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Nats push-polling on your dime?

Written By: - Date published: 1:19 am, July 1st, 2010 - 58 comments
Categories: melissa lee, parliamentary spending, polls - Tags:

A reader sent us these images of an addressed ‘survey’ he received in the mail from Melissa Lee. It makes interesting reading.

First, note the Parliamentary crest. These are your tax dollars at work. Probably the Nats using up the last of their taxpayer budget before the end of the fiscal year.

Second, this generic wording with a few changes relating to Lee and Mt Albert. So, I’m guessing this has been sent out around the country – if you’ve received something we’d be keen to see it.

Third, this is personally addressed and professionally delivered. This isn’t a cheap mail drop of generic material by volunteers. It was expensive. It would be interesting to know if this was a targeted drop based on what National’s databases tell them are the soft Nat/Lab voters or if it’s broader.

Note, the personal addressing means that National will use any reply you send to add to their dataset on you and use that information for electioneering.

Fourth, look at the questions. When you’re doing a real survey you have to be very careful that your questions don’t bias the answers. You don’t get useful information from a slanted questionnaire.

So, you don’t ask “Budget 2010 clearly demonstrates National’s commitment to reform the welfare state, support people into work, and grow the affordable  housing” or “Budget 2010 is firmly focused on lifting economic growth to create jobs, boost incomes, raise living standards, and provide world-class public services to help Kiwi families get ahead” if you’re really interested in the answers. This is push polling.

It’s not an attempt to gather our opinions to inform their policies. It’s a cynical attempt to influence our views while pretending to care what we think. It’s National propaganda masquerading as consultation. And they’re using our money to fund it.Thanks, Melissa. You’ve dumped your party in it again.

58 comments on “Nats push-polling on your dime?”

  1. Push-polling is common to surveys funded with Parliamentary money. Asking which party represents your views isn’t. And that should be enough to rule it out.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Although there is no “other” option. Clearly if you don’t fit one of their provided 7 boxes, you don’t have an opinion worth measuring.

  2. NZP 2

    Hate to say it, but I got a very similar piece from Labour before the last election (carefully coloured red). It’s a careful use of our parliamentary funds to get our opinions. Go the taxpayer dollar at work 😛

    • lprent 2.1

      But it wasn’t a questionnaire? Just information with a labour bias? That is the usual leaflet drop – mps newsletters.

      What gets me with this one is the sheer extravagance of it all. Not only is it personal mail delivery rather than dropped by volunteers, but because it is a questionnaire it also has a costly backend processing data if anyone responds.

      This goes well beyond the usual mps newsletters – which is the most common thing that the parliamentary crest pays for.

      Looks like national is deeply into rorting taxpayers to pay for their expensive campaigning.

      • TightyRighty 2.1.1

        deeply into rorting the taxpayers they sure are. The probably learned how to from the sensei’s of taxpayers rortage

        Zetetics third rule of politics comes to mind.

        • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1

          Andrew has already linked to that TR.
          He didn’t hat tip DPF either.
          Nor did he say whether or not he thinks that’s a push poll.
          Nor did DFF, as it happens.

          Go figure I guess.

          • TightyRighty 2.1.1.1.1

            yea, still no denial of the fact zetetics third rule should have been considered before going off half cocked. DPF at least allows people to make their own mind up. the issue as presented in the post was that parliamentary funds were being used by national (cue horror) to poll in the electorate. turns out labour, of course, have, are, and probably, will continue to do so. push polling is only a concern to the bias that appears in the results. hat tip zetetic and DPF.

            just to remind you; zetetics third rule: If you’re going to reduce your entire campaign to smearing your opponent, better make sure your own house is in order.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1.1.1

              nah.

              . the issue as presented in the post was that parliamentary funds were being used by national (cue horror) to poll in the electorate.

              The point is the push polling. The post is mostly about the nature of the questions and the purpose of the leaflet. A clue to that can be found in the comment thread where that is what everyone is talking about.

              You clowns seem predisposed to think it’s all about the funding, and I guess that is because you spent so much time bleating and screaming, and getting all het up with fake outrage about that angle a wee while ago.

              At the time, IIRC, the left was saying that your outrage was fake and that the all parties used funds this way. Pointing out that we were right about that is a secondary point to the post.

              If you have another look at what dpf asked you to think about, it’s the wording of the questions. So he gets it, but decided not to analyze them himself, for reasons to be guessed at.

              On zets rule, you might want to think about your charge of hypocrisy here. For it to stick, you have to show that the leftie survey is as bad, and that you guys really were upset about the funding angle.

