web analytics

Nanny state on the roads

Written By: - Date published: 7:20 am, June 8th, 2010 - 70 comments
Categories: dpf, law, transport - Tags: , ,

One of the big “nanny state” hot button topics is road safety and enforcement. Too many armchair experts think that they’re qualified to pass judgement on what is and isn’t safe driving. See for example the reactions to the government’s recent ban on cell phone use while driving, raising the driving age, or the proposal for a zero alcohol tolerance for drivers under 20.

Last Queen’s Birthday 10 people died on the roads, 32 were seriously injured. Last Easter another 12 dead, the highest toll in 18 years. This Queen’s Birthday police announced a crackdown on speeding. Police Commissioner Howard Broad said:

… We will be out in strength this weekend doing everything within our powers to stop you making poor and dangerous driving decisions. Sometimes we will be obvious sometimes we won’t be. We make no apology for this. If you dismiss it as revenue gathering then you are shrugging off your responsibility of care, and saying it is acceptable for you and other drivers to put you and your family at risk. … Police don’t want to spend another holiday weekend dealing with carnage on the roads, so please help us in our goal of saving lives.

Pretty sensible in context right? Stop speeding and save lives? But there is no idea so sensible that some opinionated idiot won’t complain. Just as Broad anticipated, DPF dismissed this initiative as:

Naked revenue gathering

How many road deaths are caused by people driving at 56 km/hr in a 50 zone? Or 106 kmhr on a multi-lane motorway? This is naked revenue gathering, which will see thousands of people fined for driving just over the speed limit, unaware that the tolerance has been lowered. … I can guarantee you the number of accidents caused by people driving 5 km/hr over the speed limit on straight roads is minimal.

Armchair “experts” who pontificate on topics that they know nothing about annoy me, particularly where safety is involved. DPF and any others like him who were critical of police tactics have been proven very wrong by events. At time of writing (late Monday night) the Weekend road toll stands at 1. Not 12 dead, or 10 dead, but 1, the lowest toll in 54 years. Police are “trumpeting their zero tolerance approach to speeding as a factor”.

Let’s get some sanity back into the “nanny state” arguments. Yes we the people need to keep a wary eye on the powers of government, and hold them to account. But in many cases (such as sensible proposals relating to public safety or conservation) individual freedoms that might be constrained have to be weighed in the balance with much greater collective freedoms that are gained – in this case the collective freedom of increased safety on the roads. Those who demand the individual right to exceed the speed limit, how many lives is that right worth?

70 comments on “Nanny state on the roads”

  1. really 1

    “Armchair “experts’ who pontificate on topics that they know nothing about annoy me”, but that is precisely what both you and dpf are doing rob.

    • r0b 1.1

      Oh really, it’s true that I’m not an expert on road safety. Nor, unlike the police, do I get to spend parts of my working life cutting mangled bodies out of wrecked cars. However, I do understand two things that DPF apparently does not: (1) Force increases as the square of speed, and (2) Not all our roads are straight.

      • really 1.1.1

        I’m not saying the Police are wrong just that it is wrong for this aspect of Policing to be somehow claimed by Labour (using r0b as a proxy) as their own by way of tricky nanny state arguments.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          Um, what?

          Where did r0b claim the tactics of the police as a victory for Labour?

          • really 1.1.1.1.1

            By aligning the right with anti-nanny state sentiment. I guess it was too tricky for some to recognise eh Draco.

            • Lew 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Has the right not aligned itself with anti-nanny-state sentiments?

              If you think not, then I suggest you review the last three years of NZ current events.

              L

              • Jim Nald

                The Right has been spinning so much that it has forgotten where it was facing at first.
                Deceptive Right to Dizzy Right.

                • really

                  Oh dear. I was making a valid observation perhaps you could refrain from playing the man when I explain the reasoning behind the observation, it would make things much cosier.

                  • Lew

                    I’m not playing the man. I’m playing the assertion.

                    Just answer the question. If you answer “yes, I suppose they have” then your allegation that r0b is making this a partisan issue is somewhat bogus. If you think otherwise, then I’m sure there are a few folks who could provide hundreds of examples to help fill the obvious and gaping hole in your knowledge of current and recent NZ political events.

                    L

                    • really

                      Lew, I wasn’t discussing the negative of my own argument, that was your domain so as you have answered your own question I’ll treat it as a rhetorical not requiring an answer. My previous comment was quite clearly (note indentation level) addressed to Jim.

                      Nothwithstanding, my comments were merely asserting that r0b was with some stealth attempting to align positive road safety with the left by questioning the anti nanny state cheerleaders (proxies for the right) level of intelligence, and by extrapolation implying their level of care for the public is lower than the left.

                      Thanks.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      By aligning the right with anti-nanny state sentiment.

                      As Lew said, the RWNJs did that all by themselves.

                      I guess it was too tricky for some to recognise eh Draco.

                      I recognise that rules are necessary and that they need to be enforced. The police, who’s job it is to enforce the rules, did so. This had nothing to do with Labour or the left. It’s not my fault that the RWNJs think that the rules shouldn’t apply to themselves which really is what DPF is complaining about.

                      and by extrapolation implying their level of care for the public is lower

                      It is lower – this is because they happen to be psychopaths.

          • really 1.1.1.1.2

            In response to this, I don’t quite know how to describe it, perhaps rant or maybe toxic slight?
            +
            Draco T Bastard
            8 June 2010 at 5:25 pm
            By aligning the right with anti-nanny state sentiment.

            As Lew said, the RWNJs did that all by themselves.
            > r0b uses this as a tool to juxtapose the left as caring about roadkill, nice tactic.

            I guess it was too tricky for some to recognise eh Draco.

            I recognise that rules are necessary and that they need to be enforced. The police, who’s job it is to enforce the rules, did so. This had nothing to do with Labour or the left. It’s not my fault that the RWNJs think that the rules shouldn’t apply to themselves which really is what DPF is complaining about.
            > It was in fact about r0b using a road safety campaign to try and score feel good points.

            and by extrapolation implying their level of care for the public is lower

            It is lower this is because they happen to be psychopaths.
            > and why would I need to argue against such brilliance.

      • Rex Widerstrom 1.1.2

        R0B:

        Nor, unlike the police, do I get to spend parts of my working life cutting mangled bodies out of wrecked cars

        By that logic St John Ambulance ought to be telling us what we can and can’t do on the roads. I don’t envy the police that job but nor do I thereby bow to their supposedly superior judgement as to what caused the mess they have to clean up any more than I’d accept the views of a Civil Defence worker on global warming.

        Unfortunately the difference is the Civil Defence worker doesn’t carry a ticket book and a set of handcuffs, so I don’t have to care what they think, I can review the (often conflciting) data and draw my own conclusions.

        And my conclusions about road safety suggest appalling roads, inexperienced young drivers in cars way too powerful for them, recidivist dangerous and/or drunk drivers, and inconsiderate driving leading to “road rage” and recklessness bear far more of the blame than does someone “hurrying to work”.

        Indeed I suspect if we made it illegal for any male under 25 to have a female passenger (and thus no one to impress in the hope of bedding) we’d cut the toll significantly.

        Congestion slows traffic, as does bad weather. But so would a blanket reduction in the open road limit to, say, 70 km/h. Yes we’re talking trading individual freedom for collective freedom, but in this instance we seem prepared to trade away individual freedom at too low a price, and with not nearly enough data.

  2. Lew 2

    Definition of irony: folk who habitually insist that “the law must be enforced” complaining when it is enforced with regard to their own preferred misdemeanours. And, complain as they might, I bet all those hating on the police on Friday slowed down over the weekend. Mission accomplished. I spent half of Saturday and half of Sunday on the roads, and traffic was markedly more cautious and courteous. There was a strong police presence, and despite the awful weather things went pretty smoothly.

    There are two questions, though: whether it’s replicable, and whether it would persist if made permanent. I’d be reluctant to treat this single data point as causation for the low toll — it’s a great result, sure, but it may be an outlier. Second, I’m doubtful whether it would have much effect over the long term due to risk homeostasis. I reckon people (drivers especially) are pretty good at finding stupid things to do.

    Cue lots of people complaining about how speeding is a victimless crime as long as it doesn’t cause accidents.

    L

    • QoT 2.1

      But Lew! Isn’t it obviously different when it’s horrible international students in their flashy rides Endangering Our Children? Whereas a Good Suburban Mother speeding in her Aspirational Vehicle is clearly surrounded by the phenomenon known in quantum physics as buti’mspecialium which guarantees that things are okay when white middle-class folks do them.

      • comedy 2.1.1

        [deleted – what was the point of that? –r0b]

      • Lew 2.1.2

        Just counting deaths caused by not enforcing the speed limit only counts the cost — not the benefits — of speeding! Imagine, if everyone drove at 10% above the speed limit, there would be a 10% increase in travel productivity for crucial tasks such as “getting to work on time” and “coming home from the pub”. How will we catch up to Australia if we can’t exceed the speed limit by as much as them?*

        L

        * erm…

        • jcuknz 2.1.2.1

          LOL 🙂

        • Clarke 2.1.2.2

          That would rate as today’s funniest comment if it wasn’t for the fact that Steven Joyce is using exactly the same logic to justify his $11 billion “roads of national significance” spend-up. It’s probably just as well that the entire National caucus has had an irony bypass ….

        • JonL 2.1.2.3

          3kph tolerance in Victoria….5-6kph tolerance elsewhere

  3. wyndham 3

    The ‘Nanny State’ brigade would be rabidly against traffic lights had they just been invented.

    • Rex Widerstrom 3.1

      Yeah, when roundabouts (which allow people to make their own decisions according to a set of agreed rules) and “spaghetti junctions” (which remove or reduce the need to stop at all when changing from one road to another) are better alternatives in the majority of cases.

      But then again, most places I’ve travelled in NZ have figured out that co-ordinating traffic lights so that, for instance, all the cross-streets down a long street should go at once, then the lights down the long street should dtay green for long enough to allow someone at one end, travelling at the speed limit, to travel the length of that street (or at least a large portion of it) in one smooth run.

      In many parts of Australia the lights are entirely unconnected, so that your journey is a frustrating series of stop-starts and you can be sitting at a red set of lights while the set ahead are green with no one there to drive through them

      I’ll stop now, I can feel my blood pressure rising.

  4. jcuknz 4

    I suspect that the ‘success’ of this experiment will lead to a permanent reduction in the maximum ‘over the posted’ limit. That doesn’t unduely bother me because it takes some time for my car to warm up and ‘want’ to go faster than 100K … usually it is happy at 90K on short trips. I watch my mirror to let others risking demerits and their licences get past quickly, particularly when I am towing.

    But what I do think is missing from the current police position is tolerance for those overtaking. It makes a lot of sense to permit 110<130 to get the vehicle back into its proper lane quicker. So many times we read the complaint about the slow driver who speeds up at passing lanes and stops the driver obeying the limit from overtaking. A first stage could be to permit a higher limit at passing lanes, then if that doesn't adversely affect the road toll, maybe extend it to the rest of the roads.

    The comment about increased police presence suggests to me that the low toll would have been achieved by that and not the reduction of tolerance from 110 to 105. Attention to driving rather than speed being the important factor. Or maybe it was a sense of resignation "Its going to take longer so what the hell. Let's be courtious" I stayed home and only made town trips over the QBWE.

    Though I have proved to my own satisfaction when towing a trailer compared to without over a distance of around 200K that being limited to 90k with the trailer made the journey not that much longer, fifteen minutes on maybe three hours or so. One needs to ease off from 90K much less than when doing 100K.

    • Lew 4.1

      JC, police presence is that high on every long weekend. This one seemed different.

      L

      • jcuknz 4.1.1

        I imagine it was the hype about the dropping of the tolerance limit and stories about inaccurate speedos on TV3. It would be useful, for me anyway, if the police stationed their ‘speed display’ trailers. out on the open road where we could check our higher speeds. I know from several checks that 50K on my speedo is 48K by the trailer, but I wonder what it is like at open road speeds. Yes I know I could get a garage to check it, if I knew which had the gear, but that would cost.

  5. Sanctuary 5

    Isn’t anyone else bothered though by the way the police increasingly appear to arbitrarily make up the law to suit themselves these days? Last Thursday they decreed the speed limit was 110km/h; on Saturday they decided it would be 104km/h, and they were going to basically make overtaking illegal. I heard tell on the radio a South Waikato police chief planned to cone off passing lanes he thought unsafe to stop people using them. If this true, under what law does he do this? By what statute does this policeman claim the right to blithely close sections of our public highways? The police ARE increasingly using their powers in arbitrary fashions in order to regulate social behaviour to that which they think it should be.

    I spent a fair bit of time on the roads this past weekend and there can be no doubt that by banning passing the police achieved their mission. Drivers seemed petrified of heavy handed policing. But repressive policing hasn’t modified basic behaviour and to my observation most drivers were operating under unnatural levels of restraint and patience. My drive, which normally takes four and three quarter hours took just over six, including being stuck in two crawling convoys behind some poor drivers who drove at 80km/h – maddening when our state highways are winding dual carriageways and overtaking has been forbidden. When people were able to pass I observed a level of honking and abuse levelled at the slow pokes that indicates basic behaviour hasn’t changed. I have no doubt that sooner or later public patience will snap and resentment at the police will bubble over.

    • MikeG 5.1

      err, the Police don’t make the law – the speed limit is 100km/h on the open road – the Police decide what is an appropriate level to start enforcing the law. imho, the Police made a good call this weekend.

      Unfortunately it is not always those doing the speeding that get killed and injured – speeding is far from a victimless crime.

    • Passing lanes are coned off in a bunch of places around the country on holidays. Heading out of Wellington, north of Otaki etc. there were several closed off . I’m not sure whether it was a safety thing, or just a realisation that passing lanes will slow traffic if there’s enough of it, but the South Waikato won’t have been the only place this occurred. I’d assume it was transit, rather than the police, however, but could be wrong.

      • Lew 5.2.1

        I also believe this is a Transit decision. The reasoning is that passing lanes in heavy traffic are great until you have to merge back into one lane, but when the merge happens, they’re counterproductive; and also that they encourage drivers to eb more aggressive. I’m not sure I buy it — it’s somewhat counterintuitive — but then, those chaps at Transit know more about traffic dynamics than I do, so …

        L

        • Anita 5.2.1.1

          Once upon a time a long time ago I knew a traffic engineer. She explained to me (I vaguely remember) that at a certain density the traffic becomes smoothed (like a string of sausages I think she said) so the vehicles might as well be bound nose-to-tail. The slower vehicles (which usually need overtaking) actually speed up and the faster slow down. The means there’s a smoother flow, fewer accidents and actually less frustration.

          I’m guessing that allowed that smoothed flow to split apart (as passing lanes do) acts against the benefits.

          • Clarke 5.2.1.1.1

            I think this article here covers the dynamic you’re talking about – apparently if everyone pursues the selfish strategy of trying to get ahead at all costs, it disrupts the flow and the carrying density on the network decreases.

            Of course the same mathematical models demonstrate that removing capacity in roading networks can counter-intutitively improve travel times, which is something that NZ’s traffic engineers definitely don’t want to hear!

      • infused 5.2.2

        They close the lanes to help traffic move a bit faster. So there’s no ‘merging’ at bottlenecks, ie otaki

    • Kevin Welsh 5.3

      Overtaking is a not a free licence to go what ever speed you feel like. Even when overtaking you are supposed to stay within the speed limit applicable to that part of the road.

  6. Horse 6

    I get the need to reflexively disagree with anything DPF says, but surely some common sense applied here would suggest that 1 road death vs 10 over a single measurement period is merely a statistical anomaly and the Police attributing credit to their “crackdown” is a perfect example of a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

    • r0b 6.1

      I get the need to reflexively disagree with anything DPF says

      No, that would be a full time job for ten bloggers. I’m just picking on some of the egregious stupidities.

      but surely some common sense applied here would suggest that 1 road death vs 10 over a single measurement period is merely a statistical anomaly

      I might have agreed with you if it was even remotely close. But it isn’t. Lowest QB Weekend road toll in 54 years, and that in the face of ever increasing traffic? I’m not going to look it all up and do the stats, but if that’s an anomaly it’s a pretty amazing one.

      • insider 6.1.1

        The awful weather may have had a bit to do with it – keeping people inside not on the road.

        • Lew 6.1.1.1

          Awful weather also increases accident risk. Six of one, I reckon.

          L

        • lprent 6.1.1.2

          Well it was noticeable in Auckland that it was a lot more busy than usual for Queens Birthday weekend. I usually like long weekends as the crowds go to Tauranga or wherever, and the city becomes more habitable….

          But not this weekend.

