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Mythbustin’: Waitakere Man

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, March 15th, 2012 - 54 comments
Categories: jobs, workers' rights - Tags: , , , ,

Chris Trotter invented the myth of the so-called ‘Waitakere Man’, the former Labour voter who has set up his own business and now doesn’t vote Labour because he thinks it doesn’t get what people like him need – he fumes over DPB mums while trying to do his GST payments at the dinner table in the evening. It assumes Labour has lost voters because we’re all contractors or in roles where we could be contractors, and don’t need their union-based labour policies and benefit system but want simpler rules for small business. No factory or retail workers in this model.

It’s been picked up by the Paganis – they don’t see any harm in casualisation because they imagine it being just like their contracting roles which give them flexibility they value and the focus of their politics is winning back Waitakere Man’ – but I was pretty surprised to see Gordon Campbell repeat this line too. I guess that shows the pervasiveness of myth, and the tendency for people to believe that they are normal – all these pundits are contractors or self-employed, so they start to think everyone is.

But it’s not true. Self-employment isn’t growing. It’s shrinking proportionally.

Guess Labour’s pundits will have to look elsewhere to explain why the party has lost 300,000 votes in six years.

*(PS. If you haven’t read Campbell’s interview of Shearer yet, you should. I don’t know what to say about it. It’s just a disaster)

54 comments on “Mythbustin’: Waitakere Man ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Chris may have conflated memes with actual numbers of Waitakere men. I know a couple of blokes and their sharp tounged gals saying stuff like–( bloody ‘dpb slappers’ while we work our butts off…) that behave exactly as Eddie describes, but only a couple. Maybe the builders, lawnmowers and the rest are quite mobile and their views are passed around society more regulalry than their true level of support.

    But to paraphrase an old saying, ideas and subjective thinking can become a material force, a force for instance that does not vote. Not voting meant that thousands of minimum wage workers missed out on a $2 an hour wage increase that could have helped purchase more text allocation or skinny jeans. The societal disconnect is getting serious when even increased commodity fetishism & networking opportunities are not enough to tempt young to vote.

    The niches rule today I reckon and are bloody difficult to sensibly analyse yet alone reach and organise. Though people in action on the streets and networking like in the POAL dispute is a good start towards engaging people rather than another press release.

    • muzza 1.1

      “The niches rule today I reckon” – What the niches really represent is the selfish, self absorbed attitudes, and which makes up a large part of what maquerades as society!

      The other large part have simply swtiched off. They may or may not re-enaged, if they ever were at a time when their perceieved standard of living is impacted!

      • Rusty Shackleford 1.1.1

        One thing I can never understand is why the left advocate for tax increases when the right are in power. Why would you want to give more cash to people you hate, knowing full well they won’t spend it on stuff you love?

        • McFlock 1.1.1.1

          Because the right spend even more money by increasing government debt, so we end up paying the value of the tax increases back, plus interest.
               
           

        • lprent 1.1.1.2

          It is called deficits. National seems to hold some daft economic ideas (rather like yours) that make wildly optimistic assumptions about ‘rational economic behaviour’ about taxes and how fast they can ‘cut the state spending’. When it turns out that neither is correct we have structural deficits.

          People given large tax cuts don’t invest it wisely and therefore don’t boost the economy. It is a lot easier to talk about cutting government spending than it is to actually achieve. Usually cutting somewhere causes a cost that is much large the the savings.

          We’re seeing the usual National fuckups as they pursue the path of ideological stupidity as they refuse to see what everyone else can – it isn’t working. They keep hoping that pursuing the same stupid course as they did in 1980, 1992, and 2011 will be different this time. It isn’t and it won’t be.

          Next time Labour gets in, they have to spend excessive amounts of time simply slowing down the rate of runaway debt before eventually reducing the spendthrift debt that National has generated. You just know that the mindless morons will get back in and wind up doing it again…

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.2.1

            It takes Labour 6 years to undo the damage that National renders in just 3. Its always harder to build than it is to disassemble.

            This is why the Left in NZ will always, over time, lose ground.

            • Rusty Shackleford 1.1.1.2.1.1

              So, that’s the meme now. Noted.

              • McFlock

                Actually, I’d go so far as to say that in nine years Labour failed to make back even a quarter of the ground that national gained in the 1990s.
                     
                Basically, until Labour stop just saying how proud they are of Savage and Kirk the left will always lose ground. If they learn the lessons of Savage and Kirk and actually go full-tilt at reforms, they can reframe the social concepts we have in this nation for the next thirty years – just like Savage did, Kirk had a good shot, and the tories (including douglas) have left us with the carrion-culture we have at the moment. 

  2. ChrisH 2

    Good point about “builders, lawnmowers and the rest [who are] quite mobile.” Add taxi drivers. All to be taken with a grain of salt in other words.

  3. just saying 3

    By the by, does anyone still doubt that John Pagani is one of Shearer’s “advisers”?

    Maybe as one of those joyful contractors 😀

  4. Hobbes 4

    In what way do you reckon the Campbell interview a disaster? I haven’t really read it in detail so will have to take another look I guess.

