Journalists react to attack on media freedom

Written By: - Date published: 3:33 pm, March 13th, 2008 - 58 comments
Categories: Media, national, slippery - Tags: , ,

freedom_ot_press_01.jpg Yesterday in Parliament, Winston Peters tabled a letter of protest from the Herald journalists’ chapel to APN chief executive Martin Simons.

The letter related to Simons’ meeting with John Key to draft a ‘clarification’ for the Bay Report’s quote of Key saying he “would love to see wages drop.” The Bay Report was then forced to run this ‘clarification’ despite the paper’s staunch backing of the story at all levels. The Herald journalists’ letter reads:

Dear Mr Simons,

I am writing to express the concern of the Herald Journalists Chapel over the “clarification” published in yesterday’s Bay Report newspaper.

We understand that the item, regarding comments attributed to John Key in the December 20, 2007 edition of the paper, was inserted on your instructions.

It is not necessary here to traverse the facts of the original news article or the need or otherwise for the clarification.

Our concern arises from your management interference in an editorial decision of a newspaper. Our concern is heightened by the fact that your action was on behalf of a political party. We clearly have no objection to your conversing or corresponding with politicians. Our concern is that you have acted as the conduit for an approach which ought properly to have been made to the reporter and/or editor/s concerned. It might have seemed a small matter since the paper concerned is a local one. However, the potential effect is to portray all New Zealand newspapers owned by APN as subservient to political interference. The risk is that readers will perceive the Herald, which has previously carefully guarded its political independence, as open to National Party influence.

We would appreciate hearing your view on this matter and ask that in future you respect the tradition of editorial independence.

We are circulating this letter to other journalists at the Herald and within the union because of the widespread concern among journalists about the matter.

It’s one thing for a politician to contact a journalist or an editor if they feel they’ve been treated unfairly, but to get management to interfere in the editorial process is completely out of line. APN management have overstepped the mark too. It is a gross breach of media freedom for a proprietor to decide to kill a story because it upsets a political ally, and worse to gag journalists when they object.

The Herald’s journalists deserve to be congratulated for standing up to their management in support of media freedom.

58 comments on “Journalists react to attack on media freedom ”

  1. I wonder what the free speech coalition (aka fat tory boys for plutocracy) think about this?

  2. r0b 2

    To the authors of this letter – bravo. After all the misguided fuss about freedom of speech last year, here we have an actual genuine issue. A reporter and editor appear to have been silenced by the APN management after political pressure from John Key.

    Everyone who spoke up so vigourously for free speech last year should speak up again on this issue! Except – ummm – The Herald, obviously – since in this case their management is the party gagging journalists. Oh the irony.

  3. Patrick 3

    Wow, this is incredible. Congratulations to The Standard crew and the authors of this letter, for sticking to their guns. This is very unjust and is a story that deserves to be told.

  4. out of bed 4

    First they came for the journalists

  5. Ari 5

    It’s nice to see someone in the Herald actually understands what Freedom of Speech is about.

  6. The risk is that readers will perceive the Herald (…) as open to National Party influence.

    Wot – is he trying to say the Herald isn’t the publishing arm of the National Party? I find that difficult to believe…

  7. Benodic 7

    John Boscawen’s just released on this in support of the journalists.

  8. higherstandard 8

    Two comments

    – It is not surprising, to me at least, that the Herald chapel (EPMU) is giving this legs

    – Do you realise that many people of the centre when they first visit this sight will see your cartoons and consign the site to the extreme left and leave rather than reading the posts.

    Out of bed suggest you go back for a nap

  9. insider 9

    I don’t think it is good the management interfered. It’s not usual, particularly in NZ where we don’t have aligned papers and interfering proprietors in the Maxwell, Black and Murdoch mould.

    However, they do own the paper and ultimately have the right to decide what does and doesn’t get printed, and will bear any financial penalty or reward. Do you want to deny them their ownership right?

  10. Benodic 10

    Just kidding. John Boscawen’s nowhere to be seen. He stands for freedom of capital not freedom of speech, just like our friend Insider.

  11. mike 11

    Good grief. You have to laugh, of course the “Herald journalists chapel” is going to try and smear National.
    Did the FOC blow a whistle and shout “everybody out trouble at mill…

  12. out of bed 12

    HS it was a tongue in cheek comment

  13. Phil 13

    “He stands for freedom of capital not freedom of speech”

    Any particular reason why you can’t stand for both? I sure do…

  14. Tane 14

    However, they do own the paper and ultimately have the right to decide what does and doesn’t get printed, and will bear any financial penalty or reward. Do you want to deny them their ownership right?

    In a democracy the news media does not exist to line the pockets of its corporate owners. Freedom of the press is about journalists having the right to challenge power, not about the right of the powerful to silence journalists.

  15. higherstandard 15

    Out of bed ….. so was mine

  16. Tane 16

    “He stands for freedom of capital not freedom of speech’
    Any particular reason why you can’t stand for both? I sure do

    Sometimes these two interests intersect, sometimes they don’t. That’s hardly controversial. From what I’ve seen of Boscawen he stands purely for the former but uses the latter for PR reasons.

  17. insider 17

    “In a democracy the news media does not exist to line the pockets of its corporate owners.”

    So why would a company bother owning such business? Why do we have ads and reality programmes on TVNZ? WHy isn’t the media operated by a series of altruistic, unpaid collectives?

  18. Mike, HS – Journalists who are members of the EPMU are very aware of the potential for conflict of interest and very careful to avoid it. I should know, I used to be one of them when I was a journo – it’s a shame that partisan hacks like O’Sullivan don’t have similar integrity.

    On the matter of the letter, my mate at the herald told me they were very clear they wanted it to stay as an internal document so they would not be seen as politicising a media-freedom issue – I considered putting it on my blog but decided not to based on that discussion. I would guess that someone at the Listener would have passed it onto Russell Brown (the first person to publish it).

  19. Tane 19

    So why would a company bother owning such business? Why do we have ads and reality programmes on TVNZ? WHy isn’t the media operated by a series of altruistic, unpaid collectives?

    Um, because we live in a capitalist society? But in case you hadn’t noticed, we also live in a democracy, and in our democracy there are conventions that proprietors do not interfere in the editorial processes of their news outlets in order to protect the right of journalists to report the news freely. Again, this is hardly controversial.

  20. Steve Pierson 20

    HS. “Do you realise that many people of the centre when they first visit this sight will see your cartoons and consign the site to the extreme left and leave rather than reading the posts.”

    but it’s got pretty colours

  21. insider 21

    Tane

    Incidentally, the concept of freedom of the press does not exist for the benefit of journalists. To say “Freedom of the press is about journalists having the right to challenge power” is a particularly arrogant, media centric view of the universe. Fortunately it is not one that I have actually encountered from journalists, although the antics of some popular broadcasters probably comes close.

    Media freedom is there to benefit you and me as the media are seen as proxies of the people. Media get benefits from this but it is not done for them in their own right, it springs from your right and mine to access and disseminate information that is in the public interest.

  22. Steve Pierson 22

    insider. did you read that in a book on media theory? cause if you did, Tane might be the one who wrote it.

  23. it springs from your right and mine to access and disseminate information that is in the public interest.

    Good point insider but how do you reconcile that with your support of the political interference at the Herald?

  24. insider 24

    Steve

    Well if he did I would be concerned, because he has in just a few posts moved media freedom from seemingly a right to only a convention, which doesn’t imply a good grasp of the subject (no offense Tane _ I just don’t agree with your analysis).

    If you are trying to allude that he has some professional standing, I think he undid that with his phrase on power I critiqued above, which was a political statement more than an academic one.

  25. Tane 25

    Insider, clearly I was not saying media freedom exists purely for the benefit of journalists. The public benefits from journalists being free to report the news – I thought that was obvious from my comments.

    My point stands: if our democracy is to function properly then journalists need to be free to report the news free of managerial interference. My right to a free press trumps APN’s property rights any day of the week.

  26. r0b 26

    In a democracy the news media does not exist to line the pockets of its corporate owners.

    Sadly, I have to disagree with you there Tane. It shouldn’t be that way, but it all too often is. Let’s consider…

    Freedom of the press is about journalists having the right to challenge power, not about the right of the powerful to silence journalists.

    That’s the ideal end of the spectrum. Insider states the pure capitalist’s end of the spectrum:

    Insider: However, they do own the paper and ultimately have the right to decide what does and doesn’t get printed, and will bear any financial penalty or reward. Do you want to deny them their ownership right?

    So those are the two extremes (1) freedom of the press is a fundamental cornerstone of democracy, vs (2) freedom of the press applies to everyone that owns one (Rupert Murdoch decides what’s news).

    In the real world societies get media that lie somewhere in between these extremes – in short societies get the media that they put up with.

    I believe that for NZ society, this case (Key and the APN gagging a journalist) has crossed the line. I don’t think we want a society where political interference in a journalist’s right to speak is OK. And I think that we should speak up about it.

  27. insider 27

    Sod

    Go back and you will see I said I ddin’t like it and it was unusual. But I also recognise that it is the ultimate right of an owner to do what they want with their assets.

    Are you proposing that that principle should change?

  28. Tane 28

    Insider, you seem agitated. Just to put your mind at ease, I’m not an academic. Steve was joking.

    Regarding whether freedom of journalists from managerial interference is a right or a convention, it is both a right and a convention because the two are not the same thing.

    I view it as a human right for journalists to report the news freely and for citizens to have their news unfiltered by corporate interests. So do others, and so there is a convention that media owners should not interfere in the editorial affairs of their news outlets.

    Pretty simple really.

  29. Tane 29

    “In a democracy the news media does not exist to line the pockets of its corporate owners.” Sadly, I have to disagree with you there Tane. It shouldn’t be that way, but it all too often is.

    Agreed r0b, I was talking about the ideal role of media in a democracy and what we should expect from it, not about how media companies actually behave. Believe me, I could tell you a few stories.

  30. insider 30

    rob

    Generally I’d agree but I’m not sure if they are both extremes of the same continuum. # 1 is not an extreme at all. Much of our society functions around that assumption. I’d see the extremes as being : proprietors have no right to editorial input and journalists have no right to expect independence from proprietor pressure.

    In the UK you have a long history of intereference but that is balanced by the diversity of media. We don’t have that which is why proprietor interference is generally bad, but denying that they have the right is naive.

    Tane

    I was surprised at what you originally said. Suffice to say if I thought you had meant what you subsequently said, I would not have picked you up on it.

  31. insider 31

    Not agitated at all Tane. I think we are agreeing more than disagreeing.

  32. Steve Pierson 32

    insider. it’s not the ultimate right of an owner to do whatever they like with their property. this is not some libertarian wet-dream we’re living in. ownership is created, defined and constrained by a system of laws and right both legal and moral.

    I shouldn’t have to spell this out in extreme examples but I will, and no doubt you will say i’m being weird for comparing these extreme exmaples to the present case, which I’m clearly not doing. Anyway, i do not have the right to starve to death a dog I own, I do not have the right to produce nuclear devices in my factory if I choose. why? because my ownership of these assets is not a right to do whatsoever I please with them.

    the right of journalists to report to the public free of political interference by politicans and their owners is a moral right within our society that ought to and usually does constrain interference by media owners in the day to day operations of journalists working in their organisations.

  33. Insider – when it comes to the media then yes. There are plenty of limits on property rights that are there for the public good. APN cannot, for example, extend its buildings without consent. They cannot remove the brakes from their fleet and legally drive them on the roads. A free media is a public good. As a nation we allow APN to profit from providing this media but should be able to censure it when it gets involved in direct political manipulation of our news.

  34. r0b 34

    Believe me, I could tell you a few stories.

    Maybe I’ll get to hear them one day…

  35. Brownie 35

    Being a leftie, I gotta say that if this is true (and I await Simons response), I would be bloody disappointed. No matter what our affiliations, the press should remain free of interferance.

    Lets await the evidence and subsequent responses.

  36. Don’t you mean “rightie”? Or can I welcome you into the fold of the good and the great…?

  37. insider 37

    Please uncle Tane, please tell us a story now. Pleeeaaase!

  38. Scribe 38

    rOb,

    I enjoyed our discussion on this topic last week, even though we disagreed. And, as I said at the time, if the Herald journos were concerned, this letter was necessary.

    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=1323#comment-22147

  39. Brownie 39

    lol! Sod – was a “slippery mistake!”

    Rightie absolutely!

  40. Damn – I thought we’d converted one! Are you sure? You’re not just feeling a little bit lefter than before? Just a little?

  41. Occasional Observer 41

    What an astonishing coincidence. The EPMU releases a letter criticising the Herald, and the Standard are the first people to get hold of it!

    Could it possibly be that the same people who wrote the letter, also wrote the Standard?

    Could the journalist whose impartiality the Standard has championed be the same journalist who is a high profile Labour Party member, and whose father stood twice as a Labour Party candidate?

  42. James Kearney 42

    The letter was posted by Russell Brown on three days ago.
    http://publicaddress.net/system/topic,991,hard_news_call_it_what_you_like.sm

    It was also raised by Winston Peters in the house today.

    You’re a conspiracist OO.

  43. James Kearney 43

    Oops this is the proper link.
    http://publicaddress.net/system/topic,991,hard_news_call_it_what_you_like.sm?p=44324#post44324

    I just had another read of your comment. Are you also saying the journalist chapel at the Herald writes the standard? What a strange accusation.

  44. Wayne 44

    Observor. The EPMU didn’t release the letter criticising the Herald – it was written by the Herald journalists themselves and released by the chapel. Where do you get your facts from?

  45. James Kearney 45

    Wayne- OO is another National party troll. I don’t know why he’s still allowed to post here.

  46. r0b 46

    rOb, I enjoyed our discussion on this topic last week, even though we disagreed. And, as I said at the time, if the Herald journos were concerned, this letter was necessary.

    Scribe – me too. It’s great to have someone who has identified themselves as a journalist commenting on these issues. I wonder if there are any other journos lurking who want to come out?

  47. randal 47

    the truth is independent of ownership and management but I suppose in this post modern age the truth is either what you say it is or what you pay for it…

  48. Now Wnston’s stealin’ ma material!

  49. I just had another read of your comment. Are you also saying the journalist chapel at the Herald writes the standard? What a strange accusation.

    Precisely. I write the Standard, usually after a few drinks. Didn’t everybody know?

    [lprent: are you sure? I thought I had a list here somewhere…. Somewhere under this GUI code :)]

  50. Yeah – I do my best work after a couple too…

  51. Dean 51

    I love how you got the Key quote in there.

    I think it’s time you got a different drum to beat, though. Unless you think it was more than Key being, as usual, tongue tied, in which case you need something a little stronger.

  52. Dean 52

    “I shouldn’t have to spell this out in extreme examples but I will, and no doubt you will say i’m being weird for comparing these extreme exmaples to the present case, which I’m clearly not doing. Anyway, i do not have the right to starve to death a dog I own, I do not have the right to produce nuclear devices in my factory if I choose. why? because my ownership of these assets is not a right to do whatsoever I please with them.”

    Yeah, I don’t think you get property rights at all. Much the same as you didn’t get the chart you posted a few days ago about corporate tax rates.

    This blog is by and large written by people of reasonable common sense, but I sense you have a long way to go to compare to their abilities.

  53. Craig Ranapia 53

    Oh dear… Winston the great defender of a free press — unless they’ve got the utter gall to accurately report his own statements, in which case they’re liars and traitors. I’ve got to give kudos to Fran O’Sullivan for calling Winnie’s bluff, and it would be nice if the rest of the Press Gallery would actually do the same to Peters.

  54. Ari 54

    Dean: I don’t see how you come to that conclusion at all.

    Property rights must be constrained by justice, because they can only be understood as resulting from it. Therefore no property right allows you to illegitimately undermine society or violate human rights.

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    Early in the COVID-19 days, the Boris Johnson government pressed a Big Red Button marked: act immediately, never mind about the paperwork.Their problem was: not having enough PPE gear for all the hospital and emergency staff. Their solution was to expedite things and get them the gear ASAP.This, along with ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Of Pensioners and Student Loans: An Indictment on New Zealand
    Up until 1989, you could attend a New Zealand University, and never need to pay a cent for your education. That then changed, of course. The sadists of the Fourth Labour Government introduced substantial fees for study, never having had to pay a cent for their own education. The even ...
    3 days ago
  • Putting children first
    Ele Ludemann writes –  Minister for Children Karen Chhour is putting children first: Hon KAREN CHHOUR: I move, That the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the bill. It’s a privilege ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Te Pati Maori go personal
    David Farrar writes –  Newshub reports:    Applause and cheers erupted in the House on Wednesday afternoon as Children’s Minister Karen Chhour condemned Te Pāti Māori’s insults about her upbringing. Chhour, who grew up in state care, is repealing section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act – sparking uproar from ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Threads of Corruption
    I could corrupt youIt would be uglyThey could sedate youBut what good would drugs be?Good Morning all,Today there’s a guest newsletter from Gerard Otto (G). By which I mean I read his post this morning and he has kindly allowed me to share it with you.If you don’t already I ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • The days fly by
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Aotearoa, you’re being dismantled… so take the blinkers off and start talking honestly about it.
    Is the solution to any of the serious, long term issues we all have to face as a nation, because many governments of all stripes we can probably all admit if we’re deeply truthful with ourselves haven’t done near enough work at the very times they should have, to basically ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Has Labour Abandoned the Welfare State They Created in 1938?
    The 2018 Social Security Act suggests that Labour may have retreated to the minimalist (neo-liberal) welfare state which has developed out of the Richardson-Shipley ‘redesign’. One wonders what Michael Joseph Savage, Peter Fraser and Walter Nash would have thought of the Social Security Act passed by the Ardern Labour Government ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: MPs’ financial interests under scrutiny
    MPs are supposed to serve the public interest, not their own self-interest. And according to the New Zealand Parliament’s website, democracy and integrity are tarnished whenever politicians seek to enrich themselves or the people they are connected with. For this reason, the Parliament has a “Register of Pecuniary Interests” in ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Mastering FLICC – A Cranky Uncle themed quiz
    By now, most of you will have heard about the FLICC taxonomy of science denial techniques and how you can train your skills in detecting them with the Cranky Uncle game. If you like to quickly check how good you are at this already, answer the 12 quiz questions in the ...
    5 days ago
  • Shane Jones has the zeal, sure enough, but is too busy with his mining duties (we suspect) to be ava...
    Buzz from the Beehive The hacks of the Parliamentary Press Gallery have been able to chip into a rich vein of material on the government’s official website over the past 24 hours. Among the nuggets is the speech by Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and a press statement to announce ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Cut the parliamentary term
    When Labour was in power, they wasted time, political capital, and scarce policy resources on trying to extend the parliamentary term to four years, in an effort to make themselves less accountable to us. It was unlikely to fly, the idea having previously lost two referendums by huge margins - ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • More terrible media ethics
    David Farrar writes – The Herald reports: When Whanau Ora chief executive John Tamihere was asked what his expectations for the Budget next Thursday were, he said: “All hope is lost.” Last year Whānau Ora was allocated $163.1 million in the Budget to last for the next four years ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Bringing our democracy into disrepute
    On Monday the government introduced its racist bill to eliminate Māori represntation in local government to the House. They rammed it through its first reading yesterday, and sent it to select committee. And the select committee has just opened submissions, giving us until Wednesday to comment on it. Such a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The censors who’ll save us from ourselves… yeah right!
    Nick Hanne writes – There’s a common malady suffered by bureaucracies the world over. They wish to save us from ourselves. Sadly, NZ officials are no less prone to exhibiting symptoms of this occupational condition. Observe, for instance, the reaction from certain public figures to the news ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • The case for commissioners to govern the capital city
    Peter Dunne writes – As the city of Tauranga prepares to elect a new Mayor and Council after three and a half years being run by government-appointed Commissioners, the case for replacing the Wellington City Council with Commissioners strengthens. The Wellington City Council has been dysfunctional for years, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Thoughts about contemporary troubles.
    This will be s short post. It stems from observations I made elsewhere about what might be characterised as some macro and micro aspects of contemporary collective violence events. Here goes. The conflicts between Israel and Palestine and France and … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On Blurring The Lines Around Political Corruption
    It may be a relic of a previous era of egalitarianism, but many of us like to think that, in general, most New Zealanders are as honest as the day is long. We’re good like that, and smart as. If we’re not punching above our weight on the world stage, ...
    5 days ago
  • MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Bryce Edwards writes – Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • King Mike & Mike King.
    I built a time machine to see you againTo hear your phone callYour voice down the hallThe way we were back thenWe were dancing in the rainOur feet on the pavementYou said I was your second headI knew exactly what you meantIn the country of the blind, or so they ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The register published on Tuesday contains a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • How much climate reality can the global financial system take without collapsing?
    Microsoft’s transparency about its failure to meet its own net-zero goals is creditable, but the response to that failure is worrying. It is offering up a set of false solutions, heavily buttressed by baseless optimism. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 24-May-2024
    Another Friday, another Rāmere Roundup! Here are a few things that caught our eye this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, our new writer Connor Sharp roared into print with a future-focused take on the proposed Auckland Future Fund, and what it could invest in. On ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Earning The Huia Feather.
    Still Waiting: Māori land remains in the hands of Non-Māori. The broken promises of the Treaty remain broken. The mana of the tangata whenua languishes under racist neglect. The right to wear the huia feather remains as elusive as ever. Perhaps these three transformations are beyond the power of a ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, May 24
    Posters opposing the proposed Fast-Track Approvals legislation were pasted around Wellington last week. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: One of the architects of the RMA and a former National Cabinet Minister, Simon Upton, has criticised the Government’s Fast-Track Approvals bill as potentially disastrous for the environment, arguing just 1% ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to May 24
    There was less sharing of the joy this week than at the Chinese New Year celebrations in February. China’s ambassador to NZ (2nd from right above) has told Luxon that relations between China and New Zealand are now at a ‘critical juncture’ Photo: Getty / Xinhua News AgencyTL;DR: The podcast ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Beijing troubleshooter’s surprise visit
    The importance of New Zealand’s relationship with China was surely demonstrated yesterday with the surprise arrival in the capital of top Chinese foreign policy official Liu Jianchao. The trip was apparently organized a week ago but kept secret. Liu is the Minister of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) International Liaison ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • UK election a foregone conclusion?  That’s why it’s interesting
    With a crushing 20-plus point lead in the opinion polls, all the signs are that Labour leader Keir Starmer will be the PM after the general election on 4 July, called by Conservative incumbent Rishi Sunak yesterday. The stars are aligned for Starmer.  Rival progressives are in abeyance: the Liberal-Democrat ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2021
    Open access notables How much storage do we need in a fully electrified future? A critical review of the assumptions on which this question depends, Marsden et al., Energy Research & Social Science: Our analysis advances the argument that current approaches reproduce interpretations of normality that are, ironically, rooted in ...
    6 days ago
  • Days in the life
    We returned last week from England to London. Two different worlds. A quarter of an hour before dropping off our car, we came to a complete stop on the M25. Just moments before, there had been six lanes of hurtling cars and lorries. Now, everything was at a standstill as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Forget about its name and focus on its objective – this RMA reform bill aims to cut red tape (and ...
    Buzz from the Beehive A triumvirate of ministers – holding the Agriculture, Environment and RMA Reform portfolios – has announced the introduction of legislation “to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling development in key sectors”, such as farming, mining and other primary industries. The exact name of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • More National corruption
    In their coalition agreement with NZ First, the National Party agreed to provide $24 million in funding to the charity "I Am Hope / Gumboot Friday". Why were they so eager to do so? Because their chair was a National donor, their CEO was the son of a National MP ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Submit!
    The Social Services and Community Committee has called for submissions on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Wednesday, 3 July 2024, and can be made at the link above. And if you're wondering what to say: section 7AA was enacted because Oranga Tamariki ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Reading the MPS numbers thinking about the fiscal situation
    Michael Reddell writes –  The Reserve Bank doesn’t do independent fiscal forecasts so there is no news in the fiscal numbers in today’s Monetary Policy Statement themselves. The last official Treasury forecasts don’t take account of whatever the government is planning in next week’s Budget, and as the Bank notes ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Charter Schools are a worthwhile addition to our school system – but ACT is mis-selling why they a...
    Rob MacCulloch writes – We know the old saying, “Never trust a politician”, and the Charter School debate is a good example of it. Charter Schools receive public funding, yet “are exempt from most statutory requirements of traditional public schools, including mandates around .. human capital management .. curriculum ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Paranoia On The Left.
    How Do We Silence Them? The ruling obsession of the contemporary Left is that political action undertaken by individuals or groups further to the right than the liberal wings of mainstream conservative parties should not only be condemned, but suppressed.WEB OF CHAOS, a “deep dive into the world of disinformation”, ...
    6 days ago
  • Budget challenges
    Muriel Newman writes –  As the new Government puts the finishing touches to this month’s Budget, they will undoubtedly have had their hands full dealing with the economic mess that Labour created. Not only was Labour a grossly incompetent manager of the economy, but they also set out ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Rishi calls an Election.
    Today the British PM, Rishi Sunak, called a general election for the 4th of July. He spoke of the challenging times and of strong leadership and achievements. It was as if he was talking about someone else, a real leader, rather than he himself or the woeful list of Tory ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Photo of the Day: GNR
    This post marks the return of an old format: Photo of the Day. Recently I was in an apartment in one of those new buildings on Great North Road Grey Lynn at rush hour, perfect day, the view was stunning, so naturally I whipped out my phone: GNR 5pm Turns ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    6 days ago
  • Choosing landlords and the homeless over first home buyers
    The Government may struggle with the political optics of scrapping assistance for first home buyers while also cutting the tax burden on landlords, increasing concerns over the growing generational divide. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government confirmed it will dump first home buyer grants in the Budget next ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Orr’s warning; three years of austerity
    Yesterday, the Reserve Bank confirmed there will be no free card for the economy to get out of jail during the current term of the Government. Regardless of what the Budget next week says, we are in for three years of austerity. Over those three years, we will have to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • An admirable U-turn
    It doesn’t inspire confidence when politicians change their minds.  But you must give credit when a bad idea is dropped. Last year, we reported on the determination of British PM Rishi Sunak to lead the world in regulating the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. Perhaps he changed his mind after meeting ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Can we really suck up Carbon Dioxide?
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Is carbon dioxide removal - aka "negative emissions" - going to save us from climate change? Or is it just a ...
    7 days ago

  • Government improves mass arrival management
    The Government has strengthened settings for managing a mass arrival, with the passing of the Immigration (Mass Arrivals) Amendment Bill today.  “While we haven’t experienced a mass arrival event in New Zealand, it is an ongoing possibility which would have a significant impact on our immigration and court systems,” Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Super Fund to get more investment opportunities
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis has welcomed the passage of legislation giving the New Zealand Superannuation Fund a wider range of investment opportunities. The New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income (Controlling Interests) Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. “The bill removes a section in the original act that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Crown and iwi settle three decades of negotiations
    Three decades of negotiations between iwi and the Crown have been settled today as the Whakatōhea Claims Settlement Bill passes its third reading in Parliament, Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “While no settlement can fully compensate for the Crown’s past injustices, this settlement will support the aspirations and prosperity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New Zealand to support PNG landslide response
    New Zealand will support Papua New Guinea’s response to the devastating landslide in Enga Province, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have announced.   “Ever since learning of the horrendous landslide on Friday, New Zealand has been determined to play our part in assisting Papua New Guinea’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Government to consult on regulation of shooting clubs and ranges
      The Government is consulting New Zealanders on a package of proposals for simple and effective regulation of shooting clubs and ranges, Associate Minister of Justice, Nicole McKee announced today.   “Clubs and ranges are not only important for people learning to operate firearms safely, to practice, and to compete, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Successful New Caledonia repatriation winds up, need for dialogue remains
    Over 300 people have been successfully flown out of New Caledonia in a joint Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) operation.   As of today, seven New Zealand government aircraft flights to Nouméa have assisted around 225 New Zealanders and 145 foreign nationals ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Minister to Singapore for defence, technology talks
    Defence and Science, Innovation and Technology Minister Judith Collins departs for Singapore tomorrow for defence and technology summits and meetings. First up is the Asia Tech X Singapore Summit, followed by the Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers Meeting and wrapping up with the Shangri-La Dialogue for Defence Ministers from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major investment in teacher supply through Budget 24
    Over the next four years, Budget 24 will support the training and recruitment of 1,500 teachers into the workforce, Education Minister Erica Stanford announced today. “To raise achievement and develop a world leading education system we’re investing nearly $53 million over four years to attract, train and retain our valued ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Joint statement on the New Zealand – Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum – 2024
    1.  New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters; Minister of Health and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Dr Shane Reti; and Minister for Climate Change Hon Simon Watts hosted Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Hon Tingika Elikana and Minister of Health Hon Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown on 24 May ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Middle East, Africa deployments extended
    The Government has approved two-year extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change Commission Chair to retire
    The Climate Change Commission Chair, Dr Rod Carr, has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of his term later this year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “Prior to the election, Dr Carr advised me he would be retiring when his term concluded. Dr Rod Carr has led ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Inaugural Board of Integrity Sport & Recreation Commission announced
    Nine highly respected experts have been appointed to the inaugural board of the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, Sport & Recreation Minister Chris Bishop says. “The Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is a new independent Crown entity which was established under the Integrity Sport and Recreation Act last year, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • A balanced Foreign Affairs budget
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
    New social housing funding in Budget 2024 will ensure the Government can continue supporting more families into warm, dry homes from July 2025, Housing Ministers Chris Bishop and Tama Potaka say. “Earlier this week I was proud to announce that Budget 2024 allocates $140 million to fund 1,500 new social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government welcomes EPA decision
    The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.  “The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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