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National’s campaign of false equivalences

Written By: - Date published: 8:23 am, December 4th, 2014 - 102 comments
Categories: blogs, john key, national - Tags: , , , , ,

Yesterday, John Key gave us some advertising in the house. At question time about the Dirty Politics revelations that Jason Ede of his office had been writing blog posts that went up under Cameron Slater’s name at Whaleoil (see video in “Is John Key on the skids?” at about 1:48)

Megan Woods: Why has he (John Key) not asked for the drafts of the blog posts

John Key: I don’t think that it would achieve a hell of a lot, and more than if Mr Little was to go and ask how many people write anonymously or under pseudonyms on The Standard and all of those things. He might find some really amazing answers. But that again would be the pot calling the kettle black, wouldn’t it.

Quite an interesting weasel worded and completely meaningless answer (read it again – he doesn’t say anything).

It is also a false equivalence between the way that the blogs of right like Whaleoil and Kiwiblog operate, effectively as puppets of the National party, and the way that the blogs of the left largely operate, ours included.

Firstly. No-one writes on this site “anonymously”, they either use their own name or most likely write under a pseudonym.  If I felt so inclined I could figure out who they were if I really needed to. No-one else can, except possibly the GCSB or SIS by tapping the data streams.

The reason for pseudonyms is because of the behaviour of some of the arseholes in political debate like Cameron Slater or John Key or even some on our side of the political fence. We, like most political blogs, both allow and actively encourage people to write under pseudonyms.

There have been many instances over the years on this site and others of threats and actions of retribution being carried out against people because of them expressing their opinions. In the net retribution can come for something you wrote decades earlier that is still visible when you approach a job.

After more than 3 decades around the net and its predecessors, my advice and that of every just about other veteran of it, is to only put your name to your opinions on the net if you need to for your work (like journalists and politicians), or you are so far along in your career that it is hard to be attacked in it. Because if it is possible to be attacked, then somewhere on the net there are many nutters who will do so.

Secondly. Our site isn’t open slather. We can and do actively prevent some people from writing posts and comments on this site.

We don’t allow parliamentary staffers like Jason Ede to write our posts or to use our names and pseudonyms.

The infamous H-fee post back in 2008 is the single questionable instance out of more than 15 thousand posts and I’d love to find out who the political dickhead was who put that up on our site.  The authors of the time made damn sure that didn’t happen again. We also severely discourage politicians and staffers from writing on the site except under their own names.

Thirdly. We don’t allow criminal activities, assertions of fact without backing proof, violations of laws, encouragement of violence, or many of the other things. These are the things that have the irresponsible man-child Cameron Slater regularly being questioned by police or enquiries and appearing in front of courts. Something that I, thankfully, don’t have to do. They also get books written about you, something that is unlikely to happen about our volunteers to write posts and run this site.

As Danyl McLaughlin of Dimpost so perfectly said on twitter yesterday in response to Patrick Gower also running false equivalences (after I’d criticized one of his ex-colleagues for lying about this site “Scott Campbell: Liar on The Nation“*).


Indeed. He is referring to some passages in Dirty Politics where Cameron Slater was chortling in his obnoxiously irresponsible fashion about doing exactly that.

John Key is quite wrong. There is absolutely no equivalence between the way that we operate as a blog and the way that his puppeted blogs operate. It says more about how John Key thinks than it does about the way we operate.



* By the way, Scott Campbell has been unable to find any instances of posts or comments backing up his claim that this site was used by the beehive to attack him in 2008. Instead he is running diversions into the single H-fee post and vague statements that make it sound like he was sucked in by over-beers bullshit. He appears to me to be a complete arsehole of PR whose words are hard to distinguish from a typical fact free ‘Cameron Slater’  post.

102 comments on “National’s campaign of false equivalences ”

  1. mickysavage 1

    Well said lprent.

    • weka 1.1

      +1. Excellent write up. It will be useful in the future too whenever anyone runs the ‘the standard does it too’ lines.

      • Bunji 1.1.1

        John Key will keep running those lines though. He knows that average Joe Punter doesn’t read blogs, and no journalist is going to set him right – they’re hardly fond of us (see Paddy Gower for a start).

        So Key can keep saying “The Standard is just like Whale Oil, Labour is just like National with smear campaigns run out of their office” – and we can correct him, but we’re generally only talking to the already well-informed…

        Still: great post Lynn, and hopefully a few more will realise about John Key’s lies…

        • batweka

          Will Joe Punter be watching parliamentary tv though? 😉

          Gower obviously has a problem with comprehension, or separating his emotions from his day job, or maybe he’s just spinning a line. But I think there are other journos who understand what DP is and who will not buy the line that political blogging = DP.

          • Bunji

            The one thing people do watch en masse is TV news – and they have clips of those lines in parliament.

            But yes, Joe Punter is unlikely to watch ParliTV.

            Media pundits don’t like us because we’re free competition… but they do like it when we find them new stories / angles etc… They see us as parasites, feeding off their news stories, but I’m pretty sure it’s symbiotic… Hell, we even link to their stories and increase their readership…

            So maybe some smart journo who gets that will point out JK’s lies about us

        • Anne

          How about someone send a copy of lprent’s post to John Key, Steven Joyce, Wayne Eagleson and all the gallery journalists plus a special for Scott Campbell.

          Then sit back and watch what they do and say. And when people log in and discover how interesting TS is… hey presto – they’ve lost!

          • Bunji

            Yes, it awfully nice of John to do our advertising and push our readership… 😉

            If they do actually come to read then – all good!

    • adam 1.2

      Hear, hear.

  2. Would be nice if Key could be asked in parliament who the supposed posters are. On the other hand, I’m worried that people will find out I’m Batman.

  3. vto 3

    Yes, well said mr prent, keep up the good work.

    Key’s response does surely highlight more about the way he thinks than anything about this site. In fact it highlights a significant and basic trait about right-wing ‘thinking’….

    …. they absolutely do think that everybody thinks the same way as themselves and have broadly the same guiding principles about life as them. Which of course is absolute tosh.

    Key is the epitome of this – it is all about ‘winning’, the means don’t matter, and those that don’t ‘make it’ are the creators of their own situation. Planet Key folks, its Planet Key ….. I’m the man … I got me 50 million … look on in wonder …. I am the man …..

    what a sorry specimen of a man

  4. ianmac 4

    Slater has a blog. Nasty stuff there.
    The Stanard has a blog. So it must be nasty too.
    A rooster has a comb.
    Key has a comb so Key must be a rooster. (With his tail feathers dragging in the mud.)

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    John Key is good with his lines. I do really appreciate him promoting The Standard to a much wider audience though. The quality of writing and comments here will keep many coming back. Thanks PM! 🙂

    • weka 5.1

      heh. Why bother with all the work Ad was suggesting when you can have the PM do the promotion for you?

  6. Sabine 6

    Someone should ask dear leader again

    “Why has he (John Key) not asked for the drafts of the blog posts” and again and again, until he answers the question.

    Now that would be fun too watch.

    I follow Daily Kos from the US, and i disagree with the “nom de plume’ stance. Write under your own name, always, and defend your own opinion.
    It is hard to say they do it too…when clearly they don’t .

    Quite a few of the front posters of Daily Kos started out with Net Names and now write under their own names. And quite a few of the democrats post on that site aswell under their own names. And why not. This page is for political discourse and that means every now and then someone should own up what they wrote. And that is where the difference lies, the owing up to – National does it not.

    • weka 6.1

      There are standard authors who used to use pseudonyms who use RL names now.

      You seem to have missed the point about pseudonyms though. For some people it’s just not safe. If they only had the option of using their RL names they wouldn’t be able to write. That would do far more damage to the political blogosphere than the perceived problems of pseudonymity.

      (there’s also the point that ts values content of a post, what it actually says, rather than who says it).

      Can I ask why you don’t comment under you RL identity?

      • Sabine 6.1.1

        i have not missed to point about pseudonyms or ‘nom de plume” it has been done since ever.
        In fact quite a few female writers wrote under the name of men in order to get published

        What I am saying is that it is easier to fight of allegations when one uses their own names.

        Sabine is my first name.

        • weka

          “What I am saying is that it is easier to fight of allegations when one uses their own names.”

          You’re wrong though, because if I had to use my RL name to fight allegations I wouldn’t be here at all. Saying RL ID is more valid than pseudonymity actually makes it harder to respond to allegations because you undermine the safety of the people that have to use pseudonyms.

          “Sabine is my first name.”

          Yeah, and weka is mine* 😉 But that’s not your RL ID. I’m not asking you to use your RL ID, I’m asking you why you don’t given the argument you are making here.

          *not really, my real name is Batman.

        • lprent

          It might be easier to fight allegations using your own FULL name (somehow I don’t think that a first name really cuts it with that).

          However based on the attacks on me and other authors and writers here, it might NOT be so easy to eat or have net access as it is to defend yourself with a full name.

          As an example. Soon after the site started, Cameron Slater did his very best to attack my employer on the basis that we were sharing a DNS cluster in a reciprocal primary/secondary manner. In his usual inept way, he happened to attack my previous employer.

          People have been fired from their jobs when their RL identities have become known.

          I always disclose my blogging and in particular what Slater has done and posted about doing when I change jobs. I get away with it because my skills are so much in demand. But I usually get a restriction about revealing who I work for. After all who wants an complete arsehole like Cameron Slater attacking you.

          • batweka

            There are other vulnerabilities too. Anyone is potentially a target for people like Slater irrespective of employment issues. They will go for whatever weakness they can find.

            Women on the net have particular vulnerabilities. The people who have a go at ts for being an abusive culture should go hang out in places online where women get routinely attacked in violent ways, ways that for some include danger in real life. This is true for other groups too (some of the transphobia and race hatred online is breathtaking).

            (Ts culture is often rude, and IMO there is too much meanness, but there are very clear boundaries around personally directed misogyny, homophobia, racism etc).

            Beneficiaries in NZ face particular challenges if they want to blog politically. Not only is there the danger of attack from people like Slater (and lesser minions), but WINZ can actively track people’s online activities and use that against them even where the beneficiary is not doing anything wrong.

            The list goes on. I have a friend that immigrated from Australia to NZ in fear of her life from her ex. In the past she had unlisted telephone numbers, wasn’t on the electoral roll, had to be very careful about giving out her address etc. I don’t know what she does now in the internet age, but it’s ludicrous to suggest that she could write about the politics of domestic violence under her real name.

            • Anne

              It’s the covert attacking which is the most insidious and can ultimately have a devastating effect on a person’s life. At least with the overt stuff the target knows the identity of the attacker and can respond if they so desire.

              This Lyn Freeman interview with a British journalist on Nine to Noon this morning is a case in point. Shocking stuff and it’s happened in NZ too!


            • lprent

              It is important and especially in the misogynist and relatively bigoted area of political blogs.

              I keep a pretty close watch on various demographics where I have data. For instance from google analytics since March we have a reasonably accurate sample now of gender – which is what I tend to use a defacto indicator of the social health of the site.

              I don’t have “user” data for this. But sessions are when people start accessing the site to when they leave.

              The sample may have some biases because it is just the information from people who care to share it with google – about 45% of all those sessions on the site. But I suspect that the numbers make it pretty representative.

              (click for larger image)

              I’m not that happy with just 30% women in sessions (I’d have picked it as being a bit higher). But I’d be willing to bet that was one of the highest if not the highest amongst political blogs in NZ apart from the HandMirror. Certainly the numbers here would be higher than anywhere else. The environment in Whaleoil or even Kiwiblog isn’t exactly the place where most women would care to go.

              I am heartened with the %new being higher than males and while the bounce rate is higher as well, some number crunching shows that we are picking up female readers faster than male. So hopefully at some point it’d get more equal.

              From the similarity of pages read and session duration, it looks like women like our content about as much as the guys.

              Needless to say I keep an eye on these kinds of numbers. For me they are the ‘canary in the coalmine’ about how the blog is doing. I’d much sooner lose page views and sessions than I would start losing female readers.

              • Lanthanide

                “The environment in Whaleoil or even Kiwiblog isn’t exactly the place where most women would care to go.”

                I can’t tell if this statement is sexist or not.

                • Tracey

                  I havent been there for years. I found it a very unsettling place to be and the “attitude” by some to women and others was pretty offputting.

                • lprent

                  Well I’m not interested in going there myself more than I have to. It is all about probabilities….

                  I am quite sexist. I like being a male. However I also come from a family that is (too put it mildly) pretty damn assertive from all genders and from an early age – run by a gen 2 feminist and her stroppy over-achieving husband. We’re great believers in making sure that everyone can do everything. Which is why rocky became a programmer, why we all can sew, why we all use tools, why I am the cook at home, and why I know how to clean thoroughly.

                  However there are some pretty distinctive gender behavioral differences. The spectrum of probable behaviors overlap a lot, but there are some probabilities that seem to be gender specific outside of nurture.

                  For instance I really can’t be bothered cleaning and tidying up much myself. Whereas after adolescence virtually every women I know seems (to me) to be obsessed with it. And so few of them seem to be come truly obsessive computer gamers in the mid 30s when you have the time and money to really get serious about it.

                  I also find find a pretty strong differentiation in male/female tolerance to online forum behaviour. I try to strike a balance here in the overlap area between shoving excitement and meaningful dialogue, and being tolerant of behaviors that are not mine (usually in a sarcastic manner).

                  • adam

                    Liking being a male is not being sexist. Liking the systems that give men power over women – that’s sexist.

                    And if no else says – thanks for keeping the creepy off the standard.

            • lprent

              BTW: The age distribution is also interesting.

              Remarkably even. Most sites I have looked at have some pretty skewed profiles.

              • greywarshark

                The knowledge about brain development puts 25 as the general time of maturity. Look at the stats above. And most of the stages of growing up have happened by 25, time then to look at the world with some discernment.

            • greywarshark

              The writer of the Millenium Trilogy Stieg Larson and his partner couldn’t get married because there would have been too much publicity and publically available information, their address etc. There was a period when there were a lot of hate attacks going on there. I don’t think they could register a car because of the need to keep their address secret. When he died his partner couldn’t inherit because she wasn’t legally related to him.

              There are real pressures on people who become the focus of sick minds. The ability to live in society ultimately relies on trust and respect for the other. Women who hook up with men who don’t have respect for other’s rights and who become infuriated with their partner can harass and stalk them until they murder them. When a person channels their hostility at another it can be fierce and unpleasantly wounding, if not deadly.

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      He did actually answer the question, before he went on to ramble and rant:

      “I don’t think that it would achieve a hell of a lot”.

  7. coaster 7

    Key sounds alot like my kids when you’re find one doing something wrong (that they know is wrong) the standard comment is”but they did it first” often you find out they didnt do it at all.

  8. Tracey 8

    the problem is Key will win by dropping the standards name.

    Gower probably considers the standard is nasty because he gets called names. He and others either didnt read DP or didnt understand it. The criticisms of Slater and his behaviour is NOT about name calling. If Gower doesnt get the difference between name calling and

    Receiving money to pretend you wrote something
    Colluding with those in power to misuse the OIA and SIS
    Using an ex prostitute to try and find dirt on people you dont like
    Deliberately posting mistruths to further ms collins or anyone elses agenda
    The PM refusing to cut off the person who does all of the above

    He deserves to be called on it. Some self awareness on his part is probably too much to ask?

    • Skinny 8.1

      Gower isn’t that bad, it’s Garner that puts him up to many of the antic’s against the Left, Labour especially, DG holds a long grudge against many of their MP’s who were stonewalling him when they were in Govt. I’ve teamed up with the both of them to do the odd number on sitting duck Right MP’s who are fair game for a crack if any damaging info passes my way. One thing i’ve learnt about Gower is he is all about the ratings game.

      • Tracey 8.1.1

        gower considers TS is nasty the way WO is nasty. he has comprehension problems at the least.

        garner doesnt pull gowers strings. gower is a big little boy.

    • batweka 8.2

      That’s a good summarising list Tracey. I’d add

      Doxing (publishing people’s real life names and addresses etc online against their will/without their permission). Ts’s policy prohibits this, Slater endorses it.

      (of course people like Gower who think there is something wrong with pseudonyms probably won’t see the issue or understand why the difference is important).

    • Good analysis Tracey, I agree with you.

      gower and his mates don’t actually read The Standard they just repeat the lines they have heard. That is why those of us you hang here find their claims ludicrous. Some people have lost their ability to think for themselves and a lot of them are in our media.

  9. Tom Gould 9

    This simply illustrates that that the chooks, first and foremost, protect each other, even if it means lying. But as Key said, everything is ‘contestable’ so there are no lies and there is no truth.

  10. CATMAN 10

    but but but what about LABOUR’s campaign of false equivalences???

    Like when they made that CAKE?? It’s the same thing, right??

  11. BLiP 11

    Wise words well said. Thanks lprent.

    I’ve been wondering why John Key and Scott Campbell are so keen to display their difficult relationship with the truth and drunken yobbo approach to public dialogue. The false equivalence approach to minimising their own behavior makes as much sense as anything else. Given that the bulk of voting New Zealanders love being lied to, the “they do it too” distraction will be a great joke plus provide some comfort for the inherent cognitive dissonance supporting the National Ltd Cult Of John Key generates. Quite clever, really.

    Personally, I’m grateful for the ability to post here and keep my meatspace identity separate. There was a time when my job would have been at risk if my employer knew my political beliefs. Not such an issue now but, still, best to keep my options open “going forward”. What concerns me these days is the fact that John, Scott and their like are just as likely to attack those I am close to if I should ever piss them off sufficiently. It means nothing to them that an innocent relative or colleague should suffer a public kicking from their Dirty Politics Machine if it means silencing the genuine target. Welcome to John Key’s brighter future.

  12. Olwyn 12

    I think that many right wingers, very likely including John Key, simply can’t get their head around the idea that the reason for the site is the discussion of left wing ideas and values – they appear to think that it must have some underhand strategic aim, or otherwise it wouldn’t be worth maintaining. This becomes visible when controversies erupt, like Shearer’s roof painter speech and so on, when they come sniffing around looking for hidden connections. Matthew Hooton and most of the journalists appear to get it now, but for some of them there is only a point if there is a concerted effort to look conversational while actually trying to pull political strings.

    • greywarshark 12.1

      That is interesting Olwyn.
      Your point –
      the idea that the reason for the site is the discussion of left wing ideas and values – they appear to think that it must have some underhand strategic aim,

      is I think my reason for getting twinges about ideas of expanding the horizons for the blog to etch out a position of influence in the political scene. I think this sort of ambition might swamp the honest ideas that get tossed around and polished up here.

      • Olwyn 12.1.1

        Yes, I said something similar at the time it was being discussed. While I am OK with broadening the range of authors, etc, I would not like to see The Standard lose its freshness and honesty.

  13. Zolan 13

    At the time I thought Key was flinging the false equivalence out of desperation, and even he was embarrassed (or at least uneasy) about resorting to such a weak display. The Standard is merely the least conspicuously absurd target available.

    I expected it to be glossed away by the MSM, and am amazed they are so far gone as to give it traction.

    (I Nom de Planets)

  14. Neil 14

    Excellent post Lprent & totally agree with you. Last year Yahoo NZ closed down comments because of the extreme nastiness of some of the comments & those comments were predominantly from right wing supporters. If you look on other sites like tv3 & NZ herald you will see a lot of nastiness in the comments & they are mostly right wing supporters making them, what amazes me is these websites have codes of conduct for making comments, yet it seems almost impossible to get them to do anything about inappropriate comments. I was targeted by right wing supporters on a website last year & ended up having to get lawyers involved to get these people to stop making false allegations about me.

  15. Murray Rawshark 15

    “or you are so far along in your career that it is hard to be attacked in it.”
    That’d be me. Still producing, but counting down to retirement and not looking for either promotion or a new job.
    I thought about a handle, but decided not to, even though I use one on other sites. Bumbler blocked me from Facebook because I agreed he was an idiot, so I’m not going to use my name on TDB, for example.
    Anyway, I’m so far left compared to most Kiwis that I know maybe only 20% of what I say will be taken seriously. I’m relaxed about that.

  16. Ad 16

    I just love that attitude to code-names. From Key’s behavior in politicizing the SIS, and his avowed use of black ops operators, I believe the SIS will seek to crack as many of our code names as they want and add them to personalized data files on us as individuals.

    I believe we are a threat to this kind of government.
    Code-names are a first necessary protection.

    I particularly like the way TS lives up to its name. That is exceedingly rare.

    There’s been some commentary recently about being too hard on newbies. I believe there’s a point there, but it’s nothing to do with moderation and far more about regular commenters backing off a bit and giving the new ones sufficient rope for the n00bs to be hung with later. Patience can be fun in this respect. n00bie-friendliness and gender-friendliness are culturally similar re tolerances to rudeness, if I may be so bold.

  17. NZJester 17

    Some of you claim to be Batman, but just who are the villains.
    He claims to be an oily wale, but his power comes from the venom he uses.
    The Riddler:
    Who says one thing and claims what he said meant something totally different.
    The Key to that answer should be obvious

  18. emergency mike 18

    wtf is wrong with Patrick Gower? Evidence that The Standard is the left’s WO? John Key saying so? Scott Campbell saying so and looking like an idiot when called on it? Did I miss something?

    Evidence that WO is National’s WO? A recently vindicated book, a ministerial resignation, John Key’s har har weasel words on the matter. Wake up dickhead, you are a spin repeater.

    • Ad 18.1

      Expect more as The Standard slips into the MSM media frame as the natural Digital Opposition.

      In fact, get used to it – it’s a compliment.

      • b waghorn 18.1.1

        They say no publicity is bad publicity.

      • batweka 18.1.2

        I agree Ad, it pays to be mindful of what’s going to happen next.

      • emergency mike 18.1.3

        “Expect more as The Standard slips into the MSM media frame as the natural Digital Opposition.

        In fact, get used to it – it’s a compliment.”

        Sure I’d agree with that if I was talking about John Key’s mutterings about The Standard. I had the weird idea that Gower was a journalist.

    • David H 18.2

      Gowers the Flashy showman with the “look at me Look at me,” When you need to watch those shadowy figures in the background.

  19. Cave Johnson 19

    One of the reasons that it’s so easy for the right to brand TS as nasty is the name-calling that goes on here. Name-calling isn’t really a very substantial sin in itself, but it does take a pretty thick-skinned righty to express any political thoughts here, so it’s not a very inclusive place from that point of view.
    The policy says “What we’re not prepared to accept are pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others.”
    Some examples of the kinds of comments that pepper the site (these are not moderation comments by the way, even though some commenters seem to see themselves in that role) :
    “[name], why don’t you just fuck off.”
    “Fuck off.”
    “Seriously, it would save everyone so much trouble if you just fucked off and started working on your martyrdom post now.”
    “If you can’t be bothered engaging in debate here with even some level of integrity, why don’t you just fuck off.”
    “Now fuck off troll.”
    “Such a cocktease! ‘cept without the tease part.”
    “Long, long, long, very, very, very, slow, slow, slow, clap, clap, clap for [abusive version of name] x 3. The Wind-Up Boy. The Shadow. The Lunatic. The Odour. The Tarnish. Off to SlaterPorn Ya Mad Fuck. Ya remind me of Madame Ceacescu near the end !”
    “fuck off, tosser.”
    “This issue doesn’t concern you, [name]. Your opinions on it have no value.
    Fuck off back to the sewer, there’s a good trool.”
    “Oh fuck off [name].”

    • adam 19.1

      I would suggest Cave; that if you had seen some of the comments that did get moderated, these responses to some points, were to be expected.

      Whilst I’m personally not a fan of bad language; (fubar and Tory scum – aside) it is a exercise in frustration, when a troll uses troll tactics to get under peoples skin, and divert a conversation string. I’m personally quite forgiving about a passionate response – if it carries on to a sustained personal attack – you will see the moderators jump in.

      It’s politics, not tiddlywinks. And the left has passion, it’s a huge asset – but sometimes, it can be the motivation behind people saying stupid things.

    • emergency mike 19.2

      “Name-calling isn’t really a very substantial sin in itself, but it does take a pretty thick-skinned righty to express any political thoughts here, so it’s not a very inclusive place from that point of view.”

      Rubbish. If any RWer was to come here and respectfully offer a reasoned argument for their position on some matter or other, I for one am confident they would be treated respectfully. I’ve seen it happen, rare as it is.

      But the usual RW commenter here is nearly always sarcastic, taunting, baiting, or outright tr0lling from their first comment in a given thread. They get what they deserve.

      Anyone who thinks this place is ‘nasty’ because tr0lls get told to fuck off hasn’t read much of what goes on here, and doesn’t understand the value of it.

      I haven’t myself noticed ‘the right’ using this particular point against us myself Cave. I mean, it’s not like someone’s gone and made a big out of context list of all the instances of swearing here and then commented that people at The Standard swear at people a lot. Oh wait…

      • Ad 19.2.1

        Agree re argument. But:

        Problem with being called The Standard is you have to have some.

        The MSM won’t treat us equally – we have to be better.

    • Colonial Rawshark 19.3

      Cave Johnson: LOL. Go away. You delicate little flower.

    • Tracey 19.4

      if you find that bad whatever you do stay away from the comments section of kiwiblog and all of WO

      fuck is just a word… as common today as bugger used to be.

      the homophobia and misogyny at those sites is creepy

    • Tracey 19.5

      it is the continuation of the deliberate deception that saying fuck off makes TS the same as KB and WO and the equating by gower and others of that aspect of DP.

      if the nuances are too subtle for you consider CVs advice below

  20. Manuka AOR 20

    Re: Patrick Gower’s twitter comment, “Your blog is nasty just like your mates on the Right”. Don’t know about the “mates on the Right” bit – TS is not known for having too many of those…

    But the “Nasty”…
    It is possible that a comment of mine contributed to Paddy’s reaction. On 22/11 I wrote on TS that “I thought the most vicious attempted attack so far was Gower’s: “It is the great union robbery – the unions have stolen Labour’s leadership.” ” http://thestandard.org.nz/81-knowing-your-position/#comment-928988.

    I linked to his article that was headlining on the 3News site: http://www.3news.co.nz/opinion/opinion-unions-rip-off-labour-leadership-2014111910

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      That would mean that Gower reads The Standard ha!!! (and like all the other political journos, of course he does)

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  • Festival drug-checking services get a boost
    The Government is financially supporting drug-checking services to help keep young people safe at this summer’s large festivals and events, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This is not about condoning drug use, but about keeping people safe,” Andrew Little said. “There is clear evidence that having drug-checking services at festivals ...
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    7 hours ago
  • Expanded vaccination order for health and disability, education and prison workers
    A newly-signed Order means most people working in three key sectors will very soon need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the sake of themselves, their workmates and their communities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has confirmed. The extended COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2021 comes into effect ...
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    8 hours ago
  • APEC finance ministers focus on inclusive, sustainable COVID recovery
    APEC finance ministers will continue to work together to respond to the effects of COVID-19 and ensure a sustainable and inclusive recovery while capitalising on the opportunity to build a more resilient future. The New Zealand Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson chaired the virtual APEC Finance ...
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    1 day ago
  • Improvements to child and maternity facilities at Timaru Hospital on track
    Improvements to child and maternity facilities at Timaru Hospital are well underway, and the next stage of the project will begin next month. Health Minister Andrew Little visited Timaru Hospital today to view progress onsite. “The improvements are part of South Canterbury DHB’s four-year refurbishment project and will create a ...
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    1 day ago
  • Govt responds to independent review into WorkSafe
    The Government has clear expectations that WorkSafe must action the recommendations of the independent review into the regulator to improve its management of adventure activities following the tragedy at Whakaari White Island, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood says. The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) today released the ...
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    1 day ago
  • Prevention funding to reduce tamariki in care
    A new iwi-led prevention programme will receive funding from Oranga Tamariki to help reduce the number of tamariki and rangatahi coming into state care, Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis has announced. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (Te Rūnanga) will receive $25.9m of Oranga Tamariki funding over three years to improve outcomes ...
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    1 day ago
  • Transforming New Zealand’s mental health legislation
    Public consultation is now open for Aotearoa New Zealand to have a say on the repeal and replacement of the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992. “’He Ara Oranga, the report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction’ made it clear that we needed to replace ...
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    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 Protection Framework
    Kia ora koutou katoa Today I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders to share a plan that will help us stay safe from COVID-19 into the future. A future where we want to continue to protect people’s lives, but also to live our lives – as safely as possible. Our ...
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    1 day ago
  • Business boost to transition to new COVID framework
    We know that over the last twenty months the approach New Zealand has taken to COVID and Delta has saved lives and livelihoods. Along with one of the lowest mortality rates in the world, we have also had strong economic growth, low unemployment and one of the lower levels of ...
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    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 funding boost to protect maōri communities
    Tēnā koutou katoa As you have heard from the Prime Minister, the new protection framework will support us to keep people safe especially our vulnerable communities and minimize the impact COVID-19 has on business and our day to day lives. If you want to protect yourself, your whanau and your ...
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    1 day ago
  • New COVID-19 Protection Framework delivers greater freedoms for vaccinated New Zealanders
    New COVID-19 Protection Framework provides pathway out of lockdown and ability for businesses and events to re-open to vaccinated New Zealanders Simpler framework to minimise cases and hospitalisations without use of widespread lockdowns Auckland to move into the new framework when 90 percent of eligible population in each of the ...
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    1 day ago
  • New fund to accelerate Māori vaccinations
    The Government has established a $120 million fund to accelerate Māori vaccination rates and support communities to prepare for the implementation of the new COVID-19 Protection Framework. The new Māori Communities COVID-19 Fund will directly fund Māori, Iwi, community organisations and providers to deliver local vaccination initiatives for whānau, and ...
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    1 day ago
  • Government extends hardship assistance for low income workers
    Income limits for Hardship Support through the Ministry of Social Development have been temporarily lifted so more people can recieve assistance. “Cabinet has agreed to make it easier for low income workers to recieve assistance for items such as food and other emergency costs,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “We know the ...
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    1 day ago
  • More support for learners with highest needs
    Students most in need of extra help in the classroom are the focus of a new review that gets under way today, Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti says. About 50,000-80,000 children and young people are expected to benefit from a Ministry of Education review into Highest Need Learners that will ...
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    2 days ago
  • Parts of Waikato to stay at Alert Level 3 for next six days
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 will remain at that alert level till Wednesday, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Based on the latest public health information, maintaining level 3 in those parts of the Waikato continues to be the most prudent course of ...
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    2 days ago
  • Hon Peeni Henare September 2021 Proactive Diary Release
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ passes world-first climate reporting legislation
    New Zealand has become the first country in the world to pass a law that will ensure financial organisations disclose and ultimately act on climate-related risks and opportunities, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark and Climate Change Minister James Shaw today announced today. The Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures ...
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    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister NZ UK FTA opening remarks
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. I am delighted to announce today that following a conversation with Prime Minister Johnson last night, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have Agreed in Principle a historic high-quality, comprehensive and inclusive free trade agreement. I’m joined today by the Minister ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand secures historic free trade deal with the United Kingdom
    A boost of almost $1 billion to New Zealand GDP, unprecedented access for New Zealand exporters to the UK market UK to eliminate all tariffs on New Zealand exports, with over 97% being removed the day the FTA comes into force NZ exporters to save approx. $37.8 million per year ...
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    2 days ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show more people in work
    Benefit figures released today show a year on year fall of 9,807 people receiving a Main Benefit in the September Quarter.  “The Government is working hard to tackle COVID-19 and it is clear our strong response to the initial outbreak has created a resilient labour market which is providing opportunities ...
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    2 days ago
  • Health reforms bill introduced to Parliament
    Legislation central to fixing the health system has been introduced into Parliament by Health Minister Andrew Little. “Rebuilding the public health system is critical to laying the foundations for a better future for all New Zealanders,” Andrew Little said. “We need a system that works for everybody, no matter who ...
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    3 days ago
  • NCEA and NZ Scholarship Exams to proceed
    NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams will proceed, including in areas where Alert Level 3 has been in place, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health have been working together to ensure exams can be managed in a safe ...
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    3 days ago
  • Limited change to onsite learning – for senior secondary students – in Level 3 regions
    Onsite learning at schools in Level 3 regions will start from next week for senior secondary school students to prepare for end of year exams, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Secondary schools in these regions will start onsite learning for years 11 to 13 on Tuesday 26 October,” Chris ...
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    3 days ago
  • Guaranteed MIQ spots for health workers
    The Government is changing the way managed isolation is co-ordinated for health workers, guaranteeing 300 spots a month for the health and disability sector. “Our world-class workforce is vital in rebuilding the health system and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Andrew Little said. “Whether it’s bringing doctors or nurses in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt helps to protect New Zealanders digital identities
    Making it easier for New Zealanders to safely prove who they are digitally and control who has access to that information is one step closer to becoming law, Minister for Digital Economy and Communications, Dr David Clark said. The Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill passed its first reading today ...
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    3 days ago
  • Red tape cut to boost housing supply
    New building intensification rules will mean up to three homes of up to three storeys can be built on most sites without the need for a resource consent New rules will result in at least 48,200 and as many as 105,500 new homes built in next 5-8 years Bringing forward ...
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    4 days ago
  • Nationwide business partnership grows conservation jobs
    Further Government support for New Zealand’s longest-standing sustainable business organisation will open up opportunities for dozens of workers impacted by COVID-19 to jump start a nature-based career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Partnering to Plant Aotearoa, led by the Sustainable Business Network (SBN), is a collaboration with iwi, hapū and ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand increases climate aid contribution
    Government commits $1.3 billion over four years to support countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change At least 50 percent of funding will go to the Pacific as it adapts to the impacts of climate change The increase means New Zealand now meets its fair share of global ...
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    6 days ago
  • Super Māori turnout for Super Saturday
    Māori have put a superb effort into mobilising to get vaccinated over Super Saturday, with thousands rolling up their sleeves to protect themselves, their whānau and communities from COVID-19, Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says. “It was absolutely outstanding that 21,702 Māori got vaccinated on this one day alone with 10,825 ...
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    6 days ago
  • Language assists Tagata Niue to thrive
    Despite the uncertain times we face with the challenges of COVID-19, our cultural knowledge, values and language remain constant, helping us progress towards goals in life, said  the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. This year, the Niuean community in New Zealand decided on the theme, “Kia tupuolaola e ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
    The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled. “I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
    Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Harvey graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1992 and commenced employment as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland that same year. In 1997 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
    New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation. “Reducing waste is one of the issues all New Zealanders – especially younger Kiwis - care deeply about,” Environment Minister David Parker said today “New Zealand is one of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today meet with more than 30 national Māori organisations in an online hui, kicking off the process to develop a plan for New Zealand to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration). The previous National Government signed ...
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    1 week ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
    Whai Kāinga, Whai Oranga will open on 20 October, to receive applications for investment through Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Te Puni Kōkiri The $730m fund combines investment from Budget 2021 ($380m) and the Māori Infrastructure Fund ($350m) - the largest investment seen ...
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    1 week ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
    Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall. A coalition of around 25 businesses ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
    Taiaha hā! Taiaha hā! - Te kairangi o te reo hoki mai ki taku tikanga, ki taku taumata, ki taku reo, ki taku ao. He reo whai tikanga, he reo whai mana, he reo whai tangata koe. Ki te whāngaihia te reo Māori he ao tēnā, ki te kore he ...
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    1 week ago