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Lefties on The Standard redux

Written By: - Date published: 8:56 am, November 29th, 2019 - 66 comments
Categories: activism, election 2017, Left, Politics, The Standard - Tags: , ,

In 2017, during the election campaign, we ran a small handful of posts as dedicated discussion space for lefties. I introduced the first post with this,

I had a gratifying experience last month, a late night conversation on twitter about the left and the NZ election and what the Greens are up to. There were maybe half a dozen people in the conversation, and all of them were left wing. The conversation ranged over a number of areas and sub-threads and lasted several hours. At the end I came away feeling buoyed by the debate, that it was not only productive, and gave us food for thought, but that it fed us too. One thing I noticed was that none of us slagged each other off, nor was there a slagging off of our political allies.

We certainly weren’t all in agreement, and the conversation started with us disagreeing on a number of points around Green Party strategy – this was just after the first GP election campaign launch and Metiria Turei had just called Peters out on his racist rhetoric. But it was a conversation free of antagonism and instead explored political issues in depth and offered a chance for people to talk with their allies.

I’ve seen conversations like this on TS. We have a range of views here amongst the left wing commenters, and recently there have been spontaneous outbreaks of troll-free conversation and debate that were also abuse-free and full of considered and in depth comments.

So I’d like to try an experiment. I’d like us to try and have this kind of conversation here, intentionally.

I’m thinking it might be time to try this again.

The rules are:

– To comment you have to be left wing.

– No personal attacks at all  (not even if they are hidden in comments with good political points)

– Be kind. If you can’t be kind at least don’t be mean.

– Bear in mind the part of the Policy about not using language or tone that excludes others.

The usual Policy rules around robust debate still apply to everything else. If you’re not sure if you fit the criteria, there is always Open Mike.

We can talk about anything that’s relevant to the left or progressives, but I’m going to suggest if we want a starting point we consider that we are twelve months out from an election and what that might mean for the left as we prepare for the election campaign next year. Otherwise, grab whatever is of interest to you today and bring it to the conversation.

66 comments on “Lefties on The Standard redux”

  1. roy cartland 1

    Great idea Weka.

    I just saw on the Guardian the tactics that the Tories (and presumably our Right) have come up with a 'smear' dossier:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/28/revealed-tory-candidates-issued-with-attack-manuals-on-how-to-smear-rivals

    How do we compete against this kind of thing? Do we fight fire with fire? Remain positive? Call them out every time eventually branding them unbelievable? Or ignore and harp on with our message?

    • weka 1.1

      Not sure this is exactly the same thing, but I liked Stephanie Rodger's tweets the other day,

      Seeing a lot of really good messaging around not boosting / repeating bad political takes, because they need oxygen. But I also know how frustrating it is seeing awful things and not responding / rejecting them (and of course that's how they're designed!)

      Here's my tip, which I will happily admit I am sometimes terrible at following: find the counter-message to boost instead. Don't acknowledge the nastiness – just put the positive out into the world, because it deserves to be there anyway.

      Find the politician or NGO or commentator putting the good messages and data forward. Or say it yourself. People who've seen the terrible take will know what you're responding to, people who haven't won't be exposed to it through you. AND you get to vent that frustration!

      I think multiple strategies are needed, and it depends on who is being attacked and why. The Guardian article seems to be around policies rather than people, which I think is probably easier to deal with.

      But I still remember that debate where Key basically repeatedly punched Cunliffe. It was brutal and a really low point in our politics, but what it makes me think is that politicians need support, and they need to know where their strengths and weaknesses are. What interests me is how lefties talk about our own politicians and to what extent we are critiquing policy vs bashing people. I'm also thinking a bit about what I might be writing next year during the election (am seriously fucked off with Labour over welfare, but I want them to win the election).

      • roy cartland 1.1.1

        Yes, it's true that people like Greta manage to get the message across without having to resort to gutter politics – she just steadfastly ignores the haters and makes them irrelevant. Maybe that's the key, just dismiss the rubbish and turn any convo to the facts and the actual message? I think Cloe Swarbrick is quite good that that too (OK Boomer notwithstnading).

