web analytics

Open mike 03/06/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 3rd, 2013 - 122 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 link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

122 comments on “Open mike 03/06/2013”

  1. Jenny 1

    In all the gushing posts on how “Democratic” the Greens are. It might pay to take a sober look at the reality.

    The Green Party conference is being conducted in relative secrecy, held away from the media spotlight. With not even reports of the conference being carried on their own website.
    There may be good reasons for this. Apart from media hostility and false reporting I can’t think what they might be. Surely on their own website they would be safe from that. So there must be other reasons for the news black out of the conference.

    Whatever the reasons for this news black out. One of the consequences of it, is that only the speeches of the top two leaders have been released.

    Is that it?

    Have the other Green MPs got nothing to say that can be reported? Let alone the members.

    In the light of the fact that the Labour Party is wedded to climate changing, and environmentally damaging policies, like deep sea oil drilling and fracking, and the coal mining of the Denniston Plateau.

    One of the issues that I thought might be discussed, and possibly even voted on, is the proposed coalition with the Labour Party.
    But from Russel Norman’s speech, I gather that a deal will be done with Labour is a forgone conclusion. Not only that, but according to Russel Norman the Green Party will have “no bottom line” in reaching this agreement.
    Does this mean there will be no say from the membership as to what is agreed to?

    Is this top down direction, what Green Party members have really signed up for?

    The consequences of the Green Party entering into a binding government agreement with Labour will be that the Green Party MPs will not be able to put up any legislation that opposes government policy. Effectively stymieing any action against climate change.

    As looks increasingly likely all opposition to climate change will wind up on the cutting room floor of the coalition talks, without a murmur of opposition from the members.

    • Ad 1.1

      A tighter conference merely shows they are organising their media bursts with precision.

      Good lesson for Labour after the 2012 conference free for all. Oxygen supply means everything.

      Norman has already explained to caucus that any member should be able to take on any portfolio. Don’t even presume Genter for transport.

      If Greens can sustain this discipline over both caucus and party, others will read it as ‘tight’ and hence ready for a significant coalition ‘ask’.

      • handle 1.1.1

        “Does this mean there will be no say from the membership as to what is agreed to?”

        Jenny, how you get to this is a mystery to me. Unless you can offer us evidence that the Greens have changed their internal process?

      • weka 1.1.2

        “A tighter conference merely shows they are organising their media bursts with precision.”

        Can I just say ‘morris dancing’?

    • Paul 1.2

      I think doing it this ways protects member’ rights to talk.
      Other conferences, because they are broadcast in front of the media, ban all dissenting voices, making the whole conference a presidential event. The National conferences and American party conferences are like this.
      Or, if they don’t, then a hostile media hijacks the conference …Labour 2012. If that had been held behind closed doors, I don’t think Shearer would be leader any more.
      So it makes sense to protect fragile grassroots democracy from the hostile media. The little that the media has reported shows they are really keen to do anything to paint the Greens in a bad light.
      Best not to play Rupert Murdoch’s game.
      “Well we’ve got news for SkyCity: unlike other political parties we didn’t take your campaign donations and we didn’t go to your corporate box at the rugby; your tools of crony capitalism don’t work with us because we work for the people of New Zealand and if the people of New Zealand tell us to turn off the tap on your blood money, then we bloody well will.”
      Substitute Sky City for the corporate media.

      • Tigger 1.2.1

        The media would report that X picked their nose while Y farted during a speech. I applaud the Greens. If you want entry to a party’s inner workings then pay a membership fee.

    • QoT 1.3

      Russel Norman’s conference speech – this one – makes no mention either of “no bottom line” nor “Labour” nor even future government (except as relates to the Sky City deal.)

      Care to provide an accurate citation for your anti-Green accusations for once?

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.1

        Seems to me like Jenny wants all the benefits of telling the Greens what to do without doing any of the work or having any of the responsibility of being an actual Green party member at their conference.

      • farmboy 1.3.2

        Are you serious there has been countless times metria has said we dont have bottem lines anymore try watching the news instead of asking for links.

        • QoT

          I am very serious. Jenny asserts that “according to Russel Norman the Green Party will have “no bottom line” in reaching this agreement.”

          You saying “Metiria has been on the news heaps saying that” is completely irrelevant to that assertion.

          Not to mention the fact that there’s a huge difference between someone like Metiria Turei being upfront about the Greens’ willingness to negotiate, and Jenny’s completely-not-backed-up insinuation that the Greens are sellouts.

          • Jenny

            Jenny asserts that “according to Russel Norman the Green Party will have “no bottom line” in reaching this agreement.”


            I didn’t assert it, as you claim QoT. I gave the the quote from the stuff.co.nz article I had previously linked to. From a report written by Andrea Vance of “talks” she had with Russel Norman on the eve of the Green Party conference.

            There are no more joint-policy launches planned for the near future – although the Opposition parties will announce the results of their manufacturing inquiry later this month.

            “They’ve got their schtick, we’ve got ours,” Dr Norman says. He has no bottom lines for post-election negotiations.

            Andrea Vance stuff.co.nz


            QoT, if you are telling us that this is not Russel Norman’s position, and that this is a fabrication by Vance. Then you better show some proof.

            Maybe you could take it up with Vance, or indeed with Russel Norman himself.

            If Russel Norman says that this is not his position. I will be the first to lay a complaint with the press council against Vance, and stuff.co.nz

            And by the way QoT. I have pointed to the Green Party’s deliberate policy of playing down climate change. I have warned that if the Green Party sign up to a government that agrees to deep sea oil drilling and fracking and the mining of the Denniston Plateau this will be in my opinion the biggest political sell out since Rogernomics. This is different to just calling them “sell outs”.

            My sincere hope is that the Greens will alter their current course, and stick to their principles.

            • Colonial Viper

              Did you notice how Norman didn’t use the term “bottom line” himself? That it’s the journalist’s phrase, not his?

              • Jenny

                Yes, I did notice this.

                The piece by Vance is described as “Greens co-leader Russel Norman talks to Andrea Vance” So while it is generally very short on actual quotes I imagined that this account is supposed to convey Russel Norman’s views as related to Vance in these “talks”.

                If this is just the reporter’s opinion, and not related by Dr Norman to her. Then Andrea Vance is one of the worst reporters ever.

                And if Vance didn’t get this from Norman, then where did she get it?

                • felix

                  We can’t know where Vance got it, as she doesn’t say.

                  The point is you got it from Vance but you said you got it from Norman.

                  • Jenny

                    If I have been misled in thinking that this is the Green Party position toward the coalition talks.

                    Then when Dr Norman distances himself from this statement. And tells us the Green Party will no longer be giving interviews to Andrea Vance for her incorrect reporting of his “talks” with her. Then I will apologise for my mistake. Until then.

                    Take it as read:

                    “He has no bottom lines for post-election negotiations”.

                    Andrea Vance

          • handle

            Jenny is right about that phrase being used by Metiria recently, including TV interviews this weekend. But it does not mean they are sellouts.

            • Jenny

              I was not aware that Metiria had used this phrase.
              Either Andrea Vance is quoting Metiria Turei in her “talks” with Russel Norman. In which case she should have said so. Or Russel Norman confirmed this point with Vance in their talk.

              Either way, the Green Party leadership have not resiled from this statement. And I think we can take it, that this is the actual position of the Green Party leadership to the Coalition Talks.

              “There will be no bottom Lines”

              The question I would like to have answered. Did the membership agree to this?

              Since this was all announced pre-conference, I doubt it.

              Instead what I imagine happened (and I could be wrong) is that the Green Party membership have been presented with a fait a compli.

              Apart from the undemocratic nature at how this position was arrived at. Surely this is the worst negotiating tactic ever. In effect what Turei and Norman are saying is that they will agree to anything to get cabinet positions.

              • handle

                Unlike some parties, both Green leaders would be capable of maintaining an identical line like that.

                If media reports at the time were correct, the previous conference of members discussed coalition arrangements.

                Refusing to be drawn in public about negotiating positions does not mean a party is sidelining its members or ‘selling out’ or ‘will agree to anything’. No matter how much you seem to need it to be.

                • Jenny

                  Refusing to be drawn in public about negotiating positions does not mean a party is sidelining its members or ‘selling out’ or ‘will agree to anything’.


                  Saying that you have no bottom line, is not “refusing to be drawn”. It is spilling your guts.

        • McFlock

          TV News reports are online.
          Therefore you should be able to provide a link.