  5. RobertM 5

    New Zealand more than any other advanced Western society has lost site of jobs or employment is to add productively to productivity or the citizens choice and leisure , pleasure options. Jobs that are a net cost to the economy, because the costs in resources, environmental damage and disruption are greater than anything they produce are not desirable. Jobs for the sake of working, social control or the idea that its desirable to have people working for their own good are a nonsense. There is compelling evidence that makework for least talented DPBs increase the womens stress, waste her time and don’t help anybody. In some ways the NZ benefit system remains remarkably generous and in some ways the DPB type benefits are quite different from other state benefits in all nations. Australia is generous and open to single mothers on a benefit and now harsh on other types of beneficiary.
    As someone who has full Vic Uni Wgtn stage 3 Economics and four degrees my view is the current economic problem in New Zealand is very great overemployment and if the economy was running efficiently at current economic and legal settings unemployment levels would be about 25% as in Greece or Spain. My judgement is that there is scope for greatly increasing employment in the urban tourist lesuire, bar, recreation, nightlife, cafe industries in the 4 main centres if zoning laws were changed and community and suburban groups ability to restrict development and licensing and zoning laws was restricted. In Chrsitchurch left wing pressure and zoning restrictions due to political and local interests will greatly restrict the possibility of promoting the tourism development. Tourism is also damaged by failure to adopt more exclusionary policies such as closing tough spillover bars in the Auckland CBD and K Road areas. In Christchurch the Henderson SOL complex of bars only partly worked because packs of boorish 20ish youths made drinking any of those bars or clubs unpleasant for everbody after 11.30pm -due do social factors unique to Christchurch. While I dislike police and street surveillance cameras and Wellington was vastly better in the past without them it is obvious such polices are no longer sustainable in Wellington because considerable areas of the Golden Mile, Cambridge Tce and Newtown are now far too dangerous without cameras and probably more dangerous than the Auckland CBD. In all NZ cities combinations of restrictive Zoning and fail to restrict the packs of young drunken 20ish males probably largely white and working working class is the real problem more than racial or any student problem in the areas that are potentially attractive to tourists.

    • Adrian 5.2

      It is patently obvious that one of those four degrees could not possibly be English, although you should have pushed on and got your Masters in Applied Gibberish.

    • Fortran 5.3

      Maybe it is not to do with the hours of work, but what is put into those hours which is paramount.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.4

      My judgement is that there is scope for greatly increasing employment in the urban tourist lesuire, bar, recreation, nightlife, cafe industries in the 4 main centres if zoning laws were changed and community and suburban groups ability to restrict development and licensing and zoning laws was restricted.

      Ah, a libertarian expressing his philosophy of oppression.

  6. Olwyn 6

    This Waitakere Man concept has been pretty quick to shift ground. As I remember it he began life as Labour’s natural constituency, neglected in favour of identity politics and urban liberals, who was pissed off and insulted by the anti-smacking legislation. He has morphed since then into the contract guy who considers himself a small businessman and rejects the unions. While Trotter trotted him out as an example of people who he thought were being neglected by Labour, he has since become a concept used to bait Labour in the direction of irrelevancy, and as an excuse when Labour itself is tempted in that direction. Next thing he’ll be looking for a few shares in Mighty River Power, to see him over in his old age.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1

      Of course WM was never Maori or even female unless of course in Trotters enlightened words

      “highly-skilled, upwardly-mobile working-class blokes who began trooping into National’s camp following the 2005 election were bringing their wives with them”
      Bringing their wives with them ? Who really thinks like that AND claims to be a commentator from the left.

      • QoT 6.1.1

        Someone who thinks feminists only pursue abortion reform because we want to undermine the Left, and Pakeha liberals who support Maori sovereignty are, literally, “race traitors”.

        • McFlock 6.1.1.1

          QoT, please answer me one question – why oh why did feminists destroy the Labour Party left in the early 1980s? Waitakere men like Trotter really need to know…

          • QoT 6.1.1.1.1

            Our disgusting hormones made us do it, I confess! We were aided by the men we had in thrall due to our practice of dark vaginomancy, and basically it all came down to a victory for the Right => destruction of trade barriers => cheap shoes.

            • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Thankyou – as weak but honest males, we just needed to know why.

            • mickysavage 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Cheap shoes?  

              So you mean that I went through a decade of torment so that the cost of your high heels was competitive?

              • QoT

                I’m sorry! I can’t help it if I’m just a feeble girl compelled by my girl-brain to enjoy footwear, no matter the cost! Just because we secretly rule the world by sowing discord among the Left doesn’t mean we’re not actually silly, flighty little creatures.

                • lprent

                  But is that shoe addiction something you can be trained out of? Aversion therapy perhaps?.

                  I will gladly donate a pair of my carefully preserved* holy size 12 trainers (with optional socks) if it would help the Trotter’s Waitakere man stay left.

                  * ok so I always forget to throw them out. But they do keep the vermin away from my office. No ants there…

          • mickysavage 6.1.1.1.2

            He he

            It wasn’t the feminists.  The fish and chip brigade were all male … 

            • QoT 6.1.1.1.2.1

              The fish and chips were merely a distraction. It’s all in the feminist manifesto, which we have cunningly indoctrinated you all with through cliche: “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”, for example.

  7. John Pagani 7

    Actually you’re a liar and a coward. Neither of us have ever said something that approximates I “don’t see any harm in casualisation because [I] imagine it being just like [my] contracting roles which give them flexibility [I] value and the focus of [my] politics is winning back Waitakere Man.”

    You made that up.

    Doing it anonymously, of course, because you’re a coward.

    [lprent: Of course neither of you said that. And Eddie never said that either of you did. If it had happened, then he would have quoted it.

    It is and was expressed as an opinion based on what has been said here about casualisation, here, here, here and probably other places as well.

    I’d have to say that Josie makes a much stronger argument for her view than you just did – since as usual you didn’t bother addressing the argument before attacking the the person making it.

    Attacking someone for their opinion on the basis of the “anonymity” is quite simply stupid. It simply doesn’t matter if the person is doing it under a pseudonym or under their own name, the legal remedies are exactly the same. You go through the site either via e-mail to myself or Mike or through lawyers.

    But as you are quite aware, opinion isn’t exactly covered by any legal avenue. So instead you resorted to a personal attack. Attacking on the basis of “anonymous” slander or the like merely brings me into the picture because I have to look to see if facts have been abused and if we should be doing anything about it. In this case not.

    However, on this site personal attacks on authors simply aren’t permitted. You’ve done it before. And I’m getting really tired of you acting like a petulant whining idiot around the nets. You are a newbie with an exaggerated sense of your own importance who is trying to impose your own opinion about how the nets should run.

    You notice that all of this is done under my own name? Are you going to call me a liar and and coward as well – you puffed up pontificating network illiterate dickhead? That too is an opinion. You really need to look at the distinction between opinion and distortion of facts. Otherwise you’re unlikely to survive around net based social media for any length of time. It isn’t journalism and quite simply we don’t need you…

    Fuckoff and don’t come back until you’ve learnt something about how the nets actually operate. Your ideas about how the net should operate are just shallow and meaningless to anyone who has observed how net have actually operated over the last 30 years.

    Permanent ban for being quite quite stupid. ]

    • Chill out John. Are you denying every single aspect of the statement or only one or two parts of it?

    • rosy 7.2

      I dunno, John. I thought it a reasonable paraphrasing of this bit on Josie’s FB And It still annoys me that she could conflate the two issues of 1. the choice of flexible working hours to suit family commitments and 2. an enforced cut in full-time hours and employment conditions.

      …but I’ve spent my political life as a working mum, calling for more flexibility. And flexibility has to work both ways. Sad that by the time MUNZ accepted this (why did it take them so long?)…

      About Waitakere Man – do you disagree that your focus at the last election campaign was winning back the so-called ‘Waitakere Man’?

      • Te Reo Putake 7.2.1

        Rosy, I wouldn’t presume to speak for John, but your premise is wrong for the simple reason that John was not involved in the last campaign, except as support for Josie in her crack at winning Rangitikei. The campaign manager was Trevor Mallard, as I recall. The two of them are not BFF’s either, despite the rumours, but I’ve no doubt they both want to see the return of a Labour led Government ASAP!

        • just saying 7.2.1.1

          Hi TRP,

          I take it you no longer contend that Pagani is not on the parliamentary Labour Party payroll?

          I guess it would be difficult to prove that Pagani was involved in Goff’s campaign in a paid capacity, as many have suggested, after he apparently left to pursue his own business. He seems to have ‘moved back in’ rather seamlessly. When do you think that happened?

          • Te Reo Putake 7.2.1.1.1

            “I take it you no longer contend that Pagani is not on the parliamentary Labour Party payroll?”
             
            Well, leaving aside the tortured double negative, JS, my understanding is still the same. Pagani was not involved in the election campaign after being sidelined in early 2011. Which is what I have said all along. If he is back on the payroll of either Labour or Parliamentary Services, that’s fine be me and, astonishing though it may seem, I wasn’t consulted about it, so I have no idea when it might have happened.
             
            It doesn’t change the accuracy of my earlier statements, which remain as true today as they were when I made them.
             

            • just saying 7.2.1.1.1.1

              So he wasn’t on the payroll a couple of weeks ago, which is what you stated at that time (quite firmly as I recall)?

              • Te Reo Putake

                You recall wrong, js.

                • just saying

                  Love the search engine. Remember this exchange TRP:

                  Putake 12.1
                  24 February 2012 at 12:53 pm

                  Er, can I politely say rubbish, Craig? There is no brains trust as you describe, and as best as I can work out, the concept is a deliberate lie engendered by people not actually in Labour. My understanding is that Goff cut Pagani adrift a year ago, and Mallard supported that move. Mallard confirmed a few days ago that he has no significant contact with Pagani, though I suppose they bump into each other at fundraisers and are no doubt civil to each other.
                  Reply

                  just saying 12.1.1
                  24 February 2012 at 1:13 pm

                  My understanding is that Goff cut Pagani adrift a year ago, and Mallard supported that move. Mallard confirmed a few days ago that he has no significant contact with Pagani,..