              So far it’s faily mcfail on both counts.

              • TightyRighty

                Right, so one point out of four mentions push polling, sure it was elaborated on more than the rest, but the other three are points of criticism none the less. you can’t say that this post is only about point four and not points one, two and three. why? because you didn’t write it. unless you are a sock puppet. funnily enough, i think points one, two and three are more important here, especially if we take the reading order of them as inferring the hierarchical level of nationals evilness.

                For zets third rule to stick, there are two conditions to be met. one, the campaign is nothing but smears. ergo, no real or effective policy, but lot’s of mud being slung. check. Two, to make sure your own house is order. well, criticising an mp for using parliamentary funds to poll the electorate and too extrapolate from the one piece of evidence of it that it is happening all across the country, when mp’s from your side (the losers) of the house are doing the same thing, flies right in the face of that. wouldn’t you agree?

                You probably wouldn’t agree. It will be your narrow minded focus on point four which you think will justify your increasingly fragile argument. so your cute accusations of failing, when you are wrong, makes you the fail master.

  3. Stanko 3

    I work in market research and this is quite beautiful, entirely cynical and completely party-political. It very obvious that by stating the wonderful things National are doing as the precursor question they are influencing responses. But it is the second part of each question that is the most effective. “Economic Issues you are interested in” does not include the economic issue that I am interested in e.g. social spending. It kind of removes that from the agenda for anyone who doesn’t have a mind of their own. Repeat regularly.

    This is definitely push polling and should not fall within the tax-payer funding gambit, regardless of which party is doing it.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Yeah, I thought the “issues you are interested in” question was a bit oddball too. ‘Science & Research’ is an option – what does that even mean?

      What about the way the rest of the boxes have Agree, then Somewhat Agree, and Disagree last. Or Enough, Not Enough, Too Much. Seems like even the ordering of the options is biased.

  4. illuminatedtiger 4

    Lee puts her foot in it yet again.

  5. ghostwhowalksnz 5

    Melissa Lee ? Who is Melissa Lee

  6. Polls are used because they fall within Parliamentary Services requirements for funding.

    It is poorly constructed and is heavily biased.

    I suspect that the data will never be collated.

  7. James Francis 7

    We received the same thing in Tawa, from Katrina Shanks.

    It’s a questionnaire that’s impossible to answer unless you’re an unquestioning adherent of National’s policies.

    My wife started filling in her copy before realising where it was headed. Her comment was that she was giving them her name and address for future use. She then screwed it up and hiffed it in the bin.

  8. just saying 8

    A few years back I used to receive something very similar from Katherine Rich, including question 9, while she was in opposition. It was clearly party propaganda, it would have been worded completely differently if it was designed to gauge my opinions.

  9. Mossaman 9

    Apart from the obvious problems of leading questions, ordering and stategic blindness to alternative (or even just plain neutral) framings of the issue, the survey’s also methodologically unsound at the most basic level.

    Where the response options say: Agree; Somewhat Agree; Disagree – there is a missing response option Somewhat Disagree – without that counterbalancing there will be a response bias towards agreement. probably want they want but it’s unsound and dishonest if intentional.

    I presume Curia put it together.

  10. Tiger Mountain 10

    John Carter MP (Northland) has done this for years, though usually with an enclosed reply envelope rather than self mailer. I encourage my friends to write “fuck off tory fucker’ on them and send them back.

    • The Voice of Reason 10.1

      Nice, Tiger. A mate in Whanganui tells me he did something very similar, though even less diplomatic, when the Chester Borrows version of the survey turned up a couple of days ago.

      • felix 10.1.1

        I’m struggling with “even less diplomatic”.

        Was it in the form of a pictogram perhaps?

    • toad 10.2

      Yep, I got something similar from Paula Bennett a while back. Come to think of it, it must have been about a year ago – also around the end of the financial year when the Nats presumably had some unspent Parliamentary Service money they needed to get rid of.

      Guess I can look forward to her smiling face in my letterbox again sometime soon.

      • Jilly Bee 10.2.1

        Yes, Toad her smiling face turned up in our letterbox this morning with the ‘survey’ – sheesh what a ghastly photo of John Key. Is it the botox or bad dental work.

    • Lew 10.3

      Alternatively: http://bash.org/?127039

      1. Save every Free Credit Card Offer you get, Put it in pile A
      2. Save every Free Coupon You get, put that in pile B
      3. Now open the credit card mail from pile A and find the Business
      Reply Mail Envelope.
      4. Take the coupons from pile B and stuff them in the envelope you hold
      in your hand.
      5. Drop the stuffed to the brim envelopes in your mail and walk away
      whistling.
      I have now received two phone calls from the credit card companies
      telling me that they received a stuffed envelope with coupons rather
      then my application. They informed me that it they are not pleased that
      they footed the bill for the crap I sent them. I reply with “It says
      Business Reply Mail” I’m suggesting coupons to you to ensure that your
      business is more successful. They promptly hang up on me.
      Now, I did this for about a month before it got boring, so I got an
      added idea! I added exactly 33 cents worth of pennies to the envelope
      so they paid EXTRA due to the weight. I got a call informing me about
      the money, I said it was a mistake and I demanded my change back. After
      yelling at the clerk and then to the supervisor they agreed to my
      demands and cut me a check for the money. I hold in my hand at this
      very moment a check from GTE Visa for exactly 33 cents.

      On second thoughts, for a political party this would probably be interpreted as a donation.

      L

    • Graham 10.4

      Nice to see a calm, intelligent, well-thought-out and reasoned response there …

  11. yeshe 11

    I have received the exact same ‘survey’ with Lockwood Smith’s face on it and sent from Parliament … now torn ‘twixt advice to bin it or accept Tiger Mountain’s tempting encouragement above …

  12. Bright Red 12

    At least it doesn’t say [insert MP’s name here]

  13. ianmac 13

    A couple of years ago I received a questionnaire in the mail with local Nat MP Mr King’s face on it. I wrote a letter to the paper pointing out the bias. (Can’t remember the detail.) Mr King replied saying that it was something that head office had run and was nothing to do with him personally. Huh?

  14. BLiP 14

    National Ltdâ„¢ don’t send any mail me : )

  15. Santi 15

    I am surprised Farrar’s Curia is not involved.

  16. butnahyeahnah 16

    Two identical ‘manufactured consent forms’ in the mail today (one addressed to me one to the missus).
    This time though it has Paul Quinn’s name and photo on it. (I in Lower Hutt).

    If you hold the photo of Donkey up to the light, you will see the words”Drugs, Gangs and Youth Crime” – Right where I believe Hon.Keys policies are designed to take us to; new and worse, levels of them all.

  17. Tui 17

    Santi: why so ? It might be ..

  18. Andrew 18

    different to this Labour one how?

    • Ari 18.1

      Looks to me like the only difference is asking about likely party support. Looks like this is a case of Everybody Needs to Stop Itâ„¢.

    • burt 18.2

      Andrew

      It is different because Labour are doing it. The rules are confusing and others were doing it too so It’s OK when Labour do it. National on the other hand – ohhhh the outrage – they used a blue logo.

    • The Voice of Reason 18.3

      Different because of the nature of the questions. The Hodgson one has neutral questions apparently intended to get a genuine snapshot of his electorate’s views. The National one has loaded questions and appears designed not for feedback, but to set an agenda.

      Ie: the difference between the simple ‘do you prefer candidate A or candidate B’ or the manipulative ‘if you knew candidate B shagged goats, would that influence your vote?’.

      • Ari 18.3.1

        I don’t know. The consistent emphasis on positive outlooks in that survey does make it look just a little pushy. It’s certainly closer to a real survey than the obvious push-polling that this post deals with, but I think it may well dip a toe across the line.

  19. Rex Widerstrom 19

    Push polling? Doesn’t seem strong enough to fit the description to me. Push polling generally states a negative about the opponent (named or unnamed) (cf TVoR’s “if you knew candidate B shagged goats…” example above).

    What it does smell of to me is a cheap focus group exercise, running NACT’s spin past a number of people and seeing if the lines make them choke. The “which party” question then helps them discern whether the lines are resonating with their base, opposition supporters etc.

    The lack of a “swinging voter” or “other” option in that question – and a follow-up question asking about strength of support for the previous option – renders the data considerably less useful however.

    That lack of professionalism makes it seem like the work of some keen National acolyte who thinks they understand political communication but is in fact a poorly trained amateur with an unrealistic view of their own ability – i.e. Melissa Lee – rather than someone like Curia, who’d know what they were doing.

    • Bright Red 19.1

      looks like another Farrar special to me. He can’t help himself, his polls never ask neutral questions. I think it’s more about giving his clients the answers they want.

      his quick reply post suggests his involvement.

      • Rex Widerstrom 19.1.1

        giving his clients the answers they want

        That’s all very well for nutjobs like the SST. First (and most importantly) they actually believe their stuff. Second, they’re so convinced of their own righteousness they don’t want to hear anything that challenges their worldview.

        National, on the other hand, would surely want to know what people were actually thinking, so they could adapt themselves to fit (with no reference to principle)?

        I remember Winston describing the Nat’s philosophy with a quote he borrowed which went something like “There go my people. I am their Leader!! I must follow them to see where it is they want me to lead them”.

        That would require better data than this survey would provide. To me, it’s redolent of the smugness of Melissa Lee, whose mis-steps coupled with a determination to do things her way led, lets us not forget, to her abandonment by Key after the Mt Albert by-election.

        Mind you, I accept your theory could equally be correct, BR.

        • Pascal's bookie 19.1.1.1

          I agree that nat will have someone (presumably dpf) doing that sort of polling, and that this isn’t that sort of polling.

          But we know the Nats are doing this poll, so that just means they are doing it for some other reason than getting useful results.

          So if I had to guess, I’d say it was along the lines of finding out who is amenable to responding to their literature, who wants to know more, and if so about what. If the last question isn’t filled in they don’t bother looking at the rest. Collect the email addresses and chuck em on a mailing list for more targeted business that doesn’t have the parliamentary stamp.

          On that basis I’d fill it in as a middle of the roader, bit more on health and education please, more roads, bash the bennies, I’m a bit worried about crims etc, and see what turns up in my inbox.

  20. schrodigerscat 20

    While I don’t appreciate the fact that you and I are paying for this, I hope people return them filled in in such a way that they are misleading or meaningless.

    In this age of data warehousing I am not so keen on recording my opinion in this way though, and can understand anyone being reluctant.

  21. Us old wrinklies have recently recieved a letter from Key telling us about the tax changes ect, However it is not just about the tax/super changes but a whole page of National propoganda. Down right electioneering .

    • ianmac 21.1

      Yes Pinkpostmån. Agreed. It is å wåy of being present in the eyes of the people. Wonder if the questionnaire serves the same purpose regardless of its content?

    • TightyRighty 21.2

      sheesh remember the pledge card you old wrinkly?

      anti-spam: slower

  22. roger nome 22

    [come on roger, you’re better than that — r0b]

  23. True Blue 23

    Who’s money was used on the “TAX BUS”

  24. Pascal's bookie 24

    heh, It’s funny when dpf points to a post but doesn’t tell them what to think about it.

    ‘hur’ and ‘dur’.

    ‘fargle?’

    ‘narfin splurt!!one1″

  25. si 25

    Compared to the waste of money that was the axe the tax bus (which right now appears to be the outrage bus onto which you are all boarding), I dont really see a huge drama. Pledge cards anyone?

  26. chris73 26

    Just to avoid any confusion, if any of those evil, baby-eating tories come on here…if a Labour MP sends one out thats ok and a sign of a robust democracy at work but if a National MP sends one out its a sign that the four horsemen of the apocalypse are just around the corner

  27. schrodigerscat 27

    Given that the government obviously has no conflicts of interests should they be answering the questions? http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2010/07/questions-government-will-not-answer.html

    0 yes 0 no 0 maybe

    Since Labour and National both send out stupid pointless polls, where is the McGillicuddy Serious Party when you need them?

    0 Hawaii 0 jet-setting 0 curling in Scotland

    Mirror mirror on the wall, what a hunk Gerry is, right?

    0 wooo 0 what are you thinking? 0 Lockwood rings my bells 0 sexy coal!.

    I think we need a better poll to give the politicians some inkling how to behave. I am sure they once knew.

  28. Maggie 28

    I received same thing from Paul Quinn. Unfortunately the dog ate it before I could respond. The vet reckons dog will be fine once her stomach is pumped, but she should be deterred from eating garbage in future.

  29. Maggie 29

    I love the way Tories react when their sneaky ways are exposed.

    Their only defence is: “Labour did it, too”

    I thought they reckoned their lot was better and had higher standard?

    • TightyRighty 29.1

      what sneaky ways? it’s hardly sneaky to use the parliamentary crest, and mail it out. This is a non-issue, as all parties do it. it’s not “labour did it,too”, it’s “labour is doing it, so what?”

      it’s a weak attempt at a smear that breaks zets third rule of politics

  30. Maggie 30

    So there’s a difference between “Labour did it, too” and “Labour is doing it, so what?”? The mind boggles…..

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    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 ...
    5 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    7 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    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
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • 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 ...
    12 hours 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 ...
    12 hours 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    3 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 ...
    7 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours 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: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours 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, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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