web analytics

Old boys’ club

Written By: - Date published: 12:13 pm, August 1st, 2008 - 46 comments
Categories: same old national - Tags:

John Key: “We don’t have enough women in our caucus, so we’ve had to start cross-dressing” (Press, June 9, 2007)

He’s not wrong there:

46 comments on “Old boys’ club ”

  1. Scribe 1

    Labour: 31 men, 18 women. Not exactly equitable, Steve.

    NZ First: 6 men, 1 woman.

    And do you really want to go down the “cross-dressing” line of discussion?

  2. Scribe 2

    Oh, and the Nats have 13 female MPs, not 12, regardless of what you little picture says.

  3. Felix 3

    Yeah and they even have a little Asian one at the front, so that proves they’re not racist either.

  4. Nedyah Hsan 4

    Not racist, but definitely not inclusive. Wong is stuck on the side of the core group, almost like an afterthought.

  5. monkey-boy 5

    What is the ratio of male/female of those who post articles on The Standard Steve?

  6. Anita 6

    I’d be fascinated by analysis of gender, ethnicity and religion across all the parties. While sexual orientation would be interesting too I suspect it would devolve into a rumour and innuendo session pretty quickly 🙁

  7. yl 7

    it is all fine to say that national have got 12 (13? a reference would be nice) women and Labour have 18, but the important part is to look at the power that the women hold in the party.

    I think that old boys club is well justified looking at the front bench.

  8. vto 8

    SP, yesterday you said this …

    “Now, you offer an objective argument that having a male PM is better for rugby than having a female one (note: you’re not arguing specific males or females, you’re arguing between genders). If you can’t but you assume it’s true anyway and so argue that we should have any male instead of any female as PM, then, by definition you’re a bigot a bigot holds a prejudice against a group of people in spite of a lack of supporting evidence.”

    So following your own words, simply having any females as opposed to any males means you are a bigot. By your very own words SP you are a bigot.

    Unless you were simply talking shit when you said that yesterday. So, either talking shit or a bigot.

  9. Matthew Pilott 9

    vto, there are legitimate arguments (supporting evidence, shall I say) for representation of females in our parliament. Y’know, representation and all that PC nonsense?

    Leave the long bow at home next time.

  10. Anita 10


    National have 13 (Katrina Shanks replaced Don Brash after this photo was taken). The list of MPs is here.

    If you’re doing the comparison remember Steve Chadwick is a woman, it’s an easy mistake to make with a list of names.

  11. djp 11

    black/white, woman/man.. who cares.. vote for who does the best job

  12. Higherstandard 12

    Shouldn’t competence be the issue rather than gender – personally it doesn’t worry me at all who we employ as MPs as long as they do a good job.

    The assumption that men or women aren’t capable of representing those of the opposite gender just as capably as someone of the same gender I find somewhat absurd.

    edit – DJP beat me to it

  13. Anita 13


    If Parliament/the National Party caucus/the Labour party caucus was truly representative we’d expect to have roughly equivalent proportions for gender, ethnicity, and so on, as we find in the rest of the population.

    If the proportion is not roughly equivalent there are two possible causes:

    1) Randomness (I feel a reference to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead coming on).

    2) Some kind of selection bias.

    I’m going for some kind of selection bias in the cases of Parliament, Labour and National. Are you arguing it’s randomness?

    Do you think that analysis of representation is bigotry?

  14. yl 14


    dont really want to open a can of worms here, but your comment only works if black, white, woman, and man are viewed and treated equally, and they are not.

    I am still optimistic that one day in the future maybe, but not just yet. There is still are too many prejudices out there regarding minorities.

  15. Scribe 15


    While sexual orientation would be interesting too I suspect it would devolve into a rumour and innuendo session pretty quickly

    Well, all we can say on that score is that Labour is grossly over-represented in its Caucus based on the known homosexuals and lesbians (at least five).

    black/white, woman/man.. who cares.. vote for who does the best job

    Now that’s a novel idea djp.

  16. Anita 16


    black/white, woman/man.. who cares.. vote for who does the best job

    So, are you arguing that fact that the proportions are consistently far from the proportions in NZ as a whole is randomness?

