Make that man a minister

Written By: - Date published: 11:50 am, March 12th, 2010 - 42 comments
Categories: capitalism, national - Tags: ,

British American Tabacco’s Graeme Amey has the brazen lie down pat.

The guy quit smoking himself but wants Kiwis to keep smoking and dying to make his company profits. When asked why he quit he said “it was just a personal choice”. But why? “It was just a personal choice”. Yeah. Was that personal choice not to get lung cancer?

Amey would be right at home in Key’s government. Beside a Finance Minister who lied about ripping off his housing allowance. Beside an Education Minister who has told more lies than I can count on national standards. Beside a Social Development Minister who has been telling us the tide has turned on unemployment for six months. Beside a Prime Minister whose ability to brazen out questions (‘why did you fire that minister?’ ‘why did you keep that shareholding secret?’ ‘why did you promise to close the gap with Australia when you knew you couldn’t?’) with bare-faced lies is second to none.

They should make Amey Smoking Minister. He could hardy be more pro-smoking than the government is already.

42 comments on “Make that man a minister”

  1. Peter 1

    Well , he is correct it is a personal choice. I hope that by the time my daughters are 16 or so (8 years away)that smoking has been consigned to history.. But I doubt it.

    Prohibition won’t work, Education and sky high taxes on the evil weed is my solution for what it’s worth.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Actually, it’s entirely possible that prohibition on tobacco will work. When the majority of people (greater than 80%) don’t want to smoke then there isn’t enough people to run a black market.

      • Peter 1.1.1

        one can only hope ….What is the % smoking now, only just over 25% ??

      • J. Andal 1.1.2

        All the evidence throughout history always shows that prohibition does not work.
        Let me repeat that, prohibition does not work.
        If there was a prohibition on tobacco, it would just spark an increase in people dying because of contaminated products and people afraid of going to the doctors about their smoking related illnesses, causing more death and harm that it already does. I’m all for restricting tobacco sales to tobacconists, and no advertising whatsoever for tobacco, however.

        • Matt 1.1.2.1

          During the prohibition on alcohol sales in the US rates of liver disease and other key indicators of alcohol related harm dropped – sure it didn’t stop people drinking and it may have contributed a bit to the growing organised crime in the US, but it did have a positive impact on people’s health. And there are different issues relating to illegal drugs and it may be different for tobacco also – but a blanket ‘prohibition doesn’t work’ is not correct. I also agree with tax as an answer.

          Re smoking, around 21% I think, its dropped a lot in the last decade and a half or so.

      • Nick C 1.1.3

        Only a tiny minority of New Zealanders would smoke P, but that trade is alive and well.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3.1

          Make tobacco illegal and you may find that the numbers who smoke tobacco would be about the same as the number of people who smoke P but I doubt that tobacco would reach the same price level as P, ergo, not as much, if any, profit.

  2. How is National pro smoking????

    I wonder if you did a survery on how many labour party supporters and how many national party supporters smoke, what the numbers would be?

    Of course the greens have been promoting dope smoking for ages.

    BTW: I dont smoke and find the smoking compaines to be sick for promoting their product.

    • kaplan 2.1

      Well, when one of their health spokespersons accepts an invitation, linked to British American Tobacco, to attend rock concert and proceeds to blow cigar smoke in the face of a woman objecting to his smoking, you begin to see there are problems with their perception of the smoking issue.

      MP apologetic over cigar fracas

  3. Lanthanide 3

    “Beside a Prime Minister whose ability to brazen out questions (‘why did you fire that minister?’ ‘why did you keep that shareholding secret?’ ‘why did you promise to close the gap with Australia when you knew you couldn’t?’)”

    Using Amey’s logic to avoid answering questions designed to draw out incriminating information:
    1. It was a personal decision
    2. It was a personal decision
    3. I personally believe that we can close the gap with Australia.

    Also, to address Amey’s predicament in answering. The two biggest reasons for giving up smoking at cost and health. As an executive of a tobacco company can’t really claim “cost” as the reason…

  4. Kaplan:

    That was four years ago

    • Mac1 4.1

      So were the Hollow Men. And still are, methinks.

      Ever used the “They did the same thing, too” argument, Brett Dale?

      Ever learnt the lessons of history? They can be more than four years old, I’ve heard.

    • Bill 4.2

      And these long term relationships have no effect, right? I mean, that was then and this is now.

      So we will see a government initiative to have tobacco displays removed from public view? Obviously a simple and effective way of lessening the pressure felt by recovering addicts to smoke again. Avoidance of associations or prompts is after all a tried and tested technique when dealing with other addictions, so why not outlaw some of the more obvious and easy to deal with nicotine prompts…including, ironically, a fair bit of the anti smoking propaganda? Will we see the government engage in a positive fashion?

      Or will we see the government spokespeople behave as industry apologists and regurgitate big tobacco claims such as that displays ensure the authenticity of the product which in turn ensures that there is no black market in tobacco or that banning displays will make no difference?

      What you reckon? And if the latter, you think the views would have been arrived at independently? That their convergence with the views of the tobacco industry are mere coincidence?

    • Matt 4.3

      Backing down on the display regulations is another example of being pro-smoking lobby.

  5. Just because one politician got invited into a coropate box from someone from the tabacco industry and blew cigar smoke in someones face four years ago, doesnt make that Political party “Pro Smoking”

  6. mcflock 6

    What Amey could have said is that he had a family history of heart disease, so therefore it wasn’t wise for him to be a regular user of cigarettes but he did enjoy the occasional cigar. Goes with that personal choice thing.

    Personally, I’ve always felt that the fixation on tobacco is an obsession with the sypmtom, not the cause. The plant itself is just a happy wee thing that grows like a weed. The problem is the corporate model that took that plant, processed the crap out of it to make it more addictive, and then lied about the health effects of said processed crap. The same model that performs cost-benefit analyses on repairing fatal automotive defects as opposed to just paying the likely cost of damages when their behaviour is exposed. Or the asbestos producers that killed their employees with asbestosis. Or the toy companies that use lead paints. And the list goes on.

    Don’t tax tobacco. Make corporate managers legally responsible for more than a profit margin, e.g. social responsibility.

  7. Nick C 7

    This year i stopped drinking soft drinks because I wanted to improve my health.

    If i make that desision for myself, is it hypocritical of me to not want to ban soft drinks?

    • felix 7.1

      How much money do you make selling soft drinks to other people, Nick?

      • Nick C 7.1.1

        I dont see how thats relevent, a persons employment is in no way related to their lifestyle.

        It wouldnt be hypocritical for a Radio DJ to prefer watching TV, a condom manafacturer to be abstinent or a car salesman to use public transport. I dont really see how smoking is different in a relevent way.

  8. Alexandra 8

    Brett Dale- One of the first things this government did when it came into power was repeal the ban on displaying tobacco in shops. Now tobacco is back in our face while we wait to be processed at the counter. Who is the govenment supporting by that action?

  9. Quoth the Raven 9

    Here are an interesting couple of contrarian articles on smoking: Smoking Trials Again and The Scientific Scandal of Antismoking
    I cant vouch for the veracity of either, but I find it interesting nonetheless. It may well be that the anti-smoking case has been overplayed. It certainly doesn’t deserve the demonization that it receives beyond the scientific case for the harm that smoking causes. In any event smoking or not smoking is a personal choice and what one chooses to do with one’s own body and mind shouldn’t be up for dictation and regimentation from the state. I don’t smoke, but I like most other new Zealanders use a more harmful drug – alcohol and that’s my personal choice.

    • Bill 9.1

      Just curious here QtR.

      But, what’s your take on Objectivism?

      • Quoth the Raven 9.1.1

        I think there is probably better rape fanatsy out there 🙂
        I don’t think much of it in that I have a low opinion of it and I generally agree with the criticisms that Rothbard made in the article I know you’ve read. That being said there are some good Randians who aren’t Objectivists out there (aster you out there?) and I think the hysteria around Rand is about as useful as communist hysteria. The fact that some people wish to ascribe some great Randian conspiracy to the world as if it were the Jews in times past is absurd.

    • Puddleglum 9.2

      Capitalist ideology is a funny old thing. It’s supposedly premised on the existence of an entirely fictional beast – the rational, independent, autonomous adult thinker who makes decisions in their own interest. Yet, in reality it establishes and employs every conceivable structure and lever (marketing, advertising, PR, ‘lobbying’ governments, etc.) to ensure that individuals work and consume to the maximum. This is all done on the back of a far more realistic and scientifically supported theory of people that assumes that people are highly manipulable, habitual, develop in a way that is principally determined by their developmental environments (e.g., exposure to media) and have psychological tendencies that can easily be ‘stroked’ to ensure that they end up making decisions that are decidedly not in their own interests

      In fact, the invention of the fiction of a rational, autonomous adult is itself a brilliant bit of leveraging of our psychological tendency to want to perceive ourselves in the most heroic light possible.

      • Quoth the Raven 9.2.1

        Why did you reply to me? I suppose you’re insinuating that capitalist ideology has something to do with my comment. Since you started why don’t you start by defining capitalism.You see some people would see me as pro-capitalist others as anti-capitalist it all depends on who I’m talking to and how they define capitalism. Here’s an article that has a bit on that: Anarquistas por La Causa

        • Puddleglum 9.2.1.1

          Let me clarify. I’m probably more sympathetic to various anarchistic approaches than you suspect. My concern with capitalist ideology has at least two aspects. ‘Capitalist ideology’ has a common-or-garden sense as it is used in today’s world – it’s the body of rhetoric used by and for the owners of capital (the disputed components that comprise the means of production). I’m perfectly open to the notion that capitalism per se has hardly ever occurred in history, though the rhetoric about ‘capitalism’ has been used by those with considerable wealth to defend their possession of that wealth. The second sense in which I’m interested in it is more ‘internal’ (i.e., to the extent that one might accept that ‘capitalist ideology’ is some coherent philosophical approach to understanding material relations and behaviour – as opposed to the more ‘cynical’ and instrumental use of the notion I’ve just described). My interest in this sense is the focus, within that ideology, of the idea of the autonomous, etc. individual who is able to make ‘choices’ in some sort of void (e.g., the ‘negative freedom’ that is present in the absence of collective structures such as the ‘state’). I think that idea is a fiction.

          I’m sympathetic to anarchism in so far as it undermines the legitimacy of the ‘state’ (I think the state is basically a structure that evolved as a direct consequence of threats to the power of the ‘wealthy’ and so I have no particular liking for its primary function as an overarching structure). I’m less sympathetic to anarchist thought that co-opts and elevates the idea of the individual that I see as part and parcel of ‘capitalist ideology’ – the suis generis independent, autonomous, adult rational decision maker in charge of their own life. That idea has no counterpart in reality.

          My reaction to your comment was my perception – perhaps mistaken – that you seem to buy into that fiction.

          • Quoth the Raven 9.2.1.1.1

            Much of the problem is that capitalists use the rhetoric of the free market to defend actually existing capitalism, to use Marxist terminology, where none exists. Then leftists react against the market per se and see in the state their saviour when history will tell us the state is the enabler of the kind of corporate plutocracy they so detest and many of the policies they support (and I’m thinking of social democrats and progressives here) just further enable this.

            My interest in this sense is the focus, within that ideology, of the idea of the autonomous, etc. individual who is able to make ‘choices’ in some sort of void (e.g., the ‘negative freedom’ that is present in the absence of collective structures such as the ‘state’). I think that idea is a fiction.

            But who really holds this idea? Is it just a straw man? I would definitely consider myself an individualist, but I don’t think this means what you think it means. Since others have said it better than me here are a couple more articles from some more of my favourite anarchist blogs: Individualism, Abstraction and Authority
            The atomistic mindset.

            • Puddleglum 9.2.1.1.1.1

              We probably aren’t that far away from each other (which I suspected). But… at the risk of hair-splitting, while I agree that the individual is an idiosyncratic agent whose action cannot be predicted by gross characterisations of social role and structure (e.g., their class, gender, age, occupation, their socio-economic experience – being unemployed, winning lotto, inheriting a fortune, etc.), there’s still an important sense in which every individual remains a thorough-going social entity. They are created – developmentally – by the operation of social and cultural processes on the biological endowment. What they become is, inevitably, a product of that interplay. (There are now some very sophisticated accounts of what it means for something to be determined or caused, BTW).

              I wanted to ‘split that hair’ because it may highlight the different bodies of literature each of us is ‘depending’ on for our understandings. Yours is anarchist, mine is the body of scientific work that seeks to understand what it is to be a person and how we become persons. In the latter, the notion of a being that has an independent will, in ontological terms, is too close to that mischievous Cartesian ‘ghost’ to be the basis of theory. ‘Atomism’ is not only socially impossible it is also ‘cognitively’ impossible (thoughts don’t suddenly arrive ‘ex nihilo’ in the mind – i.e., out of nothing). This point is also linked to Ludwig Wittgenstein’s argument (often called the ‘private language argument’) concerning the impossibility of being able to have any knowledge of the contents of a thoroughly private psychological realm. (People find this surprising, but they shouldn’t.) But now I’m getting way off topic …

              Here’s an interesting point: The most ‘individual’ individuals arise in materially collectivist cultures (i.e., where material needs are met collectively). The classic case is hunter-gatherer cultures. Conversely, the greatest conformity arises in societies where material needs are met through individualised processes (not a good phrase but I can’t think of a better one at the moment).

              It might sound odd but here’s why: Where material needs are collectively met at the local level, democratic processes are required for the proper and efficient ‘production’ to happen, simply because command and control can’t achieve it. The collective, that is, needs to drawn on the diversity of opinion, perspective, etc. in order to maximise the possibility of material survival (and because of that can tolerate a very wide range of ‘idiosyncracy’ in other matters – even eccentricity). Societies that operate on individualised material production emphasise the substitutability of individual persons. if you’re an accountant and I don’t like you or your work I’ll get another accountant! You’re not an ‘individual’ (in the humane sense of the word), you’re a ‘unit’ of accountancy skills which can be replaced, more or less, by another unit. Hence, people with accountancy qualifications will conform to what is expected of an accountant (professional codes, etc.). Also, more broadly, where one’s life risks are individualised (i.e., life outcomes are supposedly determined by an individual’s actions) there will be a tendency to be conservative in how one operates (not to ‘offend’, etc.). That is, we become increasingly risk averse. This is Beck’s and Giddens’ notion of the ‘risk society’.

