Open mike 02/12/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 2nd, 2020 - 123 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 …

123 comments on “Open mike 02/12/2020 ”

  1. Ad 1

    So if you'd like to take a stand against China's bullying of Australia, which includes its slapping of a 212% tariff on Australian wine, there's just one thing to do:

    https://www.theage.com.au/world/europe/will-not-be-bullied-citizens-around-the-world-told-to-buy-australian-wine-in-stand-against-china-20201201-p56jew.html

    Join with thousands of other Parliamentarians around the world and buy an Australian wine today. in the video, even Minister Sepuloni joins in:

    "You know what? Japanese sake is the best!" says Shiori Yamao, an independent member of Japan's House of Representatives before Republican Senator Ted Yoho declares "two words – Napa Valley", before saying it is time to "drink something a little bit different" and buy Australian wine, "because our friends need our help".

    "We are asking you all to join us in standing against Xi Jinping's authoritarian bullying," says Miriam Lexmann, a Christian Democrat Member of the European Parliament.

    "By drinking a bottle or two of Australian wine and letting the Chinese Communist Party know that we will not be bullied," says Swedish Christian Democratic, Elisabet Lann, a municipal councillor who holds up a glass of Penfolds.

    The video features one Australian MP – Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching from Victoria – who said that China's attempts to bully Australia, including its list of 14 grievances, was an attack on "free countries everywhere".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04CVZeyuaCk

    • RedLogix 1.1

      A good analysis here as well:

      China has lost such trust through its belligerent behaviour towards Japan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and a host of trading partners.

      But its diplomats don’t care. The Chinese Communist Party is striving for complete control at home. The forces of the People’s Liberation Army are rapidly overtaking those of the US. Its economic influence is already second to none.

      So why bother backing down?

      “Once we’ve given up communicating, the danger level rises on everything,” Dr Rogers said.

      Yet China's massive economic clout, a weapon it's now openly using to coerce Australia, is entirely dependent on the trust of other nations. Perhaps more than any other modern large nation it's wealth and influence has only come about because of a unique set of circumstances that have prevailed since the end of WW2.

      Yet it is also incredibly vulnerable:

      It's a nation with very poor food security, ranked lower than India. In particular it has a very low arable land area per capita, worse still much of that land highly dependent on imported inputs to remain productive.

      It's an ageing nation dependent on export markets to sustain it's industries. There will be no consumption led growth for China, it's demographic precludes this.

      And for all the hype and noise about going green, China like the rest of the world still gets 85% of it's energy from fossil fuels. Much of which is imported and highly vulnerable to disruption.

      It's surrounded by 14 other nations, most of which are distrusting or engaged in low level hostilities. It may have a large navy, but for the moment it's constrained by a First Island Chain of neighbours that limit the kind of blue water projection of power necessary to protect it's shipping routes.

      It's financial system is so monstrously overleveraged that it makes the rest of the world look like a model of probity.

      And while we have grown up thinking of China as a monolithic nation, it's history is quite otherwise. There are numerous geographic, ethnic and economic reasons that constantly pull in the other direction. This is the reason why the CCP exert such draconian control over their population, they fear this more than anything else.

      It really doesn't matter which one of these factors blows up first, when one goes it will be the perfect storm. The question I keep asking myself, is exactly what are the CCP's intentions here? And sadly I keep coming back to Xi Xinping's own words when he repeatedly commands his military to prepare for war. The CCP understand their vulnerabilities; none of it is rocket science. Their answer they have arrived at is imperial dominance.

      Sometimes when someone says they want to kill you, it's not wholly paranoid to believe them.

      • francesca 1.1.1

        Sure, sure Red, when you also stand up against the economic sanctions imposed on poor countries causing poverty , illness and death .

        Venezuela, Syria,Iran…the list goes on .But we can make a stand against imperialist bullying by knocking ourselves out on Aussie wine!!!!!!

        I can't think of a more middle class first world protest than drink the Aussie wine that's killed Aussie rivers and displaced indigenous communities

        • RedLogix 1.1.1.1

          I understand where you're coming from; nowhere have I claimed the US-led system did not make mistakes and fall short of it's professed ideals. Yet focusing solely on the failures means we also miss the enormous successes. Because while it's important to accept and take responsibility for our failures, unless we also know what we have done right, we have no starting point and no compass to guide us to better.

          For the purpose of a useful discussion I'm going to take all those failures as read; and at then look to what it got right, and how it shaped all the good things about the modern world you live in.

          I can't think of a more middle class first world protest than drink the Aussie wine that's killed Aussie rivers and displaced indigenous communities

          Wineries may have some impact, but it's nothing compared to the far more massive consequences of cotton and rice farming.

          As for the displacement of indigenous communities … well I ask you this … is there any people in all of human history that have not been 'displaced' at some point? It was almost always a brutal, ugly process and it's only a fairly modern idea that maybe we could do this differently.

          • Ad 1.1.1.1.1

            That Human Progress site is a tonic.

          • francesca 1.1.1.1.2

            Well thats where we part company Red

            "mistakes"?

            "falling short"?

            I suggest all those "mistakes" and "shortfalls"are working just dandy for the monied interests that have captured "democracies" all over the globe

            https://theintercept.com/2015/07/30/jimmy-carter-u-s-oligarchy-unlimited-political-bribery/

            Monied interests backed up by national .military might .

            It's been going on for long enough for those "mistakes and "shortfalls " to have been corrected several times over

            The United Fruit Company in Guatemala is a case study for all

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.1

              I'd prefer not to part company if possible. If you'd bear with me maybe we could explore another more constructive framework to view the US at some other time.

              Cheers

        • WeTheBleeple 1.1.1.2

          I was just looking at the issue of vinasse yesterday, and wondering what kiwis do with this waste. It's one of the dirty aspects of crop residue type biofuels too. Some articles hinted at solutions, but wanted me to pay money for science we as taxpayers already paid for. Ideas like microbial processing for byproducts, making biochar from it, co-composting with other waste streams…

          One article went so far as to claim vinasse as a valuable resource which I had wondered at, again, an article behind a paywall.