    Or that it’s selection bias but that it doesn’t matter?

  17. vto 17

    MP, it aint no long bow. SP said it not me.

    But I agree with you in that.. Men representing mens issues (example – that quietly but heavily dissed in certain halls matter of rugby). Women representing women issues. No problem. It is SP that seems to have the problem, namely consistency and hence credibility, in that he had a real problem with the idea that one of the country’s major sport and cultural icons, which is heavily male dominated, could be assisted by having a male in leadership. Which is completely contrary to this post of his concerning women being assisted by having women in leadership, namely within the nat caucus.

  18. Ben R 18


    “I think that old boys club is well justified looking at
    the front bench.”

    Excerpt from Tim Ellis’ comment yesterday:

    “National has two women on the front bench of ten, Anita: Judith Collins and Anne Tolley. Labour also only has two women on the front bench of ten: Helen Clark and Annette King.

    I could make a cheap shot and ask what value Judith Tizard, Sue Moroney, Lynne Pillay, Jill Pettis and Lesley Soper bring to Labour’s caucus. They’re never going to be front-benchers are they? Actually, I suppose even saying that is a cheap shot, but I will live with it.”

    All of the new women candidates National has selected for this election have the potential to become front-benchers. Will they become front-benchers? Potentially. Only time will tell.”

  19. BeShakey 19

    Scribe – At the risk of confirming Antia’s worries, I think ‘known’ is the key word there. Personally I’d rather have out MPs than ones who feel the urge to hide it.

    Surely the most overrepresented group in parliament are lawyers? My view is that we want some degree of diversity, without necessarily going for proportionality. Despite a few stand-out performers, I think parliament is underrepresented on the moron front, that suits me. Also underrepresented on the poor single parent front – I think some of them would help, but what exactly would you do to achieve it?

  20. vto 20

    beshakey “what exactly would you do to achieve it?” more referendums. Let the people decide, directly, many many many more things. Put trust in your fellow manwoman.

  21. monkey-boy 21

    This really is becoming tedious. I’ve noticed there is a tendency here to ‘examine the splinter in soemone else’s eye, and ignore the rafter in your own’.
    By this I mean – The ‘workers’ party and its allies have been in power since 1999 haven’t they?.
    I have yet to encounter any provisions for even the basic womens needs in many of the bastions of progressiveness ie – creches.
    Helen Clark herself is on record as having foregone the priviledge of having kids for her career, yet, has done very little to my mind to empower women further to engage in the workplace and have their kids close by.
    Or if a woman works for a strongly unionised environment as well, what incentives for in-work provison are they? SImilarly, How many educational institutions that promote ‘gender issues’ but have no creche available.
    So in short, it’s a cheap shot again, to accuse one party of institutionalised sexism, but ignore how it may occur under the actaul government of the past decade.
    Teach me otherwise.

  22. Anita 22


    To risk repeating myself, but to make the point that you’re overgeneralising.

    I said in this thread that I believe both Labour and National have selection bias which leads to lower representation by women.

    I have said in another recent thread that I believe the labour movement struggles with gender pay equity issues.

    I have said publicly that the current government has not advanced the equity of women in NZ as far or as fast as I believe they should have.

    That said…

    I believe the current government has advanced equity further than the previous government.

    I believe that electing the current Key-led National Party into power would make less progress toward equity than another term of the current government.

    I also believe that the current Key-led National Party shows signs that, at least in some issues, they would make decisions that lead to the rights of women going backwards.

    This is not an endorsement of the current government, I have enormous problems with some of the things they have and haven’t done. It is, however, an expression of my fears for what a change of government would mean for women.

