web analytics

Let them go to war

Written By: - Date published: 12:06 am, October 19th, 2014 - 35 comments
Categories: David Farrar, iraq, john key, Media, Syria, war - Tags: , , ,

Back when I was a teenager, a mate of mine decided that he was going to give up on school and would get in some combat. He was a bit of bigot and not exactly the brightest of people. So he went to Rhodesia and eventually worked his way into the Rhodesian Light Infantry. A few years later I heard that he’d been killed in action.

There seems to be a thing about young males and wanting action and excitement that has been around for quite a while.The obvious analogies in NZ history are the mass volunteers for the NZ civil wars of the 1860s and 1870s, the Boer war, and two world wars.

These were the people from my grandparents and great grandparents generations. Many of them volunteered out of an urge for action and duty, went to war, came back and then never ever talked about it except at the RSA – or after I’d done some basic training. They were the most solid citizens I ever ran across and had a rather strong aversion to any form of excitement.

My mate wasn’t the only one with an urge for action in my generation. A number of other kids I knew went off and joined up with various silly causes or joined our armed forces. At the time I heard about his death, I had been in the NZ territorials for several years. Fortunately I never wound up having to use the training I received.

John Key with his dumb and irrelevant attempts to prevent young hoons going off to get themselves some combat training and experience probably doesn’t get it. His version of the young mens risk appears to have just been to play around with other peoples money.

Probably the best explanation of this effect comes irreverently from the War Nerd*. Back in March he wrote about one of the foreign Jihardists being blocked from leaving the US. This young and stupid pillock below… Reading about him so reminded me of my mate from 40 years ago.

Nicholas Teausant

 

Last week the feds pulled a guy named Nicholas Teausant, who looks sort of like Napoleon Dynamite would if he was getting chemotherapy, off a bus going to Canada and charged him with planning to join the jihadist group I.S.I.S. in Syria. Nicholas (pictured above) had pretty much made their case for them by writing online comments like…

“I despise america and want its down fall but yeah haha. Lol I been part of the army for two years now and I would love to Allah’s army but I don’t even know how to start” and adding modestly that he planned to become a “commander…in front of every single newspaper in the country.”

Lol pretty much sums it up.

Stories like this show up every few weeks, allowing thousands of Homeland Security people to justify their paychecks, and helping the terminally timid to remain frightened, which is their preferred state. But nobody bothers to ask the obvious questions about this alleged “homegrown jihadi” threat – questions like, “How many of these guys are there, actually?” and “What’s their real combat value?”

The answers to those two questions are simple: “Remarkably few, actually” and “Nil, as long as they’re fighting in a conventional war like Syria.”

The last few paragraphs essentially give the real state of the security world when it comes to these kinds of security ‘threats’. We have a security apparatus even in NZ who really have no particular use in normal times. However unlike our armed forces who spend a lot of time training for events like the Christchurch earthquake or public order like Timor (and the odd war), they seem to be averse to being regarded as an trained insurance policy. Instead they invent strange threats like the ridiculous and farcical Operation 8.

They trade on the fears of the timid (as measured by National’s pollster David Farrar), the fantasies of armchair generals (Cameron Slater being a prime example), and the need for our rather inadequate media searching for their next headline. So we wind up with the type of stupid law about passports that John Key is planning to put before parliament as he mindlessly follows the example of Tony Abbott over in Aussie who appears to mindlessly follow the strange protocols of US Homeland security.

Is it going to make people any safer here? Ah no. If restrained in NZ, these testosterone driven pillocks will just buy a fast car and will proceed to inflict car accidents on other motorists instead.

As the War Nerd points out talking about the profile of jihardists coming from other countries.

But once you get past the testosterone tilt of jihadi stats, you find that country by country, region by region, there are huge variations.

In Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, jihadis are mostly from successful families.

In Australia, though, studies have shown that those who join jihadist groups are generally poorer and less-educated than the norm.

And in the US, where jihad is not just eccentric but reviled, recruits are very scarce, with the few who do appear falling into two groups: A few are serious young men with a family connection to jihad, and the remainder, those who have no family or ethnic link to jihad, are, to put it bluntly, scraped off the bottom of the barrel.

And that is it in a nutshell. How in the hell do you tell the difference between a kid of immigrants going off to see his family wherever or on the Hajj, against someone going off to joining an old family tradition. I’m pretty damn sure that the morons in the police’s operation 8 team who thought that “catapulting a bus on to George Bush’s head” was a viable threat to NZ security wouldn’t have a shit show of figuring that out.

The drips like Nicholas above? Let them go. If they survive then it will probably be the making of them.

If there’s anything unusual about Nicholas the Wannabe Warrior, it’s that he’s a poor specimen. He needed to look all the way to Syria to find some way to make a “snowflake” of himself. Most find a sanity-saving fiction nearer home—but then most didn’t have to live in a trailer in Acampo. That’s where Nicholas was living when he came up with the idea of making his name with I.S.I.S in Syria, and if you know anything about the boondocks of California, “Acampo” tells you a lot. Remember the Creedence song, “Stuck in Lodi Again”? Well, Acampo is on the outskirts of Lodi. People in Acampo would give anything to be stuck in Lodi; it’s like downtown Tokyo compared to Acampo. It’s not easy to be Nicholas Teausant of Acampo. Fight Club again: “We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives.”

Like the War Nerd, I’m not surprised that we get a few kids going off for a life-defining experience. I’m just surprised that there are so damn few of them leaking out of the desperate places of the first world.

Once again—and I know I keep repeating this, but it’s something standard media rules make it almost impossible to acknowledge—once again, it’s not why Nicholas took to jihad (or tried to, the poor fool); what’s amazing, what’s odd, is that there are so few Nicholases signing up. What gravitational field keeps them in Acampo? There are ten thousand towns like Acampo in America, and hundreds of thousands across the Muslim world that make Acampo look like Palm Springs—but they’re not delivering a flood of jihadis.

It’s true there are some real jihadis going to Syria, fighting and dying there, but the numbers are very small—probably between 5,000 and 10,000 on the Sunni side, and fewer than that fighting with Hezbollah for the Alawites.

The scare headlines you see about the increase in their numbers comes from one of the oldest tricks in the statistician’s book: If the raw numbers are tiny, any increase is going to sound huge if expressed as a percentage. If I have one lousy jihadi fighting for me, and he talks his unmarriageable cousin into joining him, I can claim a 100% increase in jihadi support. Of course there’s another way of inflating your numbers, beloved of military propagandists everywhere: Just plain lie, claim to have a lot more men than you really do. That’s another standby in Syria, where every faction has its video team and PR flack, lovingly filming every dead enemy and tweeting ridiculous claims about your casualties (what casualties?) and theirs (thousands, nay, millions).

The other question war reporters should be asking about jihadis is, “So what?” Or, to amplify, “What is the real military value of a few hundred foreign amateurs in a conventional war like Syria?”

My answer would be, “Their net value is a negative integer, a large one.” Foreign troops aren’t easy to like, especially when they think they know how you should live. And foreigners who’ve only taken up arms for ideological reasons, with no particular skill in using them, are not much a help. Anyone with two arms can fire an AK, but that doesn’t make him a useful soldier—and most of the jihadis who end up in Syria are not ex-military but ordinary urban young men (again, their ordinariness is their key trait), with no special skills to contribute. So their inevitable alienation of Syrian civilians most likely outweighs their very marginal military value.

And..

What is the military value of four amateurs in ski masks? The Sunni in Syria don’t need more men with AKs, they need a unified command and a little goddamn discipline, and these goofy foreigners are about the last people to provide any of that. What they’ll do is whine about the food and the toilet facilities like first-worlders always do, then get impatient, shoot some civilian for not praying loudly enough—and in general, make Assad’s job a whole lot easier. Their military value is negative you-name-it.

As for the fabled white-convert jihadis, those unicorns of jihad, their value is even less than that of these second- or third-generation Pakistani-British volunteers. So why do we keep hearing about them? Because they’re white, for starters. And because they’re so unlikely. The media love anything unlikely and white and potentially scary, no matter how lame the scare is.

If you’re Nicholas Teausant, sitting in your trailer in Acampo, that sort of attention is the biggest incentive of all to Google “jihad” and pretend to be the next Osama. Losers have a long tradition of joining up with whatever scares the rubes most. For Lee Harvey Oswald, it was the commies, or the Russians, or both; he didn’t really know, any more than Nicholas Teausant knows anything about Islam.

Sure our security people may want to keep an eye on them. But stop them – you’re kidding me! We can all only benefit from them going off to war

The probability is that they will learn something about themselves that they didn’t know – how good their potential life is if they work at it. If they come back (and most do), then people coming from combat zones are in my experience very unlikely to want much more excitement.

The ones that actually worry me aren’t the ones going off to combat zones. It is the ones who go off to be taught mind-bending philosophies or how to lower cars who are dangerous. Often both. But in both cases they are usually pretty useless at most things practical as our WOF inspections regularly prove. As has been proven time and time again, most bomb makers and terrorists are terrible technically.  You have a much higher probability of getting killed by a fool with poorly mounted brakes than someone with a Sarin gas attack or a fertilizer bomb.

The ones that could worry me because they are competent are the people who did significant amounts of science and engineering education. I did the former and usually work with the latter. We really know of a lot of ways to be very dangerous. However we tend not to be particularly susceptible to the siren calls of ideology or bigotry or their variants of religion, and far more interested in what we are doing than why the world is unfair to others. I know – I am a very strange exception.

What really worries me is that the paranoid and bigoted idiots who seem to wind up in our security services. They appear to be incapable of distinguishing between activities designed to enhance our democracy and society and those that are not. Because of the way that they interfere with the processes that blow off steam for our society and allow it to change.

Our best and brightest competent tech-heads don’t get particularly interested in politics until they or their friends and family start getting treated as social enemies by the chattering classes and their security pinheads. You see this in every country that has had real security problems, it isn’t until you get the techs interested that things start getting seriously dangerous. A few lo-techs going off to war aren’t going affect that.

Long after John Key has finished lying about the purpose of this legislation (just as John Key did over the metadata aspects GCSB bill last year – does anyone actually believe his denials? ) and had his photo-op with whoever it was designed to impress, we will find the security idiots interfering with legitimate activities like disagreeing with trade policy or wanting something done about climate change. Their use of poorly written and fundamentally dangerous laws to drag people through the courts as examples is the type of dumbarse thing that eventually causes effective “terrorism”.

 


 


 

* If you haven’t read The War Nerd, then I suggest you rectify your ignorance – at pando and exiledonline. I particularly recommend the topical “Here’s everything you need to know about “too extreme for Al Qaeda” I.S.I.S.” on the foolish over hyping of ISIS.

35 comments on “Let them go to war”

  1. Clemgeopin 1

    A good and thought provoking article.

    On a related matter, as far as our country itself is concerned, in my opinion, we should never go into other peoples’ wars unless that is voted in by the UN.

    Here is a question: Why didn’t USA and its friends, including New Zealand, go to war against China to help Dalai Lama’s Tibet when China annexed it?

    • George Hendry 1.1

      A good question.

      Long ago when the Readers’ Digest (by DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace) always included an anticommunist article in every issue, there was one (from memory 1962 but unsure) titled The Rape of Tibet. But I guess it was only sabre rattling.

      As our ‘news’ has relentlessly portrayed Syria’s Assad in a negative light ; as I read somewhere earlier this year that the ‘Syrian freedom fighters’ were a US plot to overthrow Syria ; and as I’m rather more familiar with the US track record as a rogue state than much at all about Syria I’ve taken the liberty of assuming prima facie that Syria is engaged in legitimate self-defence.

      Any comments and citations would be welcome.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.2

      What about Rwanda or Darfur. But then west only likes to involve itself in civil wars if their is large amounts of oil involved

    • Chooky 1.3

      +100 Clemgeopin

      ..” we should never go into other peoples’ wars unless that is voted in by the UN”.

      ….”Why didn’t USA and its friends, including New Zealand, go to war against China to help Dalai Lama’s Tibet when China annexed it?”

      • SPC 1.3.1

        1. The Russian veto would have stopped any UN effort (the UN only went into Korea because Russia was absent from the UNSC at the time of that vote).

        2. In Korea they found it hard to defeat the Chinese.

        3. To fight China over Tibet they would have had to have gone through Korea – broken the cease-fire.

        4 See 1.

  2. Murray Rawshark 2

    Of course, there are a higher number who wander off to Israel and join the Infant Destruction Force, or who join the Aussie armed forces, or even the Americans, or private mercenaries such as the ones Shearer thinks should be paid by the UN. Neither Key nor the squirrels seem worried about any of them.

    • Morrissey 2.2

      Those who go to “fight” for the IDF against unarmed women and children in the Occupied Territories are pretty much identical to those who went to Rhodesia in the 1960s and 70s to defend Ian Smith’s regime.

    • Chooky 2.3

      +100 Murray Rawshark ….”a higher number who wander off to Israel”…are these to be banned also?

      …how and who defines a terrorist organisation?

  3. Ad 3

    There are plenty of stupid groups who won. In fact most of them were so extreme an ill- informed that stupidity is part of their definition. problem is the successful ones turn into tyrants.

    But proposing to let young men go to the ultimate boot camp as NZ’s own joyous eugenics programme goes too far. Iraq isn’t the Spanish Civil War. And Syria aint World of Warcraft. There’s no stable moral ground to evaluate anywhere there. Another moron without another gun stopped from generating another terrified village is worth stopping at our border.

    Occasionally, Customs and the SIS have a use. This is one of them.

    • lprent 3.1

      Well there is that humanitarian aspect. Somehow, I don’t think that is the argument in use.

      Of course it does mean that we have them here revving up badly tuned cars with inadequete mufflers on Friday night. And often those villages will produce a previously unsuspected cache of old AK47s to induce politeness.

      • Ad 3.1.1

        If I ruled New Zealand those young bucks’d all have Compulsory Rural Service.
        Up at 4.30 for milking
        Or 8 hours of fencing
        Or 8 hours of vine pruning
        Or 8 hours of dry stock herding

  4. les 4

    The U.S is in a constant state of war.The budget,the global bases and the military/industrial complex demand it.I guess controlling resources is a historical reality of empire.Trying to stop the few who want to travel to fight is a PR exercise in reality.Look at the usual double standard of paid merceneries deployed around the world.Same thing…just depends on whos ‘side’ you’re on.

  5. b waghorn 5

    It would be interesting to leap forward 10 years and see were foolish Nicholas ends up like a lot of foolish young boy s he may turn out to be a good contributing man . A lot of young men need protecting from them selves.

    • wekarawshark 5.1

      aka a lot of young men need a society that gives a shit about them becoming men instead of leaving them to fend for themselves in a US ghetto.

      • b waghorn 5.1.1

        Bang on it seem’s middle class white boys are meant to be successful with no help at all

  6. Lindsey 6

    We have always had a bunch of young fellows whose cranial capacity is vastly exceeded by their testicular capacity. We bred them like that for centuaries where we needed them as cannon fodder.

    I don’t have any problem with these testosterone laden lunkheads going off to fight somewhere else. Particularly as they have a 50/50 chance of collecting on those 200 virgins promised to those who die in this capacity.

    Howevr, I am a bit unsure about allowing the survivors to return.

  7. You see this in every country that has had real security problems, it isn’t until you get the techs interested that things start getting seriously dangerous.

    Cuba would seem an exception. Fidel was a lawyer, and Guevara was a doctor.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1

      Most of the ‘revolutions’ since the 1950s were led by what could be called ‘technical professionals’, as those were the main tertiary courses available. Fidel being a law student would be an exception, but his father was a wealthy farmer.

    • lprent 7.2

      You misunderstand. The techs often aren’t the leaders of uprisings. The leaders are usually ineffectual without the techs. The Cuban revolution succeeded because they could keep trucks running, ammo arriving, mortars and artillery maintained, communications between groups maintained, and a multitude of other things happening that required technical skills.

      A state that hasn’t failed has those skills because they can pay for them. Insurrections require that techheads contribute them. They are notoriously slow to do so on the basis of some chattering fools philosophies. They do it when they see friends and family being harassed because they are proceeding down the path of peaceful change.

  8. war is an effective way for the plutocracy to weed out surplus labour, for the military-industrial complex to line their pockets, and for right wing governments to scare the people into giving up their freedoms.

    war is a fucking disaster for economies, human rights, and the environment.

  9. grumpyrawshark 9

    I’ll say it again, most folk have no idea that most wars are manufactured in the media.

  10. KJT 10

    Is it Eastasia or Westasia this week?

    I have forgotten………….

    • Oceania has always been at war with, i dunno, Antarctica?

      It’s really a #WarOnTerra

    • Murray Rawshark 10.2

      It has always been Eastasia. Westasia is our eternal ally. Thank you for volunteering for readjustment therapy at the Ministry of Love, run by Blubber Boy and Commandant Odgers, as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.

  11. Huginn 11

    ‘We can all only benefit from them going off to war

    The probability is that they will learn something about themselves that they didn’t know – how good their potential life is if they work at it.’

    lprent – what are you thinking?????!!!!!!!!!!

    Daesh are slavers. They are openly selling captured women to foreign jihadis as ‘concubines’.

    Going to war in a far off, exotic land where the usual rules don’t count; where you get to wear black fantasy pirate pants; you blow things up; drive a tank; collect and use an assortment of firearms + sword; get to be a self-righteous arsehole to cowed locals who get their heads chopped off if they disrespect you; and of course – buy your very own devil-worshipping sex slave, (maybe even more than one because they’ll be really cheap . . .).

    I’m pretty sure that would exercise the imaginations of quite a few young men – & apparently even the odd 14 year old girl – but it isn’t going to war in anything like the sense of going to Rhodesia in the 1970’s or Spain in the ’30’s.

    It’s more like going to Cambodia to hang out with Pol Pot & commit crimes against humanity.

    Here is the October edition of the Daesh English language magazine Dabiq in which they give a gleeful account and justification of their enslavement of captive women:
    WARNING – the images are violent and offensive.
    http://t.co/3NFjMC8fRY

  12. Scott1 12

    I suspect that even going to Cambodia to hang out with pol pot and commit crimes against humanity would in practice not be nearly as much ‘fun’ as it sounds despite his very convincing advertising…

    Daesh are lots of bad things – but the suggestion made here is that it makes no practical difference whether we restrict our unbalanced youth from going there or not. In fact, it may well weaken them, thus indirectly serving the ends.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Jenny Marcroft MP to represent New Zealand First in Auckland Central
    New Zealand First is pleased to announce Jenny Marcroft as the party’s election 2020 candidate for the Auckland Central electorate. Jenny spent years working in Auckland Central, having spent a vast proportion of her broadcasting career there. She says she, "knows the place and knows the people." Ms Marcroft says ...
    11 hours ago
  • Creating jobs and cleaning up our rivers
    New Zealanders deserve healthy rivers and lakes that are safe to swim in - but they have been getting worse for decades. That's why, with our latest announcement, we're investing in projects that will help clean up our rivers and lakes and restore them to health, within a generation. ...
    1 day ago
  • Jacinda Ardern: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Jacinda Ardern's speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    1 day ago
  • Kelvin Davis: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Kelvin Davis' speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    1 day ago
  • Week That Was: Another week of major progress
    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    3 days ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    4 days ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    5 days ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    5 days ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    5 days ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    6 days ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    6 days ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    7 days ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    7 days ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    1 week ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    1 week ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    1 week ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    1 week ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fletcher Tabuteau selected as candidate for Rotorua
    New Zealand First MP Fletcher Tabuteau is pleased to be confirmed today as the party’s candidate for the Rotorua electorate. Speaking at the Rotorua AGM for New Zealand First, Mr Tabuteau said this is an election that is incredibly important for the people of Rotorua. “The founding principles of New ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call for Government office to address Rainbow issues following Human Rights Commission report
    The Human Rights Commission’s PRISM report on the issues impacting people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) provides an excellent programme of work for future governments to follow, say the Greens. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters continues push for trans-Tasman travel as military take control of operations
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said the trans-Tasman bubble had not been jeopardised after a border botch-up resulted in New Zealand having two active cases of COVID-19. On Friday, Mr Peters told RNZ's Morning Report he had heard from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that borders for trans-Tasman travel would open by ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters on the Government’s Covid-19 border blunder
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today he was pleased the army was now running the quarantine and isolation process - up until now it has been the Ministry of Health. Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that the army knew how to introduce and follow protocols and instil discipline. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First’s Ron Mark confirms bid for the Wairarapa seat
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First MP and Minister for Defence and Veteran’s Affairs Ron Mark has confirmed his bid for the Wairarapa seat.“The Coalition Government has done a lot of good work throughout the Wairarapa, but many constituents have told ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes second tranche of candidates
    New Zealand First is pleased to release the names of its next tranche of candidates for the 2020 election. We’re proud to announce these hardworking New Zealanders that have put their hand up to fight for a commonsense and resilient future.Jamie Arbuckle – Kaikoura Mark Arneil – Christchurch Central Jackie ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment is going to the Northern Adventure Experience and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fast-track consenting law boosts jobs and economic recovery
    The law to boost the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 by speeding up resource consenting on selected projects has passed its second and third readings in the House today. “Accelerating nationwide projects and activities by government, iwi and the private sector will help deliver faster economic recovery and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Whanganui Port gets PGF boost
    Five port-related projects in Whanganui will receive a $26.75 million Provincial Growth Fund investment to support local economic recovery and create new opportunities for growth, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is a significant investment that will support the redevelopment of the Whanganui Port, a project governed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
    Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery will receive an investment of up to $12 million administered by the Provincial Growth Fund to support its redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The project is included in a $3 billion infrastructure pipeline announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones yesterday. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding for training and upskilling
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $2.5 million into three Te Ara Mahi programmes to support Manawatū-Whanganui jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Up to 154 local people will be supported into employment within the first year by these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
    Moa bones and other sub-fossil remains of extinct species are set to have improved protection with proposals to prevent the trade in extinct species announced the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. “We have lost too many of our native species, but these lost species, such as moa, remain an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
    The Government’s free and healthy school lunches programme moves south for the first time creating jobs for around 30 people in Otago and Southland. “Eighteen schools with 3000 students are joining the programme – 11 have already begun serving lunches, and seven are preparing to start during Term 3. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
    Thousands of Kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand productions will be protected through a screen sector support package announced today by Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford and Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi. The package also includes investment in broadcasting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
    The Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector to help save jobs and protect incomes as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. This funding from Budget 2020 follows talks with the event sector designed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill to improve fuel market competition
    The Government has taken another step in its commitment to making sure New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump with the introduction of legislation to improve competition in the retail fuel market, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The fuel market study that this Government ordered ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
    New Zealand has joined a global initiative that aims to enable all countries to access a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. The COVAX Facility was recently launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Alliance includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
    From today new legislation takes effect to both restore the right to legal representation at the start of a Care of Children (CoCA) dispute in the Family Court, and allow parties to those proceedings to access legal aid where eligible. During a visit to the Family Court in Auckland today, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Transitioning to a fully-qualified home-based ECE workforce
    Home-based early childhood education (ECE) subsidised by the government will transition to a fully qualified workforce by 2025 to ensure better and more consistent quality, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “Quality early learning helps provide children with a strong foundation for their future,” Chris Hipkins said. From 1 January ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission gets to work
    The new Criminal Cases Review Commission | Te Kāhui Tātari Ture (CCRC) has started work and can now independently investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “Even though we have appeal rights and safeguards against unsafe convictions, from time to time our justice system does get things wrong. The design of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou Ki a koutou Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei, tēnā koutou Ko Te Whare Wānanga o Aotearoa ki ngā take o te Ao (NZIIA), Ko te Rōpū Tohu Tono ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Six months with baby and $20 more a week for new parents
    The Government’s increase to paid parental leave kicks in today with another 4 weeks taking New Zealand up to a full 6 months (26 weeks, up from 22 weeks) leave for new parents, and the maximum weekly payment will increase by $20pw, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild
    A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones today outlined how the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on passage of national security law for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today expressed the New Zealand Government’s deep disappointment at the passage by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee of a national security law for Hong Kong. “New Zealand has consistently emphasised its serious concern about the imposition of this legislation on Hong Kong without inclusive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • July 1 marks progress for workers, families
    More jobs and more family time with newborns are the centrepiece of a suite of Government initiatives coming into effect today. July 1 is a milestone day for the Government as a host of key policies take effect, demonstrating the critical areas where progress has been made. “The Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
    Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses.  The call-in means the application has been referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, including resultant border restrictions, had been the major factor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Matakana Link Road construction kicks off and drives jobs
    The start of construction on a new link road between Matakana Road and State Highway 1 will create jobs and support the significant population growth expected in the Warkworth area, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff announced today. Transport Minister Phil Twyford said construction of the Matakana Link ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • PPE supplies secured as COVID-19 response focuses on border
    The Government is prioritising its latest investment in PPE for frontline health workers, including staff at managed isolation and quarantine facilities, Health Minister David Clark says. “With no community transmission of COVID-19 our response now has a firm focus on keeping our border safe and secure. “We must ensure that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF funding for Parihaka settlement
    The Parihaka Papakāinga Trust in Taranaki will receive up to $14 million for a new visitor centre and other improvements at the historic settlement that will boost the local economy and provide much-needed jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Protections for workers in triangular employment
    Protections for workers who are employees of one employer but working under the direction of another business or organisation have come into force, closing a gap in legislation that  made the personal grievance process inaccessible for some workers, says Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “This Government is working hard to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government strengthens managed isolation system
    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify and understand current and emerging risks to ensure the end-to-end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Whakatāne to go predator free with Government backing Ngāti Awa led efforts
    The important brown kiwi habitat around Whakatāne will receive added protection through an Iwi-led predator free project announced by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “The Government is investing nearly $5 million into Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa’s environmental projects with $2.5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing Goodwood: Expanding wood waste recycling plant in Bay of Plenty, Waikato
    An extra 4,000 tonnes of offcuts and scraps of untreated wood per year will soon be able to be recycled into useful products such as horticultural and garden mulch, playground safety surfacing and animal bedding as a result of a $660,000 investment from the Waste Minimisation Fund, Associate Environment Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Scott Watson’s convictions to be referred to Court of Appeal
    The Governor-General has referred Scott Watson’s convictions for murder back to the Court of Appeal, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Mr Watson was convicted in 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. His appeal to the Court of Appeal in 2000 was unsuccessful, as was his ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago