Leading a feminist Pacific

Written By: - Date published: 3:19 pm, March 28th, 2019 - 63 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, International, jacinda ardern, Politics - Tags:

In September last year, Prime Minister Ardern appeared in the United Nations with her new baby.

It was a strong symbol, but it’s one that hasn’t been converted through New Zealand’s attitude to foreign development in the Pacific.

Symbols need to be backed up with coherent policy, or they turn into shallow memes real fast.

Now, the Prime Minister has had a bit on, so there’s no heavy critique going on here.

However, the Pacific is one of the worst areas in the world for how it treats women.

New Zealand delivers the majority of its aid and development funding to this area.

The legacy policy framework for New Zealand’s aid and development is economically focused:

The purpose of New Zealand’s aid is to develop shared prosperity and stability in the Pacific and beyond, drawing on the best of New Zealand’s knowledge and skills. We support sustainable development in developing countries to reduce poverty and contribute to a more secure, equitable and prosperous world.”

The treatment of women in countries that we provide substantial funding to has some pretty common really negative themes, including:

  • Low levels of women’s political representation
  • Violence against women
  • Increased risk of HIV/AIDS and STIs
  • Declining access to customary lands
  • Low levels of literacy about rights to land and property, and
  • Culturally-enforced discrimination and inequality of women

“Feminist” may feel like a leftie buzzword to stick over a bunch of funding. 

But the poorest people in the Pacific are women.  Our framework is well overdue to fundamentally respond to New Zealand’s new political leadership, including how it frames aid and development funding.

You get a sense of the Australian development (‘AusAid’ as it was formerly known) approach to gender in development here:

There’s also some lovely case studies of useful change occurring in this Australian evaluation report.

Australia has an explicit women’s empowerment strategy in its development programme.

So does France.

And Canada.

The question is: what would a gender-focussed framing of state development look like if our Prime Minister could convert her massive symbolic gender capital into real change with real state money?

Well, one answer comes from Sweden.

Sweden has a feminist foreign policy. That’s what they call it. It’s led by the returned Prime Minister Stefan Lofven. It puts the promotion of gender equality and women’s rights at the centre of its diplomatic agenda. The policy consists of three laudable R’s:

  • rights (promotion of women’s issues including gender-based violence and discrimination)
  • representation (support for women’s participation at all levels of decision-making from Parliaments to the legal system), and
  • resources (more equitable allocation among people of all genders in government budgets or development projects.  

Now, the symbolic capital of one Prime Minister can get spent on a limited set of policy tasks. I get that. But if Ardern is to get a good few terms, this government needs a bunch more policy wins than the very few it is getting out of transport, housing or health. 

Development in the Pacific is also good for the Labour voter base, and Ardern has the capacity to gently build that “Pacific Reset” to sound political and development ends, not just keeping Winston busy imbibing Pina Coladas on tropical islands. Soft capital needs to be built, and spent, with values that are more than economic. We don’t just need to stick to the old primarily economic development framework to get good happening.

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom explained in an interview in the New Yorker in March 2015 that a feminist foreign policy meant “standing against the systematic and global subordination of women.”

Anyone can do cute rhetorical aphorisms. Few back it up with policy frameworks that direct the cash. But that is what Sweden have done.

The approach has been critiqued, as it should, in a paper called: “Hiding Behind the F-Word”.

It has also been criticised for not being consistent. For example, Sweden’s government facilitating arms exports to authoritarian regimes with records of human rights abuses and its temporary suspension of the right to family reunification for refugees.

The true test of Sweden – or any country’s – feminist foreign policy will only be answered with further implementation and evaluation, which requires consistent and sustained support.

But it does turn upon New Zealand’s accidental newly-found global positioning on all things liberal in the world. Our Prime Minister is explicitly trading on its global banks of empathy and emotion and gender equality – as only a female Prime Minister can.

Her time to focus on this kind of stuff is so constrained now that she even cut her China trip down to one day. 

But every PM has a lot on.

Even with other countries showing the way, it’s time to convert Ardern’s massive global symbolic capital into a lasting legacy for the Pacific. It’s time for a feminist international development policy.