              All very interesting …

  10. worried 10

    but do you share the incredulity of those of us who prefer drugs (classified) to alcohol for our friday night thrill?

  11. Jared 11

    Ironically, Marijuana has never been formally legalised and there is a roaring black market trade. The smoke has similar toxins, but instead of keeping it a class c drug, people are trying to legalise posession. Do you really think making tobacco illegal would work? I agree, make it difficult to purchase (not over the counter at every dairy, servo, bar, supermarket) but making it illegal, wouldn’t work.

  12. The Baron 12

    Sooo here is a radical idea.

    How about we leave people to decide themselves as to whether they smoke? I see a number of references to tobacco marketing – ah, what marketing? BAT and their fellows are banned from every kind of marketing I can think of, apart from in-store displays.

    I could accept an argument for finally closing that angle of promotion. But, banning tobacco? Wow, why? Because it harms people? So tax it to the point whereby the cost of resolving/ameliorating that harm is met. Sure, that won’t stop all the suffering that that product causes – so warn people fulsomely about the rest of the risks.

    So have smokers pay their own way so there is no cost to society, via taxation; warn them at every opportunity; and pull down the last of the promotional angles. But then step back, let adults be adults, and resign yourself to the fact that despite all the information and cost in the world, some people simply like to smoke!

    • Quoth the Raven 12.1

      I think smokers already more than pay their way. No more ‘sin’ taxes, please

      In 1999-2000, smokers paid $950 million in excise, according to Treasury’s 2001 Tax Review, and it is now more than $1.1 billion. Treatment, by comparison, is estimated at $225m.

      Eric Crampton, a non-smoking senior economics lecturer at the University of Canterbury, says estimates of the cost of smoking are greatly inflated by including the cost of cigarette production.

      “You cannot honestly have a net measure on the benefit side and then double-count by including the resource on the cost side. Similarly, we cannot count the healthcare costs on the cost side, if we do not include the tax revenues collected on the benefits side.”

      Treasury says the Ministry of Health and anti-smoking groups ignore “the long average lag between the payment of tobacco taxes and the incidence of health costs”.

      Crampton: “The cost-benefit analysis presented is fundamentally unsound [and] its methods seem to have been chosen with the aim of maximising the monetised costs of tobacco use and minimising the monetised value of the [enjoyment] derived by smokers from tobacco.”

  13. John 13

    He should be Minister of Health! Mental Health?

  14. Jenny 14

    Maybe the mass marketing, packaging, distribution and retailing of cigarettes for profit could be made illegal.

    But possession for personal use and growing and drying of this drug by the user should still be legal. (None but aficionados could probably be bothered to do such a thing.)

    This to me, would be a sensible, balanced approach to take, and could save many lives without being punitive to those already chronically addicted.

    • felix 14.1

      Possession for personal use and growing and drying, synthesizing or otherwise producing of ANY drug by the user should still be legal.

      As an aside, I enjoy growing, drying, and curing tobacco. If anyone knows a good technique for shredding it I’m all ears.

      • Jenny 14.1.1

        First you get a huge factory and then you get a huge stainless steel machine equipped with high speed spinning blades and then when it is all nicely chopped you get other specialist stainless steel machinery to tightly pack it into perfectly formed little white tubes.

        Your only other alternatives are ripping it with your hands, or cutting it with scissors.

        Good luck with that.

        On the up side, though time consuming, the whole process is quite engrossing and addictive in itself.

        Another drawback of hand production of cigarettes as every user of rollies will tell you. Is you can’t quite pack it as tight as anally retentive big tobacco manufacturers in their $billion factories can. This problem is made even worse with hand cut tobacco. The final result is that hand manufactured cigarettes don’t give the same hit and are nowhere as addictive as the highly processed commercial product. Hang on, that could be a good thing.

  15. felix 15

    Yeah, scissors are the best method I’ve found so far – luckily I don’t smoke much ‘cos it’s far too slow to support a proper ciggie habit.

    Perhaps I could weld a whole lot of scissors together – has anyone else made a device like this?

  16. prism 16

    Edward Scissorhands?

  17. Roger 17

    The link between tobacco and cancer is clearcut. The cost burden on the public health system is significant. Why not increase tax on tobacco and boost anti-smoking education programmes?

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    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    5 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    5 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago