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Left to the market

Written By: - Date published: 2:10 pm, February 12th, 2009 - 34 comments
Categories: corruption, crime, prisons, privatisation - Tags:

Two Pennsylvania Judges have been accused of taking bribes from private prison operators to ensure a reliable stream of prisoners.

To quote Associated Press:

In one of the most shocking cases of courtroom graft on record, two Pennsylvania judges have been charged with taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers.

Children incarcerated included 15 year old Hillary Transue who received a three month sentence for setting up a myspace page lampooning her school principal.

This is just the latest in a series of horror stories from the American private prison system which have included use of slave labour, serial rape and abuse by staff and prison companies involved in running torture facilities in iraq.

And yet the government still wants to bring US prison companies into our country. WTF?

34 comments on “Left to the market”

  1. infused 1

    Yeah, we give them playstations and under floor heating instead. Go figure.

  2. IrishBill 2

    You can do better than that reactionary drivel can’t you, infused? Have you ever visited a prison? Had friends or family inside? Done time yourself? You’ve got no idea. Idiot.

  3. @ work 3

    Infused, You sound a bit like the sensible sentacing trust. “Under floor heating” as you put it, is the cheapest way to heat a large block of concrete to a temprature that stops its inhabitants getting sick (costing them even more money). Now I know you love that warm fuzzy revenge feeling you get, but it is at an extra cost too the tax payer.

    So infused, how many extra tax payers dollars is a good PR headline and a warm fuzzy revenge feeling worth to you?

    (Moderately better than the normal questions over the SST’s policies which are worded “How much extra crime is acceptable in order for your warm fuzzy revenge feeling”)

  4. Rex Widerstrom 4

    @work:

    Typical lefty bleeding heart liberalism. You know very well that the cheapest form of heating would be to confine, say, 20 or 30 of them to a cell meant for 2. Mmmm toasty body heat. And there’s the added benefit that food bills would be reduced by making creative use of those who died of dysentry or were trampled underfoot.

    IrishBill:

    Nothing you cite in your post is defensible in any way. But there are good operators of private prisons just as there are bad ones. Given the many, well-publicised, failings of the Wackenhutts of the industry it’s surprisingly easy to pick which ones not to give the contract to, no matter how low the price.

    But this is a political failure, driven by politicians pandering to voters like infused, rather than a failure of a private model per se. If ground glass kept ending up in Bellamy’s pies, the pollies would quickly change providers. But since an ever-growing (thanks to Mr McVicar) section of the population are happy to dehumanise prisoners, there’s absolutely no motivation to hold private providers to account.

    But nor are public prisons held accountable. Recently the Queensland Corrections Minister was boasting about how her state had the “best” prisons.

    What was the measure? Prisoner rehabilitation, which meant the community was safer when people were released? No… theirs were the cheapest per prisoner per day while remaining within international minimum guidelines.

    With that kind of attitude awarding and administering the contracts, who can blame the operators for taking the hint?

  5. sweeetdisorder 5

    IrishBill

    “Have you ever visited a prison? Had friends or family inside? Done time yourself? You’ve got no idea. Idiot.”

    Well, maybe its because my friends and family don’t break the law. Idiot.

  6. IrishBill 6

    Not even the EFA?

  7. BLiP 7

    Rex said:

    ” . . . Typical lefty bleeding heart liberalism. You know very well that the cheapest form of heating would be to confine, say, 20 or 30 of them to a cell meant for 2 . . . ”

    Hehehe.

    Unfortuantely its not true. Over crowding results in increased levels of violence which results in creater health costs as injuries are treated and greater administration costs as incidents are investigated.

    Far cheaper to have underfloor heating to keep the population docile, along with tv’s and playstations to keep them occupied. The gizmo’s can also be used as incentives to good behaviour by classifying them as “priviledges”.

    Anyone who complains about heating and amusements being available in prisons simply don’t know what they are talking about.

  8. Not only was underfloor heating the cheapest option but it would also stop prisoners from using the metal grills or parts of them as weapons. Basically (to put this in a way a right winger could understand): Prisoners impaled by heater grills == “Your” tax payer dollars to treat.

  9. djp 9

    because govt officials are never corrupt.. oh wait, this whole scam would never have worked without corrupt govt officials

  10. QoT 10

    Jeez, IB, it isn’t breaking the law if usually only rich white people can do it!

    Anyone catch the *shudder* Sideswipe column in the Herald this week, congratulating somebody’s “community service” in putting up a sign on a road indicating where the next speed camera was? Cue jokey, “We sure smiled for that camera when we drove past, tee hee hee” comments. BREAKING THE SPEEDING LIMIT IS A CRIME, YOU WANKERS. IF WE’RE GOING TO TALK ZERO TOLERANCE, IF WE’RE GOING TO IMPRISON TEENS FOR TRYING POT OR DOING WHEELIES, WE’D BETTER BLOODY WELL IMPRISON YOU TOO.

    Please pardon the capslock abuse, I’m coming to the end of an epically painful Honours essay.

  11. vto 11

    underfloor heating. sheesh. just build the bloody things in the winterless north! dimwits.

  12. Felix 12

    QoT I couldn’t agree more. Can we please add the following to the list of zero tolerance crimes:

    “Parking In A Disabled Space Just For A Minute Cos No-one’s Using It Right Now” and
    “Parking Wherever The Fuck I Like Because I’m Towing A Boat”.

    PS don’t worry about the capslock, there’s a time and a place etc.

  13. @ work 13

    “sweeetdisorder

    IrishBill
    “Have you ever visited a prison? Had friends or family inside? Done time yourself? You’ve got no idea. Idiot.’

    Well, maybe its because my friends and family don’t break the law. Idiot.”

    Sorry, your disqualified from this debate, Just like if you haven’t had children your disqalified from the s59 debate.

    But on a more serious note, it does puzzle me why various people whom the law is enough to prevent them from commiting crime, run around moralising from the top of thier voice, thinking they know exactly the mindset of person who does commit serious crime. (I am of course excluding the posturing\talking up of what a kiwiblogger thinks a criminal thinks)

  14. BLiP 14

    DJP

    ” . . . because govt officials are never corrupt.. oh wait, this whole scam would never have worked without private enterprise involved in the provision of social services . . . ”

    Ahhh – that’s more like it.

  15. Graeme 15

    Breaking the speeding limit is not a crime.

  16. burt 16

    So in the US the Judges make money sending people to private prisons… In NZ we change the law to let people out early and extend the use of home detention to keep state run prison numbers down.

    I’m just not sure which is a better outcome – locking up criminals but sending them to selected prisons for back handers or not locking them up so the govt can pretend we don’t have a statistically embarrassing prison population.

  17. Rex Widerstrom 17

    vto:

    I’m not sure if you’re being serious. You do realise prisoners have families, who’ve broken no law, right? And rightly or wrongly the person who’s inside is still loved by them. Plus the fact that family support during incarceration and upon release is an important predictor of the likely rehabilitation of the offender (and thus the ongoing safety of the community)?

    QoT:

    I never realised exercising the cut and paste functions from Google search results could be so taxing 😉

    Good on anyone who sabotages the roadside cash register programme and gets the Police back on the roads looking for SUV drivers with no spatial awareness who change lanes in front of me without indicating, I say!!

    Uh oh, captcha is now clearly a subsidiary of Roger Douglas Inc: “two-year-olds, mines”.

  18. vto 18

    rex, no, just pulling tits

  19. infused 19

    lol. I do work at Rimutaka prison all the time. I have two buddies that helped build the new wing. One was a builder, the other a sparky. I also have a friend who is a prison officer.

    Don’t call me an idiot, you idiot. I have a better knowledge of you what goes on inside there than you do.

    IrishBill: I doubt that very much.

  20. TightyRighty 20

    I’ve been in a prison visiting relatives, and mates. almost went there myself too. beat that charge though. prison is punishment for reasonably serious crimes committed. if you don’t like the conditions don’t do crime, or get a half-decent lawyer.

    And also IB isn’t it a bit rich to compare Nationals proposed policy of privatising prisons and corruption in america, when we can look at the EFA and the EPMU’s involvement in it. especially as it’s terrible to have the bretheren and big business involved for shadowy aims, but somehow the unions involvments were completely honest and above board.

    AND what about the Owen Glenn saga. i mean, it’s a much better example of corruption in NZ than a couple of private prisons in shit-kickersville USA

    captcha: ideals talk hmmm where to start with that one

    IrishBill: I don’t want to reopen that stupid EFA debate but there is no equivalence between the brethren and the unions. The brethren hid their identity and their support and tried to affect the democratic process without allowing us to know it was them doing it or how much was being spent. The unions are openly affiliated, declare all of their political donations and, as incorporated societies, have books that are open to any of their members. The EFA was never about stopping third parties spending on election campaigns but about making sure the voter was able to find out exactly who was doing so and how much they spent. Like they were in relation to the unions and the Labour party.

    I am sick of the right’s double speak on funding corruption. I have a strong feeling it will come back to bite them. Particularly Act as I doubt we will ever find out who was donating to the waitamata trust.

  21. Matthew Pilott 21

    Don’t call me an idiot, you idiot. I have a better knowledge of you what goes on inside there than you do.

    Perhaps if you didn’t to the most obvious thing possible to earn that particular term of endearment.

    Going on about how much you know about prisons makes you look even more stupid for the ‘playstation and underfloor heating’ righty drivel – at least the talkback munters have an excuse, but you’ve just eloquently denied the only avenue available to you – ignorance.

    Now we know you talk rubbish, even when you profess to know better.

    Edit:

    locking up criminals but sending them to selected prisons for back handers …

    Burt, suggest you read the article. Your equivalence looks a tad mean-spirited, to say the least. Also makes you look like a raving left = bad kinda guy.

  22. burt 22

    Matthew Pilott

    Well said – we all know that Microsoft paid big back handers to get X-Box’s installed rather than playstations 🙂

  23. burt 23

    Matthew Pilott

    Nothing mean agbout that, although I do acknowledge that according to the article people are being locked up for the slightest of reasons. Reasons that don’t seem to make any sense at all and don’t justify incarceration.

    What we are talking about here (as far as corruption goes) is a few twisted individuals who by the sounds of it are about to find out first hand what they have been inflicting on people themselves.

    In NZ the situation is a little different, we simply don’t lock them up because we don’t have the prison capacity. EG: Why was Burton released ?

    I still don’t know which is a better outcome for society as a whole.

  24. northpaw 24

    So once again we see why folks state-hop for a semblance of justice in the courts..

    On prisons, it was a while agao now (circa 1999..?) a report came out of Texas about their pride in private prisons GROWTH. At the time my mind was more focussed on that state’s incredibly popular Governor through the 80s/90s.. name not needed here – you know it so well!! – But several news outlets had coined the privatisation = gulag model.

    Amusing for its aptness more than anything else. Which is not to dismiss the plight of many incarcerated-for-profit victims..

  25. Rex Widerstrom 25

    vto:

    Phew, just checking 😀

    TightyRighty suggests:

    if you don’t like the conditions don’t do crime, or get a half-decent lawyer.

    Where do I begin… do I start with the fact that people get fitted up for crimes, by the police and by other criminals? Then there’s the genuine but mistaken complainant / eyewitness (e.g. David Dougherty). The best lawyer in the world is not going to get you off if, say, an elderly bashed lady or a molested child is sitting in the witness box wrongly pointing the finger. In fact you’ll get extra lashes for traumatising them by trying to prove your innocence.

    But you must know that one can be wrongfully accused since you say you “beat the charge” that almost landed you in jail. Or were you guilty? (go on, you can tell us, there’s still double jeopardy… just).

    Get a half decent lawyer? Well you’d better have $20,000 to $30,000 just lying around then, waiting for the knock on the door. And that’s on a simple charge. Rape, murder, child abuse… anything requiring a QC and you can double that and more. Because no decent lawyer will work for the pittance Legal Aid pays… or if they do they’ll burn out faster than a meteorite.

    Or shall we talk remand? I’d love to get some accurate figures for NZ but I have some for WA’s male remand prison and I’d imagine it’s not wildly different from NZ. This is from the Inspector-General’s report:

    Between 2004 and 2006 there had been a rapid increase in the remand prisoner population, amounting to 34 per cent… By August 2007, 18 per cent of the State-wide prisoner population [including females] were unsentenced. So the situation has not improved, and it would appear that the trend is getting worse.

    …a significant increase in the length of time each remandee spent in prison, with an average growth in length of stay of approximately 8 per cent

    2,880 [per year] were received on remand. It was the first time in an adult prison for almost half of all remandees. Of the admissions, 1,900 were released to freedom without conviction…

    So 67% of those remanded to jail were, in fact, later found to be innocent. Yet their numbers are growing as are the length of their stays. And that’s before the “half decent lawyer” can even get up before a judge and prove their innocence.

    I’d say underfloor heating and a Playstation to pass the time is the very least we owe those people.

    As one man found innocent when I was waiting in court asked the judge… “Where do I go to get my life back?”

  26. Matthew Pilott 26

    Burt, that’s kinda what I meant – there’s nothing similar between the two issues you are referringto, so trying to compare them to make the policies of the previous administration look bad seems a bit tiresome.

    The MS comment made me laugh though!

    I don’t think Burton was a capacity issue – more someone fooling the right people, while the rest weren’t allowed to tell the right people what was going on. Whatever he is, he sure knew how to manipulate the system – I’m not envious of the justice system and parole board who have to deal with these people.

  27. TightyRighty 27

    Do you really want a discussion IB of how the left gets to keep crowing about corruption? we could start with Shane Jones, or Winston, or the police commissioner and his deputy. apt considering the original post.

  28. burt 28

    Matthew Pilott

    Ditto, not envious of the people who’s previous ability to object has been devolved from them in parole board restructures enacted over the previous decade, and the decade before that, and the one before that. Oh, and the one coming up as well.

  29. jbc 29

    I agree with Rex’s first post on this thread – and would have said much the same thing (without the Australian context).

    The problems IB points out are about the nature of the people involved. Corruption and graft are not confined to “the market”. In fact I’d say that governments generally lead the world in this field. Business follows behind.

    FFS; you don’t bribe a judge unless you know they are already on “the take” otherwise you end up behind bars yourself.

  30. justhtefacts 30

    Speaking of crooks, did you guys read where Obama has had to let another of his appointees go for being dishonest.

    It seems that the left are not dealing well with “change” at all.

  31. Pascal's bookie 31

    But that is change, jtf. Under the previous admin ‘being dishonest’ was what got you, and kept you in, the job.

    I think it’s refreshing.

    I see the GOP are actually having strategy meetings with not-joe the not-plumber, in his am-too-a-real-journamalist-slash-political-vunderkind role. Bet that works out real well for them. I’m sure McCain, in the cold sleepless 3AM’s, reflects on how much he loves that guy, and Palin.

    Fair enough on not-joe’s part though. Fate lofted him a pitch and he’s hitting it for all he’s worth. But still, he may have been better to leverage all that free ‘joe the plumber’ advertising into something like, going out on a limb here, a regional plumbing franchise network.

  32. Lew 32

    PB,

    he may have been better to leverage all that free ‘joe the plumber’ advertising into something like, going out on a limb here, a regional plumbing franchise network.

    Dude clearly has no business sense. He’s got this new sweet job with fame, travel, expense account, meeting famous people and all, and what does he do? Tries to destroy his business model by arguing that the media (that’s him, for those of you who’re a bit slow) shouldn’t be allowed to cover wars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDlst03I3lk

    Pure comic genius. Thank you, John McCain. You might have made a decent president, but damn, reality TV needs you as its casting agent.

    L

  33. QoT 34

    I never realised exercising the cut and paste functions from Google search results could be so taxing

    Oh, Rex, would that it were true. You start off thinking “hey, this is a really untouched area of research, it’ll be fun and new!” and then a year later it’s “why, why didn’t I just do an examination of marriage in Shakespeare??? WHY?”

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    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    1 week ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    1 week ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Holy bin chickens: ancient Egyptians tamed wild ibis for sacrifice
    Sally Wasef, Griffith University and David Lambert, Griffith University These days, not many Aussies consider the ibis a particularly admirable creature. But these birds, now colloquially referred to as “bin chickens” due to their notorious scavenging antics, have a grandiose and important place in history – ancient Egyptian history, to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    2 weeks ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Tackling child poverty
    It's been a great week of progress: we've celebrated Children's Day, we've made communities safer with 1800 new police, and we've seen almost 90% of eligible schools take up Government funding to scrap school donations - taking pressure off the families of more than 416,000 students. ...
    19 hours ago
  • New measures for wood processing boost
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry The Government will further strengthen New Zealand’s wood processing sector as part of our focus on ‘value over volume’ in our forestry industry, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones will today meet with forestry representatives in Northland to signal new measures to help the ...
    22 hours ago
  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    2 days ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    4 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    4 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    4 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Trade, business and investment focus for visit to South Korea
    Advancing New Zealand’s trade and economic interests will be the main focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s four day visit to the Republic of Korea this week.  “South Korea is one of our most significant trading partners,” David Parker said.    “We enjoy a strong friendship that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    26 mins ago
  • $80 million for Lincoln University rebuild
    The Government has approved $80 million to help Lincoln University rebuild its earthquake-damaged science facilities, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The funding will assist Lincoln’s recovery by replacing damaged buildings with teaching and research spaces that are safe, modern, flexible and future-proofed, and which are attractive to students, staff, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    34 mins ago
  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
    Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
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    2 days ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
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    2 days ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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