63 comments on “Leading a feminist Pacific”

  1. Rae 1

    Awesome, bring it on. Sean Plunket will have a complete meltdown.

  2. Stuart Munro. 2

    It’s not that it isn’t worthy, but after thirty years of economic savagery, we have quite a few domestic issues that are much more important to me.

    I recognize that much of the appeal of identity politics is that it doesn’t have much in the way of budgetary consequences; the things that need doing more do.

    One of my students has just finished her masters on tourism based poverty relief programs for women. Supporting interventions of that kind should not consume terribly much political capital, though typically that would be a job for energetic junior ministers rather than a PM.

    • AB 2.1

      Yes. But not if you regard feminism as a useful spearhead in the attack against neoliberal economics. Such as saying that the lives of women can never be what they should be without taking the essentials of life (health, education, housing etc.) out of a market system.

      • Stuart Munro. 2.1.1

        I’m not sure how I regard feminism. But I am not keen on poverty, and impoverished women mean impoverished children. If we work on poverty and health issues, even conservative societies will often welcome our participation.

  3. Mark 3

    New Zealanders rightly or wrongly take issue with countries like China supposedly peddling their soft power.

    Yet what is proposed here but an attack on the traditional cultures of the Pacific.

    That is not to say Pacific countries are guilty (or not guilty) of all the things listed relating to gender inequality. But let them decide their own path, based on tradition and authentic Christian belief.

    Most nations and cultures have survived for very long periods and done very well, without having fanatical Western feminist strictures rammed down their throats.

    • Rosemary McDonald 3.1

      “That is not to say Pacific countries are guilty (or not guilty) of all the things listed relating to gender inequality. But let them decide their own path, based on tradition and authentic Christian belief.”

      Hmmmm….Can you unpack that for me Mark? Pretty please? Exactly how is it possible to have the expression ‘authentic (whatever that means in this context) Christian belief’ in the same sentence as ‘…own path based on tradition…’ when discussing whether or not Pacific women should have ‘fanatical Western feminist strictures rammed down their throats.’

      After that you can toddle off back to your cave.

      • In Vino 3.1.1

        “Authentic Christian belief”… Correct me if I am wrong, but was not the Bible brought to the Pacific with reinforcement of British guns? Some on British gunboats, I suspect..

        • Rosemary McDonald 3.1.1.1

          Yeah. I’m struggling with the ‘authentic’ bit too. Perhaps when Mark has eaten his haunch of aurochs he can help us out?

          • In Vino 3.1.1.1.1

            Nice..
            I doubt if he likes our questions. By the way, I should have added that there were French, Dutch, and Spanish gunboats as well..

            • McFlock 3.1.1.1.1.1

              And American.

              I recall Ian McKellan talking about doing movie promos in Singapore (I think it was), or at least a South East Asian nation where homosexuality is still illegal. He asked the camp morning TV host, on air, if he knew of any gay bars. Cue outrage about judging the country’s cultural norms. McKellan pointed out that the anti-gay law was implemented by the British colonial authorities in order to stamp out native acceptance of homosexuality.

              Apparently someone else showed him where the local gay bars were…

      • left_forward 3.1.2

        Well unpacked Rosemary.

    • … authentic Christian belief…

      After all, there’s nothing more “authentic” and “traditional” to Pacific cultures than Judaic monotheism modified by Greeks to suit their and Roman sensibilities, right? That’s just gotta be the really authentic Pasifika shit, amiright?

      • In Vino 3.2.1

        The only vague justification I have ever heard is that Pacific people have a lot of ‘spirituality’.
        If so, does that mean any other religion would do?
        I share your ‘spirit of inquiry’ PM.

    • Maggie 3.3

      “authentic christian beliefs” – umm which ones are those? The ones that still hold to the ridiculous notion that the quality of a woman’s character and her value are determined by how she uses her vagina, that she is a guardian, not an owner and ought to ‘give’ herself only to a worthy male? Yeah, nah.

      • left_forward 3.3.1

        At least St. Mark added to this discourse, by outlining the pivotal role of the Church in the imposition of strictures on women and their families throughout the Pacific.

