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Nats’ selective science

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 am, November 7th, 2014 - 87 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, censorship, science - Tags: , , ,

As a working scientist I would like to thank Dita De Boni for this piece in yesterday’s Herald:

Govt loath to let facts come between friends

National Party loves ‘helpful’ science, but turns nasty if findings irk its mates

I know John Key is an exceptionally busy man, but it was good to see him take the opportunity to pile on the opposition party back-bencher, the very last man on the Green Party list, and give him a serve for being “barking mad”. … You see, it is important that we follow the National Party’s lead, and respect science at all times.

That is to say, all times except for the times when scientists come out with stuff that makes us feel uncomfortable and make our friends in industry unhappy. Then we should see fit to dump on it from a great height. We may turn it into an equation, thus: Science = good (very good, if supporting it = political point-scoring).

Annoying Science with Expensive Ramifications = bad.

De Boni has summarised the Nats’ attitude to science perfectly. She looks at their treatment of climate change science, of Mike Joy and his work on our water quality, and the “tacit approval” of (Slater’s) attacks on research in on the dietary effects of sugar. Then…

The Prime Minister’s chief science adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman, supports new rules governing what scientists can say in public because Governments are concerned scientists are straying into advocacy (i.e. saying things they don’t like) rather than sticking with their area of expertise.

One proposal that might ordinarily cause alarm is that scientists be gagged from speaking on controversial topics two months before an election, and at all other times, get permission from PR teams before doing so.

We going to have rules to muzzle scientists now? Really? How exactly does that square with Universities’ statutory role as critic and conscience of society? It would be a stupid battle for Gluckman to squander his reputation on.

87 comments on “Nats’ selective science”

  1. tc 1

    How much of gluckmans reputation has already been devalued being the Nats science spin doctor for a few terms ?

    • Chooky 1.1

      +100….despite his pansy PR interviews on radionz…he is associated with “in the name of science trying to stiffle science and free debate”….words like contemptible spring to mind

  2. evnz 2

    One of the finest essays I’ve read for a while. Farmers are the same, happy to believe in vetinary science for their animals, food technology science for their products but not climate science explaining why they are having more droughts and floods.

  3. Whateva next? 3

    After Hard Talk interview, hard to take anyone seriously in this golf club govt.
    Mr.Key had no problem with the fact he could get any lawyer or scientist to say what he wanted them to say…..

  4. philj 4

    The dismemberment of the DSIR was a very sad day for science in NZ. Who,which Government did that? Our science has never recovered. Pretty much corporatised…. like most of government these days . Not to forget pulling Gov’t funding for Futures Research. In their wisdom maybe there isn’t a future , and were just saving some money.

    • jaymam 4.1

      According to Wikipedia the DSIR was reconstituted into profit-motivated entities called Crown Research Institutes by the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992.
      I guess that was National’s fault then.

  5. Derek 5

    He must be taking his lead from that jack ass Stephen Harper who has thoroughly gagged Canadian scientists

    • joe90 5.1

      Next up, muzzle the public and burn the books.

      “The new rules are undemocratic. They attempt to restrict the public’s participation in these hearings and prevent a real dialogue about the environmental impacts of the Line 9 pipeline project,” said Adam Scott of Environmental Defence. “Canadians should not have to apply for permission to have their voices heard on projects that carry serious risks to their communities.”


      Scientists say the closure of some of the world’s finest fishery, ocean and environmental libraries by the Harper government has been so chaotic that irreplaceable collections of intellectual capital built by Canadian taxpayers for future generations has been lost forever.

      Many collections such as the Maurice Lamontagne Institute Library in Mont-Joli, Quebec ended up in dumpsters while others such as Winnipeg’s historic Freshwater Institute library were scavenged by citizens, scientists and local environmental consultants. Others were burned or went to landfills, say scientists.


      • NZJester 5.1.1

        Wasn’t there another group that muzzled the scientists, burned the books, and selectively took pieces of research to prove their scientific theories. I think that group adopted a symbol that used to be a symbol of auspiciousness. I think they also had National in their name.

