web analytics

Moving away from the politics of fear

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 pm, November 2nd, 2014 - 53 comments
Categories: blogs, labour, Media - Tags: , ,

I’ve been meaning to respond to this post by Bill for a few days. This is the bit that I really disagree with: “there is a defining factor that ought to be considered…vulnerability to attack” (which isn’t from the post itself but from the front page description of it). The whole premise of the post is that a leader should be picked on the basis of who is the smallest target.

His description of the problem is accurate enough:

Whoever is leader, is going to [be] subjected to, and have to contend with, an endless barrage of innuendo and attempted smears from Slater, Farrar and/or others. These attacks will inevitably be picked up and amplified by major newspapers and TV outlets. The hope, as always, will be that any negative image of who-ever is leader gets traction in the mind of the general public and becomes projected onto the party as a whole.

But I object to the notion that any leadership decision should be based on this. For a start, it effectively allows the attackers from the right to determine who leaders from the left should be. It’s pretty much giving power to them and admitting defeat for the left to have any strategy or any ability to back their leaders against such attacks.

That bothers me a lot, because I think there has been too much implementation of policy or refusal to implement policy based on fear of the other side. The biggest example in my mind is the Foreshore and Seabed legislation back in 2005, when the Labour Party effectively allowed the opposition to dictate Labour policy. I believe that harmed the Party more than if they had held their ground and allowed the process through the courts continue. They lost a lot of support from the Maori electorate, as well as from many on the left who saw them as no longer willing to defend basic Labour values and principles.

Politics from a position of fear is never going to be successful. Politics based on conviction and the ability to put forward a sound argument is a much better strategy. It would be heaps better to pick a leader that has skills needed for the job (eg ability to build relationships and connect with people, strong debating & public speaking skills, etc), and simultaneously develop strategy to deal with potential attacks.

And in the meantime, simply ignore what right-wing commentators, bloggers and politicians are saying. The number of times I’ve seen comments along the lines of “well if [right-wing person] is supporting [left-wing candidate], then they are clearly not worth supporting”. Just ignore them, it’s noise and it makes no sense to respond let alone to pay attention when selecting a leader. Judge the candidate on their own actions, beliefs, ability.

Then there is the fact that selection of a leader based on potential attack points reduces the pool of people able to be elected. It’s a good way to keep anyone with any kind of minority identity out of the position, on the basis that they are open to attack because of that identity. It’s a way of enforcing a narrow definition of what makes an electable leader. Funnily enough, those some people who enforce such definitions also pontificate loudly about selection being based on merit. It’s a no-win situation.

Yes, anyone selected is going to be subject to attack. But there’s no point in allowing that to cloud our judgement.

 

Stargazer

53 comments on “Moving away from the politics of fear”

  1. weka 1

    I largely agree. I’m a pragmatic voter and have often made the argument that the GP for instance have made the right moves by becoming more mainstream. But there is a limit and I think the left is in danger of sinking into a fear based hole that it will never get out of. Been thinking about this a bit today as I have been commenting elsewhere on how the GP won’t talk about WINZ and welfare now either, it’s a taboo subject because of the perception of how the media and public will react.

    One of the arguments Bill has made is that Cunliffe failed as leader because he wasn’t tough enough to push back within his own caucus (dealing to the ABCs). I think this probably true, and it’s likely that within the relatively macho culture of the Labour caucus, it needed a macho push back. But I’ve also been watching karol talk about the masculinisation of politics during the Key years, and am reminded of alternatives when you talk about the need for policy from conviction. At this time it looks like we need strength and conviction as much as anything. Too much of our time has been spent reacting to dirty politics etc, and not enough time building foundations we can be proud of to support.

    (of course the problem for Labour is the internal division. Can’t work on conviction while that is going on).

  2. Fuckin’ A, Stargazer.

  3. locus 3

    Leadership in nz is a popularity contest. Popularity is not a measure of the policies or your track record of achievement. It is about whether you can make people feel a bit better, laugh, take their mind off the negative stuff they so often hear from politicians. That there are so many ways to make nz a great place

    If our next labour leader can do all this while reminding people of the benefits to everyone in a kinder more socially equitable world. ?.

