OIA docs confirm English wrote propaganda ad script

Written By: - Date published: 3:22 pm, November 6th, 2009 - 38 comments
Categories: national/act government, spin - Tags: ,

Documents that the government was forced to release under the Official Information Act reveal that Bill English exercised extensive control and sign-off over each stage of his million dollar political propaganda ad, funded by publicly-owned broadcaster TVNZ.

The documents (which, unfortunately, the media organisations have not seen fit to release to the public in full) show that far from just editing the script to correct some economicic misunderstandings as he had claimed, English re-wrote it to include more of his party’s political rhetoric.

TVNZ Script: In these recessionary times
Bill English rewrite: As we emerge from the recession

TVNZ Script: “We can beat those Aussies. Time to back ourselves – kick for the corner then muscle over the line.”
Bill English rewrite: “You know, we can beat those Aussies. It’s time to back ourselves. With a bit of old fashioned Kiwi can-do, we’ll get there.”

TVNZ Script: “It’s time to give the snip snap to the zip zap plastic fantastic” (make finger scissors gesture)
Bill English Rewrite: “Lets get investing and back our exporters. That’s where the jobs will come and that’s how we can boost our incomes.”

TVNZ Script: “Keep a few bob in the bank and Bob will be your uncle. We’ll get there. Bottom line: it’s your economy too.”
Bill English rewrite: We’re nearly through the tough times and things are looking up. We have plenty of work to do. But I’m confident New Zealanders are up for it and together we’ll do it.” (Changed by TVNZ for final cut to “We’re nearly through the tough times and things are looking up. Together us Kiwis can do it.”)

English was given final sign-off on the script and on the final edit of the ad.

This whole thing stunk before, now it stinks even more of corruption. There needs to be an independent investigation. I would think the State Services Commission is the logical body. Shareholding ministers are not permitted to exercise this degree of control over the actions of Crown-owned companies. English knew that, TVNZ CEO Rick Ellis knew that, the presenter, Guyon Espiner, knew that. Everyone involved in the process knew that it is not permissible for a company to pay for a party political broadcast and it is not within the minister’s powers to direct operational matters. The public must be told how and why it was allowed to happen. Heads must roll.

On a wider note, this is another example of the rampant corruption and disregard for the rule of law that we will have to put up with from this Key Government for another two years. Key has neither the will nor the strength to pull ministers into line, especially not English.

That means that English will see fit to continue behaving as he damn well pleases. Whether its ripping us off for tens of thousands of dollars by abusing the ministerial housing allowance, abusing his ministerial powers to give himself a million dollars of taxpayer-funded ads, or whatever other rort he can come up with, English is not going to change his ways. And Key can’t make him.

38 comments on “OIA docs confirm English wrote propaganda ad script ”

  1. Lew 1

    Cheers Marty, have been meaning to write something like this as a followup to my post on it last week. Go-go gadget media outcry.

    L

  2. Zaphod Beeblebrox 2

    24% youth unemployment and English added the quote “we’re nearly through it”.

  3. first Maori TV, now TVNZ.
    whatever happened to the idea of hands-off government, or government non-interference in media for that matter?
    i’ve never known such a meddling control-freak government as this one. well, at least not since Muldoon.

  4. vidiot 4

    Sorry – where’s the ‘party’s political rhetoric’ that you are banging on about ?

    #1 TVNZ original script is very negative. The re-write is more factual as the indicators are improving.

    #2 Much plainer English – excuse the pun. Less of a Rugby analogy and more of a take it all head on.

    #3 That original line makes me cringe “snip snap to the zip zap” – it’s media wonk.

    #4 Original TVNZ script far too colloquial, combined with the snip snap comment it would appear the original show was pinched at 12 year old, not a serious show about economics.

    Take the glasses off Marty, make a couple of them charts that you are famous for – and have a good weekend.

    • maybe the point is:

      a) WTF is up with TVNZ’s marketing dept directing the Minister of Finance on what to say?

      b) WTF is up with the Minister of Finance, who is a shareholding minister in TVNZ, directing TVNZ on what he will be said in their ad?

      which leads to

      c) WTF is up with the Minister of Finance ever appearing in an ad for an SOE in the first place, especially when both play an important role in the pantomine of indepence from one another?

      AND

      d) in what way is TVNZ’s credibility enhanced by this tawdry affair?

      very poor political judgement from both parties for precisely no gain but quite a few unecessary headaches.

  5. Pat 5

    “…rampant corruption…”

    An imaginery term, not to be confused with actual corruption.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    I would say the bigger question is why TVNZ is employing such lousy script writers in the first place. I think the alterations to the script flow much better and provide a better connection to the audience.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      The National Party probably has more experience with this sort of ad t.

      And yeah, it does provide a better conection between the MInister of Finance and the viewer, what with the change to all the ‘we’ language, and the ‘ You know’ business.

      Not quite just fixing factual errors like this joker was reckoning:

      Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: Of course his office has not been involved in matters relating to the production of the programme, nor has his office been involved in promoting the programme. But his office most certainly has been concerned to ensure the accuracy of the script. Of course, I am sure that one or two of his advisers advised him on how he should appear on the programme. None of that would be unusual.

      (Hit tip i/s)

      • the sprout 6.1.1

        exactly Pb, government excercised full-on editorial control over TVNZ’s content, just like Muldoon.

        any journos out there, ask your forebears what is what like trying to report under Muldoon – you’ve got some great experiences to look forward to

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      Yes, that original script is so shockingly poor, I would be embarrassed for Bill if he’d gone with it. He would have come off looking like an imbecile.

      So, why was the original script so poor? Was someone at TVNZ trying to purposefully spike this ad campaign and wanted to embarrass Bill, or was this more calculated than that – provide something that is obviously drivvel in the knowledge that Bill would have to re-write it, thus fanning the flames of the controversy that was sure to arise from the ad being aired…

  7. tc 7

    Not only does the gov’t want to influence TVNZ, it wants to be seen doing it……all hail our mighty cabinet ministers and take note all you out there who dare challenge us.
    TVNZ is so pathetically managed it’s even helping to create evidence as to why it should be privatised which IMHO is the only way kiwis can get some value out of it.
    At least their slogans correct ” our nation , our voice” ‘our’ being the shareholding ministers party it appears.
    Put this issue in with their inability to even commission a decent drama, various failed (remember NZOOM) and likely to fail digital ventures (TiVo) and a CEO on nearly $1m p.a. with his bonuses and it’s about as well run now as telecom under gattung/deane which had to be legislated into competition.

  8. TVNZ: It’s time to give the snip snap to the zip zap plastic fantastic
    Bill English Rewrite: “Lets get investing and back our exporters. That’s where the jobs will come and that’s how we can boost our incomes

    To my mind this simply proves that TVNZ hires really bad writers and that English’s team were diligent in preventing their boss from looking like an idiot.

    • burt 8.1

      Danyl

      That’s a valid position.

      If I were required to speak as someone knowledgeable on [xyz] then I would also want a high degree of input into what I was saying. It’s a bit like ‘you agreed not to ask that question’ situations in interviews. What is more wrong, the fact there was a prior agreement or the fact the confidence was broken?

  9. RedLogix 9

    This Minister is a trainwreck. Consider:

    1. The ‘secret taper’ debacle, where he is forced to deny in public what he thought he was saying in private.

    2. The deliberate re-arranging of his family trust affairs to maximise his housing allowance, while at the same time he’s preaching restraint to the rest of us. Knowing this rort was so dodgy he gets a high powered lawyer mate to cover his arse … even though in the end it’s stinks so much he’s forced to pay some of it back despite his protestations that he ‘stuck within the rules’.

    3. Cancelling the very tax cuts he assured everyone prior to the election were essential to a rapid increase in economic growth, proving that he never believed his own words.

    4. Grinning goofily and coming over all ‘gee shucks we got lucky’ over TVNZ’s blatant free political advertising… when in fact he had direct involvement in the advert and was directly using his position as shareholding Minister for his own personal and political benefit.

    Four examples of outright lies and hypocrisy. If Key was a capable PM, English would be well gone by now… but this is not going to happen because English is, weirdly enough, irreplaceable for the time being.

    So far most of the media has given this govt pretty much a free pass, but at some point the sheer political mismanagement and incompetence will be impossible to cover up.

  10. burt 10

    This is further evidence why we should have a state broadcaster that is exactly that;

    TV-[insert govt de-jour name here]. Which is funded at a set level and is transparent in the fact that it is a mouthpiece of the govt de-jour. Operating with no commercial basis whatsoever.

    I’m sure this debate about public broadcasting has been had before and left leaning supporters might want to think carefully before engaging the big weapons on the ‘no state influence’ of the public TV channel(s).

  11. tc 11

    Agree with you Burt and I’d sell TVNZ and use those funds to create one……TVNZ will never be a state broadcaster, it’s spent years battling it’s charter and it’s full of the wrong type who are not creative program makers, they all left it before the 90’s ended.
    TV2 should have been separated from TV1 back when it was going from NZBC to SOE….one goes commercial the other state, opportunity lost.
    Look across the ditch and marvel and the excellent high volume/calibre output from the ABC……it can only come from genesis through to maturity not altering what’s there.
    IMHO it’s an academic debate……TVNZ is blatantly commercial and biased, time to throw it to the wolverines it courts as its culture is not compatible with independant activity.
    TV3 can’t believe its luck at what it has to compete with……not much at all really.
    The news current affairs highground in NZ remains barren……which makes it cheap which means more dividends.

  12. trademark 12

    “It’s time to give the snip snap to the zip zap plastic fantastic’ (make finger scissors gesture) […]

    Keep a few bob in the bank and Bob will be your uncle.

    Wow, who came up with these jewels? They’re turd rate.

  13. mike 13

    yawn.. this just shows how professional the Nats advisors are compared to the state broadcasters script writers

  14. bobo 14

    Can you imagine the outcry if Cullen or Clark had done this, English really is as dumb as he looks doing something so blatant as this.

  15. tsmithfield 15

    Reading the comments above, it does not seem that few disagree with the observation that the TVNZ script was terrible. Therefore, there does not seem to be any problem with improving the script from a communication standpoint.

    The issue is did English change the message to promote the National party? Reading the script above, I can’t see one single word that attempts to do this. If anything, the message is one of positive encouragement with the aim of helping get the economy back on track.Therefore, I don’t see any problem at all with the changes to the script.

    Let me ask, if readers were not aware that English had authorised the changes, is there any aspect of the alterations that would give any cause for concern with respect to promoting the National Party?

    • felix 15.1

      I think that’s a fair question. The script was obviously awful.

      But English authorising changes is not trivial – he’s the shareholding minister and he can’t be involved in this way. From this and his housing scam it really seems the guy has no idea what the words “conflict of interest” mean.

      And John Key is so relaxed he probably isn’t even aware of it.

      It also doesn’t let him off the hook for all the lying to parliament about it. Was Gerry answering on behalf of English or Key?

    • Pascal's bookie 15.2

      Lew addresses the lack of explicit ‘vote National’ stuff here:

      http://www.kiwipolitico.com/2009/10/dreams-and-realities/

      I think what makes it political for me, is comparing it to what one of these ads might normally look like. Normally we night have a journo doing a voice over or on screen talking. The politicians might have the camera pointed at them, but the ‘feel’, if you like, would be of the viewer and the journo looking at the politician doing his business, and judging him. The viewer would be ‘connected’ to the observing journo. The politician might be quoted saying “we need to cut spending” or what have you, but we are simply observing him do this.

      The way it is, we are ‘connected’ to the politician. And as you said, the new text makes that connection work better. There is not that ‘observing’ distance, we are not mediated by a journo. Bill English, the Minister of Finance and deputy Prime Minister is there in our lounge talking to us about what ‘we’ need to do, as if his political views are simply a matter of fact. That’s sure as shit political, and if the new text helps make it wrk better, and communicates that idea better then, gabba gabba hey, QED, and Bob’s your uncle.

    • Lew 15.3

      Reading the comments above, it does not seem that few disagree with the observation that the TVNZ script was terrible. Therefore, there does not seem to be any problem with improving the script from a communication standpoint.

      I have major problems with politicians ‘improving’ scripts on public TV, no matter how crap they might be. The quality of scripts is an operational matter for TVNZ — if they’re crap, then that’s TVNZ’s problem and is no matter for government to concern itself with.

      Whether they’re crap is arguable, because we’re comparing two different forms; a political ad and an ad for a TV program. There’s plenty of ways those words could have been used in a perfectly interesting and compelling ad for a TV program; the fault is not with the words themselves, but with the fact that they are incongruent with the form of the final ad. For a bit o’ political propaganda such as we ended up with, they are crap, but what the changes indicate is that that’s not really what TVNZ intended to make.

      L

      • RascallyRabbit 15.3.1

        I have major problems with politicians ‘improving’ scripts on public TV, no matter how crap they might be. The quality of scripts is an operational matter for TVNZ — if they’re crap, then that’s TVNZ’s problem and is no matter for government to concern itself with.

        Now now Lew you are just being too beltway centric – for the average political punter seeing Bill English on an advertisment for a TV show/debate/pseudo documentary whatever is going to strongly asscoiate him with his portfolio and his party whether that is the intention of the advertisement or not. How often outside of the electoral cycle and outside of the evening news does one even see this sort of coverage given to a political party or its individual members on TV? Whilst I agree that the situation is less than ideal and the format of the advertisement was irresponsible I believe that Bill English would have been seriously unwise to have taken whatever TVNZ said he should read and simply read it. Just as it would be irresponsible for say a CEO of a major company to read whatever the ad gurus said he should without checking it if he/she was fronting an ad for a company.

        I agree with you and I believe that the problem here is that this format of ad was chosen by TVNZ in the first place – with my conspiracy theory tin foil hat on I believe there is an equal chance of the following scenarios – A) the charge can be levelled at TVNZ that they were told to format that ad in such a way by the shareholding minister or B) that they knew formating this ad in this way would create a ruckus thus increasing the exposure of the month of programming and thus deliberately and consciously chose to do it this way without any input from the Minister C) that the format was always to be this way but a non-National TVNZ insider was livid with it and thus wrote the ad so poorly in the knowledge that it would have to be change and that the ruckus follwing the revelations could potentially damage the government.D) that they didn’t think twice about it and simply got Bill English to puppet their lines and yet he wasn’t too enthralled by them hence the re-write

        However I am a firm believer in Occam’s razor and as I hold managers of all stripes in NZ in very low esteem I believe that there was no malice intended its just that the drones at TVNZ could not forsee a problem as they are simply to daft and hence a fuckup was inevitable….

  16. poor attempt at distraction tsmithfield.

    forget cute issues like the quality of TVNZ ad writers. here’s why it’s a serious problem in case you missed them above:

    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/oia-docs-confirm-english-wrote-propaganda-ad-script/#comment-169794

    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/oia-docs-confirm-english-wrote-propaganda-ad-script/#comment-169805

  17. TightyRighty 17

    hardly corrupt practices. Though i suppose if you keep throwing the word at national enough…… Maybe then everyone will be dumb enough to forget the rampant, factual, corruption that was a hallmark of the last government.

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    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    6 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    7 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
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    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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