  6. Macro 6

    The shameful dealing of Dr Jim Salinger by NIWA early on in this “administration” is a case in point. Actually it has had the benefit of allowing Jim to speak out publicly far more freely than he was able to in the past. Nevertheless it was a very stressful time for him.

  7. Al 7

    No – these are crap days to be a New Zealander. I have been going steadily backwards under National, but do admit it wasn’t always good under Labour either (e.g. 1984 – 1989). The fact that the Tory’s chose to ignore Hager’s book was tacit acceptance of a corrupt government – then middle New Zealand followed suit!

    All that shows is the ignorance of the public. Colin is a great example – fully support war and depriving families of the right to bury their own with dignity. Probably supports Whaledump and anyone else within the Key junta. Economists talk about ‘capture’ and this is clearly the case in regards middle New Zealand and it’s lack of ability to critically decry neoliberal economic orthodoxy … despite the FACT that key underlying assumptions have been repeatedly debunked … assumptions such as the ‘efficient market hypothesis’, supply-side economics, self-regulating markets and at the individual level, homo economicus.

    No, it is a crap time to be a New Zealand. Thanks to the freaking Tory’s I currently can’t even afford to get out of this place to another country where rampant neoliberalism and it’s supporters are far away. No this wasn’t always the case, but after the deception leading up to the last election and the way it was all just disregarded as what Key calls “smoke and mirrors” is downright dispicable.

  8. Tracey 8

    as long as selected groups are not going into work camps or suffering pogroms or individuals are disappearing we should just sit quietly while freedom is eroded?

  9. tricle up 9

    There has been no problems with the free voice of science in the past the issues are relevant and must be brought to a full awareness science is sitting on the right side of time as issues are tabled and debated and facts revealed into the real world .freedom of expression resonates quite well thank you ..thanks Dita a good read .

  10. Fahrenheit 451 10

    To Sir Peter Gluckman,

    Your a member of the Royal Society?

    Remember this, or has your pay check & ego clouded your pompous memory:

    The Royal Society’s motto ‘Nullius in verba’ roughly translates as:


    It is an expression of the determination of Fellows to withstand the domination of authority and to verify all statements by an appeal to facts determined by experiment. https://royalsociety.org/about-us/history/

    Its amazing how a scientist has suddenly become an expert in Social & Moral Philosophy. According to your rules mate, you cant comment…..

    Tis amazing how Gerry, John, Paula et al all become instant experts when the jump from portfolio to portfolio. This bag of sad egos are definitely not polymaths.

    Take a big running jump, you self important XXXXs.

    You really want a revolution don’t you.

  11. Fahrenheit 451 11

    That Nats and Sir Peter seem to want functional idiots (like useful idiots in the spy game), the ultimate in an intelligent yet stupid labor force.

    Yes thats right folks, as a functional idiot, you wont have any opinions outside of your remit given by the government. Keep working more efficiently and well give your masters a pay rise.

    Thank you Nanny Nat, I was scared of thinking out of the box, thank god you were here to steer me in the right direction.

    Oh, what about this:

    NOTE THE TPPA is coming, so gagging scientist would?

    Example of Gagging Scientists:

    1.Piltz revealed in 2005 that the Bush administration was revising supposedly scientific reports to cast doubt on the existence of human-caused climate change. He leaked copies of the edited documents to The New York Times, after resigning from his job as a senior associate for the U.S. government’s Global Change Research Office. https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/10/20/remembering-rick-piltz-fought-government-suppression-science/

    2.US drug firm drops libel action against scientist
    GE Healthcare says it did not mean to stifle academic debate with action against radiologist Henrik Thomsen

    3. The earth round the sun thingy:

    “On this day in 1633, chief inquisitor Father Vincenzo Maculano da Firenzuola, appointed by Pope Urban VIII, begins the inquisition of physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei. Galileo was ordered to turn himself in to the Holy Office to begin trial for holding the belief that the Earth revolves around the Sun, which was deemed heretical by the Catholic Church. Standard practice demanded that the accused be imprisoned and secluded during the trial.”

  12. Fahrenheit 451 12


    The Center for Science and Democracy
    Engaged scientists + an informed public = a stronger democracy.

    “Science and democracy are powerful partners. The United States was founded on the conviction that an informed citizenry, armed with evidence and reason, can make wise decisions that promote public health, safety and well-being. Throughout our history, science has helped our nation deliver on that promise.

    But today, this legacy is slipping away. Science is sidelined or misrepresented by special interests. Scientists are attacked. Our broken political system struggles to find long-term solutions to urgent problems, while a fragmented, polarized media landscape makes it hard for the public to separate truth from spin or hold leaders accountable.

    Under these conditions, it is more important now than ever for scientists and citizens to work together, engage in our democratic processes, and push for reforms to ensure that our policies are informed by science and evidence. The Center for Science and Democracy was founded to advance these goals.”

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      In order to do this, the Patriot leaders of the Revolution used ‘a language inspiring to all classes, specific enough in its listing of grievances to charge people with anger against the British, vague enough to avoid class conflict among the rebels, and stirring enough to build a patriotic feeling for the resistance movement’ (1999: 68). But this was a difficult game for the Patriot leaders to play because it required a balancing act, maintaining broadly popular support for the War of Independence and Revolution by appealing to universal notions of liberty and democracy, on one hand, while simultaneously defending the sanctity of property and the rule of a rich capitalist minority, on the other.

      History of democracy by B. Roper

      And that is what we have in our representative democracy – rule by the rich.

      That said, more fact based information and engagement by scientists and the public will result in better democracy and, hopefully, the eventual replacement of representative democracy with participatory democracy.

  13. dave 13

    How long before they pass an act that makes it illeagle to publish any information or activity that challenges the status quo or disproves corporate or nacts view of reality as we get closer to economic collapse media and individual censorship will increase

  14. Bill 14

    It would be a stupid battle for Gluckman to squander his reputation on.

    Indeed it would. Scientists, academics and others are already effectively gagged, and self-censoring in order to avoid vilification from the Nat Party’s attack machine.

    I’m curious if threats to funding or to employment are also perceived ‘behavioural modifiers’ on the part of those same scientists and academics.

    edit – making noises about potential official censorship suggests no censorship at present. Backing off – as they inevitably will – will leave many people with the false impression that academics and scientists are currently free to comment as they see fit…which is not the case.

  15. seeker 15

    “I know John Key is an exceptionally busy man, but it was good to see him take the opportunity to pile on the opposition party back-bencher, the very last man on the Green Party list, and give him a serve for being “barking mad”……”

    I wonder if our Royalty ‘sychophant’ John Key would be so scathing of Prince Charles or indeed his mother Her Majesty the Queen who actually employs a Court Homeopath!
    The Royal Family are well known believers in the efficacy of homeopathy.(perhaps not for ebola though).


    • Chooky 15.1

      +100…yes the Queenie Mother used homeopathy and drank gin and lived to be 101 ! ..in fact they all look rather healthy and well preserved on homeopathic medicine

      Not just royalty use homeopathy ….but our sophisticated scientist John Key of course knows better than most of Europe’s doctors and India’s doctors….such a great scientist he is… (NOT)…. that he can insult a large sector of the world’s medical fraternity and population in their choice of medicine…He makes New Zealand the laughing stock

      ‘Homeopathic Medicine: Europe’s #1 Alternative for Doctors


      ( Question: Who is “barking mad?”)

      • higherstandard 15.1.1

        ‘(Question: Who is “barking mad?”)’

        [RL: Deleted. Pointless abuse.]

        • higherstandard

          That was neither pointless nor was it abuse.

          This is abuse.

          Fuck off REDLOGIX you dreary old cunt.

          [RL: Heh – got a bite. I’m not going to delete, or ban you. Just leave this here for our collective amusement.]

          • ankerawshark

            Sorry whoever is moderating I would very much prefer to see the c word edited out. Would you consider this please?

