MSM columns – clueless about fact checking

Written By: - Date published: 5:33 pm, September 14th, 2008 - 30 comments
Categories: Media - Tags: , , , , , , ,

Lynn PrenticeThis week the election was announced and the third question to the PM (asked by Colin Espiner) was about whether The Standard possibly knew the date (Helen doesn’t tell us either). Colin thinks we’re being sensitive about the mainstream media’s attitudes to The Standard as shown in a comment he made on his own blog post (scroll to somewhere near the bottom) (1).

There is a reason for our sensitivity – journalistic competence. There have been a series of comments by ‘professional’ columnists and journalists who have never bothered to check their story details. Now I’d consider that as them being slack and slipshod rather than professional.

My name and contact details have been available for this site since its inception because it is a requirement by InternetNZ that a real person or organization and correct contact details are listed for every domain. Any journalist or columnist could have checked the details of a story about The Standard. To do so would have required that they use our Contact Us or used a standard whois to find out who to talk to to check ‘facts’.

I have never been contacted by any media about the site and (as far as I’m aware) neither has Clinton Smith, even after his details got added to the contacts section. Instead the professionals seem to prefer listening to the technically incompetent making unsupported assertions as repeated by ‘independent’ commentators and opposition politicians without bothering to actually ask anyone at The Standard.

We get supposedly competent columnists like :-

IrishBill has called the Press Gallery to task in his post You dicks about getting bogged down in trivia. Colin clarified in the comment:-

I’m disappointed, too – disappointed you’d resort to infantile language like calling the press gallery – and me in particular – “dicks” because I asked a question about whether the Standard had advance knowledge of the election date. For the record, I asked the question because radio were already reporting the rumour. I asked about 12 questions at the press conference. That was only one of them. All sorts of questions are flung around press conferences. If you want to play at being a journalist, why don’t you get parliamentary accreditation and come down and see for yourself?

Normally we’d welcome the hits. But when an election is being announced…. Please! It simply sounds like the radio talkback was doing its usual inanities. Possibly someone was short of a headline.

Also there is a reason we don’t hang around the press gallery – we’re busy. Read our About on the section Why don’t you post more often/more regularly etc?. This is all done in our spare time and in my case out of my own pocket. Personally I’d like to get more time coding rather than wasting it in a media pack of programming illiterates. Besides Vernon Small makes his attitude plain and I’d tend to agree with him. Bloggers probably do more good by being outside the media pack and filling in their little deficiencies.

1. It is pretty weird that few of the MSM blogs seem to permalink their comments sections. Come on – it isn’t very hard to so, and it’d make it possible to cross-link to a dissenting comment about fact in the original post.

2. It is unfortunate that the blog name The Irascible Curmudgeon has been taken. Bill Ralston fits the phrase perfectly. What other style of journalist would describe Whale’s grasp on technical matters as “good cyber-detective work” – you really have to be out of touch!

Update: It appears that while I’ve been writing this blog that my talented niece Rochelle has been dealing with the same problem of insufficient fact checking on another topic. Looks like I should expend some more time on a post on that topic. In the meantime I’ll change the post title.

30 comments on “MSM columns – clueless about fact checking ”

  1. randal 1

    why let a few little facts spoila good story. the msm has become fat, bloated, sensitive about their privileges and just downright lazy not to say bought and paid for. some of them them have even become senile drooling dinosaurs. just look at their efforts. there was not one picture of winnie last week that did not include the gibbering squibber in the background liek a screaming skull. they are playing cutesie and sooner or later the owners are going to remove thm wholesale and replace them with another lot as soon as they figure out how to report all news in New Zealand from India or somewhere.

  2. Dan 2

    Spot on Lynn. I have despaired at the lack of a fourth estate for years. The current crop of journalists lack the humour and integrity of the Tom Scotts and Pat Booths of old. They toe the party line of the boss. They ignore the hard questions of light weight Key; they hunt as a cowardly pack on Winston; and they are no better than Jenny Shipley and the Nats generally with their putdowns of Clark.
    The journalists and bloggers on the right somehow think that pouring their unsubstantiated logic out on their keyboards, that somehow wish fulfilment is the reality. Sorry guys, I have the same wish fulfilment dreams each Lotto draw. As far as objective journalism goes, it is a joke.
    I can understand why the press gallery is worried about the Standard. Most of my friends ( including a number of the right) turn to the Standard first before reading the various permutations in the print media.
    Thank you Lynn, and Steve and the rest. The part-timers, who have real jobs, are setting the pace compared to the posers like Hooton.

  3. Julie 3

    I’m not that impressed with One News tonight, they’ve said the current poll is really bad for Labour, yet their own graphics, which accompanied Guyon Espiner saying this, showed that actually National and Labour were both pretty steady in their support from the last poll they had. Weird. If anyone has the skillz I lack, i.e. to pull the video and put it up, you’ll see what I mean. Sensationalising things for the sake of it isn’t serving our democracy v well imho.

  4. An 18 point gap needs no fuzzy graphics Julie. The autopsy in December will be littered with ifs.
    If only we had put Goff in a year ago.
    If only we had listened to the public on the anti smacking bill.
    If only we had cut Winstons throat.
    And a couple of hundred others.

  5. DS 5

    >>>An 18 point gap needs no fuzzy graphics Julie. The autopsy in December will be littered with ifs.<<<

    Colmar-Brunton’s last pre-election poll in 2005 was Nat 44 Lab 37. The actual result was Lab 41 Nat 39 – i.e, National support was overestimated by five, Labour support underestimated by four.

    If we “correct” the 53-35 gap using that, we end up with Nat 48 Lab 39. Which, after adding the Greens (who are now above the threshold again) and the Maori Party means that National, while still having the advantage, has little room for error.

    Poor old TVNZ, still utterly clueless on the realities of MMP.

  6. weka 6

    Speaking of technically challenged, why is policy.net using yellow text on white background for its policy links? Weird.

  7. randal 7

    media7 has a blog that is always out of date and does not allow comments?

  8. Julie 8

    Sigh, BB, my point was not the size of the gap, but the fact that their graphics showed it hadn’t changed much but their voiceover was talked about it opening up. Is that simpler for you to understand?

  9. Yes the extreme left wing media needs to check facts and ask questions that will lead to answers about ACTUAL policies, NOT the bs that TVNZ has done for the past few years. They have treated Helen with kid Gloves over the years, infact they do this to all politicians on all sides, except for Winston.

    But, hey THE WARRIORS WON!!!!!!!!!!!! So I’m happy, Manu for Prime Minister!!!!!!!

  10. Quoth the Raven 10

    I think one word perfectly describes Colin Espiner – Hack.

  11. lprent 11

    QTR: Actually I like most of his work, it is hard to point to errors in his work.

    Irish and myself just thought that asking a question like that when the PM announcing an election was just silly.

  12. mike 12

    “Poor old TVNZ, still utterly clueless on the realities of MMP.”

    DS – I think its clueless counting the MP in the left bloc of parties. AS helen said the other day its all about trends.

    …but she she also said it’s all about “trust” too so go figure that one out coming from her.

  13. lprent 13

    Julie: You’re correct. One News are being idiots for the headline.

    Stuff: Labour slips slightly in latest poll

    A One News poll tonight put National on 53 per cent support, up 2 points since its last poll a month ago. It puts Labour on 35 per cent, a drop of 2 points.

    National leader John Key’s popularity was also up from 36 per cent to 40 per cent, while Prime Minister Helen Clark’s dropped from 33 per cent to 31 per cent.

    The August data is here on Colmar-Brunton August 2008.

    Personally I’ve been undecided for a while if the Colmar-Brunton poll is the worst or second worst poll for accuracy.

    The poll of 1000 people, with a margin of error of 3.1 per cent was conducted between last Saturday and Thursday night a day before Miss Clark announced the election date of November 8.

    . I’d need to look at a number of other polls to see if there is a trend or if this is just the selection criteria for CB. I think that they actively select in North Shore and Fendalton.

