On the flag – lets not have one

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, March 21st, 2015 - 101 comments
Categories: john key - Tags: ,

Over at The Wireless, Pencilsharp has put up a longish cartoon about this daft public relations stunt by John Key and his minons on changing the flag. As he points out (click on image to go to the Wireless), it appears that the main reason that John Key brought this bit of political stupidity up is to divert attention from relevant issues that we can’t vote on.

PencilSword1

Pencilsharp goes through a lot of the flag issues. Bar one.

My  question is “Why have a damn flag at all?”.

I can understand the logic in history for them. They were battle standards in the days when the battlefield was a standup with little guile and a need for visual communications. But in the types of battle that have been common over the past century, sticking a flag up just helped to provide the enemy with points to aim at – with grenade launchers, artillery, and airstrikes.

Having flags on the battlefield has long been out of favour. Certainly we trained for in my army time nearly 40 years ago and I haven’t seen them in any realistic military training since.

Later they became “national” flags when the politicians of the day wanted people to turn off their brains and become “patriotic”. This appears to be the main use that John Key and his minions have for it, mostly as it relates to sport.

One thing that I am quite proud of in our kiwi culture is our relative lack of a conditioned patriotic knee jerk reflex. We don’t wander around like other cultures saluting some linen each day as children as part of a state operant conditioning process. This is a good thing because it means that as a culture we are far more mature about when and how we get into conflict.

Our relative lack of flag induced stupidity is quite distinctive when you run into other cultures. And it has probably saved us from a lot of aggravation in my lifetime.

You only have to look at the military and diplomatic messes over the last century that the USA with its obsessive flag saluting culture has managed to produce to see the downstream effects of that. But in our history, my great grandparents had such an obsessive flag culture and ran headlong into the machine grinder of the first world war.

The lack of a conditioned flag bearing culture in NZ has a lot to do with our currently evolving culture.

These days about the only place that a flag really has use in our culture is in sport. Based on friends who are addicted to being armchair activists for this cause, raising a flag appears to be used as a signal for some suspension of realistic expectations. Just as going into a darkened room at the cinema is a signal for a similar suspension of disbelief. But any kind of symbol is useful for that. I’d suggest that the haka is a much more satisfactory and relevant one.

PencilSword2

Sure, a flag has symbolic power. That doesn’t mean that we should allow people to exploit that. As far as I am concerned it appears to be a signal for the onset of collective stupidity. Apart from cynical moneyman manipulators like John Key – why would we want that?

I don’t define myself by a flag, and I know bugger all kiwis who do. Given a choice, I’d vote for not having a state flag at all. Lets see how our culture evolves with that. But I sure as hell can’t see why changing our flag at the forced behest of John Key has anything to do with our culture and society.

If we don’t get that choice, then just vote against changing the flag. The old one is kind of boring. Lets hope that its relevance will continue to wither away over time.

101 comments on “On the flag – lets not have one”

  1. RedLogix 1

    It’s that last panel which is the kicker.

    This is why Helen Clark was so prescient in taking political leadership in arts, culture and outdoor recreation. While it’s open to argument about how successful she was – her instinct was that “we need to become a strong, brave new country first” – and she saw literature, art and sport as important enablers in that process.

    Clark was very much a New Zealander, in a way that Key isn’t. He’s something else – he’s an apparatchik of a globalised corporate order. It’ll finish up like his cycleways – we’ll wind up settling for something that doesn’t quite feel right or actually inspire.

    • Anne 1.1

      Clark was very much a New Zealander, in a way that Key isn’t.

      Oh so true RedlLogix.

      She felt it, she lived it, she believed in it.

      Key has neither feeling nor understanding of the Kiwi soul. His almost excessive aping of the quintessential Kiwi spirit – demonstrated by his awful diction – is so lacking in depth its embarrassing. Key is merely using the flag as a political tool and that to me is contemptuous.

      • Clemgeopin 1.1.1

        I agree. It is like a Johnny come lately that has spent most of his life and interests abroad and has come back to tell us how we should decide things according to his wishes. That alone is enough reason to reject the change of flag at this particular time when there is a call by Key but no marked call for it by the people.

  2. Clemgeopin 2

    This flag issue is not only a distraction that Key, Cosby-Textor and his spin machine has thought of to throw in the midst, it is perhaps Key’s ploy to leave his lasting legacy over the country after he goes away at the end of the day to Hawaii, USA or somewhere else after what I consider as his seriously destructive stint here as Prime Minister.

    There has been no public demand for flag change at all at this time. There aught to be media polls every three to five years to see if there is a strong sentiment to change the flag and if there is, then THAT would be the time to decide to hold a referendum, preferably during a general election to reduce costs and also to get wider participation.

    My personal preference is to think about changing the flag if and when the majority of the people decide to move away from the English Royalty and opt to become a Republic. [We could then still remain within the British Commonwealth like Singapore, India, South Africa, Ireland, etc without a Royal being the Head of that Government, but just the head of the commonwealth]

    The 40 million dollars (?) or so being spent on this unnecessary premature referendum at this stage is a complete waste of time and could be spent usefully elsewhere such as finding shelter for the homeless or reviving the great institution of the adult Community Night classes or something else much more useful. It is not too late for parliament to cancel this referendum now and consider it, if necessary, sometime in the future.

    But if the referendum MUST go ahead now, let us have two questions for the First referendum :

    Q1. Are you in favour of changing the flag now? Yes or No?.

    If the answer is no, then cancel the second referendum. Also, the second question/answer (Q2 below )becomes irrelevant.

    Q2. If yes, which one of the following four flags do you prefer to be our new flag?

    The second referendum in that case can go ahead as before, pitting the preferred new flag from Q2 against the existing one.

  3. ianmac 3

    I wouldn’t mind a change of flag but somehow it has become John Key Flag so now, lets not change the flag, certainly not for millions of dollars.

    • fisiani 3.1

      I do not want to change the flag. It represents our history. Only republicans want to change our flag.

  4. Bill 4

    Gotta have a flag to keep the rain and eyes off those coffiny boxy things at the airports and burial grounds and feed the brain a meme, no? “They died for the country” is so much more noble a thought than “they died”.

    And then, you know, the club. Everyone in the club has one 😉

  5. Arthur 5

    If the flag is the answer, what on earth can the problem be?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      It’s a cold night. Wrap yourself in it.

      I forgot my handkerchief.

      In memory of Judith Collins: spilt milk 😈

    • Macro 5.2

      You need to burn something when you want to protest against abusive governments.

  6. swordfish 6

    The weight of polling evidence over the last couple of years suggests the majority of New Zealanders are resolutely opposed to a flag change. And, interestingly enough, against all expectations, the Under 35s are particularly opposed.

    You have to wonder, then, why a Crosby-Textor-managed/focus group-driven fruitcake like Key is so determined to foist this issue onto an unwilling Public. Presumably, he’s thinking about some sort of grand political legacy ?, maybe he thinks he’ll create a wave of nationalist fervour that he’ll be able to astutely ride through to 2017 ?, or maybe – with a commercially-focussed foreign policy – his thinking revolves entirely around “brand image” ? Who knows ?

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      Really?

      I don’t think Key would have launched this, unless he was reasonably sure it would get carried through.

      • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1

        It’s a distraction. When finally after a long drawn out and expensive process Kiwis opt to go with the status quo, he will gracefully and resolutely “abide by the democratic voice of the people.”

  7. Sid Knee 7

    When i saw the title of the article I thought it was going to be a radical article about how the workers of the world have no country, of course I was wrong.

    • lprent 7.1

      Ah one of the knee jerk religious socialists…

      Of course. Ideological fixations are pretty damn hard to argue unless you are a truly obsessed believer. I’m much more of a pragmatist because of my science training. I observe what actually happens rather than some weird faith based bullshit.

      My observations are that workers usually have a country. When they work offshore it is rare that they don’t have a passport. If they don’t have one then they are usually refugees and working way outside the legal protections and are typically not that favoured by other “workers”.

      Most people don’t see themselves as being “workers” anyway. They see themselves as being employed to work and they expect to be paid for it and treated with respect and dignity. They worry about wage packets, hours, pain in the arse bosses, and if they can be bothered changing jobs to get away from the aggravation. But they seldom see themselves as having much of a common cause with “workers” in other countries, other cities, or even in different workspaces.

      Many unionists do tend to have those kinds of delusions, and they can sometimes convince people who work that they have to think that way. However it takes some really stupid shithead government, employers or managers to make them interested in doing it. When the problem goes away, so does the “workers” interest.

      The loss of country wide movements and the laws allowing it to happen wasn’t because of a vast right conspiracy. It was allowed to happen by the “workers”. The reason why was because the government, employers and managers got tired of their authoritarian shitheads aggravating their employees to industrial action and got rid of most of them. Instead we have the HR people trying to bore us to death through “process”.

      When the shithead aggravation diminished to the fringes of employers, so did the “workers” need. Unions had to reinvent themselves from a mass movement to one providing a intermediary service between individuals and their employers. Sometimes that is done with a collective bargaining approach (because who wants to negotiate with every employee?). Sometimes one on one in personal grievances. That process is something that unions here have been successfully getting better at – which is the main reason that unionised workers are increasing.

      Let me know when your “workers” start acting collectively. I’ll have a look at whatever shithead employers are doing something stupid. But they’d have to collectively be doing something incredibly widespread and daft before your mythical stateless workers of the world comes into effect.

      But I can’t see why you have to be a complete woodchuck jerking off some pathetic fantasies from the junior intellectual handbook here…. Flags have been used by damn near every labour movement I know of (hell – look at our banner). They seldom agree on a single one. Perhaps they’d be better off without them as well.

      • Sid Knee 7.1.1

        That is the most childish, unintelligent rant of a reply I have ever read. i really don’t know where to begin to reply to you, so I’m not going to bother, except to say what part of a country do workers have…Oh yeah and you sing the values of collective bargaining and yet dismiss unions aims of being a mass movement…some disconnect there surely. If you’re going to reply to this can you do it without the swearing and insults as it makes you look/sound like an uneducated ass. Peace bro

        • lprent 7.1.1.1

          That is the most childish, unintelligent rant of a reply I have ever read.

          That was the idea. I was reflecting what you looked like to me – a ignorant fool having a psuedo-intellectual wank on my post. You got treated accordingly with derision.

          After all you dropped on to my post and acted like an inane boofhead pushing an idea that was way way off the map of what the post was about. It could have been a diversion or what you believed. In the latter case, you were obviously just too lazy to even bother explain your precepts; or possibly you are too stupid to understand them yourself. So I ‘interpreted’ your missing ideas by painting them out as stupid in reality and how much of a dick you looked.

          Basically I was calling you a idiotic dickhead of the internet in a long form. Your reply rather confirms that eh?

          Don’t like it? Either develop some manners or stroke your ego elsewhere. If you want to raise your own topic, then do it in OpenMike, just don’t try diversions on my post. I take a great deal of perverse pleasure in demonstrating to posturing fools about how they look like to others.

  8. Wayne 8

    I know that the cynics of the Left, well in evidence here, think everything that John key does is naked political calculation.

    You are wrong. This is something John Key strongly believes in. I know that many in National Party would prefer that the referendum was not happening. That is because they are conservatives.