        • Maggie 3.3.1.1

          Yes. It’s disappointing that more men don’t weigh in constructively on conversations like this. Disagreeing is fine when it’s rational and intelligent. Instead we either get hysteria or silence. How are we (people) supposed to navigate an uncertain future without open and honest discourse?

  4. BM 4

    What a load of typical paternalistic know all white liberal bull shit.

    Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if this sort of wankery became the number one focus for Labour, it’s the sort of thing you’d expect from this crop of clowns

    • Sam 4.1

      So are you saying that transforming New Zealand into a haven for woman from all over the pacific is some how objectionable or pornographic or some shit? I mean that’s just [off].

      [Homophobic insult deleted. Last chance, Sam. TRP]

      • Sam 4.1.1

        I called BM a homosexual. So what. Are you trying to argue that there’s something wrong with being a gay, TRP. Or are you just fragile.

        • BM 4.1.1.1

          Are you cruising for some arse? Sam.

          • Sam 4.1.1.1.1

            I was implying that you coming out all hard and pathetic over a feminist policy agenda was homo in nature. So are you or nah. If you are then that’s and understandable position to take. But if you are not homo then your reaction to a feminist forign policy is debatable. So what are you?

            Edit: hey TRP, isn’t that like the 3rd last chance. What are you trying to prove?

            [I do apologise for the delay. I’ve been out for a walk along the banks of the Taylor River in Blenheim. Lovely this time of year, especially at twilight. Speaking of the dying of the light, your own dim bulb is being extinguished for the time being. Banned till May 1 and much, much longer if you try it on again. TRP]

            • Rosemary McDonald 4.1.1.1.1.1

              @BM&@Sam….courageous attempt at sublimation fellas, but sadly, no cigar.

              • Sam

                I wouldn’t exactly call it courageous. Intermediate track meet maybe but nothing top tier.

              • Ad

                sometimes a cigar is just a cigarette

              • Robert Guyton

                “@BM&@Sam”
                Those two labour to pollute the generally convivial atmosphere here with their provocations. While they have arguments as reasonable as some others, they aren’t aiming to progress them for the purpose of the greater understanding for commenters here, more they beaver away to sow discord and elicit bad-faith, frustration and anger. Still, their periodic banning will make many here smile and enjoy a sense of freedom from irritation. Thanks, Te Reo Putake, for your timely intervention and wise decision-making 🙂

                • Maggie

                  “Still, their periodic banning will make many here smile and enjoy a sense of freedom from irritation. ”

                  😊😊😊

            • McFlock 4.1.1.1.1.2

              Damn. I was curious as to what “fall back” was supposed to mean.

    • left_forward 4.2

      Equality for women!! Pffft.
      Typical Lefties… comin’ round here with their university education and high falutin’ ideas.

      • Maggie 4.2.1

        Exactly! Is no one thinking of the socks? We’ll all be walking around with one bare foot or worse; mismatched! 😉

        • RedLogix 4.2.1.1

          Or worse little short white ones …

          • Maggie 4.2.1.1.1

            Napoleon sock complex…

            I read an interesting article about the apparent difficulty some men have with remembering basic things in the home like where to find socks when they aren’t in their usual place. Apparently it’s a skill they’ve never really had to learn because there’s always been someone to do that for them. It’s much the same with young ones and their reduction in long term memory. Easy access to information means they no longer need to retain it, just know how to find it.

            • left_forward 4.2.1.1.1.1

              ‘How do you take your tea luv?’

              ‘Ow would I know? you’d better ask the wife!’

  5. WeTheBleeple 5

    If women are the poorest in the pacific – and aid can help elevate their opportunities – it stands to reason this would ‘raise the game’ of the region entire.

    Woman are also the primary caregivers of the regions children.

    As a proponent of leftie wankery and occasionally snowflake soliloquies it is my opinion right comments may be a bit hasty opposing such ideas.

    I think it’s the F-word that scares them to be honest. They’ve never been able to swallow certain words.

    So the concept of feminism gets thrown out as ‘hysterical’ – that even more loathsome word used to mansplain all these women who are ‘a bit lippy.’

    Imagine more empowered women like Jacinda. The horror aye guys.

    • Maggie 5.1

      “As a proponent of leftie wankery and occasionally snowflake soliloquies…”

      Pure poetry…

      It certainly seems as though they’re scared. It’s all so different. I struggle to reconcile what I believe about men, that they are brave, strong, adventurous entrepreneurs, with this fearful clinging to the apron strings of old ways that I see. Perhaps I was wrong.

  6. RedLogix 6

    The idea of focusing development aid toward indigenous women, creating opportunity and the often very modest resources needed to get people out of absolute poverty is a well established and respectable idea.

    Our next door neighbour in Ballarat worked in exactly this field for many decades, and we had a number of excellent conversations on her experiences. There is a lot going on around Asia and the Pacific already, and many experienced people to tap into. No new wheels need inventing, although more funds and energy will be welcome.

    However she was also pretty scathing of projects she knew of that fell over very badly due to an overload of ideological baggage of various kinds. If you are going work with communities to bring about constructive change, without unintended consequences, it has to be done at a pace they are comfortable with. There are plenty of error types that are already well known to the professionals in this field; there is no requirement to repeat them all.

  7. I feel love 7

    Interesting post Ad.

  8. Grumpy 8

    Already been done. In a previous life, putting together bids for Asia Development Bank and World Bank, it was a requirement to have a WiD ( women in development): WiDs were bloody hard to get and in international demand. Needing one for a particular project I rocked up to University of Canterbury Feminist Studies Department and found a fantastic PI woman. Some months later she called in to thank me. She was on her way to the UN and had obtained major contracts.
    The thinking at the time was that unless you took the women along in these projects, they were doomed to failure.

    • Ad 8.1

      I pointed out with links that it continues to be done multiple times across multiple countries.

      But not with an explicitly feminist leader in the South Pacific.

      Still, good to see the earth change, one consultant contract at a time.

    • left_forward 8.2

      Grumpy… and cynical!
      Best to step aside and let others get on with it.

  9. SHG 9

    So what you’re saying is, only those who can bear children are real women?

    • So, what you’re saying is you’re looking to both derail the thread and start a flame war? Ambitious goals.

      • RedLogix 9.1.1

        So what you’re saying is that because you got a smart comeback, the rest of us should find a kitchen and get pregnant?

        • Psycho Milt 9.1.1.1

          Seriously: when people follow “So what you’re saying is…” with an egregious misrepresentation of what was said, you have to wonder whether they’re malicious, stupid or just trying to start an argument – by which I mean “argument” in its colloquial sense, not the philosophical one. And this instance has the additional feature of including the flame-war generating term “real women” in it.

  10. left_forward 10

    Thanks Ad – I like it.

  11. Rosemary McDonald 11

    Seriously, now…

    …just yesterday Natrad featured a story about the ‘Pacific Women In Power’ forum held in Fiji this week, and when I saw the heading for this post I assumed Ad was inspired to write this post by this event.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/385809/pacific-women-target-equal-representation-at-leadership-level

    That the event was help in Fiji rather than in Samoa was interesting as Samoa is the only Pacific nation to implement the Temporary Special Measures (TSM) that seek to ensure at least 10% of elected representatives are women.

    “The Cook Islands’ Health Minister, Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown, said the theme of the Forum: “It’s About Time: Women Changing the Pacific” was fitting.

    “I believe that the Cook Islands has stood up to the challenge of this bold statement with six women MPs out of 24 members and a woman speaker – this being the highest numbers ever,” she said.

    “Another historical development for Cook Islands women is that for the second time only, the Leader of the Opposition is the Democratic Party’s Tina Browne. The role of the leader of a political party has been a male dominant position for 53 years – but not anymore.

    “We also made history with the election of a 22-year-old woman MP, Te Hani Brown, who is the youngest MP ever in the Cook Islands and in the Pacific.””

  12. beautox 12

    You are holding Sweden up as a model of feminist government, yet it has the highest rape rate in Europe and the third highest in the world?

    • WeTheBleeple 12.1

      “However, widely differing legal systems, offence definitions, terminological variations, recording practices and statistical conventions makes any cross-national comparison on rape statistics difficult”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics#Sweden

      People with one fact and no links are typically misleading.

      ” there’s a strong correlation between higher levels of gender equality and disclosure of sexual violence”

  13. Jan Rivers 13

    Really supportive of this idea and the amazing impact it could have, Women certainly need more power than they have. ANother perspective would be in designing policies and services, Caroline Criado Perez’s recent book addresses how in everything from car safety to how the use of data in policy making men are regarded as the normative model and algorithms only reinforce this bias.. Women need to be in positions of influence to raise and focus policy in the right areas.

    Given the way liberal feminism has focussed on doft personal issues self-empowerment and not hard issues like structural inequalities I’m worried somewhat whether we are precioulsy ill prepared to get this right/ See https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/feb/28/invisible-women-by-caroline-criado-perez-review

  14. Jan Rivers 14

    And then I re-read the blog piece and saw this “resources (more equitable allocation among people OF ALL GEN)DERS in government budgets or development projects. ”

    The term is code for the kind of feminism where biological men who think they are women have primacy over actual women. But most people neither in NZ or in the Pacific believe in gender ideology. And like me on the first read most would not have seen the coded message or understand what it means, Not only that transgender women in this world view are more oppressed than women in general.

    In my opinion no feminist analysis worthy of the name gives primacy to gender, a concept whose meaning is most closely related to “sex-role stereotype. Women are oppressed not because of gender (how they dress and act) but because of their sex – their biology.

    • Rosemary McDonald 14.1

      There is still a lot of confusing ‘sex’ with ‘gender’.

      I am perfectly confident this is mere escalating, almost infectious ignorance of the difference because the alternative…that it is a deliberate and planned campaign…is a little bit scary.

      • Jan Rivers 14.1.1

        Thanks.

        I’m not confident at all and believe there is mounting evidence that there is covert work to replace sex with gender from the UN to government and event in councils and NGOs like Amnesty NZ and the NZ National Council of Women. Here is an article outlining the extent to which is it already happening by women who have tracked what is happening and who are gearing up to try to rfeverse the trend,

        https://speakupforwomen.nz/global-declaration/

        The ESRC in the UK has put a lot of money into a project called the Future Of Legal Gender in the UK which presupposes that gender / sex are fluid and chosen

        https://futureoflegalgender.kcl.ac.uk/project/

        But the point you raise is valid – that this is happening largely below the radar and supported by people who are by and large unaware of what they are endorsing,i

        • Incognito 14.1.1.1

          Don’t you think that sex is such a loaded word with so many connotations that it could hinder rather than help? I remember a talk once – death by PowerPoint – in which a slide was inserted that read SEX and nothing more. It was intended to keep the audience attentive and suffice to say it worked a treat. A slide with GENDER would not have elicited such a response.

  15. Jan Rivers 15

    Well the word sex does of course have an emotional charge that gender does not. But the issue here is of an initiative to replace biological sex (physical bodies) with gender (a feeling that you are male or female) in international law, national law as well as our common understanding of what it means to be male or female. This has massive implications for women’s (natal women) rights.

    The way that this issue is playing out in NZ included the covertly introduced, (but now well exposed) attempt to include gender self-id in legislation. Here is the reference https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/births-deaths-marriages-and-relationships-registration-bill-be-deferred

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  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    6 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    6 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    6 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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. ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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

  • More homes where they are needed
    More houses for homeless New Zealanders are being opened today in Tauranga by Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi. Six 2-bedroom quality units are being opened at 878 Cameron Road by Minister Faafoi and Accessible Properties, a local Community Housing Provider (CHP). Accessible Properties now provides more than 1,700 community housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    56 mins ago
  • Minister of Finance and Sport and Recreation to visit Japan and Vietnam
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson departs tomorrow for events and meetings in Japan and Vietnam.  While in Japan, he will discuss economic and fiscal issues including meeting with the Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, and Minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura. He will meet with the Minister of Education, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
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