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New Zealand, a great place to be a mum

Written By: - Date published: 4:02 pm, May 12th, 2008 - 47 comments
Categories: election 2008, families - Tags: ,

We hear an awful lot from the Right about how much New Zealand sucks: ‘crime is up’ they cry (when it’s down), ‘taxes are too high’ (when they’re down), ‘too many dole bludgers’ (when benefit numbers are way, way down), ‘everyone’s leaving for Australia’ (when fewer than 0.7% of people went last year), ‘labour costs are too high’ (you mean wages are up? No wonder Key “would love to see wages drop“).  So, it’s nice to take a break from National’s ‘New Zealand Sucks’ campaign and be reminded of what a great little country we live in.

Save the Children has released its “State of the World’s Mothers” report. New Zealand was ranked the 4th best place in the world to be a mother, the 2nd best to be a woman, and the twentieth best for children. In each of those metrics, we are well ahead of Australia.

New Zealand ranked highly because it scored well in each of the areas that Save the Children looked at: Lifetime risk of maternal mortality, Percent of women using modern contraception, Female life expectancy at birth, Expected number of years of formal female schooling, Maternity leave benefits, Ratio of estimated female to male earned income, Participation of women in national government, Under-5 mortality rate, Gross pre-primary enrollment ratio, and Gross secondary enrollment ratio.

New Zealand doesn’t perform well in these areas by accident; the results arise from government policy. See how these following policies match with the measures Save the Children looked for: more money for health, subsidised GP visits, free morning-after pill, 20Free childhood education, interest-free student loans, Schools Plus, paid paternal leave, higher minimum wage, lower unemployment, Working for Families, modern apprenticeships, skills training, and gender balance in Labour’s List.

New Zealand is such a good place to be a mother and raise kids because the Government has made a concerted effort to make it so.

47 comments on “New Zealand, a great place to be a mum”

  1. AndrewE 1

    It’s a pretty good place to be a dad as well. 😉

  2. Sam Dixon 2

    Not bad to be a single guy either. At least in Wellington – man drought, plus, I’m charming.

  3. Um, yeah, thanks for that Sam.

    On a side note, this is the ninth annual State of the World’s Mothers report by Save the Children. NZ was only ranked in the last two, and was fourth in both.

  4. lprent 4

    Sam – I’m unsure about the sites policy on advertising? Do you think we should have one?

  5. higherstandard 5

    As they say in the report “most industrialized countries cluster tightly at the top of the Index with the majority of these countries performing well on all indicators”

    To say we are well ahead of Australia is stretching things somewhat all that one can conclude is that it’s generally very preferable to live in a 1st World country compared to a 3rd world country.

  6. big bruv 6

    Violent crime up 42% under Labour….statement of fact!

    While I am here, what have you got to say about the latest Labour lie?, an extra $200 million for a train set.

    [read the post on topic “mythbusting: book value and over the odds“. SP]

  7. big bruv 7

    NZ might be a good place to be an unmarried single mum, they breed it and we end up feeding it.

    [you sure know how to bring things down Bruv. Speaking of which, DPB numbers are down from a peak of 113,000 in 1998 under National to 95,000 today. SP]

  8. Well, they do say that HS, but then you look at the actual measurements they’re basing the ratings on and there are some significant differences

    – years of schooling, pre-school enrollment, secondary enrollment, level of female political participation, maternity leave are all much better.

    – the rest of the measures are the same or virtually the same. the only place Aussie does much better than NZ is in maternal mortality.

    Australia had also slipped a place from this time last year.

  9. mike 9

    phew… thank god steve I was starting to believe all that bad stuff in the news about food prices up, petrol up, unemployment up, hungry kids, strikes, interest rates up, violent crime up, etc, etc but its obviously all a conspiracy.

  10. Phil 10

    Good point HS. I guess it would be a little like saying “A Ferrari is better than an Aston Martin, when they’re both compared to a Daewoo.”

    However, if Sam’s reduced to solicitation on The Standard for a date, even the Daewoo would probably help his cause…

  11. r0b 11

    Note one bit of genuinely bad news in this report (p 31): “Among the Maori of New Zealand,infant mortality rates are more than twice as high as the general population”. That’s something to think about in the long shadow of Orewa.

    Violent crime up 42% under Labour .statement of fact!

    No BB, the reporting of violent crime is up following a successful advertising campaign. We don’t know if the underlying rate of violent crime has changed.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=30&objectid=10501360

    “This is not surprising when we take into account that there has been a huge focus on family violence with publicity and media campaigns designed to reduce tolerance for such offending,” assistant commissioner Grant Nicholls said.

  12. You’re right Mike! I know – why don’t you start a blog and write about all that? Or perhaps address those issues on (the many) threads that are about them? You are a fu*kin bore Mike. No wonder your wife left you.

    [I think there’s all too much talk about people’s relationships on this thread. Please cool it, ‘sod. It’s not called for. SP]

  13. higherstandard 13

    r0b

    Yes Maori statistics are inferior as they probably for all indigenous peoples.

    Not sure what Don Brash’s Orewa speech has to do with that though ?

  14. HS. It hardly indicates Maori are getting privileged treatment, eh?

  15. higherstandard 15

    I think we do bend over backward for Maori in this country in many areas what is clear is that little flows through to positive effects on health or crime statistics.

  16. r0b 16

    That’s an interesting perspective HS. I imagine by “bend over backwards” you mean the treaty settlement process, or did you have something else in mind? And why do you think “little flows through” to health and crime stats? What’s the problem HS?

  17. higherstandard 17

    r0b

    I think we’ll continue to bend over backwards to celebrate the culture and feed the voracious treaty settlements business regardless of whether those activities have impacted health or crime stats to any great degree.

    I’m not sure what the answer is but it’s elsewhere.

  18. So if we are not paying more tax than before, why has the days to “Tax Freedom Day” gone from 140 to 160 under Labour: http://www.interest.co.nz/ratesblog/index.php/2008/01/06/chart-tax-burden/

  19. r0b 19

    mawg – because of the odd and complicated way it is calculated (seems to be tied up with growth):
    http://www.nzbr.org.nz/documents/releases/releases-2006/060424taxfreedom.htm

    Meanwhile NZ personal tax is third lowest in the OECD:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax

  20. Ben R 20

    “HS. It hardly indicates Maori are getting privileged treatment, eh?”

    Don’t you have to consider the actual treatment people are receiving, rather than their outcomes? If you begin your analysis with outcomes, then you’d say that Asian’s must be getting privileged treatment because they excel academically.

    “I think we do bend over backward for Maori in this country in many areas what is clear is that little flows through to positive effects on health or crime statistics.”

    I’m not sure about that. I think that in terms of treaty settlements those have had a positive effect. I think a major problem is the loss of jobs in areas like forestry & freezing works in the 80’s. That would have been devastating to many communities & the children growing up in those households. You’ve now got many growing up in households where welfare is the norm.

    There’s also the Alan Duff perspective:

    “It’s an educational issue, the commentators are failing to recognise. Since Maori have not opted in large numbers to get a higher education so do the outlooks and attitudes remain unchanged because enlightenment of self and the collective can only come from educated minds. Maori M.P. Dover Samuels had the courage to state publicly that Maoris accept violence. But not the educated. After all, you don’t see Maoris with university degrees beating up anyone. There is a disturbing anger common to far too many Maori that needs to be deeply investigated, like some permanently infected wound, as to its true cause. Groups of marauding teenage Maori girls attack innocent Pakehas for no reason. Maoris dominate in gang numbers and prison inmate numbers. We have the highest number of assaults, almost exclusively own the child murder statistics.” http://www.nzcpr.com/guest22.htm

  21. Ari 21

    I was working on a summary of this while I saw that you posted it. Thanks Steve. It’s nice to see good work like this getting attention, and it makes it clear you’re making good on what you said to Julie. 🙂 I’m especially pleased as a supporter of Save the Children, too- if I recall correctly, I started donating to fight child prostitution in Asia.

    Ben R- Outcomes are important because they’re a result of treatment. There are considerable insidiously invisible negative pressures on Maori and women in our society, and these effect the outcomes we see. Not all treatment of Maori is organised and funded by the government, remember.

  22. mike 22

    Sod – sorry I got you told off twice in one day.
    You might need some stronger pills buddy as you now have me confused with someone else.

  23. Uh huh. “Pills”? Shucks Mike you made a funny. ‘Cos, like, you’re implying I’m crazy but, like, not saying so so you like, leave the reader to make the connection. What a punchline mike, what a gem, with a sharp sense of humour like that I’m sure the ladies will be falling all over you mike, your missus really didn’t realise what kind of a man she was turning her back on, eh?

  24. mike 24

    You can do better RS, making stuff up about other people’s personal life is a little sad don’t you think?.

  25. Tane 25

    Sod, pull your head in. One more outburst and you’re off for a week.

  26. Ben R 26

    “Ben R- Outcomes are important because they’re a result of treatment. There are considerable insidiously invisible negative pressures on Maori and women in our society, and these effect the outcomes we see.”

