Lee implodes

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, May 14th, 2009 - 73 comments
Categories: mt albert, racism - Tags:

And the ticking timebomb goes off. From Not PC on last night’s Mt Albert candidates’ debate:

Most of what every mainstream candidate had to say on the night was both instantly forgettable and intended only for short-term political advantage.  But there was one thing one candidate said that is now going to dog her through the rest of the campaign. Maybe longer. It will probably be the meeting’s headline tomorrow morning.  I say “her” because the foot in the mouth belonged to Melissa Lee.

Asked to explain how the new motorway would most help the good people of Mt Albert, she expained that it would stop the bad people of South Auckland driving to Mt Albert to burgle people’s homes.  Asked to clarify by a questioner, she repeated the claim.  Showing she’s truly not one to stop digging when she creates a big hole for herself — a hole as big as the number of open mouths in the room — she insisted that the local police commander had told her this very morning that the biggest issue with which he has to deal is the number of South Aucklanders driving to Mt Albert to burgle people’s homes.

I swear I am not making this up.  It’s true that the likely winner of the by-election, David Shearer, grew up in South Auckland . . .  and in being Labour’s “machine candidate” he could be said to be burgling the seat . . . but what the hell she was talking about, only Melissa Lee herself would know.  Probably.

It was as incongruous and frankly ludicrous as Jenny Shipley’s comment in Parliament several years ago (apropos of nothing relevant) that Polynesians tend “to climb in the windows of other New Zealanders at night.”  And it deserves to be treated with equal contempt.

We predicted something like this would happen but I’m still shocked it’s happened so quickly. From a credible performance on Q+A last Sunday to a political career in tatters by Wednesday.

The funny thing about shocking events is sometimes it’s the little details that stand out. I keep thinking – but won’t a motorway make it easier for South Aucklanders to get to Mt Albert?

73 comments on “Lee implodes ”

  1. I am not surprised. If only tories would say what they are thinking more often.

    Lee will probably be sent to a Crosby Textor reeducation camp for a while so do not be surprised if she disappears for a couple of days.

  2. Tim Ellis 2

    I went to the debate, too. Shearer said motorways cause congestion, and he said he was opposed to building motorways. He dropped a clanger when an interjector asked him why he was supporting a $3 billion tunnel.

    Lee performed pretty well in the debate. Labour activists turned up in force and tried to shout her down, but she held her own. Shearer got a bit of a surprise. I don’t think he expected to be heckled. He was certainly rattled by the evening and didn’t cope well.

    Norman made one clanger when he advocated civil disobedience and protesting outside John Key’s home, but got more support than any of the candidates.

    The Libertarianz guy got up and spoke bafflingly how individuals should build their own motorways without government intervention.

    It was a fun night. If you were there, Eddie, it would be disingenuous to claim that anybody other than Norman was the winner on points.

    • andy 2.1

      Why did you go to the meeting Tim?

      • Tim Ellis 2.1.1

        Because it was a public meeting and I thought it would be entertaining. It was.

        • andy 2.1.1.1

          Tim, you are working so hard defending Lee (and National) you out to get paid for your hard work, I am impressed with your dedication to National and your ability to mirror the official party line with your personal comments..

    • Pascal's bookie 2.2

      So did Lee say the things in the post or not Tim? How was the reaction to that from the floor.

      And how can you tell the difference between Labour activists turning up in force and trying to shout someone down, and a politician getting bollocked for saying unpopular things? Just wondering.

      • gingercrush 2.2.1

        Its all over National Radio. Its frankly embarrassing.

      • Tim Ellis 2.2.2

        There was some discussion about crime being committed by people from South Auckland, yes, PB. It wasn’t signficant and the reaction wasn’t major. Lee was reporting a discussion she had with a police officer earlier in the day as I recall.

        “And how can you tell the difference between Labour activists turning up in force and trying to shout someone down, and a politician getting bollocked for saying unpopular things? Just wondering.”

        I guess the difference is, the Labour activists hold up Labour Party signs and chant “pay the money back” and yelling corruption in unison. That’s a good indication.