    But due to his popularity, he has been able to get his way on this issue.

    So forget the politics. Decide this issue on whether you want to change the flag or not.

    As you can see from Australia’s republic referendum from 15 years ago, you only get a chance on something like this once in a generation.

    • Anne 8.1

      This is something John Key strongly believes in.

      You bet he does! He sees it as his lasting legacy (the only one) to force a new flag on NZers who have shown by majority polling numbers they don’t want it.

      “You lot are gonna have it whether you like it or not, so’s people we’re gonna have a referendum which excludes the option of voting NOT to have a new flag… so there.”

      To suggest he’s doing it for altruistic reasons is risible. He’s doing it to distract attention from the governments abysmal performance and/or arrogant behaviour in so many areas. Chickens are slowly coming home to roost Wayne whether you like it or not.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1

        Hey, look on the bright side: according to Dr. Mapp, John Key believes in something, and it won’t reduce wages nor peep in our windows.

      • rawshark-yeshe 8.1.2

        +100% ( @anne, but also OAB 😀

        and because it’s Saturday after all, see what the brilliant Eddie Izzard has to say about having a flag …

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 8.2

      Yeah right.

    • The Murphey 8.3

      You are wrong. This is something John Key strongly believes in.

      Q. Why does he believe strongly in changing the flag ?

      • Lanthanide 8.3.1

        He wants an indisputable ‘positive’ act of office that can go down as his historical legacy. The John Key Memorial Cycleway was his first stab, but that sort of unravelled and he’s now more sure of his capacity to effect change.

      • Colonial Rawshark 8.3.2

        Maybe we can replace the Union Jack with the Stars and Stripes.

      • Wayne 8.3.3

        The Murphey,

        I presume this is a serious question, unlike many of the comments that are so filled with bile, that it will be impossible for such commenters to actually deal with the issue. I presume that some of the commenters will oppose change simply because John Key is PM. But just remember this is a once in a generation opportunity.

        In any event, back to the question.

        John Key sees himself as conservative modernizer (I appreciate the contradiction in the phrase), but clearly this is selective as bringing back knighthoods shows.

        So with respect to the flag he does not think that the current flag represents our country as it is now. It is too tied to the past, specifically the inclusion of the Union Jack.

        He has noted the success of the Canadian flag. Interestingly this used to be part of the flag debate, but now is rarely raised as an example of successful change.

        He wants the main symbol on the flag to distinctively represent New Zealand. No prizes for guessing what that is. Look at his suit lapel. Incidentally I started wearing the silver fern in 2000, after Ross Robertson gave me some lapel pins produced by NZTE. More recently I have used the Rifle Brigade fern.

        He does see the flag as something of a more popular expression of nationhood than say the NZ Constitution Act passed in 1986 as a Geoffrey Palmer initiative.

        And Iprent on your crusade for no flag, well look at how many people fly the flag these days – way more than in the past.

        And no matter what John Key’s views, it will be New Zealanders who decide.

        • felix 8.3.3.1

          That’s the farce of it though Wayne. We all know John Key wants the flag to be a white fern on a black flag. He said so.

          He went on tv and drew a picture of it, and said this is what I think the flag should be.

          He signed it. On tv. That’s the flag he wants, the one the all blacks wear.

          So why the massive farce? Just put his flag up against the old one and we’ll all decide.

          • Colonial Rawshark 8.3.3.1.1

            White fern on black flag, with a little TM symbol on it: the NZ flag as another corporate logo.

          • Wayne 8.3.3.1.2

            Felix,

            Assuming you want a serious answer.

            There is a panel (with a lot of public input) who will decide on four options that will be put in the first referendum (late this year). I think the Kyle Lockwood option will be the most popular, but we will see. Then there is the runoff against the current flag in the second referendum (sometime in 2016).

            I am sure I have read that John Key has given up on his preferred design.

            And we get to decide, not John Key.

            • felix 8.3.3.1.2.1

              Wayne, assuming you give a shit, see my comment below at 15.

              The panel and the process ARE the problem. The public is not choosing a flag any more than the public chooses the winner on NZ Idol.

              ps my observation is borne out by your presumption that you already know what one of the options will be.

              • Wayne

                Felix,

                I don’t know what the Panel will decide. I am just assuming the Kyle Lockwood flag will be one of the four choices, because it its a pretty good choice.

                I also think that Panel is a pretty balanced group. I know John Burrows as Chair will run an inclusive process where we get to have our say in the four choices.

                As you can probably tell from the number of comments I have made on this subject, I think we should change.

                I don’t see it as an issue of party partisan politics, though obviously many here do and will vote on that basis alone.

                As a rule I have been making fewer comments on this site, since I discern much less interest among the contributors and commenters in having a debate on issues, but more on simply expressing a view. In that sense The Standard has become much more of a campaigning site.

                • felix

                  I haven’t expressed a “partisan view” on the flag, Wayne, unless by “partisan” you mean “not immediately accepting without question the view of The Party”.

                  I still don’t think you’re addressing any of the concerns I’ve expressed. It’s not about whether you like the people on the panel or whether you think they’ll pick good flags. It’s that there IS a panel, and they are picking flags.

                  There is no reason anyone on that panel should be selecting flag designs for the rest of us to choose between. It’s anti-democratic and it’s turning a serious constitutional matter into an absurd reality tv type spectacle.

                  This is a conversation for the whole country to have, not to be kneecapped by a bunch of marketing people and athletes as if their views are more important than anyone else’s.

            • Anne 8.3.3.1.2.2

              Wayne Mapp.

              Get this into your head.

              We… don’t… want… a… new… flag!