    That may be the case. My understanding was that it’s a combination of innate abilities & the behavioural expectations of your family & friends:

    “Differences between black and white teen-agers in achievement have variously been attributed to genes or single mothers, but differences vanish when researchers control for the peer group: whether its members value achievement and expect to go to college, or regard academic success as a hopeless dream or sellout to ”white” values.” http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/09/13/reviews/980913.13tavrist.html

  27. Scribe 27

    Steve,

    New Zealand’s a great place to be a mum, and as supporting evidence you cite policies explicitly designed to stop women from becoming mums, eg free “morning-after” pill and access to contraception, and policies designed to stop women actually being mothers, like free childcare so that women get back to work, rather than raising kids.

  28. AncientGeek 28

    hs:

    I’m not sure what the answer is but it’s elsewhere.

    It does, but you’re talking about a generational level problem. It takes generations before you see significant effects. All previous approaches had failed dismally. Those approaches had caused massive wastage of money, both Maori and taxpayer, with ever worsening results. You only have to look at the stats for that.

    I’ll explain my take on the process and why I’ve supported it.

    The treaty settlement process was started in the mid-80’s. Apart from the historical basis, it was also intended as a way of building up Maori owned and operated enterprises. It did that by injecting capital in the form of assets and cash where it could only be used in a capital based organization. The latter is built into the legislation.

    The reason it had to be done that way was because of a market failure. It’d proved impossible (for various reasons) to get the lenders to lend against property held in group ownership, and where it was difficult to foreclose on property held as a guarantee.

    That provided a way for Maori Iwi organizations to build their capital base, while providing a training ground for Maori to train their young. Effectively a way for Maori to develop their own professional class in their own way. Merely having to fight to get the settlements would in itself induce a higher degree of professionalism.

    Generationally, this means that there has been a culturally based opportunity ladder. In essence it is the same structure that poor immigrant groups have been using forever via family leverage, but applied to a indigenous culture.

    At the time it was implemented, I expected that the failure rate would be about half of the resultant organizations. I’ve been pleasantly surprised as the failure rate has been pretty low. A few organizations have lost large assets – but retained enough to make it setbacks rather than failures.

    What has been fascinating from a business viewpoint is that most of these organizations show a distinctly different investment pattern to the usual companies we have here. They go for long-return assets, far beyond the usual 5-10 year time horizions. Similarly they use part of the returns to promote their own survival – providing better housing, community based health care, early childhood education, and training for their people.

    It has a long way to go yet. It is just coming up on a single generation. But to my eye it looks like it is going to work, and should show significant results over the next generation. Then I’m expecting a interesting quiet revolution.

    The inherent corporate structure looks uncanningly like the financial structure of the catholic church. Those are bodies that live on capital leverage. It would not surprise me if the Iwi organizations wind up as major investment machines for the rest of the economy over time.

    Now for the usual daft naysayers.

    Remember that the reason this process was required was the deficiencies in our legal and business structures. Maori had and still have sufficient assets in their land to have done this on their own. But it was impossible to realize that asset as collateral to invest in other business, or even to invest in their own land.

    To do so would have required a large scale re jigging of the legal structures. Effectively Maori were deprived of the right to use their private assets in a collective mode, because it would interfere with a different legal mode used by everyone else.

    The settlement process is a cheaper way of achieving the same thing.

  29. AncientGeek 29

    Anyway why did this come up in a discussion on thsi post?

  30. Ari 30

    Ben R- yes, controlling for peer-group isolates individuals who take up education or not because you’re essentially controlling for the largest external influence on their life, which will leave most of their success up to genetic, hormonal, and other largely biological influences on their life. If we give said family and friends a boost up, it increases the quality of life for the next generation. If we give that generation a boost up too, their kids will do even better. “Positive discrimination” is a very powerful tool to provide urgent relief to those who are not socially privileged.

    Scribe- don’t be so obtuse. Contraception doesn’t STOP someone from being a mother. (unless they’re somehow forced to use it) It puts the choice of whether to conceive in the hands of women, rather than leaving it to chance. (and in one case, in the hands of men, too) Many women want motherhood, but also want to delay it so that they can be financially secure first, ensuring that they get a chance at at least a partial career, and that they can deal with any nasty surprises parenthood might pop up.

    I’d say that there should be relatively few cases of straight women who would never need to use some form of contraception or birth control- and the only good one I can think of is women who stay single for a long time.

  31. AncientGeek 31

    Been scratching my head and accentuating the bald patch.

    With all of the stuff Steve stuck in his post, why do I feel it isn’t enough.

    Most of the female friends I have are getting more into the grandmother phase rather than the mother phase. They did have it a lot easier balancing a career with being a mother than my mother did. They still hit glass ceilings, but the ceilings were a lot higher than they used to be.

    So why do they seem to spend so much time talking to their well-trained, bright, talented daughters so much about how to balance all of their opportunities with having a family, and having a career afterwards and during motherhood?

    The risk factors are so high. Fathers do have a tendency to do the shoot and leave trick, typically when the kids are extremely young (they then seem to obsess about access). That causes disruption in any career because even with all of the childcare and school time, it is a struggle for two parents to bring up kids.

    Amongst my professional female friends, almost all of them have shifted their whole professions after having kids. The break was just too long, and if you’re going to have to educate to make yourslf employable anyway, then why not move to a more lucrative career path.

    At least the state has been making an effort to make sure that having kids isn’t a bankrupting experience. Thereby helping to guarantee that there is someone to pay taxes for super in 40 years. You can see that in the slow increase in birth stats recently.

    But mothers still manage to have very long chats with their daughters.

  32. Lyn 32

    AncientGeek – this is SO a problem that women are still facing and I’m thanking you for an intergenerational perspective. I’m not sure what the solution would be – there are so many difficulties inherent in balancing public and private commitments. My mum had her entire working life after having two kids and at the rate I’m going I’ll have my entire working life before, if they ever arrive. Those big gaps in the middle of a career are real earnings killers – as an example, a lawyer friend (male) has zero flexibility to leave work for a time now that he’s a partner in his firm unless he wants to kill his salary and the situation would be no different if he was a woman. Maybe mondo childcare a la Sweden is the best overall solution, but that isn’t going to work for everyone. I’d love to know how bad NZ is compared to other countries in supporting women to do paid work and parent at the same time?

  33. r0b 33

    I’d love to know how bad NZ is compared to other countries in supporting women to do paid work and parent at the same time?

    I only had time for a quick look and didn’t find anything, but this site might be of general interest:
    http://userpages.umbc.edu/~korenman/wmst/links_intl.html

  34. Lyn 34

    Thanks for the leg-work. I really should have made my own fingers do the googling. Too sleepy..

  35. r0b 35

    This looks good, though it focuses on work at the “low end” and the alleviation of poverty:
    http://www.unifem.org/resources/item_detail.php?ProductID=48
    It’s likely that there is some other Unifem publication that will have what you’re looking for. But I’m off, ‘night.

  36. Ari 36

    Lyn- well, if you’re feeling radical, there’s the option of picking a guy who wants to do the daddying full-time, which in most fields means maternity leave to actually physically give birth and recover is a managable obstacle. I can’t think of any good way to address the problem of one parent having to hurt their career permanently in some fashion, but I do strongly reject the assumption that women should be obliged to do so ahead of men.

    Making organised childcare more efficient, accessible, accountable, etc… is another option, too, although not everyone will take it.

  37. vto 37

    Steve said “New Zealand is such a good place to be a mother and raise kids because the Government has made a concerted effort to make it so.”

    Ridiculous. That is a very hollow statement that gives away much of your personal ideology.

    I would have thought New Zealand has got where it has today as a result of many many factors, the main ones being the attitude and philosophies of the settler and following generations, the ‘tyranny’ they were living and had no intention of repeating here, similarly the attitudes and philosophies of the Maori people, our geographically protected and hidden location, etc, etc. These historical factors imho have had a greater effect on the landscape of NZ today than any govt act, or ommission(!), by a factor of about a million.

    Government actions and their contributions follow these other factors. The govt flows from the people.

    You have it all backwards. It is not surprising however – this attitude to govt versus people reflects itself also in this govts approach to taxation. Namely, the health of the govt is of primary importance and the subjects come second. It seems to be a prevailing attitude of the left. It’s backwards.

  38. r0b 38

    So vto, did you actually read the study and the dimensions that it is based on? Or can you tell all this just, you know, instinctively?

  39. vto 39

    Of course I didn’t read it, too busy working. My comment was on Steve’s last statement only. Bit of a silly, excessively broad and hollow statement don’t you agree? I think the vast majority of NZers would agree.

  40. r0b 40

    Not at all. While obviously NZ does so well primarily because it is a “first world country”, the policies of the Labour government over the last 9 years will also have had an impact. Take a look at the dimensions actually used, and compare now with the 1990s.

  41. According to Stats NZ numbers just released mothers are going to have a tough time feeding their kids: http://www.interest.co.nz/ratesblog/index.php/2008/02/13/766/

  42. Ari 42

    Vto, if you’re going to critique the findings of the study, which is rather comprehensive, then you ought to at least read the highlights. I agree with you that social attitude is really important to some of these changes, but I disagree that New Zealanders have a perfect attitude. We have plenty of room to improve.

    Rob- actually, New Zealand is among the top 50% of the first world countries in all the metrics used in the study except the ones for children. While we’re advantaged because we’re part of the more developed top-tier, we’re not exactly America or Great Britain, so we’ve put in a lot of the work.

  43. vto 43

    Ari, I didn’t critique the findings of the report, just Mr Pierson’s vacuous last sentence.

    I’m sure the report is worthwhile and probably all fine. Don’t know. Simply not enough time for everything. Bloody information age – there’s just too much!! Oh for the old saying “ignorance is bliss” (there you go rOb, there’s another for you to fire back at me sometime ;.) )

  44. r0b 44

    While we’re advantaged because we’re part of the more developed top-tier, we’re not exactly America or Great Britain, so we’ve put in a lot of the work.

    Ari – good point!

    (there you go rOb, there’s another for you to fire back at me sometime ;.)

    Stay back, I’ve got a quote, and I’m not afraid to use it!

  45. Lyn 45

    Ari – I think what I object to is that parenting results in a loss of wages and career track. Most women would prefer to be the primary caregiver I think – that’s why we end up doing it so often and are then disadvantaged as a group (the whys of that choice are a whole other topic). However this accrued disadvantage doesn’t change if you get the dad to do it, it’s just marginally less sexist at a local level. And childcare is also not a full solution for similar reasons. It’s a toughie.

  46. mum 46

    U know all this talk about moaris what would Nz be wit out them,our culture has stood out to the country and that is what attracts foreigners,to come here ,and about crime and violene there are alot of caucasions,*(excuse my spelling,my bad,lol)*here are also just as bad as maoris, it is just that maoris are mentioned more about abuse and violence as for working iv seen alot of maori working hard ,but alot lack in education ,as for the economy it really sucks.
    In alot of ways we should be lucky for what we have here in NZ gee look at africa, and America etc.
    But then i think gee i wana work in aussy u get payed more for working and can live better but also you have alot of chances of dieing easier just because your going to work,an even worse youl never be found.
    but owell thats all i have to say for now as a single mummy of three and on my own.boohoo nh lol:)

  47. As they say in the report “most industrialized countries cluster tightly at the top of the Index with the majority of these countries performing well on all indicators’

    To say we are well ahead of Australia is stretching things somewhat all that one can conclude is that it’s generally very preferable to live in a 1st World country compared to a 3rd world country.
    Quite an interesting read
    Nice blog

    Susan Jaye
    http://www.gppositionsaustralia.com/

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    4 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Spends Up Large – On The Establishment!
    Grant Keeps On Trucking: Out of the $12 billion Robertson has announced for infrastructure investment, $8 billion will be allocated to specific projects, with the balance of $4 billion held in reserve. What does it say about this Government's "transformational" ambitions that 85 percent of that $8 billion is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Boris Johnson … Hides … In a Fridge
    I am not making this up.First few lines of the Dail Mail write up:Boris Johnson's exasperated media minder swore on live TV today as the PM refused to speak to Good Morning Britain before trotting into a fridge as he started an early milkround in Yorkshire. Piers Morgan was visibly ...
    4 days ago
  • Shy Labour Voters?
    In previous elections pollsters have bemoaned the 'shy Tory' - the respondent who is so fearful of being judged as a cruel and heartless bastard by an anonymous pollster, or their spouses, workmates and friends, that they lie about their intention of voting Conservative, skewing the poll figures in Labour's ...
    4 days ago
  • Seven reasons to be wary of waste-to-energy proposals
    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 was in Switzerland recently and discovered that they haven’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Reviewing the whitewash
    Back in 2015, then Ombudsman Beverley Wakem conducted a review of the OIA, Not a game of hide and seek. The "review" was a whitewash, which found no need for legislative change, and instead criticised the media and requesters - which destroyed Wakem's reputation, and undermined that of the Office ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • You Gov MRP Poll Out
    So, You Gov's MRP poll - the weird one that tries to reflect what will happen at a constituency level and which pretty much nailed the hung parliament in 2017 - is not looking too good for Labour:
    UK #GE2019 MRP seat projection:CON: 339 (-20)LAB: 231 (+20)SNP: 41 (-2)LDEM: 15 ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Accountability?
    We've known about climate change for over forty years now,and it has been a major political issue for twenty. And yet fossil fuel companies have kept polluting with impunity, while government have looked the other way and twiddled their thumbs and refused to do anything because "the economy", or just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    5 days ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    6 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    6 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    6 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
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    5 days ago
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  • DART Buoys Announcement
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  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
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