        • Adrian Thornton 1.1.1.3

          @francesca +1, not to mention Australia has obviously taken the USA's lead and become extremely aggressive in their dealing with China ever since it became apparent that China will lead the world with their 5G technologies…then all of a sudden China is public enemy number one, it's not that hard to put the pieces together..is it? though as usual, the usual suspects around here get lead around like dogs on a leash…barking at those they are told to bark at, time and again always the same ones… it's kind of pathetic really

          Huawei Australia says ban is a ‘slap in the face’ to China

          Former PM Malcolm Turnbull has defended his decision to ban Huawei from Australia’s 5G rollout. But the Chinese tech giant is still offended.

          https://www.news.com.au/technology/online/internet/huawei-australia-says-ban-is-a-slap-in-the-face-to-china/news-story/4d6ba569b153c0e068a5be515e9da36f

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.3.1

            Would you post here if you knew that the SIS had built and provided the server box Lynn uses to run The Standard on?

            Hypothetically speaking.

            • Adrian Thornton 1.1.1.3.1.1

              So if we follow your your logic, then this severer would be being monitored directly by the CIA, so what's the difference?

              • RedLogix

                I take it then that your answer is no.

                • Adrian Thornton

                  No the answer is yes…I assume that everything on the net is traceable at any time to most powerful governments/secret services in the world which is why I don't bother trying to hide my identity.

                  • RedLogix

                    OK so you have confirmed that you believe that IT infrastructure is essentially wide open to government monitoring and infiltration.

                    Now can you see why Western governments are reluctant to go with Huawei?

        • Descendant Of Smith 1.1.1.4

          How much of Cuba's struggle for instance was because of the embargos put on by the USA? Without those embargos what would they have looked like….

      • Ad 1.1.2

        Like you I wonder at whether Xi Jinping's government really is as coherent as it proposes.

        In particular we have often seen the Belt and Road Initiative is portrayed as a geopolitical strategy that ensnares countries into unsustainable debt and then allows China undue influence in a country.

        But the on-ground evidence shows that China's development financing system is too fragmented and poorly coordinated to pursue detailed strategic objectives; and developing-country governments and their associated political and economic interests are still acting like they are sovereign when it comes to determining the nature of BRI projects.

        If BRI had some Jinping masterplan for global control, it would not have been rolled out piecemeal through a series of diverse bilateral interactions.

        Also, if BRI really were out to rule the world there simply wouldn't have been that many stuffups and poorly conceived and managed projects. They would have adjusted and altered rather than piling up the negative economic, social, political and environmental negative consequences.

        In Sri Lanka and Malaysia, the two most widely cited ‘victims’ of China’s ‘debt-trap diplomacy’, the most controversial BRI projects were initiated by the recipient governments, which pursued their own domestic agendas. Their debt problems arose mainly from the misconduct of local elites and Western-dominated financial markets. China has faced negative reactions and pushback in both countries, though to a lesser extent than is commonly believed, given the high-level interests at stake in the recipient countries.

        Being an infrastructure nerd I still think BRI is one of their best ways to stop behaving like the new global asshole. Chiense policymakers should develop a coherent, integrated decision-making system with sufficient risk assessment capabilities and strict and clear and enforceable rules. That means Xi Jinping demonstrates he can truly regain control of its massive state owned enterprise (SOE) construction and development and infrastructure sector.

        To me it's a trap if Australia or New Zealand or Singapore looks at BRI as if it were being strategically directed from the top down.

        And of course if they want to reverse Chinese influence with such developing-country governments they should provide alternative development financing options to recipient states, and keep encouraging open-society journalists to improve the transparency of these megaprojects.

        And there's that thing called sunlight: the large developed-world construction companies can keep needling and pushing higher demands for transparency and public participation around the design, feasibility, selection, tendering, and management of BRI megaprojects.

        Chatham House details the Sri Lanka and Indonesia cases for BRI here:

        https://www.chathamhouse.org/2020/08/debunking-myth-debt-trap-diplomacy

        • RedLogix 1.1.2.1

          Yes. BRI was at heart a good idea if it had been pursued on an open multilateral, global development basis. But instead it was primarily captured by crude China centric merchantile interests that undermined it's credibility from the outset.

          Otherwise I appreciate your perspective on this. I find BRI such a herd of cats it's hard to form a coherent picture of it.

      • Treetop 1.1.3

        What do you see long term that China will do with Hong Kong?

        Food production hub, military base, financial hub.

      • Tiger Mountain 1.1.4

        Australia has long been the US “Deputy Dog” in the South Pacific, so can likely be taken as a US proxy–though who knows to what end given the Trump period. Most significant wars are imperialist wars whether fought out ideologically, technologically, via trade, or armed conflict.

        So what is in it for the NZ working class, siding with Australia in this pathetic case?
        Donald Trump could put out multiple highly offensive international tweets in the time between dinner and his midnight happy meal.

  2. gsays 2

    Yes, it's terrible.

    I'll be sure to tweet my outrage on my device made by 10 year olds in China.

    Hat tip, Frankie Boyle.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    We should all be very alarmed at this stoush between Australia and China. Neither side seems prepared to back down. This has to be seen in the context of Australia's current massive military build up. Over the next 10 years, Australia will spend $200 billion on defence in the nation’s largest ever peacetime rearmament program, and make no mistake – the current ANZAC + Singapore has a combined GDP in excess of 2 trillion dollars and is a middle power and major player in the Asia-Pacific region that controls key shipping routes and access to the Indian Ocean. China clearly has marked Australia's card as the sort of medium sized power it can cut down to size pour encourager les autres. especially in light of the isolationist chaos of the Trump regime perhaps offering the chance to pick off a key US ally. We should be very alarmed because Australia is NZ's main security partner. To paraphrase MJ Savage, where Australia goes we go, where Australia stands we stand. If China picks a fight with Australia, then eventually, if push comes to shove, they pick a fight with us.

    Xi's ascendancy is an utter tragedy for China. Just when it looked like China would join the world as a constructive player, they've slid backwards into the embrace of wild nationalism, authoritarian posturing about China's "dignity" and aggression.

    The Chinese leadership seems determined to pursue an agenda of confrontation with anyone who dares stand up to their artless and crude bullying, and will blatantly use trade to do so. They are signaling they are an untrustworthy trade partner whose scant respect for the rule of law internally is now being turned onto anyone who deviates from the butcher's of Bejings line. Appeasement though is unlikely to work with brutal and bullying dictatorships who fundamentally regard Western social democracy and freedoms as a threat to their own dictatorship.

