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NRT: Politics does not have to be dirty

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, August 20th, 2014 - 30 comments
Categories: accountability, Politics - Tags: , ,

no-right-turn-256Reposted from yesterdays No Right Turn.

Writing in The Press this morning, Chris Trotter argues that politics is essentially dirty: “Bluntly, “dirty politics” is the only kind there is”.

I reject this proposition absolutely.

I’m not doing so out of naiveity; I agree with Trotter on the essentially Hobbesean pact which underlies democracy, that its a gentler way of solving issues that used to be solved by civil war and murder. And I’ve read my Machiavelli and agree that being an effective ruler may sometimes demand immoral methods. But that doesn’t mean that all is fair and that we should accept what we have seen. To point out the obvious, if being an effective ruler demands immoral methods, one can always choose not to be effective – or not to be a ruler. In the C16th when Machiavelli wrote, that choice was effectively suicide, or at the least impoverishment and exile. In the modern era, the consequences are rather less severe.

Our politicians make choices. How far they are willing to go to get what they want and to stay in power is one of those choices. The ruling clique in the National Party has clearly chosen to delve into the sewer and behave like sociopaths to keep themselves on top. Other parties – and indeed, others in National – would clearly make a different choice. The choice as to which ones get to run the place, and therefore how much of this toxic crap we have in our political system, that’s up to us.

I can’t stress that last point enough. We get to hold politicians accountable for their choices. And in 31 days, we’ll have a chance to do just that. So, if you reject National’s dirty politics, vote the fuckers out. And hopefully, whoever replaces them will get the message that this sort of shit just isn’t acceptable.


 

lprent: Mike Smith asked me to put this post up yesterday. Unfortunately I was helping to fix some late glitches at work so didn’t get a break to do it (and Mike will now earn himself some lessons in clipping posts 😈 ).  But I’d like to add my voice to this.

Over the years at The Standard we have been offered many opportunities to play it dirty. With the exception of a couple of incidents, we don’t. For instance see Steve Pierson’s post-mortem on the 3 posts that this site did on the H-Fee. An incident that John Key routinely lies about as he did on TV3 last night.

We don’t need to perform ritual obeisance to blogging fidelity in the way that David Farrar says he will. Our mistakes have been minor and usually rapidly corrected. That is what real blogging and politics is.  We just need to get rid of the sociopathic arseholes like Cameron Slater, Judith Collins, Jason Ede, and probably John Key who are more concerned with “winning” and their own interests than those of the country as a whole. They have been corrupting both the style of politics in NZ and the right blogs for quite some time.

30 comments on “NRT: Politics does not have to be dirty”

  1. fambo 1

    It was a relief to read No Right Turn after reading Chris’s column which left me a bit depressed

  2. Weepus beard 2

    Can’t understand why Chris Trotter feels the need to drag Labour back into the pit which they’re doing a reasonable job of staying out of.

    Does he do this just to flex his “I remember when,” muscles?

    • Tracey 2.1

      He is part of the what happens on tour stays on tour generation…. That generation thought that was ok, so they are morally tainted.

    • BM 2.2

      Probably because he knows Labour is balls deep in this whole affair.

      Vote positive, good one.

      • Weepus beard 2.2.1

        Lol. Conspiracy theorist. You might be surprised to learn that Apollo 11 did land on the moon.

        • BM 2.2.1.1

          It’s fairly obvious to anyone, which is why I don’t think it’s going to have quite the impact the left is hoping for.

          Like most people I seriously WTF’d when the vote positive campaign was announced, it was like “Who the fuck are they kidding!!!”,

          You can’t spend years throwing dirt, innuendo and proclaiming crisis after crisis then all of a sudden turn around and go “Labour vote positive”, it’s just too unbelievable for words.

          On it’s own, it’s ridiculous, but combine it in with the Nicky [Hager] book and all of a sudden it starts to make sense.

          • lprent 2.2.1.1.1

            Perhaps you could point to all of these incidents of “throwing dirt”

            Then compare it to targeting a public servant as leaking, and then leaking their personal details to make it easier for the nutters to target them…

            There is a hell of difference between opposition parties doing their job and holding the government and ministers accountable, and enabling a sociopathic arsehole who likes hurting people. That is what I see National doing.

          • tricledrown 2.2.1.1.2

            Bought Media
            3 days ago you were threatening the Blow back from Cameron Slater was going to bury the left!
            Now you are saying labour has been doing dirty trick’s
            This is all of your own making dragging others in trying to shift the blame,
            Shows you have been scripted from the very top!
            You have been paid to muddy the waters a pathetic guile!
            Bleak Muddier!
            Blandishing Manipulator!
            go back to your handlers and come up with something original!
            and stop being
            Boringly Monotonous!