  23. This into the Bat Cave from a wet Cat Woman – I suppose it’s not much better than the Labour Old Girls’ Club, who are nothing more than [if you want bigotry, vote John Key, don’t write that kind of stuff on our blog. SP]

  24. Those of you saying ‘whoever is best for the job should be chosen’ are correct – but consider these two things – a women’s point of view is a valuable quality to have when you’re making polcies that affect a population that is 50% female and when you’re often making policy directed specifically at women… 2, given that there’s no reason to think men are inherently better at MPs than women, shouldn’t the ratio of men to women be close to even? even Key concedes National is male-dominated..

    vto. I’m not arguing that it would be better to have any female as a Nat MP than any male… Im saying, given that women and men are just as suitable for the role, you’ve got to have question when the gender split is so uneven.

  25. Matthew Pilott 25

    vto, if Key was running for Graham Henry’s job you might just have a leg to stand on, but no, you don’t, because he’s not.

    monkey-boy, just because you’re thoroughly (and, I suspect, willfully) blind to advances for women over the last few years (think breastfeeding, paid parental leave, even WfF), don’t expect others to run about finding evidence for you! Why parade your ignorance?

  26. lprent 26

    Hah – going sort of off the topic here… But there is a discrimination topic more immediately relevant..

    Human discrimination!

    Why are the right so hypocritical about humanness? from 08wire.

    Someone has actually done a micro example of the code I want to write to emulate the more stupid trolls

  27. vto 27

    ok ok. I disagree a little but there you go. sometimes I step out further in my posts than the point where I actually sit, so as to tease out and push a little, the thoughts expressed. Gotta go – the weekend beckons and there are flooded streets to row the dingy down. Til next time.

  28. insider 28

    But Steve the point is , you are making an issue out of this for National alone, yet Labour (the governing party) have very similar ratios. So why is it a big deal for one and not the other? That just shows it;s a purely partisan dog whistle, another mindless attack for the sake of attack. As a blog supportive of Labour shouldn;t you be more concerned about their imbalance, or even have mentioned it?

    I suspect the reasons for the imbalance across all parties is similar to that across the economy – women tend to have different priorities primarily family, so don’t tend to want to make the sacrifices required for senior political or business roles. I wouldn’t either.

    However, look at most committees actually doing things in our society – voluntary social welfare groups, schools, sports – and I expect you will see the situation reversed.

  29. Sorry Old Boy SP,my bad, and what race and number is that horse
    “bigotry” running in? I want to put a ten each way thank you MADam.It’s a big ol try to win on a rain affected lake or track.Anyway conditions are well suited up for the pollie Mallard Duck so watch out for the biff in the corridor.. Quack off m8!

  30. insider. Labour has 50% more female MPs (13 v 18) and nearly the same total number (48 v 49).

    monkey-boy. People come and go, but I count 8 writers in the last month of which 4 are female. As far as I’m aware, that makes us the political blog with easily the most female contribution, apart from the feminist blogs.

  31. Oh no, I am surrounded by standard females. Well I can tell you I am rather irate about owing Crown Law thousands after I brought unlawful discrimination ( male gender) proceedings against government agencies that claim to act in the best interests of the child. The HRRT struck me out, fobbed me and had the audacity too extort me for making a claim against the various breaches of my basic human rights….not to mention my children….blah…. blah….

  32. Ben R 32

    “insider. Labour has 50% more female MPs (13 v 18) and nearly the same total number (48 v 49).”

    Or 27% vs 36.7% of the total respectively.

  33. Higherstandard 33

    Perhaps not as many women run for selection as MPs in political parties ?

    This would be proof positive that they are the more intelligent sex.

  34. Ben R 34

    “insider. Labour has 50% more female MPs (13 v 18) and nearly the same total number (48 v 49).”

    Or you could say 36.7% of Labour MP’s are female compared to 27% of National.

  35. Jimbo 35

    Good stuff Scribe, Labour does win on the open homosexual front but from working at Parliament I’ve got a fair idea that there are a few gay guys in the National caucus. I’m not going to name them, this isn’t KiwiBlog after all, but you may be wrong in claiming that Labour wins in the gay MP stakes

  36. insider 36

    But Steve et al, the point was not that some parties are better balnced than others (and the implied superiority), but that any imbalance was not a good thing. To quote SP:

    “Im saying, given that women and men are just as suitable for the role, you’ve got to have question when the gender split is so uneven.”

    So we get back to the question, why is the question asked for National but not for Labour?

    I know DPF did some analysis of the possible MPs after the election. I wonder what would happen then. Which raises the point that the balance is somewhat influenced by you and me and other voters.

    PS If you think 18 is 50% more than 13, you need some help wiht your mathematics.

  37. Anita 37


    I know DPF did some analysis of the possible MPs after the election. I wonder what would happen then. Which raises the point that the balance is somewhat influenced by you and me and other voters.

    I just did a quick count. Of the 66 known National candidates only 15 are women. That is 24% – a lower proportion than they currently have in their caucus.

    Until the list comes out we can’t know – but it doesn’t look any better than the current state of affairs, possibly worse.

  38. Scribe 38


    Scribe, Labour does win on the open homosexual front but from working at Parliament I’ve got a fair idea that there are a few gay guys in the National caucus. I’m not going to name them, this isn’t KiwiBlog after all, but you may be wrong in claiming that Labour wins in the gay MP stakes

    I’m not saying there aren’t homosexuals in the National caucus, but I think it’s safe to say they wouldn’t outnumber Labour’s 5+

  39. Felix 39

    5 homosexuals in Labour’s caucus doesn’t sound out of proportion to society. How many in Labour’s caucus? 49? 50?

    So about 10 percent – could be on the conservative side if anything but certainly within the ballpark.

    Strange thing to complain about really – Do you have an ideal number in mind?

  40. QoT 40

    And of course just “electing who’s best for the job” is a wonderful concept if you’re willing to ignore the huge influence of education, healthcare, and socio-economic position on who gets to become “best” for the job. Rich white heterosexual abled men in power forever, wot wot?

  41. Scribe 41


    Steve was the one who starting talking about quotas. And no, I don’t have an ideal number of homosexuals in mind.

    If there were only those five, would 10% be consistent with statistics? I thought the percentage was much lower than that.

  42. Anita 42


    If there were only those five, would 10% be consistent with statistics? I thought the percentage was much lower than that

    The stats are wildly variable and appear to correlate with the researcher’s political views. 10% is quite a common figure, as is 15%, as is 1%.

    If we’re going to completely derail this thread, any chance we could derail it onto finding me a gingernut recipe that works? The one in my Edmonds is Not Good.

  43. Scribe 43

    Well, that’s what you get for making gingernuts. Chocolate chippies any day of the week, Anita.

  44. Felix 44

    Found this the other day while looking for a malai kofta recipe:

    supposed gingernut recipe

    It may be of some use to you – I haven’t tried it but the first line about golden syrup cracked me up 🙂

  45. How sexist are you Steve?

    Why does gender or race matter?

    Perhaps National pick the best people and they weren’t thinking, “Well we better have a certain number of woman/Maori/Asians/ gays, etc etc etec.

    When you start picking on race, then you are racist.

    So National has a bunch of white men as their MP’s, do you have a problem with that?

  46. Felix 46

    So National has a bunch of white men as their MP’s, do you have a problem with that?

    I don’t have a problem with that. Parties can run any candidates they like.

    But if I were a National Party strategist I might be wondering if there are large sections of the population who do have a problem with it.

    (And maybe they don’t – just saying…)

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Put our most vulnerable first
    Don’t forget whānau and communities most at risk, says the Green Party, as the Government lays out its three-phase plan for Omicron. ...
    2 days ago
  • Boosting our immunity against Omicron
    With Omicron in the community, it’s vital we all do our bit to help to slow the spread, keep each other safe and protect our health system. One of the most important ways we can reduce the risk of Omicron is to get a booster dose as soon as we’re ...
    2 days ago
  • Equitable response to Omicron vital
    The Green Party supports the Government’s decision to move Aotearoa New Zealand to traffic light level Red at 11.59pm tonight, but says its success will depend on the support that is made available to the most vulnerable. ...
    5 days ago
  • How we’re preparing for Omicron
    As countries around the world experience Omicron outbreaks, we’re taking steps now to ensure we’re as prepared as possible and our communities are protected. ...
    1 week ago
  • What’s Labour achieved so far?
    Quite a bit! This Government was elected to take on the toughest issues facing Aotearoa – and that’s what we’re doing. Since the start of the pandemic, protecting lives and livelihoods has been a priority, but we’ve also made progress on long-term challenges, to deliver a future the next generation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tackling the big issues in 2022
    This year, keeping Kiwis safe from COVID will remain a key priority of the Government – but we’re also pushing ahead on some of New Zealand’s biggest long-term challenges. In 2022, we’re working to get more Kiwis into homes, reduce emissions, lift children out of poverty, and ensure people get ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Penguin rehab and native forest restoration get helping hand
    A long-running penguin rehab facility which has been hard hit by the tourism downturn, and work to restore native forest habitats in the Catlins are being supported through Jobs for Nature funding, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Otago’s Penguin Place and The Hokonui Rūnanga Catlins Biodiversity Project will receive combined ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Resilient economy reflected in Crown accounts
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect a resilient economy that has performed better than expected and puts the country in a strong position to respond to Omicron, Grant Robertson said. The Crown Accounts for the five months to the end of November were more favourable than forecast in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Government announces three phase public health response to Omicron
    Reducing isolation period for cases and close contacts at Phase Two and Three to 10 and seven days Definition of close contact required to isolate changes to household or household like contacts at Phase Three Increased use of rapid antigen tests with test to return policy put in place for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Ambassador to Thailand announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Jonathan Kings as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Thailand. “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long-standing relationship with Thailand, celebrating the 65th anniversary of diplomatic representation between our countries in 2021. We also share much in common at regional and multilateral levels ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government’s Family Package continues to deliver for New Zealanders
    The Families Package helped around 330,000 families in its first year - more than half of all families with children in NZ These families received an estimated $55 per week more from Families Package payments in 2018/19 than in 2017/18, on average Families Package increases to the maximum possible Accommodation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand retains top spot in global anti-corruption rankings
    Justice Minister Kris Faafoi has welcomed news of New Zealand’s ongoing position as top in the world anti-corruption rankings. The 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index released by global anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International, ranks New Zealand first equal with Denmark and Finland, with a score of 88 out of 100. “This is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Testing improvements see New Zealand well prepared for Omicron
    New Zealand’s PCR testing capacity can be increased by nearly 20,000 tests per day to deal with a surge in cases as part of our wider COVID-19 testing strategy, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We have continued to adapt our public health response to safeguard the health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 5,000 portable air cleaners for schools on their way
    As schools are preparing to return, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 5,000 air cleaners have been ordered for New Zealand schools. “As we know, along with vaccination, testing, good hygiene and physical distancing, good ventilation is important in minimising the risk of airborne transmission of the virus that causes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand to move to Red from 11.59pm today
    All of New Zealand will move to the Red setting of the Covid Protection Framework (CPF) at 11:59pm today as Omicron is potentially now transmitting in the community, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region are now confirmed as Omicron, and a further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mandatory boosters for key workforces progressing well
    More than 5,785 (82%) border workers eligible for a booster vaccination at 6 months have received it so far, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “That’s a really strong uptake considering we announced the requirement the week before Christmas, but we need to continue this momentum,” Chris Hipkins said. “We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ to move to Red
    Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region have now been confirmed as the Omicron variant, and a further case from the same household was confirmed late yesterday. These cases are in a single family that flew to Auckland on 13 January to attend a wedding and other events ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide further help for Tonga
    Aotearoa New Zealand is giving an additional $2 million in humanitarian funding for Tonga as the country recovers from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last weekend, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. This brings Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to $3 million. “This support will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work
    The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said. “Our response to COVID has helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Northland to move to Orange, NZ prepared for Omicron 
    Northland to move to Orange Rest of New Zealand stays at Orange in preparedness for Omicron All of New Zealand to move into Red in the event of Omicron community outbreak – no use of lockdowns Govt planning well advanced – new case management, close contact definition and testing rules ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu
    A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has departed Base Auckland Whenuapai for Tonga carrying aid supplies, as the New Zealand aid effort ramps up, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago