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On intellectual failure & economic crisis

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, January 27th, 2010 - 56 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, economy, education - Tags:

Before they were swept along by the latest incarnation of US Right anti-intellectualism, National used to have some smart people. One of the last to go was Simon Upton. You might not always or even often agree with the man but at least he is informed and has the capacity to engage in serious debate beyond fallacious slogans, which is more than can be said for any Nat today.

Anyhow, Upton reports he has been reading Robert Skidelsky’s Keynes – The Return of the Master, which gives a Keynesian analysis of the causes of the economic crisis and the solutions. He makes some very important points:

“the crash has exposed an intellectual failure long ago identified by Keynes: the fallibility of the efficient markets hypothesis as a reliable tool for modelling all economic behaviour. Financial tools designed to cope with manageable risks have been hubristically extended to the management of irreducible uncertainties. Far from limiting risks, they have magnified them. The conflation of uncertainty with risk has exposed the limits of laissez faire.”

“Skidelsky questions the unmitigated benignity of globalisation. Keynes considered that globalisation ran political risks that should at least call for caution on the part of policy makers.

The issues have changed since the 1930s. Today it is the health and environmental safety of long supply chains that raises consumer concerns.

One thing is clear. When uncertainty engulfs markets and the trust on which billions of transactions rely evaporates.”

“He wants a restructuring of the way economics is taught. Modern economics has masked radical uncertainty with sophisticated, but ultimately fallible, mathematics. He invokes Keynes’ injunction that economics is a moral rather than a natural science. Economics must be imbibed in the company of history, moral philosophy, sociology and politics.

He insists that macroeconomics must be protected from the encroachment of the methods and habits of microeconomics. The claim here is that we can’t construct our understanding of the macro picture – the world of peoples, governments and cultures – from a model of rational expectations held at the micro level. The macro world is one of conventional or herd instincts that, left unchecked, can lead to disaster.”

I agree with the last points vehemently. At university, budding economists can graduate without having had any real instruction on alternatives to neoclassicism or the social and political context in which economics takes place. Mainstream economics has forgotten that the economy is for people and of people. Instead, it sees people as factors in its beautiful equations that look nice but it reduces all human nature to a ‘rational’ quest for more (more money, more stuff, more, more, more) – real humans are too messy to fit neatly into the equations. Because of that it so often fails to correctly predict actual human behaviour.

56 comments on “On intellectual failure & economic crisis”

  1. Sam 1

    Thanks for that Marty, might have to track that book down!

  2. Peter 2

    Yeah, a good post. I have always read Simon Upton for the same reason – he does think, and he is prepared to engage intellectually. Although he did fail with his design of the science system (fragmented crown research institutes) and his health reforms are best left unmentioned.

  3. I always had respect for Upton. He negotiated our entry into Kyoto. He was a good example of the classic thinking tory. You could disagree with him but you could be guaranteed a point by point debate and a coherent justification for his position.

    There is no one in the current government who has that same quality. All we have is a bunch of PR driven yes men who are brutalising the country with their lack of understanding and their beligerence.

    Oh for a couple of Uptons on the Government Benches.

  4. RascallyRabbit 4

    Thanks for the post Marty

    As an ECON grad myself I always struggled with the dismal science – what was being taught as gospel so often didn’t fit in with what you saw in the ‘real world’.

    I felt that the maths element always had a much better fit in Finance – which I also dabbled in – in that it could more accurately (though once again not completely) explain real-world phenomena.

    I can also recommend Niall Ferguson’s: The Ascent of Money which does a great job of explaining contemporary economic conditions in a historical context – something sorely missing from the modern business school graduate I feel.

    I must have a look at Skidelsky’s book, thanks.

    • Bored 4.1

      RR, Help is at hand to relieve the dry boredom of econometrics, agree with your comments. A few books….Nialls OK from the pro capital pro imperial angle, so long as you have that awareness of his views hes a good read.

      You might want for a dry witty read to delve into Galbraith (Great Crash of 1929 described all the current symptoms and events, only the names and dates needed changing…).

      Mazowers Dark Continent is also really good to get some context on the politics behind globalisation (looking at it more as a recurrent theme over a century or more).

  5. Bored 5

    Good post Marty. It has never ceased to amaze me the number of bloggers who plunge straight into the detail and remain firmly entrenched in narrow dogma based arguments. It’s all about broad context.

    Keynes was able to utilize his broad classical education in which history took some prominence, along with cultural, literary and linguistic depth. Rather than describe him as an intellectual heavyweight we might better understand that the products of our universities are so focused on narrow method that they possess neither the knowledge nor tools to be described as intellectuals at all.

    Rather those graduates of the business schools are better described as corporate Jesuits, technocrats to whom narrow focus on method within proscribed boundaries is the sum total of their capacity to think. Best not look to these economists for any clarity of thinking when they are presented with issues outside of their frame of reference.

    • “Keynes was able to utilize his broad classical education in which history took some prominence, along with cultural, literary and linguistic depth”

      Keynes training was in maths and stats. In fact the first book he wrote was a “Treatise on Probability”.

      • snoozer 5.1.1

        Paul. Yes, that was his speciality but in those days when you went to high school and university you got an education, not a training in a narrow field.

        The fact that you don’t know that shows how much has changed.

        • Paul Walker 5.1.1.1

          So what subjects did Keynes study then?

          • snoozer 5.1.1.1.1

            Educated at Eton, Keynes won a scholarship in classics and mathematics at King’s College, Cambridge. Interested in literature and philosophy, Keynes was invited to join the Apostles, a small, secret society of dons and undergraduates who met to discuss ethical and political issues. The group included Lytton Strachey, Leonard Woolf, E. M. Forster and Bertrand Russell. His friendship with Woolf and Russell brought him into contact with leaders of the Fabian Society, including Sidney Webb, Beatrice Webb and George Bernard Shaw.

            http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/TUkeynes.htm

            still so smug?

            • Paul Walker 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Google is a wonderful thing.

              • snoozer

                yeah it is. maybe you should have informed yourself first rather than making a dick of yourself with the smug ignorance so typical of neoclassicists.

            • Paul Walker 5.1.1.1.1.2

              “yeah it is. maybe you should have informed yourself first rather than making a dick of yourself with the smug ignorance so typical of neoclassicists.”

              What exactly is a neoclassicist?

          • Bored 5.1.1.1.2

            You are correct in a narrow way. Keynes also had a classical education prior to university, was a member of the influential Bloomsbury set, was very au fait with culture, associated with literary characters such as Lytton Strachey and married a ballerina. Not your standard economist. He also knew history when he saw it, he was at Versailles and was highly critical.

  6. SHG 6

    Upton’s departure from domestic politics was National’s, and the country’s, loss. Health in particular has really missed him.

  7. “At university, budding economists can graduate without having had any real instruction on alternatives to neoclassicism or the social and political context in which economics takes place. Mainstream economics has forgotten that the economy is for people and of people. Instead, it sees people as factors in its beautiful equations that look nice but it reduces all human nature to a ‘rational’ quest for more (more money, more stuff, more, more, more) real humans are too messy to fit neatly into the equations. Because of that it so often fails to correctly predict actual human behaviour.”

    Still proving you know nothing about economics Marty. Most of modern econ works from a basis of neoclassical idea and non-neoclassical ideas. Since the 1970s increasingly econ has being extending the neoclassical model. Areas like game theory, contract economics, experimental economics, behavioural economics, new institutional economics, law and economics etc are now standard stuff.

    Also the maths used in most economics is basic. If you don’t believe me go to the math department at any university and show them the high powered maths being used in econ, you will be laughed out of the room. There are a few areas in econ and finance where serious maths get used, but few economists are involved in these areas and those that are researching in universities.

    The “‘rational’ quest” in economics is a quest for utility, that is, happiness, satisfaction, jolly – as a professor of mine called it. A nice comment I once read that sums up this idea was “Policy wonks in Washington want Americans to die rich. Economists want them to die happy.”

    • Bored 7.1

      Not being an economist I am not qualified to judge whether Marty knows anything about economics. I am more interested the question of how much economists really know about everything else?

    • Bill 7.2

      “show them the high powered maths”

      That’s a reference to the quoted text which runs….”Modern economics has masked radical uncertainty with sophisticated, but ultimately fallible, mathematics.”…innit?

      Sophisticated does not mean high powered. Doesn’t even mean particularly intelligent. Cunning covers it best in my book…smoke and mirrors, dishonesty….also spring to mind.

      Neo-liberal economists = charlatans running sophisticated con job.

      Except, nah. It’s not that sophisticated really when small minded opportunists… who just happen to be intellectually and morally bankrupt… jump on a bandwagon to form a symbiotic relationship with military thugs to force self serving economic programmes at the point of a gun as in Chile and elsewhere.

      Is it?

    • snoozer 7.3

      So, how come economists fail to predict human behaviour?

      Because although you say you’re aware of human behaviourial drivers other than money, you always end up ignoring them in your maths-based theories because they aren’t countable.

      • Paul Walker 7.3.1

        “So, how come economists fail to predict human behaviour?”

        What evidence is there that they do? The experimental economics results, for example, look ok on predicting behaviour.

        “Because although you say you’re aware of human behaviourial drivers other than money, you always end up ignoring them in your maths-based theories because they aren’t countable.”

        The standard approach is to assume people maximise utility, not money. In fact income is part of the constraints of the problem not part of the objective function. Also the standard theory assumes there is a preference relation for which the utility function gives a ordinal ranking not a cardinal one.

        • BLiP 7.3.1.1

          What’s the formula for the Haiti situation – how much does misery cost?

        • snoozer 7.3.1.2

          “The standard approach is to assume people maximise utility, not money”

          yes but you always end up substituting dollar values for utility because you can’t count happiness.

          • Paul Walker 7.3.1.2.1

            No. You don’t maximise money.

            • snoozer 7.3.1.2.1.1

              I didn’t say money, I said dollar values. Obviously, that will mostly involve purchasing goods and services, rather than holding cash.

              It’s sad that you have such a blind adherence to your faith that you won’t even comtemplate its manifest faults.

              • But the assumption is that people (consumers) maximise utility. More correctly the assumption is that consumers maximise a preference relation. Under certain assumptions this preference relation can be represented by a utility function, and thus the maximisation of utility.

              • snoozer

                “the assumption is that people (consumers) maximise utility.”

                yes. In fact, it’s pretty much a tautology that people will always chose the choice that they think will maximise their perceived gains minus perceived losses. That in itself tells us nothing, it must hold true for every decision.

                Now, what we really want to know is how people will act in a given situation and this is what economics tries to tell us but because the non-monetary factors of gain and loss are uncountable and completely subjective neoclassicism just ignores them and counts only the money.

                That means that economics completely fails to predict that (for instance) people would prefer http://www.thestandard.org.nz/getting-emotional-about-economics , ceteris paribus, to have an income of $50,000 when everyone else’s is $25,000 than to have an income of $100,000 when everyone else’s is $250,000.

                Your equations only allow you to predict that the person will always chose to maximise ultility by choosing the higher income option. And I know yo’ll say they don’t but the reality is you will always count the money because you can’t count the value of being relatively wealthy.

              • “yes. In fact, it’s pretty much a tautology that people will always chose the choice that they think will maximise their perceived gains minus perceived losses.”

                Actually the assumption is they maximise utility subject to the constraint that what ever they purchase costs no more than the income they have. Even if “perceived gains minus perceived losses.” was the objective function you still have to take the income constraint into account.

                “That in itself tells us nothing, it must hold true for every decision.”

                No. People could, for example, choose randomly.

                “That means that economics completely fails to predict that (for instance) people would prefer http://www.thestandard.org.nz/getting-emotional-about-economics , ceteris paribus, to have an income of $50,000 when everyone else’s is $25,000 than to have an income of $100,000 when everyone else’s is $250,000.”

                An answer would depend on the utility function (or preference relation).

                “Your equations only allow you to predict that the person will always chose to maximise ultility by choosing the higher income option.”

                But again it depend on the utility function. If people get utility from relative income then you would get the result that people would prefer the 50 to 25 situation.

              • snoozer

                “”That in itself tells us nothing, it must hold true for every decision.’

                No. People could, for example, choose randomly.”

                Paul, please don’t tell me you have that weak an understanding of decision-making.

                Obviously if a person chooses to choose randomly that that must be their perceived utlity-optimising choice. If it weren’t they would have chosen some other way.

                They might not get the result that optimises utility but the question is which decision optimises perceived utility at the time it is made. And that must always be the decision that is made. That is inherent and it gives no information on which choices will actually be made in any situation.

                “If people get utility from relative income then you would get the result that people would prefer the 50 to 25 situation”

                And they obviously do but the point is that economists would never predict that utility because they are obsessed with countable utility. Its easy to make an euqation to explain a decison post facto but the problem is that economics claims its theories are be predictive, like a science.

              • “””That in itself tells us nothing, it must hold true for every decision.’

                No. People could, for example, choose randomly.’

                Paul, please don’t tell me you have that weak an understanding of decision-making.

                Obviously if a person chooses to choose randomly that that must be their perceived utlity-optimising choice. If it weren’t they would have chosen some other way.”

                Only if they are choosing rationally. Why must they? You are assuming rational decision making.

                “They might not get the result that optimises utility but the question is which decision optimises perceived utility at the time it is made. And that must always be the decision that is made. That is inherent and it gives no information on which choices will actually be made in any situation.”

                But if the observed behaviour violate GARP then there would be no utility function that rationalises that behaviour. So we could see choices that don’t come from utility maximisation.

                “If people get utility from relative income then you would get the result that people would prefer the 50 to 25 situation’

                “And they obviously do but the point is that economists would never predict that utility because they are obsessed with countable utility. Its easy to make an euqation to explain a decison post facto but the problem is that economics claims its theories are be predictive, like a science.”

                As I don’t know what your mean by “countable utility” I’m not sure what your point is. But if you mean that utility is cardinal, say, can be measured by real numbers with all the properties of real numbers, then no, that’s wrong. Economists assume ordinal rankings, that is, only order counts.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1.3

          What evidence is there that they do? The experimental economics results, for example, look ok on predicting behaviour.

          And yet not a single neo-liberal economist predicted the present recession. This should give you the idea that the theory you’re working with is a failure. Instead you come up with this BS defending it.

    • NickS 7.4

      Personally I’d prefer it if economists would finally hammer and refine economics into a science, rather than the bastard offspring of finance and humanities it presently appears to be. Well, more akin to ecology, rather than the usual exemplar* of science that is taken as physics.

      *Don’t get me started, bloody philosophers.

      • SHG 7.4.1

        “They call it Social Science to distinguish it from real science”

      • blacksand 7.4.2

        therein lies the rub eh;

        ‘ecology’ is the study of the house (oikos)
        ‘economy’ is knowledge of the house.

        ecologists are interested in looking at how the house works. Economists reckon they’ve got it figured; the work involved in economics seems to be coming up with convoluted explanations for why reality doesn’t seem to fit economics (not the other way around…).

    • With respect, whilst it is true that, in one sense, there is some pluralism in Economics in universities, it is also the case that the Marshallian, Jevonian, or Walrasian tradition (depending on nyour preferences) is dominant in terms of teaching content and publications, I am sure Austrian School adherents will disagree, as will others in the various sub-sets of debate, but I think that the assertion is fair. The interesting thing is how that tradition is being challenged by, amongst others, behavioural and institutional approaches – the dominant tradition seeks to incorporate that challenge, the challenge seeks to reconfigure the dominant tradition. That dominance has also resulted in an increasing focus on positivist, technical analysis within the paradigm, hence the priority given to quantitative approaches. The overalol effect has been, I think, to makie much formal Economics irrelevant to real-world problems, which in part explains why academic economics has such a low profile in NZ.

    • Clarke 7.6

      “Many problems arise from the lack of humility about the Efficient Market Hypothesis. It is, at best, an incomplete and highly conditional model that compares unfavourably to Middle Ages medical and religious superstitions.”

      – Satyajit Das

      So Paul – if this shiny new economic thought that you’re espousing is so wonderful, how come its powers of prediction are so poor?

      • Paul Walker 7.6.1

        Exactly what evidence is there that its predictions are poor?

        As Bill Easterly said, with regard to the EMT, in response to Queen Elizabeth’s question: why economists did not predict the crisis.

        “First, Your Majesty, economists did something even better than predict the crisis. We correctly predicted that we would not be able to predict it. The most important part of the much-maligned Efficient Markets Hypothesis (EMH) is that nobody can systematically beat the stock market. Which implies nobody can predict a market crash, because if you could, then you would obviously beat the market. This applies also to other asset markets like housing prices. If you think it is useless to be told you cannot predict the market, then you should change your Palace investment advisor. This knowledge will protect you from a lot of investment scams like Mr. Madoff’s and will also provoke a serious discussion of how to protect your Royal Wealth against risk in an uncertain world.”

        • Bored 7.6.1.1

          Glad you mentioned Madoff. Living proof that the economists and their purist theories have it wrong. The worlds biggest financial market managed to “lose” $50 billion which nobody seems to be able to find to Madoffs swindle….of course he did all this by himself with nobody noticing it was a huge Ponzi scheme, least of all those rational market players on Wall St themselves. Unless of course they were all in on it too, or running their own parallel rorts. There is a lot of rational self interest on Wall St but it fails to correspond with the theoretical smokescreen.

        • mcflock 7.6.1.2

          In other words “we’re without use, other than that it’s a public service to remind people that we’re without use”. Not in itself a particularly ignoble purpose.

          But it contradicts your previous one:two:
          January 27, 2010 at 1:51 pm ”
          “So, how come economists fail to predict human behaviour?’

          What evidence is there that they do? The experimental economics results, for example, look ok on predicting behaviour.

          Personally, my reaction was “if economists wish to maximise global happiness, then they’re obviously cocking up somewhere, probably in the predictive phase”. But now you’re saying that prediction of the human market behaviour is impossible.

  8. randal 8

    modern econmics is founded on the basis of double entry bookkeeping and compound interest and is solely focussed on grabbing as much of the earths scarce resources as possible with no other considerations whatsoever.
    that means no environmental or social resistance to the desire of individuals to amass goods and services and make others subservient to commercial might.
    simple really.
    oops and kill anyone who resists.
    nearly forgot that bit.

  9. BLiP 9

    Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.

    Kenneth Boulding

    • Quoth the Raven 9.1

      Keynes was one then because he believed in the possibility of a post-scarcity society. In fact he thought it could be brought about in a single generation.

      • BLiP 9.1.1

        While I prefer Keynes to Friedman I confess to being rather unread in economics and usually stay away from these debates (except to wind up the trolls) – however, can I recommend E F Schumacher’s “Small Is Beautiful”.

        It is clear, therefore, that Buddhist economics must be very different from the economics of modern materialism, since the Buddhist sees the essence of civilisation not in a multiplication of wants but in the purification of human character. Character, at the same time, is formed primarily by a man’s work. And work, properly conducted in conditions of human dignity and freedom, blesses those who do it and equally their products.

        . . . sums it all up for me. Until we start stop measuring or worth in dollars and cents, the more the economists will flail about like black spectres around a cauldron.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2

        There’s a difference between eternal growth and the “end of scarcity”. As I’ve said many times, NZ’s productivity far surpasses what is needed to support all of it’s population in reasonable comfort with very little work. Instead we have the vast majority working hard and only going to an early grave, a fairly significant proportion living in poverty and less than 1% living the high-life.

        • Quoth the Raven 9.1.2.1

          I don’t think you get the term “post-scarcity society” – read the wiki page Post scarcity. Economic growth would be an irrelevant concept in a post scarcity society, but it would take an immense amount of economic growth to get anywhere it. In fact economics itself would be irrelevant in a post-scarcity society.

    • A comment made before endogenous growth theory.

  10. prism 10

    Interesting Marty, and I can understand it. Its too easy to step back and say oh I’m not an economist and give up thinking about it. You’re a great help.

  11. rainman 11

    For those who are interested, there is a podcast on this at http://www2.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents/events/2009/20090826t1517z001.aspx

    Actually, there are quite a few LSE podcasts worth listening to, if you have the time.

  12. Keynes was half right. The market doest work to optimise supply and demand.
    But he didnt explain why.

  13. prism 13

    I think that a craze could be started of having an economist doll. When the ordinary person has a problem, it would be interesting to press the button and get some random economic prediction or announcement.

    Seeing economists sound like talking parrots it would be amusing to have a semi-human version. There would be a spongy part somewhere so you could stick pins in your economist doll when taken by feelings of aggravation over the unfortunate tendencies of governments and their economic advisers to spend a lot of time and money creating mayhem and then wanting more tax to pay for it.

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    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    4 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    22 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    5 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    6 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago

  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
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    5 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
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    5 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
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    5 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
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    5 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
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    5 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
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    5 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
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    6 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
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    6 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
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    6 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
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    6 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
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    6 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
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    6 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
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    6 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
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    6 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
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    7 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
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    7 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
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    1 week ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
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    1 week ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
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    1 week ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
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    1 week ago