        Like I say, Lee handled herself pretty well. Shearer got much more of a bollocking than he expected, and was visibly pretty shaken by it. Norman carried on regardless, ignoring interjections. There was one amusing exchange when Norman claimed that a motorway wouldn’t be built through rich neighbourhoods King’s college… somebody shouted out that King’s is in South Auckland.

        There were lots of laughs on all sides.

        • gingercrush 2.2.2.1

          ….

          I have no doubt she performed well in other areas. But that is all meaningless when the headlines are screaming, “what Melissa Lee said at candidate’s meeting”.

        • Pascal's bookie 2.2.2.2

          Thanks. You have an interesting perspective.

        • Philonz 2.2.2.3

          Unfortunately Tim it doesn’t really matter how anyone was percieved at the actual meeting. It only matters how they will be percieved today by the undecided of Mt Albert who are reading their Herald over their cornflakes. I doubt there will be a headline screaming “Norman probably best performer, Lee’s comments not racist, Shearer rattled”. If you give the media a sniff of a controversial statement they will tear you to shreds and it seems Lee has made the mistake of dangling a beauty right in front of them.

    • bilbo 2.3

      Tim

      If Lee is so pathetically naive to make the comment as quoted by Eddie she clearly is pretty lightweight – apart from the partisan junkies on blogs and the idiots who turn up to these debates to heckle and cheer like it’s a rugby game I can’t see why most people in the electorate wouldn’t be happy with Shearer who from this non-lefties perspective is clearly the best candidate.

    • IrishBill 2.4

      Lee performed pretty well in the debate.

      You have to be kidding.

    • Eddie 2.5

      Tim. The above is a quote from Not PC. I wasn’t there. If you think Russel Norman ‘won’ that’s great but the most significant thing is surely Lee’s racist comments..

      Did you hear them? Did it go down like Not PC describes?

      • Tim Ellis 2.5.1

        Eddie, you can try and beat this up all you like, but I was there. There was no racist element to what Lee said, and it wasn’t interpreted as racist. As far as I know, “people from South Auckland” is not racist. Mount Albert has a high Pacific Island population as well. Lee was reporting that a police officer had told her that much of the crime committed was by people who didn’t live locally, and in fact lived in South Auckland.

        • Eddie 2.5.1.1

          Tim. You and I know the colour of the skin of the people Lee imagines drive to Mt Albert to burgle it. The racism is implicit and inherent.

          Also, you please explain how a motorway makes driving to Mt Albert to go a burglerin’ harder? Or was Lee’s idea that they would drive through Mt Albert and burgle elsewhere?

          • Tim Ellis 2.5.1.1.1

            Nonsense, Eddie. Mount Albert has a high proportion of Pacific Islanders as well. The point was specifically about crime being committed by people from outside the area. Nobody at the meeting as far as I know interpreted it as a racist exchange. Keep beating it up as such, though.

            I was perplexed by the comment from Lee and its relationship to the motorway. Somebody yelled out that south Auckland criminals would be able to drive to Mount Albert faster if there was a motorway, which was pretty funny.

        • Lew 2.5.1.2

          Tim, without prompting, you’ve mentioned `Pacific Islanders’ in your last two comments. If that’s not a demonstration of the racism being implicit and inherent, I don’t know what is. Or is there some other reason you decided to talk about Pacific Islanders in particular?

          L

          • Tim Ellis 2.5.1.2.1

            There certainly was prompting, Lew. It was Eddie’s claim that the reference from Lee was racist, and Eddie making the comparison with an earlier comment by Jenny Shipley:

            It was as incongruous and frankly ludicrous as Jenny Shipley’s comment in Parliament several years ago (apropos of nothing relevant) that Polynesians tend “to climb in the windows of other New Zealanders at night.’ And it deserves to be treated with equal contempt.

            Lee’s comments weren’t racist. She didn’t refer to Pacific Islanders. I only made reference to it because Eddie did.

          • Lew 2.5.1.2.2

            Tim,

            That’s PC, in relation to a totally different statement more than a decade ago by a different person. You’ve picked it up and run with it as though that was what was meant all along – and I agree that it was.

            L

          • Tim Ellis 2.5.1.2.3

            Lew,

            That’s PC, in relation to a totally different statement more than a decade ago by a different person. You’ve picked it up and run with it as though that was what was meant all along – and I agree that it was.

            So it was from PC. My apologies for attributing that to Eddie. I was at the meeting, however, and in my view there was no racist element to what Lee was saying. She wasn’t referring to Pacific Islanders. She was referring to criminals from outside Mount Albert, primarily from South Auckland. She has since apologised for any offence she may have caused South Auckland residents.

  3. bilbo 3

    I’ve just read not PC’s overview – perhaps you’d like him to write a guest post every now and then – outstanding, non-partisan and a good laugh.

    • Eddie 3.1

      yeah it is well written, not sure that I would call it non-partisan though. It’s a staunchly libertarian blog.

      • bilbo 3.1.1

        True but he’s up front about that and tends to gloss over the lib candidate and have a bit of fun with the rest of them.

      • Lew 3.1.2

        PC is non-partisan in that the only party he can support in good conscience is the Libertarianz, and they’re an irrelevancy. He seems to hate all the other parties more or less equally.

        L

        • bilbo 3.1.2.1

          “He seems to hate all the other parties more or less equally.”

          Clearly a sensible chap.

  4. outofbed 4

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2410051/Motorway-could-divert-criminals-Lee

    Tim maybe you went to the Gents and missed the comment
    After all why could you have such a widely different interpretation of events?

    I think lee said it to divert attention from her misuse of public funds 🙂

  5. andy 5

    Lee on nat radio.

    Clarification: “the motorway is going to help catch the criminals”

    More motorways=less crime, WTF??

    I cringe every time a politician uses the line “the police have told me…”

  6. wibblewithoutapause 6

    perhaps National should ask for “voluntary” tunnelling services from Ms Lee – she appears to be pretty good at digging holes. Perhaps with some National direction she could continue to dig under Mt Albert and make the tunnel for them and put the publicity video of it on youtube and facebook for free too.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    The Standard must stop beating up these stories and controlling all the media coverage from … um … TVNZ, Radio NZ, Herald, Stuff, pretty much everyone … heck, even blogs with no love for the Left. I don’t know how you guys do it, but you are clearly too powerful, and it’s just not fair.

    And at the end of all this, what say we have a whip-round and get Tim Ellis a medal? He’s courageously answered his party’s call, but the generals forgot to tell him it was a one-man suicide mission.

    PS Nominations for Mt Albert are still open. Has John Key got Ravi’s phone number?

  8. Putting this on context: Melissa Lee was the person deemed most likely to succeed by the people in the National Party with the power to make that determination. Her nomination and all that flows from it reflects on THEIR judgement.

    I wonder if any of them will pause to reflect, even for a moment, what this implies about their capacity for correctly assessing evidence and making sound judgements.

    Most of National’s intended policy program suggests they operate more on belief than on evidence and they, in turn, represent people who also operate on belief rather than evidence.

    Over the last 8 years we saw where that took the United States. It has been my contention that the National Party here in NZ demonstrated all of the same qualities and would – therefore – make all of the same mistakes. What is fascinating is their near total lack of insight into the both the mistakes themselves and their roots in unfounded belief……as manifestly demonstrated by the example of the US Republican Party.

    The metaphor that comes to mind is lemmings over a cliff….and lemmings aren’t actually that stupid…as the metaphor is based on a myth. Apparently, National and its supporters – or enough of them – are that stupid.

    As an aside, I doubt Ms Lee will be getting any special consideration from the police in future. She can’t keep a confidence, either. In one exchange we see two critical political failings.

  9. r0b 9

    My isn’t a week a long time in politics. The implosion of his handpicked candidate does not reflect well on the judgement of John Key:

    “We’re delighted with the selection of Melissa Lee we think she is a top class candidate, she’s already marked herself out as an MP that’s going places and we are now going to put up the best contest we can in Mt Albert,” Mr Key told reporters

    Shoulda stuck with Ravi John.

  10. sparky 10

    Maybe she can see South Auckland from her house?

  11. Pat 11

    A Mt Albert resident just phoned Radio Live to say they went to a seminar organised by the community board about 3 weeks ago in which the Police made a presentation. Apparently they spoke about Mt Albert being targeted by criminals outside the area and the motorway would divert some of this criminal activity.

    This seems to back Lee’s story up, but certainly her message has got lost in the translation.

    • bilbo 11.1

      Pat – if that’s true it’s rather depressing – I mean how on earth is a motorway going to divert criminal activity, are the criminals too thick to take an off ramp.

      FFS at times you have to wonder if this country is solely populated with morons.

      • Pat 11.1.1

        Yeah I can’t figure it out, but to be fair you would probably need to hear the whole Police presentation to get it in context. Looks like Radio Live producers are following up on it.

    • Chris 11.2

      I was at that same meeting.

      The Police had some slides which showed criminal activity in the Mt Albert area (and no surprise, St Lukes Westfield Mall is tops for breaking and entering cars/stealing cars/petty theft/assult).

      The Police at no stage said that motorways helps/hinders crime, and it would be foolish to for the police to state that. What they did point out is crime is opportunistic/environmental in nature i.e. it’s the surrounding environment that helps criminals do crime – bushes hide criminals, or lack of lighting etc.

      The only time that the Police gave indication of where the criminals were coming from, they said West – i.e. Avondale/New Lynn/Waitakere.

      Melissa Lee was not at this meeting, or if she was I didn’t see her at all.

      • Pat 11.2.1

        Chris – you should phone Michael Laws on Radio Live since it is a continuing story.

        Their earlier caller confirmed Lee wasn’t at the meeting.

  12. Maynard J 12

    10/10 Sparky!!!!!!

  13. Bill 13

    Hmm.

    On the basis that escaping poverty is a well nigh impossible proposition under National maybe they had nightmare visions of a tunnel leading to scenarios from ‘The Great Escape’ ;dirty poor people from S. Auckland popping up out the ground all over the show spreading their nasty poverty virus.

    As the Nats ideology just wont allow for an understanding of poverty (coming soon, to a neighbourhood near you!) spreading from system to person and not person to person, I wonder how Melissa feels about a wall as a containment strategy?

    Or then, perhaps punitive road tolls could be a more cost effective back up plan?

  14. gobsmacked 14

    Wow.

    According to Radio Live news, John Key has described Lee’s comments as “stupid”.

    • exbrethren 14.1

      Tim, stop helping Melissa dig that hole, Shonkey and Joyce have condemned her comments. Now all that leaves is for the police to deny they put the words into her mouth…

      • Pat 14.1.1

        Michael Laws at 10.28am Radio Live claims they have confirmed that the Avondale Senior Sergeant has said that the motoway will act as a physical barrier to criminals.

        • gobsmacked 14.1.1.1

          Unfortunately for Melissa Lee, rebuttal witnesses only keep the story going, when she (and definitely her party) wants to shut it down. It’s a fight they want to avoid, not win.

          That may not be fair, but it is politics.

    • Eddie 14.2

      So he’s labelling his MPs stupid at the rate of one a month. Makes you wonder why they were selected.

      • Tim Ellis 14.2.1

        It’s quite a refreshing change from a leader who denied any wrongdoing by any MPs until they became politically hazardous and then dumping on them big time though, isn’t it Eddie?

        • r0b 14.2.1.1

          It’s quite a refreshing change from a leader who denied any wrongdoing by any MPs

          Hah! Stupidest spin ever. As long as Key shields Worth and his multiple conflicts of interest that line is utterly doomed Tim. Here’s the list of MPs that Clark sacked for various indiscretions…

          Key is doing damage control. He’s cut Lee adrift, and he’s trying to limit damage to his party.

          • Tim Ellis 14.2.1.1.1

            Oh, right r0b. Like how Clark defended Field for many months, spinning an official inquiry to saying he was guilty of doing nothing more than helping people. Or the “I didn’t ask Mr Peters and took him at his word”.

            Or the David Benson-Pope saga.

            Great examples.

          • r0b 14.2.1.1.2

            Like how Clark defended Field for many months, spinning an official inquiry to saying he was guilty of doing nothing more than helping people

            That’s yet another big fat lie from you Tim!