      • TeWhareWhero 2.2.2

        Grow up BM. If you haven’t got anything intelligent to add to the debate do us a favour and stay shtum.

      • anker 2.2.3

        BM at 2.2. I was wondering where all the trolls were.

        So you admit there is something to be “deep in”………..in which case National are up to there necks. Positively (hopefully) drowning………….

        As yet your evidence Labour has any involvement? If they do and I very much doubt it at least Cunliffe will have the balls to deal with it. Key is looking very weak.

      • Tracey 2.2.4

        Working for NZ

        BM

        if you are not part of the right cohorts of paid interferers then i feel sorry for you.

        Fool BM once shame on National, fool BM over and over and over again, shame on BM

        • Alistair Connor 2.2.4.1

          Indeed. If he’s doing it for free, he’s getting ripped off. There’s clearly plenty of money to be made from right-wing hit jobs.

      • tricledrown 2.2.5

        Bought off Media desperately dirty!
        Broadcasting Muck raker!

    • anker 2.3

      I find Chris Trotter’s writing very unpredictable. It seems to me that he often takes a devil’s advocate stance, which doesn’t do any favours to the left.

      At times in his criticism of DC I have thought he has positively brought the msm spin line. My thoughts at the time were we have enough msm taking the right’s point of view, without what few left leaning journalists joining in.

      Sometimes he is right on the money though, so I still read him.

      In the case of his comments re dirty politics, I thought it was a very unhelpful article and only serves to deflect from what we are dealing with now!

  3. Tracey 3

    Chris’ blog disappointed me.

    His kind of view allows the slaters the collins the edes the keys the carrick grahams to rationalise and justify their behaviour and normalise it to voters.

    Slater is at it again today on stuff. Largely, i hope, to his detriment and those who support him.

    IF Mr Trotter has known about this kind of behaviour, expose it, whoever is doing it. Be part of a shift to reminding people politics can be clean.

    To those like Trotter i say, explain fitzsimmons and donald. Were they failures cos they did politics differently. If your answer is yes, make a dinner date with your kids, look them in the eyes, and tell them they can only succeed with no morals, cos that is what youxare saying.

    • Alistair Connor 3.1

      Thanks Tracey. Whenever there’s a chorus of “all politicians play dirty”, we should always remember Rod. Of course there are others, but at least nobody can deny it in his case.

    • Chris 3.2

      Trotter’s error is in not making the distinction between garden variety political filth, and the kind of evil filth the likes of Slater, Odgers, Key, Lusk, Williams, Collins, Farrar, Hooton et al engage in. Publishing Hager’s address so thugs know where to go? Blackmailing a leader over inappropriate text messages? Keeping tabs on opponents’ use of brothels? The OIA/Slater furore? This goes way further than the run of the mill filth Trotter’s trying smooth everything over with. This is very, very different and the media needs to get to grips with this. Wrong, Chris. You’re very bloody wrong.

  4. Ant 4

    With robust and democratic internal checks and balances in party structure that the Greens, Labour, and IMP all have (to varying extents), we can expect more from politicians.

    We know National have embraced running their party like a business, so they are a lost cause, but if Labour members carry on with pushing their internal reforms, privileging accountability and democracy, it can only be better for politics in NZ.

  5. disturbed 5

    Here’s what happens to those who delve into “Dirty Politics.”

    We do not want this please labour and the others.

    This “business as usual” must stop and we need to vote them out or face a looming catastrophe.

    Government, you as servants of the taxpayer must lead by example, or you will have caused society to collapse into chaos.

    “Nixon in the den”
    Transcribed from the following,
    History channel screening 19/8/14 release of the “Nixon in the den” – history
    hard transcribing it word for word unless you can add to it someone.

    (not all was exactly word for word)

    except the introduction called “Near the end in 1974”.

    Spot the similarities.?

    History channel screening 19/8/14 release of the Nixon history

    Nixon in the den. – History Channel Tuesday 19th August 2014. Excerpts

    1972-74.

    “I’m not a crook”. Nixon 30th July 1973 was described as someone who wouldn’t quit.

    “He couldn’t resign as it would be an admission of guilt”.

    “Near the end in 1974”.

    To save himself the president had had to sacrifice most of the Key Aid’s that had been at his side since the beginning.

    Alderman & Eichmann were forced out.

    And he was loosing all authority..

