Nat response to C/T scandal right from C/T playbook

Written By: - Date published: 11:49 am, June 30th, 2008 - 33 comments
Categories: john key, slippery, spin - Tags: ,

There’s a standard formula that Crosby/Textor has its clients use when damaging information comes out.

a) refuse to engage. The most senior public response to the revelation that Brand Key has been created by exactly the same people who ran Brash’s divisive, racist campaign in 2005 has come from Key’s chief of staff. No politician has commented. Key will be forced to comment during his Wednesday interviews but look for another C/T line that he will repeat in every interview something along the lines of ‘no, look, the real issue here is why Helen Clark is so obsessed with who I get advice from when hardworking Kiwis are suffering from 9 years of overtaxation’.

b) attack the messenger. Off-the-record comments to journos from senior Nats have focused on attacking Hager’s credibility, just as they have with other journos who don’t faithful report the lines (eg Barry Soper, Greg Robertson). As with the Hollow Men, National is spreading rumours that Hager has somehow ‘stolen’ National emails. Not only is that claim baseless (the Police concluded there was no theft), it also doesn’t explain who gave Hager faxes, meeting notes, and diaries.

c) misdirection. The ‘stolen email’ ruse is being used again. a classic piece of misdirection. Rather than looking at how the public image of Key and National has been created and the tactics they use to shut down the informed debate which is democracy’s life-blood, political commentators are already falling for the misdirection and asking ‘who gave Hager the info’? (any fool knows it’s the English camp).

This is the same formula we saw last week when Key revealed he knows nothing of New Zealand history, the same as we saw when Key said “we would love to see wages drop“, and we’ll see it again every time the mask of Brand Kep slips.

33 comments on “Nat response to C/T scandal right from C/T playbook ”

  1. ‘no, look, the real issue here is why Helen Clark is so obsessed with who I get advice from when hardworking Kiwis are suffering from 9 years of overtaxation’.

    maybe your guys could apply for the job
    thats a bloody good answer

  2. Ari 2

    I can’t wait for them to try and say the leak came from a stolen email.

    😉

  3. Billy 4

    Does Hager’s piece actually say what his source is?

  4. Andrew. No, it’s a classic misdirection –

    a) he avoids answering the legitimate question he has been asked

    b) he implies that Clark is attacking him personally and not doing anything else (both are untrue, it wasn’t her that exposed the C/T link and her government is putting worker friendly-policies into place all the time)

    c) the logical conclusion from the statement is that Key has some kind of solution to ‘overtaxation’ (or whatever issue he chooses) but he doesn’t.

    It is revealing that you think that a) politicians should have a paid outider creating a line for them to repeat endlessly and that b) a person like me who doesn’t believe in National party principles would be a suitabe person to create those lines simply because I’m good at making catchy lines.

  5. mike 6

    no, look, the real issue here is why Helen Clark is so obsessed with who I get advice from when hardworking Kiwis are suffering from 9 years of overtaxation’

    Could not agree more Steve.

    [and when Key says something along those lines, you’ll once again mindlessly lap it up but maybe this time you’ll ask ‘hey, what would Key do? And why do I want a man to be PM when I have no idea what he wold do with that power? SP]

  6. Billy 7

    simply because I’m god at making catchy lines.

    Surely “god” should start with a capital letter.

    Catchpa: Prince frivolous. You talikin’ ta me?

    [lprent: that was classic typo. I was about to fix it and found it was already fixed. Hubris repaired.]

  7. Blar 8

    Stevey-poo, you are believing your own spin.

    (the Police concluded there was no theft) doesn’t square with this:

    “There are strong indications that the e-mails were in printed form at the time of the theft, but with the thefts perhaps happening at any time over the two- year period it is very likely that they were stolen during several incidents,”

    Outright lying. Shame Steve, shame.

  8. Blar, should have been ‘outside theif’. THe police referred to it as a theft because the Nat’s told them no-one had given the emails and other material to Hager. In fact, we all know it was a leak by English and senior supporters.

  9. Lukas 10

    SP “we all know it was a leak by English and senior supporters”…. do we?

    Is this just like we all know that HC has ambitions for the UN?

  10. Ari 11

    Steve- yeah, I saw that five minutes later. I totally called it first though! lol!

    The good: Russel Norman is going out batting on this one. Hopefully that’ll let Helen stay clean, as she really can’t afford to touch this, whether it goes well or badly for National.

    Billy: Journalists don’t disclose sources of leaked information for obvious reasons.

    On the wider issue, I have to say that this might be an unintended consequence of the EFA- by limiting the amount of money spent on advertising, the downside of hiring a PR firm just got a lot smaller. Since National had so much spare cash, they can afford the nastiest ones around who eat democratic principles for breakfast. Ew.

    I’ve been worrying for a while about what National would pull out of its hat to do with all the extra cash. Do you suppose this is better or worse than funneling it into nominally independent third-party campaigns like the ‘Sensible’ Sentencing Trust?

  11. Blar 12

    You have attempted to claim the police concluded there was no theft in the past and that it was a line run by the police. Tell the Truth Steve.

    You are entitled to think that no theft occurred but to claim the Police endorse your conspiracy theories is contemptible.

  12. outofbed 13

    Colin Espiner has interesting
    take

  13. Blar 14

    “This is the same formula we saw last week when Key revealed he knows nothing of New Zealand history”

    Bro, you clearly didn’t get the abandon ship memo. That attack on Key backfired big time and you are just embarassing yourself. I think Paul Moon’s comments put an end to the story:

    Historian says Key’s comments are accurate

    Press Release by Auckland University of Technology at 3:10 pm, 27 Jun 2008

    AUT University Professor of history Paul Moon has come out in support of National Party leader John Key’s comments about New Zealand being a nation that came together peacefully…

  14. Lukas 15

    Blar… it was a rogue Police investigation full of ‘spin’ and ‘hit and run’ findings by the cops… sheesh don’t you know anything!

  15. Ari 16

    Steve- well, I’m not sure we know it was a leak from English in particular, but when you have ANY digital security issues, the first likelihood is human error. The next on there is that someone inside your network has deliberately compromised it.

    Stolen emails are waaaaay down the list. Frankly, it’d be easier to find a leak than to hack Parliament even if they only used normal computer security measures.

    The emails were most likely acquired through a leak, as stealing printouts or hacking the email system would be ridiculously hard.

    (not to mention there are much more damaging things discussed by email than associations with PR firms, and if Nicky Hager had access to all their emails, he’d likely have a field day)

  16. Matthew Pilott 17

    Mmm blar, even the Herald was praising Key’s accurate account of history in today’s editorial. You read it? I guess they forgot to send the memo to them as well eh…

  17. There was a time when men like Nicky Hager were admired for their tenacity in finding out what our politicians were up to.
    It would be considered their duty to dig up dirt about politicians, and no I don’t necessarily mean about their private life but what they were upto when trying to run our lives.

    Here we have a man who came back from a job in the most corrupt of all professions; the Investment banking world of Wall street where he made it as the global head of foreign exchange for one of the most corrupt Banks Merrill Lynch, in March 2001 and immediately got himself a place in the top of Nationals political hierarchy.

    No sooner is Brash ousted and he takes the top dog place. The first thing he does is get C/T over and engages them to help him build his poppy profile.

    He is connected to the same people who fucked this country and its workers over in the early nineties. Ruth Richardson, Don Brash and according to the Hollow man a whole slew of other super rich creepy crawlies.

    The only things he has uttered when unchecked were about dropping wages and working longer hours, Maori/Pakeha relations, the war in Iraq, his absence of opinion about the Springbok tour (Even the Dutch had an opinion on that one at the time, we greatly admired the NZers who were opposed to the tour generally), the Kyoto protocol,
    just to name a few. They give a portrait of a man who has never given politics much thought, doesn’t give a toss about the electorate and knew he needed some super slick and nasty operators to keep him on the straight and narrow.

    I think it is imperative that people like Nicky Hager keep digging in the dirt and find out what secretive and slippery politicians are up to especially if they have to rely on C/T to help them through.
    If John Key can’t be open and honest about what he wants for this country and he is happy to take orders from C/T with corporate bigwigs such as Robert Champion de Crespigny AC in the background what guarantees us that he is going to take orders from the us the people who voted him in.

  18. vto 19

    I really cannot believe you guys are on your high horse over these tactics;

    “a) refuse to engage. b) attack the messenger.c) misdirection. ”

    I don’t want this to be seen as a personal attack, because you seem to be good people (if a little naive he he), but it really is pathetic.

    And I suspect the public will see it as exactly that too. Whoop de doo – politicians are already held in incredibly low regard because of their various displays of dishonesty and DECEPTION. And refusing to answer questions and answering other questions and attacking the person rather than the issue. They see them constantly avoid the question. Always always always always. And they see Clark as the consummate politician (read consummate deceiver in their eyes). Same goes for Cullen.

    It will be no surprise whatsoever to the average voter. In fact it is likely to backfire as people will say again “w t f are those pricks arguing about that for? There are much mroe important issues out there, like the spiralling cost of living.” And quite rightly. And Clark will drop yet another point in the polls

    p.s. sometimes some of you accuse me of being some sort of stooge or plant by kiwiblog or the nats or whatever. Completely wrong.

  19. lprent 20

    Ari:

    Stolen emails are waaaaay down the list. Frankly, it’d be easier to find a leak than to hack Parliament even if they only used normal computer security measures.

    Exactly. Trying to get them in transit is a pain. It could be done wire-sharked or some sniffer. But it is a bitch getting into the right physical place and to sort out occasional smtp port packets from all of the other packets and for that matter from all of the smtp port packets that float out of any reasonably large organisation.

    It is so much easier to pick up e-mails at either end. You’d have to have a really crap firewall to allow scanning of a computer over the local network. You could get it from a web interface or external gateway to a imap/exchange server. But surely they’d have changed the passwords?

    The simplest, easiest and most likely explanation is the one that Nat’s don’t like. Someone internal is collecting them and passing them on. Also that it has probably just happened again.

  20. mike 21

    “a whole slew of other super rich creepy crawlies.”

    Oh please spare us bitterness and envy stuff Eve.
    What a load of conspiracy theory crap you are spouting.

  21. lprent 22

    vto: I personally don’t count you amongst stooges, plants, trolls or whatever. When you first came on I was a bit unsure. But you adapted to the more argumentative “agree to disagree” state that runs around here. You’re definitely not a line-pusher.

    Most of the regulars here would probably think the same – they certainly converse with you.

  22. Matthew Pilott 23

    vto, National and Key have hired advisors that specialise in dishonest politics, distracting from proper issues and acting in a general way that turns people off politics.

    You then come here and ask why we’re on our collective ‘high horse’ because we’re criticising this.

    You then say the average punter will be more interested in, for example, the cost of living.

    Key has hired advisors to make damn sure that he won’t have to give a substantiative answer to the very type of issue you reckon everyone is concerned about. Their purpose is to make people ask the question, but to not expect the answer.

    And you wonder why a few people here think this is important. You answered your own queston and didn’t see it for what it was.

  23. Mike,

    All I’ve seen coming from you is nasty one liners and smears and Conspiracy nut is just one of them, so I’m going to leave it at that.

    About the bitterness and the envy the following:

    I have some very wealthy friends amongst which bankers whom I would trust with my last nickel and our landlady whom I admire for her discipline and her humanity and with whom I have very entertaining discussions.

    Funny how John Key or National are never one of them.

    Especially our landlady, who has travelled and seen the world and remembers clearly and with disgust the National administrations with Ruth Richardson and the old crowd.

    She is the one who has taught me a lot about NZ politics and she thinks John Key is a total sleaze.

    But she says:”People forget, they forget the privatisations, the selling of assets and the cut backs in social expenditure and they will vote them in again you’ll see. People are so stupid, they will never see that National will do nothing for the common man, ever.”

    Now if a well to do, hard working lady who has a huge dairy farm and some other nifty investments and who has both legs firmly rooted in the reality of the everyday routine of rural live feels that way and I find rich creepy crawlies (rich creepy crawlies do not equal every rich person) in the background of the Smiling Assassin why should I not feel equally uncomfortable.

    That has nothing to do with conspiracies but everything with smelling a rat.

  24. vto 25

    Mr Pilott, you have a talent for finding some part of a thing and turning it into a some thing.

    But my take on the whole palava is that you could easily swap the words labour and national in all of this and the appearance would be the same.

    btw, I love the irony in this statement of yours… “that specialise in dishonest politics, distracting from proper issues and acting in a general way that turns people off politics.”

  25. Rex Widerstrom 26

    As I’ve said on an earlier thread, CT aren’t all that scary any more. It’s like if Hitler had lived and had been wheeled out by the skinheads… even the worst rhetoric sounds a little thin when the epitome of evil is wearing a diaper.

    But I choked on my coffee on this quote: …shut down the informed debate which is democracy’s life-blood… I thought for a moment I’d stumbled onto an old EFA thread.

    Ensuring the free flow of the “lifeblood of democracy” isn’t exactly a strong point of either side of politics, and has been becoming less so over time. That’s why so many people now have a “pox on both their houses” attitude and until the politicians change it’s going to get worse not better no matter what The Standard, Kiwiblog, The Herald, Nicky Hager, Ian Wishart or anyone else might wish.

    After falling for Rudd’s rhetoric Australians are realising he’s dissembling even more than Howard used to. He’s just suffered a 7 percentage point reversal in the Gippsland by-election. But on he waffles, using all the tactics you’ve correctly called Key on.

    It used to upset me that none of them will learn. Now I just content myself with knowing it will hasten the day when the political system collapses under the weight of citizens’ disbelief in its value and we get the chance to create something that returns power to where it belongs.

  26. Pascal's bookie 27

    vto, Why do you find it ironic?

    Just throwing up your hands and saying ‘oh but it’s obvious’ is a cop out. Thing is when Labour was in opposition in 99 they had a bunch of actual issues that they campaigned on.

    Market rents, raise minimum wage, raise taxes, repeal ECA, no more asset sales, undo ACC ‘reform’, and so on. Even if you disagree with the wisdom of them they were actual concrete policies. Were they also pushing the line about a tired failed government that was out of touch? Of course, but they had concrete policy as well and they were more than happy to talk about it. That’s the difference.

    The National party is running on a bunch of platitudes. Lauren Order, things are bad, must be the gummints fault somehow, we’ll do some unspecified reforms that make things betterer, get back to you on what they are, crikey look at the price of cheese. No we’re totally not like that National Party under Don Brash, always opposed the war, hate nukes, Global warming sucks. Stop talking about us, lookit the petrol price, feck me how did that happen? Must be gay socialism. Goodness me isn’t our history one of peaceful love, (what are those Maori on about now). Aspiration, gaspiration.

    It’s pretty crap, and it works. But I don’t think it’s much to be proud of or excited about. I think it turns people, not only off politics in a general sense, but in the sense that politics is about ideas, and what’s best for the nation, and is important. Y’know, democracy.

    I have absolutely no problem with parties disagreeing on issues and approaches. Love it in fact. I’ve voted for parties on both sides and different deviations from the mean. I’ve voted for parties that I’ve agreed with on a lot of things, and parties that I’ve agreed with on only one thing but very strongly. I’d like to know what it is I’m supposed to agree with Key about.

    If your argument is that Labour or the Standard or some posters here are using CT techniques now, then perhaps Key could get his A into G and release some actual policy for us to talk about. At the moment if we want to talk about what the National party are doing/saying all there is to say is ‘Did you get a load of that gobshite? Where’s the beef?’. That’s not misdirection, that’s wanting to know what a prospective government wants to do. I’m sure posters here would much rather be talking about policy.

    If Key doesn’t want to release any, then not only is it perfectly legitimate to talk about that fact, it’s irresponsible not to speculate why. 😉

  27. Lew 28

    PB: Classic.

    You should write John Key’s 113th Dream.

    L

  28. Graeme 29

    As with the Hollow Men, National is spreading rumours that Hager has somehow ‘stolen’ National emails. Not only is that claim baseless (the Police concluded there was no theft)

    The police concluded there was no hacking, not that there was no theft.

    I was going to copy the bits in the police release (to which you link!) that indicated they believed there was actual theft, but that basically would have been the whole thing. There were around a dozen.

    But let’s just note this particular extract, in which they explicitly state that they have sufficient evidence to prove that there was a theft:

    The investigation established that e-mails created between October 2003 and November 2005 had been stolen from the ownership of Dr Brash but found no evidence of any thefts since November 2005.

    [yes but a leak by someone other than Brash would count as a theft in this language. The Police found no evidence of an external ‘theif’ it was a National party leak. SP]

  29. Ari 30

    Is it a theft if someone authorised to take them takes them and gives them to someone not authorised to have them? Generally we call that a leak, and it’s a time-honoured journalistic tradition.

    Fact remains, there is no good evidence that the emails were taken by someone not authorised to take them.

  30. Graeme 31

    Ari – that is not theft. And the police know that that is not theft.

    The fact remains that police have not publicly released the evidence that led them to conclude in their investigation that “emails … had been stolen.” However, that is not the same as there being no good evidence that the emails were taken by someone not authorised to take them. If there was no good evidence one would like to think the police wouldn’t have jumped to such a conclusion – least of all mentioned it nearly a dozen times in their media release.

  31. Matthew Pilott 32

    The fact remains that police have not publicly released the evidence that led them to conclude in their investigation that “emails had been stolen.’

    Well there is evidence – they were in someone else’s posession! I don’t know enough to comment as to whether that’s grounds for the police statements Graeme quoted above, but you’d assume not.

    As Graeme said, the police know what is an is not theft – but someone in posession of something could be judged to constitute evidence of theft, even though it may have been as the result of a (very carefully concealed) leak!

  32. Ari 33

    Graeme- I know it’s not theft. That was kind of my point 😉 Maybe I need more smileys!

    As for the rest- I’ll need to look into that really, but I really don’t recall hearing anything about any suspicious evidence leading them to believe it was a theft- just that the word theft was being thrown around unjustified. While I’m sure the police are intimately familiar with what’s a theft and what’s not, I’m not trusting any conclusion I haven’t made myself, as the alleged victims are not exactly people I trust to be honest. (few MPs are, sadly)

    Well there is evidence – they were in someone else’s posession! I don’t know enough to comment as to whether that’s grounds for the police statements Graeme quoted above, but you’d assume not.

    Emails can be copied without any loss of originals. Someone having an email you don’t want them to have is about as much proof of theft as someone having a poem you wrote that you didn’t give directly to them- xeroxes, cut and paste, it makes the concept of “theft” of information a little silly in some ways. I think you actually need to come out with some decent evidence of physical break-in/trespassing to call something a theft.

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    4 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    4 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    4 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    5 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    6 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 weeks ago

  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
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