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Nats’ last gasp counter-attack falls flat

Written By: - Date published: 6:18 pm, March 25th, 2010 - 56 comments
Categories: Conservation, Mining - Tags: , , ,

I thought that National’s counter-attack would be to paint Labour as anti-mining – ‘they’re abandoning their roots’ ‘they’re anti progress’ etc etc. But, oddly, they’ve opted (first in the House, duly repeated on the party blogs) for a hypocrisy angle – ‘Labour used to say they liked mining, now they don’t’.

Dumb move because Labour has a watertight and truthful response: Labour is not anti any and all mining. Never has been. It recognises that we need raw materials for an industrial economy. Or as David Parker puts it:

“We have always and will continue to support mining where appropriate on non-Schedule 4 lands”

What Labour has always said is that mining must be environmentally responsible and can’t take place on areas of special natural value. Those areas are the ones in Schedule Four and include most (but not all) of the National Parks and some other areas of the conversation estate. Labour has always agreed with environmentally responsible mining on private land and conservation estate outside of Schedule 4.

That used to be National’s position too. Indeed it was National that introduced Schedule 4 (because they were afraid a Labour private member’s bill with the same effect would pass).

Now, National is saying that miners should be allowed on Schedule 4 land, despite 90% of the country’s mineral wealth being outside the Schedule 4 areas that National wants to remove and not having any idea of the value of the minerals in those areas to the New Zealand economy or the environmental cost.

Think about it. If this policy wasn’t a change to existing Labour policy, then there would be no announcement and no new controversy.

Labour supports responsible mining, not the Nats’ dig and pray on our most precious land.

Only one party has changed its position here.

56 comments on “Nats’ last gasp counter-attack falls flat”

  1. vto 1

    Is your light brown meant to be dark brown?

    • Also, the picture is on the front page, but not currently on the post itself.

      • vto 1.1.1

        Marty you’re such a sausage.

      • Marty G 1.1.2

        Yeah I made it that way Graeme. That a problem for you?

        • Graeme Edgeler 1.1.2.1

          Well, I read vto’s comment, and then scrolled up to see what he or she was talking about and couldn’t see it. A problem? Not really. But it would have been helpful to have it on both.

        • Graeme Edgeler 1.1.2.2

          And now it’s really small =)

          Also, I believe your graph is wrong – it suggests that some parts of our National Parks are not in schedule 4. All land that is part of a National Park is schedule 4 land.

          Ref:http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1991/0070/latest/DLM247378.html

          • Marty G 1.1.2.2.1

            Large parts of Paparoa aren’t in it Schedule 4. They weren’t included after lobbying from miners.

            http://www.med.govt.nz/upload/71960/Map%204%20-%20Paparoa%20National%20Park.jpg

            • Graeme Edgeler 1.1.2.2.1.1

              My apologies. That’s kinda weird.

              The first thing listed in schedule 4 is:
              “All land within a national park held and administered under the National Parks Act 1980.”

              Later it lists:
              “The following national parks or parts of national parks constituted under the National Parks Act 1980:

              (e) Paparoa National Park eastern additions (Gazette 28 March 2002, p 807, excluding Area “”B'” shown on SO 302281 (formerly part Section 1, SO 15152)):
              (f) Paparoa National Park western additions (Gazette 25 July 2002, p 2317)

              That first bit really seemed to cover it. Who knew that there was a difference between National Parks administered under the National Parks Act, and National Parks constituted under the National Parks Act? Well, you, obviously, but certainly not me!

    • Marty G 1.2

      the overlap between national parks and schedule 4 is dark, the lighter part of the brown circle shows that parts of the conservation estate that aren’t national parks are also in schedule 4.

      Do you understand now son? I mean I drew you a venn diagram like something out of primary school so that even the most simple minds would get the picture.

  2. B 2

    Maybe this will be National’s downfall – there really isn’t much of a defence for such an unpopular move. Bring on the next election. lets hope not too much of our native bush is laid to waste in the meantime.

  3. Lew 3

    Marty, Phil Goff was on the wireless this morning speaking against mining anywhere in the DOC estate. The policy might not have changed, but the rhetoric sure has. (I agree with the new position, FWIW — but Labour is perhaps exaggerating for emphasis).

    L

    • mpsaremorons 3.1

      So is labour suggesting they’re going to roll back all the licences they issued during the last government ?

      Is the mining industry the new ‘banking” when it comes to demonisation ?

    • Marty G 3.2

      Nah, Lew. He was just using a short-hand for a non-technical audience. Listen to all his and labour’s other statements and they have been specifically talking about ‘our most treasured places’ and ‘schedule 4’

  4. andy (the other one) 4

    Hooten was on with willie and JT and he said (quote) “National have handled this badly”, so you know from that quote that the polling is terrible.

    • vto 4.1

      Fools

    • gingercrush 4.2

      I doubt there have been polls done yet. Even if there have been they won’t be that meaningful as they wouldn’t have been analysed properly or anything. Hooten is from the world of PR. National sold it badly. In terms of public reactions its been a disaster for National. That is what Hooten will be talking about it.

      In saying that while your post may well be correct. National today looked much more solid with their lines and attack. Much more credible all round. If they act like they did today. Then perhaps they can sell it. I just can’t see them not bumbling again unfortunately.

      • Marty G 4.2.1

        ginger. trust me on this. curia will have been polling by now. they ought to have been polling before the announcement.

        • Irascible 4.2.1.1

          The SST was polling through Neilsen on this for a story in the paper this weekend. They were looking for opinion as well. The polls must be swinging!!

      • mickysavage 4.2.2

        It is a really stupid idea. It is not a matter of PR or opinion polls. It is really stupid. We should lift the debate up into the merits and away from the political implications and talk about the economic benefit to the country (little), the damage to the clean green image (considerable) and the damage to the environment (extensive).

        National looking solid means they got their CT lines right. This is a sad substitute for real leadership.

        • Lew 4.2.2.1

          No, it needs to go up beyond the merits and the cost-benefit analysis and into the principles and symbolic issues.

          In a public cost-benefit analysis of intangible versus tangible wealth, money always talks. When you can’t put a price on something, all too often the ledger price in a CBA like this is zero. Going into an actual opposed CBA is little better. If the level of public discourse around mining the Schedule 4 country is +$x in mineral wealth versus -$y in tourism money, where x and y are almost infinitely malleable, then ultimately the miners will win, because it’ll be “oh, a little bit here, a little bit there”, until opening new mines becomes a procedural, humdrum matter and we find that there’s nothing left unmined. Put more succinctly: if you try to tackle a non-economic issue in economic terms, the only winners are those who want it to be framed as an economic issue.

          This is why it’s so good that Labour’s “yours, not mines” campaign is symbolic and identity-based in the first place. The government and the mining lobby don’t want this to be about intangibles, pride, belonging or national identity, and that’s precisely why it’s necessary to make them defend this idea in those terms. The CBA stuff is there as a strong fallback position, and that’s where it needs to remain for now.

          L

      • Tigger 4.2.3

        UMR polled me on Sunday about it. And whaling.

  5. jcuknz 5

    Having a left-wing media doesn’t help towards sensible discussion when they keep on showing the mining pits again and again and again. I guess it is hard to find interesting shots in a tunnel. At least the major newspaper editorials are talking sense. Obviously we don’t want ‘Wahi’s all over, or even on postcards, of Code 4 areas. But if it makes ecconomic sense then it should go ahead with respect for the areas concerned. The left are crying wolf before they are hurt. It is not going to happen tomorrow but rather years if not decades down the track.

    • Lew 5.1

      JC, the ‘sensible discussion’ you and Brownlee refer to seems to revolve around the question of how much it would be worth to start mining the most precious places in our country. How much revenue would the mining have to generate before it became worth it?

      So if everything has a price (as opposed to a value), how much would you want for your grandmother?

      L

      • Madnessinc 5.1.1

        “So if everything has a price (as opposed to a value), how much would you want for your grandmother?”

        Filthy wrinkly perv !

    • vto 5.2

      yes that’s right. It’s not as if any mining corp is going to trust the word of any politician..

    • lprent 5.3

      I don’t think you understand the nature of mining for gold, silver or rare earths. Otherwise you wouldn’t be fooled by this crap ‘surgical mining’ PR line that brownlee is pushing. Their yield is grams per tonne chemically extracted. There is no other way of doing them apart from open-cast. The mines are really big, really messy, and affect

      The tunnel mines these days are all for concentrated resources like coal.

      But brownlee is pretty much proposing doing gold, silver and rare earth mining through many of the schedule 4 estate….

      • vto 5.3.1

        lprent that is not correct re needing to open cast for gold. See my post down the bottom fwiw.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.4

      yeah right , the ‘tunnels’ are in a minority now , as they will be in the future. But what about the tailings, no matter which way there is a big pile of cyanide contaminated earth . For Gold unlike Coal only a minute fraction of the excavations is removed for sale

  6. Luke.xensen 6

    If Labour did support mining so much, whats with National’s new policy then? The Nats seem to be suggesting Labour was very anti mining and pro-mining at the same time. Wtf? It doesnt make sense.

    • Marty G 6.1

      exactly. If Labour has been doing all along what National is doing now then National isn’t proposing anything new eh?

      The truth, of course, is that Labour was allowing responsible mining on non-Schedule 4 land, the Nats want to allow it on Schedule 4 land.

      Schedule 4 was created specifically to save special areas from mining.

      • Neil 6.1.1

        surely if there can be responsible mining on some conservation land, as you say, then there may be an argument for some responsible mining on some Sch 4 land. Politicians made judgement calls about what land should go and what should not go into Sch 4. Surely those judgements can be reviewed. Perhaps some goes in, some goes out.

        • Lew 6.1.1.1

          Perhaps so. But to have any credibility, that process needs to be clear and transparent, and utterly independent from the mining agenda. in other words, it can’t happen now, and it can’t happen until after the issue has been put to bed.

          L

          • Neil 6.1.1.1.1

            If I was a conspiracy theorist I’d say this is all a massive excercise in shifting the goal posts. Who would’ve thought there’d be such glowing accounts of mining on conservation land at The Standard as Marty G’s.

        • Marty G 6.1.1.2

          Neil. Do you know what Schedule 4 is? (it’s in the post)

          It was set up specifically to exclude special land from mining.

          The land doesn’t get into Schedule 4 if there can be responsible mining on it.

          • Neil 6.1.1.2.1

            It’s excluded beacause of specific environmental values not because it’s impossible to mine responsibly. Mining responsibly is a product of the mining process. Hence a mining operation could either be repsonsible or not depending on how it’s run.

            • Marty G 6.1.1.2.1.1

              learn about the process, Neil. You’re embarrassing yourself.

              They don’t chuck just any land in Schedule 4, it’s land they have decided must be protected from the impact of any mining. No mining is impact-free.

              • Neil

                yes do I do gather that, but you do appear to agree that it is ok that some conservation land, that would otherwise be protected, is mined for economic gain.

                There’s no reason not to apply that to Sch 4. At some point a govt decided to put particular land into the schedule, I don’t see why that can’t be reviewed.

                We protect some land from mining, what we protect is a conscious decsion that involves a few value judgements. It’s not written in stone.

              • Neil

                I do like Labour’s campaign visual showing how a mine operation can co-exist with native forest. After post-mine closure relandscaping it all should look quite good.