                  I’m interested. Link or source please?
                  Reply
                  Te Reo Putake 12.1.1.1
                  24 February 2012 at 2:09 pm

                  Source? Close enough to the horse’s mouth to smell the oats, JS!

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    What’s your point? That quote is me writing about the situation a year ago, not a fortnight ago. Wanna hit ‘search’ again?
                     

                    • just saying

                      Sorry, forgot to add the beginning of that interchange, the post preceding the first from my previous search engine trawl shows the discussion was about whether Pagani was one of Shearer’s advisors., as you see:

                      Craig Glen Eden 12
                      24 February 2012 at 12:42 pm

                      Labour got the wrong David that’s for sure. Shearer is a novice politically backed by the brains trust of pagani,mallard,goff, so don’t except anything different from them than we got for the last three years. As for shearers strategy of touring the country it didn’t work for goff did it? The sooner Shearer goes the better.sadly by the time this labour oppositions sorts out it’s shit the assets will be gone.

        • rosy 7.2.1.2

          Hence the question.

          • Te Reo Putake 7.2.1.2.1

            Hence the reply!

            • rosy 7.2.1.2.1.1

              Sorry, I was annoyed and in a hurry. I should have asked if he has expressed support the premise of ‘Waitakere Man’ as a focus for Labour.

    • Blighty 7.3

      jesus. a Labour staffer coming online and speaking like that? Hope you got Nash’s permission.

    • insider 7.4

      Tsk Tsk. You’ll end up with a week’s ban if you say those kind things about authors

      [lprent: Why would I give a week’s ban? That is what people get as a warning when they are doing it inadvertently without being aware of the consequences. This appears to me to have been quite deliberate and probably figuring that I’d be nice (not my most prominent trait). Besides, John tends to spend more time attacking people than he does discussing issues usually under some label like ‘terrorist’. Reminds me of one of the dumber trolls. He is a waste of bandwidth. ]

      • Bored 7.4.1

        Jeez lPrent, you just made my day. Pagani so what…what I really like is the expression “waste of bandwidth”. Brilliant! Cant wait to use it with the techos tomorrow.

    • Leverett 7.5

      Permanent ban! Woah!

      I guess what they say is true.

      [lprent: Wrong context – I’m not a ‘liberal’. I’m a sysop with scant regard for lusers who waste my time (look up the terms). I’m a old veteran of the net before it was the net who knows of every stupid way that people gameplay on the forums like this and have little tolerance for it. If John wants to play those kinds of games, he can do it on other sites.

      This is all clearly signalled in our policy – which it pays people to read before they attract moderator attention. ]

      • Draco T Bastard 7.5.1

        I guess that article is over sensationalised for the benefit of the stupid people reading it.

      • Leverett 7.5.2

        Cool story, bro. You’re quite free to moderate your forums as heavy-handedly as you care – that’s not in dispute. Nobody is saying you can’t directly edit your correspondent’s posts in the manner and pull rank based on how awesome you are at the internet.

        Normal people also have “terms” however. The usual term for someone who awards a lifetime ban and multi-paragraph personal attacks (illiterate, idiot, dickhead on people who stick up for themselves and that term is “jerk”.

        [lprent: I usually do personal attacks in response to personal attacks on authors. In fact I often do personal attacks on people who I have to ban because they have just wasted my time. It discourages repeat offenses by the idiot making them. For some reason they don’t like them.

        I really can’t be bothered about your opinion, you haven’t demonstrated that your opinion is worth respecting. And you notice the great swells of support you’re getting from commentators ?

        But that is enough time wasted on a fool – read the policy. ]

        • Galeandra 7.5.2.1

          Over the top response, not excused. Call me a fool,too, but it won’t change the validity of the criticism.

          [lprent: Basically I don’t wanna be nice. It has never been one of my strong points. Fortunately the site doesn’t need nice. It requires that people trying hackneyed ploys that were old when usenet started; get educated on why it isn’t a good idea to use them here.

          If we don’t then we get the noisy but meaningless twaddle of a comments section that usenet descended into, and this site had in late 2007 and early 2008. That is where my ‘crankiness’ becomes useful. Have a look back at it in the archives

          But it is nice that someone spoke up for him or agin me. ]

          • QoT 7.5.2.1.1

            Far be it for me to defend lprent’s crankitude, but what “valid” criticism is that, Galeandra? The “you’re going to look like a meanie if you permaban people” criticism? Lprent clearly cares not.

            The “you’re going to scare people away” criticism? Been on the receiving end of that one, and again, it only applies if you assume some kind of genteel code of “oh I say chap, that’s a tad in excess” applies to blogs. Especially blogs run by the aforementioned cranky lprent, whose feelings on this kind of thing are pretty clear.

            Ooh, is it the “you’ll shut down discussion/you just want an echo chamber!” criticism? ‘Cause that’s basic derailing with a side order of doesn’t-understand-what-freedom-of-speech-means.

            Meanwhile, Leverett just tried to pull a “cool story, bro” put-down to a moderator of a blog on which he was commenting. I’m sure there’s some kind of “valid criticism” of people who storm into others’ houses and demand that the owners do things to their liking .. and then say “what-ev-ah, I do what I wan’!” when they have the rules explained to them.