    Unless China changes path war will become inevitable, mark my words.

    • KSaysHi 3.1

      Unfortunately, I think you are right.

    • RedLogix 3.2

      In line with my reply above at 1.1 yes I have to fully agree with you. It's astonishing just how rapidly COVID has accelerated the final dissolution of the post WW2 US led trade order. Like all things human it was flawed, and many here still like to attribute to it all the wickedness in the world. But the fact is that it also enabled virtually everything we take for granted about our modern lives.

      And it's just gone away.

    • Stuart Munro 3.3

      Agreed – I liked Hu, he had an impressive work ethic – Xi, not so much.

    • Adrian Thornton 3.4

      "The Chinese leadership seems determined to pursue an agenda of confrontation with anyone who dares stand up to their artless and crude bullying, and will blatantly use trade to do so"

      ..man you have a short memory there pal, I seem to remember that we were all fine with trade with China when it meant shifting all our industries and manufacturers over there so they could exploit their cheap labour to make more and more profits for themselves their shareholders (don't you remember that just a few months ago hardly one western country could even supply themselves face masks FFS!) and workers could all go and buy cheap shoes and TV's to make themselves all feel better about their stagnant wage growth …now all of a sudden when China becomes a powerful world player, and as a direct result of our own western liberal free market trade policies, we get all shitty at them…what a fucking joke…you and Ad and Red Logic and few others around here need to go and take a long hard look in the mirror….China's position in the world today is the direct result of western liberalism as conducted by the governments New Zealand and Australia over the past 30 years pure and simple.

      Turn Labour Left!

      • francesca 3.4.1

        I agree with you there Adrian

        Without cheap goods and electronic gadgets to sedate them, the low wage workers would have been out on the streets with pitchforks long ago

        Utter hypocrisy to be pointing the finger at China.

  4. KSaysHi 4

    Lin Wood tweeted a press release this morning calling on Trump to declare martial law to hold a new election if the Courts and Congress fail to uphold the Constitution. Not sure if it's appropriate to link, but should be easy enough to find because there is a full page ad in the Washington Times.

    Don't think it's possible given the constitutional deadlines (a bit contradictory…instate martial law to hold election/thereby ignoring consitutional deadline). Plus parts of the government are shutting down for Christmas and will no longer have the ability to act until the next lot come in.

  5. Tricledrown 5

    Child Poverty needs fixing $500 to $1 billion per year to fix.

    We can buy flash military equipment worth billions yet we can't fix child poverty these children will be paying for these posiedens( which most likely never be used ) but on miminimum wage jobs or benefits .

    We need to invest in our future workforce parents etc keeping another generation in poverty is a crime against humanity.

    • Sanctuary 5.1

      The way things are going with China, we'll have to re-arm soon and that'll cost a fortune.

      • Phillip ure 5.1.1

        send the poor people off to fight in a war..

        problem solved..!

      • The Al1en 5.1.2

        Like Phil's comments, rearming with an aim of defending against an aggressive full on China attack is a pointless exercise.

        As an example of monetary waste it would be unprecedented. All that cash to get knocked out in a couple of days or weeks can't seriously be justified.

        Better to build bridges than bombs.

    • Incognito 5.2

      [Link required]

    • Sabine 5.3

      if we could just do something about Parent Poverty. I wonder if that would then trickle down and have an effect on Child Poverty.

      Nah, that would not fix anything, lest waste another three years on consultants and hey, maybe a free sandwich at school, no second tho, we would not want to spoil the little bludgers, right?

    • Treetop 5.4

      In my childhood in the 1960s people had vegie gardens.

      The government need to invest in portable gardens, supply plants and run classes in halls. I realise this would take extra effort for those in rentals and that the landlord would need to agree. At least what was grown would be healthy.

      Community gardens would also work and orchardists could donate surplus fruit.

      • Descendant Of Smith 5.4.1

        We easily grow enough food to feed everyone without home vege gardens – we just can't afford to buy it or it gets deliberately wasted e.g. Watties contracts that require surplus to their (Watties) requirements to be destroyed and not sold elsewhere.

        It isn't really a supply and demand market where prices come down if production in in excess of demand – it is a command and control market where supply is deliberately controlled to maximise profit.

        • greywarshark 5.4.1.1

          Saw this ad Vegepod: About $90 but should last – good idea. Made in Tauranga seems. Look up on google – link is too long. Email – [email protected]

          Goodwood.nz Planter boxes untreated $79 kitset see on google

          Or tubs – bore through plastic about 3 holes with drill cheap – hold 10-15litres usually – don't know whether flexi tubs would be strong enough – think rigid.

          Some suitable see – https://www.thewarehouse.co.nz/c/home-garden/homewares/storage/flexi-tubs

          https://www.supercheapauto.co.nz/shop-by-category/car-care/detailing-accessories/buckets-and-tubs

          Also bunnings and mitre 10. Remember people make a living out of growing vegs and have jobs looking after them so being entirely self-sufficient would not be the way to go.

          • Treetop 5.4.1.1.1

            I have a young friend who uses any bits her or I can lay our hands on to plant stuff in. She grows plants from seeds and has just finished her degree with a toddler and a preschooler. Given the timber I could whack up some portable planter boxes and my strength is limited.

            The gardening bug sticks once you start getting results. I started gardening 2 years ago.

            The planter boxes you mentioned (or other) would make a great gift.

        • WeTheBleeple 5.4.1.2

          Can you show evidence of Watties doing this?

      • Sacha 5.4.2

        In the 1950s and 60s people also had families where one of two parents stayed home full-time to tend to gardens and suchlike. Different world.

        There are good gardening programmes in some schools now where the students invest the labour and the school organises the supplies.

    • McFlock 5.5

      Talking about this? NZ child poverty monitor released today.

      Not sure where you get the cash figure from though.

      There was also a child health report released yesterday.

  6. Tricledrown 6

    Kathryn Rich at it again defending high sugar fruit juices .

    Claiming Scientific evidence proves otherwise.

    Yet we have one of the highest levels of obesity of any country in the world.

    A sugar tax to pay for the epidemic of type 2 diabetes overloading our health system.

    A leopard never changes her spots after picking on our duopoly grocery marketfor acting uncompetively. I knew she could not be trusted with the Truth.

    • Incognito 6.1

      [Link required]

    • Stuart Munro 6.2

      Better I think to regulate maximums and creep them down incrementally – that way consumers are nudged away from sugar addiction.

      Link is https://www.fgc.org.nz/another-look-at-sugar-labelling/

      Taxes are not always the best answer.

      • Phillip ure 6.2.1

        agreed…a sugar tax on (some of) the end product is incrementalism writ large..(in the sense of going 'look..!..we are doing something..!'..

        ..but in reality as far as addressing/solving the big problem…will achieve pretty much zilch..(which is of course the definition of incrementalism..)

        what will work is setting maximum amounts of sugar/salt/fat allowed in any food/drink sold to the public ..

        the reason the peddlers of these ill-health-in-a-bottle/packets love sugar so much..is 'cos it is as cheap as chips…and addictive..

        these cynical bastards know exactly what they are doing ..and there is no way they will stop these practices..

        regulating maximums is the only reform that will work..

        and of course the politicians also know this..and it really pisses me off that I am going to have to endure the self-congratulary b.s. they will spout..

        ..as they move to do very little at all..

        and moves that as far as our obesity problems are concerned..

        will do/achieve s.f.a…

      • Descendant Of Smith 6.2.2

        There's a documentary somewhere about how scientists, including a NZ one, recommended a maximum level for the WHO guidelines which many companies/countries follow. When the final paper came out the maximums were missing.

        Turns out the sugar companies had sponsored the work.

        The scientists involved did fight back against this but made little traction. Fixing that would be a good start.

  7. weka 7

    For those following the sex/gender wars, there's been a landmark judgement from a UK court today. Keira Bell, a previous patient at the Tavistock Clinic who took puberty blockers, later had a double mastectomy, and then detransitioned, along with a parent of an autistic 15 year old receiving gender dysphoria treatment, took the clinic to court on the basis that children under the age of 16 cannot give consent to irreversible medical treatments because they cannot understand the implications. Judgement today was in their favour.

    The judges said there would be enormous difficulties for young children weighing up this information and deciding whether to consent to the use of puberty blocking medication.

    “It is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers,” the judges added. “It is doubtful that a child aged 14 or 15 could understand and weigh the long-term risks and consequences of the administration of puberty blockers.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/01/children-who-want-puberty-blockers-must-understand-effects-high-court-rules

    Reasonable overview write up from the Guardian.

    • weka 7.1

      https://twitter.com/NickCohen4/status/1333760530209714177

      That's an example of a number of problems with the philosophy and practice at Tavistock. Hopefully now the general culture will start to change so that kids at risk of transitioning can be helped alongside trans kids that need medical intervention. Unfortunately Tavistock are going to appeal the decision.

    • weka 7.2

      for those who haven't been following, there's been a sharp increase in the UK in girls being referred for gender dysphoria treatment, which can fast track some into medical treatment.

      Growing up, Keira Bell felt confused and distressed by her body.

      At 16, she became one of thousands of girls, some as young as 10 or 11, referred to the Tavistock and Portman Trust.

      After three one-hour appointments she was prescribed puberty blockers before she was put on testosterone.

      "When I was 20 I had a double mastectomy," she said.

      She believed the treatment would help her "achieve happiness".

      Ms Bell, who began de-transitioning last year, said: "It was heartbreaking to realise I'd gone down the wrong path."

      https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-55144148

      The Gender Critical Feminist position on this is that girls end up hating their bodies because society still gives them so many messages that being female is bad/wrong and being male is good/right, as well as society reinforcing gender stereotypes that make life hard for gender nonconforming (GNC) kids. For lesbians, sometimes its easier to come out as trans than gay especially if they are in a family or community that is homophobic. There are additional issues for autistic teens (who naturally have more gender nonconformity than the general population), and girls who have been sexually abused.

      Tavistock should have been taking all that into account, but instead is using an affirmative model which says that if a child says they are a different gender then they should be treated as that.

      Feminist solutions are to change society so that GNC is normalised.

    • weka 7.3

      Also this.

      https://twitter.com/GoonerProf/status/1333806619503833091

      @Chican3ry (trans woman) and @GoonerProf (GCF) are both worth following, thoughtful and intelligent tweets from both sides of the war.

      • Mika 7.3.1

        One of the concerns I have is the number of gender non-conforming children who are pathologised and medicalised. The "affirmation only" approach practiced in NZ, leads to extremely high numbers going onto puberty blockers and ultimately cross-sex hormones, and there are irreversible effects such as infertility, and impaired sexual function, as well as permanent changes to voice, facial hair etc. Children and young people cannot possibly understand the consequences of these types of decisions.

        The saddest part is that in the past there was a model called "watchful waiting" where nothing was rushed, and the child was offered counselling and given time. Between 78-80% of kids on this pathway eventually grew out of their gender identity disorder and came to accept their sexed bodies as they are. Most of these kids grew up to be healthy gay and lesbian adults, without the long term medical consequences of hormone therapy.

        I am concerned that gender non-conforming gay and lesbian youth are being driven into a medicalisation model that results in infertility and permanent damage to healthy bodies. What is happening currently in NZ is literally sterilising gay kids for gender non-conformity.

        Keira Bell is an inspiration and a heroine for lesbian youth all the world, for the bravery she has shown.

    • Rosemary McDonald 7.4

      Finally!!! About time the ethics of irreversible gender reassignment 'treatment' was put under a strong spotlight.

      Thanks weka. I have been following this issue and will catch up with the reading later.

      By that time the backlash from the trans 'community' should be coming through.

      ("community" because there are many trans people who are equally uncomfortable with the massive increase in the numbers of children being 'treated' for gender dysphoria chemically and surgically.)

      • weka 7.4.1

        Am hoping it will at least open up the discussion, that MSM will get their shit together and report better, and that there's now some change of both GCF and TA positions being talked about without the bullshit around all that.