                I wonder if this was photoshopped from one of those responsible mines on conservation land.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Non s4 conservation land is hardly protected at all from mining Neil, (glad you agree that it should be though).That’s the whole point of s4. That’s why it was set up.

                It’s about protecting the intrinsic values of the most valuable lands on the one hand, and eliminating the risks to habitats on the other. Neither of which can be done with mining of any sort. That’s why they would have to remove it from s4 in order to mine it. If land can be removed from s4 on the basis that you think there might be something shiney in there, then what protection does being in s4 give? No protection at all.

                It’s awesome how proponents have got no arguments beyond things that completely misstate the facts, use made up numbers, or involve pictures of Mallard in a hard hat.

                Where’s this rational debate we were told they wanted? Instead we just get yahoos and boring contrarian trolls.

  7. toad 7

    Marty, if you are doing Venn diagrams and expect right wingers to understand them, you don’t just colour them and provide an abstract key to the colours.

    Righties will never make the association, because they think only linearly, rather than laterally.

    If you want righties to understand your diagram, you need to insert the description of each cell within the cell itself, and the the description of multiple cells inserted to fall across all of the multiple cells it describes.

    Sorry for adopting a hectoring tone Marty, but you need to accept that righties’ brains function very differently from ours, and post accordingly if you are to persuade the looser righties of the political and economic inadequacy of what they have been persuaded to sign up to.

      • vto 7.1.1

        yeah yeah funny funny. Said venn diagram is still wrong.

        And also, there is much comment above about the inappropriateness of tunnel mining for gold and silver. This is simply not correct.

        At the moment in Waihi Newmont has the open cast pit but you may not know that in fact undergound tunnel mining (surgical I suppose) goes from the base of this pit and has been for some time.

        Newmont also has the favona mine right beside its processing plant just outside Waihi, near the tailings mountain. This really is surgical. It is a small opening in a hillside in a paddock. The tunnel burrows down to below sea-level and has surgically removed this massive gold-bearing lode. It is like a small town down there with huge low trucks and diggers and drillers roaring around everywhere. I know – I’ve been down there a couple of times.

        The golden cross mine also near Waihi and no longer operating also had some underground miing.

        In addition many many of the mines from the olden days were tunnels. The shafts and drives can still easily be found in the Coro bush.

        Surgical mining for gold has been done in the past, is being done right now, and will without doubt be done again. In the coromandel. For better or worse.

          • vto 7.1.1.1.1

            yes yes thats right. But scroll out and look around… what appears green (farms) is similar to tailings mountains wrt the amount of native ecological damage wrought. There are thousands of tailings piles equivalents courtesy of farms.

            Plus, if you ever visit west coast and see recent and past open cut alluvial mining and resultant tailings and pits/cuts what you see is regenerating bush or productive farmland. Often the scrubby or poor farm land which is mined is restored to a superior position to that prior to mining.

            Don’t get me wrong, that schedule 4 stuff is a political thingy and a bit smelly, but there a few incorrections floating around about mining and its reality.

            p.s. the venn’s light and brown colours are not correct

        • Bright Red 7.1.1.2

          on the venn diagram. It says:

          “all the conservation estate is in New Zealand,
          all national parks are in the conservation estate,
          all schedule 4 land is in the conservation estate,
          some land is both schedule 4 and national park,
          some land is national park but not schedule 4 (parts of Paparoa spring to mind),
          some schedule 4 land is outside national parks”

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    Case in point for the rational discussion we were promised.

    Hooten in today’s NBR begins:

    The Wellington establishment’s reaction to John Key’s mining proposal was predictably appalling: viscerally negative, deliberately ignorant and in the case of The Economist ‘s local stringer, rumoured to be a Fairfax columnist downright treacherous.

    None of these charges are supported by the article of course. That would be too rational.

    He then unleashes his inner lunatic:

    Know thy enemy
    National may also have misunderstood its enemies. The people who run environmental groups are not primarily conservationists but vehicles for the far left.

    With at least 100 million dead as a direct result of Marxist economics and Leninist politics, they camouflage their true creed with “peace, ‘ “social justice” and “the environment”.

    Take Forest & Bird ‘s Kevin Hackwell: In the mid-1980s, with Nicky Hager, and just as President Reagan’s strategy to bring the Soviet Union to the table was working, he was instrumental in establishing the so-called “Peace Movement Aotearoa” to spread anti-Americanism, anti-Westernism, pacifism and anti-nuclearism. His so-called “Just Defence” organisation sought to sabotage the Anzac ships programme.

    More recently, Mr Hackwell was instrumental in promoting MMP, destroying the West Coast forestry industry, costing Solid Energy $50 million moving snails around the South Island, promoting various social justice” issues and assisting Mr Hager with his polemic, Secret Power, aimed at subverting the Western antiterror network.

    He is associated with Pete Bethune, currently awaiting trial in Japan on piracy charges.

    Can anyone explain why the media takes Hooten seriously?

    • Rhinocrates 8.1

      The NBR pays him to say what the editor and his friends want him to say, his targeted readers like him because of the usual reaction to people who use extreme rhetoric: “He’s a bit over the top, but it needs to be said” (I’m sure that was behind a lot of the support for Winston Peters’ and Don Brash’s talk on race); “See! I always knew, and he has the courage to say it!”… and as for the rest of the MSM, he’s an easily identifiable right-wing figure to provide “balance” and the man guaranteed to give a soundbite. “Balance” has nothing to do with reason for the MSM, all it means is that if an opinion exists, then for the news to be “balanced”, an opposing viewpoint must be presented, no matter how insane. As we know from The Hollow Men, even Hooten’s mates think he’s thick and full of himself. No one really takes him seriously except himself, but it doesn’t matter.

      • Lanthanide 8.1.1

        I recall some ‘balance’ on immunisation rates on the radio was a woman saying that because child mortality rates have fallen so dramatically over the last century, immunisation of children is no longer required…

    • RascallyRabbit 8.2

      I think The Economist is far to respectable to be employing supercilious 1st year graduates from Fairfax to write on New Zealand environmental policies – I am sure they can find plenty of them in London.

      Hooten = Douche

    • Bright Red 8.3

      “in the case of The Economist ‘s local stringer, rumoured to be a Fairfax columnist downright treacherous.”

      The writer was an Australian. If anything he ought to have an interest in Aussie mining companies ripping up land on the far side of the tasman from him.

      Shows what a wingnut Hooten is.

      • Tigger 8.3.1

        Hooten, of course, misses the point entirely. It’s not these ‘extremists’ (who actually sound quite centrist to me) who National are up against. It’s Joe and Jill Public.

  9. gobsmacked 9

    Here’s the Taranaki Daily News, another voice from the National heartland which has suddenly become a hotbed of left-wing extremism (as Hooton would doubtless claim):

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/opinion/3502241/Editorial-The-rush-for-fools-gold

    Ouch.

  10. IrishBill 10

    I didn’t like it when Labour extended mining but this “they started it” defense national and its blogger use so often is just a joke. Say what you like about the last lot they had more dignity than the current bunch of clowns.

  11. madnessinc 11

    “Say what you like about the last lot they had more dignity than the current bunch of clowns.”

    Some of the last lot did a good job, but I’d hesitate to associate the names Mallard, Field, Benson Pope and Tizzard with the word dignity.

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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    5 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    7 days ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
    I am a member of the working poor and so still need state welfare to make rent. So I had booked an appointment for yesterday with my caseworker at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) to apply for a transition to work grant. However the current health advice in New ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago

  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
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    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today outlined the first tranche of the $600 million aviation sector relief package announced earlier this week as part of the Government’s $12.1 billion COVID-19 economic response. The initial part of the aviation package aims to secure the operators of New Zealand’s aviation security system, and ...
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