            • Chooky

              +100 ankerawshark …’higherstandard’ is lowering the tone…however it was left to show him and his example of “pointless” … “abuse”… up

              looks like higherstandard is NOT a higherstandard on The Standard

              …maybe he should change his name to lowerstandard ?

        • Chooky

          who is “barking mad”?…well Prince Charles on John Key’s estimation ….and the Queen ….and the French

          “Homeopathy is popular not only among the French public but also among the French medical community. As many as 70 percent of physicians are receptive to homeopathy and consider it effective, at least 25,000 physicians prescribe homeopathic medicines for their patients. Homeopathy is taught in at least seven medical schools: Besancon, Bordeaux, Lille, Limoges, Marseille, Paris-Nord, and Poitiers, and there are numerous postgraduate training programs. Courses in homeopathy are taught in 21 of France’s 24 schools of pharmacy, and also taught in two dental schools, two veterinary medical schools, and three schools of midwivery.”

          and the Germans ( but then they would be wouldnt they ?..they are not very technologically advanced in the sciences…and homeopathy is definitely not scientific )

          “Approximately 10 percent of German doctors specialize in homeopathy, with approximately 10 percent more prescribing homeopathic remedies on occasion. In 1993, there were 1,993 medical doctors who had formally qualified in homeopathy, while in 2006, this number jumped over 100 percent to 6,073 (20)”

          What about the Italians?…”barking mad” as well i am afraid …

          “In 2004 a total of 7.5 million Italians use homeopathic medicines, 2.5 million more than a survey showed in 2000 (33)”

          …and the Swiss “barking mad” ….”The Swiss Federal Office for Public Health issued a report to the government of Switzerland which concluded that “the effectiveness of homeopathy can be supported by clinical evidence, and professional and adequate application be regarded as safe” (30).


          ( Conclusion : John Key and some narrow minded Wasp ‘scientists’ can’t understand homeopathy …but who cares?)

          • higherstandard

            I see you link to an article written by Dana Ullman

            “Dana Ullman is a notorious quack and one of homeopathy’s most vocal spokespersons. He has no qualifications in medicine or science (or, of more questionable relevance, in alt-med either) and has been arrested in the past for practising medicine without a license, resulting in his now being requested to sign contracts with each client he takes, declaring that he is not a doctor.
            Ullman is famous for claiming that Darwin was a fan of homeopathy, and that were it not for homeopathic remedies, he would not have been able to write ‘On the Origin of Species’. This was checkable, and turns out, unsurprisingly, to be poppycock.”

            “Ullman calls himself an “expert in homeopathic medicine” (which is akin to being a unicorn veterinarian) and since he has never been able to show that his particular health religion has any validity, he lashes out futilely at reality.”


            • joe90

              Dude’s got his own internet law too.


            • Chooky

              whatever character assassination hatchet job you do on Dana Ullman who writes for the Huffington Post….. this does not negate the facts that Homeopathy is widely used and endorsed around the world and in technologically and scientifically advanced Western countries like France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland as well as India ….and it is used widely by doctors trained in Western medicine


              …In any case the subject of this post is the John Key Nact government’s closing down of open debate… especially on critical environmental and food issues …..by New Zealand scientists….aided and abetted by the Prime Minister’s chief science adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman

              ….lets stick to the topic and not get conveniently side tracked by red herrings ( by your ridiculing of Dan Ullman and homeopathy )

              • You bought up homeopathy you moron, don’t be upset when you are then presented with evidence that it is quackery of the highest order.

                To say it is widely used by Drs trained in Western medicine is as delusional and bizarre as your anti vaccination and anti fluoridation ravings.

                • Chooky

                  @ lowerstandard…..”you moron”?really?….stick to the facts ……no I didnt bring up homeopathy ….seeker did! (” pointless” …” abuse” again from you ?)

                  ….and stick to the facts…..homeopathy is widely used in Germany, France , Switzerland, Italy and Britain …and by doctors…and endorsed by the medical schools and medical establishments in those countries…..

                  ….”your anti vaccination and anti fluoridation ravings” ( more abuse?)

                  …again you are factually wrong!

                  ..I do not have an opinion on fluoridation (except to keep an open mind and keep learning)… I am sure fluoridation critics have good grounds ….and there are some reputable dentists and scientists among them

                  …..isnt it great in New Zealand that they can air their views freely ? (thus far)

                  I am not anti ALL vaccines …again stick to the facts!…..however like many others ( many doctors, immunologists and vaccine scientists and parents and caregivers with children) I am concerned about the ever increasing use of more and more vaccinations on very small babies and children, especially the combined MMR vaccine ( and now the corporates want to vaccinate pregnant women!)…anyone who has had a child with an adverse reaction to a vaccine and/or long term damage is very concerned!

                  ….( but then again you would like to close this debate down and abuse people who express critical views contrary to your own and the corporates’ multi billion dollar industries ..a mark of fascism imo)

                  • Higherstandard

                    On the contrary I’m happy for you to spout as much nonsense as you want.

                    Each and every time you venture forth to spout your ill informed non referenced and opinionated dross it serves to weaken your position.

                    If homeopathy is so effective why not apply to PHARMAC or DHBNZ for funding ?

                    I also note you have your usual dig at pharmaceutical companies.

                    I have been critical of the pharmaceutical industry for trying to put their thumb on the scale of the scientific process. I also agree with transparency in pharmaceutical payments to doctors, and academic researchers need to maintain their independence as much as possible.

                    At the same time, there are legitimate partnerships between academia and industry that produce tangible benefits for the public. It’s a tricky relationship, and it’s evolving in a good way, but there are problems.

                    However why don’t we look at homeopathic providers approach to their income. They get to charge patients with disposable income cash. They get to give every patient a specific answer, because they are just making it up, are homeopathic companies not making large profits from water, don’t homeopaths have a very vested interest in their claims, profession, and products none of which have any evidence of efficacy.

                    • Chooky

                      @ lowerstandard ….well i think people will make their own minds up about the quality of your arguments ( false accusations, character framing )

                      …your factual inaccuracies

                      ….and your refusal to face legitimate arguments head on

                      ….they will also note your setting up straw man arguments and red herrings rather than confront the topic at hand

                      ……which is freedom of speech of New Zealand scientists to speak out on matters of considerable scientific and public and environmental concern

                      ( btw…I am not against all pharmaceuticals , nor partnerships with academia…as long as it is properly monitored and ethical and the science is legitimate …Nor am I for all homeopathics regardless, nor do I prescribe homeopathics or take them often ( but when I have or my family has ,they have worked) …I merely note that in many Western countries they are used by populations and doctors and are regarded as having efficacy )

                    • higherstandard

                      Chooky as will people make up their minds about the quality of your arguments zero evidence, anecdotes and lies.

                      “…your factual inaccuracies”

                      🙄 the irony

                      “….and your refusal to face legitimate arguments head on”

                      🙄 the irony

                      “….they will also note your setting up straw man arguments and red herrings rather than confront the topic at hand”

                      🙄 the irony

                      “……which is freedom of speech of New Zealand scientists to speak out on matters of considerable scientific and public and environmental concern”

                      I’m no particular fan of gluckman however he only wants to stop scientists from being able to speak with scientific authority on topics that are outside of their area of expertise, such as the numpty bearded git which so many here complained about on breakfast TV.

                      ( btw…I am not against all pharmaceuticals , nor partnerships with academia…as long as it is properly monitored and ethical and the science is legitimate )

                      🙄 the irony

                      ps +100 …..

                    • Chooky

                      higherstandard? …. irony

                    • higherstandard


                      Oh what a riposte, quick send for an ambulance I’m mortally wounded

                    • Chooky

                      @ knucklehead …..stabbed yourself in the nom de plume did you?.

                      … the ambulance should only be called out out for serious injuries ( waste of taxpayer money otherwise)

                    • higherstandard

                      +100 😆 and 🙄

      • KJT 15.1.2

        Drinking water IS good for you!

      • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.3

        You have to shake it just so. Not stirring. Stirring doesn’t work. And you have to think very hard about Jean Harlowe as you shake it, to calm your spirit and invoke the ether and the higher powers.

