, but the latter is only legitimate if we have some chance of changing the conversation while National are in power. How are we going with that? In other words it looks like the longer National are in power the more entrenched and applauded neoliberalism has become.

        • Ad 8.1.1.2

          Because this lot are just too boring.

          No current combination would get me exciting good government for New Zealand.

          This is a boring, lucky, stupid government.

          So I’ll settle for a fresh, boring government.

        • b waghorn 8.1.1.3

          From the little I understand of the overton window labour can’t go tearing off to the far left ,not that I’m’ saying they want to or will given the chance.

          • weka 8.1.1.3.1

            why not? And it’s not like they’re being asked to go far left. Just left would be a good start.

            • b waghorn 8.1.1.3.1.1

              As I said I have a limited understanding of the overton window ,but doesn’t it mean you can only slowly shift the masses left or right .
              I just want a labour lead government because at least they make a bit of an effort to close the gaps.

          • Ad 8.1.1.3.2

            Think of it as an Ovaltine Window.
            Just a nice sit-down in a warm seat.

    • Mike the Savage One 8.2

      The sad truth may be that the wider populace is now so brain-washed, they no longer believe in traditional Labour policies such as social justice, and will only vote in another nasty party, that protects the privileges of the privileged, and many middle class people with a home and one to two cars consider themselves as having a “right” to be privileged voters.

      The MSM that embraced John Key before the election in 2008 have done a thorough job in marginalising all those that think and act as traditional left politicians. Just turn on the radio, the TV and read on many news websites, the crap there is what the populace get fed, and most are too busy or indifferent, to bother questioning and challenging the BS.

      NZ is more like the US now, more than it ever has been.

      Jacinda did not convince me that much when spokesperson for social development, and her appeal seems to be rather with mainstream people, wanting only a slightly softer version of the present government. Annette King is also not getting my support, given her past failings.

      I would say it won’t make much of a policy difference who will be the deputy leader in Labour.

      • Michael 8.2.1

        Isn’t it the role of political leadership to persuade the electorate to vote for alternative policies to the status quo? Unless, of course, the leadership favours the status quo.

  9. Clean_power 9

    The winner should be Ardern, who will be paving the way for Robertoson to have another go at the leadership.

  10. Arden has never won an electorate seat. A second division MP in my opinion.

    Arden is aloof and disdainful when attending regional conferences. She does not come across as someone comfortable with the masses. She turns on the charm when there is something in it for her.

    I can well imaging Robertson and Shearer pushing for Ardern to replace King. She is a tool of their careerist “moderate” circle.

    Sepuloni is a real MP with real Labour Values. She beats Ardern hands down.

    • Ad 10.1

      Roll your RRRs Bill.

      Arderrrrrrn!
      Arderrrrrrrn!

    • Chris 10.2

      “Sepuloni is a real MP with real Labour Values. She beats Ardern hands down.”

      There aren’t any Labour MPs with real Labour values left. They’ve either gone, many in disgust with what Labour’s become, or have taken on the neo-liberal bullshit as an act of self-preservation.

      • Ad 10.2.1

        Not true.
        Plenty of good ones still there.

        • weka 10.2.1.1

          who are the others apart from Sepuloni?

          • the pigman 10.2.1.1.1

            Well let’s play along:

            Iain Lees-Galloway, Sue Moroney, Jenny Salesa, Louisa Wall and David Cunliffe for starters…

            • Chris 10.2.1.1.1.1

              What’s Phil Twyford like? A right-winger dressed in light-winger clothes? I really don’t know.

            • weka 10.2.1.1.1.2

              Thanks pigman.

              (aren’t you on a ban currently?).

              • the pigman

                Still the queen of mendacious questions I see.

                See, I think you know the answer to this one too. CV locked me out of his thread because he couldn’t stand being put to proof over his baseless assertions of “fact”.

                [lprent: You’re lucky. I just had a look at the comments you referred to.

                If I’d had seen it in context when moderating (ie recognized that you were doing it on CV’s post) or if CV had posted a link to your comments or your handle in the authors backend, I would have banned you from the site rather just than the post and for some time.

                It wouldn’t have been for the substance of what you said. It would have been for the stupid behaviour of abusing an author on their own post. We can easily live without commenters who do not provide the work that keeps this site operational. But we need authors and moderators to make the site work. We don’t need idiots attacking them at a personal level and reducing the probability of them wanting to provide content and site oversight.

                Since CV dealt with it his way this time then I won’t review that decision my way. The only thing he asked was if we had a mechanism of enforcing single post bans, but it simply wasn’t explicit enough for me to start investigating. But I’ll start keeping an eye on the comments in CV’s posts a bit more in case that behaviour appears to be targeting a relatively new author without global moderating rights. Be warned. ]

                • the pigman

                  CV started with the personalised shit, telling me he “couldn’t give a pig’s arse what labour say on fucking Facebook”, when I pointed out what Labour were saying on social media, which contradicted the substance of his post.

                  Anyway, this is sandpit level stuff, and if I recall correctly, those with the power always prevail there.

                  [lprent: And that was a personal attack on you – how? Perhaps you’d better reread my note a few times until you understand it.

                  You are comparing a sandpit, made not by those who play in it and who grasp power, with this site that adsorbs a lot of voluntary time and effort by a few people. I think that you need to look at your grasp of priorities otherwise your idiotic sense of unearned personal entitlement will bite you in the arse. ]

                  • weka

                    ‘nyah, nyah, he started it first’ certainly sounds like a sandpit.

                    As for mendacious, I had genuinely forgotten it was just from that thread. I asked rather than asserted, and put it in brackets as an aside. That you interpreted that as mendaciousness after I just thanked you for something is about you not me.

                    Myself, I usually just deal with the behaviour in front of me rather than carrying shit across from other debates (the exception to that would be PG, whoc can never be taken at face value IMO). You appear to bring in your own stuff and project it onto others (here and in CV’s thread).

                    • the pigman

                      Ok, you do read a lot everyday, I accept you probably forgot. I do think it’s quite cheeky to diss the Labour Party from the sidelines and not keep an eye on their individual MPs, but again, you may not be so attuned to Auckland activity.

                      As for CV… I usually agree with him, but his personal experiences with local organising and the shit that was brought to bear on him has left him somewhat one-eyed. I know I’m not the only one who thought that reading his thread and his responses, and they left me rather stunned.

                      Everyone carries over their experiences. That’s how we learn.

                    • weka

                      I have no idea wha happens in Auckland 😉 and my question about Labour MPs was genuine. Bomber put up a few posts about various Labour MPs and factions during the Cunliffe leadership hooha, and yes it will have a big Bomber slant to it up still useful to someone like me who doesn’t know that much about them.

                      As for CV, I agree people bring their experiences with them and that CV probably wrote out of extreme frustration, but that doesn’t make his perspective invalid. My comment about bringing things in from past debates was more about using previous conflict/animosity against people or using their RL against them instead of arguing the issue itself. You so totally deserved the ban for how you behaved towards the author and at the time I was surprised that Lynn didn’t toss you out on your ear. I would have been very interested in your view on why CV was wrong about his analysis of Labour but that got lost in the noise. (I appreciate that people at work don’t always have the time to formulate comments).

    • rod 10.3

      @ Bill Drees
      Steven Joyce and Tim Grocer have never won an electorate seat either. are they second division MP’s in your opinion as well.

      • Chris 10.3.1

        Joyce is in the nasty division and Groser is in the puppet division.

      • Bill Drees 10.3.2

        My comment reflects Labour culture. Getting endorsement from the public by asking for votes street by street is valued higher than getting elected by greasing through selection and moderation committees.

        Not too hot on Nat culture.

    • tracey 10.4

      Yeah… give her a marginal seat and then bash her for not winning. Give her Mt Roskill/Owairaka when Goff goes, will you then condemn her for getting an easy seat?

  11. tangled_up 11

    Since Little became leader there has been a subsequent decline in gaffes and infighting which has resulted in a big enhancement of their credibility in the eyes of the public which the polls have been slowly but surely showing. I think that to go with Jacinda would build on this momentum and be a smart political move due to her public appeal from not coming across as just another stodgy old politician.

    • b waghorn 11.1

      She used to handle her self well when she was on the morning news opposite that slimy nat falla Lee ross

    • Bill Drees 11.2

      If we stand for nothing harder than “motherhood and appke pie” we will win the next election!
      Select Ardern because she causes no ripples!

      Next great idea please!

      • Chooky 11.2.1

        re “If we stand for nothing harder than “motherhood and apple pie”( sexist?..and wrong)

        …actually motherhood is quite/very hard… and Jacinda is not a mother …but Annette King is…Annette King also wins her Electorate Seat

        “King is married with one daughter, and has three step-sons.[2] She is a cousin of National minister Chris Finlayson, from whom she received verbal abuse in Parliament in September 2013.[15] Finlayson has also opposed her in the Rongotai electorate since the 2008 election.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annette_King

        • Chris 11.2.1.1

          None of that stuff about king matters because she’s a two-faced lying piece of right wing filth. When in opposition during the 1990s she jumped up and down about every health and welfare policy change til she was blue in the face. And good on her for that. Then from 1999 when Labour became the government she started supporting everything she and her party had so vehemently opposed not so much as a few months earlier. At best king’s a jaded old career politician who needs to go.

  12. Matthew Hooton 12

    There is no choice at all here. If those are the two candidates, it has to be Jacinda even though I personally don’t rate her and like and admire Annette. Labour has to achieve a generational change the way National manages to do progressively – compare current cabinet with post-2008 election lot.

  13. Anne 13

    She’s on the front bench mate. Same set-up as the Nats. Their most senior pollies are all men in their late 40s/50s. No generational change there. I sense method in your idle thoughts.

  14. McFlock 14

    Oh shiznet, I just realised: more of the same crap from tory media.

    Why is it even a two-candidate race? Why is it being viewed as some major decision?

    After the leadership election, media pundits tried to plug Robertson as the enemy within, encouraging the fighting of the previous few years. Robertson pledged loyalty in unconditional terms, Little is strong, and there’s not been a repeat of intra-caucus warfare. So now they’re simply tweaking the plan into another forced dichotomy, Ardern vs King. Ignore everyone else (all of whom would have something to offer the job) and get the beltway quarterbacks to start a rucus.

    It’s all a pile of crap – Little will choose a solid deputy. If anyone else in caucus desperately wanted the job and lost out, they’ll get favours and the rest of caucus will keep them in line. I’d say that almost everyone in caucus knows their best opportunity is to work together. Nobody wants to be in opposition forever.

    • Anne 14.1

      Unfortunately there’s a few commenters here who haven’t figured out the latest DP game plan McFlock – more’s the pity.

      I’m hoping Little will talk Annette into staying as deputy for a while longer.

  15. feijoa 15

    Well the right has been pushing for Ardern ( see Hoots , above) which is always a worry
    They must have some dirt on her.

    • McFlock 15.1

      nah, just stirring.

      If Ardern had lost the leadership election, they’d be plugging Robertson, or Sepuloni. Anything to sow disorder and mistrust.

  16. Michael 16

    It’s probably time to look closer at the Greens for effective opposition to the Nats.

    • Chooky 16.1

      not on present form…bring back Annette Sykes and Laila Hare and Hone…and John Minto…this is the party we need !….with Winston allowed in coalition as elder statesman if he behaves himself

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    2 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    4 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    5 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    7 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago

  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    53 mins ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
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