  7. vto 7

    I reckon it was great, the lower allowed speed. Given that we tootle along usually just under the 100 limit it meant that there were fewer arseholes up the arsehole.

    The safety increase is amazing. Doing 95-100 allows pulling to a stop so much more quickly and safely than 105-110. And apparently the chances of surviving a crash at 140 is zero.

    it’s a no-brainer. good job. dying in a car crash has to be the absolute dumbest thing on the planet.

    • r0b 7.1

      dying in a car crash has to be the absolute dumbest thing on the planet.

      And dying in someone else’s crash is among the most tragic.

    • felix 7.2

      vto, me too.

      I usually drive around 90 – 95 which means I’m not always jumping between the brakes and the gas. Safer, cheaper, less mechanical stress and far more relaxing for me. Seem to get to my destinations on time too so what’s the hurry?

      No-brainer for sure.

      • vto 7.2.1

        ha ha, I never pictured you as a nana. Maybe there more of us out here than we realise ………

  8. A Nonny Moose 8

    I think that this campaign is proof that having more police plus a positive campaign would get things done, in any area. Imagine if we had these sort of numbers investigating burglaries or rapes.

    Chew on that, Nanny State decriers.

  9. Mike 9

    Horse has it – statistical point of no certain relevance.
    The data is lumpy anyway, and the weather was not overly enticing.

    • felix 9.1

      Yeah, because bad weather leads to fewer accidents. *headdesk

      • Mike 9.1.1

        i.e. stays at home

        • felix 9.1.1.1

          Oh I know you meant that, it’s just that reality disagrees with you.

          Bad weather almost always means more accidents, not fewer, regardless of who stays home.

  10. millsy 10

    It goes to show that things like more strictly enforcing the law already on the books would go further towards lessening the road toll that bringing in a whole lot of other new laws that would snag good drivers while the bad will just get around them.

  11. well, well, well (3 holes in the ground) 11

    The ones that complain most about speed-limits – are they the ones that have big gas-guzzling cars and/or like going real fast?

    The difference was noticeable on the roads this weekend – It was nice to feel safer than usual.

    I remember a friend of a friend complaining about being ticketed for doing 1km/h over the limit – ‘you were doing 51k?’ ‘Nah 61k – 1k over the limit’. ‘That would be 11k over the limit.’ These folk are legendary for their road-rage too. Nice to know people like that are driving more safely than usual.

  12. ianmac 12

    It may not be just the speed. It seems that the eveness of speed is significant. The race/then slow/race/then slow which causes a problem in my view. If cars travel at a steady 90-100kph as I found in Queensland, traffic seems calmer.

  13. prism 13

    I would like to know the number of serious injuries, not just the deaths. With differences in treatment of an injured person during the ‘golden hour’ the medical treatment affects the number of deaths which is being treated as a statistical marker.

    And it would be interesting to have the overall number of accidents quoted.

  14. Maggie 14

    I drove from Wgtn to HB and back again during QB weekend. It was noticeable how most of the drivers stuck around the 100kph mark.There were also plenty of traffic cops around though not in the areas where there are usually accidents. You were more likely to see them on a straight stretch of road where travelling 106+ does not present any major dangers. I’m sure there was a hint of revenue gathering in the exercise but, hey, it also kept speeds down and made holiday driving a pleasure.

    • Stacktwo 14.1

      The officer in charge of the weekend’s exercise said cops were coming in saying they couldn’t find anyone speeding. She said, “It was great!”

      Not much of a hint of revenue gathering there. My impression was they would love to get to the stage where they never had to write another ticket.

  15. prism 15

    An aid to happy driving would be regular passing lanes every say 20 kms. In areas with lots of hills when following vehicles that slow, then speed again on the flat, vehicles with unpleasant exhausts, vehicles that are so large that you can’t see round them or through them, it would be good to know that the road planners have added this aid at regular intervals.

  16. felix 16

    DPF is fast becoming the Garth George of the blogosphere.

    • Pascal's bookie 16.1

      heh.

      All he needs is to start arguing in the style of ninety percent of his comment threads.

      Blah blah therefore Jesus. Jesus because that’s why! Also and too, Jesus.

  17. tc 17

    We’d clean our road behaviour up if we adopted alot more of these measures……just shows that the big stick gains the result. Cruise control’s a beautiful device to avoid such fines.

    I’d be in favour of the same rules on speed as victoria has….over 30k beyond the limit, instant 3 month loss of licence no negotiations. There’s more like no child under 8 in the front and mandatory child seats etc etc……very prescriptive regime but the outcomes show it works.

    Try insuring a boy racer car in victoria……curbs that behaviour by hitting the pocket.

  18. Daveosaurus 18

    DPF is at least being consistent, unlike the present Government. It was less than five years ago when said Government, then in Opposition, campaigned against the Police (amongst other targets), describing them as a “revenue gathering team”.

    • Pascal's bookie 18.1

      Funny innit?

      Speaking of consistent however,
      there does,
      from time to time,
      in the course of the discourse,
      arise the proposition;
      ‘Taxes oughta be voluntary’.
      (often in the form. ‘If you don’t want the tax cut, feel free to ring the Revenue and send ’em a cheque’)

      Well. Revenue gathering my arse.

      You can’t get fined for following the rode rules you stupid fucks, so just don’t speed.

      But the not doing seems a foreign thing, the speeding thing, a necessary. Perhaps they are always late. Or like Slartibartfast’s famous threat, wish others to be so. Who cares?

      Or perhaps it’s just the compensation thing.
      If so, then still, just don’t speed
      You’ll spite the government’s evil plan;
      and thusly feel embiggened.

  19. prism 19

    i try to get ahead of erratic or ‘exhausting’ drivers but they sometimes speed
    up as i overtake – i have sometimes found myself over the speed limit then. is this very wrong of me?

  20. vto 20

    I look forward to the day when all vehicles have speed limiters. And speed enforcers. Get everyone moving along consistently. Sort of like a Jetsons approach – slot your car onto the track and from then on it moves at controlled speeds. When you get to your destination simply unslot.

    It also combines the pleasures of private transport with the control and advantages of public transport.

    Voila !

  21. prism 21

    What about chassis or containers on the main trunk line, drive car in and sit in it have lights there but have railcar for amenities. No thousand corners to drive around, no petrol, spartan container wouldn’t need expensive upkeep. Voila! C’est magnifique!
    (Bet it wouldn’t pass Health and Safety for some reason. )

  22. Tony 22

    I’m no armchair expert…I’m a graveside expert.

    My sister died walking on the way home from a bar…she was killed by someone driving 60kmh in a 50kmh zone. She would be alive if the driver had been obeying the law. My family hold no anger towards the driver…but he was in the wrong, and was convicted of dangerous driving causing death.

    I also drive too fast sometimes, but accept any fines with what I hope is grace.

    DPF needs to spend a weekend with the cops slicing open cars full of freedom loving idiots and the people they’ve maimed, or in A&E…either that or the self centred prick can kiss my arse.

    I’m waiting for the Sensible Sentencing Club to call for a 3 strikes law for speeding business execs…but feel I may be waiting a loooooooooong time.

    • r0b 22.1

      Tony – I am sorry. And I agree with every sentiment. My only relative killed was a distant one, but road accidents have taken their toll on my extended family in other ways.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Colombia: historic memory, massacres and the military
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Initially it was reported that in an aerial bombardment that took place on August 30th seven children were massacred; the figure then went up to eight and then on November 11th Noticias Uno reported that, according to people from the community in close proximity to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    36 mins ago
  • Corruption as usual
    Next year is an election year, and Labour needs money to fund its campaign. So naturally, they're selling access:Labour is charging wealthy business figures $1500-a-head to lunch with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at its annual conference later this month. [...] On the weekend beginning November 29th, around 800 delegates will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • Fairer rentals
    Yesterday the government announced its changes to tenancy laws, including an end to no-cause evictions, limits on rent increases, and anonyminity for tenants who defend their rights against bad landlords (sadly necessary because landlords are scum who maintain blacklists of "uppity" tenants). They're all good moves, and have resulted in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Another NZDF coverup
    In 2003 New Zealand sent a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to support America's doomed war there. While there, they conducted regular weapons practice on local firing ranges, littering the landscape with unexploded ammunition. These ranges weren't secure - they're on land used by locals for animal herding - so ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    22 hours ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    1 day ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    1 day ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    4 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    7 days ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    7 days ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    16 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    23 hours ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    5 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    6 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago