web analytics

Net Neutrality and New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, November 26th, 2017 - 42 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, discrimination, internet - Tags: ,

The US internet has been mourning recently the announcement by that-guy-who-everyone-hates-at-the-office-but-thinks-he’s-the-cool-boss, Ajit Pai, of the forthcoming death of Net Neutrality regulations in the USA, and I thought it would be timely to write a little about what that means for New Zealand, what the state of the net is here, and broadly what Net Neutrality is and what it aims to prevent.

Most of you who aren’t tech geeks will only be familiar with Net Neutrality through a certain comedy show run by John Oliver, soon to be known as Chiwetel Ejiofor‘s parrot in the forthcoming Lion King live action reboot. If you haven’t watched all of his Obama-era and Trump-era commentary on the issue, it’s both informative and an interesting study in how differently Democrats and Republicans in the US respond to public outcry over their policies, too. I’ve collected them into a playlist for your viewing pleasure, favouring the ones from the official channel where possible:

So for those of you not enjoying three quarters of an hour of entertaining rants containing accusations of committee chairmen being dingo babysitters and comically oversized mugs, let’s have a look at what Net Neutrality actually means.

Broadly, it’s the principle that ISPs shouldn’t discriminate their speed of delivery or artificially block services or charge extra based on what type of traffic is going through their internet service, (eg. a packet of data for an email is treated the same as a video is treated the same as a BitTorrent download) and that ISPs also shouldn’t discriminate by which internet site that traffic originates from, at least so long as the website isn’t involved in an illegal activity.

In the worst case, the USA’s repeal could lead to ISPs overseas trying to route around US providers, if they’re seen as treating international traffic unfairly, but it’s also possible it won’t have any effect on those of us overseas. Only time will tell on that issue, but it’s sorta like consciously deciding to go out without sunscreen from now on: maybe nothing will happen, maybe you’ll develop a cancerous growth that your body has to work around. Only time will tell.

This issue, for those actually informed on it, is a rare confluence of agreement from the Left and Right of the political sphere- right-wing voters like Net Neutrality as a solution because it enforces a broadly libertarian market model on the internet, where once-small businesses like eBay can grow up into giant corporate monsters based purely on the success of their approach, and left-wing voters like it because it’s the government regulating to say that corporate ISPs can’t do the regulating of the internet on the sly without us voting for it.

Wait, I hear some of you saying, ISPs are regulating the internet? Oh yes, the featured image is from a Chilean mobile internet provider, who have no net neutrality regulations, offering “selective rating” for sites, that is, offering you cheap broadband data so long as you use it on a particular set of sites, such as Youtube. This is effectively discounting you for visiting preferred sites- probably not due to kickbacks from those sites, but rather because the routing is simple for them and it will help them manage traffic on their network more cheaply if people are re-using content they’ve been able to cache locally.

There are several practices advocates of Net Neutrality want the government to set strict regulations on when they are allowed or not, to prevent this kind of de-facto traffic steering. The US regulations about to be repealed prevented three of these activities:

  • Blocking: Lawful content must be accessible.
  • Throttling: Lawful content cannot be deliberately slowed down. (but may be delivered slowly incidentally due to overall network congestion)
  • Paid prioritisation: No specific content may be prioritized in exchange for any sort of consideration. (ie. you can’t bribe ISPs to speed up your website, even if your bribe is in favours rather than cash)

So, do we do any of those things in New Zealand? Yes and no, but mostly, yes. We don’t have any Net Neutrality regulations at all in New Zealand, but blocking at least is restricted to illegal content in New Zealand, and that mostly means really illegal, like child pornography. We have thus-far avoided calls for an internet filter like in Australia. And unlike in the USA, there’s no obvious examples of ISPs blackmailing other businesses to get favourable deals like there is with Comcast and Netflix, but that’s more because our audience numbers are generally too small to make such threats credible even to large sites, so at least we don’t have to worry about that kind of shake-down.

But throttling users, instead of websites, is absolutely a norm in New Zealand, mostly by type of traffic. Spark famously throttled (slowed down) connections to customers who are observed using BitTorrent protocols to download files. Their argument is that torrenters are frequently heavy downloaders, which is sometimes true, and that these people stress their infrastructure out of proportion to how much they pay for their service. But you might be a torrenter without even realizing- several popular internet-based games like World of Warcraft default to using torrents to deliver frequent large patches, whose download size is normally measured in gigabytes.

But if that gamer is compared with a heavy user of YouTube, who deliver high-quality video, they might actually be a less heavy user if all they do is play games after work- just an average of ten minutes of 720p video a day on YouTube will make up for torrenting a single World of Warcraft patch every month, and someone watching an hour or two of YouTube videos a day at high resolutions like that is going to be using a comparable amount of bandwidth to any gamer- this argument that you can’t tell even a heavy user by type of traffic is one of Net Neutrality’s key points, and honestly, why not just throttle heavy users, or incentivize them towards more expensive plans that help you expand your infrastructure? It’s a lazy business model, and discriminates against customers purely for their choice of data protocol.

Crucially, advocates don’t argue that you can’t charge by data usage- metred plans like in New Zealand are explicitly permitted, although they would have bones to pick with a common practice among many New Zealand plans, called zero-rating. If you’ve ever been on a bandwidth-limited plan, zero-rating refers to those plans where there are certain sites or categories of sites (such as “those hosted in New Zealand”) that you can visit without it counting towards your metred bandwidth. This is a more insidious type of violation of Net Neutrality, where they get you to think you’re getting a special deal to buy into it: they’re not charging you for favourable access to YouTube, or Steam, or Facebook, they’re giving you “free” bandwidth to those sites. This is absolutely discrimination between sites, and a form of traffic-shaping that would be illegal under well-considered Open Internet regulations.

Critics of Net Neutrality claim that it stifles investment in internet infrastructure, but there’s no real evidence they’re right. Infrastructure investment trends generally continue as before when Open Internet rules are implemented or repealed, and most large pushes in internet infrastructure are led by governments now, not private business. If anything, we should be levying ISPs that don’t fund their own infrastructure to pay for projects like rural broadband.

With a new government, you might expect a new approach on this, but both Amy Adams, Simon Bridges, and Clare Curran have had rather mixed records on this issue, with the National ministers saying positive things but being incredibly hands-off for the industry. Clare Curran, while she lobbied for a debate on this issue in late 2014, has also shown she doesn’t understand or is willing to compromise on its principles with a leaked Digital Content Levy proposal earlier in that year, essentially wanting to charge internet users to pay subsidies for private news companies selected by the government, rather than simply extending public media creation instead. One of the big points of Net Neutrality is that neither the government nor ISPs are supposed to pick winners, and we should all hope Minister Curran has changed her tune since 2014, and sees the virtue of finding solutions to funding news other than simple subsidies of private outlets.

If we should take anything from a rank authoritarian like Trump and his henchman Ajit Pai repealing similar policies in the US, it’s that we should strongly consider a local version of the Open Internet rules in New Zealand if we want to be the small-l liberal democracy that our proclaimed values would suggest we want.

42 comments on “Net Neutrality and New Zealand”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Thanks for this Matthew. You just answered all the questions I was wondering about 🙂

    • Carolyn_Nth 1.1

      yep. Very clear an informative.

      ISPs should be neutral providers of a service, like water or electricity.

      I do not like the move to have IPs also linked to online content providers – eg netflix, sky TV, or whatever.

      • Which means that ISPs and other essential services like water and electricity should be government provided services.

        • Matthew Whitehead 1.1.1.1

          Or at least that they should face reasonable government regulations. And all Open Internet regulations do is essentially say “corporations can’t make up their own regulations,” which is the most light-touch regulation possible.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1

            Or at least that they should face reasonable government regulations.

            That’s the most inefficient way to do it as it requires more regulation and bureaucrats to enforce those regulations.

            It really is much easier and thus cheaper to simply have the government do it through a government department.

            That will have the private sector whinging that they’re not making a profit from it which is how we got privatisation in the first place.

            • Matthew Whitehead 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh, I agree, I’m just saying starting with Open Internet rules gives us a base that even National should agree with, so we get at least that much next time National gets in power even if we can’t convince them to keep government ownership of internet infrastructure.

        • CLEANGREEN 1.1.1.2

          Yep Draco,

          Alll our “essential services must be owned and operated exclussively by our Government.”

          Reason; “for the people, – by the people” as used to be everywhere a stable country and society operates and lives.

          leaving our life sustaining services to private companies is so fucking dumb it is so suicidal.

