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ODT on the Electoral Finance Bill

Written By: - Date published: 7:39 pm, December 12th, 2007 - 81 comments
Categories: election funding - Tags:

Here’s an article from the ODT. It’s by Simon Cunliffe, “a senior Otago Daily Times journalist”.

I’m loathe to reprint it in full but the ODT doesn’t provide full online access to articles. Perhaps the best I can do is to encourage you to subscribe to their digital edition if you enjoy the read.

Electoral Finance Bill is the price of undeclared interests

LISTEN up. Suppress that yawn. This week will decide the fate of the Electoral Finance Bill. It comes with serious historical baggage and a radical payload of forward freight.

This is an argument about how elections are financed. But it is also, in the end, a presentation on the nature of our democracy.

There has been much bitterness in the debate. It derives from the baggage. The Left saw developments at the last election that, if allowed to become commonplace, could render it electorally irrelevant. Equally, the Right, elements of which have steadfastly refused to come to terms with MMP, sees next year’s election as its last best chance to unseat Labour and its centre-Left coalition partners as the natural parties of Government.

In 2005, knowing an election was imminent, but with a war chest that exceeded its electioneering allowance, the National Party embarked on an expensive billboard campaign. This was entirely legal, but coming in such close proximity to the three-month election period, it was possible for opponents to construe it as electioneering.

Second, as it was to emerge through Nicky Hager, author of The Hollow Men, National’s new leader Dr Don Brash owed his position — and possibly his allegiances — to the influences of big money, in particular the Act New Zealand Party and the Business Roundtable.

Third, sophisticated offshore techniques were deployed in Dr Brash’s election strategy and campaign.

Fourth, the campaign itself saw the intervention of third party pamphlet advertising, spending up to $1 million attacking the policies of Labour and the Greens.

It added up to a seismic shift in the New Zealand political landscape — irreversible and not especially attractive. The genie was out of the bottle.

For its part, Labour, spent about $800,000 on a pledge card using funds that had been set aside for that purpose in at least two previous elections without reproof, but which was now seen by the Opposition, the Auditor-general and much of the electorate as at best inappropriate. Legal minds were divided but in the court of public opinion Labour and most of the other parties took a hiding.

So much for the baggage.

The forward freight is the recasting of the electoral financing laws. For normally sure-footed Labour, the initial drafting of the new Bill was shoddy. Allowing itself to be blindsided by the Human Rights Commission in its submissions to select committee was uncharacteristic — even accepting this is where a great deal of the shaping and horse trading of democracy routinely occurs.

Outside Parliament, opposition to the Bill has been led by John Boscowen, who discovered the existence of the Human Rights Commission with all the fervour and glee of a true convert. He has made great play of the Commission’s submissions dating back to mid-October, even though many of these have now been addressed. He continues to insist the Bill will severely curtail democracy. If you are an individual, it won’t, unless you plan to spend more than $120,000 on a politically-directed campaign.

As much as we like to imagine that freedom of speech is an absolute, it isn’t. There are several laws that proscribe it. Mr Boscowen’s ideal democracy is one in which money is free to talk whenever, and however loud, it likes. The suggestion there might be times — during election year, for instance — when it should be constrained to a whisper, seems gravely to offend him.

Mr Boscowen is a multi-millionaire. Good on him. He’s been a fund-raiser and office holder for Act. No problem. He is also an associate member of the Business Roundtable. His privilege. And he’s articulate, but possibly a little shy in his appreciation of irony.

He has spent $140,000, and rising, fighting the Bill. That money has bought newspaper and radio advertisements denouncing it, printed placards, marshalled involvement in protest marches, and paid — everybody still comfortable? — for a Canadian call centre to telephone 82,000 Auckland homes to drum up support for the last protest.

So much for the spontaneous outpouring of opposition to this dastardly anti-democratic Government’s election finance Bill. The truth is, Mr Boscowen has bags of money and no hesitation in using any amount of it to try to influence the course of our future democracy.

Some might say he is the perfect illustration of why the new laws, imperfect though they might be, are necessary. And there’s no small irony in that.

UPDATE: It’s come to our attention that the author of this article was formerly employed as a Labour Party press sec. While his opinions are no less valid because of this we are putting it on the record in the interests of disclosure.

81 comments on “ODT on the Electoral Finance Bill ”

  1. Gruela 1

    It can’t be a coincidence that the ODT is NZ’s last privately owned daily. (It still is, isn’t it?)

  2. Policy Parrot 2

    Not only does Mr. Boscowan attempt to intercede in our democracy, he is shipping jobs offshore while doing it…

    And annoying us by getting telemarketers to call us at dinner time, in order to consult us about lies.

    Maybe people should call Mr. Boscowan continously from 6-9pm, rattling on about how he is a threat to democracy?

  3. Daveo 3

    PP – great idea. Got a spare $9,000? No? Neither do I. Great thing this free speech for the rich.