        I wouldn't say the trans community, so much as trans activists (which is both trans and not trans people). The main TA lobbies are lobbying against the ruling, but I think it's worth listening to TAs like Mallory above on the issues around trans health care. If we continue to polarise this, then trans kids will get thrown under the bus more.

        Beyond that there's a bigger conversation around society's reliance on overmedicalising generally. I think that's a very hard conversation to have in this area but I still see the potential for societal change that makes GNC easier for women, men and trans/NB people, lessening the pressure for medication and surgery while making sure that people that need those things can access them more equitably.

        Fuck transhumanism and it's anti-nature politics though, and fuck neoliberalism that is colonising feminism and gender nonconformity along with everything else.

        • Rosemary McDonald 7.4.1.1

          From the Guardian article you linked to..

          Diagnosis of gender dysphoria involves children demonstrating at least six of a series of behavioural traits as well as an “associated significant distress or impairment in function, lasting at least six months”.

          Those patterns of behaviour include:

          • A strong desire to be of the other gender or an insistence that one is the other gender.

          • A strong preference for wearing clothes typical of the other gender.

          • A strong preference for cross-gender roles in make-believe play or fantasy play.

          • A strong preference for toys, games or activities stereotypically used or engaged in by the other gender.

          • A strong preference for playmates of the other gender.

          • A strong rejection of toys, games and activities typical of one’s assigned gender.

          • A strong dislike of one’s sexual anatomy.

          • A strong desire for the physical sex characteristics that match one’s experienced gender.

          Interesting to read exactly what the 'symptoms' of gender dysphoria are.

          Growing up I could have easily ticked the required six boxes. Often criticized for my unfeminine/mannish behaviour and dress, and even to this day and three kids later I still get strange looks because I flatly refuse to wear heels and make up.

          Ffs, can't we just learn to accept ourselves and others how we are? Feminism was supposed to liberate us from restrictive rules of sex/gender sterotypes. The appallingly drastic interventions that these children have been subjected to because some fuckwit decided that …

          A strong preference for wearing clothes typical of the other gender.

          A strong preference for cross-gender roles in make-believe play or fantasy play.

          A strong preference for toys, games or activities stereotypically used or engaged in by the other gender. somehow proves that one was born into the wrong body. Utter bunkum and claptrap.

          • weka 7.4.1.1.1

            same, except that I grew up in a body-positive household, raised by a feminist mother, so my gender nonconforming behaviour didn't translate into hating my female body.

            I've been fortunate to live a life where having to be feminine in dress code hasn't been an issue (for the most part, there's still all the background stuff).

            What scares me about the Tavistock approach is there appears to be no acknowledgement that non-trans kids might have what they are calling gender dysphoria. I also think that there are differences in how girls and boys manifest that (due to the patriarchy but also due to sex differences).

            Really disturbing to me is the tick box approach to diagnostics of complex human experiences.

        • Mika 7.4.1.2

          Fuck transhumanism and it's anti-nature politics though, and fuck neoliberalism that is colonising feminism and gender nonconformity along with everything else

          Tautoko that Weka, Tautoko that.

          • Forget now 7.4.1.2.1

            Trans humans are not necessarily Transhumanists. Judith Collins regards herself a a feminist too. though some might disagree. The "trans community" is no more monolithic than the feminism community. But if Tavistock told her that there was a better than even chance of her being happy in a trans existence then that'd be misleading of them (our suicide stats and median income are pretty dire, though no way to compare that against pre/un/in-trans). That said, exempting trans people from the ban on conversion therapy isn't ideal

            Bell's treatment timeline seems to be; initial consults at age 14 (or whenever "soon" means), blockers at 16, testosterone at 17, mastectomy at 20, then detransitioning around 22. If she'd started the blockers earlier he might not have had to go through the trauma of surgery, but it doesn't seem improbable that waiting till 18 wouldn't have changed much in that trajectory. I don't much like reducing people to mere consumers of trans affirming medical resources like this, though that's all from publicly available information. Such a Truscum (/Transmedicalist) to Trender path has been trodden before. Can't help wondering how she'll get on in oncoming years.

            I found Bell's own words on the issue more illuminating than whatever slant the various news sources put on her comments of the day. Personally, I hope that she loses on appeal, so am not going to be donating. But it is good to get a feel of where she is coming from:

            https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/challenge-innate-gender/

            • weka 7.4.1.2.1.1

              to clarify, my comment about transhumanism wasn't to tie it to trans people but to the parts of the medical community who are overmedicalising and leading us down that path. Also ties to neoliberalism. And the parts of the trans community that are into transhumanism, but there people on the left or the green movement likewise, there will always be people that find that stuff attractive where it meets their needs and politics.

              People that needs drugs and surgery need drugs and surgery. But I cannot see why trans health care would be exempt from overmedicalisation when all other humans aren't.

              • weka

                I consider the sanction against talking about overmedicalisation of GNC and trans kids as dangerous in the same way that not talking about it has been dangerous for women, psych patients/survivors and so on.

  8. ianmac 8

    Received a vehicle registration renewal notice apparently from NZTA. Email has no sign of NZ in address. [email protected]. No registration number to renew. $79.95 does not relate to usual fee.

    Is this a SCAM?

    • Andre 8.1

      Yes, it is a scam. I vaguely recall seeing alerts about scams like this going around, specifically using NZTA.

      edit: here’s the NZTA page about the scam:

      https://www.nzta.govt.nz/online-services/report-a-phishing-scam/latest-phishing-scams/vehicle-licence-rego-email-scam/

      • ianmac 8.1.1

        Thanks Andre. I had given none of my details as the notice looked dodgy. Have passed my scam onto the NZTA.

    • Chris T 8.2

      It might have changed, but just going by my experience all my rego' and and WOF reminders have been by post.

      Never had an email from them.

      As I say though. It may have changed.

      • ianmac 8.2.1

        All my NZTA renewals are online now Chris T. Reminder and payments are done online. Cheaper and labels arrive by post.

        Cheers

        • RedBaronCV 8.2.1.1

          I do mine by post and get the instant gratification of the licence from the Post shop. What I do object to is the on the ground option being more expensive. If you own a car it is a government fee or charge that must be paid. Not every body has access to the internet emails or even a reasonably secure mail box. Plus there are very considerable but overlooked costs of hardening online systems against the various hacks and scams ( and in this case giving publicity to a scam) which appear not to be borne by online users in the same way as on the ground users are charged.

          As far as I am concerned it's time for a whole of government approach to paying the various fees and levies they collect over all sorts of activities rather than every little fifedom going its own way. In particular people with limited access to computors and other online and banking or credit card systems should not be penalised with extra charges given the fraud levels in the online world.

          The other kicker. I had a run out rego to pay on a sold vehicle. The options were either a cheque or pushing the buttons on the phone to access some unknown and completely unable to verify system of "who knows how secure" to pay by credit card. It's worth remembering that online or phone systems that take numbers are of very different and in some cases downright dubious security character.

          • Sacha 8.2.1.1.1

            People who pay bills in person at a Postshop enjoy the physical security costs the same way online payers do.

            However, staff costs are a big enough ongoing difference for organisations to try get customers to use online instead.

            When it's a regulatory cost like a car rego, I agree that should not be the case.

            • RedBaronCV 8.2.1.1.1.1

              While there are security costs in a network run at more that one location – the costs would be lower for going into say a bank branch and using that rather than accessing the same net work completely externally from the home computer.

              The epidemic of on line fraud and the costs overseas are now pretty substantial. The UK is up to around half a billion of bank fraud per annum now I believe. Cut that back to an NZ perspective and that is still $10's of millions that are going to be extracted from customers who are not online. Staff costs are not that super large and if say the banks had any sense they could direct calls to frontline staff to answer in the real life gaps – plus leave jobs in the provinces.

              • Sacha

                Organisations are quite aware what their costs are.

                • RedBaronCV

                  Touching faith there.

                  In my quite wide experience they may know their gross costs but spreading it over various activities borders on the political. Frequently to make some new or pet project look a great deal better than it is because someone's KPI's /ego is on the line. And most forward costing is just a plus1 type model. They also choose to recoup in this case costs from only one class of customer. Just because a computer is involved doesn't make it cheaper. Frequently the reverse.

    • Ric Stacey 8.3

      Be aware of a similar scam asking you to pay your net flix account

    • Rapunzel 8.4

      It's a scam we ge" t a reminder by email but it's from this address "[email protected]"

  9. greywarshark 9

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/431927/managed-isolation-charges-third-of-users-not-paid-fee-after-three-months

    Government can be tough on some people – get tough on these ones as well. Not unreasonable, but they have to start paying something in every fortnight, and keep it up from their wages. A good old fashioned garnishee or such.

    Don't be so wet Labour – is there no-one adjusting the steam press in the steamy laundry of government; too much there release, pshoo – too little here, wind it up slowly, sigh? And think of the dear little working elves in the government basement. Picture the civil servants with little green caps with a bell on like Noddy!

    • RedBaronCV 9.1

      What – no payment up front with a credit card and then a compassionate refund later if one is eligible for one. If not why not.

  10. Psych Nurse 10

    As a health professional, in my experience young females transitioning to male, broadly fall into three catagories. 1. Those with a borderline personality disorder where the transition is another form of self mutilation. 2. Following a trend ie all my friends are doing it. 3. Those who have unfortunately been sexually abused and the transition is a means of making themselves unattractive and less likely to be preyed upon. None of which is likely to lead to a fulfilling adult life.

    • greywarshark 10.1

      That's most interesting psych nurse. I am inclined to believe you because you are confirming my ideas. Considering the knowledge and experience you have amassed, it does seem to be a very likely summary of the facts. It seems to me to be a wave of almost protest or escape from the sad realities of the present. Transitioning to female probably seems a nicer, kinder option than staying with the persona that many males project.

  11. Ad 11

    Great to see Minister Wood putting an article straight to GreaterAuckland – way to circumvent the MSM.

  12. ianmac 12

    Great news! (Has this already been noted?)

    The Government will require all its agencies and ministries to exclusively buy electric vehicles and will mandate all public sector buildings to be up to a "green standard".

    This is part of the Government goal to make the entire public sector carbon neutral within the next five years.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made the commitments as she declares a climate emergency in New Zealand in the House today.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/all-govt-departments-now-required-to-buy-electric-vehicles-prime-minister-jacinda-ardern/BQNW3AQ3B7NZVP5MCANP2ILGFY/

    • Sacha 12.1

      The Government's electric vehicle mandate is a lofty goal – there are currently nearly 16,000 vehicles in the Government's fleet.

      As well as this, Ardern has announced that the Government has begun phasing out coal boilers in its ministries and agencies.

      There are roughly 200 coal-fired boilers currently heating water and buildings in the State Sector – the largest and most active will be phased out first.

      This, and the purchasing of a greener fleet, will be funded through the previously announced $200 million State Sector Decarbonisation Fund.

      I suspect it will cost much more than that before 2025, but good on them for getting on with it.

    • RedBaronCV 12.2

      It does need some back up policy otherwise the petrol cars are just going to be dumped into the private fleet. Given the $value of petrol that users don't buy we need to get the whole fleet up to scratch. A $28k hybrid uses about $14K less petrol over a 200,000 journey

    • alwyn 12.3

      I'm afraid you left out the caveats that are given in the link you provide.

      You say "to exclusively buy electric vehicles" They have no intention at all of sticking to exclusively electric vehicles.

      The Herald story says

      "When it comes to vehicles, Government agencies will be required to "optimise their car fleet" by purchasing electric vehicles or hybrids where EVs are not appropriate for the required use.

      That is unless their operational requirements or other circumstances require – such as military vehicles where there is no electric alternatives."

      In other words you give the headline bit but not the reality that provides a hole big enough for anyone to drive through. I'm afraid that BMW don't make an all electric model of the 7 series sedan though so it will have to be, at best, a hybrid for the cabinet Ministers.

      • Andre 12.3.1

        The previous contract with BMW apparently expired last year. Haven't seen anything about it being renewed. Perhaps the current lot like Teslas better? The 600km+ range of a current Model S should be plenty for most needs within NZ.

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/just-how-green-is-the-ministerial-car-fleet/6GHPLQHTSRQFBLWJLK2X6DSXJA/

        • Sacha 12.3.1.1

          Beemers already partly replaced: https://thedriven.io/2020/10/26/jacinda-ardern-to-get-all-electric-audi-e-tron-to-replace-diesel-fleet-car/

          The NZ government has ordered three Audi e-trons, which cost $NZ155,500 (before on-road costs) in long-range ’55’ format, and are being prepared to serve the highest state-level duties.