  2. RC 2

    Facebook, Youtube, Netflicks and Google don’t deserve a free lunch at the consumers expense.

    • joe90 2.1

      It’s a present to the telecos who will get to profit from both ends, content providers like Facebook, Youtube, Netflicks and Google will pay them to carry their wares and consumers will pay them more for services they’re already providing.

    • Matthew Whitehead 2.2

      And they don’t get one. Sites pay for hosting the same way consumers pay for ISPs. (even if you build your own servers, you still have to pay an ISP for the access to upload the relevant information to visitors) There is no free lunch there, they pay for their access to the information superhighway, and even without Net Neutrality in New Zealand, because our ISPs are small and don’t act like Mafiosi, none of them have proposed charging large sites in order not to throttle them, or in order to get them zero-rated. Fortunately.

      Have you ever even made your own website? I have, and I paid for hosting when I did it.

      • piper 2.2.1

        Capitalism free market,what a social care.

        • piper 2.2.1.1

          Possible,who should own the countries telecommunication lines,corporation profit exploiters,or state held social intrest.

          • Matthew Whitehead 2.2.1.1.1

            I think it’s absolutely legitimate for the government to own telecommunications infrastructure under an SoE that has a primarily pro-social purpose, and only generates profit as a secondary concern, but it would require strong public support during National administrations to avoid it being privatized.

  3. Good post I learned a lot thanks. i feel I undéstand the main points now. These are the apparent new battlelines – not between left or right but the corporations or the people. I miss the bad old days sometimes.

    • Matthew Whitehead 3.1

      The key thing to remember on Net Neutrality is that the corporations are already shaping local traffic with practices like zero-rating, so it’s not a choice of if the internet is regulated, like corporate stooges claim, it’s a choice of whether we let corporations do the regulating like they are now, or ask the government to do it. I think the choice is obvious that it’s better to have the government ban them from regulating the internet on their own, but to keep their own regulations relatively light-touch beyond that. Road builders shouldn’t be the ones playing traffic cop, to coin a metaphor.

      The Right won’t always get onside if we don’t message it in their terms- see Trump for an example, he’s fallen for completely false talking points from large telcos in the US who are outright lying about the impacts of Net Neutrality. But this issue is basically built for messaging well to right-wing voters: We want a libertarian internet where your individual freedom not to be manipulated is preserved no matter what ISP you choose to buy your services from, so that you can freely choose based on quality and speed. This is the sort of stuff they love.

  4. RedBaronCV 4

    Interesting post Matthew . Thank you.
    Now is it possible , since I believe that most of out offshore content comes down a limited number of cables, for us to impose net neutrality as it on shores by slowing down the fast downloads and amping up the slow ones so that we here consume everything at the same speed?? (dead slow??)

    • If we put in place good Net Neutrality laws and upped the number of connections to the rest of the world (The one cable we have isn’t anywhere near overloaded BTW) we might actually get a large number of those content providers looking for hosting here (well, at least the ones that aren’t dependent upon low ping).

      • Matthew Whitehead 4.1.1

        Yeah, Draco’s right on the facts here. Strong Open Internet protections and mild heat in New Zealand would make us an excellent choice for datacentre hosting, and migrating local sites to local datacentres would not only speed up load times for local audiences, it would likely balance out the load on our and Australia’s cable to America a lot better.

        I actually submitted on JK’s plan for “fibre to the doorway,” pointing out that actually running fibre to the street level and then spending the savings on not running it to your home on subsidizing local datacentres and migrating our websites to them would be a much cheaper way of reducing local load times, but alas, it wasn’t seriously considered.

  5. Critics of Net Neutrality claim that it stifles investment in internet infrastructure, but there’s no real evidence they’re right.

    The one thing I have seen stifle telecommunications infrastructure is privatisation. Telecom, once privatised, massively reduced investment in the network and started pulling out huge amounts of profit instead.

    I’m pretty sure that the same reasoning will apply to the removal of Net Neutrality in the US. The ISPs will use it to maximise profits rather than invest in the infrastructure. Infrastructure is expensive, inventing new charging plans is relatively cheap.

    …and most large pushes in internet infrastructure are led by governments now, not private business.

    As we found out here in NZ when the government had to step in to pay for the necessary network upgrades. So, we paid for the new owners massive profits and then we paid them even more to get the infrastructure that we needed.

    Telecom is a great example of how privatisation does the exact opposite of what the neo-loberal’s told us would happen.

    • Matthew Whitehead 5.1

      Yeah, I didn’t want to get into infrastructure investment in detail because there’s literally no evidence backing up their case on that, so I figured a short acknowledgement of their position and that it’s objectively wrong was enough, given it’s already a long post.

  6. Ad 6

    At its base the Federal Communications Commission is seeking to redefine the internet providers as delivering “information services,” as opposed to “telecommunications services”.

    The resulting definition of broadband as enabling users to generate, store, transform, and process their data is absurd. It is like saying your phone is a pizzeria because you can use it to order a pizza. It is like saying that because you build a road, you are also building all the businesses along that road.

    It is edge providers like Wikipedia, Dropbox, and even simple websites like TechCrunch that provide the services users request; it is ISPs that carry that data, with no change in form, between users and those edge providers. The FCC rejects this fundamental idea and substitutes a convenient fiction that upholds its current ambition to reclassify broadband. There is a semblance of plausibility to all this, but only because of precedents set in times when the internet looked very different.

    I don’t really care about what Clare Curran thinks because the US ISP providers will simply continue to dominate New Zealand services, as will by proxy the FCC.

    https://www.eff.org/document/internet-engineers-commentsfcc-nn

    I would like to hear from LPrent however on how this change might affect The Standard in future.

    • Matthew Whitehead 6.1

      The US ISPs can only guarantee an effect on our access to content hosted in the US, so any effect of the NN repeal in the US is likely to be restricted to US content. This is bad news because even kiwis are likely accessing US servers for most of our content, unless you stay off social media, YouTube, or restrict your online gaming to Path of the Exile. 😉

      As for how they’re classified in the USA- yes, the redefinition away from Title II is absurd, but of course, this is because the ISPs hate Title II protections. Which is ironic, because the FCC only considered doing them because Comcast sued to remove the Obama administration’s earlier Open Internet rules!

      The US ISPs could try to shake down international traffic in a world where they’re not regulated by any protections. But they’d essentially be risking international ISPs routing around them, which is the “giving the internet cancer” scenario I was talking about earlier. It only works so well because theoretically everyone is connected to everyone else, so my hope is that they’ll stick to shaking down local content until Trump is de-elected in 2020. (which, from early backlash in state elections in the USA, looks relatively likely)

      • Ad 6.1.1

        I am resoundingly pessimistic that a change in US President would reverse this deregulation.

        Those ISPs dominate much of the world’s traffic, and are so powerful as Democrat donors, that they will find a way around any proposal (either through to bring it back to neutral.

        I remember reading Habermas back in the day thinking that the internet was going to revolutionize citizenship and the public sphere. (Sigh).

        Whereas what we have left after this FCC move, in just a short time, is a few islands of state funded and regulated broadcasting, with the rest being five companies across the world delivering puppies, porn, sport, and shopping.

        • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.1.1

          You’re certainly right that it’s not an automatic win. It depends who we’d get instead, and whether they’d been bribed on the issue of telecommuncations. If the democratic nominee is Kamala Harris, who seems to be set up to be the next Hillary Clinton in terms of a democrat bought and paid for by big business, then I’m probably with you.

          If we get Elizabeth Warren or even another Bernie Sanders run, then new Open Internet rules or a reinstatement of the old ones are totally on the table.

          I wouldn’t rule out other countries continuing to provide access to diverse content through an open internet even if the US no longer can. What we would lose is access to is small businesses run through the internet that are situated in the US, or innovative solo artists funded through avenues like Patreon, as their access to platforms inevitably dries up as ISPs try to set up encrusted digital platforms like we have in, say, the Television space.

          This is the other possibility is that the US’ repeal also causes a counter-reaction accross the world and most of the other siginificant countries commit or re-commit to an open internet, meaning that we write off the US’ content as gone, and route around them if their ISPs try any… “creative rules” in our access to other countries. This isn’t ideal, but it’s probably the best we’ll get if the US never reinstates open internet rules.

  7. eco maori 7

    Yes I think that the gargantuan multi nation net companys should help pay for the hard ware that they make billions off. The farm has no broadband Internet why’s that because these companies service providers and content providers only concern is $$$$$$$$$$ and not to provide a cost-effective service to all. I think that if we don’t get fiber Internet services that there provider companies should provide cheaper wireless service to the rural people.
    My moko school has school work programmes delivered by the Internet and because the price to get Internet is to dear my mokos miss out as many rural moko will miss out on a very important part of there education!!!!!!! Ka pai

    • Matthew Whitehead 7.1

      They actually already do pay to serve us content, the difficulty is that because the internet is global, they’re only paying companies in whatever countries they choose to host their website in. This means that the US ISPs get no slice of the money if consumers want to access sites hosted overseas, and likewise for NZ ISPs. They just get the money from us, the consumers, if we choose never to visit any local content.

      If we want to encourage better local internet infrastructure, our best bet is probably to implement a Minimum Investment Levy, where ISPs that are spending under a certain percentage of their revenue on infrastructure investment have to pay a levy per connection to the government, to be used for internet infrastructure only. (although because the term “internet infrastructure” is purpose-agnostic, you could equally use it to set up local hosting for local websites or even big multi-national websites like Facebook or Twitter, instead of just on laying cable or deploying wireless internet towers, moving our content to be local to us wherever possible. IMO this is absolutely a good use of money, especially as it in-sources jobs to New Zealand)

      We do similar things with RUCs and petrol taxes, so the main difference would be that the companies can get exempted if they’re already doing their own private investment at a reasonable rate, which seems perfectly fair. It would probably result in the cost being passed on to the consumer, but once the first projects were completed, it’d probably be worthwhile because it would likely measurably increase the speed and quality of our browsing experience, especially in rural areas where ISPs are highly unlikely to invest on their own.

  8. savenz 8

    Excellent post MATTHEW WHITEHEAD. Agree with it 100%

    • CLEANGREEN 8.1

      Thanks Matthew 100% informative there.

      Well done President Donald Trump.

      These web bandits want our last dollar, our blood, the evil buggers they are.

      • Matthew Whitehead 8.1.1

        Huh? In case I wasn’t clear, I think it’s obvious from this repeal that Trump is supporting the “web bandits,” Cleangreen, but I think he’s doing this because he has brought the spin of large cable company ISPs that Net Neutrality is some sort of conspiracy to help liberal media. Thankfully Net Neutrality isn’t considered a partisan issue yet in New Zealand, and I hope it never will be- ideally we should have a political consensus that even includes New Zealand First that keeping anyone from interfering with the democratic and open nature of the Internet is a good idea.

        • cleangreen 8.1.1.1

          Sorry Matthew I missed adding sarc’ there next to the Trump bit.

          What was the position of dem’s on Net Neutality?

          Seems they didn’t want it stopped either?

          We all want the internet kept open free unihindered as you say.

  9. Tracey 9

    GREAT post and comments. Learned heaps. Thanks

  10. Gareth 10

    You say that we have avoided calls for an internet filter like Australias, but we do have an internet filter in NZ. It’s run by DIA and has been up and running since 2010 and most ISPs are signed up to it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_New_Zealand

    • Matthew Whitehead 10.1

      As I think I mentioned in the post, we don’t have a filter for legal content, Gareth. (Did I forget to qualify that I was talking about legal content in a subsequent mention, or something? If so, my bad, it can be difficult to keep track of a whole post and make it as clear as I like, but I try my best to be thorough) We block child pornography, but I to some extent agree with the FCC’s rules that blocking criminal content is reasonable. (At least, for serious crimes where blocking content is an effective or necessary step to stop commission of those crimes- such as blocking child pornography to prevent paedophilia. No need to block sites with videos of jaywalking or something) While technically that may be a censorship regime, it’s one that’s pretty clear-cut and is absolutely justifiable from a policy perspective. My understanding is that Australia’s regime goes a lot further than just blocking child pornography- or am I wrong?

      • Gareth 10.1.1

        We don’t know if we have a filter for legal content. The DIA does not disclose it’s rules for blocking websites. It does not disclose a list of blocked websites. The only way you can find out if the New Zealand Internet Filter is blocking a website is to try to access it and see if you get the DIA message. If you find a website that is blocked which you think is incorrectly blocked, there is no formal channel to challenge the decision to block it.

        The public justification for it is illegal content and child pornography is the most commonly raised example.

        FWIW I agree that child pornography should be blocked, but I don’t like that there are no checks, no remedys, just a secret list of websites that you’re not allowed to know about. I would like to see some sort of oversight and a system for getting incorrectly blocked sites unblocked.

        Australia’s system has had more public or leaked examples given of blocked sites that you wouldn’t normally expect to be blocked. New Zealand’s system has been very quiet and no-one talks about it except to say “oh, it’s about stopping child porn”. Other than that, I can’t find much difference since you can’t get any official details about either system.

  11. Paul Campbell 11

    I think the best way to think of it is that like we’ve long done with the telephone company(s) we the public make a bargain – “you’re a ‘common carrier’, you promise to not tamper with the content that is communicated over you hardware, and we promise to not hold you responsible for content that may break the law”.

    So we let ISPs choose – be a common carrier and treat every packet identically, or choose to mess with just one of them and be responsible for all the the content that passes through your pipes, be it child porn, lawsuits by customers being harassed (or customers harassing), lawsuits from people hurt by terrorists downloading bomb making instructions, etc etc

    It’s like when Fox buys your local paper they can either print just the facts, or they can editorialise. But if they editorialise they are responsible for the behaviour of all the gun nut crazies they whip in to a frenzy. If they just print the facts they can say in court “we just print the facts ma’am”, it’s all true

    • Matthew Whitehead 11.1

      I think it wouldn’t be a problem to allow some ISPs to tinker with connections IF and ONLY IF:
      * They had to advertise any practices they engage in that violate Net Neutrality, and the fact that it is not an Open Internet practice, and they need to do so without hiding it in their terms and conditions where people will just ignore it.
      * There was at least one ISP that stuck to the net neutrality rules in all or almost all locations, or some sort of state-sponsored competitor SoE to ensure there was an open internet option.

      However, I honestly don’t think that the New Zealand market is large enough to make that a viable option in terms of making sure people all around the country have access to an ISP that doesn’t interfere with their traffic. It’s already the case that the ones with the best coverage are the worst violators of Net Neutrality.

  12. infused 12

    It’s already here with Vodafone.

    • joe90 12.1

      How is Vodafone’s option to purchase unlimited mobile data different to my broadband data options?.

      • Matthew Whitehead 12.1.1

        I believe Infused is referring to Vodafone being a practitioner of zero-rating (I cover in the post how this violates net neutrality, it’s basically traffic shaping through giveaways instead of traffic shaping through extra fees or slow service) on its limited bandwidth plans, as I used to be a customer of theirs before they offered unlimited broadband. (this was back when they were still TelstraClear, although they had already started being a bad ISP by that stage)

        I didn’t explicitly include that in the post because I hadn’t recently confirmed that they still did it, and didn’t want to call out any ISPs about practices they might have stopped. (I figured it was still likely that they did, and that commenters would be keen to bring up anything I missed, so thanks to Infused.)

        • wizz 12.1.1.1

          If I understand correctly, it looks to me like Vodafone does still practice zero-rating by offering their new mobile Pass plans which allow connection to some social, streaming and music media applications/sites without it impacting your overall data plan usage: https://www.vodafone.co.nz/pass/

  13. Sparky 13

    This is one I have been following for a long long time and before anyone claims its “all Trump” this started long before he came to office. I’d also ask where the “left” is in US politics? As one astute commentator put it the Dems have taken the place of the Republicans who in turn have moved even further to the right.

    In any case the only reason we still have net neutrality is the collective outrage of ordinary people who have been pushing back.Its got sweet FA to do with politicians manning the barricades.

    That said I’d say its inevitable that big business will as per usual get their way. I think Kim Dotcoms idea of a new alternative to the current internet controlled by end users is a good one because the current internet is become an over regulated commercial monstrosity with corporate heavies on every digital corner trying to dictate every aspect of what we see, how we see it and of course, at what price.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The Second (And Final?) Crucifixion Of Winston Peters.
    Stag At Bay: Twelve years ago, Winston Peters was still robust enough to come back from the political crucifixion which his political and media enemies had prepared for him. In his seventies now, the chances of a second resurrection are slim. We should, therefore, prepare for the last gasp of ...
    5 hours ago
  • Earth’s artificial rings
    Satellites pass over NZ all the time (literally). Here I focus on the 187 Planet Labs ‘Dove’ Earth-imaging satellites, and I show that one can determine in advance where they will be, enabling scientists on the ground to correlate their environmental and other data collection with opportunities to get imaging ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    12 hours ago
  • Softy Jejune Parson – the new Mother Superior of Wellington
      The Council of Disobedient Women has learned that the Prefect of Aro Valley has been promoted to a new role with the blessing of the Pope of Wellington. Softy Jejune Parson has been appointed Mother Superior of Woke Wellington for the work she has been doing calling out heretics, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    15 hours ago
  • Atlantic shakeup: US and UK leadership contenders ripping up the usual scripts?
    On both sides of the Atlantic, some purportedly “contentious” and “difficult to deal with” leadership contenders to lead the US and UK, as President and Prime Minister respectively, seem to have thrown a few spanners into the works of the normal messaging most are used to hearing constantly. Except they’re ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    16 hours ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • Australia’s secret prisoner
    A prisoner stripped of their name, imprisoned for a secret crime after a secret trial, with all details legally suppressed for secret reasons. A story by Kafka or Dumas? China? No, its just the latest stage of Australian tyranny:An Australian citizen was prosecuted, convicted, and jailed in the ACT last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Bridges should put his money where his mouth is
    Stuff has more details on what New Zealand First's slush-fund has been funding, with much of the spending directly benefiting the party. Which makes it look a lot like hidden donations, rather than the completely-innocent-giant-pile-of-cash Winston is trying to portray it as. The Electoral Commission is now investigating, but Simon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • The APEC police state enabling bill
    I've joked before about how hosting international summits effectively turns part of your country into a police state for the duration. Well, New Zealand is hosting APEC in 2021, with events throughout the year in Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland. And the government has put up a bill to give itself ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Why coastal floods are becoming more frequent as seas rise
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I saw an article claiming that “king tides” will increase in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • The cost of a range clearance.
    It has been revealed that firing ranges used by the NZDF while deployed to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, contained unexploded ordnance that caused numerous deaths and injuries after the NZDF withdrew the PRT in April 2013. In 2014 seven children were killed when an unidentified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Still denying responsibility
    Stuff's story on NZDF's negligence around its Afghan firing ranges has produced a result, with a commitment from the Prime Minister for an urgent cleanup. But this doesn't mean NZDF is accepting responsibility for the deaths and injuries that have occured - they're still refusing compensation. Which given that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A corrupt practice
    Last week RNZ broke the news on NZ First's mysterious "foundation" and its dodgy-looking loans. The arrangement seemed to be designed to evade the transparency requirements of the Electoral Act, by laundering donations. But now Stuff has acquired some of their financial records, and it gone from dodgy to outright ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Democracy “A Bit Bonkers” – Thoughts Inspired By Lizzie Marvelly’s Latest Co...
    Didn't See It Coming: NZ Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly's latest column merits serious scrutiny because such a clear example of anti-democratic thinking is encountered only rarely on the pages of the daily press. Which is not to say that the elitism which lies at the heart of such social disparagement ...
    2 days ago
  • Colombia: historic memory, massacres and the military
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Initially it was reported that in an aerial bombardment that took place on August 30th seven children were massacred; the figure then went up to eight and then on November 11th Noticias Uno reported that, according to people from the community in close proximity to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • On the road to Net Zero, the next step is to update our UN pledge
    A lot has happened since the UN’s report on 1.5ºC was released in October 2018. New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill has passed, and enshrines the 1.5ºC goal in law. The UK and France have also legally strengthened their targets to Net Zero 2050. The School Strike For Climate and Extinction ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • Corruption as usual
    Next year is an election year, and Labour needs money to fund its campaign. So naturally, they're selling access:Labour is charging wealthy business figures $1500-a-head to lunch with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at its annual conference later this month. [...] On the weekend beginning November 29th, around 800 delegates will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Fairer rentals
    Yesterday the government announced its changes to tenancy laws, including an end to no-cause evictions, limits on rent increases, and anonyminity for tenants who defend their rights against bad landlords (sadly necessary because landlords are scum who maintain blacklists of "uppity" tenants). They're all good moves, and have resulted in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Another NZDF coverup
    In 2003 New Zealand sent a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to support America's doomed war there. While there, they conducted regular weapons practice on local firing ranges, littering the landscape with unexploded ammunition. These ranges weren't secure - they're on land used by locals for animal herding - so ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    3 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    4 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    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
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 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

  • 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    2 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    2 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    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

  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 mins ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour 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
    18 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
    24 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago