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Nats bullying schools again

Written By: - Date published: 11:08 am, November 11th, 2010 - 58 comments
Categories: education, national - Tags: , , ,

The Nats have a long and dishonourable history of trying to gag those who would speak out against them. This includes multiple attacks on schools — threats against principals and school boards who were exercising their rights to free speech, threats to sack dissenting boards, threats of withheld funding. And these are just the threats that we know about.

Today we see further effects of this bullying:

Third of rebel schools appear to soften stance on standards

Nearly a third of the schools that said they had no confidence in National Standards have told the Ministry of Education they do in fact plan to implement the controversial scheme.

A group called Boards Taking Action Coalition said last week that the trustees from 225 schools around the country had issued a vote of no confidence in National Standards. As a result those schools would refuse to set student achievements targets for next year until the system was reviewed.

The next day the ministry starting contacting all of the protesting schools’ boards of trustees to check the claim.

The Ministry was not “checking on the claim”, they were working through their script of escalating threats against the schools. We know this because a senior official in the Ministry resigned refused to participate in protest at the unethical bullying tactics. Fortunately the Herald piece quoted above gives at least some attention to this side of the story:

Mr Rush said it was very hard to test the veracity of the information gathered by the ministry but he did know some board members were upset with the tone of the calls they received.

“Board chairs have inundated me with calls complaining at the tone of ministry questioning in recent telephone calls. Ministry officials seem to have been instructed to put the fear of God into board members.”

Some board chairs said the ministry callers implied they would be sacked if the standards were not implemented in full.

Schools are boycotting national standards in a last ditch attempt to protect children from a flawed system which is likely to do them nothing but harm. Because they are so utterly unable to listen to expert and professional advice, because they are so utterly ideologically obsessed with “victory” over teachers, the Nats are determined to press ahead. They are desperate to contain the current boycott. The only way they can do so is to continue their campaign of bullying threats against schools. Every school board threatened in this way should speak out loud and clear.

PS:

Anne Tolley Dec 2009:

Education Minister Anne Tolley says she will sack the boards of primary schools which allow teachers to boycott national standards, saying they would be refusing to obey the law.

Anne Tolley Nov 2010:

Education Minister Anne Tolley says she does not intend to dismiss school boards which fail to implement the new education standards. … “That has never been my intention,” she replied.

58 comments on “Nats bullying schools again”

  1. Joe Bloggs 1

    [post moved here from open mike — r0b]

    looks like the teacher unrest fomented by a few disaffected rebels in the education system is starting to be exposed for what it really is – mischief, hypocrisy and blatant lies.

    The Herald has learned 66 of the 225 coalition boards indicated their schools planned to implement the standards in full. A further 109 said they would take some form of action or were yet to decide if they would implement the standards in full. Fifty schools are yet to be contacted.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10686820

    A group of rebel principals plotted to “quietly take over” an association representing 90 per cent of school boards in an effort to overwhelm the national standards debate, leaked emails suggest. An email exchange shows principals involved in a boycott of the standards discussed “dealing with” the New Zealand School Trustees Association. “The easiest way is for us to quietly take over regional organisations of NZSTA … Just imagine NZSTA run by principals!” an email written by Hora Hora School principal Pat Newman states.”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/4332146/Takeover-plot-by-rebel-principals

    That’s the same Pat Newman who aspires to be a Labour candidate for Whangarei in the next election. The words “self-serving” come to mind, and the evidence continues to grow that this boycott has been engineered by Labour. At the cost of our children’s educations.

    Great effort! That should keep Labour on the opposition benches for another 3 years.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      Hey joe, where you going with that kiwiblog link in ya hand.

      I’m goin’ off to post shit at open mike

      an’ pretend I got a brain in my pan

      • Joe Bloggs 1.1.1

        can’t cope with the facts huh?

        • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1

          Cope with facts fine.

          One fact I find amusing is that when I see your name in the comments list, I can predict what you have to say by looking at farrar’s blog.

          You should get some self respect son.

          • Joe Bloggs 1.1.1.1.1

            thanks Mum, I’ll be sure to listen to your advice.

            In the meantime I’ve picked up a new word today – astroturfing

            An artificially-manufactured political movement designed to give the appearance of grass roots activism… Unlike natural grassroots campaigns which are people-rich and money-poor, an astroturf campaign tends to be the opposite, well-funded but with little actual support from voters.

            Describes the PPA/Labour intervention in education to a T

            • r0b 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Congratulations on learning a new word JB. I know how hard that must have been for you.

              Now that you know the word, you should be able to work out who is astroturfing, parents in the boards of schools all over the country, or the parents of “insert region here”.

              Grass roots and astroturf

              Ooops.

            • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1.1.2

              I’ll be sure to listen to your advice

              You do that, it’ll make you smarter.

      • grumpy 1.1.2

        For God’s sake, have a bit of class and leave Jimi out of this. Other than that, quite clever.

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    How come emails with individuals names have been released to bloggers.?

    Farragoblog blats on about the OIA?

    The OIA normally blacks individual names but even then seems like Tolley and her staff are perusing the emails of selected principals who are using Education department servers.

    The OIA is just a smokescreen of course as farrar has previously used the OIA to get names of those seeking OIA material.
    This time he hasnt bothered , they are wholesale using government information to intimidate principals

    • grumpy 2.1

      Nah, as someone else has said, the emails were leaked by a disgruntled union employee, opposed to Phil Goff’s leadership of the Labour Party.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1

        Cant be.
        They are Education department servers which have had a fishing expedition by Tolleys henchmen contradiction to privacy rules.

        What ‘union’ member sees emails from various principals.

        Thats just a ruse

  3. dave 3

    It’s unclear how many schools are boycotting National Standards. It is conceivable that some of the stated rebel schools are implementing National Standards in its entirety. Noone knows what each school has signed up to.

    More here

  4. Joe Bloggs 4

    speaking of hyperbole has anyone noticed this piece of blatant bullshit in the post?

    We know this because a senior official in the Ministry resigned in protest at the unethical bullying tactics.

    There has been no resignation. So much for coping with the facts…

    • Gosman 4.1

      Why hasn’t this senior official gone public with his/her resignation?

    • r0b 4.2

      There has been no resignation

      Well that’s your word vs Kelvin Smythe I guess. I know who I believe.

      • Gosman 4.2.1

        Why hasn’t this person gone public then? They resigned over a matter of principle and surely communicated that to the Education Ministry, (not to mention publicised it to Kelvin Smythe) so it therefore not a secret. This would be a great coup for the anti-National standards campaign so where is this mysterious resignee?

      • Joe Bloggs 4.2.2

        .

        Kelvin Smythe doesn’t mention anything about a resignation either. Here’s the link to Smythe’s hyperbole – check it for yourself

        http://www.networkonnet.co.nz/index.php?section=latest&id=262

        Do you also see the word unconfirmed in there? As in My unconfirmed information is that the regional head was away, and when the instruction was relayed to the deputies, one refused to act on the instruction

        So there has been no resignation – just a bit of Uri Geller-like spoon bending and a pinch of truth twisting…

        • r0b 4.2.2.1

          Gosman and Joe Bloggs are correct, Kelvin Smythe does not say that the official resigned, just that they “refused, on moral grounds, to take instruction from Karen Sewell to organise ministry officials to ring schools about their declared stance on national standards”. I assumed resignation but that is not stated. I will update the post.

          “Unconfirmed” refers to the regional head being away, not the revolt of this official.

          • grumpy 4.2.2.1.1

            It also refers to a “brave whistleblower”. If they were really brave they would have gone public, name and all!

          • Joe Bloggs 4.2.2.1.2

            you channelling Kelvin Smythe now?

            You’ve assumed and misinterpreted quite enough not to be going around muddifying up what Smythe was bleating on about.

            • r0b 4.2.2.1.2.1

              Read Smythe’s post JB. If you think you can draw any other conclusion from it you go right ahead.

              • Joe Bloggs

                Smythe is an unreconstructed neo-liberal who has a bone in his throat over the restructuring of education twenty years ago.

                He used the word unconfirmed because he, at least, still has some vestiges of moral fibre and can’t lie through his teeth to save himself. he does however do hysterical and outraged moderately well.

                Has a reasonable grasp of English although his sentence construction could use polishing.

                Tries hard, could try harder.

  5. Gosman 5

    So let me get this straight.

    Someone refused to do their job, the job they get paid for, the job that taxpayers pay tax so that civil servants carry out their jobs as instructed, and you think this is a good thing?

    If this person truly believed in their principles then they should have resigned. This action is essentially gutless if in fact it happened as is suggested. The person should be reprimanded for non-performance of duty.

    • r0b 5.1

      Someone refused to do their job, the job they get paid for, the job that taxpayers pay tax so that civil servants carry out their jobs as instructed, and you think this is a good thing?

      Yes.

      Now let me get something straight.

      Someone was being asked to participate in an action which, according to the best expert advice, is likely to cause harm to children. If they had gone ahead and “just followed orders”, do you think this is a good thing?

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        LOL!

        Gotta love the moral justification for refusing to implement an electoral mandate that the left has.

        So following your logic if a Tax expert stated that raising taxes was going to be damaging to the economic well being of the nation, (not to mention the poor wee little children), it would be entirely justified for people to not pay this tax even though it was voted for by the majority of the population at the previous election.

        I must remember that before the next election and advise the National Party to find an appropriate expert on taxation to make this pronouncement.

        Just goes to highlight the sort of contempt certain members of the left hold for democracy.

        • r0b 5.1.1.1

          You didn’t answer my question Gosman. Should officials implement actions that are likely to damage children?

          I answered your question Gosman – are you going to answer mine?

          • Gosman 5.1.1.1.1

            This was the opinion of a person not a FACT unless you are saying that the overwhelming consensus on this subject and EVIDENCE backs up that National Standards do actually harm children.

            Regardless of this we live in a society where policies affecting the population are generally made via the democratic process rather than imposed on us by “Experts”.

            If you want to live in a society where decisions like this are taken out of the hands of the electorate then by all means go ahead and push for this sort of society. I will have a hell of a lot of fun opposing that.

            • r0b 5.1.1.1.1.1

              You’re too chickenshit to answer the question aren’t you Gosman.

              Should officials implement policies that harm children – yes or no?

              Answer the question, then we can discuss the nature of the EVIDENCE.

              • Gosman

                It is bollocks question. You have evidence that National Standards “harm” children then present it and I’ll bother answering the question. I’m looking for evidence though not opinions.

                • r0b

                  I have plenty of evidence Gosman.

                  But all the evidence in the world is of no use, your kind doesn’t care about evidence.

                  You can’t even bring yourself to say that we shouldn’t harm children can you Gosman.

                  Last chance to answer the question – should we do things that harm children?

      • jcuknz 5.1.2

        It is only your opinion that it is l;ikely to harm children … true there are some others with the same opinion but … our elected representatives have made a decision and maybe, just maybe your folk can reverse it sometime in the future. Meanwhile our paid servants have a job to do and they should get on with it and stop bellyaching. … or resign.

        • r0b 5.1.2.1

          jcuknz I try to get through life without gratuitously insulting people, but in your case I’ll make an exception. You’re an idiot. You’re taking sides in a debate when you have not bothered to get yourself informed about the issues.

          Start here – follow the links. Read. Think. FFS.

          Listening to the evidence on national standards

          http://www.nzpf.ac.nz/national-standards

          • jcuknz 5.1.2.1.1

            Idiot or not I am entitled to take sides in a debate irrespective of what homework I may or may not have done and your comment Rob is about the same level as JK’s Secretary and what I read at Kiwiblog.
            It is a public servant’s job to do what they are told to do and if privately they don’t agree then they either resign or work, as I assume you are doing, for a change of government. I don’t believe for one moment that a testing system, one of many in use in schools, is going to harm children. I am sure most NZ teachers are doing a good job in a difficult situation so really have nothing to fear from NS, though maybe they can fear the media like all of us do when they get on a crusade looking for a whipping boy or girl..

            • r0b 5.1.2.1.1.1

              I am entitled to take sides in a debate irrespective of what homework

              Yes, you are perfectly entitled to take a position that is likely to result in harm to children without knowing the first thing about the issues. Free speech is grand that way. Just don’t expect anyone to respect such behaviour.

              I don’t believe for one moment that a testing system, one of many in use in schools, is going to harm children.

              You haven’t read the information in the pages linked to have you. And you won’t either, in case you have to deal with facts that upset you.

              • Pascal's bookie

                But r0b! He reckons!

                Shirley, that’s enough.

                And anyways, nice attempt with the distraction tactic, but the important point in this dispute is that Some People aren’t Doing As They’re Told! It’s outrage, and danger. This sort of thing can quite easily get out of hand you know. It starts of with small things like this but they snowball and grow, an asteroid on a slippery slope of rebel. And do you know what’s at the bottom of that slope? Care to guess? This is a play that has been played before you know. People not doing as they’re told and the next thing you know it’s men, men with their hair grown out! Right past the collar! People not giving Policemen their due. Ladies buying cakes. Disgusting. Black people. Children voicing opinions.

                It’s all the result of that music they listen to. It’s the drums and those jungle rhythms. It’s not right for civilised folk. Primal. I’ve seen them. Rooting in the bushes. Didn’t used to happen in my day. They need to bring back compulsory military training. And greco-roman wrestling in schools.

                • r0b

                  As Friday evening rants go — that’s a good ‘un!

                  • jcuknz

                    PB you forgot to mention corporal punishment. Which I experienced justly and ‘for the encouragement of others’, unjustly, in my youth. Regretably missing from the NZ Educational system.
                    But Rob is so pre-occupied with countering my feelings that NS will not hurt children he misses the main point of the NS debate. This is that teachers are afraid that league tables will upset their cosy situation where competence doesn’t get reward and as they serve their time so they move up the pay scale … or could that be another false impression I have got from Kiwiblog or my 30 years in the public service? That teachers are quite happy with NS but not with the results being published so they can keep parents in the dark. Otherwise they might vote for ACT and the voucher system. Is this right wing propaganda or the crux of the matter? Who is Rob to advise me? Or anyone else for that matter.

                    • r0b

                      he misses the main point of the NS debate. This is that teachers are afraid that league tables will upset

                      In your mind that’s the main point of the debate is it. Not whether or not national standards are good or bad for the welfare and education of children. Instead it’s some Kiwiblog domination fantasy about teachers.

                      Well that explains a lot.

          • jcuknz 5.1.2.1.2

            .I have visited the sites and without indulging myself by reading them, they look like the same message being regurgitated by many, an organised campaign of questionable merit by way of its seeming completeness.
            Your final para at 5.45 is grossly insulting … and typical of the desparation you obviously feel at people who appear to disagree with your firmly held views. Personally I have no position on the matter but sick of the bellyaching and name calling which gets us nowhere fast..

            • r0b 5.1.2.1.2.1

              an organised campaign of questionable merit by way of its seeming completeness.

              The experts are all in agreement so they must be wrong? Just listen to yourself.

              Your final para at 5.45 is grossly insulting

              It is completely accurate. Whether you are insulted, or instead moved to some kind of remedial action, is now up to you.

              • jcuknz

                Are they experts, a questionable title at best, or simply a chorus singing the union mantra? I simply do not know who to believe on this matter and I am put off by the antics of what I guess you would call the expert sources.
                Harping on a perceived danger to children strikes me as pushing a sob story because we all want to protect our children … highly suspect I think.

                • r0b

                  I’m persisting with this conversation because you have not previously struck me as an idiot, and therefore despite your totally blinkered views on this issue so far, I’m hopeful that your mind is open to new ideas.

                  Are they experts, a questionable title at best, or simply a chorus singing the union mantra?

                  Yes, a lot of people speaking out in this debate are educational experts. To deny that is simply to deny reality because you can’t face it. Are they singing a “union mantra”? Well let’s see, let’s look at just one expert. Prof John Hattie. He is Key’s hand picked education policy advisor. Do you think he’d sing a union mantra? Consider:

                  Hattie – Auckland University professor, student assessment expert and the man top politicians in this country see for advice about education … Ten days ago he was summoned to Prime Minister John Key’s Beehive office to explain what was going wrong with the Government’s grand plans for national standards in reading, writing and maths for all primary school children.

                  Education Minister Anne Tolley, stripped of her tertiary responsibilities the day before, attended the private meeting but it was Hattie that Key wanted to hear.

                  Both National and Labour have paid close attention over the last decade to this internationally recognised expertise on how to improve children’s learning. Bill English sought Hattie’s views when he originally developed the party’s national standards policy and Key took the same route, drawing inspiration from Hattie’s advice that a standards-based approach could work wonders in even the poorest schools. …

                  So it came as a shock when Hattie returned from a six-month study tour in the United States last July to tell the Herald that he was deeply concerned about the direction the Government’s policy had taken and worried that it could set back education 50 years.

                  In November he repeated his criticism, warning of a potential disaster with no improvement in children’s learning. A few weeks later he joined three other education academics in writing an open letter to Tolley, which pleaded with the Government to delay the introduction of the new system.

                  So what went wrong and where exactly does National’s education guru stand on the issue? Hattie says the Government didn’t consult him about the details, which were developed while he was out of the country. He adds that Key is right to say that he supports the idea but has concerns about its implementation.

                  But listening to his concerns (see story below), a different picture emerges. Hattie insists the system can work but admits if he had the choice, he’d drop it and start again from scratch. …

                  JOHN HATTIE’S ASSESSMENT

                  So does the Government’s favourite education adviser support national standards or not? Prime Minister John Key and many of Professor John Hattie’s ideological opponents claim he does, despite his strong public criticism.

                  Hattie replies that he supports the concept of standards-based learning but not the system the Government has introduced – in fact, given the chance, he’d scrap it and start again. These are his biggest concerns.

                  If it ain’t broke…

                  Hattie’s first point is that, despite sweeping claims of failure by Key and Education Minister Anne Tolley, the New Zealand school system is in good shape, especially compared with the rest of the world.

                  National standards, he argues, are usually the catchcry of countries where the education system is in serious trouble. They have been introduced in the US, Britain and Australia but none of these countries have been able to show any overall improvement in student achievement.

                  Hattie believes national standards may lift the performance of a few children at the bottom of the educational heap but says the average will not change because bright children will be neglected. He thinks the policy threatens to destroy one of the great strengths of New Zealand’s education system, which recognises that children of the same age have different academic abilities and allows them to learn at the level of their current ability.

                  Hattie is the Nats own education advisor, and he actually believes in standards (even though they haven’t worked in US, Britain and Australia). So he’s about as committed to standards as they come, and it’s simply ludicrous to suggest that he’s singing a union song. But even he says that National have fucked it up. They could set education in this country back 50 years.

                  Now, Hattie above was reporting in the American experience. Let’s look at what happened in the UK:

                  Tests blamed for blighting children’s lives

                  Landmark study of primary schools calls for teachers to be freed of targets

                  Children’s lives are being impoverished by the government’s insistence that schools focus on literacy and numeracy at the expense of creative teaching, the biggest review of the primary school curriculum in 40 years finds today. …

                  Children are leaving school lacking knowledge about the arts and humanities having spent too many years “tied to a desk” learning times tables, the head of the review, Robin Alexander, said.

                  “Our argument is that their education, and to some degree their lives, are impoverished if they have received an education that is so fundamentally deficient,” he said.

                  The report says schools should be freed of Sats and league tables to allow them to make more decisions about what and how they teach. …

                  Independent of the government and funded through charitable donations, the review is based on three years of academic research, 29 research papers and dozens of public meetings around the country. It marks 40 years since the last wholesale review of primary education and presents a blueprint for a curriculum that would give teachers control of 30% of their time to teach what they want.

                  Evidence, jc, evidence, from the UK and from America. Advice from Key’s own education advisor (not the unions). It’s all there if you can see it. Stop supporting the side that could set education in this country back by 50 years.

                  Harping on a perceived danger to children strikes me as pushing a sob story because we all want to protect our children … highly suspect I think.

                  Unless it’s true.

                  • jcuknz

                    The perceived danger, from reading your message, seems to be to the few gifted and bright students who will be neglected. While if the scheme is dropped the few ‘dumb asses’ will suffer.

                    It seems to me a case of throwing a few babies out with the bathwater so if we keep NS then special attention needs to be paid so that despite the tests the gifted will be encouraged. On the other hand if NS is scrapped then that attention needs to be devoted to the ‘dumb asses’.
                    It seems to be a ‘frying pan and fire’ situation.

                    ‘Setting back education 50 years’ strikes me as one of those hyper statements made for the media to trumpet. Actually it could partly correct how education has gone wrong since I was in school but that is not for discussion here.
                    If you know of a problem you can take measures to counter it, without throwing any of the babies out with the bath water, so common with political stances from both sides.

                    Thank you for making the effort to present some arguments for discussion.

                    I’m left still sitting on the fence because it seems to me that it doesn’t really matter which way we go so long as we take the necessary steps to avoid the perceived pitfalls and are prepared to take further steps as unperceived pitfalls arise. I know that is a hard ask in a nationwide beaurocracy but one can hope..
                    I think the idiots in this situation are those who are getting so hot and bothered, making rash and extreme statements, but that is common with the younger enthusiasts of society…

  6. grumpy 6

    Lesson here for the lefties. If you want to plot against the boss, don’t use his time, money or his computer.

    • Craig Glen Eden 6.1

      grumpy I think you have missed your calling, you should have been an advisor for that bloke Brash, he use to lead some brethren group I think?

    • Vicky32 6.2

      Cos bosses are always he and him, right?

    • jcuknz 6.3

      Very true Grumpy but these f’wits, to use a currently popular phrase, simply haven’t a clue it seems.

  7. KINTO 7

    I’m not so sure about todays electrol mandate line that the right have been instructed to run. We heard lots about how 1 in 5 kids leave school with no qualification (National voters), but not very much (if anything?) about national standards.

    See: http://www.google.com/trends?q=%22National+Standards%22&geo=nzl&sa=N

    • Gosman 7.1

      What???

      Are you trying to claim that National Standards were not part of the National party election manifesto in 2008?

      • Fabregas4 7.1.1

        I think he is saying that there has been a lot of rhetoric and sloganeering around standards but little actual information about them. This is important because simply asking if people ‘want standards’ of course leads to the inevitable positive response. But if the policy was more closely looked at (I’ve done this) and people see the flaws and lies then the answer changes. The mandate question is not really fair because the policy had (and many would say still does not) no substance. It is only when the actual policy is developed that the problems and bullshit become evident to people.

  8. Fabregas4 8

    By the way the Herald data simply cannot be accurate. They state:of the 225 original Boards who are opposed:

    66 plan to implement if full
    109 said they would take some form of action or were yet to decide if they would implement the standards in full.
    50 schools are yet to be contacted.

    Thats 225 schools. I can tell you my school who is on the list will not set targets against the standards (but will continue to use reliable assessments and set appropriate targets)

    And I can tell you that many schools have already committed to not implement any part of the standards.

    Sounds like Ministry playing tricks with numbers in an attempt to dissuade other school Boards from signing up.

  9. Pat 9

    Actully Ms Tolley is not my boss I am employed by my Board of Trustees who are elected by their community who totally are opposed to Nat Stds. As far as conspiracy theories, I am not trolling private facebook pages etc….

    Just as well cause Toilley in the House last week when under questioning to say she didnt understand… that she wasnt a teacher as a response to a fairly basic question…. great response from a Minister of Education!!!!! Some of us have been telling her she doesn’t understand fopr a long tme now…..

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  • Softy Jejune Parson – the new Mother Superior of Wellington
      The Council of Disobedient Women has learned that the Prefect of Aro Valley has been promoted to a new role with the blessing of the Pope of Wellington. Softy Jejune Parson has been appointed Mother Superior of Woke Wellington for the work she has been doing calling out heretics, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Atlantic shakeup: US and UK leadership contenders ripping up the usual scripts?
    On both sides of the Atlantic, some purportedly “contentious” and “difficult to deal with” leadership contenders to lead the US and UK, as President and Prime Minister respectively, seem to have thrown a few spanners into the works of the normal messaging most are used to hearing constantly. Except they’re ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Australia’s secret prisoner
    A prisoner stripped of their name, imprisoned for a secret crime after a secret trial, with all details legally suppressed for secret reasons. A story by Kafka or Dumas? China? No, its just the latest stage of Australian tyranny:An Australian citizen was prosecuted, convicted, and jailed in the ACT last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Bridges should put his money where his mouth is
    Stuff has more details on what New Zealand First's slush-fund has been funding, with much of the spending directly benefiting the party. Which makes it look a lot like hidden donations, rather than the completely-innocent-giant-pile-of-cash Winston is trying to portray it as. The Electoral Commission is now investigating, but Simon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The APEC police state enabling bill
    I've joked before about how hosting international summits effectively turns part of your country into a police state for the duration. Well, New Zealand is hosting APEC in 2021, with events throughout the year in Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland. And the government has put up a bill to give itself ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Why coastal floods are becoming more frequent as seas rise
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I saw an article claiming that “king tides” will increase in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • The cost of a range clearance.
    It has been revealed that firing ranges used by the NZDF while deployed to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, contained unexploded ordnance that caused numerous deaths and injuries after the NZDF withdrew the PRT in April 2013. In 2014 seven children were killed when an unidentified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Still denying responsibility
    Stuff's story on NZDF's negligence around its Afghan firing ranges has produced a result, with a commitment from the Prime Minister for an urgent cleanup. But this doesn't mean NZDF is accepting responsibility for the deaths and injuries that have occured - they're still refusing compensation. Which given that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A corrupt practice
    Last week RNZ broke the news on NZ First's mysterious "foundation" and its dodgy-looking loans. The arrangement seemed to be designed to evade the transparency requirements of the Electoral Act, by laundering donations. But now Stuff has acquired some of their financial records, and it gone from dodgy to outright ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Democracy “A Bit Bonkers” – Thoughts Inspired By Lizzie Marvelly’s Latest Co...
    Didn't See It Coming: NZ Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly's latest column merits serious scrutiny because such a clear example of anti-democratic thinking is encountered only rarely on the pages of the daily press. Which is not to say that the elitism which lies at the heart of such social disparagement ...
    4 days ago
  • Colombia: historic memory, massacres and the military
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Initially it was reported that in an aerial bombardment that took place on August 30th seven children were massacred; the figure then went up to eight and then on November 11th Noticias Uno reported that, according to people from the community in close proximity to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • On the road to Net Zero, the next step is to update our UN pledge
    A lot has happened since the UN’s report on 1.5ºC was released in October 2018. New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill has passed, and enshrines the 1.5ºC goal in law. The UK and France have also legally strengthened their targets to Net Zero 2050. The School Strike For Climate and Extinction ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • Corruption as usual
    Next year is an election year, and Labour needs money to fund its campaign. So naturally, they're selling access:Labour is charging wealthy business figures $1500-a-head to lunch with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at its annual conference later this month. [...] On the weekend beginning November 29th, around 800 delegates will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Fairer rentals
    Yesterday the government announced its changes to tenancy laws, including an end to no-cause evictions, limits on rent increases, and anonyminity for tenants who defend their rights against bad landlords (sadly necessary because landlords are scum who maintain blacklists of "uppity" tenants). They're all good moves, and have resulted in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Another NZDF coverup
    In 2003 New Zealand sent a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to support America's doomed war there. While there, they conducted regular weapons practice on local firing ranges, littering the landscape with unexploded ammunition. These ranges weren't secure - they're on land used by locals for animal herding - so ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    5 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    5 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    1 week ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    1 week ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Holy bin chickens: ancient Egyptians tamed wild ibis for sacrifice
    Sally Wasef, Griffith University and David Lambert, Griffith University These days, not many Aussies consider the ibis a particularly admirable creature. But these birds, now colloquially referred to as “bin chickens” due to their notorious scavenging antics, have a grandiose and important place in history – ancient Egyptian history, to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    2 weeks ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Tackling child poverty
    It's been a great week of progress: we've celebrated Children's Day, we've made communities safer with 1800 new police, and we've seen almost 90% of eligible schools take up Government funding to scrap school donations - taking pressure off the families of more than 416,000 students. ...
    16 hours ago
  • New measures for wood processing boost
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry The Government will further strengthen New Zealand’s wood processing sector as part of our focus on ‘value over volume’ in our forestry industry, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones will today meet with forestry representatives in Northland to signal new measures to help the ...
    19 hours ago
  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    2 days ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    4 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    4 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    4 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
    Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
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    2 days ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
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    2 days ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
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    2 days ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
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    2 days ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
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    2 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
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    3 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
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    3 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
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    3 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
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    3 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
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    4 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
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    4 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
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    4 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
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    4 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
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    4 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
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    4 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
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    4 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
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    5 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
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    5 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
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    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
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    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
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    5 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
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    6 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
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    7 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
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    1 week ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
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    1 week ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
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    1 week ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
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    1 week ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
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    1 week ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
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    1 week ago