    Nixon constantly harried in press conferences, about the tapes the cover-ups, and even his personal finance.

    “People have got to know whether their President is a crook or not, “well I’m not a crook”

    Now the lone ranger really was alone.

    Forced to release the self incriminating tapes and face imminent conviction, Nixon finally resigned.

    In August 1974.

    He told his staff in a tearful rambling farewell,

    “Never be petty, always remember others may hate you,

    But those who hate you don’t win, unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself”

    The ultimate irony with his hate had become the adrenalin of the Nixon Presidency.

    The ambition & ruthlessness that had driven Nixon to the top had spiralled into a consuming rage and mistrust of others,

    That had indeed destroyed him.

    Nixon wasn’t the first President nor will he be the last to end his tenure compromised.

    The relentless pressures of office drilled down to the venerable heart of the incumbent..

    Exposed it to the media’s remorseless gaze.

    END OF “Near the end in 1974”.

    Background of Richard Nixon.

    Described as “He was also a warm liable guy”

    Frank his father was a violent father, and mother showed no love, as a cold person so Richard grew up as a withdrawn person always desperate for success.

    Gloomy guy he was coined as at university.

    Nixon wanted to always make decisions in private.

    He wanted to remain as a leader of the world.

    Henry Kissinger was saying he didn’t enjoy people.

    Like as an extravert in an introvert body.

    Hard work was his forte.

    Gloomy guy he was coined as at University.

    He devoured History books.

    Loved Abraham Lincoln.

    He imagined he was a philosopher President, and he wanted to Shape the world.

    Nixon developed a relationship with USSR & China.

    He believed an opening to China was the way forward.

    The world cannot be safe with China on the outside.

    Nixon would on his first day in white house was to handwrite a plan to rewrite the future of the world with China included.

    “Nixon had early on learnt dirty tactics to win his first Presidential win”.

    “He was ruthless, and loathed East Coast rich establishment.”

    “Nixon’s background was to get his way because as a child he was left out of life with others”. .

    Nixon hated the media. He was going to screw over the press when he got into power.

    As a governor of California, he left on bad terms.

    He planned to come back and was then a ruthless mover to call himself as a saviour of the silent majority, when the Vietnam war becoming unpopular.

    He began a campaign as a nice guy but behind the scenes he arm-twisted any one to get his way he was using shady tactics to win.

    As president he had to resolve Vietnam then get on with China and Russia.

    Nixon was the key to success in politics’

    He engineered a backchannel, a spy network.

    Nixon was upset Kissinger was getting the limelight.

    Nixon used Backchannel operations and covert operations on everything he did as an advantage.

    Bugging and recording everyone, he ordered high security operations in1972.

    He was always with a smile and a tough talker but soft on face

    Kissinger went to Russia and arms and trade deal becoming first to break the cold war.

    1972 Nixon won the election after Kissinger’s plan for Russian deal and Nixon was upset because Kissinger got the credit.

    Nixon got resentful and paranoid so Nixon taped all calls, and eventually got himself in trouble for this.

    Then Nixon’s obsession with spying on everyone got him caught when after the election, the results of a court case in Washington revelled some plumbers were convicted.

    Five men were caught trying to bug the opposition Democratic Political Party’s headquarters offices.

    Nixon in response to the Democratic Party H.Q. break-in news break Nixon dismissed it as “Overzealous people always overdo things during election time!”

    Nixon had actually tried to cover it up it up. The tapes they found did place him as part of the plot.

    He may not have known Watergate at the time of the election.

    His response when they found the incriminating tapes was “We’ll get them on the fields and crush them.”

    The beginning of Nixon’s paranoia with taping everything begun after Nixon was paranoid that everyone was out to get him so Nixon in June 1972 ordered a tightening of security and surveillance was part of this plan.

    He was fending off the impeachment enquiry that tied him to the tapes showing he was part of the plan to bug the Democratic party’s HQ..

    His advisors found that we found Nixon was running himself down and drinking heavily.

    A fighter he ploughed on, and sealed his own fate with his crime with his own tapes.

    Nixon 30th July 1973 was described as someone who wouldn’t quit.” He couldn’t resign as it would be an admission of guilt”.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    The line has shifted from “the left blogs are just the same” to the “the left blogs would do it if they could”. As an argument it is just about as weak as you can get.

  7. karol 7

    I was pleased to see NRT publish this response.

    Trotter just seems desperate to make copy and take a unique angle some times. Just a couple of days ago he wrote this.

  8. karol 8

    The Steve Pierson post is very interesting. Who was trying to spin the H-bomb story?

    • lprent 8.1

      It was odd. We had a author put up some material on the H-fee early in October in what should have been a guest post. The other authors looked at it and said that it didn’t look like anything useful and stopped the remaining posts in the “series”.

      In part that is a consequence of how we operate as a coop. Authors get a login and the right to write what they like. Admins can add authors if they want to. We check a bit more these days and I tend to hold whatever I feel is suspicious.

      Late that month the NZ Herald repeated the story. Tane, presuming that the NZ Herald had researched it further, wrote a post saying that maybe it has legs? By the following day it appeared that there was nothing new. Steve wrote a post saying the damn thing was dead,

      What motivated the NZ Herald to do a front page on something that we (as a lowly blog) had rejected as not relevant, and doing it just before the election – well I have my suspicions about why that happened….

  9. Paul G. Buchanan 9

    The stability of democracy is based on mutual contingent consent, not only between capitalists and workers but between opposing political factions. Mutual contingent consent requires that all actors accept mutual second best outcomes (that is, no gets their preferred outcome all of the time), something that is evident, for example, in compromises over wages and employment conditions at the bargaining table or in the lobbying of political parties over legislation. “Winning” is therefore temporary and tempered by the pursuit of self-limiting strategies in pursuit of the mutual second best. Otherwise the political game descends into zero-sum self-interested maximisation of collective opportunities. That is not democracy, even if there are those within the democratic system who adhere to such views.

    This is why Chris is wrong. He mistakes the venal pursuits of a political few for the general substance of democracy as a political form. The pursuit of dirty politics represents a fundamental corrosion of democratic principle and practice. It reflects a fundamental contempt for the foundational tenets of this type of governance. That this contempt is channeled into underhanded tactics by some does not undermine the core values upon which democracy rests and in fact serves to underscore what democracy is not. That the resort to dirty politics in NZ has at its core a group of people with pathological tendencies and profoundly disagreeable personalities is further proof that their style of play is not politics as usual.

    Chris may be a bit jaded by years of fighting the good fight in losing wars. He seems to given up all hope that politics can be played cleanly. But he and many others (including some on the Right) would not have fought, and continue to fight, if they did not think that there was a better way to do things in pursuit of a just society. Mr. Slater, Mr. Ede, Mr. Bhatnagar, Ms. Odgers, Judith Collins and John Key clearly do not, but that does not mean that democracy as a whole is reducible to their contemptible view of politics.

    • Tracey 9.1

      Plus 1 Paul

    • disturbed 9.2

      Paul Buchanan,

      What a brilliant piece, – that just blew our socks off thank you for that synopsis of what truly is properly the only path of politics.

      I am 70 yrs. old and always saw both principal parties anywhere I lived around this globe, engage together in collective efforts to pass legislation and plans to benefit the people for whom they surely represent.

      But during these last six years and before we have seen arrogance and a steady erosion of these values on which a sound democracy thrives. Thank you Paul.

    • tricledrown 9.3

      Paul some states in the US have anti corruption departments I think we need one here!
      But the weight has shifted markedly in favour of the globalized capitalists who have unlimited resources!
      Guardian UK show 5 eyes network is trying to usurp democracy!
      I think your dead wrong and Chris is right!
      You just have to look at the reporting on Ferguson in the US their is a Kiwi freelance journalist on the ground who is giving a completely different account of what mainstream media are reporting!
      To male disparaging remarks about Chris doesn’t do your argument any good!
      Chris is a very moderate commentator!

    • Saarbo 9.4

      Thank you Paul. I hope our politicians/politics/media et al all learn from Dirty Politics.

      Maybe Nicky Hagar will be nominated for New Zealander of the Year 2014, things still have a way to run before we see a shift in attitudes.

  10. disturbed 10

    Paul & Trickledrown,

    Trickledrown suggested – “Paul some states in the US have anti corruption departments I think we need one here!”

    TD is so right, I screamed out about this less the a week ago as my mate in Australia heard of this Nicky Hager book and called me and said post about the ICAC (Independent Commission against Corruption) in Australia which investigates corruption inside Government also.

    Apparently they have a big case against NSW Ministers on corruption charges this week!

    We need one seriously before we become the most corrupt country in the developed world.

    This current corrupted system is to big to fix with a corrupted Government.
    Investigating Corruption

    http://www.icac.nsw.gov.au/

    The ICAC has significant powers to investigate corrupt conduct involving or affecting the NSW public sector.

    This includes state government agencies, local government authorities, members of Parliament and the judiciary.

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    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    5 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    5 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    5 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    6 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    7 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago

  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago