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National’s bad fortnight

Written By: - Date published: 2:03 pm, March 14th, 2008 - 33 comments
Categories: election 2008, national - Tags: ,

drop-the-ball.JPGA bad week last week from John Key got worse this week as other National MPs joined Key in a game of drop the ball.

Last week, Key didn’t know his party’s Waitangi and Maori seats policies, and was slippery on the Auckland Airport issue before finally coming down on the unpopular side of the issue, supporting foreign control of New Zealand strategic assets. This week, he was determined not to repeat the mistake. When the New Zealand Fast Forward R&D fund was announced to universally acclaim, there was no slipperiness. Key adopted the unpopular position immediately; opposing the Fund. He then made some comments about the Fund getting the money from the Reserve Bank that are truly bizarre coming from a guy who’s meant to know something about money.

Following Key’s example over the ‘wage drop‘ quote, other National MPs tried to expunge telling quotes from the record. David Carter told the Rural News that National would privatise Landcorp. When that was printed he was straight on the phone to the reporter attempting to have the quote retracted. Bill English, announced National would re-sell the railways if they are bought back off Toll and criticised normal government bond issuing before finding himself ‘pleading‘ with Barry Soper to not play an interview in which he let slip that ‘we aren’t that worried about whether the Crown needs to borrow a bit of money [for] tax cuts’. APN management helped Key cover-up his ‘wage drop’ quote, to journalists’ chagrin, but Carter and English have had no luck getting their damaging quotes ‘clarified’.

To top it off, Key’s ‘we won’t hire more prison guards and we’ll have doctors doing their own filing’ speech was overshadowed by National MP Brian Connell’s ‘fuck you, no fuck you’ interview with Kris Faafoi.

With the Golden Boy mask slipping, Key looks horribly underdone and inept under pressure, and his colleagues don’t look any better. Is this guy up to the task of campaigning, let alone being Prime Minister?

33 comments on “National’s bad fortnight”

  1. Daveo 1

    Don’t forget the AIA fiasco…

  2. Daveo 2

    Well fancy that- you had that after all. What about Bill saying he’d sell off the trains again?

  3. Steve Pierson 3

    oh yeah. cheers daveo.

  4. rjs131 4

    And dont forget the hammering in the polls. Whats the gap to Labour averaging out at?

  5. mike 5

    “Don’t forget the AIA fiasco ”

    Funny you mention that now it’s turned nasty for Helen…
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/feature/story.cfm?c_id=1501782&objectid=10497961

  6. Daveo 6

    So right wing activist Bruce Sheppard doesn’t want the airport sale blocked. He was complaining before the vote and now he’s complain after. What’s new?

  7. Steve Pierson 7

    mike. I’m a shareholder and Bruce Sheppard doesn’t represent me. In fact, none of the AIA shareholders I know sold out to CPF. It was the institutions, not the people.

    rjs131. We haven’t had any polls since this last fortnight, but the gap narrowed in the lastest poll from Roy Morgan (see under polls)

  8. mike 8

    “mike. I’m a shareholder and Bruce Sheppard doesn’t represent me. In fact, none of the AIA shareholders I know sold out to CPF. It was the institutions, not the people.”
    So its OK for the Govt to have the last say in who you sell your shares to then Steve.
    Also 27’000 shareholders sounds like “people” to me.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10498122

  9. Steve Pierson 9

    yes. when i am an owner of a strategic asset, it is ok for the elected government of this country to say ‘hey, if you do that it will be bad for the country, so we won’t let you’, if that is the decision they make according the due process.

  10. mike 10

    Hey its your money Steve, I’ll stick to being a slum landlord….

  11. the sprout 11

    i thought Key dumping on Connell was another stupid move. there’d be plenty of politicians, National included, and voters, who would’ve thought “good one Brian” for him telling Faafoi to go take a flying feck.

    it really just looks like Key is taking a cheap swipe at Connell because he’s on the outer anyway, at the price of being seen to side with the media against one of his own. bad for morale, bad for the facade of loyalty, and bad for Key when he loses his rag over being hounded by a cameraman outside the dunny.

    Faafoi is defintely one of the better guys, but he wasn’t doing much for journalistic standards that day. Connell, dork that he is, was within his rights to bite back after such persistent badgering.

  12. BeShakey 12

    I think you underestimate English. I suspect this will be the start of an extended period of questioning around government debt. The aim isn’t to show that government debt is spiralling or that the government is borrowing to fund tax cuts, the aim is to confuse people and the media about what is going on (if you look at Hansard the discussions are fairly technical and I doubt many, including the media, would have followed them). Once that confusion is in place, National can announce that they are going to borrow to fund tax cuts but that its rich for Labour to criticse them for it when Labour is doing the same thing – to prove them wrong the media are firstly going to have to wade through all the detail, and secondly going to have to make it both accessible and interesting for the public.

  13. Scribe 13

    Steve,

    You’re free to write whatever you like (obviously), but you do nothing to advance your opinions when you embellish things or misrepresent people.

    Yes, it’s been a tough couple of weeks for National. And it’s legitimate to provide a list of the errors made.

    But, as far as I can tell, Connell didn’t drop the F bomb when interviewed by Faafoi (and I did a google search to check). Maybe you’re getting him confused with Steve Maharey in the House a few months back.

    And you know you’re misrepresenting Key when you allege he said “we won’t hire more prison guards and we’ll have doctors doing their own filing”.

    Bashing National is fine, but at least bash them based on facts, not embellishment or outright deceit.

  14. Steve Pierson 14

    Scribe. whenever one writes a post you know there are certain trivial phrases on the side that some rightie will pick up and run with, rather than addressing the core of the post. You didn’t disappoint me:

    a ‘fuck you, no fuck you’ conversation is just short hand for a conversation that descends into trying to insult and embarrass the other person, rather than be constructive.

    Prison guards are part of the core public service that Key won’t expand, and if you hire more doctors but not more support staff, who will do the filing?

  15. sdm 15

    How about a post on 27,000 shareholders who acted despite Cullens political interference in a deliberate slap in the face?

  16. Steve Pierson 16

    sdm. if you think shareholders make the decision to buy or sell shares to slap politicans you’re in a dream world. Remember too, the Government changed the rules as a result of the Airport board changing its position on the CPF bid, it knew there was a good change of the bid gainng the support it needed, that’s why it needed to act.

    and if you want to see a post on that issue, write it on a blog of your own. It’s real easy to do.

  17. sdm 17

    Bruce Sheppard seems to think it played a large part. And when the government announced it, the AIAL share price dropped dramatically, making the Canadian deal seem more attractive.

    I decided to sell my shares after Cullen intervened.

  18. Macro 18

    Good on you sdm I see you don’t give a stuff about the country either! In the second world war germany and britian tried to smash each others airports out of existance. why? Because they were vital infrastructure. Now we don’t need to bomb them – we just need to buy them. I’m not saying the canadians will do anything untoward with our most used port of entry into the country, but we know that they will have a different take on what’s best for nz when it comes to maintenance and upgrading. Just like our Aussie owners of our railways and rolling stock have done. Their take on the assets is TAKE TAKE TAKE and stuff the people who were foolish enough to sell them in the first place.
    And that’s why the Govt quite rightly said you might buy some of it – but you sure as hell arn’t going to have any say in how its run.

  19. sdm 19

    Macro you are a moron. Its Labour and their allies who are looking to undermine NZ through the installation of policies that are anti-nz. Anti-business, anti-Kiwi

    As for take take take – try tax tax tax. The government can piss off – its not their asset to dictate how its run. Labour is anti-NZ, they are anti the shareholders, anti investors. They intervened only because they saw their were votes in it – however the polls show their support is dissappearing. Nobody has yet put forward an argument as to how this deal is bad for NZ.

    Oh and btw: I worked on the last two labour campaigns. Maybe I should air their dirty laundry, of which there is plenty…..

  20. CM Burns 20

    SDM labour and the Standard can be summed very well in this post by Robinsod.

    “Hey righties – if you want to talk “personal responsibility’ then you better send me a cheque asap ‘cos it’s my taxes that paid for your education. Oh and while you’re at it you better add in the dollars that paid for your doctor’s subsidies, the public infrastructure you use and maybe some interest as well.’

    Can’t you just hear the loathing in his post ……excellent !!

    [lprent: Once is enough (this is the second time I’ve seen it, See here). It gets the point you want to make across. Three times and I start thinking of you as a troll, and take what I consider is appropiate action (what you think is your problem). Is that clear?]

  21. r0b 21

    Macro you are a moron. Its Labour and their allies who are looking to undermine NZ through the installation of policies that are anti-nz. Anti-business, anti-Kiwi

    sdm, you say you used to support Labour. I’m sorry that something has made you so angry with them.

    As for take take take – try tax tax tax.

    This is a right wing lie you have been sold sdm. NZ does not have a high overall rate of personal taxation. See the graph in:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax

    … NZ is 3rd lowest of the 30 plotted.

    Labour is anti-NZ, they are anti the shareholders, anti investors. They intervened only because they saw their were votes in it

    You may not agree with Labour, but I don’t think you can argue that they are “anti-NZ” or “anti-Kiwi”. (Even if only on purely logical grounds, how can it be anti NZ if there are so many votes in it?).

    Nobody has yet put forward an argument as to how this deal is bad for NZ.

    Yes they have sdm, the debate has covered this same ground many times. You don’t want to hear the arguments, but they have been stated.

    Anyway, peace be with you, and goodnight.

  22. milo 22

    Not a bad post.

    I think the problem is that, to somebody like me, any criticism of Key rebounds to thoughts of what the incumbent government and its politicians have done. It’ll be interesting to see the polls. You are right, that there have been many missteps for National lately, but it just makes me think “Yes, Key is flawed. But you know what, anything but another term of the current mob.” Actually, I’d rather vote for the Maori party the the current government. At least Hone Harawira often makes sense.

  23. sdm 23

    “sdm, you say you used to support Labour. I’m sorry that something has made you so angry with them.”

    Well these things happen. In 2005 I was on a trail for Labour, worked very very hard. There are issues, for instance I feel that the power has corrupted, too many scandals, and its probably time for a change.

    As for the tax thing – I think having your top tax rate kick in at 60K is awfully restrictive.

    Anti-kiwi was perhaps a little harsh. I think they are about envy – oh well if you can afford to own shares you don’t matter. One does wonder why the Cullen fund sold its shares to the canadians and yet the government may veto it.

  24. r0b 24

    There are issues, for instance I feel that the power has corrupted, too many scandals

    I completely disagree there sdm. What scandals? I know that National have done a good job of creating the illusion of scandal where none exists (e.g. the “Owen Glenn affair” – what exactly did he do wrong again?). I know that Labour have passed some legislation that has been contentious, and the Kiwiblog Right have whipped up an orgy of pseudo indignation about it. But I don’t think there is substance to any single accusation of scandal.

    and its probably time for a change.

    I think that is the weakest of all possible arguments. We’ve had years of good government, falling unemployment, rising wages, sensible foreign policy. So, what, for no other reason “time for a change”. Let’s try a government of Hollow Men (if you want real scandal), that will privatise assets, keep a lid on wages, follow America into foolish wars, and all the rest. Why? Why? Why?

  25. higherstandard 25

    rOb

    What scandals – HBDHB as the most recent scandal although the doctored report will no doubt exonerate all it has a particular stench about it.

    Next how about the crisis in the hospitals in NZ at present despite the increases in funding poured into Vote Health the basic flaws in the system remain.

    And lets add in Labour’s illegal pillaging of the public purse for pledge cards – not just hollow completely fecking transparent

  26. r0b 26

    What scandals – HBDHB as the most recent scandal although the doctored report will no doubt exonerate all it has a particular stench about it.

    I haven’t been following this one HS, as I understand it there are accusations leveled at both National and Labour individuals, but no suggestion of central / government “scandal”. From the outside it sounds like politics as usual.

    Next how about the crisis in the hospitals in NZ at present despite the increases in funding poured into Vote Health the basic flaws in the system remain.

    New Zealand has one of the world’s best health systems. See for example a 2004 report issued by the New York-based Commonwealth Fund. Their survey ranked New Zealand’s health system second among the six developed countries it covered. Germany is ranked first. We came in ahead of Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. See the report here:

    http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/publications_show.htm?doc_id=364436

    Now the demand for health services is endless, the funding is limited, and so the system will never be perfect. But it is damned good. And all these beat up attempts to make political capital out of its occasional failures should be recognised for exactly what they are.

    And lets add in Labour’s illegal pillaging of the public purse for pledge cards

    National did the same for various pamphlets (not to mention it’s illegal GSTR overspend), and all parties (except the Progressives) overspent at the last election because the AG changed the interpretation of the rules after the event. No “illegal pillaging” involved, and though not legally required to, Labour has paid the money back.

    You want scandal HS? Have you read The Hollow Men? What do you make of John Key trampling on free speech by gagging a journalist?

  27. higherstandard 27

    Rob

    So politics as usual consists of AK partner being employed at the HBDHB despite advice that this could lead to perceived conflicts of interest issues and the current debacle where a board member gets to ammend and comment on a tender prior to its issue and then ends up winning the same tender.

    The failings of both King and Hodgson, but also Lind and Clarke seem numerous. Deleted e-mails, official advice ignored, preferential treatment, secret recordings, appointments without interviews, to name a few. – well if that’s politics as usual we’re in a worse state than anyone imagined.

    There’s coverage of this in that famous right wing publication the listner if you care to have a look.

    “New Zealand has one of the worlds best healthcare systems”

    I note you quote the commonwelth fund report – while I have not read this thoroughly I see that it ranks the countries in terms of patients’ reports on care experiences and ratings on various dimensions of care. While focusing on a limited slice of the health care quality picture—patient perceptions of care received—as well as a limited number of countries.

    Interestingly I see we come last in terms of Effectiveness: The indicators of effectiveness in the 2004 and 2005 surveys were grouped into four categories: prevention, chronic care, primary care, and hospital care and coordination. Compared with the other five countries, U.S. patients fared particularly well on receipt of preventive care and care for the chronically ill, although all countries had considerable room for improvement. Canada scored well on primary care, and Germany ranked first on hospital care and coordination. Across the indicators of effectiveness, the U.S. ranked first and New Zealand ranked last.

    I would question whether they are also aware of our current issues with severe staff shortages in hospitals and continued reliance on overseas trained medical staff some of whom are excellent some of whom are appalling.

    rOb I work in health sector this is not some right wing rant, the health system is in a very very serious situation and it is one area I’d like to see all the parties come togther and solve the very real issues that exist.

    Your ascertation that National did it to in terms of the overspending of public money somehow making labours specdig on the pledge card OK is beyond me and Yes I have read Hollow Men but only the TS Eliot version

  28. r0b 28

    HS: So politics as usual consists of …

    As I said HS this is not an issue I have followed (or intend to follow). You’ll pardon me if I don’t take your perception of events as gospel – I understand that there are accusations of impropriety all over the political spectrum. Instead of rumor-mongering let’s wait for the report eh?

    I note you quote the commonwelth fund report – while I have not read this thoroughly I see that it ranks the countries in terms of patients’ reports on care experiences and ratings on various dimensions of care.

    Yup, and true it’s only a limited range of countries, but coming in second and ahead of Australia, Canada, the UK and the US, doesn’t seem like the “scandal” that you want it to be.

    rOb I work in health sector this is not some right wing rant

    From the time you spend posting here can I take a guess that you work in health administration? What do you make of Key’s attack on the “back office” workers in the public sector?

    Your ascertation that National did it to in terms of the overspending of public money somehow making labours specdig on the pledge card OK is beyond me

    I’m not saying that two wrongs make a right, I’m saying that two (in fact many) wrongs show that the rules were not clear (specifically that the rules were not as the AG retrospectively decided that they were). For goodness sake, Rod Donald drafted the election spending legislation, and the AG later decided that Rod and the Greens (and Labour and National) interpreted it incorrectly. WTF?

    and Yes I have read Hollow Men but only the TS Eliot version

    Then with the greatest of respect, you know nothing about the biggest scandals of recent NZ political history, or the character of the National Party front bench.

  29. higherstandard 29

    rOB

    Misrepresenting my post is typicaal of the left – Yes I’m actually a medical professioanl so can comment on the DHB crisis

    ‘Let’s wait for the report’ which one the original or the doctored cak that will be released

    The commonwealth report …….

    You seem to have ignored the fact that in this report NZ was last YES last in the most relevant measure – effectiveness (prevention, chronic care, primary care, and hospital care and coordination).

  30. r0b 30

    Misrepresenting my post is typicaal of the left

    When did I do that HS? I said I was guessing, I guessed incorrectly, hardly a misrepresentation. Please calm yourself, it’s too nice a day for high blood pressure.

    Yes I’m actually a medical professioanl so can comment on the DHB crisis

    Anyone can comment on the DHB “crisis” (as you would have it).

    You seem to have ignored the fact that in this report NZ was last YES last in the most relevant measure – effectiveness (prevention, chronic care, primary care, and hospital care and coordination).

    NZ came second overall, but by all means pick the scale that we did worst in and focus on that! Read past the Executive Summary HS, and you will see that in sub scales of effectiveness we did very well (second best on “prevention”), and that in general the differences are minor – all the countries surveyed are effective at this level.

    I’ll say again, demand for health services is endless, the funding is limited, and so the system will never be perfect. But it is damned good. And all these attempts to beat up a “crisis” and make political capital out of it should be recognised for exactly what they are.

  31. AncientGeek 31

    Like rOb I haven’t particularly bothered following whatever is happening in Hawkes Bay district health board. From what I did read or hear, it looked to me like the DHB was over-spending, and Cunliffe removed the board and put in a manager to resolve the problem.

    Been done before for exactly the same reasons, eg in Auckland health board by Helen in the 80’s. Was an effective response then, and probably will be in the Hawkes Bay.

    Apart from that, it sounds like there is the usual local politics going on. Sounds like some of the board wanted to get rid of a member and found an excuse to do so. I’m more concerned about the over-spending.

  32. Ever so slightly wrong AncientGeek – this might put you straight….

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/03/more-from-mccully.html

    or this…..

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/03/listener-ii.html

    read with an open mind, and you might see why there are a few people on all sides of the political spectrum who are concerned about this.

  33. AncientGeek 33

    I2:

    The problem with both of those links is that they don’t address what I’m interested in – the over-spend. I’d have to look it up, but I remember it being in the order of 8 million over budget. The previous DHB over-spends I’ve seen have been considerably less. Points to something being very out of control in that board.

    stuff article

    In his list of reasons Mr Cunliffe singled out Mr Atkinson’s comment last week that “It was never a realistic goal to cut $5 million from the board’s costs, but it had factored that expectation into its budget to simply get the sign off from the health minister”.

    If I saw that statement from any budgeter, I’d willingly sack them in an instant. It shows a serious lack of integrity to write budgets that you do not intend to try to achieve.

    Neither of your links deal with the budgeting or financial problems at that DHB at all. They deal with Hausemann who, from what I understand, was stood down off the board at the time that budget was done.

    There may or may not be problems with conflict of interest. But at present that looks to me to be a smokescreen to prevent too close a look at the governance incompetence of the HBDHB board. It’d be interesting to look at the blowouts in the previous budgets vs reality of the board.

    BTW: You’re right in your implicit assumption that I don’t trust either McCully or Whale as being trustworthy sources. IMHO both have shown a track record of twisting anything to attack their opponents.

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    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    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 If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    3 hours ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    3 hours ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    4 hours ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    1 day ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    5 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    6 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
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