        • weka 1.1.1.1

          Chloe is one of my favourite politicians. I hope she gets looked after well enough to stay in parliament for a long career.

  2. esoteric pineapples 2

    Good idea Weka. One thing that came up on my Facbook feed yesterday was this story shared by a Green MP:

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/117730772/landfill-levies-could-rise-in-govt-bid-to-urge-people-to-recycle

    "The cost of dumping construction and industrial waste could increase as the Government looks to shake up landfill levies.  

    Household waste bills could also rise if regional authorities pass on planned increases, with costs expected to go up by up to 33 cents a bag.

    The proposal, which could earn the Government up to $250 million a year, comes as ministers look to rein in increasing volumes of rubbish being sent to landfill. 

    …."Under the new proposal, the domestic levy could increase to as much as $60 per tonne by, while construction, industrial and other landfills could face a levy of up to $20 per tonne."

    It should be noted on a positive note that the plan includes "Invest the additional landfill revenue in solutions that support waste reduction."

    While the plan is well-meaning in that it wants to encourage more recycling, many comments were that the burden is being placed yet again on the households, which is likely to see more fly tipping. My view is that depositing of rubbish should be as cheap as possible for households so that they can afford to go to the dump, whatever the arguments for recycling.

    Beyond that, I commented that I think the solution requires looking at the front end of the rubbish problem, not the back end, introducing laws to require all packaging, where practical, to use fully biodegradable material. And developing a longer term plan for requiring other packaging to be bio-degradable through innovation etc through progressive steps.

    The Green MP I was following (NB not ES and someone I also respect) replied, including saying  "Banning single products won’t create system change."

    My argument in return was that "I think that a good old fashioned law change that forces businesses to switch to bio-degradable products is a simple, effective and fair mechanism. It has already worked wonders for supermarket plastic bags. All milk used to come in bottles once upon a time and that system worked perfectly well. I thought at the time that introducing plastic bottles was wrong and recall that that  happened at the height of free-market, neo-liberal monetarist user-pays, level-playing field etc movement in government in the early 1990s. I think the right wing Monetarist policies that we imported from Thatcher, Reagan, which we called "Rogernomics" are inter-twined with the introduction of less environmentally friendly behaviour because the focus became on profit-first and the environment and everything else second."

    I added in a further reply that "I understand why the government would be afraid to introduce new laws banning non-biodegradable packaging and that is because it would cause a huge outrage amongst the business community. But to me, that only confirms my argument about the relationship between Neo-Liberalism and environmental degradation. I would argue that trying to find a solution within a Neo-Liberal paradigm can never succeed because Neo-Liberalism is based on the profit incentive at the expense of everything else."

    I also liked what someone else said: "We need the cost of disposal built into the product's price, then rubbish disposal is free. With massive increase in cost to dispose of rubbish you'll get massive increase in illegal dumpling. With the front end approach you will get massive effort from companies to make packaging recyclable and minimal."

    While this is a discussion about how best to approach the challenge of waste, it seems to me that even now, we still have a government that is still only looking for solutions within the paradigm that was created 35 years ago with the introduction of "Rogernomics", and one of its most notorious dictums – "User Pays"

    • greywarshark 2.1

      Good one weka.

      First I notice the large space under eps comment.   We need to bring the cursor up to the end of the last sentence before submitting to prevent that.

      Environment – the built landscape, recycling. About this, 'The cost of dumping construction and industrial waste could increase as the Government looks to shake up landfill levies.'    This is a recent story about the use of it in construction by Wellington City Council which heartened me greatly.   (I thought about the piles of it in Christchurch as they cleared and repaired and rebuilt over the past years.)  

      https://wellington.govt.nz/your-council/news/2019/11/concrete-recycling 22/11/2019  Concrete from earthquake-prone social housing flats currently being demolished by Wellington City Council will be recycled, instead of going to landfill.

       And of course must mention Rekindle Christchurch where they have reworked good wood and other materials into useful, intriguing stuff that could be thought of as souveniers of the mighty quake or art installations as well as practical.

      https://www.rekindle.org.nz/

    • The Chairman 2.2

      While the plan is well-meaning in that it wants to encourage more recycling, many comments were that the burden is being placed yet again on the households…

      This highlights a problem which the Greens seem to be overlooking. I voted Green not only because I expected them to address climate issues but also because (with them being left) I expected them to ensure they would protect vulnerable, struggling  households from bearing the full cost burden. Unfortunately, this example highlights their failure to do so.

      Transitioning to a greener society will come at a cost and the vulnerable need protecting from the added burden. Are the Greens up to this task? Seems not. 

      • SPC 2.2.1

        The policy balance is not always within a single policy area but across the range of policy. 

        • The Chairman 2.2.1.1

          Indeed. However, as yet, the balance isn't being met. 

          Hardship is increasing. As shown by the sharp rise in hardship grants and food demand from social agencies. So albeit this will be a small increase, it's another increase in weekly costs that isn't being offset by any new increase in income or reductions elsewhere.

          The increases in income that have been achieved via this Government have been insufficient catch ups and go nowhere near covering new cost burdens being added into the mix.  

           

          • pat 2.2.1.1.1

            "Hardship is increasing. As shown by the sharp rise in hardship grants and food demand from social agencies."

            Is it?…all that shows is grants are more freely available, potentially as a result of operational directive…and we know National were running a punitive regime through MSD

            • The Chairman 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Is it?…all that shows is grants are more freely available, potentially as a result of operational directive

              The large queues at 2am outside a social welfare office in the rain to get help from advocates to gain hardship grants indicate grants can't be that more freely available.

              • pat

                IF hardship were increasing there would be an increase in bankruptcies (the end point of hardship)….and surprise, surprise, since the change of Gov in 2017 there has been a significant decrease in the number of bankruptcies.

                https://www.insolvency.govt.nz/support/about/statistics/insolvency-procedure-statistics/monthly-bankruptcy-figures/

                The reason people are queueing at MSD offices is because NOW theres a reasonable chance they will receive a grant whereas before it was considered a waste of time and energy

                You dont queue if theres nothing to queue for

                • The Chairman

                  IF hardship were increasing there would be an increase in bankruptcies (the end point of hardship)

                  Not necessarily. There can be an increase in the number of people suffering from day to day hardship but not quite at the end point of becoming totally bankrupt.  

                  The reason people are queuing at MSD offices is not because there's now a more reasonable chance they will receive a grant, it is because they are lining up to meet with the advocates that will assist them to get one.

                  If grants were now that easier to gain, people wouldn't need to queue in line to secure an advocate.

                  Food demand this year at the City Mission food bank is the highest in its history. 

                  https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12265240

                  [I’m not willing to have the same pattern of discussion under the Lefties posts that happens elsewhere, namely you concern trolling and refusing many times to take feedback from the community or mods on this about the problems it causes, and eventually the discussion descending into frustration or conflict. I’m not going to wait until the conversation deteriorates here today, so please stay out of commenting under this post. If that pattern changes at some point in the future I’ll revisit that decision, but I would need to see this demonstrated over time. – weka]

                  • pat

                    "Not necessarily. There can be an increase in the number of people suffering from day to day hardship but not quite at the end point of becoming totally bankrupt."

                    With bankruptcy being the end point it would show in the figures, at the best a continuation but NOT as a significant decrease (remembering we are also experiencing substantial population increase which should also be reflected)

                    "If grants were now that easier to gain, people wouldn't need to queue in line to secure an advocate."

                    Again, if theres nothing to queue for you dont queue..and just as we know of your faux concern we know the punitive regime National directed the MSD under

                    "Food demand this year at the City Mission food bank is the highest in its history"

                    two likely factors…increased population but crucially a diminishing of stigma in the act

                     

                     

                    • weka

                      I'd say the never-ending pressure of the housing crisis is an issue there too. We now have a permanent problem with people simply not having enough income to live on where housing costs are so high and there being no way within WINZ’s options to make much of a difference.

                      Lots of different things going on, thus multiple causes and effects. I think Auckland has some distinct issues (eg in the WINZ management culture) that don't necessarily apply elsewhere, as do other areas.

                    • pat

                      @Weka

                      there is no doubt that the financial pressure is cumalative and high rents are at its basis but the argument hardship is increasing as a result of gov inaction is spurious (as TC well knows)…there has been some relief in the form of increased minimum wage, a more accommodating regime at MSD and WEP….is it sufficient ?obviously not but the greatest effect requires a systemic change and the mandate is dubious at best…given that what is the best scenario in the here and now…the Coalition or a return to the Nats?

                  • weka

                    Mod note for you TC.

  3. Stuart Munro. 3

    One approach that might produce a bit of constructive discussion would be for people to float priority lists and discuss the relative merits of items. Rough headings might be environment, community, social justice, inequality, and the future.

    Working out real priorities and designing for outcomes is long overdue in our governance decision making. Part of the problem is that government has become accustomed to what might be called the Dennis Wheatly satanist model of democracy, "do as you will shall be the whole of the law", and any change, be it regulating the fishing industry for sustainability, or constraining our very high unskilled immigration levels, or requiring alternatives to the large scale and increasing use of poisons, is wont to meet resistance aimed at protecting, not the common good, but bureaucratic privilege.

    A few things that spring to mind:

    The OMV protest – I'm sure the company is as sociopathic as one could wish, but the way to achieve rapid significant change in fuel use is by developing and proliferating sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels, and by improving the fuel profile of our transport infrastructure – prioritizing shipping over trains, and trains over trucks, for instance.

    Unskilled migrants – a requirement that employers undertake workforce planning two years ahead if they request work permits, and that no more than half of any workforce may ever receive work permits will prevent many of the abuses that have become prevalent. Chorus for example, has had minor flak about exclusively employing foreigners, but has not yet been prosecuted for large scale systematic racist hiring.

    The punitive rent-seeking inspection regimes of many councils are vastly increasing the costs of alternative housing to the point of preventing it. As a more sustainable and creative response to the twin scourges of the no-growth-except-by-immigration neoliberal economic basket case economy, and the uncreative destruction that destroyed local trades training, tiny house communities are a desirable outcome that councils should be required to support enthusiastically.

  4. gsays 4

    Thanks for a timely reminder for behaviour and engaging with others, especially at this potentially stressful time of year.

    I am fascinated by our left/right definitions.

    When involved in a conversation/squabble about 9/11, I was accused of being right wing. I suppose that is because of the likes of Alex Jones and his anti government rants.

     Being politically minded is kind of like being in a Venn diagram, where sometimes you find folk who share your opinion but come from a polar opposite angle.

    For me this occurs with euthanasia, I end up in the company of those with a strong religious conviction. I get there for different reasons but we share the space.

  5. Incognito 6

    Good initiative!

    Recently, I came across an old post by Anthony R0bins at a very similar time in the election cycle (2014-GE) and on a related (tangentially) topic: /questions-questions/

  6. adam 7

    Left and right are not fully helpful terms anymore.

    Unless you are talking about economics, then the terms help. Left wing economics is fundamentally different from Right wing economics.  

    As for social/personal politics – the lines blur, then the left and right definition fail completely.  

    This has not been helped by 40 odd years of hard right economics coupled with austerity, and occasionally been thrown a socially progressive law.  Some people think they are left, and support hard right economics. Conversely others have more conservative views on social issues, and are called right wing – when their economics is left wing, and the person they arguing with is economically far right.   

    I say far right wing – because the so called centre in this country is far right wing economically.

    I also think the table you put up is a deliberate distortion of how far the economics has gone to the right in the last 40 odd years.  Especially the labour party, they a different from national only in the minutiae when it comes to economics. The last two years have proven that. 

     

  7. cleangreen 8

    Well done Weka;

    We oldies never knew people were mean spirited in our day under the 1950/60's era, so we feel estranged a lot now.

    My mother had never spoken one bad word against anyone in my day so that was our role model.

    I agree with you,  and think we all need to be kind to each other, as it feels good to be kind  to others.

    Thank you for your nice thoughts of our need to change our own behavior as the term goes; "courtesy is contagious"

     

     

  8. RRM 9

    👍  This is a great idea.

     

    I've always said there is far too much hard right wing ideology and opinion being espoused on The Standard. Some threads become virtual neolib sewers. This will restore some much-needed balance.

     

  9. UncookedSelachimorpha 10

    What chance do people think Corbyn has? He represents a wonderful leftwing view and a chance for a change that we haven't seen in the West since neoliberalism reared its ugly head in the 1980's.

    The polls for Corbyn look dire – which appalls me because he has excellent policies and is just a better person than most of the Tories.

    I can't help hoping like crazy on this one…am I just being foolish??

    • pat 10.1

      its not looking likely….but then the polls have been wrong before (more than once)

    • Anne 10.2

      I can't help hoping like crazy on this one…am I just being foolish??

      He's got the media against him UncookedSela…

      I can remember a time when there was no internet. Hell, there was no TV when I was growing up.  People were not bombarded with false narratives like they are nowadays. Instead they were in a better position to distinguish fact from fiction and that served the centre-left quite well. 

      Since then the middle ground has shifted so far to the right the old centre-left has become the far-left (5 mins. listening to a Hooton rave session on RNZ is testament to that) and voters are a bit afraid of the left because they have been cast as extremists. It's not extremist at all its commonsense, but they can no longer see it due to the brainwashing from the corporate media who are playing to their neoliberal, market orientated masters' hands.

      That's the way I see it anyway.

    • McFlock 10.3

      They're polls of total popularity in an FPP election. So not reliable about a verdict – either side can be lower, but still win due to how that popularity is distributed.

      That having been said, in 2017 the cons barely scraped in for the coalition win – a tiny majority in a House of 600+. And they've clusterfucked badly since then.

      So out of the gate my feeling is that the only description is that both main parties are on the back foot.

       

    • weka 10.4

      I can't fathom why more Brits aren't supporting Corbyn.

      • Craig H 10.4.1

        Horrible media coverage. 

        • weka 10.4.1.1

          I'm sure that has an effect like everywhere, but it doesn't explain it enough for me.

          • pat 10.4.1.1.1

            Corbyn's personal appeal has taken several large hits…it is as covered in the previous link an 'unpopularity contest' and Boris is the least unpopular…and you have the Lib Dems muddying things.

             

            • weka 10.4.1.1.1.1

              which link?

              Hard to fathom how Corbyn can be less popular than Johnson. I mean, if they like Boris, then that says a lot about the English (the Scots at least have more sense).

              • pat

                10.3.2

                accusations of anti semitism, party defections, ambiguity on Brexit….may have something to do with it, whether you agree or not,

                We have a perfect example here in NZ of the importance of personal appeal over policy….Labour pre last election.

                • McFlock

                  ah, haven't listened to it. I find I can multitask better with text than audio.

                  Sounds like I'd largely agree with them lol

                  • pat

                    the unpopularity effect was a very small part of the podcast

                  • pat

                    harsh you think…and yet I came across this just now and while not agreeing entirely I found this (following) to be a curious reflection of our own Labour Party

                     "The change Britain wants is the change Labour is supposed to provide. The mood has shifted and there is public support for a programme of intervention far more radical than any since the post-war Attlee government. There is now only one obstacle: a Labour Party incapable of speaking to the working class. "

                    https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/britains-labour-tragedy

                     

                • weka

                  I thought NZ Labour's problem pre 2017 was too many leadership changes and perceptions of incompetency. I guess that applies to UK Labour too but I thought things had settled down. It's not like the Tories haven't had similar issues.

                  • pat

                    whatever NZ Labours problem pre 2017 election was it was all forgotten by the voters with no policy change but the introduction of a more appealing leader

                    • McFlock

                      Pre-Ardern it was a contest between two rather reserved guys in similar suits taking a moment to consider their answer to a question before delivering it in a slow drawl.

                      Appeal, energy, empathy and quick answers would have changed the game for either party.

                  • pat

                    @McFlock

                    so in other words an unpopularity contest….which had the incumbents far ahead in the polls

                    • McFlock

                      Bit harsh. More that it was a front neither side were fighting on, and Ardern outflanked them.

                      But then if it were two empathetic, energetic, approachable leaders trying to outfeels each other, that contest might have been flipped if one side had suddenly gone with a leader who appears more reserved and considered as a proxy for competence, strength, and intelligence.

                      Cometh the hour, cometh the wo/man sort of thing

                       

          • McFlock 10.4.1.1.2

            I think he and Labour have wrongfooted it on Brexit and the antisemitism complaints from within the party.

            He sat on the fence when people wanted a firm position on Brexit – I reckon either yes or no would have been more popular than being coy about it. For the remainers, there's the suspicion he's a leaver, and the leavers don't trust him either. So anyone with a strong opinion on Brexit needs to look elsewhere if they want a firm policy.

            The allegations of antisemitism against him personally I suspect are bullshit. They read like beat-ups about where he went as a guest. But party members did report multiple instances of antisemitism within the party which received no action from the party hierarchy. Ignoring what tories say about it, and even allowing for a few who might be more anti-Corbyn than genuinely unhappy with how their complaints were responded to, that still leaves a non-trivial number of complaints that have been systematically unaddressed. We saw how that leeched on LabourNZ with sexual harrassment complaints, and I think the same thing has happened to UK Labour. People see valid complaints being buried rather than addressed, and ironically the burial gives the complaints more oxygen to stay in the news cycle (metaphors thoroughly mixed).

            • Sanctuary 10.4.1.1.2.1

              Labour in the UK has had no choice but to adopt the between two stools approach –  and be excoriated in the process by the reactionary billionaire press and the liberal Fascisti of the chattering classes – if it wishes to retain it's identity as a broad based, socialist movement. 

              The big meta of Brexit is a push by the right (including Putin, who has revived the Tsarist tradition of reactionary meddling abroad to try and prop up a failing and corrupt authoritarian regime at home) to permanently re-align British politics along the lines of the United States, where economic and class interests are submerged in an endless, febrile and debilitating atmosphere of permanent culture war that atomises resistance to Plutocratic rule and is designed to render attempts to organise collectively against the super-rich impossible.

              If Labour had gone hard remain (or leave) it would have simply reinforced the culture war narrative, and ultimately delivered the (not) working class of the north of the UK into the hands of Farage's genuinely Fascist Brexit party and it's successors.

              Even if Labour lose on the 12th – and given that the entire establishment has been ready for Corbyn and Corbynism this time and the gloves are off (the bias of the establishment organs like the BBC has been shameless, let alone the Das Schwarze Korps tone of the far right newspapers) it is probably likely all we can hope for is another hung parliament – they have to retain a class based analysis of politics if they are to have a path to power ever in the first past the post system. If the Tories win and Brexit happens, and Boris implements Thatcherism on steroids then the resulting economic catastrophe that will engulf the English precariat and poor means a Labour party that never abandoned the northern strongholds will defeat the Tories next time, and if they keep a radical policy agenda they'll have a mandate to implement it.

              • Ad

                Stop letting Corbyn off the hook. 

                He did just fine in the previous election.

                And Labour did great in the local elections as well. 

                It's not as if there wasn't enough material for him to work with. 

                 

              • pat

                So it is as it ever was then.

                The status quo is being defended by those who benefit and it will take a momental disaster (i.e widescale conflict) for those exploited to unite in a common goal…..and then the process will begin again.

                Except this time the only home we have is doing its best to eject us,

              • UncookedSelachimorpha

                Thanks Sanctuary, excellent analysis I think. You are right that the real issue Labour is trying to confront is the class issue and that the game Labour has to play on Brexit is not a simple one.

                You mention the long game if Labour lose this election – but can Corbyn (and the policies he represents) survive another defeat?

          • UncookedSelachimorpha 10.4.1.1.3

            The extent and degree of the hostility in the media coverage of Corbyn in the UK is extreme – beyond belief even. So it might be having a bigger effect – and also deterring people from voting at all.

            If we (or the Aussies) ever get a popular truly socialist / left option – they too will be vilified by our media industry.

            Direct canvassing of the electorate (in the flesh) might be the only solution – will require a popular grassroots base (lots of people to do actual leg work) – which Corbyn does have to some degree. This would need to happen for quite some time, not just in the month before an election.

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 10.4.1.1.3.1

              And it continues

              A fake tweet suggesting Jeremy Corbyn sympathised with the terrorist shot dead by police on London Bridge on Friday is circulating on WhatsApp and Twitter.

              “A man was murdered by British Police in Broad daylight,” it says.

              And it seems many immediately assumed it was legit and started responding – instead of asking themselves – "is this fake?"

              “This is what you get if this man becomes PM. God help us,”

    • Molly 10.5

      "I can't help hoping like crazy on this one…am I just being foolish??"

      If you are – I'll join you in that fool club.

  10. Jackel 11

    Always good to encourage friendly feeling and fraternity. 

    I've often wondered why people so easily buy the lies of capitalism. I can only assume they trick themselves with the cleverness of the mind instead of listening to the wisdom of the body. 

  11. SHG 12

    As a brown former Labour and most recently Green party voter, I have to ask…. what has Jacinda's Labour-led government achieved? I've seen lots of feelgood symbolism and almost no actual legislation and policy implementation. Even the legislation that has been passed has been… mostly symbolism. 

    • Ad 12.1

      You're one of the few people n the world who haven't seen this video explaining exactly what they have achieved:

       

    • Incognito 12.2

      Well, that’s an awful lot of symbolism then and I was only looking at Acts passed in Parliament: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/

      • weka 12.2.1

        This one's good too, all the previous Bills now in law,

        https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/previous

        Lots of what is being done is not flashy. I notice this with the Greens too, people reckon they're not doing much, but fail to see the stuff that doesn't generate headlines.

        • Incognito 12.2.1.1

          Ta

          I think there is some justification for the negative public perception of the Government but much (??) of it seems to be based on lack of and/or on poor information (and education). Mention this and you run the risk of being accused as an ‘apologist’ or worse. I’m not defending nor blaming because that’s a mug’s game IMO. I think the key indeed is to highlight achievements and progress, as Stephanie Rodgers said, even when it is little and/or falls short of expectation. In addition, it is crucial to provide constructive criticism that politicians can work with, assuming that they are not all as bad as some make them out to be.

          • weka 12.2.1.1.1

            it's tricky, because there is a fair amount to be disappointed about. However we do seem to have this expectation of perfection and if it's not attained then what? The left is very hard on people who make mistakes, and worse on people who are not doing what we want in part because they're working in a fucked up system. I agree about constructive criticism. Maybe listing what's been good, then looking at what still needs attention. I could try and do that with welfare, darklol.

  12. sumsuch 13

    Assumes The Standard holds people like Stephen Mills in honour. Good assumption. 
    Why I've never voted for the friend-of-the -rich Labour Party.

  13. sumsuch 14

    No personal attacks I now see.  But I think it captures the political point, despite your despite on that account. You do know we leftists hate Labour? How would we not. Being oold NZers, confirmed social-democrats.

  14. sumsuch 15

    Shouldne the whole of The Standard be for the lefties. You allow Labour.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Those people deserve a flat white
    The pandemic has shown us how effective our public service is. They've pulled together a massive policy response, from a lockdown to economic support to healthcare to planning how to keep everything running when this is over, and done it in next to no time. They are heroes, who have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 hours ago
  • Halfway there (maybe)
    New Zealand is now officially halfway through its first 4-week lockdown period. The good news is that it seems to be working - people staying at home has reduced the potential for the virus to spread, and we've had steadily decreasing numbers of new cases over the last few days ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 hours ago
  • A pandemic Peter Principle.
    In 1968 Canadian sociologist Laurence Peter coined the phrase “Peter Principle” as a contribution to the sociology of organisations. It explains that in complex organizations people rise to the level of their own incompetence. That is, they get promoted so long as they meet or exceed the specified criteria for ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 hours ago
  • Hard News: Music is coming home
    The practice and business of music has been one of the sectors most gravely impacted by the virus sweeping the world. The emphatic nature of our government's response, necessary as it was, has slammed the industry and the people who work in it.There are New Zealand artists – Nadia Reid, ...
    7 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 14
    . . April 8: Day 14 of living in lock-down… The good news first: the downward trajectory of new cases appears to be a real thing. In the last four days, since Sunday, new infections have been dropping: Sunday: 89 new cases Monday: 67 Tuesday: 54 Today (Wednesday): 50 The ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    8 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 5: Don’t censor yourself
    The anti-fluoride movement wants to restrict your reading to “just four studies.” They actively ignore or attempt to discredit other relevant studies. Image credit: Censorship in media. For earlier articles in this series see: ...
    12 hours ago
  • “Lord, give us Democratic Socialism – but not yet!”
    Not Now, Not Ever, Never! The problem with Labour's leading activists is that there is never a good time for democratic socialism. Never. They are like Saint Augustine who prayed to the Almighty: “Lord, give me chastity and self-control – but not yet.” In the case of Labour "junior officers", however, ...
    14 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #14, 2020
    15 hours ago
  • The Few are on the run, again, it still won’t stop reality catching up…
    We are seeing what has been termed “a greater challenge than the crash of 2008” by a growing number of economists and more rational, sane commentators, because whilst that was a shocking exposure of the levels to which hubris had sunk, right down to the blank cheque given those who ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 day ago
  • Speaker: Locked down in Jersey City
    I am a Kiwi living in Jersey City, New Jersey. Jersey City is the second-largest city in the state and is located directly across the Hudson River from downtown Manhattan. Locals call it New York’s sixth borough. More than 350,000 New Jersey citizens, including myself, commute to New York daily ...
    1 day ago
  • Expanding houses
    It’s  a beautiful autumn afternoon, we need to get out of the house, and so our bubble sets off on a bike ride around our local neighbourhood, Cambridge Park. The bikes come out of the garage, and, being really certain we have a front door key, close the garage door ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 13
    . . April 7: Day 13 of living in lock-down… and unlucky for those who are superstitious. A day when there was a ray of sunshine from an otherwise bleak day of worrying signs. Today, as RNZ reported; Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield reported 54 new confirmed and probable cases ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • A UBI in Spain
    So far, universal basic income policies, which see people given a regular income without any conditions, have been trailed only on a small scale. But now, Spain is introducing one nationwide as a response to the pandemic: Spain is to roll out a universal basic income (UBI) “as soon as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 4: Till et al (2020)
    Paul Connet, head of the anti-fluoride propaganda group, Fluoride Action Network, claims that the IQ of children bottle-fed in fluoridated areas drops by 9 points. But he misrepresented the research. There is no observable effect. For earlier articles in this series see: Part 1: Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only ...
    2 days ago
  • The Role of Government
    The Queen’s coronavirus broadcast, with its overtones of Winston Churchill and Vera Lynn, prompted me to reflect on the tribulations my parents’ generation suffered during the Second World War – and I imagine that those parallels, given her own wartime experience, were very much in the Queen’s mind as she ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • The irreversible emissions of a permafrost ‘tipping point’
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr Christina Schädel Across vast swaths of the northern hemisphere’s higher reaches, frozen ground holds billions of tonnes of carbon.  As global temperatures rise, this “permafrost” land is at increasing risk of thawing out, potentially releasing its long-held carbon into the atmosphere. Abrupt permafrost ...
    2 days ago
  • How to complain about MDC’s unreasonable LGOIMA charging regime
    Back in February, the Marlborough District Council increased the mount it charges for LGOIMA requests. I used the LGOIMA to poke into this, and it seems the case for increased charges is unjustified: the supposed increase in request volumes it rests on is an artefact of the Council suddenly deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    2 days ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    3 days ago
  • Could the Atlantic Overturning Circulation ‘shut down’?
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr. Richard Wood and Dr. Laura Jackson Generally, we think of climate change as a gradual process: the more greenhouse gases that humans emit, the more the climate will change. But are there any “points of no return” that commit us to irreversible ...
    3 days ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    3 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    3 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    4 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    7 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
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    1 day ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
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    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
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    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
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    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
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    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
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    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
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    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
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    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
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    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
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    7 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
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    1 week ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
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  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
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  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
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    1 week ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
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  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
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  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
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  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
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  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
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    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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