        Don’t tell me you forgot the salt on the window-sill!

        • higherstandard

          Mitchell and Webb on homeopathy

        • RedLogix

          Yeah but it’s very effective at invoking the placebo effect if nothing else. It’s just not worth faffing on about.

          Homeopathy isn’t going to raise global temperatures 2- 6 degC.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            It might waste a lot of water in a world where water scarcity causes wars.

            • Chooky

              @ oAB…re homeopathy …”It might waste a lot of water in a world where water scarcity causes wars”….bullshit ( ridicule)

              …just because you cant understand something doesnt mean it is worthless or doesnt work …eg quantum mechanics…it works ….but who completely understands quantum physics?

              ….same with homeopathy …it works for many people/cultures/doctors around the world ….so don’t dis it just because you cant understand it..it has scientific validity because it has empirical efficacy

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Shake it baby, shake it.

                I like the video of Randi overdosing on sleeping sugar pills. How about you?

                • Chooky


                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Well, you were blithering about someone who “doesn’t understand” the Sugar Pill Placebo scam, so you can’t have been talking about me, because I’ve read “Doctor” Peter Fisher’s evidence to the Science & Tech Committee of the UK Parliament, which lays out the scam in plain language.

                    It has high comedic value:

                    Dr Fisher stated that the process of “shaking is important” but was unable to say how much shaking was required. He said “that has not been fully investigated” but did tell us that “You have to shake it vigorously […] if you just stir it gently, it does not work”.

                    Of course, it isn’t funny for the victims.

      • NZJester 15.1.4

        A lot of modern synthetic medicine are derived from copies of compounds found in plants. Some natural medicines can work just as well as or better than some of their synthetic forms. However there are also some that do not work quite as well or are near useless without artificial modification. Because natural products can not be patented drug companies push the synthetics and try to stifle the natural products that are helpful. Another problem also is there are some snake-oil salesmen that have also become involved in the Homeopathic scene. There are Homeopathic medicines out there that can be better for you than some modern drugs but sometimes they are very hard to find due to the drug companies and the snake-oil salesmen keeping people away from them.
        Do your research if you are going to use Homeopathic medicines and do not completely rule out the synthetic drugs.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Homeopathy isn’t a medicine, let alone a natural one: it was conjured out of whole cloth in the late 19thC, and closely resembles trickledown economic dogma.

          By comparison, digitalin, aspirin, etc etc, are naturally-derived medicines, and honey is good for wounds.

          Shaken, not stirred.

        • higherstandard

          “There are Homeopathic medicines out there that can be better for you than some modern drugs”

          Name one “homeopathic medicine” and the disease/condition it treats that can be better for someone than the equivalent treatment as recognised by mainstream healthcare.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Neoliberalism. Thinking very hard about homeopathy and neoliberalism can cure neoliberalism.

            • higherstandard

              Reading your political diatribes is probably quite an effective treatment for insomnia

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Probably? Where’s your confidence? That’s part of the problem with having a distended amygdala: you’re only confident when you’re calm, and when you’re afraid you go to pieces so fast people get hit by the shrapnel.

                (h/t Douglas Adams)

      • Murray Rawshark 15.1.5

        I’m pretty sure the royals use conventional medicine as well. I’d be quite happy for them to use nothing but homeopathy.

    • RedBaronCV 15.2

      Perhaps if John Key is so medically enabled he could nip down and do some of that elective surgery that’s waiting.

  16. Fahrenheit 451 16

    What guts me the most about National, is that their synapses calcify on hearing the money mantra. They will poke your eyes out to make a buck then laugh at you for being blind.

    Here are lessons learned from European Environmental Agency to see some balance
    Late lessons from early warnings: the precautionary principle 1896–2000


    1. Acknowledge and respond to ignorance, as well as uncertainty and risk, in
    technology appraisal and public policymaking.

    2. Provide adequate long-term environmental and health monitoring and research into early warnings.

    3. Identify and work to reduce ‘blind spots’ and gaps in scientific knowledge.

    4. Identify and reduce interdisciplinary obstacles to learning.

    5. Ensure that real world conditions are adequately accounted for in regulatory appraisal.

    6. Systematically scrutinise the claimed justifications and benefits alongside the potential risks.

    7. Evaluate a range of alternative options for meeting needs alongside the option

    8. Ensure use of ‘lay’ and local knowledge, as well as relevant specialist expertise in
    the appraisal.

    9. Take full account of the assumptions and values of different social groups.

    10. Maintain the regulatory independence of interested parties while retaining an
    inclusive approach to information and opinion gathering.

    11. Identify and reduce institutional obstacles to learning and action.

    12. Avoid ‘paralysis by analysis’ by acting to reduce potential harm when there are reasonable grounds for concern.

    Latest report here:

    To end with quotes:

    “With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word ‘intellectual,’ of course, became the swear word it deserved to be.”

    “A book is a loaded gun in the house next door…Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?”

    Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

  17. NZJester 17

    Nothing says we are not a fascist government more than gagging scientists and having the police raid journalists houses.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1

      Atrocities. Vicious, organised public violence against minorities (ACT voters, or S Rylands, for example). That would say it more.

      What we have is greedy fuckwits, not fascists.

      • Paul 17.1.1

        Sadly a lot of the upper middle class is wilfully ignorant.

        As long as their foreign holiday is safe.
        As long as they can but either new Audi.
        As long as their house prices keeps going up.

        The house of cards will only collapse when they realise their own position is vulnerable.

        First they came……

  18. Simon 18

    This post represents a wrongful interpretation of Gluckman’s idea. He wants to stop scientists from being able to speak with scientific authority on topics that are outside of their area of expertise.

    A key example comes to mind: On the radio there is a company that sells vitamins, with the owner and pusher labeling himself as a ‘scientist’. For most people, the tacit assumption is that he is a biologist or something related to vitamins etc. In reality he has a masters in geology.

    There are countless other examples of this….and I totally condone Gluckman in this case.

    • Murray Rawshark 18.1

      I don’t believe the Key regime would be looking at this if you were correct. They want to muzzle people like Mike Joy and Peter Wills.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.2

      If the media are so lazy and stupid as to cite Geologists on Biology, the problem is media laziness and stupidity. The Geologist has no authority to relinquish since they are by definition presenting a lay opinion.

      However, it might backfire quite spectacularly when politicians (the member for Epsom leaps to mind) start mouthing off their faith based gobshite on subjects of which they are utterly ignorant.

    • Chooky 18.3

      @ Simon….in so far as a scientist is able to use scientific method and evidence to validate his/her claims….. and is open to critique by other scientists ( in the case you cite especially nutritionists, chemists and micro biologists) …i dont see any problem with scientists speaking out on issues outside their particular expertise

      ….the crucial thing is that scientists can support their claims with evidence and are open to critique and further debate using scientific method

      ( afterall is Gluckman a specialist in environmental issues or an ultimate authority on nutrition? …or for that matter is John Key?)

      • Chooky 18.3.1

        and Simon….another point….just because a scientist is trained in a particular scientific field….and a so-called expert ….this does not make them necessarily an unimpeachable authority …or ethical

        …they may have been bought and corrupted by the corporates

        ….there are plenty examples of shonkey ‘scientific’ results to fit in with corporate desires and expectations eg the tobacco industry and pharmaceutical industry

  19. Sable 19

    There’s nothing honest about this government and their dealings with the the institutions of government not to mention the public.

    The media is in their corner as little more than paid scribes and now they are going after the last groups of people in government institutions who could challenge their lies.

    No doubt this is paving the way for the sleazy traitorous TPPA and the selling of this country and its environment to marauding US interests for 30 pieces of silver.

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    8 hours ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    9 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    9 hours ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    10 hours ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    11 hours ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    12 hours ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    13 hours ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    24 hours ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    24 hours ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 day ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 day ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 day ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    2 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    3 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    4 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    5 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    7 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    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 being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
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    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
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    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
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    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
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    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
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    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
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    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
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    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
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    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
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  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks ago