            What Clark actually said, she said on Sept 14 2005, before the first enquiry, before any of the facts of the case were known. What she actually said was: “I think the only thing he is probably guilty of is trying to be helpful to someone”. Later (around June 14 2006, again before the report) she was challenged on this opinion and confirmed: “Indeed I think he was, but I am awaiting a full report.” So there we go – “I think” and “probably” and awaiting the full report – a perfectly reasonable position before the facts were known. The Tory lie machine has turned this into the “Clark ignoring Field’s heinous crimes” version that Tim and the other Nat apologists push so hard on the blogs.

  15. GFraser 15

    Message From: Labour Party HQ

    To: Special Agent Lee

    Message begins………….return to base…..mission accomplished……..Message ends.

  16. Pascal's bookie 16

    The image of Lee’s ministerial mentor Jonathan Coleman silently mouthing instructions for her to say “I don’t know’ at last night’s election meeting, and then to have Lee dutifully repeating “I don’t know’ to a questioner only seconds later, was an example of political post-modernism to treasure for the ages

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2009/05/14/gordon-campbell-on-the-melissa-lee-factor/#more-386

    read the rest, as they say.

    • Tim Ellis 16.1

      PB, I was at the meeting. Coleman was sitting two rows behind me, in front of the young nats who were standing up next to young labour. I was ten rows back from the candidates, in elevated seating. There’s no way Lee could have lip-read from Coleman. I don’t know what Campbell looks like, so I don’t know if he was there, but there was no way Coleman was prompting Lee.

      • Pascal's bookie 16.1.1

        So were you behind him, like you said at Gordon’s, or was he behind you? Or were you doing the do-se-do and spinning like a top?

        • r0b 16.1.1.1

          Perhaps there is more than one Tim Ellis? That would explain both how he can be in two places at once, and how he has time to run about on every blog in NZ full time running National Party lines.

          • felix 16.1.1.1.1

            No, no, no. He’s just a lowly auditor, working in a bank, with no party affiliation. You’re just imagining that he spends all day, every day commenting on blogs, non stop. And runs all the Nat lines word for word, sometimes before the Nats do. Regardless of the issue.

            Nothing to see here.

          • Tim Ellis 16.1.1.1.2

            I didn’t say I have no party affiliation, Felix. I said I’m not a member of the National Party and that I’m not an activist. I did vote National for the last couple of elections, but I voted Labour the two elections before that and national and labour in roughly equal measures before 1999.

          • felix 16.1.1.1.3

            Get back to work Tim. Oh that’s right. As you were.

  17. Paul Robeson 17

    I was gunna say it but Sparky beat me to it with wit and class.

    Lee= a symbol of the Nats. Their MPs are pretty faces for the technocrats of Rogernomics who are appointed in shady positions with no public accountability.

  18. gobsmacked 18

    So anyway, where are we at with Melissa Lee and her apology? It’s hard to keep up.

    Morning Report: She (sort of) apologises.

    John Key criticises her comments, accepts her apology.

    Radio Live (with Michael Laws): she stands by her comments.

    The media are currently reporting, simultaneously, that Lee regrets and defends what she said. Which one is it, and who will write it for her?

  19. felix 19

    Wow. She went full retard.

    You never go full retard.

  20. Irascible 20

    I’ve said it on other stories about Lee. She will be running the campaign on the same prejudices that underpinned the NACT joint campaign in Botany 2008.
    Pansy & Kenneth were quite prepared to use similar race fears as reasons to support NACT.
    Any reason is a good one – especially if Lee can paint herself as a victim. Her excuse now will be the native English speaking journalist misrepresented her English as a second language clumsy explanation.
    The fear of South Auckland was an under-pinner for the Asian Anti-crime campaign in Manukau last year.

  21. Not only did M. Lee foul things up in Mt Albert / leaving the imcompetent Key wordless but , we allso
    have been told that the ghastly Rankin is one again going to be paid a good wage for litle work out of taxpayers money . What a lot and weve got them for another 2 1/2 years ,

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    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    5 days ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    6 days ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    7 days ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 week ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    1 week ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    1 week ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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