  14. How polling places are pretty accurate, I mean they aren’t like Gallap.

  15. the sprout 15

    true lynn.
    i thought “You Dicks” was a pithy and accurate headline, and an inevitable outcome for those who interview their keyboards in the name of professional journalism.
    as for Ralston… he is becoming Garth George more and more each day.

  16. lprent 16

    mike: Exactly. It is all about trends. You have to remember that each of these polls are done by different companies using different methodologies. Consequently they get different results from each other even when they do them in the same period.

    The best way of looking at polls is to look from the last poll from the same company to the next poll in the same company. Then you can see what is more likely to be a trend rather than just the jittering that is different polls by different methodologies.

    As Stuff correctly showed, this latest poll showed a minor change. Ignore the absolute values and look at this..

    Nat -3, -1, +2
    Lab +6, +2, -2

    Those are the change rates on the Colmar Brunton poll in July, August, and September. The poll is meant to have an error rate of 3.1% – so at best this shows pretty much a steady state with no major trends.

    I’m sure that is not what the Nats would like to see.

  17. IrishBill 17

    “QTR: Actually I like most of his work, it is hard to point to errors in his work.”

    Lynn, I agree and I like the fact he’s willing to get involved in his blog’s comments section and have a bit of a stoush. I was surprised to find out it was Colin that asked that question.

  18. gobsmacked 18

    Well, I was watching One News with hands over my eyes, like hiding from the Daleks as a kid. I thought it was going to be “Exterminate, Exterminate … Labour fall below 30%”. When the result came on it was a huge relief.

    This was the worst poll timing possible (Sun to Thurs of last week), and the least favourable polling organisation (e.g. the last three Colmar Brunton polls of the 2005 campaign all had National ahead). To have the Greens over the threshold and Labour hardly taking a hit is a very good starting point for the campaign. They will never be lower.

    National can keep these poll ratings as long as they spend the entire campaign saying nothing. I’m sure they’ll do their best but it’s going to be tricky hiding John Key and his lovable caucus from the voters for 8 weeks.

  19. Hi, how do you know, they will never be lower?

  20. gobsmacked 20

    Well, unless Owen Glenn is planning a return visit!

    Labour have reached the core vote. If people wanted to give up on Labour, after the last 3 years, and then the last few days worst of all, then they would have made up their minds to do so by now.

    Clark would have to eat a kakapo on live TV for Labour’s support to fall further.

  21. Lynn, I do hope the whale doesn’t set upon Rochelle!

  22. Sarah 22

    I’ll probably be banned for this but it has to be said — the individual who is named “lprent” comes across as the biggest hack in the history of left wing politics. This individual comes across as not only arrogant, but also condescending and confrontational. I have quite often heard on a few other left wing blogs that this person’s reputation is near trash, as even her own ideological allies do not hold her opinions in very high esteem.

    Although I do like many people who post on this website, “lprent” is not one of them. This person gives this website a bad name, as her ill-tempered and patronising attitude puts off many people from addressing the slanted points of which she puts forward. Moreover, the only people who I know to actually try and defend “lprent” are the other labour-party affiliates posting on this website, creating a closeted sect of the left wing in this blog which most reasonable constinuents hold a great deal of distaste for.

    Her bias in the points she makes is at times unbelievable, and although I do understand the idea of a partisan blog, I do believe that individuals should attempt some sort of free-thinking and balanced-view-making when they come to a judgement. However what I have seen in my time at “The Standard,” is that this individual seems to be unable to come up with any coherent points on her own, rather that she is forced to follow Labour-Party-line on almost all occasions.

    Like a predator, I have seen nothing as of yet which has slipped through this omnivient creature’s glare, as she has at all stages ferociously attempted to protect her red-frenzied hatchlings. I wait in trepidation, hoping, just hoping, for this green-eyed subordinate to realise the error of her ways and let go of those which she feels engrafted to protect.

  23. r0b 23

    What was this thread about again? That’s right – fact checking. Hey “sarah” – you should have done some fact checking. Your comment above is priceless.

  24. hahahah, oh dear, Sarah’s comment just made my night, please please don’t delete it!

    But seriously, someone has to do the dirty work to keep this place clean, and unfortunately, as the owner that falls upon lprent. While the moderation policy may seem harsh, it keeps the quality of the blog up and provides a point of difference.

    Sarah, if your having trouble winning arguments without going way off topic, being abusive or telling lies, do you think that’s telling you something?

  25. lprent 25

    Ah yes. ‘Sarah’. As r0b says, perhaps you should check your facts before writing. A simple google-search on either my name or my pseudonym would give you all of the facts you need.

    Firstly I’m the sysop and I pay for the site. A site that has a sewer for a comments section is not that interesting to me.

    Secondly I’m a programmer as well as having a number of degrees in science, management, history and other topics. I’ve been in the army. I’ve worked for or setup private companies for all my working history. This makes it difficult for me to tolerate foolish people and reiteration of urban myths with any degree of equanimity. Usually I don’t refrain from expressing my opinion.

    Thirdly I’ve been involved in politics at the grassroots for a very long time. Certainly it has been for longer than most people – John Key for instance. I usually have very little idea about what NZLP policies are despite being a member. I’m a long-term centrist and probably more to the right than the left – but such terms are relatively meaningless. What I’m interested in is things that are likely to work long-term. Of course this usually puts me at odds with people like yourself who seem to live only in the present or on a theoretical level only.

    Fourthly I’ve been involved with computers since I was a teen. This includes almost all of the development time of the net in NZ. I was playing with computer comms in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I dialed into overseas BBS’es in the mid 80’s. Been on local BBS’es through the late 80’s and early 90’s. I was around and participating in usenet during both its rise and fall. I’ve written wide area programs for groups like managment students. Recently I’ve been helping run this blog site. Frankly, I’ve seen all of this many times before, including the many ways to make a system die. I’m dedicated to making sure that doesn’t happen and I’m quite willing to disrupt anyone who attempts to disrupt this site.

    Fifthly, and probably what caused r0b so much amusement is that I’m male. The type of misogynist comments you made in your last two paragraphs make me almost certain you’re the same. However in your case I’d expect that you’re probably a hell of lot less comfortable with intelligent, educated or successful women than I am. My family is full of them.

    Sixthly, I don’t post here often because I don’t have time. I do moderate a lot and occasionally join in the debates.

    Finally my primary role on this site is to primarily be a bastard sysop from hell. It means that ultimately I moderate the debate and as you note, I’m a arrogant bastard who really enjoys being one because that is part of the role, and I’m well trained in it.

    What I like is discussion that displays some intelligence. What I dislike is people who I could emulate with a relatively simple program (ie trolls) or who attack this site, its writers or other commentators without bothering to have a rational argument. People arguing here can and do expect to have their opinion challenged and are expected to defend their positions rationally.

    I don’t moderate people who debate constructively (but will sometimes argue with them). I’m really hard on those who cannot or won’t. I call it evolution in action, and by any measure it appears to work quite well. Along with the interesting posts we have the comments section that complements it.

    It means that the site is growing all of the time both in the number of people who view the posts, and the number of words in an intelligent comments section. It gets hard to argue with that kind of success because it means that we’re fulfilling a need. If you don’t like it, you’re always welcome to start your own blog and try to attrach people to your way of doing things.

    BTW: Fear not – while your comment was one of the more stupid I’ve seen for a while, it didn’t contain anything worth moderating or banning for. Of course that can change…

  26. Thanks for the links Lynn.

  27. lprent 27

    Bryan 🙂 Always willing to help even in the negative. How is the war against the immoderate going? It looked like it was dying down a bit in Chris’s comments last time I looked.

    KITNO:

    Lynn, I do hope the whale doesn’t set upon Rochelle!

    I could wish. For anything serious, the perpetrators would have to deal with the whole family. In particular my sister tends to over-react a wee bit and prefers to get things quite finished.

  28. J Mex 28

    How is the fact checking on Lord Ashcroft’s plane coming along?

  29. “J Mex

    How is the fact checking on Lord Ashcroft’s plane coming along?”

    Have asked a contact at the airport, no news yet though sorry!

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    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    7 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
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    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
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    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
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    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
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    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
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    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
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    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
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    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    2 weeks ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
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    2 weeks ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
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    2 weeks ago

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