    • les 3.1

      Thats the reality…if Richie Macaw or Dan Carter said they would stand for Labour as leader,they would probably romp home.

      • stargazer 3.1.1

        because the right & the media would suddenly not attack them, not delve into any aspects of their pasts, not pick on every little thing they said, not run focus groups to tease out potential negatives in the minds of voters? see, if you think it’s just a popularity contest & the one who is least likely to be attacked will win, you’re really not understanding how politics works. neither of richie mccaw or dan carter are perfect, nor do they have any experience with politics & that would show pretty fast. selecting a leader through internal party processes is about a whole lot more than perceived popularity.

      • Sanctuary 3.1.2

        And what did Labour do about it? Nothing! Why had no one apparently anticipated what to do if McCaw and Carter make pro-government statements in the middle of the freaking four-nations tournament?? Everyone knows McCaw loves tha Nats, why wasn’t that covered in pre-election planning? The rugby championship timetable was published month ago!

        People like Jerome Kaino support Labour. My counter strategy would have been to have him tweet in support of Labour, then plant a story in the media of unease in the All Black camp at the politicisation of the jersey.

        Just having Tew and Hanson denying it would have been enough to get people arguing about the wisdom of the All Black captain supporting National so obviously, rather than just allowing McCaw to influence how people vote.

  4. Bill 4

    The whole premise of the post is that a leader should be picked on the basis of who is the smallest target.

    Bollocks. The entire post was basically a thought experiment based on the supposition (if that’s the correct term) that if the four contenders were perceived as equal to one another in every other respect,then…

    Now see, I thought there was a bit of a give-away on that front given the title of the post, and the last sentence of the post. But hey…

    • stargazer 4.1

      and yet you talk about a “defining factor”. regardless, i just think it should be the least of considerations.

      and even if it was a thought experiment on your part, it isn’t on part of a lot of people. they are genuinely treating attacks from the opposition & media as a major consideration, and that kind of thinking would start ruling out a whole lot of good people.

      • Molly 4.1.1

        Horizon Poll on the Labour leadership also had a similar question re vulnerability to attack on its survey, which I completed yesterday.

      • Bill 4.1.2

        and yet you talk about a “defining factor”

        Uh-huh, but not without qualification… that qualification being a perception that no other differences exist…

        Now, other people may be treating possible attack politics as a major consideration and elevating that over and above all other considerations. But I don’t, and didn’t write a post from that angle. On that front you set up a straw man to launch an otherwise reasonable argument.

        Anyway, whatever and what not, it’s a tad ironic that you argue, ostensibly in response to my post or its supposed premise, that it’s a good way to keep anyone with any kind of minority identity out of the position when Nanaia Mahuta herself ticks a fair few ‘minority identity’ boxes.

        • stargazer 4.1.2.1

          well, as a couple of people have indicated, they didn’t quite understand what you were trying to get at with your post, and i don’t really get the point of your qualification either. but i’d really rather not rehash that here as weka did a really good job of trying to get clarification on your post.

          also, with your last comment, i think you’re missing the point. yes, nanaia is ticking those boxes, and there are people who are painting her as unelectable because of that. it then comes down what criteria people are using to make their decisions on the leadership election, and i’m saying that attacks from the right & the media shouldn’t be part of the criteria.

          • Bill 4.1.2.1.1

            and i don’t really get the point of your qualification either

            Sometimes, it’s useful to artificially isolate something from other factors to get a clearer view of what your looking at, what its dynamics are, what its efficacy might be in given situations…there’s nothing more to it than that.

  5. Great post stargazer, and I got the same impression from Bill’s post: too much credence given to media manipulation. There is value in gauging public sentiment (like Curia does), but Labour first needs to believe in its mission and figure out how to work together. It must stand strongly for Kiwi values of fairness and justice, else what is the point?

    The NZ voter is not impressed by political point scoring and infighting, could care less about policy, but it seems that personalities and culture are of great prurient interest, and the media have gleefully turned serious political news into big-brother reality-drama. A good leader would constantly remind the media of the real issues and try to keep out of “gotcha”-style reporting.

  6. Lindsey 6

    If the politics of fear does not work why does Fox News pump it out on a daily basis? The USA right wing spends $$$ billions on keeping Americans fearful, if one scare does not work they just move on to another.

      • The Al1en 6.1.1

        I don’t think anyone is underestimating the media scaremongering or arguing against there being a culture of fear, just that the opposition parties shouldn’t let themselves be defined by it.

        And as for fox news, didn’t stop the democrats selecting a black man to run as president and it hasn’t stopped the electorate from voting him in twice.

        • Chooky 6.1.1.1

          +100 The Allen…and good thoughtful post by Stargazer

          Choosing a leader who is the least vulnerable or the smallest target , (given all other things being equal) can mean many things…and many are not negative or running scared

          …”vulnerability to attack”… is not necessarily giving in to fear of what the John Key dirty politics PR spinners can do to wreck havoc on the leader…it can also be a positive evaluation of that leader’s competence and charisma… in the face of the right wing media onslaught

          What ever you think of him , Winston Peters is a case in point and he is also one of the most aggressive and effective attackers of John Key and Nact policies…

          Peters has sustained attack after attack ….almost as if he has been shark bait ….but he parries it aggressively and turns it back on the attackers…he refuses to back down and either outright denies the accusations, or explains them and makes the accuser look stupid…he has been downed but he is never out

          …In the end it just serves to make Winston a very popular politician…because he shows the corrupt corporate media up for what it is

          This is what is needed in a Leader and in a Party….not running scared!!!… but turning the corrupt media back on itself and exposing it to the public for what it is

          (and you dont necessarily have to be a Winston Peters to do this….you might be a Mahatma Gandhi follower …the main thing is to expose the media up for what it is)

  7. just saying 7

    Good to see you posting here, Stargazer.

    I agree with you about the politics of fear and the enervating effect this has had on (most particularly) the parliamentary left – always cowering, simpering and reacting, terrified of not being popular.

    I was a bit bewildered by Bill’s post, and really wasn’t sure what he was trying to say. Subsequent questioning from Weka didn’t make it any clearer to me.
    Kow-towing isn’t usually his stance, and I couldn’t figure out why he thought the media might be less relentless in attacking Mahuta, and why that should be a major consideration anyway…

    I do understand the need to acknowledge the corruption we are up against, but I would have thought pandering to it would be the worst possible response. I’d prefer rage, but maybe that’s just not politic.

  8. I can’t speak for Bill but I thought the point of that post was that Nanaia Mahuta was not so much a small target for attack but she was such an obvious one (a Maori woman) that it would be just too ‘tricky’ for the media to run criticisms that weren’t really well-based on evidence.

    That is, attempted ‘dog whistles’ would come across as perfectly audible, plain old-fashioned whistles of a very distasteful kind.

    I’m not sure that is the case but that’s what I took to be the point.

    It’s possible that the opposite would ensue. All criticisms would be viable under the accusation that “I suppose I’ll be called a racist misogynist by the far left but Mahuta is just …”

    On the current post I agree that fear (and other aversive emotions) are counter-productive. They narrow the attentional focus (in order to deal with an immediate threat, in evolutionary terms) and rely upon current skills, knowledge, etc. to respond.

    Positive emotions, by contrast, provide for a more open, environment-scanning approach and therefore tend to increase skills, knowledge and be more creative overall. But they tend to emerge in ‘safe’ environments, for obvious reasons. Courage is required to treat a threatening environment as if it is a ‘safe’ one.

    (It’s the ‘broaden and build‘ theory of positive emotions, if you want a name.)

    • just saying 8.1

      (and other aversive emotions)

      And anger? (genuine question).
      Can we afford to leave anger out? It has a negative side, but it is an emotion of action.
      It can build solidarity and unity of pupose.
      It has been massively suppressed in the wider Labour movement for many years. Maybe as a symptom of Labour becoming more and more middle-class.

      • Puddleglum 8.1.1

        Hi just saying,

        That’s a very good question.

        I think anger goes with a sense of injustice. And I can’t see how the two can be separated without eviscerating any urgency around the sense of injustice.