          Two of these will serve to shuttle ministers between Wellington Airport and the government’s parliament, fondly known as the Beehive, while the third with baby seat will be placed in service in Ardern’s home town of Auckland.

          • alwyn 12.3.1.1.1

            The Auckland car is the personal vehicle for the PM's private use. I imagine Clarke is the main user.

            John Key chose a Suzuki Swift for his car at one stage. That was only about a $20,000 cost to the taxpayer. Don't know whether there were other models during his term.

            They might have a couple of Ioniqs, or Audis, but there are still an awful lot of CR plate BMW 730D cars around Wellington and CR1 is a BMW still.

            • arkie 12.3.1.1.1.1

              John Key chose a Suzuki Swift for his car at one stage. That was only about a $20,000 cost to the taxpayer.

              [citation needed]

              • alwyn

                I can't find a link for this. The best I can find in a link to an interview with Marcus Lush in 2011. The Audio doesn't seem to exist though. The topic came up, and surprised the reporters at the time but key said it was because Stephie was learning to drive and it was a good car for that.

                https://www.magic.co.nz/John-Key-owns-a-Suzuki-Swift/tabid/506/articleID/19787/Default.aspx

                All the Ministers get a self drive car. Anette King's was probably the most notorious when it was in a crash and the driver had illegal drugs.

                • Sacha

                  Perhaps he got us to fund a self-drive Swift for his daughter's driving lessons? While he was using the limo, as you'd expect of a PM.

                  Reminding me of Bill English's accommodation and housecleaning rorts. No wonder they think beneficiaries are all trying to rip us off.

            • Sacha 12.3.1.1.1.2

              The Auckland car is the personal vehicle for the PM's private use. I imagine Clarke is the main user.

              Link for that claim?

              • alwyn

                No. However these vehicles are self drive cars. It is based in Auckland and I imagine that Clarke spends more time there than does Jacinda. She does, after all, have a limo available at all times and certainly if I were in her job I wouldn't want to bother driving myself. From my observation the back of a limo is where all the Ministers do most of their telephone calls.

                Why waste valuable time driving yourself when you can get on with the work you are employed for?

                • Sacha

                  Where do you get the idea they are self-drive?

                  Shuttling between the airport and the beehive is no such thing. The PM also has way too much to do these days to be wasting her time driving, as you say.

                  • alwyn

                    I should actually have said "that vehicle" rather than "these vehicles" I was talking about the third one in the quote rather than the two based in Wellington.

                    • Sacha

                      Again, where do you get the idea it is self-drive?

                    • alwyn

                      Because it came up when that Yank talk show guy Colbert was entertained here at taxpayer expense to do a show on Ardern.

                      Remember? She picked him up at the airport.

                    • Sacha

                      Sigh. https://www.caradvice.com.au/895516/new-zealand-prime-minister-adds-to-her-electric-car-fleet/

                      New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is poised to switch to electric power for her ministerial car, from a BMW 7 Series diesel to an Audi e-Tron.

                      While the NZ government is about to take delivery of three Audi e-Trons for high-ranking politicians and VIP guests, two are expected to be based in the capital Wellington (in the far south of the North Island) – and at least one example is planned to be assigned to Auckland (650km away, in the far north) at Ms Ardern’s home alongside her personal vehicle, a Hyundai Ioniq electric car.

                    • Andre

                      The impression you've got the Drumpfian habit of just making shit up is getting stronger again.

                      The Hyundai Ioniq that Ardern drives, including when she chauffered Colbert, appears to be a car she owns, not something supplied by the taxpayer. I've looked and found nothing suggesting it's supplied by the taxpayer, but I've found lots of reference to her owning it – eg:

                      The newly re-elected Labour PM already owns an all-electric Hyundai Ioniq as her personal vehicle,

                      https://thedriven.io/2020/10/26/jacinda-ardern-to-get-all-electric-audi-e-tron-to-replace-diesel-fleet-car/

                      You've also imagined that Clarke will be the main user of the government e-Tron to be based in Auckland. You really need to back that up if you don't want that to stand as an exhibit of "alwyn just making shit up".

                    • Sacha

                      It is OK to get things wrong.

                    • Andre

                      Sure getting things wrong is OK if someone takes a step back and checks their facts and backs up their assertions or corrects as necessary when challenged.

                      But the challenges came a long way upthread, with zero subsequent actual backing up or change in behaviour from alwyn, just more dumping of the same unsubstantiated shit and an occasional diversion.

                    • Sacha

                      Sorry, my last sentence was directed purely at Alwyn. And yes, it is especially OK to admit you got it wrong.

          • Rosemary McDonald 12.3.1.1.2

            $NZ155,500 (before on-road costs)…

            Or they could show true commitment and buy a couple of these…

            https://electricbikesnz.com/2020/10/26/wisper-wayfarer-mid-drive/

            …and use the change to haul a few more kids out of poverty.

      • ianmac 12.3.2

        Oh dammit alwyn. You have uncovered the evil plan. So if there are to be no electric tanks, we had better cancel the whole plan. We could not possibly have a fleet of EV cars if the tanks are not EV also. Better let Jacinda know quickly.

        • alwyn 12.3.2.1

          What a funny little fellow you are. Does the Army actually own any real tanks, apart from the ones in the Museum at Waiouru? I thought they owned vast numbers of APCs but I can't imagine what they would do with a real tank. We probably couldn't afford main battle tanks anyway.

          Actually you can get an electric Hummer although I don't think it is the military version.

          To bad of course if you were out in the desert, had to withdraw in a hurry and the battery in your dinky little military vehicle was flat. I have been told that jeeps in WW2 didn't even have key. If you had to shift in a hurry you didn't want to waste time looking for the key.

    • Chris T 12.4

      This actually surprises me a bit as I always assumed the PMs BMW was the BMW spec custom armored version, like the Aussie PM's one (and a lot of other countries leaders with those models of BMWs).

      Which would be pretty hard to kit with an electric replacement, purely by weight.

      Interesting that they presumably drive round in standard.

      Not many countries leaders could make that claim I would imagine.

  13. Sacha 13

    Wondered where the noise was coming from today.

    https://twitter.com/TorrensJonathan/status/1333943054772936706

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    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we need the money’. He explained that no-excise-duty ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Luxon is one of three prime ministers pressing for a ceasefire in Gaza – but the two-state solutio...
    Buzz from the Beehive Two days after hundreds of people rallied outside the New Zealand parliament and the US embassy in Wellington to protest against what they maintain is genocide in Gaza,  Prime Minister Chris Luxon joined with the Prime Ministers of Australia and Canada to express their  concerns that ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • All jellied up with possum grease
    1. Shane Jones, addressing the energy industry, called climate concern what?a. The only sane responseb. Undeniably valid c. Our last best hope d. A "religion" 2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. Gleeful ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Equality comes to Greece
    The Greek Parliament has voted for marriage equality: Greece has become the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children after Thursday's 176-76 vote in parliament. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new law would "boldly abolish a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Iron in her soul.
      “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche   Chris Trotter writes – TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Feb 16
    Net emigration of New Zealanders overseas hit a record-high 47,000 in the 2023 year, which only partly offset net immigration of 173,000, which was dominated by arrivals from India, the Philippines and China with temporary work visas. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Stop Whispering.
    There's nothing to sayAnd there's nothing to doStop whispering, start shoutingStop whispering, start shoutingYesterday our government surprised a few of us by standing up for something. It wasn’t for the benefit of people who own holiday homes and multiple investment properties. Neither were there any tobacco companies or fishing cartels ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • “I'm Not Keen on Whataboutism, But What About…”
    Hi,Not sure how your week is going, but I’ve had a pretty frustrating one. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it, and I think it’s perhaps distilled in this message I got on Twitter:What got me a bit riled up is that it was a response to the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National passing bad policies under urgency
    If National really had faith in its welfare policies, it wouldn’t be ramming them through Parliament under urgency – a step that means the policies can’t be exposed to select committee debate, public submissions, expert commentary, media scrutiny and all the normal democratic processes that this coalition appears to hold ...
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 16-February-2024
    It’s Friday so once again here”s our roundup of some of the articles that caught our attention this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt looked at the Government’s war on Auckland. On Tuesday Matt covered the ongoing issues with the rail network. On Thursday Matt ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • The Dawn Chorus for Friday, February 16
    The six things to note in my view at 6.30 am on Friday, February 16 in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Iron In Her Soul.
    “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich NietzscheTELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP for Auckland Central is the odds-on ...
    5 days ago
  • Dig this
    Resources Minister Shane Jones yesterday told a breakfast hosted by Energy Resources Aotearoa precisely what they wanted to hear. “We campaigned to rehabilitate relegitimise and stand up for working families who derive their income,  derive their hope and derive purpose in regional New Zealand through a flourishing, growing, forward-leaning energy ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2024
    Open access notables Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course, van Westen et al., Science Advances: Here, we show results of the first tipping event in the Community Earth System Model, including the large climate impacts of the collapse. Using these results, we develop a physics-based and ...
    6 days ago
  • A rejection of the rule of law
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Shrugging-Off The Atlas Network.
    Upholding The Status-Quo: The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made ...
    6 days ago
  • BARRIE SAUNDERS: Treaty Principles – all rather problematic
    Barrie Saunders writes – When ACT’s leader said they wanted legislation to state what the Treaty principles mean, my first thought was this will be controversial and divisive.  Clearly it is. The first reference to the principles of the Treaty were contained in the 1975 Act establishing the Treaty of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Luxon Rejects The “Rejection Election” At His Peril.
    Fitting Right In: National retailed a reactionary manifesto of right-wing, racially-charged policies to the electorate throughout 2023. No talk back then of ignoring the overwhelming political preferences of the voting public and making a strong stand on principle. If Luxon’s pollsters and focus-groups were telling him that the public was ...
    6 days ago
  • Valentine’s Day went unnoticed on the Beehive website – but it is not “baa, humbug” to celeb...
    Buzz from the Beehive None of our ministers – a quick check with the Beehive website suggests – found cause to mention, let along celebrate, Valentine’s Day. But two ministers – Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson – ensured that National Lamb Day did not pass ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Are You A Leftist?
    Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The emancipatory movement which the Left, understood correctly, has always been, cannot accommodate those who are only able to celebrate one group’s freedom by taking it from another. The expectation, always, among leftists, is that liberty enlarges us. That striking-off a person’s shackles not ...
    6 days ago
  • An unlawful directive
    An interesting question in the Parliamentary written questions feed today, from Jan Tinetti to the Minister of Education: Has she or her Office directed the Ministry of Education to not release Official Information Act material prior to the full twenty working days, if so, why? Given that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    6 days ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • I don’t know!
    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73411 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    7 days ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
    1 week ago
  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
    This morning I woke early with many thoughts in my head of things said, events of the week, things that matter. I’m afraid none of them involved Seymour, Willis, or Luxon so if you’re looking for something political maybe take the day off and come back tomorrow. You won’t find ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • He stood up to Muldoon and Lange and the Fji army
    Gerald Hensley, who died aged 88 on Saturday, was the key official who presided over the tumultuous events that followed the election of the Lange Labour Government in 1984. He was also instrumental in helping a key Fijian official escape the country during one of the 1987 coups. A diplomat ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Halo dunia!
    Selamt datang di WordPress. Ini adalah pos pertama Anda. Sunting atau hapus, kemudian mulai menulis! ...
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago

  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT ON AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS (ANZMIN) 2024
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence the Hon Richard Marles MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator the Hon Penny Wong hosted New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters MP and Minister of Defence Hon Judith Collins KC MP on 1 February ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
    The adult minimum wage rate will increase by 2 per cent to $23.15 an hour from 1 April 2024, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden announced today. “This Government is committed to striking the right balance between protecting the incomes of our lowest paid workers and maintaining labour ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Increased security improves ED safety over summer
    Increasing the number of security staff in emergency departments (EDs) over the busy Christmas and New Year period improved the safety of both staff and patients, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says. 200 additional security staff (93 FTEs) were provided to 32 EDs in response to concerns raised by ED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago

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