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Open mike 02/08/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 2nd, 2021 - 95 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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 …

95 comments on “Open mike 02/08/2021 ”

  1. Anita 1

    When did The Standard become a space for bigotry and intolerance?

    It's offensive to see one person's attempt to define who is an adequate woman in her view given this kind of prominence and status.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • weka 1.1

      Please read the Policy and About so you know how things work here.

      • Anita 1.1.1

        It was entirely relevant to the post it was made in.

        In a post about a women's space you chose to limit commenters to the subset of women you consider to be adequate. I called you on that.

        For what it's worth, the site rules state in the second paragraph

        "What we’re not prepared to accept are pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others."

        Your post completely deliberately excluded others.

        • Molly

          (Note: a women's safe space excludes men, but you have made no comment on that so I assume that exclusion is OK to you.)

          One of the difficulties that has occurred recently on many forums, including TS is a shouting down of concerns being raised around legislation changes.

          Instead of being able to identify and address these concerns and resolve them to the benefit of all, women are being told to be quiet and stop being bigots. The discussions are not taking place.

          Within a space where a good proportion are women, and thankfully some who have a considerable amount of knowledge and experience with historical and current women's rights issues, conversations can get into detail and possible resolutions faster.

          Globally, there has been considerable bombardment against feminists lately (which isn't new) but the level of threats and the violence of them from what I believe to be a very small number ofver active Transactivists has made public discussion really difficult, if not impossible.

          Like you I would like a society where this space is not needed. But I don't think we are there yet.

          • weka

            Yes to the increase of aggro/violence against feminists, and yes to women being able to get more done when we have our own space.

            I see women's space as something incredibly positive and it will always be needed, even after the end of patriarchy. Women can do things when they get together on their own that they can't do with men in the room. That's not even about men, it's about the fact that women's culture is a positive force in human society (men's culture is too, and I hope that trans culture gets the chance to be once the war is over).

            I can also see a huge potential for collaboration between women and trans women once women are allowed their own politics again. It goes without saying that trans women should have their own politics too.

            • weka

              as an example, women getting together and supporting each other in giving birth is something women have always done and always will.

            • Molly


              Like you I would like a society where this space is not needed. But I don't think we are there yet."

              Admittedly, in my head I added, "… and I don't think we ever will." wink

        • Molly

          Sorry for the duplicate. Can't delete on phone.

          Grateful if the moderator wishes to.

        • weka

          Your post completely deliberately excluded others.

          Are you arguing that some exclusion is ok and some isn't? Or do you think that women shouldn't have any space free of men? Should trans people be allowed to have their own spaces separate from cis people? Should TS exclude trolls? Should or shouldn't we have any boundaries on what gets said here? Who gets to decide?

          There's nothing wrong with exclusion or boundaries. They're necessary for civil society. The bit you quoted in the Policy is about how people engage with other commenters here eg creating a hostile environment for specific groups of people. The personal attacks bit would be ad hominems or direct abuse. Both will get called out here. We've been doing this a long time and there is a reason why TS balances robust debate with not being a complete shit show that most people can't stand.

          • Anita

            I think I probably would argue that some exclusion is ok and some isn't, but in this case I wasn't. I was arguing that calling it a "Women's Space" and then excluding some women is wrong. If you had called a a "Cis-Woman's Space" or a "Genetically Female Space" or something similar I would have less (but maybe not no) problem with it.

            To your question, though, I am troubled by some men's only spaces – like the traditional men's clubs – as I think they reinforce existing power structures but I am comfortable with, and have argued for, women's spaces. Similar but not the same while I'd be comfortable with a Māori or Pasifika space I would look askance a White New Zealander's one.

            I have also been uncomfortable with women's spaces when they are intended as a space for mothers with small children for activities other than breastfeeding, and no space is provided for men with small children. It bothers me in the same way that finding the changing table in a women's toilet rather than a unisex one bothers me; it reinforces an unhealthy gender norm.

            Perhaps part of my view is that, except for specific purposes, it's disadvantaged or less powerful or safe groups that are the ones that need the safe spaces created for them. Maybe that's why the creation of a Cis-women's Space would bother me a little, I totally get that we need that space away from male gaze, but I'd wonder who was advocating or creating a space for our non-cis friends.

            • weka

              I think I probably would argue that some exclusion is ok and some isn't, but in this case I wasn't. I was arguing that calling it a "Women's Space" and then excluding some women is wrong. If you had called a a "Cis-Woman's Space" or a "Genetically Female Space" or something similar I would have less (but maybe not no) problem with it.

              I could call it the bio-female space, but the problem there is that a) it would still piss of a bunch of gender activist people and b) I value language and I'm not going to bend it to that degree.

              Many people still consider 'woman' to mean female. So what you are asking is that feminists stop using the word in the way that many people use it for the sake of trans women. Given we can instead use words with more than one meaning, I'm not sure how it's a problem to use 'woman' other than for the people who insist that everyone believe TWAL(literal)W.

              One of the reasons why TWALW is a problem is that trans now has such a broad definition that we are including cross dressing men, including part timers, in the definition. I also see people saying NB males should be allowed into women's space. We're at the point when any man can say they are a woman, and that the definition of woman is anyone who says they are.

              To your question, though, I am troubled by some men's only spaces – like the traditional men's clubs – as I think they reinforce existing power structures but I am comfortable with, and have argued for, women's spaces. Similar but not the same while I'd be comfortable with a Māori or Pasifika space I would look askance a White New Zealander's one.

              I've been thinking about this too and agree with the general idea here that power is a factor. The push to get men to open up men's spaces wasn't because men's space is wrong, it was because men were using those spaces to organise patriarchy and that needed to stop. I'm ok with men's sheds, or even men's clubs theoretically if the old boys network thing could be resolved. As I said in the original post, I support groups of people to have their own spaces as they need to.