              NZers have already made their “option” clear. We want to keep the one we’ve got!

              It’s our flag. Not yours. Or John Key’s. You are but two individuals whose personal view has no more standing than mine or any other NZer.

              Maybe down the track, at a suitable time, we might change our minds but for now John Key… stop wasting money desperately needed money for social needs and abandon this pathetic folly.

              • Wayne

                Anne,

                Well, I guess that is the way you will vote. Complaining about the process won’t stop the referendum. It was a campaign promise to have a flag referendum. Since National won the election, the campaign commitment is being fulfilled.

                You had your chance to stop the referendum by winning the election. But you didn’t.

                So there.

                • Anne

                  Bollocks. Dirty [cynical] Politics and a PM who told a plethora of lies won the election for you – by a whisker.

                • Clemgeopin

                  “Complaining about the process won’t stop the referendum. It was a campaign promise to have a flag referendum”

                  Hopefully Key’s US directed dodgy government will fall by the end of this year. Surely there are a couple of Nat MPs with at least half the guts, integrity and intelligence of someone like Marilyn Waring, Jim Anderton or Winston Peters. Remember them and the courage of their conviction they showed?

              • Anne

                I know what “slippery” Key & co. are counting on. Present the peasants with some brightly coloured and fancy pictures ( or pichas as Key calls them) and we will become engrossed in the children’s game of:

                “which one do you think is the best?”

                and the peasants (us) will forget about the current flag and vote for a new flag without realising what we’ve done until its too late.

                Manipulative and “cynical” politics at its worst – designed to give the most manipulative and cynical NZ PM ever, an historical legacy he otherwise would never have!

        • Anne 8.3.3.2

          …unlike many of the comments that are so filled with bile, that it will be impossible for such commenters to actually deal with the issue.

          Typical planet National: when they can’t argue their way out of ‘people telling the truth’, they call it bile!

          • dv 8.3.3.2.1

            Bile is a digestive juice that aids in the digestion of fat.

            So maybe the bile is actually helping the the digestion of the spin (fat)

        • DoublePlusGood 8.3.3.3

          The knighthoods plus the flag referendum are just further symptoms of his limp populism. He doesn’t have any desire to improve New Zealand, just his image.

          And the referendum only pretends to let New Zealanders decide – we can see that from the proposed way the referenda will be phrased. It’s in vein as that abysmally worded referendum on smacking – make a referendum designed to get a specific response.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.4

      think everything that John key does is naked political calculation.

      That would be because everything that John Key and National do are naked political calculation and power grabbing.

    • lprent 8.5

      John Key certainly has pushed it. The problem is that I don’t think that many are particularly interested in a frigging flag.

      As I said. My preferred option would be to not have a flag.

      That would be a unique point of difference for NZ, and in my view would accurately reflect our populations interest in the topic.

      “No flag” should be in the options offered. I don’t think that we’d be able to beat out the “keep the current rag” vote. But I’d bet that it’d probably knock out most of the alternatives.

      And as i can’t see the point in having a flag, if not given that alternative – then I’d vote for the current one is that is possible.

    • miravox 8.6

      The quest to change the flag has nothing to do with the concept of country, imo. He doesn’t strongly believe in it for anything other than:
      1. It doesn’t advertise the brand, New Zealand, as he would like
      2. He got caught sitting in front of an Australian flag because he was too much of a numpty to recognise it wasn’t a New Zealand flag.

    • felix 8.7

      “This is something John Key strongly believes in.”

      So what? It’s none of John Key’s fucking business what our flag looks like.

      Let him fuck off back to the U.S. or the U.K. or wherever the fuck he came from and meddle with their fucking flags.

    • Northshoreguynz 8.8

      Yes we need a new flag. No we don’t need to waste money on a referendum. If Key is so hot on a new one, just do a Lester Pearson and introduce one.

  9. RedBaronCV 9

    So Wayne, John key spends most of his adult life overseas, comes back here and believes strongly that he needs to change the flag.

    Like this is one of the most important things he can do for the country – give me a break.

    As to his popularity means he can gets his way on this – obviously you and John both think that “he has been able to get his way” is the number one important thing – poor little diddums – everyone has to agree with him.
    Note too how he packs a tanty when he doesn’t get his own way , you are raising a spoilt child there Wayne –

    And what does this say about you, that you would rather give him his own way than hear your fellow citizens saying nay

    Anyway , there is a chance to tell him he’s a tosser, submissions are now open on:
    New Zealand Flag Referendums Bill
    submissions close 23/04/15

  10. Lanthanide 10

    I haven’t really read the post because in general I think it’s a dumb idea.

    But this thought occurred to me – the RSA and others who are all het up about the prospect of “the flag we fought for” being changed, I think would be more outraged at having no flag at all.

    Plus it would be pretty impractical to be a country without a flag, for lots of reasons.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Plus it would be pretty impractical to be a country without a flag, for lots of reasons.

      Well then, you’ll have no problem listing them for us.

      • Lanthanide 10.1.1

        * What would children draw in school if we didn’t have a flag?
        * What would we fly at half mast when someone important dies?
        * We’d have to give up all of our ships, because no one could “fly the New Zealand flag” any more since we wouldn’t have one
        * What would we hang on the flagpole at the UN?
        * What would our athletes carry into the olympic opening and closing ceremonies?
        * What short-hand icon would TV shows and other use for representing NZ?

        Basically any place that our flag, or any flag, is used, we’d either have to stop doing, or come up with some replacement. If there was any sort of consistency in the replacements, then it’d become the defacto flag; if there was no consistency in the replacements, then it’d be very confusing and no one would know what NZ was.

        So, stupid.

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1

          What would children draw in school if we didn’t have a flag?

          Boats, trees, flowers, the teacher, airplanes…

          What would we fly at half mast when someone important dies?

          This is a silly tradition that needs to be stopped. There’s no such thing as important people.

          We’d have to give up all of our ships, because no one could “fly the New Zealand flag” any more since we wouldn’t have one

          WTF?

          What would we hang on the flagpole at the UN?

          I’d assume nothing as we wouldn’t have a flag.

          What would our athletes carry into the olympic opening and closing ceremonies?

          Our athletes have been readily identifiable by the ‘allblack’ raiment that they wear for well over a century now.

          What short-hand icon would TV shows and other use for representing NZ?

          How about ‘NZ’?

          then it’d be very confusing and no one would know what NZ was.

          I’m reasonably certain that flags tells people nothing about the people that they represent.

          • GregJ 10.1.1.1.1

            We’d have to give up all of our ships, because no one could “fly the New Zealand flag” any more since we wouldn’t have one

            WTF?

            Perhaps referring to International Maritime Law and flag states etc.

          • TheContrarian 10.1.1.1.2

            “There’s no such thing as important people.”

            Wow.

            • Lanthanide 10.1.1.1.2.1

              I like that Draco took my comment seriously.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Oh, so now you’re trying to hide behind the idea that it was all a joke on your part?

                • Lanthanide

                  Several of my examples were obviously stupid, but you replied to all of them as if they were serious.

                  My final point still stands however – the rest of the world has flags, and many systems have been set up to expect a flag. If we don’t have an official flag, we’ll simply end up with a de-facto flag instead, whether we like it or not.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    we’ll simply end up with a National Party flag instead, whether we like it or not.

                    FIFY.

  11. JanMeyer 11

    It’s disappointing that progressives and lefties represented on this (excellent) site can’t see past their visceral contempt for Key and embrace a democratic process to change our flag. Pause for a minute and reflect on what the flag says about us; there’s a union jack top left guys! Remember the empire? It should be conservatives resisting a change to the flag not progressives! (You can continue despising John Key while doing so).

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      It’s disappointing that progressives and lefties represented on this (excellent) site can’t see past their visceral contempt for Key and embrace a democratic process to change our flag.

      We’d love to but Key’s psychopathic politicking gets in the way.

      Pause for a minute and reflect on what the flag says about us; there’s a union jack top left guys! Remember the empire?

      Think of what you just said and then consider what actually needs to happen before changing the flag.

    • Clemgeopin 11.2

      Ok, but why the hell can’t an honest referendum FIRST ask the honest democratic question of the people if they do WANT to bloody ‘change the flag or not’ to begin with? You answer me that first, before anything else.

    • DoublePlusGood 11.3

      The general problem is that making a new flag is something that should be done properly by a considered democratic process, and it is already clear from the way all of this has been set up so far that that will not occur here.
      We also need to become a republic and ditch the queen as a head of state first.

  12. Rob 12

    First shouldn’t we establish if we as a country want to change the flag then we should ask the flag if it wants to change before John Key goes back to wherever it is he considers his home.
    By the way he can take his $50m with him
    Why is it still $50m shouldn’t it be a lot more after 10 years?? Just asking

    • GregJ 12.1

      Or perhaps we could do it in this order (As per lprent’s idea):

      1. Do we want to have a National Flag?

      followed by:

      2. Do we want to change the existing one?

      followed by:

      3. What do we want to change it to?

  13. Vaughan Little 13

    it’s easy to hold patriotism and its works in contempt from the vantage point of new zild, but a lot of peoples have been thru a lot of shit and having a flagpole to rally around makes them feel that much better about themselves and their place in the world. I’m for keeping the union jack, because it serves as a reminder of the founding sin of our country: the massive landgrab that was colonization. our two national days are both pretty sober commemorations of some grim historical events, and the flag, as I read it, is in keeping with that sensibility.

    • Colonial Rawshark 13.1

      Yep – the neoliberal strategy is to make people rootless, to distort or eliminate their history, to break all connections with the past which might provide any kind of grounding or reminder of when things were different.

    • Anne 13.2

      Our two national days are both pretty sober commemorations of some grim historical events, and the flag, as I read it, is in keeping with that sensibility.

      Nicely put in a nutshell Vaughan Little. Thanks.

      It’s why the RSA are so against the idea and for once I agree with them.

      edit: agree wholeheartedly CR.

  14. Our relative lack of flag induced stupidity is quite distinctive when you run into other cultures.

    It sure is. When I worked on a US Army base, if you were outside at 5pm when the flag was lowered and the bugle sounded, you had to stand to attention. A couple of American colleagues hardly more than half my age came in furious because Aussie soldiers at the pool hadn’t got up and stood to attention when the bugle sounded. They wished you could get away with fighting those guys without losing your job. They were horrified when I told them I wouldn’t stand to attention for my own country’s flag, let alone someone else’s, nor sing the national anthem. To them it indicated NZers have a shameful lack of pride in their country, to me it indicated NZers have a refreshing lack of willingness to pretend bullshit is true.

    I think we need some kind of flag, to hang outside embassies and consulates and otherwise separate official government shindigs from backyard barbecues, but a cloth with the official crest on it would do for that. Some shit that’s meant to ‘symbolise’ our country can fuck right off.

  15. felix 15

    What I’ve never liked about those Simon Cowell “Idol” shows is the dishonesty around the idea that the public is choosing the winner.

    Technically we are, but first the judges and producers do the filtering and vetting, and make sure that by the time we vote there is no-one left in the running that they wouldn’t be fine with as the winner.

    They do the important bit, picking a bunch of acceptable winners, then we make the meaningless choice of which one.

    That’s the process John Key has set up. It’s “Flag Idol”.

    Wayne, above, says we should forget the politics and just join in, but the whole thing IS politics. And taking part in it, playing John Key’s little game, submitting to this farce as if it had any value whatsoever is a political act in itself.

    • lprent 15.1

      Indeed. It is a distortion of a democratic idea.

      However like the proportional representation debate where similar distortion of process was intended, I expect the voters to ignore directions and act like their usual grumpy selves when asked to vote (and pay for it) without need.

      I rather expect that John Key has made sure that we wind up with the same old flag. He ran the whole thing way too fast. If he’d wanted a real debate on it, then he’d have organised it through the next couple of elections.

  16. Wayne 16

    Iprent

    Whether you like or not it, is the process we have. And this is realistically the only choice you will get in the next 25 years.

    As I noted, when the Aussies did not choose a republic in 2000, no-one has seriously broached the subject since. And in my view will not do so for at least another decade.

    So play all the political games you want, but this may the only time you get to decide on this issue in your lifetime.

    • felix 16.1

      “Whether you like or not it, is the process we have.”

      Hear that everyone? That’s what the National Party think of your views. That’s what they think of democracy.

      Take it or leave it.

      Like it or lump it.

      My way or the highway.

    • freedom 16.2

      “So play all the political games you want, but this may [be] the only time you get to decide on this issue in your lifetime..”
      Where was your belligerence when our assets were on the block Wayne?

      L’est we forget what this action clearly reveals. The PM views a referendum on our identity as binding, yet that same process was merely a disposable opinion when deciding what that identity owns.

    • lprent 16.3

      It isn’t a political game. If Labour or the Greens had put this particular rort up then I’d be tearing their brains out through their arse as well. FFS: at least $26 million in a process designed to waste taxpayer money (an it isn’t going to surprise me if it closer to double that)….

      It is a question about why John Key is wasting my taxes on a non-functional, no return, vanity project. As a country we gain nothing out of changing the flag in any economic value. And it is a complete non-issue for almost all kiwis for the reasons I outlined in my post.

      If he’d wanted to raise this, then the cost-effective approach would have been to put a referendum question in with the 2014 or 2017 election with a follow up in the following election. It’d have had a much higher voter participation and the question should have been “Should we change our flag?”. The costs for that would have been about twentieth of this sham, and the turnout would have been at least double.

      A second referendum in the following election only if the answer is yes.

      Instead this process wastes all of the money up front with selecting some meaningless symbols, massive advertising, and a two separate referendums and at least $26 million for answer. Which I suspect is likely to be “no we don’t care about the flag”.

      Wasters in government on the taxpayers purse need to be educated that it isn’t their damn money. They don’t get to waste it on whimsy

      • Clemgeopin 16.3.1

        Well said. It is NOT too late for Key to cancel this unnecessary and poorly thought out manipulating referendum, and prevent the huge unwanted waste of time and money on this issue.

        But if this stupid flag change referendum goes ahead anyway, this is what I am planning to do:

        [1] For the 1st referendum, either
        (a) not bother taking part in it or (b) Choose the ugliest of the options.

        [2] For the 2nd referendum, vote to keep the present flag.

        How is that for a strategy?

        • lprent 16.3.1.1

          Pretty much my intention as well. Don’t bother voting in the first one. If, as I suspect, there is a low turnout then we will get the most conservative and ugly flag anyway. Think about who always vote.

          Campaign heavily against the government’s new “flag of waste” in the second.

          Given that we don’t get a choice about having a flag at all, Then I can’t see any point in incurring the costs of changing a meaningless symbol.

      • Anne 16.3.2

        Instead this process wastes all of the money up front with selecting some meaningless symbols, massive advertising, and a two separate referendums and at least $26 million for answer. Which I suspect is likely to be “no we don’t care about the flag”.

        And don’t forget the $600 plus a day payment each to a bunch of people whose qualifications for getting to select the so-called best designs for us little people to choose from are at best questionable. This is nothing but a self serving exercise which will be double the estimated cost of $26 million. It will be $50 million plus… and think how many new social houses could be built for $50 million? Think how many kids in poverty could be fed? Think how many decent jobs could be created?

        • Wayne 16.3.2.1

          As I said most of the commenters on this site are going to use the referenda to express their view of John Key.

          You of course can do that, but what comes round goes round. Don’t be surprised that if a large number of the Left take this approach then that is exactly what many on the Right will do if the Left get the opportunity to have referenda on issues like this.

          You may recall that it was that style of politics that doomed Winston Peter’s referenda on super. So the current system is now virtually impossible to change.

          And to some extent that is what happened in Australia on the republic referenda. Many on the left voted against the referenda simply because John Howard proposed it. The effect was that it killed the issue for a generation.

          In reality you don’t get a second chance, at least not for a long period of time.

          Mind you Scotland may get a second chance before 25 years has passed. However, I imagine that if the SNP gets the chance to put a Labour govt in office, Labour will be reluctant to allow a referendum in the next 5 years. They would call the SNP bluff and effectively say what alternative do you have; support a Tory govt who also will not allow a second referendum?

          So I repeat my point, play partisan politics with the flag referendum if you like, but be aware there will be consequences down the track, as well as deferring the flag issue for a generation.

          • Lanthanide 16.3.2.1.1

            Personally I’m in favour of changing the flag, and I think Kyle Lockwoods will win out (at least the 1st phase, if not ultimately changing the flag).

            This comment of yours, however: “as well as deferring the flag issue for a generation.”

            I don’t believe there is a “flag issue”. We do, however, have a poverty issue, an indebtedness issue, an inequality issue, and many other issues. How about we focus on them instead?

          • felix 16.3.2.1.2

            Wayne, you are playing partisan politics over this. So is John Key.

            You are also very close to making threats.

            When I say I’m not interested in playing your nasty, ugly, stupid flag games, that’s the opposite of playing partisan politics.

          • Anne 16.3.2.1.3

            Who said I, or anyone else here, is playing partisan politics with the flag referendum. Indeed I take strong offence to the accusation.

            My reason for wanting to retain the current flag can best be summed up by Vaughan Little @ 13, and for ease I will repeat his comment here:

            It’s easy to hold patriotism and its works in contempt from the vantage point of new zild, but a lot of peoples have been thru a lot of shit and having a flagpole to rally around makes them feel that much better about themselves and their place in the world. I’m for keeping the union jack, because it serves as a reminder of the founding sin of our country: the massive landgrab that was colonization. Our two national days are both pretty sober commemorations of some grim historical events, and the flag, as I read it, is in keeping with that sensibility.

            The current flag means too much to too many people across the political spectrum for the country to even be contemplating a change at this time. Perhaps in the not too distant future the “sensibility” Vaughan talks about will have changed. But until that happens, I have too much respect for those who struggled and fought in the past to keep us safe… what my late parents went through in England during WW1 as children, and then as newly marrieds during the 1930s depression followed by WW2 of course. By that time they were living in NZ but my father still saw plenty of action in the Pacific and some of it was not pretty.

            If Key had any ‘sensibility’ concerning our immediate past (I refer to the last 100 years) he would know it is the wrong time. Unlike Helen Clark, he does not have any real feeling for our history. If he did, he would not be going ahead with the referendum.

            And btw, I’m not much of a flag person. I regard the NZ flag-pole flying on residential properties as somewhat jingoistic and attention seeking. Not my cup of English Breakfast…

            • Wayne 16.3.2.1.3.1

              Anne,

              Well, these are proper reasons not to change the flag, as opposed to, “I hate John Key.”

              And now that the referendum is going to happen, these views have been expressed much more frequently. They were not so common a few years ago, but I suspect WW100 has focussed peoples views.

              Many of us have ancestors who fought in both WW1 and WW2, but to my mind that should not be conclusive. After all they were not fighting for the flag, although they were fighting under the flag.

              For me the success of the Canadian flag shows that we can have a flag that says “New Zealand” in a way the current ones does not.

              • Clemgeopin

                “For me the success of the Canadian flag shows that we can have a flag that says “New Zealand” in a way the current ones does not”

                Talking about Canada, are you aware that there were extensive favourable polls BEFORE political parties got seriously involved in changing their flags?
                ————
                NOTE THIS:

                ‘In 1958, an extensive poll was taken of the attitudes that adult Canadians held toward the flag. Of those who expressed opinions, over 80% wanted a national flag entirely different from that of any other nation, and 60% wanted their flag to bear the maple leaf.’
                ————

                Where have there been ANY recent polls showing any overwhelming desire to change our flag? It has just been a Key’s pure pet horse. That is NOT the way to go about changing our flag.

                Can the move now. Have a series of ordinary public polls conducted by the usual polling companies, TV3, TVNZ-Colmar, Roy Morgan, Herald, etc every 3 years or so. When we discern a strong desire from the PEOPLE to want to change, THEN consider the referendum, try and get near consensus from political parties in a non partisan way and then have a parliamentary vote.

                It took over 7 years in Canada from the time of the extensive poll in 1958 to the time the Maple leaf was chosen in1965 after extensive debate and near consensus all round.

                The way Key and this government is going about such an important issue is arrogant, counter productive, wrong and pathetic.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Canadian_Flag_Debate

          • lprent 16.3.2.1.4

            Wayne – what is the point in changing the flag?

            I haven’t seen you utter a single word on that through this post. For that matter John hasn’t either. In fact I can’t recall anyone uttering one substantive statement beyond the equivalent of “its a cool idea, and here is my proposed flag…”

            To me it looks like an undertaking with no apparent benefits apart from stroking a few egos. But it does carry some large costs.

            • Wayne 16.3.2.1.4.1

              Iprent,

              Well, at least you are actually prepared to debate the actual issue. Maybe when you actually get the ballot papers (I presume this will be a postal referendum) you will vote on whether to change the flag or not, as opposed to your views on John Key.

              I have effectively set out my views in 8.3.3. When in government I had several discussions on flags with John Key.

              Now I appreciate the flag is hardly the most important issue in the world, but it seems to be one that stirs up a bit of passion. And I think a referendum process is the right way to deal with it, since it is something people can readily express their view through a referenda process.

              For those who claim that governments ignore referenda, this is a government referendum and is therefore binding, unlike citizens initiated referenda which are not. I think you will find that both Labour and National governments have not taken too much notice of CIR.

              The flag issue is different to much more complicated constitutional issues like reforming and modernizing the New Zealand Constitution Act, 1986. Incidentally I have written a paper on this, including a draft Bill, which has been published in the 2014 Auckland University Law Review.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                it seems to be one that stirs up a bit of passion.

                Yeah, you sound really convinced 🙄

                I’m more-or-less in agreement with Pencilsword, although I also find the bog-standard anarchist position persuasive: it’s a bad way to carry bandages and snot-wipes.

                Patriotism and scoundrels being what they are, whatever it is we’re stuck with it. Which is why I think Pencilsword is right.

              • Anne

                Well, at least you are actually prepared to debate the actual issue.

                Plenty of people here have tried to debate the actual issue which, for your edification, happens to include John Key and what appears to be driving him to manipulate this flag change on to a less than enthusiastic public.

                That it is an ego-driven campaign is obvious, and therefore we are well within our rights to pass comment on that aspect of the debate.

                I sense a hint of superiority in your choice of words as if we, the ordinary folk, don’t count for much when it comes to debating ‘consitutional’ issues. Producing papers for a University is not the be all and end all of intelligent discussion.

              • freedom

                You raise your tired defence of anti-democratic process like you are lifting a valiant shield, dragged out when selective democracy is required. You say “this is a government referendum and is therefore binding, unlike citizens initiated referenda which are not.” Do you even see how fundamentally offensive such a phrasing is to the ideas of a participatory democracy?

                “Now I appreciate the flag is hardly the most important issue in the world, but it seems to be one that stirs up a bit of passion.” A passion you might have the decency to admit is predominately focused on how the choice is being made, not on the why (or which). The how!

                How can you fail to see the “once in a generation” debate you refer to so often has not been generated from any organic debate amongst people, but from John Key’s fixation upon legacy.

                • Wayne

                  Freedom,

                  Really, I don’t get your beef.

                  A campaign promise to have a referendum

                  A referendum conducted in two parts

                  A panel with wide public consolation to pick the final four.

                  Which part of participatory democracy do you not understand?

                  And there is nothing offensive in saying government referenda are binding. That has been the case since they were first held on issues as diverse as drinking age, voting age, MMP, term of parliament, etc.

                  • freedom

                    None of what you point out in that list is of major concern, except not having a yes/no vote in the first referendum (and there is still not a clear picture of whether any public submissions of flag ideas will even make it in front of the selection panel).

                    My beef, and that of many others, is very simple to understand.
                    A citizen initiated referendum on Asset Sales was not binding, because a Government simply decided it wouldn’t be. Just because it has already happened does not mean people no longer care about it. Citizen initiated referendum are debates stemming from the public and as such are arguably more important to a country’s democracy than any referendum engaged by a Government.

                    – Then there is the elephant in the room, that of where the flag debate originated? You know you cannot point to a public demand for change, so you apparently choose to ignore that aspect of the situation.

              • Clemgeopin

                Wayne, what IS the need to change the flag NOW when there were NO PUBLIC POLLS showing there is a strong tsunami of desire to change the flag? Don’t you think that is what should have taken place first? Being an important long term issue, I think unless there is at least about 2/3rd (or even 3/4 th of public opinion in favour of changing the flag, the question of referendum should not even arise. Also, the views of the majority of the major parties, National, Labour, Greens and NZF should also have a bearing before going for the referendum. I think it will happen sometime in the future, but just now it is an utter waste of money, time, effort and resources. Tell your mate Key to can this nonsense immediately now.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 16.3.2.1.5

            Jeez Wayne, haven’t you figured out yet that it’s possible (indeed almost ubiquitous) to be implacably opposed to someone’s ideas and be utterly indifferent to them otherwise? Poison is toxic.* That’s all.

            Or are you just projecting?

            * that’s an analogy, Dr. Mapp.

    • DoublePlusGood 16.4

      Well, you’re making an awful lot of assumptions about New Zealand will be up to in the next 25 years.
      Of course, I can see that if there were 25 more years of National government, nothing would actually get done of any relevance, except selling everything and generally wrecking the place. Left wing governments of course aren’t so bland and uninspiring.

      Also, it is important to note that Australia is culturally very different to New Zealand – they’re tremendously racist and homophobic for instance. There’s a strong vein of conservatism in Australia that leads them to do all sorts of stupid things, like vote down a referendum on becoming a republic on the basis of misplaced parochialism.

  17. Ecosse_Maidy 17

    We need to have something in our hand to wave when John Key leaves office or we will be too tempted to raise and give the two fingered salute….

    I think that this is just a vanity of a Prime Minister that wishes to leave some lasting monument to himself and as such ,when it comes to voting, I will be voting to keep the one we have.

    Why is it when you have referendum in this country it is for some weak kneed excuse for a flag change?
    There are so many other things of far more importance that we never get to have a say on.

  18. Ad 18

    Sport. Military. Diplomatic exchange. Passports and citizenship.

    Flags are shorthand for ‘being-together-as-a-people’.

    We don’t have enough reasons these days to be pulled together for the sake of the nation.

    But those four areas are powerful instances of appropriate nationalist identification.

    When anyone raises a flag, they are assenting to our common good with appropriate nationalist identification.

    We have a weak state, but we are still a proud people.
    A new flag gives us a chance to say that.

  19. Ecosse_Maidy 19

    Just a passing observation and it could be the heat,,,,,yet the cartoon above reminds me of something…..Herges Nazi Adventures of Tin Tin…..A Young Captain Haddock,,,,Son Of Tin Tin,,,so all I say, where the hell is Snowy?…I feel short changed

  20. Instauration 20

    Thank you Lynn for posting a position that I have advocated for a couple of years.
    The lamesayers say “well we would just look silly at the Olympics opening event.”
    I say – why would we value such engagement ?
    A flag is a brand, a mark – essentially a gang patch.
    It is as much about “who we aren’t” as “who we are”
    As a symbol of inclusion – it defines those who are excluded.
    It is about “we are different than you – and we can beat you. We are better then you” !
    It is about laziness – allows those who value the “flag” to bask in the glory of others who achieve under the brand, when it has nothing to do with them.

  21. Instauration 21

    I had no influence or control over the outcome of any CWC instance.
    “Nothing to do with me” – or most likely you !

  22. vto 22

    Globalisation

    Free markets (for money at least)

    Mass surveillance

    US corporate power in the TPPA

    Why the fuck a flag? Eh? No such thing as single entity states anymore – it is all globalised and joined together.

    Just take up the American flag and be done with it

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    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    4 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    5 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    5 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
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    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago