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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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  • Greens work to secure inquiry into Wild West student accommodation sector
    The Green Party has begun the process for a Select Committee inquiry into student accommodation, which has been exposed during COVID-19 as an under-regulated sector that straddles students with unfair debt. ...
    11 hours ago
  • New Zealand joins global search for COVID-19 vaccine
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Megan Woods, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Health Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods,  and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2020: Five things to know
    Budget 2020 is about rebuilding together, supporting jobs, getting business moving and the books back into the black. It’s an integral part of our COVID-19 economic response, and our plan to grow our economy and get New Zealand moving again. Here’s a quick look at the five top things you ...
    3 days ago
  • Coalition Government approves essential upgrades on Ōhakea Air Base
    The Coalition Government has approved $206 million in essential upgrades at Ōhakea Air Base.  Defence Minister Ron Mark said the money would be spent on improving old infrastructure. He said safety issues would be addressed, as well as upgrades to taxiways, accommodation and fresh, storm and waste water systems. "This ...
    6 days ago
  • Attributable to the Rt Hon Winston Peters
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First “I am not persisting with this case just for myself, but for all people who have had their privacy breached. Privacy of information is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Without it our society truly faces a bleak future. We now ...
    1 week ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones moves to protect sawmills
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones has introduced a Bill to Parliament that he says will "force more transparency, integrity and respect" for the domestic wood-processing sector through the registration of log traders and practice standards. The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill had its first reading in ...
    1 week ago
  • Green MP joins international call to cancel developing countries’ debt
    Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is joining over 300 lawmakers from around the world in calling on the big banks and the IMF to forgive the debt of developing countries, in the wake of the COVID crisis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones swipes back at billion trees critics
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones says concerns that carbon foresters are planting pine trees that will never be harvested are the result of "misinformation". "The billion tree strategy is an excellent idea, unfortunately from time to time it's tainted by misinformation spread by the National Party or their grandees, hiding in scattered ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget boost for refugee families a win for compassion
    The Green Party welcomes funding in the budget to reunite more refugees with their families, ensuring they have the best chance at a new life in Aotearoa New Zealand. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How Budget 2020 is supporting jobs
    This year’s Budget is about rebuilding New Zealand together in the face of COVID-19. Jobs are central to how we’re going to do that.There’s a lot of targeted investment for employment in this year’s Budget, with announcements on creating new jobs, training people for the jobs we have, and supporting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters says China didn’t want NZ to go into lockdown
    Speaking to Stuff's Coronavirus NZ podcast, Foreign Minister Winston Peters revealed China tried to dissuade New Zealand from going into lockdown. “Without speaking out of turn, they wanted a discussion as to why we were doing it, because they thought it was an overreaction,” Mr Peters told Stuff’s Coronavirus NZ podcast. He also ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Changes made to Overseas Investment Act to protect New Zealand assets
    The Coalition Government is making changes to the Overseas Investment Act to ensure New Zealand assets don't fall into the hands of foreign ownership in the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Associate Minister of Finance David Parker announced the Act will be amended to bring forward a national interest ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: Trans-Tasman bubble to help tourism industry make swift recovery
    A quick start to a trans-Tasman bubble could see the tourism industry make a swift recovery, according to Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters. "I believe tourism will turn around dramatically faster than people think," Mr Peters told reporters after Thursday's Budget. "Why? Because I think the Tasman bubble is [going ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt. Hon Winston Peters: Budget Speech
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First   Please check against delivery https://vimeo.com/418303651 Budget 2020: Jobs, Business and Balance   Introduction Acknowledgements to all Cabinet colleagues, and party ministers Tracey Martin, Shane Jones and Ron Mark, Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau and to caucus colleagues. Thank you for your support, your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Jacinda Ardern’s 2020 Budget Speech
    Read Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Budget 2020 Speech. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Next steps to end family and sexual violence
    The 2020 Budget includes significant support to stabilise New Zealand’s family violence services, whose work has been shown to be so essential throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in housing gives more people access to the home they deserve
    The Green Party says huge new investment in public and transitional housing will get thousands more families into the warm, safe homes they deserve.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Huge investment in green nature based jobs jump starts sustainable COVID recovery
    The Green Party says the $1.1 billion environmental investment in this year’s budget to create thousands of green jobs will help jump start a sustainable recovery from the COVID crisis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Grant Robertson’s 2020 Budget Speech
    Read Minister of Finance Grant Robertson's Budget 2020 Speech. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters tells struggling migrant workers ‘you should probably go home’
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today the Coalition Government told foreigners at the start of the Covid-19 crisis that if their circumstances had changed dramatically, they should go home. "And 50,000 did," Mr Peters said. Official advice to Cabinet revealed there is potentially 380,000 foreigners and migrant workers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes today’s Alert Level 2 announcement
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the decision today to go to Alert Level 2 from midnight Wednesday, says Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. Alert Level 2 will mean a return to work for the vast majority of New Zealand’s businesses. A return ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nurses to be protected after amendment to First Responders Bill
    Nurses now look set to get more protection from violence at work, under a proposed new law. This after NZ First MP Darroch Ball's "Protection for First Responders Bill", which introduces a six-month minimum sentence for assaults on first responders, will now also cover emergency department healthcare workers. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nurses to get more protection, added to ‘First Responders’ legislation
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Law and Order Spokesperson An amendment to the ‘Protection of First Responders Bill’ is being tabled which will see emergency department healthcare workers included in the legislation. “During this COVID-19 crisis we have seen reports of violence and specifically increased incidents of spitting towards ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones: Northland port could be economic haven
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is breathing new life into the proposal to move Auckland's port to Whangārei to help in the economic recovery post Covid-19 pandemic. If New Zealand First was returned in the September general election, Minister Jones said a priority would be development of an "economic haven" at Northport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF grant for Ventnor memorial
    The plan to build a memorial to the SS Ventnor, and those who were lost when it sank off the Hokianga coast in 1902, has been granted $100,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund. Originally planned for a site near Rāwene cemetery, the memorial will now be built at the new Manea ...
    3 weeks ago
  • 75th anniversary of V.E Day
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader Leader of New Zealand First, Rt Hon Winston Peters said: “Today is the 75th anniversary of VE Day – marking the end of World War II in Europe." Millions died in the six years of war, and families were torn apart. 75 years ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting the job done
    From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Government has committed to providing calm, clear, and consistent communication, including regular press conference updates from the Prime Minister. While New Zealand is at Alert Level 3, we're making sure that New Zealanders are kept informed and up-to-date with all the latest ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters responds to Simon Bridges’ ‘my sweetheart’ comment
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay. A day earlier, National Party leader Simon Bridges was on the radio show and referred to the Deputy Prime Minister as, "my sweetheart Winston". Mr Peters swiftly dismissed the question of whether Bridges had changed his mind about ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Historic pay equity settlement imminent for teacher aides
    The Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa have agreed to settle the pay equity claim for teacher aides, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This will see more than 22,000 teacher aides, mostly women, being valued and paid fairly for the work they do. “Teacher aides are frontline ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • New Zealand and Singapore reaffirm ties
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have marked the first anniversary of the New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership with a virtual Leaders’ Meeting today. The Enhanced Partnership, signed on 17 May 2019, provides the framework for cooperation across the four main areas of trade, defence and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
    On 17 May 2019, New Zealand and Singapore established an Enhanced Partnership to elevate our relations. The Enhanced Partnership – based on the four pillars of trade and economics, security and defence, science, technology and innovation, and people-to-people links – has seen the long-standing relationship between our countries strengthen over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Government investment supports the acquisition of new Interislander ferries
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters has welcomed KiwiRail’s announcement that it is seeking a preferred shipyard to build two new rail-enabled ferries for the Cook Strait crossing. “This Government is committed to restoring rail to its rightful place in New Zealand. Bigger, better ships, with new technology are yet another ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Better protection for seabirds
    Better protection for seabirds is being put in place with a new National Plan of Action to reduce fishing-related captures, Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.   The National Plan of Action for Seabirds 2020 outlines our commitment to reduce fishing-related captures and associated seabird ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
    Almost $1 billion in interest-free loans for small businesses More than 55,000 businesses have applied; 95% approved Average loan approx. $17,300 90% of applications from firms with ten or fewer staff A wide cross-section of businesses have applied, the most common are the construction industry, accommodation providers, professional firms, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government protects kids as smoking in cars ban becomes law
    Thousands of children will have healthier lungs after the Government’s ban on smoking in cars with kids becomes law, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. This comes after the third reading of Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill earlier today. “This law makes it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Parliament returns to a safe normal
    The special Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) has successfully concluded its role, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said today. The committee was set up on 25 March by the agreement of Parliament to scrutinise the Government and its actions while keeping people safe during levels 4 and 3 of lockdown. ...
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    1 day ago
  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced four diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s Ambassador to Belgium, High Commissioners to Nauru and Niue, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism. “As the world seeks to manage and then recover from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever,” Mr Peters said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Bill to counter violent extremism online
    New Zealanders will be better protected from online harm through a Bill introduced to Parliament today, says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin. “The internet brings many benefits to society but can also be used as a weapon to spread harmful and illegal content and that is what this legislation targets,” ...
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    2 days ago
  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
    New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is on track the latest technical data shows, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit ...
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    2 days ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
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    3 days ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
    Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
    A nearly 40-year programme to protect one of New Zealand’s most critically endangered birds is paying off, with a record number of adult kakī/black stilt recently recorded living in the wild, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “Thanks to the team effort involved in the Department of Conservation’s ...
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    5 days ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
    Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The work is long overdue and will make a lasting difference to the school for generations to come,” Chris Hipkins said. “Too many of our schools are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
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    6 days ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
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    6 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
    The Coalition Government has approved a business case for $206 million in upgrades to critical infrastructure at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first phase starting later this year, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The investment will be made in three phases over five years, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today released the Ministry of Transport’s review of the organisational culture at the Civil Aviation Authority. Phil Twyford says all employees are entitled to a safe work environment. “I commissioned this independent review due to the concerns I had about the culture within the CAA, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
    Ensuring that Stats NZ’s direction and strategy best supports government policy decisions will be a key focus for a new Governance Advisory Board announced today by the Minister for Statistics, James Shaw. The new Governance Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to Stats NZ to ensure it is meeting New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
    Environment Judge David Kirkpatrick of Auckland has been appointed as the Principal Environment Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  Judge Kirkpatrick was appointed an Environment Judge in February 2014. From December 2013 to July 2016 he was Chair of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. Prior to appointment he ...
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    1 week ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
    A programme to connect marae around the country to the internet has received $1.4 million to expand to include urban marae in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The funding for the Marae Connectivity Programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
    The Government will provide $500,000 to the Hawke’s Bay Mayoral Drought Relief Fund to help farmers facing one of the worst droughts in living memory, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Yesterday afternoon I received a letter from Hawke's Bay's five local Government leaders asking me to contribute to the Fund. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Investment in New Zealand’s history
    Budget 2020 provides a major investment in New Zealand’s documentary heritage sector, with a commitment to leasing a new Archives Wellington facility and an increase in funding for Archives and National Library work. “Last year I released plans for a new Archives Wellington building – a purpose-built facility physically connected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Driving prompt payments to small businesses
    Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. The Ministers of Finance, Small Business, Commerce and Consumer Affairs have written to more than 40 significant enterprises and banking industry representatives to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rotorua tourist icon to be safeguarded
    Maori Arts and Crafts will continue to underpin the heart of the tourism sector says Minister for Maori Development Nanaia Mahuta.  “That’s why we are making a core investment of $7.6 million to Te Puia New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, over two years, as part of the Government’s ...
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    1 week ago
  • $14.7m for jobs training and education
    The Government is funding more pathways to jobs through training and education programmes in regional New Zealand to support the provinces’ recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson have announced. “New Zealand’s economic recovery will be largely driven by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Is it time to further recognise those who serve in our military?
     Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced the launch of a national conversation that aims to find out whether New Zealanders think there should be a formal agreement between service people, the Government, and the people of New Zealand. “This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Paving the way for a fully qualified early learning workforce
    The Government’s drive to improve the quality of early childhood education (ECE) is taking another step forward with the reintroduction of a higher funding rate for services that employ fully qualified and registered teachers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. “Research shows that high-quality ECE can improve young people’s learning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Sport Recovery Package announced
    The Sport and Recreation sector will receive a multi-million dollar boost as part of the COVID-19 response funded at Budget 2020.  Grant Robertson says the Sport and Recreation Sector contributes about $5 billion a year to New Zealand’s GDP and employs more than 53,000 people. “Sport plays a significant role ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
    A major increase in funding and availability of support will improve the incomes and reduce the pressure on 14,000 caregivers looking after more than 22,000 children. Children’s Minister Tracey Martin says that caregivers – all those looking after someone else’s children both in and outside the state care system – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Great Walks recovery on track for summer
    Vital conservation and visitor infrastructure destroyed by a severe flood event in Fiordland earlier this year is being rebuilt through a $13.7 million Budget 2020 investment, announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.   “This investment will mean iconic Great Walks such as the Routeburn track and the full length of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori – Government partnership gives whānau a new housing deal
    The Government is investing  $40 million in a partnership with Māori to get more whānau into warm, dry and secure accommodation, Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Hon Nanaia Mahuta says.. “We are partnering with Māori and iwi to respond to the growing housing crisis in the wake of COVID-19. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders Safe In The Water
    Keeping New Zealanders safe in the water Our lifeguards and coastguards who keep New Zealanders safe in the water have been given a funding boost thanks to the 2020 Budget, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Poto Williams has announced. The water safety sector will receive $63 million over ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Legal framework for COVID-19 Alert Level referred to select committee
    The COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, which set a sound legal framework ahead of the move to Alert level 2, has been referred to a parliamentary select committee for review.  Attorney-General David Parker said the review of the operation of the COVID-19 specific law would be reported back to ...
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    2 weeks ago