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OIA: Rotten

Written By: - Date published: 5:42 pm, October 16th, 2014 - 70 comments
Categories: john key, national - Tags:

As story after story comes out about Official Information Act requests, it shows how much contempt for transparency and the law this government has, and how little  it intends to be held to account.

Judith Collins ushering OIAs out in 2 hours to Slater.

John Key’s “Office” getting out SIS hits on Goff.

Paula Bennett delaying an MSD report OIA release, getting told by the Ombudsman to release it… and still holding onto it until after the election.

John Key now admitting to casually breaking the law they’re meant to go above and beyond (with the “highest ethical standards” required by cabinet), and delaying OIAs 20 days because it’s politically convenient.

If I was a journalist I’d be livid.

I am anyway.

OIAs have been with us 30 years, and the flagrancy of the breaches of the law have never been worse.

The Ombudsman is deliberately underfunded (funded to process 2/3 their average amount of complaints), and even if they uphold complaints they’re ignored.

They need teeth.

And a spotlight needs to keep shining on this until National’s behaviour improves.  We need to keep showing the public the contempt they’re being held in.

National are saying: you only get to hear about the good stuff to judge us on, and once we’ve got your vote, you have no right to hold us to account for 3 years.

Rotten.

70 comments on “OIA: Rotten”

  1. And a spotlight needs to keep shining on this until National’s behaviour improves. We need to keep showing the public the contempt they’re being held in.

    I don’t think that will work.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      +1

      You can deplore the gang smashing the old lady in the street as much as you want, and they won’t stop until someone stops them.

    • BM 1.2

      I agree.

      The public is so politiced out with the election just gone, it doesn’t matter what Key does he’ll get away with it, especially after such a nasty shitty one, the public just doesn’t want to know.

      He could sell every one in NZ off into slavery and no one would bat an eyelid.

      The 6-12 month period after an election really is a free hit zone,

      • SHG 1.2.1

        ESPECIALLY with the Labour leadership deathmatch still to come. Key has a VIP pass to do anything right now.

      • Lanthanide 1.2.2

        “He could sell every one in NZ off into slavery and no one would bat an eyelid.”

        You mean, sign the TPPA?

        • left for deadshark 1.2.2.1

          Don’t even listen to the prick,while hes distracting you here,they just nicked your car.

      • NZJester 1.2.3

        What do you mean “He could sell every one in NZ off into slavery and no one would bat an eyelid.” BM.
        He can’t do that any more as he already sold us all off in the last 3 years. Our current overseas owners will not be happy if he tries to sell us off for a second time.

      • Tom Jackson 1.2.4

        I think this is a bit more permanent than that. Democracy only really works if everyone puts the integrity of the system and its checks before their partisan interest, or at least if enough people exist who can punish those who don’t. It feels like we don’t have that any more.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    Isn’t it a crime to conspire to break the law? Key’s arrogant verbal incontinence is evidence that he does just that.

    Graham McCready to the rescue.

  3. coaster 3

    In the final analysis at the end of the day I think for the most part nice mr key could bs himself out of almost anything.

  4. SHG 4

    …Phil Goff demanding an OIA release be delayed when he found out the request came from Cameron Slater…

    http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2014/09/not-acceptable.html

  5. Descendant Of Sssmith 5

    The Ombudsman should ask the GG to get rid of this government because they have just owned up to not having any respect for the laws they are supposed to obey.

  6. RedLogix 6

    Now imagine if he did …

  7. I apologise, but I gotta leave this here for the other nerds …

  8. philj 8

    A fish rots from the head. And a demockary …… ?

  9. Whateva next? 9

    Nah, Key has had 6 years to get “his people” in the powerful places, so it’s all too easy now

  10. adam 10

    So for all you social democrats where is the point that this government forces you to crosses the Rubicon?

    Just a question that I’d like you of a social democratic bent to think about, and not answer straight away.

    The 4th labour government did it for me – but for you, where’s that point?

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    We need to fully fund the Ombudsman so that governments can held to account. We also need to make it a criminal act if a minister interferes with the release of information under the OIA.

    • Tracey 11.1

      if anyone is found to unduly delay, obstruct or refuse an oia then it should be the equivalent of contempt of court. give them the number of days behind bars they delayed the release of info.

      a minister or ministers office that blocks an ombudsmen ruling shall carry the penalty of resignation from parliament and the loss of superannuation, travel and any other perk.

      lets start making ministers accountable for their departments again.

      i also think it is unwise to have law commissioners who have ever served as members of parliament, for any party… lets start getting them from law schools and by appointment of the chief justice.

  12. Penny Bright 12

    If the Public Records Act 2005 was fully implemented in a proper way, then the Office of the Ombudsman would have a LOT less work to do.

    They would not have to chase up Official Information if it was already available for public scrutiny.

    However, in my considered opinion, those responsible for enforcing the Public Records Act 2005, the National Office of the Archives, have proven, in my experience, to be spectacularly useless.

    My home is literally on the line, because the Public Records Act 2005 is NOT being implemented in a proper way by Auckland Council.

    I have disputed and refused to pay Auckland Council rates, because the public are NOT being given the ‘devilish detail’ explaining EXACTLY where rates monies are being spent on private sector consultants and contractors.

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2005/0040/latest/DLM345729.html

    Part 2

    Recordkeeping requirements

    Subpart 1—Key duties

    17 Requirement to create and maintain records

    (1) Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its affairs, in accordance with normal, prudent business practice, including the records of any matter that is contracted out to an independent contractor.

    (2) Every public office must maintain in an accessible form, so as to be able to be used for subsequent reference, all public records that are in its control, until their disposal is authorised by or under this Act or required by or under another Act.

    (3) Every local authority must maintain in an accessible form, so as to be able to be used for subsequent reference, all protected records that are in its control, until their disposal is authorised by or under this Act.
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    However, Auckland Transport, which is an Auckland Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) does make following ‘devilish detail’ available for public scrutiny, by publishing this information on their website, but Auckland Council and the other Council Controlled Organisations do NOT.

    https://at.govt.nz/about-us/procurement/awarded-contracts/

    Auckland Transport is committed to ensuring its procurement activities are undertaken in an ethical and transparent manner.

    The attached lists detail all of the contracts awarded in the previous six months that are valued over $50,000.00. Details include:

    the contract number,
    the contract name,
    the supplier, and the
    award value.

    View the latest awarded contracts list (PDF 64KB)

    ( https://at.govt.nz/media/618879/NZTA-Awarded-Contracts.pdf )

    Disclaimer: we endeavour to list all contracts awarded above the value of $50,000.00 in the previous six months. Whilst all possible care and effort has been taken to ensure accuracy in this list, we accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions. Accordingly, this list should be used for reference only.
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    I am making a stand for transparency and accountability, and will NOT budge.

    The hearing of my Application to Set Aside Judgment will be heard on Thursday 23 October 2014 at 10am in the Auckland District Court.

    It appears that this courtroom will be packed ……

    Penny Bright

  13. NZJester 13

    The situation will improve dramatically this next 3 years as you forgot to mention how with the new positions John Key has set up under his new government they have created a number of positions that are not answerable under the current OIA request laws.

    I guess them just ignoring the OIA requests was getting to much attention so they decided to just legally find a way to prevent getting them in the first place.

    I doubt you will see to many flagrant cases of them Ignoring those OIA requests now when no one will be able to request them in the first place!

    • Tracey 13.1

      well seymour will be having most charter school documents routed through his office so as to avoid OIAs

  14. finbar 14

    National, have just won a election.Our Prime Minester passed has run his rule with,i have not been informed,my Ministers have not told me,my office has not informed me,i dont know,it must have been my offices mistake..

    This ignorant i don!t know,is going to be our Prime Ministers downfall in his term of leadership,if the other grasping other side are up to it.Prime Minister,why do we need you,you never lay claim to what you say,your claim is i have not been informed,or i must have missed that.Prime Minester,why do we need you,all you tell us that your officials have not told you.Prime Minister,your lie and your way of it is starting to wear thin.

    Do you like Labour,i most certainly do,up for a stand up walk out scrap.

  15. Tracey 15

    unless there is a un resolution or similar key has no mandate to commit on the ground troops to iraq… isnt that the same coin as his asset sales mandate claim?

  16. Whateva next? 16

    US has congress and senate, UK has House of Lords and commons, (and the queen) etc etc.
    I am asking how we ensure absolute power does not corrupt absolutely?

  17. srylands 17

    “John Key now admitting to casually breaking the law … and delaying OIAs 20 days because it’s politically convenient.”

    Are you seriously suggesting that this was not standard practice in Helen Clark’s Government?

    [lprent: So give examples rather than just asserting. Otherwise you are just myth making. Right? ]

  18. Tom Gould 18

    Did anyone else hear the interview with Beverley Wakem the Chief Ombudsman on RNZ in which she said “when you’re in Opposition you love the OIA and when you’re in government you hate it” in dismissing Opposition and media complaints the Tories are gaming the OIA for political ends, despite Key admitting as much? Worse, she puffed up and said she could ‘alert the Minister concerned’ and then alert ‘the PM’s office’ if the gaming continued. How pathetic. They are the ones doing the gaming. No wonder a complaint to the Ombudsman is seen as waste of time and the Ombudsman as a sad joke.

    • Tracey 18.1

      alert them to what? they just admitted gaming, whats she going to do, put them on a last last last warning?

      • whateva next? 18.1.1

        exactly, who does hold Key to account, as other governments are held? Is his power now unfettered? In which case, no amount of bleating will make a difference until we work out how this basic principle is addressed.

  19. RRM 19

    EARTH TO BELTWAY:

    NOBODY CARES.

    This sort of thing is why Labour failed dismally in the election.
    Stop looking under stones for the next mega scandal, stop planning the revolution.

    Tell us 20 small, manageable things Labour is going to do about health, education and employment, slightly differently than the status quo, that will each make the country a little bit better than is is now.

    Go.

    People will vote for that.

    • The Standard is “just a welcome outlet for the expression of views”, you got a problem with that?

      We aren’t Crosby-Textor here, and we don’t represent Labour. We’re (mostly) just people with opinions.

      Why don’t you share your exalted wisdom about marketing strategies on a thread that is actually relevant?

      • RRM 19.1.1

        I don’t have a problem with it at all… the longer the left operates in this echo-chamber like fashion, and the longer the Labour party devotes its energies (via their primary system) to trying to cater for the kinds of opinions and world views that get expressed on here… the longer National will be in Government, and that’s good for New Zealand.

        Danyl McLaughlin was dead right: the left’s experiment with social media has been a failure. It mobilises a huge amount of website traffic but not enough votes.They don’t know how to take anything they read with a grain of salt, and they seem to think the kind of people who read and comment on political blogs are a demographic worth looking after.

        This is relevant to EVERY thread on The Standard…

        • Labour isn’t run by The Standard, mate. Plus, it’s only the number 4 blog in NZ, way behind right wing hate machines WhaleOil and KiwiBog. Why don’t you go and scold them with your fuckwittery?

          Also, the sentiments expressed here are not that unusual. Read the comments on some of the Herald’s more fawning shonkey puff pieces.

          Does your crappy advice come from Key’s “office”?

          Social media is just a part of a proper election strategy, and Obama won on the strength of grassroots activism. Please stop your bullshit attempts to silence dissent. It’s very rude.

          • RRM 19.1.1.1.1

            LOL – I have no power to “silence” anything, get over yourself!

            And no I have no connection to John Key’s office, (beyond the fact that I voted him into it.)

            You have to admit, whatever Labour’s doing right now, it isn’t working, yeah?

            • blue leopard 19.1.1.1.1.1

              You are conflating articles discussing the corrupt practices of this current government with ‘what Labour does’.

              The public are entitled to discuss current affairs. They should not be framed as ‘being Labour’ when they do that.

              Your comments are amounting to right-wing propaganda, RRM.
              You really should learn to be less gullible.

            • Tracey 19.1.1.1.1.2

              can you link to your similar posts at wo and kiwiblog

    • whateva next? 19.2

      http://youtu.be/CsmIfDNeKLY, just watch this and you will wonder why you support a right wing government.

    • Tracey 19.3

      yea fuck govt transparency and accountability.

      • RRM 19.3.1

        “yea fuck govt transparency and accountability.”

        Thanks for the laugh!

        The left screams “dirty politics” because it’s a handy meme that people who can’t really commit facts to memory but think it’s cool to fight the Man can chant, to drown out the reality that the left are every bit as dodgy as the right.

        Where was the accountability and transparency when Helen Clark passed a law to retrospectively validate illegal Labour Party campaign spending?

        Where was the accountabilty and transparency when the Labour Party president took an undisclosed number of taxpayer funded staff on a dirt-digging trip to Melbourne, hoping desperately to find muck he could smear on Key before he was even elected?

        Where was the accountability and transparency when Helen Clark passed off a painting as her own work? (Oh but it’s for a charity…)

        Where was the accountability and transparency when Len Brown refused to resign after his undisclosed acceptance of free goodies from Sky City came out?

        The hypocrisy of the left over “corruption” and “#dirtypolitics” is staggering.

        • Where is the Herald campaign proclaiming “Democracy Under Attack” for the many things exposed in Hager’s book, and that’s not even mentioning underhanded bullshit about the TPPA and GCSB ?

          Your outrage is completely misdirected. Compared to the misdeeds of Key and cronies your list of gripes is very small potatoes.

          • RRM 19.3.1.1.1

            LOL – did you notice the song and dance the Herald made out of a business dinner that Judith Collins attended in China? It ended up being one of the nails in the coffin of her Ministry.

            The political right are as adamant the Herald is a partizan left-wing mouthpiece, as you appear to be that it is a partizan right-wing mouthpiece.

            That gives me some hope that they are probably doing an ok job…

            • blue leopard 19.3.1.1.1.1

              @ RRM,

              If a media outlet prints facts about corruption in the right-wing and that adversely affects the right-wing – that is not left-wing bias.

              If a media outlet prints factually incorrect stories i.e. about corruption that doesn’t, in reality, exist and that adversely affects the left-wing that is right-wing bias.

              Can you really not see the difference?

              • RRM

                Yes I can see the difference very clearly indeed.

                REAL corruption is anything the right does.

                • whateva next?

                  If it only serves to make the rich richer, how is that not corrupt?

                • blue leopard

                  Absolute bollocks RRM

                  The Donghua Liu affair was a complete exaggeration – to the point of being a fabrication. This is not the case with Collin’s actions.

                  If you have cognitive dissonance over a right-winger conducting themselves in an unprincipled and destructive manner, I recommend that you address that, rather than spreading ridiculous accusations over how ‘the left’ would respond to similar behaviour from a left-winger.

                  I suggest this because such sentiments are just making you look incapable of accepting reality.

                  And what is worse, you end up being an apologist for behaviour that doesn’t even serve your political views, let alone wider concerns over what it takes to have a sound democracy.

                • RRM if you had bothered to read TFA, you might understand that National’s abuse of the OIA process is just one example of the culture of malfeasance that has infected this government.

                  But no, you’re off making shit up about the corporate media, and complaining about stuff Labour did a decade ago. This is fantasyland stuff, if you don’t admit NZ democracy has serious problems you’re either simple or complicit.

                  Are you happy for OIA abuses to continue, for the underclass to be ignored, and for the government to sell thousands of state houses to overseas buyers?

            • whateva next? 19.3.1.1.1.2

              “That gives me some hope that they are probably doing an ok job…”
              or just spinning everyone around whilst they carry on doing exactly as they please (which is to look after themselves and their mates)
              “….and absolute power corrupts absolutely”

            • Tracey 19.3.1.1.1.3

              the dinner she denied and then admitted and the visit on the way to the airport that was in the opposite direction, and the note from her tmfat to include the shis on the dinner with the border official, and that she was minister for justice not mfat or primary industries…

              please post links to the media outlets who ran any headlines called for collins to resign or be sacked.

              • You_Fool

                That is the thing, even if you take her version of events as true she is the most corrupt politician we have ever had, and should have been forced to resign from parliament and tried for corruption.

        • Tracey 19.3.1.2

          i stopped voting labour at that very next election? when did you stop voting national or act or uf?

          i have posts here stating my views that if brown cheats on his wife he cant be trusted on other matters. when did you stop voting national?

          fucking someone behind your partners back is not cool (refer above) , but it is not equally analagous to deliberately rorting the one system we have to keep our government honest about its statements. when did you stop voting national, act or uf?

        • Tracey 19.3.1.3

          wll there was definitely transparency when you move a bil to an act. you cant hide that yet.

          under which govt dept was mike williams trip, and which dept was funding it and can you show me the decline under the oia to release obligated documentation on it.

          the difference, it appears, between you and i, is that i am demanding higher standards from al mps and depts, while you seem to be sating if labour behaved badly that is a free pass to this govt. is this what you teach your children?

        • You_Fool 19.3.1.4

          So you are for greater transparency in government and ministers (including prime ministers) being held to account over their actions, and where their actions are fraudulent, corrupt or downright despicable they should be made to face their crimes in a court of law?

          You agree that there needs to be checks and balances on the power of those in charge and ordinary people should have an avenue to ensure that the checks and balances are enforced, above and beyond our democratic right every 3 years.

          Because you are right, it doesn’t matter which colour the hats, those in power should be held to higher ethical standards.

          Or were you being hypocritical as well? Oh the irony in that case…

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    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    5 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    6 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    7 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
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    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago

  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
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  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
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  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
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  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
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