  8. DH 8

    Eddie. Why do you think the interview with Campbell was a disaster? Certainly Shearer isn’t giving away much but I couldn’t see anything bad about it. The main impression I got was that Campbell was often trying to project his own picture of what he thinks a Labour PM should be & Shearer kept politely shrugging him off.

  9. jaymam 9

    Some years ago my brother was a tax inspector whose job was to look out for businesses who hired “contractors” who were really just like employees except that they missed out on all kinds of things such as a minimum wage, holidays etc. There was a list of contractor requirements that the IRD looked for. I’m not sure that the law re contractors has changed since then. It is quite possible that the IRD would say that contractors at the Port would be working illegally. Does anyone know?

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    This is a re-post from the Citizens' Climate Lobby blog Several clean energy technologies like solar panels have become consistently cheaper year after year as the industries have benefited from learning, experience and economies of scale. Falling solar costs are described by “Swanson’s Law,” much like Moore’s Law described the rapid and consistent ...
    4 days ago
  • Abstraction and Reality in Economics
    Sometimes high theory loses the human point of the exercise.One of the joys of teaching is you learn from your students. When fifty-odd years ago, I was at the University of Sussex, a student doing our first-year economics course, Jim, came to me, saying he was pulling out because it ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • What Happened to the Team?
    Last year, in the early stages of the pandemic, the Prime Minister’s “team of five million” performed well; team discipline was maintained and we all worked well together. This year, however, has been a different story; team discipline has weakened, and many people have on numerous occasions behaved badly and ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Another legal victory
    Across the world climate change activists have been going to court, seeking to make their governments act to protect future generations. And hot on the heels of victories in the Netherlands and Germany, there's been another one in France: A French court has ordered the government to make up ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Invasion Of The (Covid) Body Snatchers.
    It's Here! They're Here! We're Here! Help! It’s as if we’re all living through a Covid version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. What has become of Jacinda? Where have they taken her closest Cabinet colleagues? The people on the stage of the Beehive Theatrette look the same, but they ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 15 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Associate Professor Grant Duncan, Massey University, Auckland “The NZ Politics Daily email is very helpful in giving me a quick overview of current events and opinion. It allows me to pick out important or informative columns that I may otherwise have missed. I recommend NZ Politics Daily to anyone ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Missing From The Anti-Covid Action.
    The Invisible Man: Where has the NZ Council of Trade Unions been during the Covid-19 Pandemic? Why hasn’t its current president, Richard Wagstaff (above) become a household name during the pandemic? Up there with Ashley Bloomfield, Michael Baker, Shaun Hendy and Siouxsie Wiles? WHERE HAVE THE UNIONS BEEN during the Covid-19 ...
    5 days ago
  • “Go West, Young Virus”
    The Auckland Coronavirus Outbreak potters along, not helped by the perception that the Government is disturbingly enthusiastic about “managing the virus” or loosening the border. Health Minister Andrew Little said today he envisages 90% vaccination rates (which we don’t have) eventually leading to 5,000 cases in Auckland a week… ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #41, 2021
    How to fill a glass and thereby drink— from a fire hose So far this year, New Research has published listings for 3,291 papers concerning climate change from one aspect or another. Each edition includes two dozen or so articles describing freshly and directly observed effects of global waming. These ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: UKanians supports cuts
    The Guardian reports a study on emissions reduction policy from the UK, which found that UKanians overwhelmingly support stronger action than their government: The UK public backs a carbon tax on polluting industries, higher levies on flying and grants for heat pumps in order to tackle the climate crisis, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: “A View from Afar” on PRC-Taiwan tensions.
    In this week’s podcast Selwyn Manning and I discuss the upsurge in tensions between the PRC and Taiwan and what are the backgrounds to and implications of them. You can check the conversation out here. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s 2023 election manifesto
    This morning Health Minister Andrew Little effectively unveiled Labour's 2023 election manifesto: 5,000 cases a week in Auckland alone: Thousands of people will be infected with Covid-19 every week even with vaccination levels at 90 per cent, and hospitals face being overwhelmed once restrictions are eased and borders opened, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Don't Blame James.
    Emissions Impossible! So, don’t be too hard on poor James Shaw. His pathetic little To-Do list is, indeed, totally inadequate to the crisis. But, you know what? He’ll be lucky to get half of the items ticked-off. There’s just too many entrenched interests – not the least of whom are ...
    5 days ago
  • The “Pulpit of Strewth”
    Barry Soper is one half of one of one of those right-wing husband-and-wife duos in which the Herald seems to specialise. In today’s issue, he has a piece that doesn’t quite reach the heights (or depths) of a Hoskings-style anti-government hostility, but which does provide an interesting example of the ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the epic fails of Kris Faafoi
    Ever since Winston Peters first breathed life into this government in 2018, its own branding has been all about social justice and how we all need to be “kind” to each other. Somehow, Kris Faafoi must have missed the memo. His performance in the immigration portfolio (in particular) has neither ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 14 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Mike Treen, Advocate, Unite Union “Please continue your incredible work compiling these news digests. As someone operating in the fields of advocacy for workers and the broader social justice areas it is invaluable to be able to check what is happening in the media relating to the issues I have to deal ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Overconfident Idiots: Why Incompetence Breeds Certainty
    This is a re-post from the Thinking is Power website maintained by Melanie Trecek-King where she regularly writes about many aspects of critical thinking in an effort to provide accessible and engaging critical thinking information to the general public. Please see this overview to find links to other reposts from Thinking is Power. ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Abandoning ambition
    When Labour was first elected to power in 2017, they promised us "[an] ambitious plan to take real action on climate change". Four years and a lot of foot-dragging later, they've finally released that plan. And its not what was promised. Where to begin? Firstly, they've taken the Climate Change ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Many e-cigarette vaping liquids contain toxic chemicals: new Australian research
    Alexander Larcombe, Telethon Kids Institute   From October 1, it’s been illegal to buy e-liquids containing nicotine without a prescription from a doctor everywhere in Australia, except South Australia. But vaping with nicotine-free e-liquids is not illegal in Australia (though in some jurisdictions the e-cigarette devices themselves are illegal). Vaping ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Young adults worldwide have blunt message for governments: ‘We don’t trust you.’
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Elizabeth Marks describes herself as “a psychologist who works on difficult problems.” Her past research aimed at helping people cope with challenging health conditions, apt training, it appears, for taking on climate change issues. A few years ago, she altered ...
    7 days ago
  • Making ‘Second Age’ Hobbits Work: Amazon Series Speculation
    Time for a good old-fashioned fandom furore. The Tolkien fandom hasn’t had a proper one of those since the Great Nudity Scandal of October 2020… so it clearly must be time to pontificate from on-high about a television series we still know vanishingly little about. This time the subject ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 13 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Lara Greaves, Political scientist, University of Auckland: “I love the NZ Politics Daily emails as they help me to keep on top of current events. It’s incredibly easy to skim through and follow the links. I really appreciate these as it means that I am exposed to a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • The Data and Statistics Bill and the OIA
    The government introduced a new Data and Statistics Bill today to modernise and replace the 45-year old Statistics Act. Part of the Bill re-enacts the existing confidentiality regime (with one exception), which while a secrecy clause isn't an especially controversial one. Another part is aimed at removing "outdated" (inconvenient) limits ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Graham Adams: The debate over the $55 million media fund erupts again
    RNZ’s Mediawatch and a video clip viewed 42,000 times keep the topic of the Public Interest Journalism Fund fizzing. Graham Adams reports.   A week ago, the NZ Taxpayers’ Union posted a short video clip of the exchange in Parliament between Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins in which the National ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Multiple sclerosis: the link with earlier infection just got stronger – new study
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Hit hard by the pandemic, researchers expect its impacts to linger for years
    Sora Park, University of Canberra; Jennie Scarvell, University of Canberra, and Linda Botterill, University of Canberra   The impacts of COVID-19 on Australian university researchers are likely to have consequences for research productivity and quality for many years to come. According to an online survey of academics at the University ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Covid and free speech
    by Don Franks Some commentators have likened the struggle against Covid 19 to the world war experience. To those of us not alive in those times, that comparison can only be academic. What the anti virus battle reminds me of much more is an industrial strike. In my twenties and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • “Angry Blowhards”
    In today’s Herald, their excellent columnist, Simon Wilson, takes to task those “shouty” people whom he further describes as “angry blowhards”. They are those whose prime reaction to the pandemic is anger – an anger they seamlessly (and perhaps unwittingly) transfer from the virus to the government. The basis for ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Looking Forward To 2022.
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    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Covid mandates, and the Covid pill
    The cliché about “living with Covid” will not mean life as we’ve known it, Jim. Vaccination is fast becoming a condition of employment, and also a requirement to participate in aspects of social life, such as travel, attending bars, cafes, and concerts etc. These protective measures enjoy a high level ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 12 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Prof Alan Bollard, Professor of Practice at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington; Chair of the Infrastructure Commission: “NZ Politics Daily” provides a great public service – a quick and unbiased way to check policy announcements and analysis every morning.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: A submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2)
    I have made a submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2).In preparing it, I looked at the Hansard for the first reading debate, and got name-dropped as someone likely to make a submission. So, of course I did. I focus on a small bit of the ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: More tales from the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme
    You may have read last week that two years after the publication of regulations for medicinal cannabis – and three years after the enabling legislation – two local products from a local manufacturer have finally met the minimum quality standards for prescription. You may also be interested to know that ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Real action requires government
    Over the weekend someone pointed me at a journal article on "The Poverty of Theory: Public Problems, Instrument Choice, and the Climate Emergency". Its a US law journal article, so is a) very long; and b) half footnotes (different disciplines have different norms), but the core idea is that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Not doing our bit
    Last month the US and EU announced they would push an agreement to cut methane emissions by 30% (from 2020 levels) by 2030 at the upcoming climate change conference in Glasgow. The good news is that New Zealand is looking at joining it. The bad news is that that won't ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Delta’s Week Of Doom.
    Classic Shot: Are the Prime Minister’s formidable communication skills equal to the task of getting her government’s anti-Covid campaign back on track?IF JACINDA ARDERN thought last week was bad, the week ahead promises to be even worse. Sixty community cases of Covid-19, one of the highest daily totals so far ...
    1 week ago
  • Urgent measures needed to allow the safe re-opening of Auckland schools
    Dr Rachel Webb, Dr Jin Russell, Dr Pip Anderson, Dr Emma Best, Dr Alison Leversha and Dr Subha Rajanaidu* In this blog we describe the range of urgent measures that are needed to facilitate a safe return to schools in Auckland and other regions of the country where there is ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Children live online more than ever – we need better definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ scree...
    Kathryn MacCallum, University of Canterbury and Cheryl Brown, University of Canterbury   The pandemic has fundamentally altered every part of our lives, not least the time we spend on digital devices. For young people in particular, the blurred line between recreational and educational screen time presents new challenges we are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Putting Aotearoa on the map: New Zealand has changed its name before, why not again?
    Claire Breen, University of Waikato; Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato; Robert Joseph, University of Waikato, and Valmaine Toki, University of Waikato   Our names are a critical part of our identity. They are a personal and social anchor tying us to our families, our culture, our history and place in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Yes, of course festival organisers will follow the law on vaccination
    On Tuesday 5 October the New Zealand Government announced that proof of COVID-19 vaccination would be a requirement to attend large events this summer.It took a few days for event owners to absorb the information and understand the implications. By the end of the working week, most of the big ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 11 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jim Hubbard, Cartoonist “NZ Politics daily is a go to for cartoonists, or should be.  Political reporting enmasse like this gives cartoonists and political junkies a smorgasbord to get their teeth into. Essential and I daresay vital reading for those who care about the future of NZ.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, October 3, 2021 through Sat, October 9, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: VFX Artist Reveals how Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power the ENTIRE World, Will you fall ...
    1 week ago
  • The Night of Parmenides: accepted
    A bit of good news on the writing front. My 3900-word short story, The Night of Parmenides, has been accepted by SpecFicNZ for their upcoming Aftermath anthology, to be published in early 2022. This is my first published short story to be explicitly set in my home-town of ...
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, the Politician, and the gang member
    . . . . . References Newshub Nation: Gang leader Harry Tam denies Winston Peters’ claims he helped infected woman breach COVID boundary, sparking Northland lockdown Te Ao News: ‘Apologise!’ Mob leader slams Peters’ Covid, Northland allegations Stuff media: Covid-19 – Search for contact of Northland case ‘extraordinarily frustrating’ CNBC: ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Rapid kits, responses, and openings: watch motivations, or catch something worse with Covid…
    Last week was probably a high point for many armchair “experts”, fresh from their high after some deep inhaling of the various musings and fumings, of an actually very smug, and very insualted John “Things all work for me…” Key, former Prime Minister and FOREX trader, had blitzed the ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Bollocks
    It would appear we have an unwelcome presence in town.Positive wastewater results had been detected in Hamilton and Palmerston North on October 6 and 7. There are 26 cases in hospital, seven of these are in ICU or high dependency units (HDU).One of the people in hospital is in Palmerston ...
    1 week ago
  • World-leading?
    So, the Herald has found someone, as we can see from today’s issue, who is able to explain why we should not claim to have been “world-leading” in our response to the covid epidemic. It seems that we have been kidding ourselves when we celebrated our low total number of ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Why Is Labour So Frightened Of “Mr Stick”?
    Force Multiplier: Why are Ardern and her ministers so loathe to put a bit of stick about? The “emergency” legislation eventually enacted to authorise the measures needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic failed to confer upon the New Zealand Government the unequivocal authority that subsequent events showed to be so ...
    1 week ago
  • The Need for an Updated Strategic Approach to Covid-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker* The NZ Government appears to have drifted into an unclear strategic approach to Covid-19 control. In this blog we outline one potential way forward: a regional strategic approach that considers “regional suppression” and “regional elimination”. To maximise the success of this ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Mairon: The Actual Source for the Blasted Name
    Long-time Tolkien geeks – or those bemused enough to run across a certain internet phenomenon – might know that ‘Sauron’ is not actually the real name of the Lord of the Ring. ‘Sauron’ is just an abusive Elvish nickname, meaning ‘the Abhorred.’ Sauron’s actual name, at least originally, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Forced Re-entry
    The elimination of Covid strategy is not so much defeated but changing circumstances means that policy has to evolve. Our elimination stance was never sustainable or at least it would not be until the rest of the world also eliminated Covid-19. Elimination of the virus was a strategy we adopted ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Repeal this unjust law
    Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled on National's unjust "three strikes" law, and found that the sentence it required was (in the case in question) so disproportionate as to "shock the conscience" and violate the Bill of Rights Act ban on disproportionately severe treatment or punishment: The Supreme Court has ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Preparing for the flood
    The Christchurch City Council has published new "coastal hazards" data, indicating which places are under threat from sea-level rise. And its not good news: Parts of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula are likely to become unhabitable [sic] as the city council figures out how to adapt to sea level ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Virus, Not The Government
    I wonder if Mike Hosking ever reads the paper in which he appears so regularly? If he does, he might have noticed a report in today’s Herald about the problem that could face churches in Auckland if a vaccine passport becomes mandatory for those wishing to attend church services. The ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 8 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Bill Ralston, Media consultant and columnist: “NZ Politics Daily provides an invaluable service for journalists, politicians, businesspeople, decision makers and the public at large by providing an easily accessible, exhaustive, link to every significant political story in the country’s media that day. It’s a gem of a service ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • Open letter to Michael Barnett, Julie White, et al
    . . Congratulations,  Mr Barnett, Ms White, and your business colleagues. It appears that we will end up having to “live” (ie, get sick, end up in hospital, perhaps in ICU, intubated on ventilators, and possibly dying as our lungs fail) with covid19. But at least businesses will open up. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago

  • Red tape cut to boost housing supply
    New building intensification rules will mean up to three homes of up to three storeys can be built on most sites without the need for a resource consent New rules will result in at least 48,200 and as many as 105,500 new homes built in next 5-8 years Bringing forward ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Nationwide business partnership grows conservation jobs
    Further Government support for New Zealand’s longest-standing sustainable business organisation will open up opportunities for dozens of workers impacted by COVID-19 to jump start a nature-based career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Partnering to Plant Aotearoa, led by the Sustainable Business Network (SBN), is a collaboration with iwi, hapū and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand increases climate aid contribution
    Government commits $1.3 billion over four years to support countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change At least 50 percent of funding will go to the Pacific as it adapts to the impacts of climate change The increase means New Zealand now meets its fair share of global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Super Māori turnout for Super Saturday
    Māori have put a superb effort into mobilising to get vaccinated over Super Saturday, with thousands rolling up their sleeves to protect themselves, their whānau and communities from COVID-19, Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says. “It was absolutely outstanding that 21,702 Māori got vaccinated on this one day alone with 10,825 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Language assists Tagata Niue to thrive
    Despite the uncertain times we face with the challenges of COVID-19, our cultural knowledge, values and language remain constant, helping us progress towards goals in life, said  the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. This year, the Niuean community in New Zealand decided on the theme, “Kia tupuolaola e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
    The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled. “I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
    Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Harvey graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1992 and commenced employment as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland that same year. In 1997 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
    New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation. “Reducing waste is one of the issues all New Zealanders – especially younger Kiwis - care deeply about,” Environment Minister David Parker said today “New Zealand is one of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today meet with more than 30 national Māori organisations in an online hui, kicking off the process to develop a plan for New Zealand to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration). The previous National Government signed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
    Whai Kāinga, Whai Oranga will open on 20 October, to receive applications for investment through Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Te Puni Kōkiri The $730m fund combines investment from Budget 2021 ($380m) and the Māori Infrastructure Fund ($350m) - the largest investment seen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
    Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall. A coalition of around 25 businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
    Taiaha hā! Taiaha hā! - Te kairangi o te reo hoki mai ki taku tikanga, ki taku taumata, ki taku reo, ki taku ao. He reo whai tikanga, he reo whai mana, he reo whai tangata koe. Ki te whāngaihia te reo Māori he ao tēnā, ki te kore he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major contract awarded to power NZ Battery investigation
    A consortium of specialist firms has been awarded a major contract to advance the New Zealand Battery Project’s feasibility investigation into a pumped hydro storage scheme at Lake Onslow, the Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods has announced. “This contract represents a major milestone as it begins the targeted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Additional Funding for Foodbanks and Social Agencies
    The Government has approved $13.55m from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund to support foodbanks and social sector agencies, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “Foodbanks and social agencies across Auckland are doing a great job supporting their communities and the Government is today providing them with more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Generating a new generation of guardians
    The Government is supporting a Whakatōhea-led project undertaking landscape scale restoration in forests and around vulnerable rivers within the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “The Whakatōhea Tiaki Taiao project will employ four people to undertake pest and weed control, ecosystem restoration and monitoring over three ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Parts of Waikato, Northland staying at Alert Level 3
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 and Northland will remain in Alert Level 3 for a few more days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Auckland remains at Alert Level 3, Step 1. “Based on the latest public health information, ministers have decided that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New courthouses for Tauranga and Whanganui
    The Government is moving ahead with new courthouses in Tauranga and Whanganui, which the Justice Minister says provide an opportunity to redesign court facilities that help put victims at the heart of the justice system. “These courthouses are part of the 10-year infrastructure investment plan to restore and modernise Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech on the launch of the consultation on the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi o te ata. Earlier this month Save the Children wrote to me with their most up to date analysis on the impact of climate change. What they said was that children born in Aotearoa today will experience up to five times as many heatwaves and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Opportunity to shape NZ’s first Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today. The Emissions Reduction Plan will set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Convention on Biological Diversity COP 15, Virtual High-Level Segment
    Kia ora koutou katoa. I want to thank China for hosting this critically important Conference of the Parties. We are all here for the same reason. Biodiversity loss, and the ongoing degradation of nature, are accelerating at an unprecedented rate. These losses are causing irreparable harm to our planet’s ability ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government books show resilient and strong economy
    The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast, even as recently as the Budget in May. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • ​​​​​​​Health system is ready for assisted-dying law
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