  4. The Double Standard 4

    Congratulations on finally finding a journalist that partially supports your warped worldview, base.I guess you didn’t enjoy the other 99% of editorial and journalistic comment trashing the EFB?

    Maybe the PM is just upset because of the tirade from most media outlets against the Electoral Finance Bill. She singled out the New Zealand Herald in her speech, but there isn’t a newspaper in the country that I know of that has written in favour of this legislation.

    From http://www.stuff.co.nz/blogs/politics/2007/12/11/she-said-we-were-too-young/

  5. The Double Standard 5

    I wonder why you didn’t highlight this other blog entry which also discussed John Boscawen?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/blogs/politics/2007/12/05/spending-up-large-for-democracy/

    Was it because he said unfavourable things like this?

    But Labour has bought itself this fight on the back of fears over Nicky Hager’s book The Hollow Men and fears the Exclusive Brethren would spend up large in the election again if it got the chance.

    Things have got so ridiculous now, however, that passing this law is going to leave so much bad blood that Labour may well rue the day it did so. As John Key said in Parliament yesterday, it could be Labour’s epitaph and cost Prime Minister Helen Clark her job.

  6. Gruela 6

    Double

    Actually, most newspapers have come out in favour of the legislation. Most of them just thought some of the details needed adjusting.

  7. Daveo 7

    Shock! horror! An openly left-wing site published an article that supports their position! It’s almost like they’re finding articles they agree with and distributing them to a wider audience. Double Standard, go inform the party. You’re onto a scandal with this one.

  8. Lampie 8

    just goes to show the intelligence

  9. Lampie 9

    of the right wing dumb arses

  10. The Double Standard 10

    “Most of them just thought some of the details needed adjusting.”

    What, more than the 150 amendments that Teh Party put forward?

    It must be pretty tiring swimming against the tide of public opinion on this one.

  11. Lampie 11

    Actually I’m disappointed, why haven’t we mentioned this?

    New Roy Morgan New Zealand Government Confidence Indicator at 110 for Mid-November
    http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2007/4254/

  12. The Double Standard 12

    Lampie – maybe because Rudd gets 144.5 on the same kind of rating?

    http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2007/4255/

  13. Gruela 13

    Double

    I was just making the point that not many commentators are arguing against the intent of the bill, simply it’s execution. When the election gets underway in a few months, and no-one gets arrested for holding unlicensed placards but certain right-wing stirrers try to take the issue to court, I suspect public opinion will swing behind Labour. No-one likes monied-up stirrers with an inflated sense of entitlement.

  14. the sprout 14

    “It can’t be a coincidence that the ODT is NZ’s last privately owned daily. (It still is, isn’t it?)”

    indeed, and yes it is.
    pisses all over the transnational conglomerate-owned papers.
    it even experiments with concepts like ‘balance’.

  15. Gruela 15

    Yeah, the Herald is starting to look ridiculous. It’s campaign against the EFB seems to have turned into a vendetta against Labour, and tomorrow’s front page isn’t going to assuage those perceptions. If I were their overseas masters I’d start to be getting worried about now. The Herald’s editorial staff are starting to smell like they’re in the grip of some form of mania, and that can only turn off regular readers. (Kiwi’s don’t like continually reading about how much better Aussies are than us.)

  16. the sprout 16

    i guess if those overseas owners were less concerned about extracting double digit profits from the Herald year after year, and more concerned with maintaining quality to ensure long-term circulation, they would take your advice.

    of course issues of journalistic integrity and ethics don’t enter the equation.

  17. Gruela 17

    $ is $ sprout. I still reckon the drum they’re banging is going to turn people off. People expect news in newspapers, not the same op-ed on the front page for what seems the 17th time.

    I figure the ratio has to be
    75Z% don’t care
    20% are interested, but not THAT much
    5% are ACT voters

  18. deemac 18

    5% ACT voters? that many?

  19. ragtag 19

    “I figure the ratio has to be
    75Z% don’t care”

    The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil [wo]men – Plato

  20. Prisoner Porter 20

    I am locked up in a red round cell 24/7 !!

  21. the sprout 21

    i’d say your analysis of audience interest is about right gruela.

    prisoner burns, i’d say that’d be the right place for you

  22. r0b 22

    “The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil [wo]men – Plato”

    It’s deja moo all over again. (As in, we’ve heard this bullshit before).

  23. the sprout 23

    “The price of stupidity is to be ruled by Hollow Men” – Sprout

  24. Lampie 24

    The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil [wo]men – Plato

    sHIPLEY RETURNS?

  25. Phil 25

    Ah, The Generals[Bloggers? Politicians?]! they are numerous but not good for much. – Aristophenes

  26. gobsmacked 26

    Back on topic:

    It’s taken them months, but the penny has finally dropped. Yes, even the NZ Herald has woken up, and worked out what National are up to:

    “Surely, when the issues at stake are as profound as who is allowed to spend money and how much they can spend on public issues advocacy in the best part of an election year, National needed to put its own money where its mouth is. To offer the public a concession that, while potentially hampering itself, would also get to the heart of the most basic concern: the secrecy of some donors and advertisers. Where was National’s grand amendment to this ill-conceived and anti-democratic law? It could have proposed a ban on all secret donations, eliminating trust payments like those from its clandestine Waitemata Trust million-dollar donor and making funding upfront and transparent to the public. … But is it too much to ask that even one party put the public ahead of its own interests? Probably.”

    (today’s editorial)

  27. the sprout 27

    the Herald’s owners must be getting the jitters about what their campaign for the rights of the wealthy to manipulate elections is doing to their circulation

  28. Tane 28

    I hear its circulation is down to 200,000 nationwide, and sliding. It’s the paper that fewer than one in seven Aucklanders bother reading.

  29. Phil 29

    If 200,000 is the correct circulation figure, then I hardly see need for concern. Per head of population, it works out at roughly the same sales as the Press and Dom-Post.

  30. gobsmacked 30

    This editorial appears to have gone unnoticed on Kiwiblog. For once there’s no Herald post n’ link, in the guise of commentary. Wonder why?

    I’m sure we’re all EFB-ed out, but it’s a pretty big deal when the whole flimsy facade of National’s opposition is torn to shreds by its best buddy.

    So who’s fighting for democracy – the Nats or the Herald?

    Lee C, can you help?

  31. the sprout 31

    ah but Phil, enough is never enough for APN. they’ve long since stripped all the fat and muscle the Herald could afford to lose, now there’s only sales.

  32. the sprout 32

    “who’s fighting for democracy – the Nats or the Herald”

    gs, that would be a tough call.

  33. PhilBest 33

    Maybe Simon Cunliffe is one of these people who will excuse ANYTHING that gets us on the way to the great egalitarian utopia? Like he will excuse the jailing of John Boscawen or the like next year, and like he never had any difficulty over Andrei Sakharov or Vaclav Havel either, probably. That goes for Tane, Sam Dixon, Sonic, Roger Nome, Nicky Hager, John Minto…….. fine upstanding specimens of the milk of kindness of the brotherhood of humanity all.

    Maybe Simon Cunliffe won’t have any problem with Our Dear Leader regulating media commentary either – the next stage if she gets away with this. Simon Cunliffe’s colleagues might end up out of their jobs/ jailed. Who cares? John Minto and Nicky Hager and the Aro Valley fellow-travellers can fill in for them all.

    Thought of the day for you all: What happened to Trostky? Bukharin? Beria? Kirov? Zinoviev? et al, et al, et al,……..

  34. DS 34

    “Maybe Simon Cunliffe is one of these people who will excuse ANYTHING that gets us on the way to the great egalitarian utopia? Like he will excuse the jailing of John Boscawen or the like next year, and like he never had any difficulty over Andrei Sakharov or Vaclav Havel either, probably. That goes for Tane, Sam Dixon, Sonic, Roger Nome, Nicky Hager, John Minto…. fine upstanding specimens of the milk of kindness of the brotherhood of humanity all.”

    Just to nip your right-wing paranoia in the bud, the ODT is no friend of Labour. I know: I work for them. It’s just that the ODT (unlike certain other papers I could mention) very rarely gets hysterical about issues like this: they’re a very crusty “Dunedin Establishment” paper, but like to maintain at least a veneer of non-partisanship on national issues.

  35. Robinsod 35

    PB – you’re hysterical. Get someone to slap you. Quick!

  36. Matthew Pilott 36

    Robinson, what worries me was if that was hysterical – where was all the SHOUTING?

    Let’s just hope it was satire 😉

    Cap: booby human . Hmmmm….

  37. The Double Standard 37

    Thought of the day for you all: What happened to Trostky? Bukharin? Beria? Kirov? Zinoviev? et al, et al, et al,..

    Or Robespierre for that matter!

  38. Billy 38

    ‘sod,

    Are you going to make good on your threat to out IP? Or was it hollow? Should we now start taunting you in the manner you taunted Whaleoil?

  39. Robinsod 39

    Billy – I’m not going to out IP/DS unless I’m given good reason to. I figure it’s better to keep that info for a rainy day. I should also point out that it’s not a case of me having “taunted” Whale because I continue to do so for a long time yet.

  40. PhilBest 40

    DS, I know the ODT is a fine establishment paper and no friend of Labour’s and their efforts at providing balance content are to be applauded.

    I still stand by what I am saying about the kind of people who are SUPPORTING the EFB. I am not being fanciful at all in saying that there are political activists on the left in NZ who have no moral difficulty about ANYTHING that will advance the arrival of their egalitarian utopia.

    Presumably DS, you KNOW this Simon Cunliffe person. How deeply have you scratched his surface on where he stands re freedom vs socialist totalitarianism? The acid test is, does he hate totalitarianism more than he hates the inequality that is a consequence of freedom? Does he think that the media should be controlled, and that commentary like Roger Kerr’s column in the ODT should be banned (which it de facto is already in the Dom Post and probably all the other main dailies too) and a steady diet of Chris Trotter, Finlay MacDonald, John Minto and Nicky Hager (and himself of course) (and regular Chomsky excerpts) would be just the best thing for NZ?

    Call me paranoid, but there is far too much of this sort of thinking in NZ today for comfort. 49% of Venezuelans thought that de facto Communism would have been OK by them. What would the % be in NZ? The result might shock you (and please Tane, roger nome and Co.)

  41. Billy 41

    And PhilBest, let’s not forget that the favourite mouthpiece of the left, Chris Trotter, has shamelessly advocated electoral corruption to keep the right out of power. No wonder so many feel uncomfortable about the EFB.

  42. r0b 42

    I still stand by what I am saying about the kind of people who are SUPPORTING the EFB.

    The EFB is supported by an overwhelming majority of political parties (5 supporting, 2 opposed, with the Maori Party seemingly undecided).

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10481042&pnum=0

    It is only opposed by those with a vested interest in buying elections.

    Go people power – go MMP!

  43. Billy 43

    So, R0b, are you with Trotter that corruption is forgiveable if it keeps the right out of power? You see, when people like him say that sort of shit, people like us are likely to think that the EFB is a deliberate attempt to screw the scrum.

  44. Robinsod 44

    Billy – I’d like to read that, can you post a link?

  45. Billy 45

    I can’t find a link. But, having explained that there would be a revolution if the Nats took power (!!!), he said:

    “Social peace for a paltry half-million dollars? Strikes me as the most courageous and forgivable kind of corruption.”

    I don’t think he denies it. Mike Moore had him up on it a couple of months back on National Radio and he was quite unrepentant.

  46. Robinsod 46

    What did the half-million dollars refer to?

  47. Graeme Edgeler 47

    For its part, Labour, spent about $800,000 on a pledge card using funds that had been set aside for that purpose in at least two previous elections without reproof, but which was now seen by the Opposition, the Auditor-general and much of the electorate as at best inappropriate. Legal minds were divided but in the court of public opinion Labour and most of the other parties took a hiding.

    Certainly there’s a range of reasonable opinion over whether the spending of Parliamentary Services Money on the pledge card was a proper use of that money.

    Unfortunately, there is basically no legal debate over whether it had to be included as an election expense. It had to be included, and it pushed Labour over the spending limit.

    The Auditor-General’s investigation over the money wasn’t a big deal for me. I was a little annoyed when Labour started attacking him personally, but the use of the money itself wasn’t a great concern. The deliberate over-spending was a big concern however, and it’s a great pity Labour weren’t called to account for it (as National should have been for it’s broadcasting act breach).

  48. Pascal's bookie 48

    I completely agree with Graeme’s post.

    Why is the window so narrow for prosecution, if that was what the problem was?

  49. r0b 49

    “So, R0b, are you with Trotter that corruption is forgiveable if it keeps the right out of power”

    If that is what Trotter actually said (can I see the original quote please?) – then no of course I don’t agree. The principles of democracy are more important than the party that happens to be in power at any given time.

    I may have seen more governments than many here. They come and go. But if the system gets broken, as it is for example in America, then it’s game over.

  50. Pascal's bookie 50

    I’m down with that rOb.

    Trotter rarely speaks for me in any case. And the US just makes me cry these days.

    Well it would if I wasn’t such a triple hard bastard, he says, stroking his beard and sipping the chardonnay.

  51. gobsmacked 51

    So in reality, what this ranting all comes down to is:

    Conclusion – New Zealand is threatened by a quasi-Bolshevik Left that will stop at nothing to gain and keep power, trampling all over our basic rights in the process, and warrants comparison with Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Nazis, blah blah blah …

    And the damning evidence is (drum roll) …

    – a snippet of one quote on one occasion by one columnist, who holds no position of authority in the government, the Labour party, or any other party, or any affiliated organisation, and who has been cited approvingly by the National leader (Orewa).

    Yep, paranoid sounds about right.

  52. Billy 52

    No, gobsmacked. No-one has said that. Stop making shit up.

  53. Robinsod 53

    Billy – it does seem kinda like that (though I think gobsmacked was using hyperbole for effect).

  54. Billy 54

    You put the quote together with the Bill, and it is not inconceivable to be concerned. Nothing more than that.

    Go on, defend him.

  55. Robinsod 55

    I read Fran O’Sullivan talking about letting the sick and the old die rather than become a financial burden, Billy, you put that together with Key’s policy of “go down the road” in healthcare and it’s not inconceivable to be concerned about National’s hidden eugenic agenda. Are you?

  56. gobsmacked 56

    Billy

    Read Phil Best’s comments on this thread. Read the various international comparisons, past or present.

    More importantly, listen to the rhetoric of the anti-EFB campaign – the leaders, not the fringe – urging us to “Fight Fascism”.

    That is “making shit up”.

  57. Billy 57

    My point exactly ‘sod. You have put those two together and are concerned. Yet somehow it is not legitimate for me to do the same.

  58. Robinsod 58

    Bro, I might have some serious misgivings about National but I don’t think they are eugenicists. Jesus, how crazy do you think I am?

  59. Billy 59

    ‘sod
    1. I thought we had agreed it was “bro'”.
    2. See, gobsmacked was not using hyperbole.
    3. I have no idea how crazy you are.

  60. gobsmacked 60

    So Billy, do you believe (as John Boscawen does) that the EFB is fascist?

  61. r0b 61

    Billy – it’s hard to believe that you are constructing a genuine fear of an evil left wing conspiracy out of a random comment by Trotter. If you are – please – for heaven’s sake – let it go. The point of robinsod’s example was not to reinforce your fears, but to illustrate what insubstantial foundations they are based on.

    Most people on the left and most people on the right want the same thing – peace and prosperity. They just disagree about the methods. (Oh – and the right are wrong!).

  62. Billy 62

    gobsmacked,

    I am worried that it is a partisan attempt by the government of the day to remove the tactical advantages that its opponent has (the government having its own, but different advantages).

    I am not so simple-minded to believe that National’s objection is out of a concern for democracy.

    I have a genuine concern that some on the left have been smoking so much of their own weed that they genuinely believe that a little bit of corruption is OK because a right wing government would be such an unpalatable prospect.

    Fascism is in the eye of the beholder, it appears. I do not consider that it is bandied about with such abandon that it is pretty much meaningless.

  63. Billy 63

    remove the “do not”

  64. r0b 64

    I am worried that it is a partisan attempt by the government of the day to remove the tactical advantages that its opponent has (the government having its own, but different advantages).

    The government’s advantage is exactly that. The advantage of the incumbent. It’s impossible to avoid (unless you want to forbid the government communicating with citizens). And it applies equally (over time) to National or Labour.

    The advantage that National has from covert funding is exactly that, an advantage for National (and only National). Now – if you believe that it’s OK for covert money to buy elections, then you’re fine with that. But if you believe in a level playing field democracy, you have to try and fix the problems so starkly highlighted by the 2005 election.

    So the EFB is designed to level the playing field. For everyone. (Put aside the advantage of the incumbent government – that is NOT a systemic Labour advantage. And the balancing advantage for the opposition, if you like, is that people tend to get sick of governments and fancy change for the sake of it).

    I am not so simple-minded to believe that National’s objection is out of a concern for democracy.

    Good for you. Me neither.

    I have a genuine concern that some on the left have been smoking so much of their own weed that they genuinely believe that a little bit of corruption is OK because a right wing government would be such an unpalatable prospect.

    Probably, sure. “The Left” and “The Right” are big, diverse groups of fallible humans. Neither is perfect.

  65. gobsmacked 65

    Billy

    OK. The word then (for your first sentence) would be “gerrymander”. I do not agree that the EFB does this, but even in stable democracies that is something to guard against, and so it can be a legitimate criticism.

    Whereas this kind of thing (printed placards for the anti-EFB campaign) is just silly:

    http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/423466/1469545

    But I suspect that when the dust settles, next year we will have free and fair elections, and NZ will remain one of the least corrupt democracies on earth. Even if National win.

  66. r0b 66

    gobsmacked – hear hear!

  67. Tane 68

    Billy, you obviously missed my response on Kiwiblog:

    # Tane Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    David, good to see you’re an avid reader of The Standard. A pity though that you felt the need to cast aspersions on our honesty and accuse us of double standards. You certainly kick up a stink whenever you think people are accusing you of that.

    Just to set the record straight, we weren’t actually aware of Simon Cunliffe’s former position as a Labour press sec, but now you mention it I agree entirely – it would have been useful if his recent political affiliations had been disclosed.

    Same goes for your old pal Richard Long, who feels fit to write columns dismissing the importance of the Brethren and attacking the Electoral Finance Bill without mentioning how utterly conflicted he is on these issues.

    A bit like yourself as an independent commentator on the EFB, eh David?

  68. dave 69

    Cunlffe wasn’t just formerly employed as a Labour Party press secretary – he was ” recently employed” ie he was employed within Labour when the EF bill was going through select committee.

    Now hes popped out to write about it as a journo. Richard Long has long gone from National

  69. The Double Standard 70

    Yes, and Dr Michael Bassett has been even longer gone from Labour – seemingly far enough to disagree with them….

    Current laws place spending limits on personal and party advertising at both the local and central levels. They have stood the test of time. If applied, they would even have caught the Exclusive Brethren last time for failing to carry adequate authorization for their leaflets. It’s taxpayers’ funds spent on mood music that is a greater threat to the electoral process. No existing or proposed laws cover that. Our ministers, these days, thrive on double standards.

    http://www.michaelbassett.co.nz/articleview.php?id=176

  70. r0b 71

    “It’s taxpayers’ funds spent on mood music that is a greater threat to the electoral process.”

    TeDiouS – are you sure you want to be citing this sort of rubbish in your defence?

  71. Pascal's bookie 72

    Does Michael Basset disclose that he lied about what was in those Brethren leaflets, or rather that he lied about whether or not those leaflets were truthful about Green party policy on capital gains tax?

    Probably not. He seemed a little titchy about it when he lost his gig at the dompost.

  72. PhilBest 73

    I’m not talking about one political columnist. I’m talking about the EFB and the people who support it, even if very few newspaper columnists or editors do. The most public representation he people who support it, are people like Chris Trotter, Nicky Hager, John Minto, and bloggers like Tane, Roger Nome, Sonic, Sam Dixon, Robinsod, rOb, et al. One can take it that the whole Aro Valley mob, much of the VUWSA, and all that kind of ilk are included. And this lot ARE by by their own frequent admission part of a plot to undermine NZ society to advance their Marxist egalitarian “utopia”.

    “Drum roll”, indeed. A stereotype grand martial-music fanfare a la Red Square march-past would be much more appropriate.

  73. Red Square 74

    Forward the red army tank division to front line kiwi’s as they have a facade of a democracy .

  74. Mike Porton 75

    Hi dad.

  75. Matthew Pilott 76

    And this lot ARE by by their own frequent admission part of a plot to undermine NZ society to advance their Marxist egalitarian “utopia”

    Shit that was a good laugh. Ok so the drink helped a little.

    Mike – You got those SIS files for me?

  76. Mike Porton 77

    Nah, bro I left them in Helen’s office. Or was it at communist party HQ ? Y’know I spend so much time moving between the two I’m always losing track of things…

    You won’t believe this but the capture is “darn laundryman” – I guess this is a cue to discuss just why we need the EFB…

  77. r0b 78

    The most public representation he people who support it, are people like Chris Trotter, Nicky Hager, John Minto, and bloggers like Tane, Roger Nome, Sonic, Sam Dixon, Robinsod, rOb, et al.

    You forgot:

    Annette King (and the Labour Party)
    Winston Peters (and NZ First)
    Russel Norman (and the Greens)
    Jim Anderton
    Peter Dunne (and United Future)

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10481042&pnum=0

  78. Pascal's bookie 79

    Speaking Of VUWSA, it may be a myth but I was told that the Monty Python club once organised a whole crowd of people to attend a meeting, and they managed to pass a motion or something that the VUWSA should invade Poland just as soon as the panzer divisions could be made ready. Watch out Phil!!

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  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    1 hour ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    2 hours ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 hours ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    16 hours ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    20 hours ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
    Becky Casale Elon Musk reckons his Neuralink brain implant is much more than a medical device–that one day it will drive a symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence. “Good morning! I’m Dr Benedict Egg and I’ll be supervising your Neuralink insertion today. Do you have any questions?” “Yes, Doc. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    22 hours ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    23 hours ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
    After stamping the Coronavirus out via strict lockdown between March and May, New Zealand went through a good three months without any community cases. Then a local outbreak in Auckland rather buggered things up last month. Auckland’s been in level 3 and level 2.5 for the past six weeks. ...
    23 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
    Who's causing our skyrocketing emissions? As with most of our other problems, It's the rich: The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    24 hours ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    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... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    1 day ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 day ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
    Crusher Collins - National Party leaderWe all know that the National Party is desperate to gain some traction during this election campaign and have been throwing pretty much everything at the Labour Party in order to try and undermine Jacinda Ardern and what the Coalition Government has achieved. But unfortunately ...
    1 day ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    2 days ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    3 days ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    4 days ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    4 days ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    4 days ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    6 days ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
    Barbados is planning to remove the queen as head of state and become a republic in time for the 55th anniversary of its independence in 2021: Barbados has announced its intention to remove the Queen as its head of state and become a republic by November 2021. [...] Reading ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    6 days ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
    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 What is the impact of temperature increases in the tropics? ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is...
    Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
    A key part of our electoral funding regime is a requirement for some transparency around donations, on the basis that if we can find out who has bought our politicians (typically after we have voted for them) then everything is alright. There are a lot of problems with that regime ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
    When Parliament introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme, it was worried that carbon prices might get too high. So it introduced a "fixed price option", allowing polluters to pay the government $25 in the place of surrendering credits. The result was predictable: after we were thrown out of international carbon markets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
    The government will finally be requiring large New Zealand companies to disclose their climate change risks: New Zealand finance companies will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced. The policy will force around 200 large financial organisations in New Zealand to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Tackling the hard issues – trust and relationships
    By Claire Grant, Genomics Aotearoa Communications Manager Community consultation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of research programmes in New Zealand, and with that comes the art of relationship building. Engagement between scientists and user-groups is certainly nothing new. But as stakeholder involvement becomes more of a requirement for science, ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Equality Network – September Newsletter
    Read the Equality Network newsletter here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The Left’s Lost Allies.
    Rebels In A Wrong Cause: The truly frightening thing about Jami-Lee Ross’s and Billy Te Kahika’s success in persuading thousands of New Zealanders that Covid-19 is just another trick, just another way of stealing away their power, is realising just how many of them once marched at the Left’s side. ...
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Low-Hanging Fruit
    In a couple of months, the 53rd Parliament will meet in Wellington, and approximately 120 MPs will be sworn in, many of them for the first time.They will all have political goals, some aligning with their party platforms, some not, some complex, and some simple, but they will gain one ...
    1 week ago
  • Closing the Gap thinks that Labour’s proposal to raise the top tax rate is great but………
    Media Statement For Immediate Release 10th September 2020 The income and wealth inequality lobby group, “Closing the Gap” thinks the Labour proposal a great start says Peter Malcolm, a spokesperson for the group. But they need to be aware of what many of the rich do and of what do ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: No nonsense
    ACT is pushing a "no-nonsense climate change plan". What does it involve? Repealing the Zero Carbon Act and Emissions Trading Scheme, reversing the fossil-fuel exploration ban, and allowing mining on conservation land. In other words, repealing any policy which might actually reduce emissions. Which is the very definition of nonsensical. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • My Climate Story: Coming full Circle
    This blog post is a follow up to my recap of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Training I recently participated in. One of the exercises we were asked to complete was to write about our respective "Climate Story". This is a slightly updated version to the one I had submitted during ...
    1 week ago
  • A bill to criminalise wage theft
    Wage theft is a problem in New Zealand, with a widespread practice of forcing employees to work without pay, and regular cases of underpayment and exploitation. One reason why its such a widespread problem is impunity: rather than a crime, wage theft is merely a tort, dealt with by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Liam Hehir: What the voting age debate tells us about our disconnected political media
    New Zealand’s media and online politics often reflect the values of liberal and progressive agendas. According to Liam Hehir, the current proposals to lower the voting age to 16 years – which the media overwhelming supports – is indicative of a wider mismatch with society, which is not good for ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Why Pay Taxes?
    My wife and I, through a combination of good luck and good management, have managed to retire in comfortable circumstances. We celebrate our good fortune by making relatively small but regular donations to a range of good causes – to rescue services like the rescue helicopters, St John’s Ambulance and ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Now everyone’s a statistician. Here’s what armchair COVID experts are getting wrong
    Jacques Raubenheimer, University of Sydney If we don’t analyse statistics for a living, it’s easy to be taken in by misinformation about COVID-19 statistics on social media, especially if we don’t have the right context. For instance, we may cherry pick statistics supporting our viewpoint and ignore statistics showing we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More timid bullshit from Labour
    Over the weekend, Labour released its welfare policy: an increase in benefit abatement thresholds. And that's it. Faced with clear evidence of ongoing hardship among beneficiaries and a call from its on Welfare Expert Advisory Group to raise core benefits by between 12 percent and 47 percent, Labour's response is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Police Kill as Part of their Social Function
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (Bogota; 09/11/2020) The murder of Javier Ordoñez in the neighbourhood of Villa Luz in Bogotá, Colombia at the hands of two policemen brings to the fore the issue of police violence and its function in society. First of all we should be clear that we are ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #37
    Story of the Week... La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS...  Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Story of the Week... Humans exploiting and destroying nature on unprecedented scale – report Animal populations have plunged an average of 68% ...
    1 week ago
  • The 2019 measles epidemic in Samoa
    Gabrielle Po-Ching In November 1918, the cargo and passenger ship Talune travelled to Apia, Samoa from Auckland, carrying a number of passengers who had pneumonic influenza. From these passengers stemmed the biggest pandemic Samoa had ever seen. With around 8,500 deaths, over 20% of the country’s population at the ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Shifting all Isolation/Quarantine Facilities to a Single Air Force Base: The Need for a Critical Ana...
    Prof Nick Wilson*, Prof Michael Baker In this blog the arguments for and against shifting all COVID-19 related isolation/quarantine facilities to a single air force base at Ōhakea are considered. The main advantage would be a reduction in the risk of border control failures, which can potentially involve outbreaks ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • The difference between Green and Labour: a tale of two Finance Ministers
    So the Greens co-leader James Shaw recently made a mistake. In his role as Associate Finance Minister approving funding for “shovel-ready” projects, he fought hard for a private “Green school” to get funding to expand their buildings and, therefore, their student capacity. There are many problems with what he did: ...
    Cut your hairBy calebmorgan
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – The missing election policy on free dental visits
    Over the last three years there have been growing calls for the government to provide dental services under the health system – universal free dental care. This is because at the moment there’s an anomaly in which teeth are regarded as different from the rest of the body which means ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #37
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 6, 2020 through Sat, Sep 12, 2020 Editor's Choice With California ablaze, Newsom blasts Trump administration for failing to fight climate change Trinity River Conservation Camp crew members drown ...
    1 week ago
  • Letter to the Editor
    Dear Sir, As we head into the run up to the upcoming election I feel it is my duty to draw your attention to the lack of fun we are currently forced to ensure by the Adern regime. In their efforts to keep the nation’s essential workers, health compromised people, ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Participating in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training
    It finally happened: about 13 years after first watching Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” (AIT) in 2007 when it became available in Germany, I recently completed the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training! Participating in this particular training had been on my to-do list for quite some time but it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Dysfunctional Design
    Windows 95 is famous for requiring the shutting down the system by clicking ‘start, like stopping your car by turning the ignition key on. Why are so many interfaces so user-unfriendly? The Covid app to register your entering premises can be so clumsy. Sometimes I have signed in, sat down ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Can we trust the polls?
    Is the 2020 election result really the foregone conclusion that the polls and commentators are suggesting? Josh Van Veen suggests otherwise, pointing to some of the shortcomings of opinion polling, which could ready some politicians to say “bugger the pollsters” on election night.   In November 1993, opinion polls foretold ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • The UK wants climate action
    Back in 2019, six select committees of the UK Parliament established a Citizen's Assembly to investigate how to respond to climate change. The Assembly's deliberations were forced online by the pandemic, but it has finally reported back, and overwhelmingly supports strong action: Taxes that increase as people fly further ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • In the US, the End of Days.
    I am feeling a bit impish today and so for no particular reason I thought I would share this thought, which I first posted over on twitter: “Hurricanes, wildfires, floods, heatwaves, street protests, armed vigilante militias, a lethal pandemic and a corrupt authoritarian using the federal government for partisan and ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Government too slow in deploying military to assist with Covid-19 response, former defence minister ...
    Wayne Mapp (Photo: Tsmith.nz via Wikimedia) A former Minister of Defence says the government was too slow to involve the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) in New Zealand’s response to Covid-19. But Wayne Mapp, a National MP from 1996-2011 who served as Minister of Defence for three ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • Underwhelming
    Transport is our second biggest polluter after agriculture, making up 17% of our national emissions. Cars and trucks emit 15 million tons of CO2 every year. So, if we're serious about tackling climate change, we need to eliminate this entirely. Public transport and better urban design will be a key ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Five things we know about COVID-19, and five we don’t
    Five things we’ve learnt 1. We know where the virus ultimately came from We know that the virus originally came from bats, and most probably a species of horseshoe bat in South East Asia. However, the spike protein in SARS-CoV-2, which allows the virus to attach to cells and infect ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Stewardship land is conservation land
    The Greens' greatest disappointment while in government this term has been the failure to implement a ban on mining on conservation land. Promised by Jacinda Ardern immediately after gaining power, it had long been assumed that the problem was NZ First (who have a long history of environmental vandalism). But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The price of Green co-operation just went up
    If they get into Parliament, everyone expects the Greens to form a coalition with Labour. But James Shaw has said that that might not be the case, and that they might instead choose to sit on the cross-benches: The Greens are prepared to forego a coalition or confidence and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Swimming with whales: you must know the risks and when it’s best to keep your distance
    Chantal Denise Pagel, Auckland University of Technology; Mark Orams, Auckland University of Technology, and Michael Lueck, Auckland University of Technology Three people were injured last month in separate humpback whale encounters off the Western Australia coast. The incidents happened during snorkelling tours on Ningaloo Reef when swimmers came too close ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Driving Out The Money-Changers Of Reactionary Christianity.
    Den Of Thieves: They describe themselves, and the money-making rackets they dignify with the name of church, “Christian”, but these ravening wolves are no such thing. The essence of the Christian faith is the giving of love – not the taking of money. It is about opening oneself to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Could academic streaming in New Zealand schools be on the way out? The evidence suggests it should b...
    David Pomeroy, University of Canterbury; Kay-Lee Jones, University of Canterbury; Mahdis Azarmandi, University of Canterbury, and Sara Tolbert, University of Canterbury Academic streaming in New Zealand schools is still common, but according to recent reports it is also discriminatory and racist. Also known as tracking, setting and ability grouping, streaming ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A Time To Begin Again.
    A New Holy-Day: Perhaps, by accepting this gift of Matariki from the first arrivals in Aotearoa, we late arrivals, shorn of our ancestors’ outlandish fleeces, can draw strength from the accumulated human wisdom of our adopted home. Perhaps, by celebrating Matariki, we can learn to take ownership of our colonial ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s tax trauma victims and how they might help the Greens
    If there was any doubt left, we can surely call it now. Time and date. End of. Finito. Perhaps you thought you saw a flickering eyelid or a finger move? You were wrong. Labour has given up on tax reform for the foreseeable future. One of the key remaining left/right ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 weeks ago

  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
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