Open mike 02/05/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 2nd, 2021 - 96 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

96 comments on “Open mike 02/05/2021 ”

  1. Andre 1

    Here's a very good piece on health risks and how to interpret them, starting with the pause on the J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines due to the very very small but probably real slightly elevated risk of a of a rare type of blood clot after vaccination than the general background incidence of that very rare blood clot.

    For AstraZeneca's vaccine, we know that of the 54 million doses administered in the EU and UK by early April, 223 cases of CVST blood clots were reported — an incidence of roughly 4 events per million doses. With background incidence of CVST ranging from 5-15 cases per million people per year, it is tempting to infer there is no significant elevation due to the vaccine. But emergent cases of post-vaccination CVST seem to coincide with low platelet count, an unusual combination potentially hinting at a deeper association.

    Yet making a causal connection is a fraught affair. Both typical CVST and the vaccine-associated CVST are so vanishingly rare that even a handful of recorded events can skew interpretations, rendering estimates of their true incidence intrinsically uncertain. Incidence itself varies with age, sex, and other risk factors – the conceptive pill, for instance, is associated with a 7-fold increase in CVST risk for women aged 15-50. Available data is transient and subject to change: originally it was thought this condition might only affect females, a position which has evolved with growing evidence. Complicating things further, COVID-19 itself is associated with both increased risk of CVST and reduced platelet count. This in effect blurs the picture, making it less clear whether associations might be due to the vaccine or the pandemic itself.

    https://www.salon.com/2021/05/01/how-the-public-misunderstands-vaccine-side-effect-statistics/

    It then goes on to touch on how other risks are misinterpreted and misused by misinformation artists, such as IARC classifications of potential cancer risks which specifically does not look at the magnitude of an increased risk but only at the strength of evidence for there actually being an increased risk.

    The whole thing is really worth the read, it does a good job of clarifying some complex ideas.

    edit: note that this is really just of background interest. The vaccine almost all of us will get in New Zealand is the Pfizer vaccine. The only serious risk I’m aware of so far is rare cases of allergic reactions, which are safely dealt with by staying at the vaccination site for fifteen minutes or so after vaccination. Other side effects include temporary swollen lymph nodes and temporary period changes for some women, as well as the expected effects of sore shoulder and generally feeling a bit off for a day or two.

    • Anne 1.1

      Totally with Customs on this one.

      If, after efforts to educate and inform individuals of the facts relating to the Covid vaccine, they are still falling on deaf ears because idiots are listening to quacks then… you're fired.

      The case of the small group of people who suffer from conditions which make it unsafe for them only have to produce a certificate from their doctor (or whoever) and every effort can be made to re-establish them to non front-line activities.

      These anti-vaxxers are currently demanding compensation because they have lost their jobs. Compensation? What for? Self-centred idiocy?

      https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300290121/covid19-nine-customs-border-workers-fired-after-refusing-jab

      • Andre 1.1.1

        In the case of the Pfizer vaccine we're all about to be offered here in NZ, so far the only reports I've seen of serious medical concerns are the allergic reactions. So if someone with a history of allergic reactions wanted one of the other vaccines, I'd be quite sympathetic. Although even in the case of a reaction as severe as anaphylaxis, it seems that waiting in the doctor's office for half an hour gets past the danger period with staff on hand to safely deal with it if it does occur. I haven't noticed any reports of deaths from anaphylaxis due to the Pfizer jab, but it might have happened if they hadn't stayed for a while after getting jabbed.

        It seems the usual groups of people with genuine medical reason to be wary of vaccines in general – the immunocompromised, those getting cancer treatment etc – can quite safely get the Pfizer vaccine. It just might not do them much good if their immune system isn't working well. So they will likely still be reliant on herd immunity for their protection.

        Personally, I'm of the view that job loss should be just the start of potential consequences for being so fkn antisocial as to refuse free vaccination. If someone refuses vaccination then gets the disease, they should have to pay for their treatment rather than getting it for free, as well as paying for the treatment and other related losses of those they go on to infect.

          • Andre 1.1.1.1.1

            Thanks for that.

            But that report only covers what has been observed in New Zealand. The numbers involved are too small to be likely to pick up a very rare but serious harm caused by the vaccine, such as the blood clots that might be caused by the J&J and AZ vaccines (which we are not, repeat not, getting here).

            On the other hand, those early vaccinations will include significant numbers of Maori and Pacifica (to whom we all owe thanks for taking on the risk of being on the frontline of keeping the rest of us safe). That may be helpful in producing data to reassure vaccine-hesitant Maori and Pacifica that are concerned there haven't been vaccine trials that have included people with similar genetics to theirs.

            • Incognito 1.1.1.1.1.1

              There are three reasons to look at local data even though the numbers are low: 1) obviously they are more relevant because of ‘demographics’; 2) they may be trusted more than some overseas sources; 3) they are on the only vaccine currently rolled out in NZ, AFAIK. Of course, because of the staged roll-out of the vaccine, the numbers cannot be taken as representative and thus not as predictive for the larger general NZ population.

      • KSaysHi 1.1.2

        Somewhere in NZ a group of lawyers are rubbing their hands together in glee. What a pointless and misinformed (in regards to employment law) move. I hope they pay through the nose for attempting to coerce "informed consent". Totally with the workers.

        • KSaysHi 1.1.2.1

          Fechney, who is advocating for several other Customs workers in a similar situation, said the Government should be paying the sacked workers compassionate compensation.

          “If you're going to terminate, at least do it in a redundancy setting,” she said. “They gave up their own health and safety to protect the borders.”

          The worker was also given the option of remaining employed for four weeks while Customs searched for suitable jobs at other government agencies, such as Corrections.

          “None of my clients were interested in that,” Fechney said. “There's a big difference between working in Corrections and working in Customs.”

          Fechney said her clients were also irked that their certificates of service said they had resigned from their roles.

          “It makes it feel like it is their choice to leave, but it’s not their choice.”

          As someone who advocates for people with disabilities I wonder how many of them have just been discriminated against to boot. The vaccine may not suit everyone, and with some types of medication or illness the reactions will vary. These workers are acting within their rights despite intense pressure to conform and I’m disappointed more people here aren’t behind them.

          • Sacha 1.1.2.1.1

            I am comfortable that their rights are being fairly balanced against everyone else's. There is no 'right' to cause death or injury to other people.

            • Treetop 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Is there a middle ground other than a redundancy payment?

              Employment and not being vaccinated is going to come up in other jobs.

              Working in customs and not being vaccinated is an employer issue when it comes to public safety. In saying this a person working in customs who has been vaccinated could still become infected and pass it on.

              Covid is making a person's choice of job untenable if employment is dependent on vaccination.

              • Treetop

                Can an employer disestablish a position due to a requirement not being met to fulfill public safety?

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.1.2.1.1.2

              Yep, plenty of situations in workplaces that require compliance with health and safety, e.g. wear a hardhat, use eye protection, drive the forklift safely etc. People who refuse to comply are often held to account and if necessary, terminated, for their and other's safety.

              If I said wearing a hardhat causes brain cancer – with no reasonable evidence – probably wouldn't fly as an excuse.

          • Anne 1.1.2.1.2

            These workers are acting within their rights despite intense pressure to conform and I’m disappointed more people here aren’t behind them.

            So, you didn't read Andre @1.1.1 then? No, I suppose not. You might become better informed on the subject.

            If the workers who refuse to conform simply because they can, or for reasons of a crackpot conspiracy they've fallen for, then they must face the consequences.

            Why should they be allowed to potentially expose the other 80% of the working population to Covid infection out of self-centred intransigence.

          • Andre 1.1.2.1.3

            These workers are acting within their rights despite intense pressure to conform and I’m disappointed more people here aren’t behind them.

            Doing the extremely low risk and low cost action of getting vaccinated has a personal benefit, and fulfills a responsibility to the community of taking reasonable precautions against negligently causing harm to others. That community responsibility aspect of it is something that is generally associated with 'left' politics.

            Whereas insisting on being free to negligently cause harm to others, in this case by potentially spreading disease, because rights, is something that's more associated with the likes of ACT and other uglier parts of 'right-wing' libertarian politics.

            • RedLogix 1.1.2.1.3.1

              There's no need to be quite so obnoxious about it. Bodily integrity and the right to choose what is done to it is a core human value, and one that we should only traduce in the most extreme circumstances.

              Enforced mass vaccination is one of those borderline cases that we should approach respectfully, acknowledging that there are important principles at stake on both sides of the argument.

              Personally I'm going to queue up for my jab when the time comes, but I'm not going to go full-metal authoritarian about it either.

              • Andre

                You have no idea how much effort I'm putting into holding back from saying what I really want to say on the topic of those that think they have some kind of right to negligently become disease spreaders.

                • Incognito

                  Good effort 😉

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    Self centred shitbag youtubing asshats without a skerrick of sense, decency or honor demanding attention and special treatment because really, they are cunts.

                    Hope that helped Andre. I held back too.

                    [Take a week off to chill out. I find it curious that you did this given your comment on OM yesterday about your famous friend in the UK but perhaps I’m the only who finds this inconsistent behaviour – Incognito]

              • Andre

                BTW, I've yet to see anyone arguing for enforced mass vaccination. So that's a strawman. There's just been arguments for accountability and for removing those who refuse to vaccinate from employment positions where they are an undue risk to the general public.

                • RedLogix

                  removing those who refuse to vaccinate from employment positions where they are an undue risk to the general public.

                  Well you need to draw that line clearly. What exactly constitutes 'undue risk' here? Front line MIQ workers clearly fall into that category. (And I'm not against this – for example when travelling to Latin America for work purposes Yellow Fever vaccination was mandatory, or I didn't go.)

                  But start casting the net wider and suddenly you start catching a lot of people with far less choice around their employment.

                  I suggest this because I note you’re in bed with people like WTB who seem broadly undiscriminating about who they’re calling out as cunts here.

                  • Incognito

                    I think that’s unfair on Andre; WTB is having a week off and Andre did not ask for WTB’s ‘help’. If he had, or if he had applauded it, he would be having a week off too.

                    • RedLogix

                      Yup. Fair cop – I posted before I saw your moderation. I withdraw the offending para and apologise.

                    • Incognito []

                      Ta

                    • Andre

                      I kinda viewed that as just part of the rough and tumble of robust debate. No offense taken and no apology needed, to me anyways.

                      Given that, is it still the done thing to accept the apology, to the extent that it applies to me?

                    • Incognito []

                      It is up to you to accept an apology in good grace or just take it as given and leave it at that and move on. Be the change you want to see is one of my favourite mottos, but easier said than done 😉

              • greywarshark

                RL Mass vaccination should be approached carefully, with questions about its safety, and answers given to the questions of informed people, with medical and scientific backgrounds, also advocates for the poor. I myself have read that some people in poor health are not able to deal with the vaccine properly and are more likely to fall ill. What consideration is given to this?

                Apart from that all that grandstanding about one's individual rights don't stand up when there are invisible germs causing great swathes of sickness around, and people's living is at stake through economic recession because of it. The people refusing may have to live together on a distant farm till the matter comes under control. Then if they infect anyone, it will be one of their own kind.

                • RedLogix

                  Society has to strike a balance between both the rights and obligations of the individual – and similarly the state. This is one of the enduring, eternal themes of politics – exactly how do we strike the balance when the ground keeps shifting under us.

                  Keep in mind that it's very easy for a majority to insist we give up individual rights in the name of collective safety, while the reverse pattern is a distinctly uphill battle.

                  However in this instance I tend to agree there is a good case for as many people to be vaccinated as possible (all other things being equal) – but that the state should employ the least coercion necessary to achieve it. Overreach would be hugely counterproductive, and especially so if anything went wrong.

                  With that in mind I'm sticking to my original thought that if we're going to go down the path of mass vaccinating then we need to go about it as respectfully as possible. Abusing and demonising those who are not initially on board (and there always is a spread of people from early to late adopters for anything new) will only generate resentment and unnecessary resistance.

                • Incognito

                  Assuming we reach a level of 70% of people vaccinated, there will be an awful lot of Kiwis who you’d isolate on “distant farms”. Don’t mind their children though, they’ll be fine. And don’t mind the economy, it’ll be fine too. I have no idea what “their own kind” of Kiwi is supposed to mean but I don’t like the sound of it one bit, as it elicits a strong vibe of othering with me.

                  • greywarshark

                    edit
                    If there are two points of view and neither will or can afford to concede, then each side is the 'other' to the alternative side. Can't get past that. When things go rogue, times are very tough, if some will not change, are infected with illness or possible illness that can be passed on, those who want to defend against it and protect themselves and all citizens, must see those who won't as 'others'.

                    Face the fact, holding hands and singing kumbyah doesn't cope with negative and spreading menace.

                    • Incognito

                      I believe vaccination was not going to be mandated by (this) Government. Your ‘policy’: lock up 30% of all Kiwis who are unvaccinated in distant camps farms until they submit and become like you!? All I can say is that totalitarianism is no stranger to the Left crying

        • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.2.2

          Not so fast Ksays

          the story also quotes an employment lawyer

          'Auckland employment lawyer Catherine Stewart said employers of workers required to be vaccinated were likely to be able to substantively justify dismissing an unvaccinated employee.'

          So no cigar or as you strangely think, some moneypot to be claimed. Even before the flu vaccines become common the death numbers from that in bad years would be horrendous by modern standards. ( In US could be 100k p.a in the 1950s)

  2. lilman 2

    Well after reading the Government driven He Puapua document I find I shall be moving to Australia,my wife and I decided last night.

    As from Monday we shall actively be seeking a shift to Queensland and shall leave this country after 57 years of hard work.

    We shall take with our investments and attitude,we are done.

    • Ad 2.1

      Would you mind citing what you are talking about?

      Is it this one?

      https://iwichairs.maori.nz/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/He-Puapua-for-OIA-release.pdf

      If you are worried about co-governance as a principle, I suspect you will not be the last couple to leave.

      I agree that there's a lot that's attractive about Australia. Just make sure you have enough to make you fully independent of the state until you can become citizens. Because otherwise life will get reasonably hard.

    • aom 2.2

      Off to the land of the pre-1960's "Abbo hunts" and blatant anti-indigenous racism which makes NZ look positively progressive.

      Make sure you don't return as a 501 and enjoy using you investments to support you thorough unemployment, health scares etc. while getting nothing in return for your taxes. Far better than looking forward to the prospect of living in a society with a multi-stream form of governance that redresses its past eh?

    • Byd0nz 2.3

      Good riddance.

    • Incognito 2.4

      You’re taking all your property in a suitcase? Just asking.

      Oh, before I forget, say Hi to Pauline.

      • Ad 2.4.1

        Well, just note that He Puapua delivers the leader of the National Party a mighty and timely gift.

        She is fully on record opposing the Maori health entity. So you don't do that without testing it with your constituency.

        The Orewa speech as over a decade ago, but we are by no means all woke yet.

        • arkie 2.4.1.1

          Ben Thomas disagrees:

          Former National government press secretary Ben Thomas said Collins' strategy shows her leadership is clearly under pressure.

          Whether there is an imminent threat to her leadership or not, it is clear that she feels under intense pressure about her performance and leadership.

          "It looks as if she is casting around for any kind of temporary sugar hit she can get in terms of a brief bump in the polls to take that pressure off," Thomas said.

          Collins' current strategy was not one which would win her an election, he said

          "The racist separation card is always tempting for oppositions to play. Since Don Brash in Orewa … there has been this idea you can magically pull yourself up in the polls by talking about one-rule-for-all and racial equality.

          "In fact, that's not a strategy which wins elections," Thomas said.

          Te Tiriti is a founding document of this country, if someone is uncomfortable with this, then perhaps relocating is best for them.

          • Ad 2.4.1.1.1

            Let's check after the next poll.

            • arkie 2.4.1.1.1.1

              A poll bump is not really the gift you may think it is, even if it takes pressure off Collins’ leadership as Thomas says.

              The only poll that matters is in 2023.

        • Incognito 2.4.1.2

          How JC will handle this political opportunity is the question. So far, it seems it will not gain her much political capital and National might just be a through-passage to ACT and some fringe parties that will suck up disenfranchised voters. No wonder David Seymour can’t wipe the smile off his face.

          Instead of leading a robust political debate, JC has reached into the depths of despair and for the Don Brash toolbox, which has only one gadget in it. How did it work out for Don?

          The sad thing is that JC and Don advocate status quo that (already) is a separation between two peoples with divisive institutions with systems and processes that not only have resulted in inequity but also have propagated and worsened it. JC and Don are divisive, polarising, and populist.

          The reviews of the shambolic National Party that led to National losing badly and ACT doing extremely well is crystal clear about what needs to change in the National Party to improve their chances at the next Election in 2023. It is also crystal clear that it doesn’t fit with JC’s desperate attempt to cling to power as Party Leader. JC will be the undoing of National and she’s already well down the track.

          One cannot argue against a 7-year gap in average life expectance between Pākehā and Māori.

          • Andre 2.4.1.2.1

            How did it work out for Don?

            Wellll, Don of the Deadbrains got to 39.1%, well up from English's effort of 20.9% in 2002. That was enough to get within 1 seat of potentially being able to put together a governing coalition with fellow walking undeads WinnieFirst and the Hairdo from Ohariu. Oh, including sockpuppet Rodders too, of course.

            I doubt that reactionary element within New Zealand has receded far enough to not be a threat if the right conditions come together.

            • Incognito 2.4.1.2.1.1

              Depending on which version, Don is a mere blot in and on NZ History books. As per usual, many refuse to learn from the (their) past and repeat it, because ‘this time it’s different’. Desperate, cynical or stupid, you be the judge. I agree with you on the growing socio-political influence of “reactionary element within New Zealand”; it is the Left that has been in retreat and for a while now, which seems unstoppable, liking melting glaciers in the SI.

              • Poission

                As per usual, many refuse to learn from the (their) past and repeat it, because ‘this time it’s different’.

                At the turn of the last century (1900) we had 2 acts of parliament passed to enable better health outcomes for the public of nz in general,and for Maori Authorities specifically to manage Maori health outcomes.

                The health act 1900,and the Maori Councils act 1900.

                WHEREAS reiterated applications have been made by the Maori inhabitants of those parts of the colony where the Maoris are more or less domiciled and settled, forming what is known as Maori· centres and surroundings, for the establishment within those districts of some simple machinery of local self-government, by means of which such Maori inhabitants may be enabled to frame for them-selves such rules and regulations on matters of local concernment or relating to their social economy as may appear best adapted to their own special wants:

                EG 16. It shall be lawful for the Council of any Maori district constituted under this Act to make, and from time to time vary or revoke, by-laws respecting all or any of the matters following, that is to say,-(1.) For the providing for the health and personal convenience of the inhabitants of any Maori village, pa, or assemblage of houses. (2.) For enforcing the cleansing of houses and other buildings in a dirty and unwholesome state. (3.) For the suppression of common nuisances. (4.) Por the prevention of drunkenness and sly-grog selling. (5.) For regulating the proceedings of tohungas, and the punishment by fine of those (whether European or Maori) who practise upon the superstition or credulity of any Maori in connection with the treatment of any disease.

                http://www.nzlii.org/nz/legis/hist_act/mca190064v1900n48237/

                • Incognito

                  Fascinating, although a little before my time; I was thinking more of JC and Don. I’d love to read more about this legal history although I have no idea how relevant it is and there’s so much else to read (and write!). Any insights?

          • RedLogix 2.4.1.2.2

            One cannot argue against a 7-year gap in average life expectance between Pākehā and Māori.

            Indeed the data on this outcome is crystal clear and always has been. What is far less clear is that 'racism' must be the sole and only possible cause worth addressing.

            • Incognito 2.4.1.2.2.1

              Agreed. Like so many labels, “racism” has become an all-compassing term, which makes it almost useless and counterproductive even in public and political debate. The cynic in me says that this is the exact intent.

            • McFlock 2.4.1.2.2.2

              The question isn't whether racism is the only cause of sustained generational ethnic disparities in health outcomes such as life expectancy.

              The question is whether those disparities are mostly or even merely significantly caused by systemic and individual racism in NZ. Nice straw man, though.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 2.4.1.2.2.3

              What is far less clear is that 'racism' must be the sole and only possible cause worth addressing.

              But it's clearly a (complex) cause of long standing, wouldn't you agree? So why not address it, along with other causes? Too tough? Not a priority?

              Collingwood must focus on truth telling and other ways to address racism, says Distinguished Professor Larissa Behrendt

              "Structural racism is usually something that sits within an organisation that has sat there since it was constructed with the original philosophy," Professor Larissa Behrendt said.

              "A really good example is the Australian constitution, which has a structural racism, because when it was set up it was with the view that it should allow racial discrimination to facilitate a White Australia policy.

              People come and go from the organisation, and unless they are addressing those underlying prejudices those biases still sit there.

              And what's particularly difficult in terms of change is that people who suffer from the impact of those prejudices feel it really strongly, but people who don't — who are in the group that is protected, whose values are highlighted or prioritised — they don't see it."

              Talking about racial inequality at work is difficult—here are tips to do it thoughtfully
              In order for a white person or non-black person of color to be an ally and thoughtfully engage in discussions about race, it’s crucial they do their own work to understand the privilege that shapes their world view, and educate themselves on the things they need to personally learn and unlearn in order to be a better advocate.

              Stanford scholars examine systemic racism, how to advance racial justice in America
              A summer of protest following the tragic death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans; white supremacy on full display during the riots on Capitol Hill; a raging pandemic disproportionately affecting communities of color – events over the past year have only underscored how prevalent systemic racism and bias is in America today.

    • Jilly Bee 2.5

      Well now, hopefully the IQ of both countries will be raised. Here Ra.

    • Sacha 2.6

      As is your right. Please convince any like-minded friends to do the same. Haere ra.

    • Peter 2.7

      Fair enough. There'll probably be others who want to go with you. That'll be those whose ancestors came here but didn't really want to fit in with the locals. Or maybe they wanted to fit in but their heirs and successors don't, can't or won't

      Those pioneers scarpered from places they were unhappy, where things weren't as they wished. They wanted to make new lives. The successors, unhappy with things as they are have the same gene. Farewell.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 2.8

      Baby boomers overboard?

      Bon voyage lilman – very brave of you in these uncertain times, so best of luck.

      And please say hi to the little Aussie battler (up Sunshine Coast way) for me – cheers.

      The melancholic torturer: How Australia became a nation that tortures refugees
      "Ghassan Hage (2003) captures this infantile moment by suggesting the worry and anxiety of White Australia circled the fear of being abandoned by the ‘motherland’. A situation that, along with the nation’s xenophobia, may have contributed to the nation’s willingness to believe that women and men were throwing their babies overboard. He argues only a people in fear of being thrown over by their own motherland could imagine such a reality. In The Gauche Intruder (2000), Rutherford interrogates the rise of One Nation and the defensive position maintained by many of its supporters to preserve the founding fantasy of a good White Australia."

      One Nation’s fantasy of defending a beleaguered moral universe – a good nation peopled by a good and neighborly people – serves as camouflage for aggression. . .. What remains invisible, and yet essential, in the shared discourse of One Nation and its critics, is this belief in a good and fair nation.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 2.8.1

        Australia

        The refugee intake in 2019 was 18,500 ( which includes family)

        The migration program was in addition 180-190,000 per year

        • Drowsy M. Kram 2.8.1.1

          Australia's per capita refugee quota puts NZ to shame, but they are a wealthier country and a popular destination.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 2.8.1.1.1

            Ask Japan about being wealthy and refugee intakes

            • Drowsy M. Kram 2.8.1.1.1.1

              Thankls for that suggestion. No doubt Japan's history, culture and social climate (a general preference to preserve homogeneity) have influenced the number of refugees in that country. And Japan does have a fairly high population density; approx. 100 times that of Australia.

              Interestingly, Nauru ranks 6th in the world for refugees as a percentage (3.2%) of its population. "Don't have to live like a refugee"

              https://www.unhcr.org/en-au/figures-at-a-glance.html

              NO ENTRY: How Japan's shockingly low refugee intake is shaped by the paradox of isolation, a demographic time bomb, and the fear of North Korea

              But many simply don’t want to move to Japan

              While economic migrants are desperate to live and work in Japan, experts told Business Insider it’s not a desirable country for legitimate refugees, and some end up in Japan almost by accident.

              The number of refugees who wish to come to Japan is very small,” Takizawa said. “Many of them want to go to Canada, or France, but there are no direct ways there, there are no refugees visas, so some of them come to Japan and then attempt to take another flight to, say, Canada. And then they are not allowed to enter so they ended up staying in Japan.

              Other times, refugees have turned down opportunities to relocate.

              In 2010, Japan launched a pilot refugee resettlement project with UNHCR to accept 30 Karen refugees a year from camps in Thailand, but the response was underwhelming.

              It was difficult to interest refugees to come to Japan. They were used to the resettlement call for the US and Canada, maybe Scandinavian countries are more well-known. But refugees are very careful when they decide. Because we don’t just ship them around,” Hebecker said.

              Some of the barriers include the need to learn a new language, a six-to-nine-month mandatory orientation course, and a high cost of living that requires both parents to work. Past research by Australia’s parliament has also found that asylum-seekers who have a choice weigh up social networks, historical ties between the new country and their home, simple travel, and a common language.

              And Japan lacks all of them,” Takizawa said.

              Amini has now been in Japan for a number of years, and despite being multilingual and passing the top level of language proficiency, he still feels like he has a “language problem” with Japanese.

              He sees Japan as a “beautiful country, a peaceful country,” one full of opportunity and convenience, where education and transport work with ease, but the government does little to help the hundreds of people it grants humanitarian visas, rather than refugee visas, every year.

              It’s a homogeneous country. I felt my family and I were treated as different people. But that’s fine. What was very much shocking to me was we had very little means of surviving in Japan,” Amini recalled. “The Japanese government didn’t provide us with some sort of assistance to survive.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.9

      He Puapua was produced by a working group under Te Puni Kokiri to 'implement the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights'

      NZ had never signed the UN declaration at the time it was adopted -2007

      However under the Key government in 2010 Peter Sharples went to the UN to say NZ had reversed its previous stance and now was a signatory

      "Labour strongly opposed the declaration, fearing it was too sweeping and labelling it incompatible with New Zealand's constitutional and legal arrangements and Treaty settlement policy."

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3599153/NZ-does-U-turn-on-rights-charter

    • RedLogix 2.10

      We came to Australia 8 yrs ago with the express intention of returning home to NZ. That intention is now wavering.

      The resurgence of Maori sovereignty/separatism is one potential factor, although it's too soon to tell how that might work out.

      Another factor I've never mentioned before is that we find the police a much more intrusive presence in NZ than here in Australia. In 2019 I spent much of the year in NZ, and recall on one drive between Auckland and Wellington seeing far more cops on the road rushing about, than the entire seven years in Australia prior. And we've noticed that the kind of petty crime and vandalism that's so rife in NZ, almost totally absent in most of Aus.

      Then of course there is the much greater opportunity in Australia. If I'd stayed in NZ I would have remained gainfully employed, but moving across the ditch didn't so much increase my income dramatically – but expanded my scope for working at a much wider scale, on global sized projects.

      Despite all the usual anti-Aussie bigotry so many kiwis are fond of indulging in (mainly I think to create a wholly unjustified sense of moral superiority) – most Australians of all backgrounds are welcoming and willing to give you a fair go. There are two big social differences however. One is that they much prefer direct and upfront communication – they don't respond to reserved or passive at all well; they want to know exactly where you stand. Secondly its a continent dedicated to giving each other shit, taking the piss and witty sarcasm. If an Aussie calls you a 'cunt' and you haven't done anything to piss him/her off recently, congratulations you've entered the matezone.

      Also doing business here is a fair bit more complex, right from relatively simple things like opening a mobile phone account, doing tax, starting new jobs, renting property and through to buying property entails more steps and issues than we're used to. It takes time to build trusted relationships and if things go wrong it can go wrong quite badly. As Ad said above – make sure you're going into a firm situation and you're not dependent on the state. Depending on your age and income there is a path to permanent residency and citizenship for Kiwis, but it's not particularly easy or cheap. And while living here on the SCV444 visa has not proved difficult in the ordinary course of events – it offers no long-term security or tenure.

      • Ad 2.10.1

        Me and my Other Half would be fine in metro Melbourne, but outside of Brisbane I think Queensland would be a harder cultural proposition for us.

        It's good that you have a proper alternative.

        By chance is there an equivalent site to The Standard you are aware of in Australia?

        • RedLogix 2.10.1.1

          By chance is there an equivalent site to The Standard you are aware of in Australia?

          Good question – honestly I haven't looked for one.

          We found regional Victoria (and many other similar towns across the country) extremely liveable – some of the best places anywhere to live and work. Melbourne and Sydney cities are just too large for our tastes, but the greater Brisbane area (which extends really from the Gold Coast right up to Gympie) has one hell of a lot going for it.

          I'm not trying to shit on NZ by comparison – it's still one of the top 10 nations on earth in my view – but honestly Australia is better.

          As for the 'cultural proposition' I think you'd be able to find a like-minded social circle in all but the most remote places. Australians are every bit as diverse in their outlooks as are kiwis – they just express themselves more openly and directly that Kiwis are accustomed to. It's not a bad thing – you know where you stand right off the bat.

          • Ad 2.10.1.1.1

            Fair enough and cheers for that generous explanation.

            • RedLogix 2.10.1.1.1.1

              Thanks. Incidentally I've just arrived in Perth this week – the local economy is very buoyant.

              At first glance it's very different to Brisbane and will take a bit of getting used to, but the quantity of heavy industry here is quite remarkable.

      • Peter 2.10.2

        On "one drive between Auckland and Wellington seeing far more cops on the road rushing about, than the entire seven years in Australia prior."

        Is that good or bad? Is it because New Zealand drivers are so bad they need policing? If there were no cops visible on the road what would the driving be like?

        Obviously your view and perception are important. As a reason for highlighting that Australia is in that way better than NZ? I find it trite.

        • RedLogix 2.10.2.1

          It might seem 'trite' to you, but the observation is real enough to us.

          Perhaps the more important point I was trying to convey is that we've noticed how we both 'feel' safer in most Australian public settings than in NZ. I'm not trying to paint Aus as any kind of 'way better' utopia – it isn't. But this is one aspect where NZ is different and not in a good way.

          • Peter 2.10.2.1.1

            Once again, you feel safer on the road between Wellington and Auckland if you see no cops. Others would feel totally differently.

            • RedLogix 2.10.2.1.1.1

              The last time I was surrounded by a lot of armed militia was on site in Panama, to protect us from a rogue union that was rioting, burning and beating up any random people (one person was killed) that they could get their hands on. In that circumstance yes I felt 'safer' with lots of security around, although objectively I was probably more at risk of one of these guys having a gun accident than anything else.

              Or the mining barge in Colombia that had a fully armed military platoon permanently stationed – again I understood as necessary when the bullet dents on the superstructure were pointed out to me. I was told not to worry much, the most recent attack was 'only 18 months ago'.

              So yes in some circumstance a security presence is a very good idea – but the very need for it tells you that trouble is just around the corner. Why NZ should need so many cops racing around on our highways and Australia doesn't is an open question I'll leave to you to draw your own conclusions on.

              And trust me Aussie drivers really are no better than Kiwis so that isn’t a strong explanation.

    • Patricia Bremner 2.11

      Good luck .. you will need it. 5.9% unemployment. Your attitude to indigenous people will not be missed.

    • Gabby 2.12

      Bye.

    • JanM 2.13

      After I read this I couldn't stop giggling but couldn't figure out why for a while. Then the answer came to me! You might start a trend and peope thinking like you might move over there in droves meaning my whanau will have the chance to be safer and happier

    • Muttonbird 2.14

      I said elsewhere on this subject:

      I can see He Puapua long being held up as an object of fear by reactionary pakeha.

      They now have something to grip feverishly with pink and shaking hands.

      Also happy to quote a comment from lilman at the same place on the same topic regarding Debbie Ngarewa-Packer:

      I saw the bar code on her chin tighten when I informed her “its their money, they earnt it and can do what they want with it’.
      God what a sour bitch.

      – lilman

      I think his moving to Queensland is a perfect fit. Not sure why he didn't do it earlier.

      • Incognito 2.14.1

        Can we please leave the sewage in the sewage pond? I think lilman has nailed his colours to the mast quite clearly and we all wish him well in his endeavours.

        • Muttonbird 2.14.1.1

          Fair enough. I didn't have time to read this entire conversation. I did think it was relevant to show lilman's true nature though.

          • Incognito 2.14.1.1.1

            It does appear that lilman only posted the comment to wind up a few here, and with some success, may I add. Even so, we don’t have to take the bait and sink to levels one is accustomed to on other blogs.

    • WeTheBleeple 2.15

      Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out. I had a mate with your nickname, he wasn't prejudice or paranoid, or prone to public tantrums so it can't be you.

    • greywarshark 2.16

      Lucky you to have a job that has paid enough so you can live and save. You have done all right here, pity that you can't stay and have a go at being a bona fide citizen keen to help NZ stand tall and happy in the world, strong in principle and practice.

  3. Forget now 3

    Hey fellow political junkies! The election over in Scotland is getting very strange; at least to my eyes. It's going to be a popcorn week there for sure.

    https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/scottish-election-polls-what-are-the-latest-opinion-polls-for-the-2021-election-and-what-happened-in-2016-3217223

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_2021_Scottish_Parliament_election

    I don't personally think much of Salmond, and those who claim he formed the Alba Party out of spite may not be too far off the mark (though he is really the second leader, but Flynn only lasted a few weeks). The party standing in the Regional (think; List, as NZ equivalent) seats only, is politically savvy. In a way, this seems to be the start of a indigenously Scots dual party system separate from the Scottish wings of the English Conservative and Labour parties.

    Time will tell. I think their 6th (Thursday evening) will be our 7th of May (Friday morning).

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1

      The Scottish Conservatives used to be a separate party (1912-65) known as Unionist – as in Northern Ireland, and its MPs sat at Westminister under the Conservative whip. For the Scottish parliament it has own leadership and policy driven from Scotland.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unionist_Party_(Scotland)

      Scotland has MMP just like NZ has, but with one major difference the country is divided into 8 regions with equal seats and the distribution for list seats is only done by region , not nationally. They way this works is that SNP which is strong throughout Scotland rather than only regionally like Labour, Conserv, Liberals, Greens and gets more seats than an MMP proportional result would allow.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1.1

        The new Alba party ( its where the word Albany comes from) may do better than appears from a nationwide poll, as the list seats are allocated by the 8 regions and you only have to do well in a strong SNP region to pick up seats, thats how the Greens get their seats by overperforming in selected regions

        • greywarshark 3.1.1.1

          All very interesting about Scotland. Can we be kept informed by you who know more about it than average kiwi?

        • Forget now 3.1.1.2

          I read somewhere that Alba was going with a split vote strategy (constituency vote SNP, Regional vote Alba – though don't have the link at hand), which may lead to an overhang. I haven't been able to see a formal threshold for a party to get an MSP seat, going by the last election it looks like maybe 5%? The modified D'Hondt methodology just made my eyes glaze over, but last election UKIP got 2% yet no regional seats, whereas the LibDems on 5.2% got one to go with their constiuency seats.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Scottish_Parliament_election

          The thing where constituencies for Westminster and Holyrood MPs are geographically different sizes and shapes also baffles me. But thanks for the background on the SCP Ghostwwnz. Though my interest in them is mainly see if they sink below the SLP this time after the Johnson/ Cummings feud exploding so very publicly in the leadup to election day. What happens if Sturgeon needs Salmond to get the referendum numbers after Thursday is far more interesting at the moment. Hoping for a strong Scottish Green party showing! Though would need to be around 10% for that to be an option.

  4. Ad 4

    A massive shoutout to the Rangitane people, who gifted back the 942 Hectare Pukaha Forest to the Crown after only getting it back in the Waitangi process four years ago.

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK2104/S00223/pukaha-forest-to-be-gifted-to-the-nation.htm

    Correct me if I'm wrong but this little patch of predator-controlled forest is now as south as the NZ Kokako actually get.

    If anyone gets to the top of these ranges, they are really a little strip remnant from Wellington to Palmerston North of natural goodness where all else from the foothills to the ocean is now solid intensive farming.

    Rangitane like most tribes were robbed. So giving this chunk back represents a major gift for them. In their shoes I probably wouldn't do the same.

    The PM was on hand to mark the occasion.

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/incredibly-generous-wairarapa-iwi-gifts-p-kaha-forest-back-state

    It's going to be a great challenge to all th eneighbouring farmers to expand the predator-free zone into a proper halo effect.

  5. Incognito 5

    Heh! Stephanie Rodgers is back, kinda, and she makes for a great Sunday afternoon read: https://bootstheory.nz/2021/05/02/a-year-ago-today/

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      Its unreadable… some obsession on health system using BMI ( along with age, smoking etc)to screen those who who have smaller chances of success. Oh well

      https://nationalwomenshealth.adhb.govt.nz/our-services/fertility/public-funding/

      • Incognito 5.1.1

        Yeah, a stream of consciousness is not everybody’s cup of tea but to call it “unreadable” is a little harsh, IMO. Anybody who’s been on the IVF rollercoaster knows how emotionally draining it can be for both the ‘recipients’, as well as financially draining when you go ‘private’. Modern medicine can do an awful lot but it often comes at or with a cost that cannot be defined or expressed in dollar-terms only.

  6. Incognito 6

    It is one thing to point out the problems (easy—we are all experts at this) and have great ideas about how to solve them (also relatively easy), but much harder for politicians to successfully get people on board, and then ensure solutions are successfully implemented!

    The interface between medicine and politics; an imperative and opportunity that should be used responsibly

    A guest editorial by Ashley Bloomfield

    https://nzmsj.scholasticahq.com/article/22250-the-interface-between-medicine-and-politics-an-imperative-and-opportunity-that-should-be-used-responsibly

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    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    7 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    7 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    7 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    1 week ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    1 week ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • Kiwis having their say on first regulatory review

    After receiving more than 740 submissions in the first 20 days, Regulation Minister David Seymour is asking the Ministry for Regulation to extend engagement on the early childhood education regulation review by an extra two weeks.  “The level of interest has been very high, and from the conversations I’ve been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Government upgrading Lower North Island commuter rail

    The Coalition Government is investing $802.9 million into the Wairarapa and Manawatū rail lines as part of a funding agreement with the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), KiwiRail, and the Greater Wellington and Horizons Regional Councils to deliver more reliable services for commuters in the lower North Island, Transport Minister Simeon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government moves to ensure flood protection for Wairoa

    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced his intention to appoint a Crown Manager to both Hawke’s Bay Regional and Wairoa District Councils to speed up the delivery of flood protection work in Wairoa."Recent severe weather events in Wairoa this year, combined with damage from Cyclone Gabrielle in 2023 have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • PM speech to Parliament – Royal Commission of Inquiry’s Report into Abuse in Care

    Mr Speaker, this is a day that many New Zealanders who were abused in State care never thought would come. It’s the day that this Parliament accepts, with deep sorrow and regret, the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.  At the heart of this report are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Government acknowledges torture at Lake Alice

    For the first time, the Government is formally acknowledging some children and young people at Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital experienced torture. The final report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State and Faith-based Care “Whanaketia – through pain and trauma, from darkness to light,” was tabled in Parliament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Government acknowledges courageous abuse survivors

    The Government has acknowledged the nearly 2,400 courageous survivors who shared their experiences during the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State and Faith-Based Care. The final report from the largest and most complex public inquiry ever held in New Zealand, the Royal Commission Inquiry “Whanaketia – through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Half a million people use tax calculator

    With a week to go before hard-working New Zealanders see personal income tax relief for the first time in fourteen years, 513,000 people have used the Budget tax calculator to see how much they will benefit, says Finance Minister Nicola Willis.  “Tax relief is long overdue. From next Wednesday, personal income ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Paid Parental Leave improvements pass first reading

    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden says a bill that has passed its first reading will improve parental leave settings and give non-biological parents more flexibility as primary carer for their child. The Regulatory Systems Amendment Bill (No3), passed its first reading this morning. “It includes a change ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Rebuilding the economy through better regulation

    Two Bills designed to improve regulation and make it easier to do business have passed their first reading in Parliament, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. The Regulatory Systems (Economic Development) Amendment Bill and Regulatory Systems (Immigration and Workforce) Amendment Bill make key changes to legislation administered by the Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • ‘Open banking’ and ‘open electricity’ on the way

    New legislation paves the way for greater competition in sectors such as banking and electricity, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly says. “Competitive markets boost productivity, create employment opportunities and lift living standards. To support competition, we need good quality regulation but, unfortunately, a recent OECD report ranked New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says lotteries for charitable purposes, such as those run by the Heart Foundation, Coastguard NZ, and local hospices, will soon be allowed to operate online permanently. “Under current laws, these fundraising lotteries are only allowed to operate online until October 2024, after which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

    The Coalition Government is accelerating work on the new four-lane expressway between Auckland and Whangārei as part of its Roads of National Significance programme, with an accelerated delivery model to deliver this project faster and more efficiently, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “For too long, the lack of resilient transport connections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
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    1 week ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
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    1 week ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
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    1 week ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
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    1 week ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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