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National spams the Beehive

Written By: - Date published: 8:48 am, November 27th, 2017 - 90 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, bill english, David Farrar, democracy under attack, dpf, national, Parliament, Politics, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

Her Majesty’s opposition is doing what it said it would do and creating more tension and more pressure in Parliament for the Government.  Bill English said it was not National’s job to make Parliament run properly and the last week has shown that National is It has lodged a multitude of questions, 6,254 to be precise, through the parliamentary written question system.

MPs are clearly doing this to stress the system. Ministers’ offices with brand new or even skeletal staffing are meant to produce pristine responses in a short time frame to some pretty naff questions.  Like how many papers has the Minister has read in the past seven days.  Or how many phone calls did they make or receive in a three week period.

Each question needs to be considered properly and the relevant information needs to be screened to see if there are valid reasons to withhold any piece of the information.

It would be one thing if there was even a remote possibility that the questions would unearth information that would let the opposition do its job properly of holding the Government to account.  But so far the quality of questions is poor and apart from clogging the system up there appears to be no reason for the questions.  Even National’s pollster agrees that the  questions seem silly, and are over the top.

But National is complaining that Labour, and in particular Trevor Mallard did it too and asked 8,791 written questions in July 2010. He did but if you have a look at the questions many of them were discrete questions asking for the roles of each school and the expected total operational funding for each school.  It is easy to imagine what use the information could have been put to.

Besides even if National’s criticism is correct it does not justify their behaviour.  Labour did it too is the sort of excuse a primary school kid would use.  And if the behaviour is stupid it does not matter who is doing it.

The current batch of questions appear to be revenge for Labour fobbing off originally poorly drafted questions.  The system relies on sharp precise questions being asked.  But many of the original questions were in the form of “what reports, briefings, memos, meeting notes or aide memoires if any did the Minister receive between 23 October 2017 and 13 November 2017 by title and date”.  Talk about a fishing expedition.

If they want the information then they can use the Official Information Act.  Then in a more measured way their requests can be answered.  But using the short cut Parliamentary question system to clog up Ministers’ offices shows a complete disregard for the intent of the system.

And instead of the opposition trying to get its head around how for instance it should respond to the proposal that there should be a political consensus on how child poverty should be addressed it is designing scores of questions so that Ministerial staff are too busy answering stupid questions to doing anything meaningful.

If this keeps up it is going to be a long three years.

90 comments on “National spams the Beehive”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    National are down, and trying to get up. The best way to kick them back down again – and keep them there – is start passing the legislation needed to repair their malicious vandalism.

    Once a full accounting has occurred, there will be plenty of ways to expose this vandalism. The Prime Minister has already made reference to the school property portfolio and no doubt there are many other examples.

    The sooner the government realises that the National Party is the NZ equivalent of the Tea Party the better. Drag them screaming into the sunlight.

  2. alwyn 2

    Why don’t people who are actually interested in the facts read this item by Graeme Edgeler on his Legal Beagle blog.
    https://publicaddress.net/legalbeagle/questions-but-no-answers-with-thanks-to-david/
    It is, as is usual with Graeme, a reasonable and accurate review of the situation.
    Can you really justify the attitude of the current Ministers?
    Actually that is probably a silly question. The current Ministers can do anything they like because they are OURS.
    Idiots perhaps but still OURS.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Que? Edgeler appears to be agreeing that the system should be used for short concise questions and not fishing expeditions. And you ignore the fact that the various Ministers are just setting their offices up and do not necessarily have the staffing ability to answer hundreds of questions.

      • Matthew Whitehead 2.1.1

        No, my reading of Edgler’s position across blogs and twitter is that diaries should be proactively released and National shouldn’t even have to resort to written questions, (although they should be able to ask about diaries in written Qs if they can’t wait for the normal release timetable for some reason) as they were under previous Labour governments. It’s ridiculous and unfair that National got away with refusing to publish their own ministerial diaries under Key, (there is literally a written question where Joyce outright said “I don’t see any public interest in answering questions about my ministerial appointments”) but Labour honestly should have pulled this stunt themselves years ago, because there is no reason why Ministerial diaries shouldn’t have been proactively published this whole time, like they used to be.

        Now we have a Labour government that has promised to be better on open government and more transparent, but it’s being slow on releasing its ministerial briefings, has been trolling National to be more specific in their questions about meetings, and has no immediate plans to reform the OIA. None of these are an acceptable start on this issue- I have a half-drafted post about the OIA and keep getting overwhelmed when I look at it.

        Labour should just announce a plan to proactively release diaries on a reasonable delay and form-answer all these questions with that plan. Then if the question spam continues after that, it will be very clear that the problem is National. This “the other side did it too!” nonsense is no excuse.

        • Bill 2.1.1.1

          That was my thought too.

          Publish all appointments/events attended and be done with it.

          • Matthew Whitehead 2.1.1.1.1

            Yep. Then if they keep spamming questions after that you can totally slam them in the media and/or adjust the rules to put a maximum number on questions for each member so they have to use them effectively.

          • mickysavage 2.1.1.1.2

            I agree with that as a proposition. My comments were addressed at the general criticism of the Ministers response, not to the specific proposal that their diaries should be published.

            The questions are much wider than who Ministers are meeting with.

            • Matthew Whitehead 2.1.1.1.2.1

              They are? I had been relying on coverage of the questions which focused exclusively on the ones being spammed being about meeting times. What else are they spamming?

          • mpledger 2.1.1.1.3

            All appointments and events from all MPs, not just ministers.

        • Carolyn_Nth 2.1.1.2

          That’s an informative explanation. And publishing diaries seems like the way to go.

        • John up North 2.1.1.3

          Yep, we were promised better transparency then the previous nats government (the most transparent govt eva! JK).

          Best to be pro-active otherwise the opposition will run them around putting out fires.

          Good summary by Edgler and Matthew hits it on the head with para’s 2 and 3.

    • Ad 2.2

      Edgler: “By rights, they should have asked more.”

      Really? Rights? In parliament? What a beltway tosser to suppose such nonsense.

      By rights from the Ministers being asked, they are doing the right thing requiring the requester to be specific.

      Questions should be about a matter relevant to the portfolios for which they are responsible.

      National have taught Labour for 9 years on this topic, and are going to have to figure something smarter out.

      If National think Labour are going to hang themselves by their own rope of virtuous disclosure, exposing the day to day goings-on of their diaries, they have got to be kidding themselves.

      Labour should have their information streams ruled as tightly as a South Canterbury dairy farm irrigator system. And most of that will also be bullshit.

  3. roy cartland 3

    Surely the Speaker can make some kind of ruling? As in areas of law, ‘frivolous or vexatious’ behaviour ought to be punished for being so. These are highly paid representatives for Chrissake.

    • David C 3.1

      Roy ,
      You want Mallard to rule that National asking a few silly questions is vexatious when Mallard himself filed over 300 vexatious questions a day for a month?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1

        Were Mallard’s questions vexatious? Or did he originally ask: “what are the budgets and roles of all schools?”, and was told he had to ask for each one individually?

        I suspect the latter.

        • David C 3.1.1.1

          …and Labour is playing that same game and here we have a post whining about National asking questions in response to that.
          Of course this is after Labour and the Greens campaigned on openness and honesty.
          Hypocrisy much?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1.1

            I expect them to pay more and better attention to OIA requests than the equivalent of:

            “How tall are you? Where is your hat? Where is your other hat? Where is your third hat? Where are your red socks? Where are your blue socks? Where are your shoes? Where are your kidneys? When did you last blow your nose? Who haven’t you seen today? How about yesterday? Why is the sky blue? How many footsteps do you take between your office and the toilet? What is your favourite colour?”

            As the “story” says, the government should simply respond by making all Ministerial diaries public.

          • Samwise 3.1.1.1.2

            What questions didMallard ask tat were “vexatious”, David. It’s easy to make that claim without backing it up.

        • alwyn 3.1.1.2

          You may be right. If so there should be such a general question on the Parliamentary website at some date before the specific questions about each school in turn.
          I can’t find any such thing although someone with a better knowledge of searching the website may be able to.
          Have you tried looking for such a question?

          Trevor had obviously not gone to much trouble when he created the questions of course. He simply merged a list of school’s names with a standard request and generated the lot.
          Thus you got a set of questions where the word “school” was often there twice.
          I wonder whether he ever read the answers?

      • roy cartland 3.1.2

        Not at all. I want The Speaker of the House to put an end to trivial and vexatious behaviour that so obviously and expensively wastes parliament’s time.

        • Patricia 3.1.2.1

          Agree, Roy. Lots of work to get through by the Government without these infantile questions taking up valuable time and money. About time that National MPs got cracking on some real work and earned their money.

        • Baba Yaga 3.1.2.2

          You mean the same speaker who alone asked 7,000 questions in one month in 2010? Despite Mickey’s heroic attempts to spin Mallards antics…

          “Labour is getting off to a poor start on transparency. ”

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/99254200/labour-promised-transparency-in-government-but-they-seem-to-be-buckling-on-that-early

          • Otto Mann 3.1.2.2.1

            “You mean the same speaker who alone asked 7,000 questions in one month in 2010? ”

            Citation please?

            • Baba Yaga 3.1.2.2.1.1

              The citation is the link I provided, from which I quote:

              “In July 2010 Labour asked 8791 questions in a single month.
              More than 7000 of those questions came from MP Trevor Mallard alone.”

              • Unfortunately, that Fairfax article is meaningless because it doesn’t tell us what those questions were about.

                Considering it was the year of National’s second tranch of tax-cuts, they may well have pertained to economic/fiscal issues.

                Or 6,000 questions on how long is a piece of string.

                We don’t know.

                So your reference to Fairfax’s statement is meaningless because the statement itself is meaningless.

                • Baba Yaga

                  “Unfortunately, that Fairfax article is meaningless because it doesn’t tell us what those questions were about. ”

                  Irrelevant. If it’s spamming by national, it was spamming by Mallard.

        • James 3.1.2.3

          Perhaps by ordering that they answer the question in the first place ?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.2.3.1

            Cynical move, eh: end the practice of publishing Ministerial diaries, then exploit the rules you changed once in opposition.

            “I don’t see any public interest in answering questions about my ministerial appointments”

            The Right Honourable Stephen Joyce.

            Does it bother you at all, being so transparent?

  4. David C 4

    Labour are sagging and near breaking point and its only a couple of months into a three year term.
    Openness and honesty have gone out the window with Labour failing to live up to the ideals that the Greens campaigned on.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/99254200/labour-promised-transparency-in-government-but-they-seem-to-be-buckling-on-that-early

    • Carolyn_nth 4.1

      Seriously! These same KB troll lines were floated yesterday on open mike and debunk. Mallard’s questions were very specific on an issue.

      How is openness helped by asking questions to block up the system and suck up people’s time, contributing towards openness? Openness requires good faith questions by the Nats, aiming to hold the government to account on specific issues. Not clogging up the system with spam.

    • Matthew Whitehead 4.2

      Labour aren’t sagging, this is normal teething problems for a government, it’s just the first time we’ve had both huge technical coverage of government and an energized opposition at the time of a new government. This is a problem that was originally caused by National shutting off publication of the information they are now making shrill noises about trying to get.

      Labour supporters, however, need to be asking them to get out of their own way by fixing National’s dumb changes to the rules and going back to proactively releasing ministerial diaries.

      • David C 4.2.1

        Mathew.
        Sounds like a bunch of amatuers that dispite having 9 years in opposition to prepare have been caught with their pants down.

        “oh fuck…you mean I have to do some work now?”

        • Carolyn_Nth 4.2.1.1

          Seriously?! Do you recall when the Nats came into government in 2008?

          They had expended all their efforts on strategies to topple the Clark government, from spin to dirty politics, they were totally unprepared for office.

          They had no detailed policies or plans, and had to focus on soft news PR, to cover their asses.

          And we got the Jobs Summit as an event to make it look like the Nats were doing something – eventually we got a cycle-way, but little improvement on jobs across the board.

          John Key was not ready for the hard questions. He didn’t perform that well in the House initially, but was pretty good with the infotainment media spots. He was carefully managed as to which interviews he was allowed to do. His speeches were a bit laboured.

          In contrast, the Labour-led team have plenty of well worked out policies to put into action. They just are not as good at the devious game-playing that the Nats are into.

          • Muttonbird 4.2.1.1.1

            That’s right! The cycleway was the flagship policy of the new government. Pretty much sums up Key’s legacy right there.

          • Baba Yaga 4.2.1.1.2

            “Labour developed a coalition through negotiating around policies and principles, ”

            No. Labour were simply the recipient of the preference of a politician who holds to old adage ‘revenge is best served cold’.

            I have been following politics for 40 years, and I’ve never seen a government to rival this one for the number of flip flops, lies and sheer incompetence in such a sort period of time.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.1.2

          🙄

          Keep up the bitter whining at your defeat. The electorate loves whingers.

          Enjoy watching legislation being enacted and try not to weep.

          • David C 4.2.1.2.1

            OAB.

            defeat? LOL.

            National won the election and chose to lose the post election lolly scramble, you left wing nut jobs need to stop thinking like its FPP.

            Labour and the Greens sold their souls to Winston. Good luck with that.

            • Carolyn_Nth 4.2.1.2.1.1

              Oh dear. So much losers’ misinformation.

              No one wins the election til they can form a majority – and that’s MMP, more than FPP, which also requires a majority one way or another.

              It was the Nats that tried to get NZF support by chucking lollies baubles and trinkets at them. Labour developed a coalition through negotiating around policies and principles, and, in realtion to that, ministerial positions in keeping with the proportion of MPs and party votes.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.1.2.1.2

              Enjoy watching legislation being enacted.

              Tomorrow’s order paper includes the Healthy Homes Guarantee bill, parental leave and employment protection, amendments to trusts and financial services, conservation infringements, social security and family violence, to name but a few.

              …and all you can do is weep and watch and spew your bitterness on a blog. 😆

              • David C

                OAB.
                Sorry I cant reply at length…between work demands (bloody accountants!) and rolling around on the floor laughing at the latest GreenMP to be outed as a liar and hypocrite I just cant focus.
                Have a great day. I am 🙂

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Yawn. Without defence lawyers, there can be no valid prosecutions at all. You really need to wipe David Farrar off your amygdala.

            • Psycho Milt 4.2.1.2.1.3

              National won the election…

              Please do continue with this line. Tell it to everyone you know, especially people who are potential swing voters. Be as vehement about it as possible, and you’ll really be helping (well, not helping National, but helping all the same).

              I was thinking about this “We wuz robbed by Peters!” thing that National has going, and it could use a name. Fortunately the Germans have one that fits: “Dolchstoßlegende.” I expect to be using that term quite a bit in future.

            • greywarshark 4.2.1.2.1.4

              David C
              Apparently then, if Winston was looking for souls, he didn’t find any in the National camp. I think that pretty well sums up the political truth.

              • David C

                grey.
                Yes you are spot on.
                Winston didnt find any souls for sale in the National camp.

                • greywarshark

                  No we do not agree on this point David C. You added the words ‘for sale’ referring to National. I made the point that were no souls to be found in the National Camp. Your choice of skewed words shows your type.

            • roy cartland 4.2.1.2.1.5

              He just said “stop thinking like its FPP”. Brilliant.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.2.1.6

              National won the election

              No they didn’t – they lost it. If they’d won it they’d be in government and they’re not.

              Labour and the Greens sold their souls to Winston.

              No they didn’t. They negotiated a coalition.

        • Ad 4.2.1.3

          Chippie should HTFU and start figuring out how to win in the House other than through sheer majority.

        • Matthew Whitehead 4.2.1.4

          Carolyn’s reply took the words out of my mouth.

          Also, my name has two Ts. 🙂

      • cleangreen 4.2.2

        yep Matthew

        Labour need to remind national that they are “public servants” and are there paid by us to work to make Government work better for our interests not their own pea sized brains, so 100% to Matthew’s proposal.

        “Now we begin” said Jacinda four weeks ago.

        This is not the waty to make our lives better you bloody idiots nat’s.

        ” Like how many papers has the Minister has read in the past seven days. Or how many phone calls did they make or receive in a three week period.”

    • Tanz 4.3

      I can’t believe how unprepared and disorganised Labour are, also arrogant.
      Good on National for being a brilliant Opposition so far, no wonder they won the popular vote! Three years? Heck, the new govt is shaky already, I feel like we have children in charge.

  5. Et Tu Brute 5

    It is a tough one. On the one hand you want parliament to operate smoothly. On the other you do not want to limit in any way the opposition’s ability to get information out of government. Of all means to hold government to account, information is the safest (as opposed to more blunt tools like filibustering or general games in the house). The thing with a lot of questions like this is, we don’t know what they’re after until the show’s over. And the opposition shouldn’t have to explain to the government what they’re on the tail of until they’ve caught it (for obvious reasons). That said, this episode shows the current system is open to abuse. If they were to limit the number of questions, wouldn’t that just turn the MPs over to official information act requests? No easy answer.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      The National Party ceased the practice of making Ministerial diaries public. The solution is obvious, and so is their “game”.

  6. Anne 6

    Each question needs to be considered properly and the relevant information needs to be screened to see if there are valid reasons to withhold any piece of the information.

    It may be appropriate in the normal course of events but in this case its spam. They’re not genuine questions so the ministers and their staff can ignore them. I saw a list submitted by Chris Finlayson yesterday. It was infantile rubbish. Let em howl with rage cos the ministers are ignoring their questions, then release copies of the questions for public consumption. Once the public get to see what they’re actually doing and the puerile nature of the questioning then it will backfire big time on the Nats.

  7. Samwise 7

    Their desperation to remain relevant is making them look pathetic.

    • james 7.1

      Are you saying that opposition parties are not relevant?

      Or a party that received approx 44% of the vote of not relevant?

      Or is it just parties you do not like that are not relevant?

      • roy cartland 7.1.1

        Are you admitting that they’re desperate? Or is that a fully acknowledged thing now?

      • NewsFlash 7.1.2

        James

        NO

        YES

        NO

        Define relevancy connected to the QUESTIONS

      • Tricledrown 7.1.3

        The National Party ran out of relevance when they sat in their own bed now they have to lie in it.
        Winnie the Pooh has had his revenge after National have stabbed him in the back 4 times.
        Bungling Bill English’s dumb comment of saying he was a Maverick was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
        But Dirty deeds put an end to National.

  8. Peroxide Blonde 8

    Civil Servants are the people having to cope with the extra burden. They will get UTU in the most subtle ways.
    National will suffer.

    • Ross 8.1

      The Government might have to employ more public servants to help answer the questions. Then National will complain about a bloated public sector. They’d complain if their collective arse was on fire, they’d complain if it was put out.

  9. infused 9

    No different than when Labour spammed thousands.

    • All indications are that it is different. Labour actually asked pertinent questions while National aren’t.

      In other words, National are wasting our time and money because they’re upset that they lost.

      • infused 9.1.1

        Spin it how you want. Both sides play this game.

        • Anne 9.1.1.1

          Spin it how YOU want. But the winners used to ask pertinent questions. They won. The losers can only indulge in spam. They lose.

          • infused 9.1.1.1.1

            Until next time, rinse, repeat.

            • adam 9.1.1.1.1.1

              That you Gosman??

              • cleangreen

                Yes Gosman, and his trolls are all over the place.

                A diversion is going on here, as Natioanl know labour are now conducting a deep investigation of the financial books and finding some very stark ‘anomonies ‘ in the last administration’s (National) activities using public funds.

                So expect some fiireworks on this as most National MP’s were so used to rorting the public purse because they never thought other new Government MP’s would be able to capture the treaury benches.

                But alas Labour are invesigating them.

                In response national are using their legion of trolls to “disrupt us ‘ at the time that their national MP’s are under intense scrutiny with the financial audit of their activities in the beehive over the last nine years.

                National PM’s are freaking out as they sit there waiting for the phone to ring as it may be the Government auditor or revenue minister requiring them to come to the ninth floor for an investigation.

                • James

                  “Natioanl know labour are now conducting a deep investigation of the financial books and finding some very stark ‘anomonies ‘ in the last administration’s (National) activities using public funds.

                  So expect some fiireworks on this as most National MP’s were so used to rorting the public purse because they never thought other new Government MP’s would be able to capture the treaury benches.

                  But alas Labour are invesigating them.”

                  You put this as a statement of fact – back it up – please name some of the stark ‘anomonies‘ in the use of public funds that labour have found?

                  Or are you simply a liar ?

            • Tricledrown 9.1.1.1.1.2

              3 time looser Bill English.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.2

          No, only National plays this game.

      • James 9.1.2

        Citation needed – anything to back up that labour’s 6000 plus questions in a month were all pertinent?

  10. Jilly Bee 10

    +1 @ Ross. I was going to submit a similar post – you beat me to it. I watched Simon Bridges on Newhub last night, sheesh he’s pathetic and he sure could do with a few elocution lessons. I keep wondering what on earth he would have been like in the Courtroom arguing the case for the prosecution back in the day. If he’s making his pitch for the Nats leadership people will soon tire of his incessant bleating.

    • Puckish Rogue 10.1

      “he sure could do with a few elocution lessons. ”

      I think both john Key and Jacinda Ardern have shown that elocution isn’t all that important

  11. mary_a 11

    In attempting to hinder the democratic process of governance, what the vindictive behaviour from Natz MPs is achieving is making complete fools of themselves. Their petulant aim will backfire on them, as public begin to finally realise the caustic, unscrupulous side of the Natz opposition.

    • Tanz 11.1

      It’s what a decent Opposition does, instead of all the in-fighting and backstabbing Labour did during their nine years. Also, National know they are the rightful government, the government that 44 per cent of people voted for, rather than
      a mere 36 percent. They are the biggest Oppostion in thirty five years, and they have most of the electorate seats. Speaks volumes…

  12. AB 12

    Ignore it. Get on with passing legislation that permanently reduces the relative wealth and power of their supporters. This is what they dread, this is why they are bleating that they ‘really’ won. Give it to them with both barrels.

  13. Seaweed 13

    I have a question for the national party that I would like answered sooner rather than later… Feel free to deluge them if you get the urge…

    Dear Name of Politician,
    Please tell us what knowledge you had, or what part you played in the national party’s Conspiracy to Obstruct, Prevent, Pervert or Defeat the Course of Justice in the Barclay illegal recordings matter….

    A.Voter

  14. mpledger 14

    We can all play at information overload.

    https://fyi.org.nz/request/6892-cost-of-requests-made-to-government

    I was thinking of doing it question by question but that just seemed mean.

  15. cleangreen 15

    Very true AB & mary-a,

    As the parliamentary sitting period is about to end this week, and regarding national’s attempt to close down the new labour coalition Government by jaming them with 6200 spam questions, and stoping the “100 day pledge to pass 17 goals” I offer the answer.

    Either extent the sitting time this year to deal with the emails and the 6200 emailed questions or; Jacinda needs to quicky show Government “leadership” and need to rush through an urgency bill to reverse the national party changes they (national) placed to allow this attempt to close down the new government, and restore the former system preventing this “tea party style” abuse of our parliamentary system..

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/11/how-the-government-s-tracking-on-its-100-day-plan.html

    “The Government is going all out to tick off all 17 goals on its 100-day plan.

    A hundred days. Just over three months. It sounds like plenty of time until you blink and realise a month has passed since the Government was sworn in. They have until February 3.”

  16. cleangreen 16

    This morning we are hit with a very ugly scene on Radio NZ;

    Guyon Espiner is gleefully presenting his now standard pactice of being a ‘soft antaganist’, – and not acting with a “balanced fair independant” policy but rather turning into another national clingon” byn only interviewing the opposition party and not the Government Ministers in an even handed manner with “broadcasting neutality.”

    The new Minister of Broadcasting Claire Curran must remove Guyon Espiner, and the CEO of RNZ now, as the front theme planners for RNZ.

    This can be done easily as Hon’ Claire Curran reforms our “publically funded broadcasting media RNZ/TVNZ to become a “balanced, fair, presenter of public affairs” under the Broadcasting Act.

  17. mac1 17

    Further frivolous and vexatious information seeking got a short reply of thanks but no thanks from the GCSB. Bill English might be in a ‘hard place’ in Opposition, but is he a ‘rock’?

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2017/11/gcsb-refuses-to-provide-proof-bill-english-is-not-a-rock.html

    This response seems a fair way to deal with similar vexation from the National party spamming.

    Another response might be to limit written questions to those which are firstly written by the MP in longhand, in blue or black ink, on proper letterhead issued by the party Whip who has to sign out the paper and account for it, (as do supervisors in National’s beloved NZQA exams), and secondly signed by the MP.

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    All the recent research anti-fluoride campaigners promote as “evidence” of harm from community water fluoridation amount to cherry-picking a very few statistically significant results from a large number of non-significant results. The whole exercise is a bit like the “Mouse that Roared.” Credit: The Mouse that Roared – TMTR Intro ...
    1 day ago
  • Leave Neve alone
    Neve Te Aroha Gayford at RatanaI’m sure I’m not the only one to notice that the Ratana birthday celebrations this year were a well-attended event that went off without much of a hitch. This is in stark contrast to previous years, where some form of controversy has usually taken centre ...
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #4
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 19, 2020 through Sat, Jan 25, 2020 Editor's Pick The companies that have contributed most to climate change Thought-provoking readings on those most responsible for the pollution. Sometimes, ...
    2 days ago
  • The swimming pool paradox
    It’s another warm day, but the breeze isn’t helping much, so off I go to the inviting outdoor swimming pool (banner picture) at the other end of campus. It’s an unheated pool (well, there’s no artificial heat source), which means one thing: It’s going to feel cold when I get ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • 100 seconds to midnight
    The Doomsday Clock is a tracker created by he Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for how close we are to global destruction. Created in 1947, it got worse as the Cold War started, then improved as it cooled down, then got worse again as Ronald Reagan tried to confront the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A multitude of drops: Social tipping points in climate action
    If you’re here, you probably know that the climate crisis is upon us, that it’s getting steadily worse, and that attempts to address it haven’t worked yet. People are still driving and even advertising SUVs with impunity, and oil companies are exploring like crazy, even in New Zealand. Politically, socially, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • The Thoughtful Mr Parker.
    Stunningly Wrong-Headed: So blinded are the “left-wing” believers in free markets and free trade (like Trade Minister, David Parker) that even when they are staring directly at the wreckage of the lives and communities which these “unconscionable freedoms” (to borrow Marx’s telling phrase) have left in their wake, they cannot ...
    4 days ago
  • What’s the problem with all science being “done” in English?
    I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which ...
    SciBlogsBy Andreea Calude
    4 days ago
  • Snakeflu?! An intriguing source suggested for new Chinese coronavirus
    The whole world is on edge over a coronavirus outbreak that started in early December in Wuhan City, China. The virus is thought to have first infected people working at a seafood and live animal market. So what could the original source have been? There’s no official word yet, but ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Simon’s Philippine jaunt: #LittleBoysPlayingToughguys
    Not too far back, Simon Bridges the Leader of the Opposition and National Party, went on an excursion to China. This was arranged not by MFAT (NZ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), but by their MP Jian Yang – a man who also just happened to “forget to mention” ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Will Turia ever forgive Labour?
    Dame Tariana Turia with former PM John KeyWhat is it about Tariana Turia’s grudge against the Labour Party? Not content with attacking the Government over Whānau Ora funding, which was increased by $80 million in 2019, she has now made it personal by saying that Jacinda Ardern is out of her ...
    5 days ago
  • What are the recent fluoride-IQ studies really saying about community water fluoridation?
    Scaremongering graphic currently being promoted by Declan Waugh who is well known for misrepresenting the fluoride science This graphic is typical of current anti-fluoride propaganda. It is scare-mongering, in that it is aimed at undermining community ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #3, 2020
    Biography of a policy metric Bård Lahn performs a sweeping literature review to present the history of our notion of a "global carbon budget" and how this number has come  to encapsulate a massive amount of scientific research into a useful, easily grasped tool in our policy skill set.  A ...
    5 days ago
  • Oxfam Report: Time to Care – Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis
    January 2020 Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • How to avoid being a cunt to hospo workers’
    Working hospo is hard mahi for many reasons, from long hours and gruelling high-volume weekends to customers who treat us as their servants. There are always lovely and polite customers who treat hospo workers with respect and kindness but, throughout my 15-years in the biz, I’ve collected a number of ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • 2019-nCoV (the new coronavirus): Should we be concerned, and will there be a vaccine?
    Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    6 days ago
  • The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?
    By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    6 days ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    7 days ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    1 week ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Should I ditch my fossil-fueled car?
    Yes. Reducing the number of cars in your household, or switching from petrol/diesel to electric, will dramatically reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. It’s one of the easiest and highest-impact climate steps you can take. New Zealand is being flooded with cars The New Zealand vehicle fleet is increasing rapidly. In ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Planet History: Taking Tea with Quentin
    This interview with Quentin Crisp is part of a series of articles republished from Planet, the independent magazine I edited in the early 90s from a base at 309 Karangahape Road, along with Grant Fell, Rachael Churchward, Fiona Rae, David Teehan, Mere Ngailevu and others.Inevitably, you forget things, and over ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #1, 2020
    Supply Side How are we doing with CO2 emissions? It's an important question, increasingly posed to a mixed bag of CO2 contributors who may or may not provide accurate reportage. Liu et al present a new, additional means of measurement based on satellite observations of nitrogen dioxide co-emitted from ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Donald Trump’s strategic gamble
    There’s a meme going around the Internet at the moment claiming that Donald Trump is a bit of an idiot. To outside eyes it does seem as though the President of the United States thumbs his nose at his own countries laws and administration far too often to be taken ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    5 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    6 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    1 week ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PM announces election date as September 19
    The 2020 General Election will be held on Saturday 19 September, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “I will be asking New Zealanders to continue to support my leadership and the current direction of the Government, which is grounded in stability, a strong economy and progress on the long term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into constructionProvincial Growth Fund supports Waika...
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into construction
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New Zealand to support Pacific Public Sector Hub
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced New Zealand’s support for a Pacific-led hub that will strengthen public services across the region. “Strengthening public services is a core focus of New Zealand’s Pacific Reset, as efforts to improve democratic governance in the Pacific contributes to a strong, stable and more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
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