              Agree also about White NZer, but that's because of the association with racism. Would it be ok to have clubs based on ethnicity though?

              I have also been uncomfortable with women's spaces when they are intended as a space for mothers with small children for activities other than breastfeeding, and no space is provided for men with small children. It bothers me in the same way that finding the changing table in a women's toilet rather than a unisex one bothers me; it reinforces an unhealthy gender norm.

              True, but I see the solution to that is to put the changing table in men's and women's rest rooms, rather than creating gender neutral ones and not having the changing table in women's space. Women still do most of the care giving of young children, for a range of complex reasons not solely related to regressive gender roles.

              Perhaps part of my view is that, except for specific purposes, it's disadvantaged or less powerful or safe groups that are the ones that need the safe spaces created for them. Maybe that's why the creation of a Cis-women's Space would bother me a little, I totally get that we need that space away from male gaze, but I'd wonder who was advocating or creating a space for our non-cis friends.

              It's not only about safe space though. I consider women's culture to be a thing in and of itself, a positive phenomena irrespective of men. This is one of the core reasons for me for supporting female only space. Trans women change that, as do men.

              I don't believe it's wrong to acknowledge the differences between trans women and women.

              I will completely support trans women having their own spaces. What bothers me is that the men arguing that women should let trans women and other GNC males into our spaces aren't actually supporting trans women to have their own space. Just like they didn't with women, we had to make our spaces, grass roots up. This makes me mistrust left wing men on this at this time. I don't see a great solidarity with women or trans women, although I do see an empathy with trans women.

              I also see a great potential for women and trans women to work together and share spaces in many situations. I guess the main difference between you and I is that I see TW as an allied group that faces discrimination and oppression alongside women, rather than seeing women as higher up on a hierarchy and being oppressors of trans women.

              So for example I can see Rape Crisis being an organisation for women that collaborates with organisations set up for TW (or trans people generally, because where are TM going for support?). So much potential there including setting up rape survivor support that is culturally appropriate for trans people. This is what should have happened in the Vancouver Rape Relief case originally. So much wasted time, energy, resource and potential.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          …subset of women….

          And that just about sums up the whole shebang, doesn't it?

          We, biological women, are now a subset of the category "woman".

          • Sabine

            Men will be men, and men will be women, and women are to shut up and put up.

            This is not the first time in the life and existance of women where women are explicitly are not asked for consent but simply be ordered to submit, silently, as complaining may very well become a 'criminal act'.

            We have always only ever been a 'subset' in the category of humans.

            As someone else said, Women have NEVER been given rights by men, they had to fight for them every single time. Men have however taken rights from women, if they have not totally denied them. As for the NOT all men, have a look at the many countries on this planet, and yes all men. There is no difference between 'begnign misogyny and outright misogyny. Sugar coating it is not changing it.

            • RobbieWgtn

              "…and yes all men. There is no difference between 'begnign misogyny and outright misogyny".

              And no difference between benign misandry & outright misandry. But not all women, thankfully my wives still appreciate me…

          • Molly

            Sometimes it seems we are not even that:

            "Women are ciswomen. Transwomen are women. "

            We've bumped out of our own space to another created not by us, but for us.

            • Sabine

              I reject that label, and no one better call me that.

              If we all can self identify then these people need to accept that. OR else, I am a cis women, and transwomen are men who present as women. Simple as.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              "Women are ciswomen. Transwomen are women. "

              That's what I was getting at. Gone beyond 'creep'.

              I think I heard the sound of a gauntlet hitting the ground.

            • weka

              there's a lot of hypocrisy in that social dynamic. Trans people are allowed to self ID into sovereignty, women aren't. What's wrong with having a female only space? It doesn't in and of itself harm trans women. And where there is a conflict of rights or needs, women will generally meet other people half way when there is a fair deal on the table.

              • Forget now

                "Deal"? "Table"? Has there been a hypothetical armistice in the metaphorical war, that has not been announced to the general public; Weka?

                What then would be in; such a deal, on such a table, at such a place. and time, that people might be discussing specific issues rather than generalities?

                There was some upthread discussion about the cis prefix between Molly and Sabine, is that problematic now? Do you use NonTrans Women (you had a Stock interview in a while back – though don't know if she used her catchphrase in that), or what? Trans and Cis seem as natural antonyms to me as; Super and Sub, or; antonym and synonym.

                Also unsure whether you GCFs (if that's still the TLA? Have to distinguish you from GC Fascists like the Proud Boys, and GC Fundamentalists too) are representative of even those women in Aotearoa you would call women (let alone those I would). Surely Collins' press secretary (or whatever O'Brien is) could get her to put a bill in the biscuit barrel? Though she didn't much for women when she was Justice minister – if GCF's had a golden chance to exclude trans people from public spaces (after the retraction of Beyer's 2004 private member bill in light of supreme court ruling of 2006), that was it.

                • Molly

                  Women have been given a category to rename themselves 'ciswomen' in order to then accommodate the 'Transwomen are Women' movement. Conflating the most widely understood meaning of women as a biological sex class, with gender identity.

                  The phrase "Transwomen are Transwomen", can also be validated as social class without misunderstandings arising from previous and current etymology of the words woman and/or women.

                  What the discussion is about is how changes are imposed without reflection or regard to the already existing members of the biological sex group of women. Unless there was a consultative process with half the people on the planet and I just missed it?

                  It would be really good if you could instead address some of the concerns, instead of cherry picking parts of comments, and not following through.

                  • Molly

                    In my admittedly succinct posting on two sentences that reflect current gender ideology, I did forget to include Lesbians are Women and some bisexuals and polyamorists are Women. I don't know whether the current gender orthodoxy has renamed them, or they have been given a rebrand of their own. Perhaps not.

                    I do know that lesbians who affirm their attraction simply to those of the same biological sex are being held up for public outrage as being transphobic. Given that the same criteria could be used for opposite sex attraction, and same sex attraction for gay men that's a pretty broad criteria. It makes all those with a sexual attraction to a specific biological sex – transphobes. And yet, the criticism is once again more often attached to lesbians. Why? (Could it be that they are regarded as women denying biological men the sexual rights to their body as if they possess autonomy? Surely not.)

                    This blatant disregard for other classes or categories of people, attached to a legitimate request for dignity and human rights is what is at the core of the disquiet.

                    Note: Once again attributing different meanings to words might lie at the problem of understanding that the Gender Critical Feminists movement, probably holds vastly different views to the Proud Boys. I don’t even know what their gender ideology is, (you might wish to expand) but misogyny seems to lie at the heart of their movement. Don’t conflate two separate groups without identifying how they are similar, its lazy rhetoric.

                    • Molly

                      Apologies for the error in conflating sex with gender as Anita pointed out on another thread. in the leadup to the persecution of some lesbians who reierate their same sex attraction, I did not take care.

                      That implies cis women are only heteronormative, rather than biological sex and gender identity matched. I apologise for the error, and will take greater care. Thanks, Anita for pointing it out.

                • weka

                  Is there an actual question or even point in that comment or is it rhetoric?

                  I'm still on the fence as to whether I'm a GCF, because I disagree with the fundamental premise that gender should be abolished.

                  You can think I am a fascist, but if you start calling me one on TS you'd better have a bloody good argument to make or I'll be getting into moderation mode. Throwing out a bunch of questions ain't it.

                  The reason that GC discourse in NZ is represented by SUFW and Ani is because No Debate has shut down the full range of women's voices on the issues. If we end up with a reactionary, right wing backlash on trans people and other GNC people, that's on liberals not feminists. This is exactly what happens when you ostracise, ridicule and marginalise people who would otherwise be allies. We already knew this before, so it's beyond me to understand the GA tactics here.

                  Collins has nothing to do with other than she will use whatever she can for her own ends. Again, this isn't on GCFs.

                  Gender Critical Feminism remains largely left wing and progressive. People trying to tie it to the right either don't know what GCF is, or they're being disingenous.

                  The takeaway from the Stock post was to know your enemy's position so you can argue against it meaningfully instead of going round in circles taking cheap pot shots.

                  • Forget now

                    My point was more that the GCF initialisation is being creatively misinterpreted in a variety of (offsite) memes, with the Proud Boys being pretty unequivocally; a fascist gender critical group (rather than anyone on this site). But if it is not currently regarded as an insult on TS, I will continue to use it. The degree of opposition to "Cis" just seemed to have got more intense of late, and I wondered if there was preferred jargon now.

                    Could you please, simply, define what you believe Gender Critical Feminism means to you; Weka? Because I haven't been reading the posts from which I am excluded from commenting, and so might have missed it if you have done so in your Women's Spaces.

                    • Molly

                      I would use the phrase wilfully misinterpreted rather than creatively.

                      And once again, you fail to outline what the Proud Boys stance is, so I don't know if you are accurate or not in your accusations. As you seem to be au fait with their beliefs enough to label them fascists – not that I disagree on that point- you should be able to give a brief synopsis so that we can assess your comparison.

                    • McFlock

                      Not familiar with the proud boys?

                      Your day just got worse. They suck.

                    • weka

                      My point was more that the GCF initialisation is being creatively misinterpreted in a variety of (offsite) memes, with the Proud Boys being pretty unequivocally; a fascist gender critical group (rather than anyone on this site).

                      I don't know what you are saying there. Are you saying that the PBs are using the term GCF negatively? Or are you saying that the PBs are GC? Do you understand that GC covers the whole political spectrum and is different from GCF?

                    • weka

                      Could you please, simply, define what you believe Gender Critical Feminism means to you; Weka?

                      Here's how I understand it, bearing in mind I'm not an academic or widely read in terms of academic texts. What I know comes mostly from following GCFs online and from my own long feminism and understanding of second wave feminism.

                      GCF is a branch of feminism, closely tied to radical feminism. It is distinct from liberal or choice feminism, which tends to fight for rights within neoliberalism. GCF wants to end the whole patriarchal system and has a particular focus on the ways in which the patriarchal system uses gender roles and stereotyping to control women.

                      There's an aspect to that the ties in with standard leftist thinking about class analysis. In this case, women are a class based on biological sex, not gender identity or gender roles, and as such are oppressed by the dominating system that uses women's reproductive and other labour for the benefit of the system without due regard for women themselves.

                      GCFs are usually left wing/progressive, although some have abandoned traditional politics and will form alliances with whoever they can to meet their own political ends.

                      Seems to me that there are a lot of GC women who are probably not GCF philosophically but support GCF's fight on these particular issues (women's space, right to language, concern about over-medicalisation of children and teens, concern about pressures on lesbians to transition or not be homosexual etc).

                      Most of the GCFs I know are in the UK, Australia or NZ. The US is a different kete of ika, really fundamentally a different scene and set of politics.

                      In addition to that there are many GC people who cover a wide range of views nothing to do with feminism. eg there's a bloke in the UK taking a university to court for dumping him for GC views on biological sex (biological sex is immutable) and the need to safeguard child services when dealing with gender dysphoric kids.

                      Edited to add: GCF doesn’t have a problem with trans people. It’s rejection of gender stereotyping says people should be free to express themselves how they want. As with any movement, there’s degrees of prejudice of all kinds including transphobia, but the principles are not in and of themselves anti-trans. The problem is where there is a conflict of rights. Many GCFs want trans people to live good lives and would happily support that were it not for the push to remove women’s rights. The issue is with gender activists.

                    • Molly


                      Got absolutely nothing from that into how they align with Gender Critical Feminism.

                      Forget Now is using the Proud Boys comparison deliberately, I'd like to know their reasons why.

                    • McFlock

                      the group admits only "biological men".[65]

                      Sounds a bit gender-critical, no?

                      Not "Feminists", another "F". Hence the apparently somewhat flippant remark about TLAs that was probably borne from frustration.

                      But apparently it was so much more than that? Damned if I can see it, but then I still can't figure out how "conflict" and "opposition" aren't basically synonymous when talking about the rights and interests of different groups.

                    • weka

                      Don't know what you are talking about here. Gender critical is a term applied to a wide range of beliefs around gender.

                      GCF is branch of feminism that includes specific gender critical beliefs. Nothing to do with the PBs other than both movements have ideas about gender.

                      I also wish someone would say plainly what they think the connection is.

                    • weka

                      Damned if I can see it, but then I still can't figure out how "conflict" and "opposition" aren't basically synonymous when talking about the rights and interests of different groups.

                      I lost track of that convo the other day. It's pretty simple. GCF takes issue with aspects of gender activism where it impacts on women's rights. It doesn't take a fundamental opposition to the politics of trans people or trans people themselves.

                      GCFs, being left wing, are otherwise on the side of progressive politics for trans people. Compared to say religious fundamentalists who believe that being trans is wrong and are opposed to them and their politics generally.

                    • McFlock

                      GCF takes issue with aspects of gender activism where it impacts on women's rights. It doesn't take a fundamental opposition to the politics of trans people or trans people themselves.

                      If there's no conflict where those aspects impact on women's rights, there is nothing to take issue with. An impact might be "oh look, someone is in our space who wasn't before".

                      If the following sentence is "I'm cool with that", there is no conflict and nothing to take issue with.

                      If the following sentence is "this makes me uncomfortable and is should not be allowed", then there is a conflict, no?

                      As for GCF vs PB, from the outside one lot excluding trans people because they don't count as "biological men" seems to be the opposite side of the same coin as the another lot excluding trans people because they're not "biological women".

                      I'm sure you can go into a massive discussion about one versus the other. All I'm saying is that from the outside, it looks like the same thing, and I suspect that was FN's point, too. Not that it appeared to be the substantial part of their comment, but that seems to be how these things go on this issue.

                    • Molly

                      @ McFlock.

                      The All Blacks only admit biological men. Do you equate them with the Proud Boys for that?

                      Don't be so lazy and reactionary.

                      Forget Now wrote of the alignment with Gender Critical Beliefs. I would like them to pay the same courtesy that weka has given to them, and articulate what they consider those alignments to be.

                      Forget Now using TLA because they are frustrated to be asked to clarify, when they have asked for clarity and been provided with it many times without reciprocation. How ironic that they are credited with the excuse of frustration.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      Do the All Blacks actually exclude women?

                      There are a small number of Women playing at club level in mens competitions I believe (with dispensation to do so).

                    • McFlock

                      This bullshit is why there's no "deal" ever going to be on a metaphorical table.

                      So the All Blacks exclude trans men. Meh. I'll take your word for it. If it's because NZR are philosophically opposed to including transmen in the group "men", then yeah, it's just as fucked up in that aspect as other examples of arbitrary exclusion.

                      If it's just because NZR have some genuine safety or accessibility concerns, then that deserves discussion and attempts at inclusion by people who know shit about rugby.

                      If you can't see the similarity between groups excluding transpeople on the basis of "biological sex" at birth as the sole delineator, I think Forget Now has had just as productive an approach as anyone else could manage.

                    • Molly []


                      Thing is McFlock, there still has been no details from Forget Now apart from lazy equivalence. That you admire their approach is obvious, you have the same bad faith discussion going on yourself.

                      "If its just because NZR have some genuine safety, or accessibility concerns, then that deserves discussion…"

                      Discussion being the telling word.

                      People = not only women – are being shut down from discussion regarding any concerns they may have. Your comment regarding discussion around the All Blacks discussion strikes me as somewhat hypocritical as you continue to deny any physiological differences between biological men and women, and how this confers benefit in sports competition. You keep shutting that discussion down, without even looking at links or data patiently and repeatedly supplied to you.

                      As for specific groups. Negative impacts on biological women might occur because of badly written legislation that quite rightly seeks to provide dignity and protection for the trans community. Any attempt to discuss this or other matters in an open forum is bayed down, usually by men who have both no understanding or skin in the game.

                      I would have no concern with a transwoman only forum regarding their concerns, because I have nothing to bring to that table, other than allowing them that space to share their lived experiences and views.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Laurel Hubbard: Who is the transgender weightlifter making history at Tokyo 2020? [2 August 2021]

                    If we end up with a reactionary, right wing backlash on trans people and other GNC people, that's on liberals not feminists.

                    Liberals and their cheap shots eh. Will be interesting to see just how many "reactionary, right wing" NZers there are, act least regarding the 'issue' of trans women. Trans men seem relatively safe, for now.

                    Labour's promise to ban conversion therapy is being welcomed by the Greens, rejected by ACT, but National is staying tight-lipped. [6 October 2020]


                    Some interesting opinions below – might some apply / fly in NZ?

                    The Growth of the Anti-Transgender Movement in the United Kingdom. The Silent Radicalization of the British Electorate

                    Can the Labour/Greens pro-trans ‘agenda’ be leveraged against them? Accusations of anti-semitism certainly did a number on Corbyn.

                    Sex wars and (trans) gender panics: Identity and body politics in contemporary UK feminism

                    Remembering Simone de Beauvoir’s ‘ethics of ambiguity’ to challenge contemporary divides: feminism beyond both sex and gender

                    Is there more that unites 'us' than divides us? I hope so.

                    Ties that bind
                    The continued conflation of sex, sexuality and gender
                    Few in the humanities and social sciences will doubt the long-standing historical conflation of sex, sexuality and gender both within and without academia. Despite research and socio-political movements aiming for the contrary, it continues even now. This paper discusses the ongoing conflation between these interrelated but independent social categories in current linguistic research, including how it can serve to reflect and reinforce socio-political antagonism outside of academia. I propose two potential directions of travel: (1) welcoming ideological pluralism between scholars on the primacy of either sex, gender or sexuality; and (2) horizontally disaggregating the three categories. I argue that engaging with both strategies in tandem serves to benefit researchers, participants and the public. The former encourages trust in academic research during a time wherein that trust is waning. The latter enables an analytical distinction between sex, gender, and sexuality in linguistic research, whilst continuing to acknowledge their interrelatedness. Implemented together, they will allow researchers to embed research in the 21st century, which entails pluralistic and competing socio-political activism between equally deserving groups.

                    • weka

                      mate, I have no idea what you are saying. Why are you @ing me a bunch of random links?

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      All very interesting…but not really relevant to the issue du jour is it?

                      What we really need is an academic type to parachute in and explain to us mere mortals what the difference is between "sex" and "gender".

                      Because there is a difference.

                    • Molly

                      From what I understand of the third link, Simone de Beauvoir actually recommends that best practice to protect all groups would be to record all three datum points:

                      Biological sex, gender identity and sexuality.

                      In which case, I agree. All research and data for medical purposes and otherwise would have a clarity and depth to their data that would allow the most appropriate conclusions and recommendations to be drawn.

                      Is that also your belief?

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      Simone de Beauvoir is talking about multiple disciplines of linguistics. Essentially just knowing which field an academic is starting from so the words they use can be interpreted in context.

                      However I don't think GA academics will be going along with disaggregation because they see their purpose as 'challenging' to begin with.

                      I don't think three categories does much good, 2 of the 3 are usually irrelevant depending on the context. Other than biological sex two are often just ill-defined. If gender means anything its an interpretation of how society interacts with somebodies projection of their biological sex. Usually we collect personal information rather than information about how somebody wants society to see them. Also most individuals are not that fussed about how they are perceived. Also that categorisation by gender may be simplistically based on two biological sex categories, but those fundamental categories still inform that societal categorisation. Discarding that foundation of gender just makes nonsense of gender as a more sophisticated concept.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Weka, apologies if the links appear random.

                      They relate to public perceptions of transgender NZers, political (mainly Labour/Green) party policies on rainbow community issues prior to the 2020 general election, and the increasingly acrimonious discussion/debate/divide/war between mainstream feminism and transactivism in the UK/Aussie (that's the last 4 of 7 links).

                      The title of Lexi Webster's paper, "Ties that bind", particularly thought-provoking, given some of the meanings of 'bind', e.g. to unify (bind together), and to restrain ("To exert a binding or restraining influence.")

                      I'd hoped that there is more that unites 'us' than divides us. That's a theme running through the last 3 links (trying to chart a path to 'win-win' from a no-win situation), but maybe my hopes were misplaced and we’re in a bit of a bind. If only there was a progressive way out.

                • Shanreagh

                  There was some upthread discussion about the cis prefix between Molly and Sabine, is that problematic now? Do you use NonTrans Women (you had a Stock interview in a while back – though don't know if she used her catchphrase in that), or what? Trans and Cis seem as natural antonyms to me as; Super and Sub, or; antonym and synonym.

                  So I take it there is no objection to the phrase cis men who are men born men biologically, live as men and whose birth certificate records them as male?

                  Cis women is the most meaningless ugly word to describe a bio woman that I have read to date. It was foisted on us as part of the trans debate. The sound is like a snake and I have no desire to sound like a snake.

                • weka

                  There was some upthread discussion about the cis prefix between Molly and Sabine, is that problematic now? Do you use NonTrans Women

                  or what? Trans and Cis seem as natural antonyms to me as; Super and Sub, or; antonym and synonym.

                  Good for you. What I don't get is how you can support trans sovereignty around language but deny it to women. If a woman doesn't want to be referred to as cis, how is that different from a trans woman not wanting to be referred to as he?

                  I use woman and trans woman, man and trans man. Most people know exactly what I mean when I say that.

                  • Shanreagh

                    Got it Weka.

                    I use woman and trans woman, man and trans man. Most people know exactly what I mean when I say that.

                    Perhaps in defence of cis I could see it in a highly specialised and technical piece of research work teasing out say health differences across women…..eg such as we do with longevity across races, where we drill down to longevity in Maori etc.

                    In day to day convo 'nah'.

                    • Sabine

                      No we don't need the bullshit cis label at all.

                      We are whom we are. Men, Women, children, Transwomen Transmen, Gender queer, Non binary etc. This labeling of people and putting them into neat boxes is going to be the dumbest thing someone ever thought up.

  2. KSaysHi 2

    Good on ASB for developing this, since obviously the govt isn't going to. Still, the mind boggles…30K? That's a shitload of people from one bank – 1.8% of total customer base.


    The bank’s research showed 39 per cent of customers were living from one pay day to the next, and another 18 per cent of customers were spending more than 80 per cent of their income every month.

    Support Finder is available to all customers in the ASB Mobile app.

    “While customers experiencing personal or financial setbacks right now may benefit the most, it is still valuable for any Kiwi to know what financial support may be available to them.”

    Support Finder currently includes 12 government financial assistance options from the Ministry of Social Development and Inland Revenue, with plans to add more in the coming months. ASB will also be training its staff to help identify customers that may be eligible for these benefits.

    • Patricia Bremner 2.1

      Well I am glad they are doing this, for they need the training, after staff and management failed to act on a power of attorney until the ombudsman ruled.

  3. Sabine 3

    oh this was fun to read ………….


    The identities of the senior Comanchero and Waikato Mongrel Mob gang members alleged to be running the New Zealand branch of an international drug smuggling syndicate can now be revealed.

    Junior Heart and Josef Armani Heart, both 32, were arrested in June as part of the so-called "sting of the century". Operation Trojan Shield, a global investigation led by the FBI and the Australian Federal Police, led to hundreds of arrests around the world.

    Name suppression lapsed yesterday for the two men, who each face more than 100 charges including importing and distributing methamphetamine, cocaine and MDMA.

    well its all good a little drug cooking and distributing, so as long as the gang members don't get themselves addicted and then need government paid for rehab. Lol.

    In the meantime elsewhere


    Renters in the Bay of Plenty are ''too scared to move'' and staying put with others still holed up in motels or sleeping on couches – as the rental crisis deepens.

    New figures show median rents have gone up $2860 in two years to $29,900 a year in Tauranga while in Rotorua it has jumped by $4680 to $25,480 a year over the same timeframes.

    the rest of this rental article is a bit of a whinge fest for the poor put upon landlords, but it nevertheless shows the madness that has become our rental market.

    NZ Politics. some making out like the bandits they are, while many others are warehoused out of sight out of mind.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      This Labour govt has consistently imposed increased costs on rental businesses and then – despite being told that the profit margins are much lower than you think – you wonder why the price goes up.

      The reality is that modern housing in NZ is not cheap and there are a lot of reasons feeding into this. But for ages the bottom end of the rental market, those older houses in the last 20% or so of their economic life, were always a kind of safety valve. If you had no other choices there was always a cheap and not necessarily very cheerful rental that would put a roof over your head. Well that option has pretty much gone now – and no-one has thought what to replace it with.

      The reality is that anything built more than 40 – 50 yrs ago (and a fair whack of newer houses) probably falls short of current standards and expectations – from the day they were built. They lacked intelligent sun orientation, thermal mass, ventilation, moisture control and insulation. Double glazing was rare and little consideration given the the climate zone. And I could add to this list of deficiencies in many directions. Heterodox voices have been speaking to them for decades but were largely ignored.

      Now we have a country with a large fraction of it's housing stock not really fit for the purpose we want it to serve now. And most of our cities are either land-locked or if they expand it would be onto otherwise valuable agricultural space.

      Plus fundamentally NZ is one of those relatively successful nations that people want to live in if they get the chance. Also household size keeps dropping for a variety of often unhappy reasons – resulting in a persistent demand constantly puts pressure on our housing stock.

      Honestly I think we need to stop thinking there is a single magic solution that everyone will agree on. The problem is complex and has taken generations to get to this stage – and the solutions aren't going to emerge from people yelling at each other.

      Personally I'd suggest three broad principles :

      1. The state needs to put considerably more energy into building and supporting the standards and skill base in the industry. (BRANZ for instance is absurdly under-powered for the task it faces).
      2. The cost of both land development and building in NZ are absurdly high. This entire sector needs a re-think. And the way we fund housing (and yes the way we've come to over-rely on it as an investment vehicle) all need reshaping over time.
      3. We lack the variety of home occupancy models that are common overseas. At present we only have three options, and one of them – social housing – is limited in supply. These haven't changed in generations, yet the society we live in and our housing needs have changed dramatically.

      Most other aspects of the our housing crisis derive from these three broad starting points. Everyone knows the problem – time to start advocating for actual solutions.

  4. Sabine 4


    Nearly 30,000 New Zealanders are caught in delays for hospital treatment and Covid-19 recovery plans to get services back on track are lagging in some regions.

    The recovery plans were sent to the Ministry of Health last summer and estimated how quickly delays for planned care, including elective procedures, could be reduced.

    Progress has been slower than anticipated for some services, the ministry confirmed to the Herald, but it wouldn't provide details about which services, in what areas.

    • RobbieWgtn 4.1

      No worries, just ring Aunty Helen to get to the top of the queue

    • Anne 4.2

      Nearly 30,000 New Zealanders are caught in delays for hospital treatment…

      I'm one of them. Been waiting nearly 18 months. Due to have the operation on the day the nurses are currently planning to go on strike. If it happens you will forgive me for not seeing them in a very good light.

      RobbieWgtn @ 4.1
      It has always been standard practice that NZ will assist the UN when a serious problem occurs in the Pacific region. The same practice applies to many other first world countries when UN problems arise in their region of responsibility. Helen Clark was merely the messenger.

      Your snarky response suggest stupid and ignorance.

      • gsays 4.2.1

        Like a lot of industries, the response to Covid has put a spanner in the works. This is exacerbated by a full ED, looking to transfer patients to the wards in a full hospital. This leads to surgical appointments being delayed, further pushing times out.

        I have empathy for your plight, not knowing when a needed procedure will occur.
        It is pretty short sighted to blame nurses for your 18 month wait and possible postponement of your procedure. Rather, they are your allies with their industrial action. Wanting safe staffing levels is something we can all support regardless of our political hue.

        From where I sit, any opprobrium should be aimed at local Hospital Governance and Board level or at the Ministry itself for their penny-pinching, neo-liberal ways.

        • Anne

          Sorry gsays, I have much respect for your contributions here but I don't agree with you on this one.

          I see the DHB's are going to take the nurses to court. That might be a good thing. If, as I suspect, a relatively small group of politically motivated firebrands are placing pressure on the nurses then maybe such a case will expose who they are.


          And let me say again, thanks a million nurses. How many thousands of people like me who have been living in discomfort (in my case daily anti inflammatory and pain killing tablets to allow me to move about) have had their ops and recuperation plans left in disarray?

          • gsays

            It is hard to watch someone in discomfort. I have just spent a week with a buddy who had a hip replacement 2 yrs ago and is now overdue the other to be operated on. Hobbling and groaning…

            I can assure you, to the best of my knowledge, the firebrands putting pressure on the majority is not the case. I was quite surprised and impressed when the offer was not ratified.

            There are, as you probably know, a lot of migrant workers in the workforce. One of the comments during the last strike was about how scary it was to be going on strike. If that were to happen in India, they would be black-listed and not be able to work for the state again. For the nurses to not ratify and go ahead with with-drawing their labour speaks to how much of a gutsful they have had.

            Also, this proposed court action is hardly in keeping with good faith bargaining. I can't help but feel if Coleman or Ryall tried this sort of dirt we would be hearing about it.

            • Anne

              I value your knowledge on the subject gsays and don't doubt anything you say.

              My take is: that all sectors of society are under enormous strain due to Covid… teachers, nurses, farmers, retail companies, orchardists, council workers, shop assistants, cleaners, drivers, public servants (bless their cotton socks 😈 – yeah I was one once) tinkers, tailors and candlestick makers etc.

              The nurses are already among the better paid and over and above they have been offered a salary rise of $13.000 per annum. That is big time in the scheme of things. Sure, I think I understand their concerns re-the DHBs. They have become self-serving fiefdoms (and a few have shown they are not up to the job) whose promises are to be viewed with apprehension. But given the government's intention to do away with the 'fiefdoms' and replace them with a handful of more centrally operated health entities who will be under much stricter guidance, that should help to eliminate the fears of the health sector hierarchy reneging on those promises.

              • gsays

                "The nurses are already among the better paid and over and above they have been offered a salary rise of $13.000 per annum."

                I have had many jokes over 'nurse's math'.

                I am dead keen to see the arithmetic for your assertion.

          • Cricklewood

            Nah… there's actual anger around staffing and promises havent been kept re staffing levels.

            Freind of mine has been assaulted in ED twice this year. Big issue is that nearly every damn shift she does isnt adequatly staffed and she finds herself alone dealing with intoxicated and uncooperative indvidiuals.

            Its a shit situation.

      • Sabine 4.2.2

        How dare the Nurses strike.

        Labour 2023

        Sorry mate if you miss out, but then i missed out on three appointments last year, leading to my 'medical need' scheduled in August to finally happen in June. Each time was 'time off' for me and the partner to drive me about all drugged up, and all cancelled at the beep of the telephone. And all that to some 'lockdowns' in Auckland. And that has happened for so many people that literally who cares. I mean the Ministry does not even care to elaborate and who, why, when, where.

        But really who do these Nurses think they are? Don't they know that they are to be at service at demand at the price offered. Who do they think they are.

        • gsays

          Your last paragraph touches on something that has been at the back of my mind. Pay parity is part of these negotiations.

          I realise the gender self ID/what is a woman issue is occupying time and energies currently. Getting behind the nurses and their pay parity would be a great unifying prize to achieve for women.

          Without telling women what to do of course…wink

          • Sabine

            well then, just get behind the nurses, and don't tell women what to do. 🙂

  5. weka 5


  6. Forget now 6

    Now that the occupying ("caretaker") HRPP government has finally conceded, FAST are living up to their name in their speed of getting stuff done – or undone in this case:

    Samoa's new prime minister has opted not to proceed with a China-backed port development project championed by her predecessor.

    Fiame Naomi Mata'afa said the $US100 million ($NZ139m) project would have significantly added to the country's exposure to China which already accounts for 40 percent of its external debt…

    The Vaiusu Bay port project was one of the early items on the FAST government's agenda. According to Fiame, the project would increase debt exposure to China by 70 percent.

    She said government officials confirmed last week the project had not gone beyond feasability testing and that it exceeded Samoa's requirement.


    It's been a year for Fiame! On top of the Pandemic (that everyone has had to deal with), she has gone from – in August last year; " Samoa's first woman minister and deputy prime minister", to abandoning the party of her father (Samoa's first PM) over the then-PM's power-grab attempt to change the constitution to; "alter the power of the land and titles court", in the context of an influx of China cash. Joining (and eventually leading) in September 2020 {parentheses mine}:

    Several MPs {who} had already quit the party over the bills, including the former speaker of Parliament La'auli Leauatea Polataivao, who has since formed his own political party.

    That party, the Fa'atuatua i Le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST), has since consolidated with two other opposition parties to form one of the most significant {and ultimately successful} challenges to the HRPP in decades.


  7. Jimmy 7

    This Labour government should listen to advice especially when it comes from one of their own who is probably more experienced than the whole front bench.


  8. McFlock 8

    Covid vax updates are now every weekday.

    Totals for week ending last night: a quarter million jabs, averaging 36k a day (based on it being a full week rather than partial as flagged in the data).

    • KSaysHi 8.1

      And as yet no update on the backup plan should the vaccines fail for any reason (ADE, side effect as yet unknown but too risky, found to facilitate mutation due to the absense of sterilized immunity..), Too many eggs in the vaccine basket.

      We need to be focusing on getting out population as healthy as possible. Since obeasity the worst risk factor, followed closely by fear disorders NZ should be encouraging people in those catagories to lose weight and seek treatment asap to reduce the risk of hospitilastion and death. It would have the wonderful side effect of lowering the cost of weight related disorders in our health system. Now is the time!

      • Matiri 8.1.1

        Re getting our population as healthy as possible, the health reforms announced recently included a stronger focus on Public Health. I hope that tackling NZs obesity problem will be a major focus.


      • McFlock 8.1.2

        Vaccine "failure" will still be far more effective than "encouraging" people to lose weight.

        • KSaysHi

          Vaccine failure should be anticipated. Right now the public has an expectation that this is the right solution and the only concern is getting the vaccine hesitant over the line. smh.

          • McFlock

            Mate, I don't know of any immunologists or public health professionals who believe that the vaccines are guaranteed to be a magic 100% accurate bullet against all current and future variants of covid. It would be great, but if that doesn't happen it's not "vaccine failure".

            Worst realistic case scenario, it ends up like influenza with a new jab every year, and even the occasional lockdown. Because having a needle doesn't mean throwing out the rest of the epidemic response playbook.

            Shake your head all you want, but even vaccines needing booster shots or new batches will still be more efficacious than getting everyone to a healthy BMI.

            But keep hawking your vaccine-futilism (and whatever other quackery is common amongst the chicken-littles this month).

            • Rosemary McDonald

              Worst realistic case scenario, it ends up like influenza with a new jab every year,

              Well, that all depends doesn't it?

              How about every six months?

              Demand for the third booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine was high across the country, Israel’s health maintenance organizations reported on Sunday, the first official day of the rollout for people over 60.

              Still, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett urged healthcare providers to administer the shot — available to all those over 60 who received their second dose more than five months ago — even faster.

              “The situation is good, but we have to pick up the pace,” Bennett told the heads of Maccabi, Meuhedet, Leumit, and Clalit on Sunday evening. “Our daily rate needs to be five times what it is now…. Our goal is to vaccinate everyone by the end of the month. It’s ambitious, but it’s possible.”

              Running to stand still.

              • The Al1en

                Running to stand still

                Ass opposed to standing still and waiting to get sick with a higher likelihood of being dead.

                As an immune deficient, I'll have a jab every month if I have to, thanks.

              • McFlock

                A year, six months, big deal, if it's a booster rather than a new vaccine. A new one might start pushing crap uphill, logistics-wise.

                Still better than losing weight to beat covid.

  9. cricklewood 9

    Have to wonder when we reach the point where the world decides to 'globalize' the covid vaccines for public good. Price gouging and profiteering during a crisis effecting humanity…

    Pfizer raised the price of its Covid-19 vaccine by more than a quarter and Moderna by more than a tenth in the latest EU supply contracts

    Pfizer last week raised its guidance for annual vaccine revenue by nearly a third to $33.5bn, after sales of the shot helped almost double sales in the second quarter.


  10. gsays 10

    I have just heard on the 2pm news that DHB's plan to take the NZNO to court because they will not guarantee appropriate staffing levels during the planned strike.

    What chutzpah!

    What incredible gall. Safe staffing levels is at the heart of negotiations now.

    Not what I would call bargaining with integrity and this sort of tactic is beneath Minister Little. No link as yet, will put it up when I see it.

    Triple the irony, as the management at our local hospital have proposed a unit to handle any overflow when things get busy. When asked, 'By whom would this unit be staffed?', the sound of crickets after a long awkward silence…

    Time to break out the unicorn fart powered rainbow generator.

    • McFlock 10.1

      yeah, the hypocrisy is pretty impressive.

      If the DHBs were like "this is the budget we have from the government", they'd have a bit of sympathy. But this move is tone deaf.

      • Sabine 10.1.1

        Initially there were 21 DHBs, and this was reduced to the current 20 organisations in 2010. DHBs receive public funding from the Ministry of Health on behalf of the Crown, based on a formula which takes into account the total number, age, socio-economic status and ethnic mix of their population.


        Maybe they should actually start pointing the finger at those that control the budget strings. And that would be the Ministry of Health.

        But then maybe it is not advised to be unkind and ungentle to the hand that feeds?

      • Chris 10.2.1

        Do you think Little's behind or supportive of the DHBs' claim? Would it be more likely the DHBs are off on one and that he'll tell them to pull their heads in?

        • gsays

          I think enough of the man to think your second proposal is more likely.

          The tactics are not what I would expect from a decent union man.

        • pat

          I dont see DHBs taking legal action without the approval of the Minister somehow.

          • Anne

            If it is seen as an operational decision on the part of the DHBs then the minister cannot get involved. The Urewera police raid was an operational decision which meant the police minister of the day, Annette King could not get involved.

            I originally thought a court case might be a good idea – get the truth out into the open – but that is way too simplistic.

            • pat

              And yet the Minister appears to have been involved for sometime in these negotiations.

              • Anne

                Ministers are often involved in major Public Service pay negotiations and related settlements. They are the ones who control the purse strings. But if a public entity or group of entities choose to take a specific course of action outside of formal negotiation procedures, then I don't think the minister can interfere.

                I don't know whether this court action by the DHBs falls into that category or not.

                • pat

                  The Minister may not be able to 'interfere' but as said I dont see the DHBs taking this to court without the Ministers approval ….he will have been appraised before the event and I'd suggest if he was strongly opposed it wouldnt be happening.

                  • Anne

                    If you turn out to be right then I imagine his attitude is:

                    Let the employment court decide. I've got too many other things to do. Personally I think Little is overloaded. He's very intelligent, reliable and efficient but there are only so many hours in the day.

            • gsays

              I need to raise a point of order to clarify what I stated earlier.

              It is the employment court the DHB's are taking the NZNO to.

    • KSaysHi 10.3

      Someone needs to reign the DHBs in. A pissed off judge can do it.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
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    1 week ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
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    1 week ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
    A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. “Phasing out the regulations on ‘low-use’ electricity plans will create a fairer playing field for all New Zealanders and encourage a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
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    2 weeks ago