National is focused on the issues that matter to Kiwis

Written By: - Date published: 9:22 am, March 7th, 2021 - 39 comments
Categories: censorship, making shit up, national, same old national, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Over in the US of A the Senate has just passed Biden’s Covid stimulus bill.  The bill, which allows for stimulus payments of $1.9 trillion and which provides welcome although very modest payments to American citizens, was opposed at every turn by the Republicans, even though it had overwhelming public support.

Instead of concentrating exclusively on the budget Republicans went all cancel culture on it after news broke that the estate owning the rights of Dr Seuss’s books had decided not to continue printing six of them.

Esquire has the details:

On March 2, the nation’s annual Read Across America Day (a holiday once synonymous with Dr. Seuss, designated on this date to honor his birthday), Dr. Seuss Enterprises released an unexpected statement. The venerable author’s estate announced that it has decided to end publication and licensure of six books by Theodor Seuss Geisel, including his first book under his celebrated pen name, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (published in 1937), and If I Ran the Zoo (published in 1950). “These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” the statement read, alluding to their appalling racial and ethnic stereotypes.

The estate’s decision prompted days of relentless cable news coverage from Fox News, as well as cries about “cancel culture” from prominent conservatives, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who accused Democrats of “outlawing Dr. Seuss” on the House floor. Sales of Seuss’ most-beloved books skyrocketed amid the discourse, topping Amazon and Barnes and Noble’s online bestseller charts throughout the week. Meanwhile, copies of the now-discounted books soared in price, with resellers listing those titles for up to $500 on eBay.

When you look at the books they have some content which was really out there, acceptable perhaps back in the 1940s and 1950s but no longer acceptable now.  So a decision to no longer print the books is not something that should attract controversy.

But clearly the chance to yell “cancel culture” at the top of their lungs and perhaps divert attention away from their refusal to support ordinary Americans proved to be too much.

And let us be clear, if it is not already exceedingly clear, the decision was made by private individuals and not by the Democratic Party.  Democrats were far too busy getting the budget passed to worry about 70 to 80 year old books with questionable ethnic stereotypes.

But what is really strange is that National Party MPs though this to be an issue worthy of public pronouncement.

From Caitlin Ellis in Stuff:

National MP for Taranaki-King Country Barbara Kuriger has come out in defence of the author, asking Facebook users to: “release the grudge, the hate, the rue, and embrace the hope of Cindy Lou.”

Kuriger says she copied the poem from a friend. The post beginning with: “Alas they’ve come for Dr Seuss, they wish to hang him with a noose. They claim his tales were racist bent, they judged him fast, missed what he meant.”

The post then goes on to name some of the author’s famous titles, none of which are going out of publication, and the important lessons to be learnt from them.

“But if we look inside his tales, you’ll find the balance of the scales. Remember when Horton heard a Who, and we heard the wisdom of the Lorax too.

“The lesson behind Green Eggs and Ham, that changed the mind of Sam I am.

“Remember to the rotten Grinch, who once would never give an inch. He taught us lessons, one and all, boys and girls, big and small. His impact was beyond compare, he taught us it was good to care.”

“So if you’ve judged his works as poor, you should re-read them, I implore,” the post continues.

I would implore Barbara Kuriger to read what Seuss’s estate said.  The books that were no longer going to be published were not the ones that she mentioned, they were six older books with more questionable content.  And they were not going to be banned, they were not going to be printed any more.

Not to be outdone Simon O’Connor called the estate representatives woke censors casting doubt on his comprehension skills as well as his choice of language.

If there is a political strategy behind this, and I doubt it, it is severely misplaced.  Thinking that Kiwis are going to buy into US conspiracy cult controversies is foolish.

Being in opposition is no fun and until you look coherent and focussed on a vision the electorate will ignore you.  Thankfully National shows no sign of changing.

39 comments on “National is focused on the issues that matter to Kiwis ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    I think it reflects the beliefs of the culture war evangelicals who are in ascendant in the National party. As such, it’ll play well with the base.

    The liberals in National were dumped en masse by their party and the electorate. The taint in the right wing's saidin left by the dark Cameron Slater and the rest of the dirty politics crew is poisoning the party.

  2. Muttonbird 2

    National Party pollster and probable advisor, David Farrar, believes there is legitimate political strategy behind this. Although, he is being uncharacteristically coy about it. Perhaps the focus groups are inconclusive.

    'Wokester', cancel culture issue a winner for National, says party pollster

    Farrar was speaking at Metro Nat drinks on Tuesday night at Wellington's Wellesley Boutique Hotel.

    According to people at the meeting, Farrar discussed cancel culture – the practice of ridding someone from public life for making inappropriate comments.

    An attendee said that Farrar believed cancel culture issues were a winner for the National Party.

    Farrar would not confirm or deny what was said at the meeting.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300243666/wokester-cancel-culture-issue-a-winner-for-national-says-party-pollster

    I'll never understand why these people have such a morbid fear of plain decency.

    • georgecom 2.1

      so that is a tacit admission by Farrar that nationals political strategy is not based on facts or reality but purely on emotive squawks and truth twisting.

  3. Adrian Thornton 3

    “acceptable perhaps back in the 1940s and 1950s but no longer acceptable now. So a decision to no longer print the books is not something that should attract controversy.”

    So if we use your logic, I guess Shakespeare is next on the list then…. when, where does it stop?

    Racism and Homophobia in "The Merchant of Venice"
    https://www.jstor.org/stable/30029881?seq=1

    The problem with you liberals is that you are so arrogant (just like the historical white master) that you actually seem to think that you have the right to reshape all of our collective history to suit some sort of contemporary vision and ideology that you believe in and you adhere to…the arrogance is fucking unbelievable.

    • woodart 3.1

      take a chill pill. as the column says(if you bothered to read all of it) the decisions were made by the authors representatives. by not accepting that fact, you are on your own little path to reshape collective history, . your arrogance in this matter is, as you claim of others, phucking unbelievable. however, all is not lost , ask any liberal where you can get banned books, and they will tell you to go to your nearest anarchists supply shop , where you can get out of season fireworks, 1% logo's, confederate flags, and all of the other rubbish that will show others, just how truly individual you are. if you get hold of jamileeross you can get some magic beans as well.

    • joe90 3.2

      Cos you're along for the ride.

      /

    • shanreagh 3.3

      Most/many people don't read Shakespeare to their 3-6 year old children. So the Shakespeare analogy is way off mark. We read Shakespeare when we are older, reading editions with foot notes, perhaps guided by teachers, lecturers who can explain the references and steer us through the seemingly, difficult bits about racism etc not being the views we have today.

      The Dr Seuss books are designed for a much, much younger audience, ones who often cannot read or who are early readers. They are incapable of independently searching on the Internet or understanding about casual racism etc in the 1950s or 60s. Read to children by tired parents, unable to spare the time doing online content searches etc on their children's books.

      The Seuss books fill a niche of rhyming books. But we have other rhyming books; even NZ rhyming books, many parents will be able to recite long extracts about Donaldson's dairy; or fill in under their breaths where they think Spot is now…..They may go to the library and get the later Dr Seuss books out

      When you look at the books they have some content which was really out there, acceptable perhaps back in the 1940s and 1950s but no longer acceptable now. So a decision to no longer print the books is not something that should attract controversy.

      The executors of the Estate have decided they do not want to publish the particular books anymore – a private decision. Presumably there was a monetary impact for the estate that they have borne in mind. That's all, finish, nothing about liberals, nothing about book banning or cancel culture. No impact on Shakespeare.

      The books that were no longer going to be published were not the ones that she (Barbara Kuriger's copied verse) mentioned, they were six older books with more questionable content. And they were not going to be banned, they were not going to be printed any more.

    • McFlock 3.4

      Some of Shakespeare's more dated passages have been quietly ommitted from productions for decades.

      But the good thing about him is that in most of his plays, even the bit parts were well-rounded. Shylock can be played as a racist caricature or as a sympathetic and tragic character using the same script. Marlowe's plays, on the other hand, not so much.

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    Have you seen the "not-for-books" art-work by Theodor Seuss Geisel?

    There's some really odd stuff in there!

    With regard Farrar's excitement about National using "woke" as a way to win the hearts of the public, I'd like to cite John Banks (ex-Magic Radio-talkback host) and Sean Plunkett (ex-Magic Radio-talkback host) both of whom recently affixed their stars to the "woke" wagon and fell off spectacularly satisfyingly 🙂

  5. joe90 6

    Remember when these idiots hated liberal attempts to indoctrinate kids.

    Apparently, The Secret World of Arrietty and Dr. Seuss' The Lorax represent liberal Hollywood’s attempt to indoctrinate children.

    The accusations from media personalities on the right were probably inevitable, given similar charges leveled at Cars 2, Happy Feet 2 and Muppets, where similar political themes are explored to one extent or another.

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/secret-world-of-arrietty-the-lorax-lou-dobbs-293977

  6. Ad 7

    Hmph. Never did me any harm.

    Berenstein Bears is next for propping up patriarchy.

  7. RedBaronCV 8

    I think the pushback should be fast against the wokster cancel culture outings by the nats.

    Starting with "doesn't your party have any policy?" so it's having to rely on this type of news outing to pointing out forcibly that the likes of John Banks have been holding the microphone for many decades now cancelling out the views of the rest of his generation (and a lot of others) who never even had a chance to hold the Mic.

    Gaining votes by stirring the grievances of those who are unable to share the power and the mic doesn't look good. Keep asking "can't you people share " as they assume they have a absolute right to the airwaves.

    • Sacha 8.1

      the pushback should be fast against the wokster cancel culture outings by the nats

      Sure, because what could possibly go wrong with letting their deranged remnants set the agenda? To the barricades that they have set up, comrades!

  8. Incognito 9

    I guess it’s not too late for National MPs to start a petition Save Winnie-the-Pooh!

  9. AB 10

    "Woke' is serving the same purpose that 'political correctness' did a generation ago – a generalised insult to any leftish or liberal policy, opinion, thought or attitude. Go back to 2008 and the outrage of National and their media proxies over energy-saving lightbulbs. Remember John Key plugging into that vibe by saying that he didn't want to be "told what to think" by Helen Clark. Both "woke" and "politically correct" are slurs that avoid the need to argue the detail, but are instantly recognised and validated by others in the same tribe. Every time a formerly dominant worldview receives pushback and begins to fray, the same sort of thing is likely to happen – it's a reactionary resistance to changing public values. I'm expecting it to be quite a successful strategy – but not as successful as 2008, when it was used against third-term government.

    This is not to say that there aren't difficult issues of freedom of speech. Cancel culture has always existed, and it has always been used by the powerful against the weak. We are hearing a lot about it now because of a slow power shift – those who used to dominate public discourse and through that effectively have the power to cancel others, are now (on rare occasions) finding themselves cancelled.

    In the case of the Dr Seuss books the publisher (and copyright owner) is simply making a financial decision based on their perception of their contemporary customers' values. It's a business decision played against the background of continuous social change – societies are changing all the time.

    • woodart 10.1

      how dare the owner of the books is making their own decisions! what right have they got?

  10. Drowsy M. Kram 11

    "Green Eggs and Ham" was one of my favorites. The message didn't stick (or maybe it did – I'm cautious when it comes to trying something new), but those extended rhyming sequences were such fun.

    And spare a thought for the ever-so-patient/persistent 'Sam-I-Am'.

    I could not, would not, on a boat.
    I will not, will not, with a goat.
    I will not eat them in the rain.
    I will not eat them on a train.
    Not in the dark! Not in a tree!
    Not in a car! You let me be!
    I do not like them in a box.
    I do not like them with a fox.
    I will not eat them in a house.
    I do not like them with a mouse.
    I do not like them here or there.
    I do not like them ANYWHERE!

    I do not like green egss and ham!

    I do not like them, Sam-I-Am.

  11. Stuart Munro 12

    As with all of these contentious decisions, the devil is in the details – which have not been provided for our consideration.

    The author is not alive to have his livelihood destroyed by the dubious moralists of the new Inquisition, and it seems that the popular titles have escaped the axe – for the moment.

    Which is probably just as well – the Dr Seuss books having had a greater positive effect on US literacy than probably any other author, including some very academically qualified ones.

    • Sacha 12.1

      Inquisition? The publishers made a commercial decision to stop publishing a handful of titles. Unclutch those pearls.

      • Stuart Munro 12.1.1

        If it were a standalone thing you might have a point. But it's not. Some of the decisions are sound, and some are not.

        Gina Carano got cancelled for way less than hate speech. Our politics are opposed, and I'm not a fan of her acting – but she was done dirty by wretched neopuritans. Fuck 'em.

        • I Feel Love 12.1.1.1

          She got cancelled? Oh ffs get a grip, she got sacked.

          • Stuart Munro 12.1.1.1.1

            she got sacked

            For her private opinions, which were far from hateful. She had become, as Bierce put it: the fundamental element in a cone of critics, not for her work of course, but for not kowtowing to a mob of vicious and unprincipled scalphunting trolls. Crucible stuff. Get a grip yourself.

            • arkie 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Earlier this month, the actress shared an Instagram story that compared "hating someone for their political views" to the treatment of Jewish people during the Holocaust.

              https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-56156005

              Yeah these things aren't comparable, it's pretty distasteful to equate them. Her employer is allowed to make commercial decisions, such as sacking her.

              • Stuart Munro

                I read her posts – they were well short of hate speech.

                But the pitiless assholes destroyed her career anyway – not because it was just, but because they could.

                Of course, I've seen such powers abused before, in other contexts.

                Pretty sure Rawiri Waitiri won’t get cancelled for “Pay them no attention, their archaic species is becoming more extinct as a new Aotearoa is on the rise.” Double standards in play.

                • arkie

                  It doesn’t have to be hate speech for an employer to make employment decisions. If it was hate speech then the law may be involved. This is capitalism, her false equivalence invoking the Holocaust affects the commerce of her employer and so they sacked her.

                  These powers may be ‘abused’ but that’s capitalism, the bosses make and enforce the rules and we must abide them if we wanna keep our jobs. The workplace is a dictatorship.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    I think you've chosen a broad version of hate speech.

                    If you mean to criminalize such behaviour you need to think about how it fits into rights and laws we currently have, including freedom of speech and conscience.

                    What you call hate speech in this instance is nothing more than a poorly chosen analogy.

                    I'd prefer to use a narrower definition of hate speech, that doesn't overturn centuries of enlightment values. Hate speech being that which incites or supports violence against minorities. Carano did nothing of the sort – but still got punished for it, by mob justice. Not a healthy precedent, and not one that makes minority communities safer.

                    • arkie

                      I never said what Carano said was hate speech. Read what I wrote and stop catastrophising.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      @Arkie Read what I wrote and stop catastrophising.

                      Do you know what, I'll make my own decisions on such matters, thank you very much.

                      Your views are not persuasive.

                    • arkie

                      Right, you're entitled to your views, but not your own reality. What I stated might not be "persuasive" but it is a statement of fact. Not endorsing it, just stating facts.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    You don't have the facts to save yourself.

                    You're merely so arrogant that you presume to preach to someone who doesn't subscribe to your beliefs.

                    Bad taste, and bad manners.

                    • arkie

                      Meanwhile someone conflating the industrialised genocide of the Nazis with the ire she receives being a conservative is worthy of your defence and outrage.

                      It's not my belief that employers can make employment decisions, it is the reality of capitalism.

                      Based on your performance here I would question your ability to determine what is good taste or manners.

    • Descendant Of Smith 12.2

      "his livelihood destroyed"

      It seems pretty clear the six titles chosen won't have a major impact on his income stream (not that it is his cause he is dead.) Besides if they didn't keep fucking around with copyright laws they would be out of it by now. Copyright laws were in part originally to ensure works entered the commons i.e. to restrict the ownership and behaviour of publishing companies.

      The original copyright laws in the US were 14 years then off to the commons it went.

      "It seems that the popular titles have escaped the axe – for the moment."

      Pretty sure the popular stories don't have caricatures of African Americans in them. That means there was neither an axe to escape nor a future moment.

      This stuff isn't even complicated.

  12. Populuxe1 14

    Yeah, but realistically it will probably work. The electorate will bridle at ambiguous law reforms around identity and hate speech. You have to bring the plebs along with you on the journey to enlightenment. You can't just shout at them.

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    This weekend, a friend pointed out someone who said they’d like to read my posts, but didn’t want to pay. And my first reaction was sympathy.I’ve already told folks that if they can’t comfortably subscribe, and would like to read, I’d be happy to offer free subscriptions. I don’t want ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • For the children – Why mere sentiment can be a misleading force in our lives, and lead to unex...

    National: The Party of ‘Law and Order’ IntroductionThis weekend, the Government formally kicked off one of their flagship policy programs: a military style boot camp that New Zealand has experimented with over the past 50 years. Cartoon credit: Guy BodyIt’s very popular with the National Party’s Law and Order image, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • A friend in uncertain times

    Day one of the solo leg of my long journey home begins with my favourite sound: footfalls in an empty street. 5.00 am and it’s already light and already too warm, almost.If I can make the train that leaves Budapest later this hour I could be in Belgrade by nightfall; ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • The Chaotic World of Male Diet Influencers

    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    6 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    6 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    6 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    7 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    1 week ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but important read. IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the Greens had egg on their faces. At the time, Christopher Luxon said ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    1 week ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Government moves to ensure flood protection for Wairoa

    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced his intention to appoint a Crown Manager to both Hawke’s Bay Regional and Wairoa District Councils to speed up the delivery of flood protection work in Wairoa."Recent severe weather events in Wairoa this year, combined with damage from Cyclone Gabrielle in 2023 have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • PM speech to Parliament – Royal Commission of Inquiry’s Report into Abuse in Care

    Mr Speaker, this is a day that many New Zealanders who were abused in State care never thought would come. It’s the day that this Parliament accepts, with deep sorrow and regret, the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.  At the heart of this report are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government acknowledges torture at Lake Alice

    For the first time, the Government is formally acknowledging some children and young people at Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital experienced torture. The final report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State and Faith-based Care “Whanaketia – through pain and trauma, from darkness to light,” was tabled in Parliament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government acknowledges courageous abuse survivors

    The Government has acknowledged the nearly 2,400 courageous survivors who shared their experiences during the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State and Faith-Based Care. The final report from the largest and most complex public inquiry ever held in New Zealand, the Royal Commission Inquiry “Whanaketia – through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Half a million people use tax calculator

    With a week to go before hard-working New Zealanders see personal income tax relief for the first time in fourteen years, 513,000 people have used the Budget tax calculator to see how much they will benefit, says Finance Minister Nicola Willis.  “Tax relief is long overdue. From next Wednesday, personal income ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Paid Parental Leave improvements pass first reading

    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden says a bill that has passed its first reading will improve parental leave settings and give non-biological parents more flexibility as primary carer for their child. The Regulatory Systems Amendment Bill (No3), passed its first reading this morning. “It includes a change ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Rebuilding the economy through better regulation

    Two Bills designed to improve regulation and make it easier to do business have passed their first reading in Parliament, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. The Regulatory Systems (Economic Development) Amendment Bill and Regulatory Systems (Immigration and Workforce) Amendment Bill make key changes to legislation administered by the Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • ‘Open banking’ and ‘open electricity’ on the way

    New legislation paves the way for greater competition in sectors such as banking and electricity, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly says. “Competitive markets boost productivity, create employment opportunities and lift living standards. To support competition, we need good quality regulation but, unfortunately, a recent OECD report ranked New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says lotteries for charitable purposes, such as those run by the Heart Foundation, Coastguard NZ, and local hospices, will soon be allowed to operate online permanently. “Under current laws, these fundraising lotteries are only allowed to operate online until October 2024, after which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

    The Coalition Government is accelerating work on the new four-lane expressway between Auckland and Whangārei as part of its Roads of National Significance programme, with an accelerated delivery model to deliver this project faster and more efficiently, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “For too long, the lack of resilient transport connections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

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