        When I think about my own anger at how people are treated in this world it is one half of the motivation for why I want to do something about the injustice I see. The other half I’d like to think comes from compassion, or at least an inbuilt sense of obligation to do something to help those who suffer from an injustice.

        But when it comes to how I respond politically, I wouldn’t want the anger always to determine the direction or form of that response. It gives me the energy but doesn’t usually give me a clear enough ‘steer’ on how best to counter the injustice. Anger tells me what needs to end but not, in anywhere near the same clarity, what needs to begin.

        So I guess I’d say that, in politics and political movements, anger can give the energy but it needs something else – hope, optimism, compassion, human dignity – to produce something better than the current unjust situation. It has to draw on, or be harnessed to, something creative.

        I think you might be right about anger being downplayed as the labour movement has become more middle class.

        I see that as being linked to what I’d call the ‘liberalisation’ of the left – that is, the left – including the labour movement – becoming more an expression of liberalism than anything more radical.

        The two are distinguished by a different degree of urgency and clarity over purpose. For me, the phrase ‘middle class liberal’ is reserved for those who believe that, while things can be improved, one shouldn’t move too hastily in case more harm than good follows. It’s therefore important to weigh things up carefully, etc., etc..

        That’s fair enough but only if you assume that the present situation isn’t that bad and, therefore, is not a reason for too much anger.

        But when you or those you love have, and still are, experiencing real hardship there’s no room for that kind of ‘softly, softly’ incrementalist approach to change.

        The need is urgent – and that’s where the sense of anger comes from when no change occurs.

        Righteous anger (not its caricature) needs to make a comeback.

        (It’s interesting that anger has a very visible place on the right – anger at government getting in the way of business; anger at ‘bludgers’ wasting hard-earned tax dollars; anger at environmentalists getting in the way of growth; anger at Maori wanting special ‘privileges’, etc.. That anger has been very well harnessed.)

        • just saying 8.1.1.1

          Thank you for your thoughtful reply.
          By coincidence, there is a relevant post on “From the Left’ this morning:
          http://ontheleftnz.com/2014/11/04/where-anger-ends-and-change-begins/

          I find the blog ironic because it talks at length about the problem of the left getting bogged down in anger and the need to move on but the “solution” (from the title – “where change begins”) sounds pretty flimsy and “aspirational” to me:

          I want to push for change, but I want to do so in a way that inspires people to do the same. This frustration, this feeling of uncertainty and dread for the future, does not have to be the mark of the left-wing blogosphere. We can be constructive instead of destructive, and we can do so without bitter rambling and convolution. I’m on the left because I’m angry, but I’m On the Left because that’s not all I want to be.

          Because sure, of course we want to effect positive change, of course we want to use our energies for creative rather than destructive ends, but maybe we can’t just decide to put aside our anger until it has led to the urgency and clarity of purpose that those situations from which it arises, rightly demand.

          I have a picture in my head from when I was in the Alliance during the first MMP election campaign. We were struggling hard to get the attention we needed to talk about the changes we believed in. And one day the Greens came into town and it was like a parade with balloons and food and music and all these laid-back beautiful people in costumes. And I thought ‘maybe that’s we should be doing?’ And then I thought about what we were actually saying and who and what we were campaigning most passionately for and the people we were, and the whole idea of us being like the Greens seemed like a (very funny) travesty.

          I know when people talk about taking a positive creative approach they are not necessarily talking about creating a party atmosphere to draw the punters in. Problem is, I don’t really have any idea what it does mean and I fear increasing violence is inevitable as more people have less and less to lose.

  9. Ad 9

    This is so naive from Stargazer it beggars belief.

    Cunliffe was brought down by a massive negative campaign from the media – fuelled by a number of sources but to the same end. Does it need saying that National are now in power because of this? New Zealanders made a clear judgement about the success of the politics of fear: they agree.

    The power of the negative is a political necessity. Formed well, as Elias Canetti explains in Crowds and Power, fear emerges from crisis as the energy towards inevitable change. The skill and luck of politics is to manufacture crisis and fear towards your ends.

    However the left have no alternative but to be negative. There was no revival of a left language following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1988, or the Asian Financial Crisis, or the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-8. We can only negate.

    Optimism – even when paired with crisis as when Barack Obama entered office – can engender even worse backlash. Cue US midterms when the super-zealot right get in, Obama’s poll ratings.

    There is of course no magic formula for winning politics. But mere lack of respect for the negative is a sure fire way to entrenched failure.

    • stargazer 9.1

      as to your first point, the problem was that there wasn’t a strong enough strategy to deal with those attacks, nor was there a sense of the whole caucus coming out strongly to defend the leader. there were a lot of issues around the media strategy in this campaign but i’m not prepared to go into that here.

      the fact is that any leader chosen is going to be subjected to that machine. the response should be around how we fight back against that strategy, not cave into it.

      i agree that there is a place for negative politics, but again, that can be done from a position of strength. so, for example, in 2005, the targetted mail strategy was really effective because the messaging was shocking and strong eg “eviction notice” sent to state house tenants. it’s about a pro-active approach, rather than one that effectively concedes defeat to the other side by accepting their framing and tactics. what i see in your comments is a pretty defeatist attitude, and that really isn’t the only option.

    • weka 9.2

      “New Zealanders made a clear judgement about the success of the politics of fear: they agree.”

      That would have to be one of the more disingenuous comments I’ve seen made since the election. If there’s one stand out thing about this election, it’s that there are complex, multiple factors involved.

      ‘New Zealanders’ didn’t do anything collectively. Some voted left, some voted right, some didn’t vote at all. Of those that voted right, what evidence do you have thaty they agree that the politics of fear is successful (as opposed to the politics of greed)? Or that they have a hive mind?

      As far as I can see stargazer was talking about fear within the left, and that we shouldn’t be letting that dictate our policies and actions. Pretty sure your response is to something else entirely.

    • miravox 9.3

      DC survived the negative campaigning and right wing attacks.

      He was bought down by his caucus colleagues.

  10. Jenny Kirk 10

    Interesting discussion – I had a similar discussion with a couple of Maori friends a while back. They both (a man, and a woman – professional people, well versed in working in the general “Pakeha” world) thought it was too risky for Nanaia personally to be Labour Leader because of what they perceived would be a non-stop stream of personal attacks on her.

    I thought that personal attacks on a brown woman would create such outrage among the wider public to such an extent it would backfire on the “attackers”.

    StarGazer has good points : but can we afford to ignore such potential “attacks” as just media noise when it has been shown to have such detrimental effects on people’s thinking.

    On the other hand, if whoever is Labour Leader can pull the rogue caucus members together and stop the anonymous sniping and back-stabbing that’s been the main focus of certain MPs – and the only criticism comes from outside of Labour – then maybe we can ignore potential “attacks”.

    So the real question is : can whoever is Labour’s next Leader make the caucus into a unified and cohesive force for the good of us all ?

    • Karen 10.1

      If the caucus is united then they can all counter attacks on their leader. Call it out as homophobia, racism, sexism, or union bashing and respond to media pushing these lines by questioning their motives in promoting hate based statements.

      I, like Stargazer, think the Labour Party is too timid when it comes to backing policies that they know to be beneficial to NZ, but which are seen as challenging to some sectors of the population influenced by talkback radio. It seems Labour are too frightened of a backlash to have policies that would tackle poverty effectively.

      • Chooky 10.1.1

        +100 Karen and stargazer

        ….and this discussion is timely because it looks as if there is now going to be a concerted attack on the Greens ( imo the Greens have to get their act together and be prepared to support their own and counter attack )

        On the Nine- to- noon ‘Hooton PR Spin show’…..Hooton brought up homeopathy for another beat up saying there is a nut fringe in the Green Party ( no opposition from Ryan or Williams)…there was no mention that around the world homeopathy is considered important in medicine eg Germany and India

        ….Hooton also said the Greens are going nowhere unless they join forces with Nactional ( again no opposition from Ryan or Williams )

        …in fact this would be a kiss of death for the Greens to join forces with a John Key Nact Party which supports and is beholden to the corporates… (the right wing spin rumours of such, a week before the Election is the reason why the Greens lost about 5% and a possible 5 extra MPs on Election Day)

        Williams joined in on the Green beatup and said the Greens wont survive unless they become part of a government…people will forget about them and wont vote for them ( no opposition from Ryan or Hooton or mention that the Greens are at record popularity in the polls subsequent to the Election)

        Bullshit to both Williams and Hooton…the Greens are increasingly relevant with an environmental crisis looming and global warming ( and Hooton knows it)

        ….the Green brand image is hugely important and attractive to those who value the environment (which is increasingly under threat from frackers and other corporates eg pollution and draining of rivers and waterways )

        …If the Greens go to the right with Nactional they destroy their brand image for most of their supporters….and also have it at risk of being taken over by the right wing and the corporates ! ( Hooton knows this too)

        The Greens should let the Nact voters come to them…not vice versa …they certainly should not succumb to attacks by the right wing

    • stargazer 10.2

      jenny, i’m definitely not saying that we ignore such attacks, but that we prepare a strategy to counter them. that’s what the leadership team would need to do and what the caucus and party would need to implement. and what i’m also saying is that we don’t let those attacks define our actions or our policies. that just gives too much power to the attackers & ends up with our side giving away too much of our own political agenda.

  11. Jenny Kirk 11

    I do agree with you Stargazer, and Karen – I’m just not sure how successful such a strategy would be if the Labour caucus is NOT united. That is the first thing that has to happen – and it has to be a genuine unity – and I’m not sure if that is achieveable with some of the current MPs.
    I also agree Labour has become too timid on beneficial policies. I was dismayed when the Labour Govt drew back on the phrase “closing the gap” – for instance. This was a dramatic slogan and could have been worked on to make NZers aware, and angry, that their country had become so unequal – as has now started to happen. Likewise with raising taxes on the wealthier incomes and other policies.

  12. Anne 12

    All sides are making valid points.

    Ad is right when he says :

    Cunliffe was brought down by a massive negative campaign from the media – fuelled by a number of sources but to the same end. Does it need saying that National are now in power because of this? New Zealanders made a clear judgement about the success of the politics of fear: they agree.

    Sad to think voters agreed… but that is what happened.

    stargazer is right when when she says:

    … the problem was that there wasn’t a strong enough strategy to deal with those attacks, nor was there a sense of the whole caucus coming out strongly to defend the leader.

    If anything stargazer has understated. We know there has been an element in caucus who were collaborating with the negative campaign on Cunliffe and destabilising him in the process.

    Jenny Kirk is spot on when she says:

    … if whoever is Labour Leader can pull the rogue caucus members together and stop the anonymous sniping and back-stabbing that’s been the main focus of certain MPs…. then maybe we can ignore potential outside attacking.

    (paraphrased)

    And therein lies the problem. All the candidates bring something positive to the leadership but the one that counts at this point in time is the one who can pull the rogue caucus members together and stop the back-stabbing…

    That will require someone with considerable strength and authority.

    • Karen 12.1

      I agree, Anne.
      Choosing the best leader is a dilemma, as all four have both strengths and weaknesses, but unless the rogue members of caucus are brought into line it won’t matter who is leader, or what the policies are.

      I went to the meeting with Andrew Little yesterday and he seems to have a really good handle on the problems with caucus unity and believes he can sort them out.
      Basically he said there were 32 people working individually and very little teamwork, and this was a similar situation within the EPMU when he took over.
      His politics are probably more conservative than I would want, but if there’s no unity we’re stuck with the Nacts.

      At the moment I want Andrew as leader, all candidates with front bench positions making best use of their talents, and Nanaia as deputy. I see Grant as a future leader. However, I am leaving my final decision until the end of the hustings.

  13. shorts 13

    there have been a lot of attacks that have seen recent Labour leaders fail in the public eye – the worst IMO were from stories seeded by members of the parties own caucus

    You can’t expect a leader to be seen to be strong if their own party refuses to be loyal and support them

  14. Sanctuary 14

    I read in the comments the other day that people had be rung up by curia and probed on their views on the contenders in the Labour leadership contest. You can guarantee the point of the polling is to find what the public like least about the contenders. This is the sort of research that allows a millionaire money man from Parnell to appear to be the everyman – John Key has sophisticated polling telling him exactly where to attack his opponents in a way that will get heads nodding. In other words, Key doesn’t just know what the public are thinking, he knows exactly what to say to manipulate them into being told what they should think.

    In terms of having to consider how you deal with that sort of attack you don’t need to throw five and six figure sums at Curia to guess along what lines the attacks might take depending on who wins the leadership outcome. For example, it should have been obvious to Labour the moment Farrar’s polling had picked up that the public had some questions about Cunliffe’s honesty, because that was the moment that everyone in National started using the term “tricky”. Once the attack line was sorted, and polling confirmed it’s resonance, then the two-tier attack strategy swung into action. To be brutally honest, after that Cunliffe never had a chance. Serious questions need to be asked of Labour’s experienced political operators that they not only failed to predict the attacks on Cunliffe, but that they appeared to be such helpless victims in the face of it.

    I guess that, for now at least, the two tier strategy of the government has been blunted. But for heavens sake, it doesn’t matter who wins the Labour leadership. The party strategists should be able to use their common sense and work out the government’s attack lines and come up with an offensive counter-play PR strategy that can run from NOW. How hard is that to do for a bunch of professional politicians?

    • stargazer 14.1

      “But for heavens sake, it doesn’t matter who wins the Labour leadership. The party strategists should be able to use their common sense and work out the government’s attack lines and come up with an offensive counter-play PR strategy that can run from NOW. How hard is that to do for a bunch of professional politicians?”

      well said.

    • les 14.2

      what you say is dead right.So thinking of the 4 candidates who is the best one to be ‘smear proof’,only one I can see.Cunnliffe contributed too,terrible gaffes,seized on by the Natz and the compliant media.Like it or not simplicity,buzz words,is what the general public absorb.

  15. Tracey 15

    stargazer

    I dont disagree.

    I believe we are entitled to know HOW each candidates proposes to counter such tactics.

    • stargazer 15.1

      sure, but that’s a different issue. what are their proposed media & PR strategies, who will be on their comms team, how will they improve the speed & effectiveness of response (which would include reframing and moving the conversation to talking about progressive issues) – all of these are important factors in terms of leadership skills and ability. and i’d really want to know this from the candidates: if you think you have these skills, why didn’t you use them during the campaign? and if you did, examples please.

      • Tracey 15.1.1

        do you know if anyone has asked and What the answers are? my sense is its a taboo topic.

        • stargazer 15.1.1.1

          i’ve not been to a hustings meeting yet. will put the question in & see if it gets through.

          • Tracey 15.1.1.1.1

            cool.here I asked mahuta. she suggested they need to get amongst the people to get their message out face to face to counter dp.

            skinny was going to put it to little and report back. to my knowledge skinny hasnt posted the response yet.

  16. Peter 16

    With all due respect the main tool of selling, especially in politics is FUD – Fear , Uncertainty & Doubt. Mr. Key is one of the experts!

    • stargazer 16.1

      not always. obama did pretty well with hope & a “yes we can” message. he might not be a successful president but that campaign was pretty successful.

    • Chooky 16.2

      Re “main tool of selling”…. agreed Peter…. but only as the right wing use it…you only have to watch ‘House of Cards ‘ to see this in operation!

      ….Really the Left Parties ALL have to come up to speed on countering the slippery right wing PR ops using ” Fear , Uncertainty & Doubt”

      …PR operatives like Hooton masterfully create problems where there are none eg recently for the Greens

      …otherwise the Left Parties are sitting ducks in open season! … (and then dead ducks and cooked ducks)

      Countering personal attacks from the right wing is one issue….putting forward your own Left message in a positive way and sticking to it and not getting derailed ( into infighting or exhaustion and acquiescence ) is another issue

      The Left need media training!

  17. Dont worry. Be happy 17

    The politics of fear?….the politics of smear more like.

  18. Murray Rawshark 19

    The person who has the best policies and a plan to nullify the ABC influence should be chosen. You don’t combat aggression by giving in to it and wearing adult nappies. We need to fight back far more effectively and not let sociopaths frame the debate.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

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

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago