National to sell TVNZ

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, April 14th, 2008 - 33 comments
Categories: assets, same old national - Tags: ,

tvnz_for_sale1.gifDespite Key’s best efforts to inoculate against the “hidden agenda on asset sales” perception – he’s now peddling the story that National won’t start selling assets until 2011 – the truth seems to have slipped out.

A reliable source close to the party has leaked National’s broadcasting policy for the upcoming election. According to the source National would sell off TV2 to private investors and turn TV ONE into a non-commercial channel, thus making it completely dependent on government funding.

Sound strangely familiar? Selling off New Zealand’s strongest assets has always been an integral part of National’s psyche. It was Don Brash who, in 2004, couldn’t rule out selling TV2. Back in the 1990s it was part of the slash and burn agenda when Jenny Shipley used to joke that she had to check on a daily basis which of the assets has been sold off over night. Maurice Williamson still regrets that he never got around to selling it at the beginnings of the 1990s when he was in charge of broadcasting. And as late as 1998 Tony Ryall stated that in some stage in the future government would seriously have to look at the sale of TVNZ.

Even more interesting is that the Tories seem to have copied their ideas word for word from a suggestion made by investment bank Goldman Sachs JBWere in January 2007. Back then Goldman analyst Rodney Deacon suggested that, with TV2 sold, TV ONE could be transformed into a BBC-style, commercial-free, public channel fulfilling TVNZ charter obligations. He valued TV2 at $392 million but said that, based on recent media deals, it could fetch $436 million. Too bad that the Nats don’t like the charter much either.

John Key might be trying hard to kill off the sneaking suspicion that National, if given half a chance, would return to the old ways of cutting benefits and privatising state assets, but slowly the whole picture is starting to emerge. A quick reminder: In October last year, for example, he couldn’t remember being lobbied by Macquarie Bank over introducing private public partnerships into education – then later admitted to it. Then Bill English slipped up saying that he would like to sell state assets – only ‘partial floats’, of course. And in health John Key and Tony Ryall want to allow doctors to charge patients whatever they want and channel more money into the private sector. Go figure.

33 comments on “National to sell TVNZ”

  1. mawgxxxxiv 1

    Selling TV2 sounds like an excellent idea: especially if it allows TV1 to become a true public broadcaster instead of the schizophrenic it is at the moment.

  2. Steve Pierson 2

    false choice though: why should we have to sell TV2 to get TV1 better?

    Keep TV2 and make TV1 a true public broadcaster.

  3. Non-core government assets sales is one way that National could distinguish itself from Labour. Otherwise it is hard to see much difference in policy.

  4. Well my personal preference would be to sell both: television isn’t a core central or local government activity.

  5. BeShakey 5

    What exactly is a core central or local government activity? Sounds a bit like right wing argument that only the neo-cons would buy: government should only do ‘core activities’, X isn’t a core activity; therefore the government shouldn’t do it. Problem is the vast majority of NZers (including, if you believe them, National MPs) aren’t neo-cons so they think that that is rubbish.

  6. rjs131 6

    Do you have any evidence of this? Is there a word document, or a scan of a document that you can link to show this is the intended policy? Otherwise your source could just either be full of it or you have just made this up?

  7. Core central & local government activity ? Well not TV 🙂

    Ummm; core activities military defense,justice,police,civil defence, border control & the central bank.

    Activities they shouldn’t be involved in include arts,television,sports,public transport, cultural development, building inspection,marine and vehicle certification & testing.

  8. Santi 8

    Sell TVNZ and not a moment too soon! Get the highest bidder and sell it as soon as possoble. It would be great to add socialist Radio NZ to the package.

    NZ will be better by getting the state out of public broadcasting altogether.

  9. higherstandard 9

    Honestly why would anyone shed a tear if TV 2 was sold.

  10. insider 10

    What is strategic or culturally defining about ER, Ugly betty, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost or Desperate Housewives that makes ownership of the station vital to NZ and the economy?

  11. Matthew Pilott 11

    General question to all those who would like to see TVNZ sold off – you you think that there should be publicly funded programming available, with a quality (read-intellectual) content, even if it is not commercially viable?

    It seems to me that people such as santi are dismissing the idea of public television without giving much thought to what would replace it.

    There is already enough commercial drivel out there (insider makes the point, although there is some NZ content ignored), but I think that issues based non-partisan TV should be funded, to inform people, whether it sells advertising space as well as NZ Idol or not.

  12. Matthew Pilott 12

    “you you”… >:( yeah, ‘do you’ maybe…

  13. insider 13

    Matthew

    I think I mainly missed Shortland St and Police 10-7. Not exactly the cultural high ground!

    I support a non (or extremely limited) commercial service that is entertaining and informing. I’m also happy for that to be funded by TV2, but it doesn’t have to be, though leaving it to taxation could leave it susceptible to being starved of capital. I see no value in owning a commercial station otherwise.

  14. Steve Pierson 14

    I don’t understand why we would sell a business that is making us money to spend on operations, police, and teachers. How are you going to fill the hole in the budget if you sell off these profit makers?

  15. Monty 15

    I cannot see the problem with selling off assets – but I understand why John Key has taken asset sales off the agenda. And he also noted on Agenda yesterday morning that if sales were to go ahead after 2011 then he would campaign on that point and have a mandate for such a policy.

    Labour neutralised. Good effort smiling assassin.

    Nevertheless no leftie has yet been able to put up a case why the state needs to be involved in ownership of many of the assets held – Really the truth is that it is a convenient stick to use for scare mongering the sheeple. Labour’s whole campaign will be based around fear and loathing of National and John Key in particular – but be careful – this tactic has a huge chance of backfiring and blowing up in your face. That whole “time for a change” theme is just so strong that I doubt Labour can do much about it.

  16. gobsmacked 16

    “That whole “time for a change’ theme is just so strong that I doubt Labour can do much about it.”

    Change what?

  17. insider 17

    Using that logic steve why aren’t the Govt buying every profit making business in NZ and investing the results. 1) That is not necessarily why you own an asset as a govt 2) companies frequently sell ostensibly profitable companies for a range of valid reasons. Profit is not the only determinant. Also I would rather those services were not reliant on the whims of advertisers for funding.

  18. Matthew Pilott 18

    See what intrigues me is that the two stations can balance each other out. Sucesses (commercially, say what you will about the quality therein) such as Shortland St can then easily fund non-commercial content.

    Insider – aren’t DNZ, Inside New Zealand, 20/20, BBC World and so on TVNZ [to illustrate my point, Prime gives us Fox. That’s the argument over as far as I’m concerned ;)]? That aside, perhaps we’re in sort-of agreement – a commercial station could help fund one that would not be commercially viable otherwise. Doesn’t hurt does it, if it’s revenue neutral?

    Monty, publicly funded television can provide informative television that is useful whilst not being a commercial success to the order of Americal Idol. If you’re happy to stick with imported dross, by all means go for the sell-TVNZ angle. If you want intelligent television, you might want to reflect upion the fact that commercial realities dictate otherwise, without the intervention of the state.

    Do you think ability to make a profit is the only factor that should be used in determining TV content?

  19. Phil 19

    Selling off TVNZ would probably bring an end to “Dancing with the Stars” and abort a second series of “Wheel of Fortune” and “Two-tube… on the downside, we might end up with 3hrs of “Coro” every night.

  20. randal 20

    MY ADVICE TO THE TRICKLE DOWN THEORISTS IS P*SS OFF…UNNERSTAND AND GO AND START YOUR OWN BUSINESS FROM SCRATCH AND SEE HOW YOU GO INSTEAD OF KREEPING AROUND STEALING SOCIAL SOCIAL ASSETS AND JUSTIFYING IT WITH WORN OUT SLOGANS FROM THE 1920’S

  21. Lyn 21

    It’s incredibly difficult to get funding for interesting and well-researched documentary or well-developed drama in New Zealand at the moment, and when the quality of our television is compared to what you’ll find every day on Australia’s ABC and SBS, the UK’s BBC and America’s PBS network, the difference that a true public broadcaster can make is immediately evident. Bigger budgets, braver commissioning choices, more intelligent social commentary, a less parochial outlook. All these things could be ours if TVNZ is made into a true public broadcaster. I’ve banged on in comments on various recent threads on the Standard about the oxymoronic quality of administering the charter, and the way the internet allows us access to public broadcasting from other countries which is doing what our own media can’t. We desperately need decent mass media – it should be a core government activity as one of the cornerstones of a healthy democracy. The fact that many people I know are ditching traditional media outlets in favour of the net shows just how bad things are getting. The only issue I have with National’s policy, is why sell off TV2? That said I seriously doubt their intentions in offering to make a public broadcaster. Wasn’t it National who floated the idea that TVNZ should be prepared for sale in the first place? Why would the right want to create a public institution? It goes against their core values. Is this an attempt to vote-buy the media-makers and hope some of it will rub off in the reporting?

  22. “The fact that many people I know are ditching traditional media outlets in favour of the net”@Lyn means that the television is not really a core government activity and that it should be left to private industry to service the needs of the mass market that television is designed for. Content producers who want to service niche markets have access to a worldwide audience and advertising revenue streams via the internet.

  23. Matthew Pilott 23

    The fact that many people I know are ditching traditional media outlets in favour of the net

    mawgxxxxiv – Have you considered that is only the case in NZ and other countries due to a lack of decent TV content?

    Another thing to consider – is it a public good, and should quality TV therefore be funded, not for commercial reasons, but because it serves the community well to have an intelligent and informed public?

    The hang-up on economic reasons for everything will be the end of us, and it’s unfortunate that commercial realities are now considered the only reality.

  24. Television has a limited ability in a very small market like ours to be sufficiently specialized to meet the needs of a increasingly diverse viewer ship. As our internet infrastructure becomes more robust and able to deliver higher (technical) quality video content it has far greater ability to provide a channel for content producers to target very specific viewer needs and therefore markets.

    For example: while Maori TV is excellent it relies on delivering historical content in English to ensure a broad enough viewer ship to maintain advertising support (though much of that advertising support seems to be government departments.

    “an intelligent and informed public” requires that the viewer can not only view the content but respond. That is impossible in any meaningful way with television but as this and all the other active blogs in this country demonstrate very easy on the internet. I therefore still contend that 20th century media (like television and radio) should be left to commercial interests providing content targeted at the ‘lowest common denominator’ of viewer interest.

    The government and therefore taxpayer doesn’t need to fund public discourse on the internet as proven by the proliferation of blogs,video;’s and podcasts of all points of view. Content providers make their own choice about how to fund their production and distribution and are not beholden to a bureaucratic gate keeper (e.g. Creative NZ) with the inevitable need to satisfy whatever is the current politically driven criteria for project funding

  25. Lyn 25

    mawgxxxxiv – the problem with the position that you’re taking is that you assume that niche marketing will be produced. Somewhere. By someone. Presumably with someone else’s money. And it is. In countries with public TV. And then we link to this via the internet. A prime recent example is the BBC interview with Helen Clark posted here on the Standard. It was better quality than what we, ourselves usually do. I have no problem reaping the benefits provided by British, Australian and US taxpayers money. But that’s what it is. You’re right – we have a small market here. And as such it can’t support all the niches it contains – and intelligent current affairs and social and political commentary are not “niche”. They should be supported as part of public debate – a public good. But the current system can’t do it. It’s hamstring by needing to get ratings, and produce as much TV hours as possible for the smallest outlay.

    Moving image produced strictly for the net is almost always a once-over lightly affair. It’s usually not subject to much editorial rigor. And it’s is not usually geo-politically specific. If you’re expecting decent local TV news via Youtube I’d say you’ll be waiting a while. If reader/viewer response is important (and it is) we’d better have something decent to actually respond to. Mass media outlets in theory should have money and institutional brain-power beyond what a regular blogger has access to, and indepth knowledge and memory about society and history that adds real value. If only it was able to be used for good, instead of schlock.

    And while I may complain about commissioning choices and gatekeeping practices, even with the charter in place, I’ve never seen any politically-driven decisions, or at least not ones driven by what’s happening at the beehive. The sole imperative is choosing stories that get ad revenue. If Maori TV was properly funded – imagine what it could really do.

    Finally – things are changing in the world of mass-media, and the monoliths we know won’t always be around. But without a local, publicly-supported media infrastructure of some kind, I’d say New Zealand’s small, niche-laden media landscape is going to be pretty barren.

  26. @Lyn here is a link to an online ‘broadcaster’ that delivers content of a quality that we will never see on public television in NZ: http://fora.tv/ .

  27. Lyn 27

    mawgxxxxiv – I’ve followed your link and had a poke round Fora TV. It looks interesting but it’s not quality moving image – the ideas expressed by the speakers are quality, and the multimedia aggregation of content is great but there’s only a limited amount of skill involved in pointing a camera at someone who is delivering a speech and getting a clean sound feed. This is not documentary or current affairs. There is no video on the site I could see that was made to move an audience or construct an argument, or even act as a basic record of current events. Just talking heads. So – no survivors being rescued from the wahine disaster, no smear on the snow at Erebus, no tractor on the steps of parliament, no creepy Muldoon laughter, haka at Eden Park, Rainbow Warrior full-fathom five, red squad getting kneed in the bollocks by feminists or Maori getting arrested at Bastion Point. These things matter. They are local events that are far more important to a local audience than an international one and would never make news unless someone here had the wherewithall to do it. These events have made us who we are, and we experience them, remember them and are called to reconsider them through the lens of film and video. This is not something that a website with videoed talking heads who are almost entirely American can ever do. Patently. No matter how bright they are and how good their ideas are.

  28. Thanks Lyn. Indeed the content on Fora TV is intelligent talking heads with interesting ideas. Have you seen the content on liveleaks.com ? This may be far more the ‘citizen journalism’ you are describing.

    The events you outline all sound like news-worthy events that would be covered by a commercially funded broadcaster like TV3. Now I agree the coverage wouldn’t be very in-depth but then neither is that of TVNZ inspite of their tax-payer funding. The stage managed sensationalism of the Tame Iti/John Key encounter is evidence of that.

    I would be interested in your opinion of the community voice content of Triangle TV (which I understand has received no public funding for most/all of it’s life) ?

  29. Lyn 29

    I can’t comment in detail on Triangle because our TV is crap and so I can’t get reception (don’t ask – the TV really is a pile of shit). From what I’ve heard the community material is made for cheap/free and is not of a very high quality. The overseas material is ok because it’s being recycled from somewhere else. I suspect the working conditions at the station aren’t flash, but I really don’t know.

    Re your comment on news-worthy events, what I would say is that since TVNZ lives or dies on its ratings, the same as a strictly commercial broadcaster, current events here are all commercial in intent and appeal. It’s not reasonable to say that our local coverage with state broadcasting is crap and we should therefore do away with it, when we actually don’t effectively have state broadcasting and won’t until ad revenues actually don’t count as a way of determining the value of a given programme.

    The other thing I would say is that a number of quality documentaries have been made with some of the footage that I detailed above (Patu, Try Freedom, Departure and Return to name just a few) and they have mostly been made with government grants – either through arts or broadcasting funding. Without this funding, film-makers’ ability to more deeply contextualise our currents events and history would be horribly compromised. Most of the footage I described was shot as news (not citizen journalism), but that’s not all it can or should be. This type of historically aware media commentary is really important. And there’s no way that citizen journalism can replace it – the skills base and costs required are just too intense.

  30. Fair enough: coverage of local NZ issues does require resources that web based ‘citizen tv’ may not have and the production quality is never going to be “Lord of the Rings” 🙂 Having said that I would prefer if TVNZ spent more money on research and less on fancy suits.

    I often watch DW TV & Al Jazeera on Triangle for international news, I get my local news content online.I understand TVNZ has to make a profit but given that TV3 has to make a profit without taxpayer support I struggle to see how TVNZ cannot afford to be doing a better job than it is.

    I think one of the dangers with taxpayer funded organisations is they get ‘fat & lazy’. I also think that artists including cinematographers tend to expect taxpayer patronage for fuzzy public good reasons. I think that this doesn’t really serve quality: struggle improves the breed. I say this after completing a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Auckland University as an mature student.

    Heres a link to another interesting source of online video:http://www.linktv.org

  31. Lyn 31

    Yeah – Link are awesome. And they actually fund things for broadcast as well as being an online outlet. Which is also awesome.

    But look, regarding my comment about TVNZ, I don’t think you’ve got my point – you struggle to see why TVNZ can’t do better than TV3. The reason that news from both broadcasters looks so similar is that it’s ratings driven. TVNZ has heaps more resource than TV3 but it has to make news that the greatest number of people want to watch: cue a weird balancing act between informing and entertaining and two channels that are nearly identical. True public broadcasting frees us from the imperative to capture a large audience. Quality rather than popularity is the only thing that matters.

    Taxpayer funded anything can get fat and lazy, but that doesn’t mean it has to. Clear goals and accountabilities are important and they don’t have to be provided by the market. At the moment TVNZ has to meet requirements for a certain level of ad revenue as well as screening charter-programming. It’s a schismatic way to work and has two oppositional goals. With a single clear goal to make smart programs things would naturally work much better.

    Regarding your comments about “struggle improving the breed” – it’s true that if you want to work in moving image you have to pay – sweat, tears, financial security – the attrition and braindrain are huge. It’s not healthy. But consider this: infrastructurally NOTHING – I mean NOTHING – would get made for the cinema in New Zealand without finance from the New Zealand Film Commission. How do you think the revered Peter Jackson started? Without being able to practice his craft he could never have brought LOTR to New Zealand. Making movies, even shorts, is astronomically expensive and it doesn’t make its money back. If you want movies made here at all, if you want the Piano, Rain, Scarfies, Came a Hot Friday, Goodbye Pork Pie and oh, fuck, I’m sure you can think of more, then you have to accept that government money is essential.

    I take exception to your comments about struggle improving the breed. What filmmakers and indie producers/directors try and do in New Zealand is brave, financially insecure and totally undervalued. I graduated with a Masters in directing three years ago and have been in and out of the trenches in film and TV since but I’m a pussy and I like an income I can rely on so I also work for salary outside of the industry. And I’m forced to assume you do too – otherwise you’d never make a crack like that.

  32. Lyn you make some interesting points & I have this proposal for you.

    Perhaps we could take the all money that TVNZ currently receives from the government (and squanders on high art like ” Dancing with the Stars” & Mark Sainsbury’s suits ) and give it to Creative NZ to distribute. Furthermore we could transfer shareholding of TVNZ (TV1 & TV2) to Creative NZ. TVNZ could then be run in a purely commercial manner (not the schizophrenic sham you rightly described) with all dividends distributed by Creative NZ for real artistic endeavours not Rodney Hide & Martin Devlin in tight pants.

    After spending four years at art school after 20 years working in engineering I was horrified by the ‘hand out mentality’ of my lecturers (all practicing and senior artists). I do however recognise that arts do need patronage to survive, at the moment I am reading the biography of Dali and the skill Gala had in securing the support of wealthy US & EU patrons. Unfortunately NZ is rather short on wealthy private patrons and so the state has to fill the gap. It still however disturbs me that artists seem to expect this.

    I don’t think there really is anything fundamentally wrong with artists having to support their art. Any other self-employed person has to generate their own income and invest their own capital.

  33. Lyn 33

    I realise that we’re simply going to disagree on most of the elements in your last comment. I believe very sincerely in public broadcasting as a cornerstone of a healthy democracy and I’ll never believe that a market-driven media can reliably support it. Ergo I’ll never feel comfortable with sacrificing TVNZ to make more money available for artistic endeavour. Conversely I believe that a healthy arts scene is a cornerstone of a healthy society – one that invests in the creativity and lateral thinking of its people and which doesn’t measure its quality solely or even primarily in economic terms. The arts and the fourth estate are both important avenues for ideas and debate and one shouldn’t be sacrificed for the other.

    I can appreciate that after 20 years of self-supporting graft you’re horrified by the idea that artists might rely on government grants to undertake an activity which is so self-orientated and self-obsessed. But what I see is that this level of self-obsession is required to make any large project, whether it’s a movie, a bridge or a painting. All of these might be paid for from government funding. The difference is in their perceived value. Until you consider letting go of the idea that everything has to generate its value in the market (or through patronage from money made in the market) we will necessarily have to disagree. That sounds trite – and I appreciate that you will have spent a long time coming to the ontology you hold – so it’s not like I’m expecting you to read my comments and change your mind. But by the same token I’m hardly going to change mine.

    This thread is ancient – no doubt we’ll cross swords again another time..

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    Keir Starmer has hinted that Labour might vote in favour of the Johnson government's shoddy deal, with the proviso that a second referendum is attached:Speaking to BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We will see what that looks like but it makes sense to say that by whatever ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    5 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    6 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    6 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    6 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    7 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    7 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    1 week ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • More homes where they are needed
    More houses for homeless New Zealanders are being opened today in Tauranga by Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi. Six 2-bedroom quality units are being opened at 878 Cameron Road by Minister Faafoi and Accessible Properties, a local Community Housing Provider (CHP). Accessible Properties now provides more than 1,700 community housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    40 mins ago
  • Minister of Finance and Sport and Recreation to visit Japan and Vietnam
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson departs tomorrow for events and meetings in Japan and Vietnam.  While in Japan, he will discuss economic and fiscal issues including meeting with the Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, and Minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura. He will meet with the Minister of Education, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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