    • Saarbo 1.4

      The way the Greens are handling the media just shows how superior they are to the way Labour handled the media at the November conference. I just looked at the Herald “Politics” section. All 4 windows are on Green issues a)Keep Identity in Coalition: Aus Senator b)Sue Kedgley: bring Back School Food Guidelines c)Greens Pledge to Kids d)Green leader tears into “Smiling” key.

      Well at a similar stage at Labour’s November conference, the Media was covered with bull shit allegations of a possible coup. The Labour Conf was actually a real success, I was there but the way the media reported it was atrocious.

      This Green party are on top of their game and the way they are handling the media looks pretty good to me.

  2. Furrball 2

    New Zealand…

    • Second-most expensive country in the world to live in, according to Deutsche Bank.
    • The average household net-adjusted disposable income is 21 892 USD a year, lower than the OECD average of 23 047USD. Average disposable income below that of Poland.

    Bloody expensive with low wages and salaries. Couldn’t believe how so many friends of mine were struggling even with the basics when I visited for the first time in over two decades. There should be no reason why NZ products are cheaper in London than NZ, there should be no reason for such exorbitant energy prices.

    There should only be one over-arching issue in this coming election to which everything should connect: raising living standards for the large majority. There’s no virtue in poverty.

    • Jenny 2.1

      I agree, but I think survival should be up there too.

      • Furrball 2.1.1

        Survival in what sense, Jenny?

        • Jenny

          I take it Furrball, that you don’t think that climate change is an existential issue?

          • Furrball

            New Zealand’s contributions to global greenhouse emissions is about 0.2% of the global total, a pittance. Whatever New Zealand does will not affect the outcome. It may provide a moral veneer so that New Zealand can use what little clout it has in international negotiation, but this issue will be decided by the perceived national interests of China, the United States and the European Union.

            Meanwhile, in New Zealand, the rise in infectiouse diseases, cases of malnutrition, freezing expensive houses, the soaring cost of inequality… this is starting to rival third-world status. Where are the well-paying jobs? Why is a quarter of the population living abroad, a Kiwi diaspora that rivals Ireland, another relatively poor country?

            The people of New Zealand have far more pressing and immediate problems than climate change. Besides, only by increasing the wealth of the majority will public services be able to maintained, restored and in some cases, extended.

            • Jenny

              New Zealand’s contributions to global greenhouse emissions is about 0.2% of the global total, a pittance. Whatever New Zealand does will not affect the outcome.


              I beg to differ. Way above our relatively small quantitative emissions, what New Zealand does has a major qualitative effect on the world stage.
              In the sense that we have shown what is possible by example, New Zealand in the past has been a world leader. We need to be so again. For instance, we were the first in the world to give women the vote. We were world leaders in Social Welfare, providing a model for bigger countries to follow. We spearheaded the world movement away from nuclear weapons and apartheid.
              On the negative side of the ledger New Zealand led the world in implementing neo-liberal reforms of the 1980s much admired and copied by Margaret Thatcher.

              Our closest neighbor and friend, Australia is the biggest CO2 emitter per capita in the world. It is also the world’s biggest exporter of coal. Australia is also the country most likely to suffer some of the worst effects of climate change.
              If we can show what can be done, it will shine a beacon of hope to Australians.

              Also Furrball, fighting poverty, or fighting climate change is not a one or the other option, as you try to pose the argument. This is just intellectual laziness.

              Fossil fuels are preferred over all other methods of energy production because of their relatively low labour input making them much cheaper, and more profitable over more labour intensive cleaner technologies. Furrball, do you deny that de-carbonising our economy would provide thousands of new jobs, lifting many families out of poverty?

              • Furrball

                New Zealand has little weight and influence in international affairs. Sorry, and I write as a proud Kiwi who has lived in the UK for over 20 years, but all those things you claim, apart from women’s voting rights, was done earlier in other countries. It’s part of the New Zealand myth that people believe this stuff.

                To suggest that the fight against the fight against apartheid or anti-nuclear politics was trailblazed in New Zealand is laughable, likewise that Thatcher copied Roger Douglas. She’d been in power for five years when Lange was elected and had been influenced by Keith Joseph since the mid-70s. Australia doesn’t pay a lot of attention to New Zealand, either, unless they’re poking fun at their poorer cousins.

                Fossil fuels are not preferred because of their low labour input. They’re preferred because pound for pound, nothing else is as portable and packs as much energy into a given mass. To suggest otherwise is scientifically illiterate.

                The biggest source of greenhouse emissions in New Zealand is the agricultural sector. And yes, I utterly refute the idea that de-carbonising the New Zealand economy would provide thousands of new jobs. When was the last time a large train order in New Zealand went to a local supplier? Unless you’re suggesting throwing up trade tariffs which will only be reciprocated, large-scale manufacturing of green technologies in New Zealand will invaribly be outsourced to countries where wages are even lower, nearer large population centres and economies of scale can be attained.

                Green issues are important, yes. But to suggest they should take precedence over raising living standards for the large majority of New Zealanders is folly, as well as playing electoral smallball. Yes to increasing insulation standards, yes to increased public transport, yes to a reduction in water pollution etc… but there are even more pressing issues right now for much of the country, which is that by and large, by developed world standards, New Zealanders are becoming increasingly poor.

                • Foreign Waka

                  THANK YOU

                • Lanthanide

                  I hope you stick around Furrball, I like your style.

                • Bill

                  New Zealand has little weight and influence in international affairs

                  Although, it was due to NZ that India got access to nuclear weapons technology…hardly a little thing that. And NZ was (rightly or wrongly) a source of anti-nuclear inspiration as well as neo-liberalism through the 80’s. ( Not aware of anyone who claims that Thatcher was inspired by Douglas, but hey) And then there was the power of that ‘clean and green’ myth abroad…

                  The biggest source of greenhouse emissions in New Zealand is the agricultural sector.

                  Maybe so, but serious scenarios for carbon reduction that are based on the available science focus (for good reason) on the energy system, not agriculture.

                  Not an adherent to the belief in green growth btw – just pointing out some stuff in relation to your claims. And then further wondering if you have actually considered the likely impact on the international arena of an English speaking ‘Anglo Saxon’ country, that has sat at the heart of the neo-liberal experiment, ‘leaving the church’?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Furrball and Jenny detail the conundrum this civilization is in. Higher living standards mean increased energy and materials consumption. Which means higher GHG emissions. And our current ex-nihilo money/profit driven political economy guarantees that most of the employment from that increased production for consumption will occur overseas.

                    In summary – if we are going to get out of this trap, we need to do it for ourselves, screw “being an example to the world” as a motivation.

                    • Furrball

                      Not necessarily. For instance, newer cars which are more expensive, yet use fewer resources to build and run than older second hand cars.

                      For the record, I’m no spin doctor. Just a concerned Kiwi who marched in Wellington against the tour, voted for David Lange because Muldoon was beyond the pale, then left the country, now with a background in the third sector, a passion for politics and a desire to see the left remain useful, which means that it needs to strive for power and most importantly, relevant to the majority of people’s lives and immediate concerns.

                      People in New Zealand are skint on the bones of their arses, for christ’s sakes and have enough in their lives before dealing with catastrophic environmental scaremongering. I’ve just seen a charity appeal to buy pajamas for kids in hospital in Auckland… this kind of shit has to come to an end first.

                      Bill’s made some good points, but I’m tired. It’s late here. 🙂

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Not necessarily. For instance, newer cars which are more expensive, yet use fewer resources to build and run than older second hand cars

                      I’m afraid you’ve made the classic error of not taking into account embedded energy.

                      Refining and shipping the materials and components needed to build a new Toyota Prius is wasteful and expends far more fossil fuels than simply driving around in your old already long built Vauxhall.

                      In fact, it would probably take a full 10 years of running for the Prius to break even, from a GHG emissions point of view, and by then it’s battery is fucked and you’ll need a new one. More mining in Bolivia and materials processing/shipping needed.

                      In comparison, to fix up your old Vauxhall you probably only need to visit the scrap yard and pick up a salvage part for 20 quid. No more manufacturing needed, no more fossil fuels to be burnt.

                      People in New Zealand are skint on the bones of their arses, for christ’s sakes and have enough in their lives before dealing with catastrophic environmental scaremongering.

                      You do know that this country is populated by people whose ancestors chose to leave the gold-paved roads of London in order to come out to a poor, primitive, wilderness colony?

                • Jenny

                  Furrball, I could argue all day with you about the details of what leading role, or none, that New Zealand has played in the world, or could play.
                  I could pull out Margaret Thatcher quotes praising Roger Douglas and advocating the same for Britain. And you wouldn’t be convinced.
                  I could pull out quotes from Nelson Mandela saying that the New Zealand anti aparthied demonstrations was like a ray of sunshine in their darkest days. For you only to dismiss it.
                  I could describe the huge struggles that stopped the world’s biggest navy in its tracks. For you to denigrate them.
                  All we really need to know about you, is that you are a spin doctor who makes excuses for doing nothing.

                  Green issues are important, yes. But to suggest they should take precedence over raising living standards for the large majority of New Zealanders is folly.


                  Furrball. Ignoring climate change will depress living standards by amounts and in ways, we can’t even comprehend. If you were really concerned about raising, or even just protecting the living standards of the majority of New Zealanders, then you would be arguing to make every possible effort we could to avert the calamity that will fall on us, and if not on us, on our children.

                  What we need to address both climate change and poverty is a Green New deal.

                  P.S. By the way Furrball. Nowhere, did I suggest that the fight against climate change “should take precedence over raising living standards for the large majority of New Zealanders”. That is just your nasty spin on what I was saying.
                  What I have been saying, and will continue to say, is that all political parties, especially those that make claim to being concerned about the environment, should stop ignoring climate change for narrow political gain. And instead of playing down the danger, publicly rail against climate change, and loudly and demand that all parties must take a stand.

                  The danger is upon us.

                  Business as usual is not an option. That is if you truly care.

                  • Lanthanide

                    Oh please, nothing in Furrball’s reply amounts to ‘spin’.

                    • Jenny

                      Saying that climate change should not be ignored or traded away for cabinet positions. Is not the same as saying: climate change “should take precedence over raising living standards for the large majority of New Zealanders”

                      If this is not spin then what is it?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Civilisations fall Jenny. The changes you want are coming, unfortunately they are likely to be disruptive, disorganised and late in nature.

                    • Populuxe1

                      So quite frankly I’m quite happy to add or indeed increase our pitifully low greenhouse emissions to the mix if it means we can be reasonably secure going forward into the chaos that lies ahead. Basically the damage is done and a pretty horrific geopolical future is inevitable.

                    • ghostrider888

                      so resigned Pop

                    • Colonial Viper

                      P1 – indeed. I’d advocate for expending materials, fuel and treasure within this nation to get us ready for this difficult future, yes. In the mean time, it’ll also provide lots of jobs and lots of skills to NZers.

                    • Jenny

                      Civilisations fall Jenny. The changes you want are coming, unfortunately they are likely to be disruptive, disorganised and late in nature.

                      Colonial Viper

                      Probably CV. But I hope you won’t mind if I continue to demand that our response instead should be: Collective, Organised and Early. And that the Green Party should be leading this charge in making this demand in parliament, of all parties. Instead of what they are currently doing, playing it down or dispensing with this demand as a bargaining chip for cabinet positions.

                • xtasy

                  While I cannot agree with some of your views, you are right that rather than leading on major issues, it is usually New Zealand following certain policies that were started overseas, for good and for bad.

                  Also is New Zealand on the basis of income compared to purchasing power and thus general, “affordable” living standards not one of the leading countries in the OECD. Low income taxes, low regulation, freed up import export rules, and so much more, have not led to the growth in incomes and living standards for most here.

                  While New Zealanders may enjoy more space and a “greener” environment (admittedly more in danger under the present government), too many freeze in uninsulated, cold homes, too many pay exorbitant rents, too many pay high interest on credit for whatever, and too many are forced to compensate for low income by working extra hours, just to keep on top of things.

                  I know what you are talking about, having been back in Europe a couple of times over the years. Going to a supermarket in so many countries in Europe will be a revelation to many New Zealanders, about how they are robbed left right and centre here. Only petrol is cheaper, but there is also poor public transport here.

                  The Greens have good ideas, but I miss some more substance, more details, and a proper plan, to deliver on maintaining and improving living standards and quality, while at the same time being pro environment. I am sure it can be done, but one must be realistic about the limitations.

                  In the long run, though, the whole economic and energy systems we have at present worldwide, will largely be unsustainable, and major changes are needed. I worry that New Zealand has neither the capital, the manpower, the know how and more, to become a leading alternative energy technology country, unless it invites certain experts, investment and so from overseas, to establish development and high end production facilities here.

                  New Zealanders are becoming increasingly poor, but that is not all of them. Some do quite nicely, and I see this here around parts of Auckland. They are the suburbs that traditionally vote National anyway, and the Nats make sure they look after their base, and they crap on the rest. There are plenty of flash cars around the streets of certain parts of Auckland. It looks grim elsewhere. Sadly too many of those slipping down the social and economic slope are a bit slow realising what is going on.

              • xtasy

                “We were world leaders in Social Welfare, providing a model for bigger countries to follow.”

                Jenny, you may be surprised to learn, that the first ever slight forms of a “welfare state”, albeit in conservative, rudimentary form, were created under Bismarck in Germany:

                “Otto von Bismarck, the first Chancellor of Germany, created the modern welfare state by building on a tradition of welfare programs in Prussia and Saxony that began as early as in the 1840s, and by winning the support of business. Bismarck introduced old age pensions, accident insurance and medical care that formed the basis of the modern European welfare state. His paternalistic programs won the support of German industry because its goals were to win the support of the working class for the German Empire and reduce the outflow of immigrants to the United States, where wages were higher but welfare did not exist.[17][18] Bismarck further won the support of both industry and skilled workers by his high tariff policies, which protected profits and wages from American competition, although they alienated the liberal intellectuals who wanted free trade.[19][20] ”


                This was largely due to the rapid growth of the Social Democratic Party there under the Germany Empire in late 19th centure and up to the time of the First World War.

                Workers became organised and demanded rights, and the empire got worried, so they offered some modest insurance schemes, to assist workers to save for state paid retirement and the likes.

                The modern welfare state developed later:
                “Examples of early welfare states in the modern world are Germany, all of the Nordic countries, the Netherlands, Uruguay and New Zealand and the United Kingdom in the 1930s.”

                (see also Wikipedia under the same link as above)
                So New Zealand was of course amongst the leading countries, but it is not correct to claim that welfare was kind of invented and started in New Zealand.

                New Zealand is amongst others “leading”, but with the situation since the early 1990s, and given own personal experience in Europe and here, I dispute that welfare support in NZ is now amongst the top leading in the western, developed world.

                • Poission

                  Bavaria (on the basis of jenners work) introduced compulsory innoculation in 1807

          • muzza

            Jenny – Until youre putting a case forward, including discussion about geo-engineering, you are not open to dicsussing the broader issues, and putting a false case forward, lacking in balance.

            Climate Change, it wont be stopped, it can’t be stopped, because the causes, are not being discussed in a full, frank and open fashion.

            Geo-Engineering, is attempting to control weather patterns, through intervention, in non natural ways, which will have unknown (or perhaps known) consequences, and could be contributing (IMO is), towards these extreme weather *events* we are witnessing.

            Sheesh, its not like geo-engineering is a secret of any sort, quite the opposite in fact!

            • Jenny

              For future generations under conditions of extremis, as a last ditch, geo engineering will be attempted.

              But long before we get to that desperate stage, we must at the very least cut back our greenhouse gas emissions.

              What are you suggesting muzza?

              Why don’t you tell us what you think we should doing right now in the present time?

              Are you suggesting that we leave it up to future generations to sort out?

              Are you just another incarnation of the ignore it and do nothing brigade? (see above).

              • muzza


                Geo-engineering has been developed, live tested on earth, for scores now, some reading would assist your understanding around the history.

                There will be no cutting back of emissions, not under the current models, the results are priced in, so to speak, the care factor for humanity, appears to be null.

                My suggestion – Live your life, with honesty, integrity and love. If what you’re doing brings you joy, and you bring joy to others, then people are on the right path, its about as much as a human being can offer, this world!

                We are too deep into the mess now Jenny, for the outcomes to change, which is why its important to find enjoyment in life, through balance!

                Ignoring it is not an option, any more than depriving yourself of life is, while trying to fight a battle that was finally lost, in 1913.

                • Jenny

                  I could have guessed it. More delusional sophistry dressed up as a rationalisation for doing nothing.

                  muzza, I may have to add a new category of climate change ignorer just for you.

    • prism 2.2

      Why are you writing from the UK? A country that desperately needs a good talking to about more than numerous issues. They need you and your advice and comments. With all their intellectual and economic resources the Brit government seems to be unable to preside over a well-run country with opportunities and jobs for all whose more than basic needs can be met from a thriving economy. We are too unimportant for your deep expertise, give it to your country of domicile. And if you are a NZer don’t bother to sit over there and tell us we are shit and useless.

      • Furrball 2.2.1

        Hello prism. I’m writing from the UK because that’s where I now live. I left Wellington in the 80s for medical reasons, but carry my NZ passport. My family all live in the North Island and when I was there last year, the first thing I did after leaving the airport was to find some fish and chips.

        I’ve never claimed to have deep expertise, that is just your perception. Just bringing my voice and opinion to this site which seemed to be pretty groovy. I haven’t insulted anyone, nor have I said NZ was shit. However, if you’re going to deny the existence of the country’s serious problems, then it makes it difficult to highlight them and communicate them to others.

        Sorry to have upset you.

        • Populuxe1

          To be fair, it doesn’t take much to upset prism – the skin is very thin

          • Furrball

            To stay sane during online discussion — blogs, forums, whatever — means taking things seriously without taking them seriously.

            After all, we’re strangers to each other and while it’s tempting to ascribe the worst motives to those we disagree with, it’s all a bit silly really, as there’s a risk that it might say more about the accuser than it does the accused.

            Just a dozen or so posts and I’ve been accused of being a spin doctor, enamoured of neo-liberal speak and overly self-important which helps me to gauge elements of this community, but guys, gotta watch that tall poppy syndrome. No matter how far we’ve moved from Otaki or Levin to the other side of the planet, us Kiwis can still spot it a mile off.


            • Lanthanide

              “Just a dozen or so posts and I’ve been accused of being a spin doctor, enamoured of neo-liberal speak and overly self-important which helps me to gauge elements of this community, ”

              I don’t think the people you’ve interacted with so far are particularly typical of this community.

              Please, stick around.

              • pollywog

                I don’t think the people you’ve interacted with so far are particularly typical of this community.

                …the fuck they aren’t 🙂

              • Furrball

                I can’t stick around.

                I’m only posting here at the moment because I’m going through a bout of insomnia which will come to an end soon. It’s way past 5am in London and through parsing here and there — blog, press, tv clips, anything I can get my paws on — I’m trying to make sense of a country I left behind through no fault of my own, born and went to school there before some of you were even born, a country I’d like to live in again one day… but a country I fear has moved economically to the right, further to the right than the UK for there are things that Thatcher would never have touched like paying to see your GP, and things may never swing back again, or perhaps not in my lifetime.

                And that kind of complacency pisses me off. Perhaps she’ll be right isn’t bloody good enough.

                I read sources both left and right, for no-one has the monopoly on truth… and sometimes, when I read of what’s going on there, I can’t quite wrap my head around it. Perhaps it’s residual guilt. If I’d known what Roger Douglas had in store and the genies he unleashed, perhaps I wouldn’t have voted at all.

                • Lanthanide

                  I didn’t mean in the sense “stick around and never ever go offline”, but in the sense of “please keep coming back to this blog and posting comments in the future”.

                • karol

                  You are making some unsubstantiated assumptions Furrball. I left NZ in the 70s, and was in London for the whole of Thatcher’s time in power and beyond. London in the 70s was more left wing than here. I got most of my political education in the UK. But after Thatcherism, it seemed that it was no better than here.

                  One thing I learned was that each place has its pros & cons, and that you need to spend some time in a place to get the real feel of it.

                  Yes I thought the National Health Service was a way better experience than the health service here. And things are much more expensive here. But there still isn’t the ingrained upper class consciousness that still exists in the UK. And who needs a lot of expensive designer stuff anyway.

                  And ultimately, NZ is where I feel most grounded, for all its faults. If you stick around NZ left wing blogs long enough, you will see complacency is far from being the dominant MO. Many commenters and posters also get frustrated at the apparent complacency of many Kiwis outside the blogosphere.

                  • Furrball

                    Agreed with you on ingrained upperclass consciousness, but I’ve had to occasionally deal with and negotiate through that on a professional level, utterly aware of being somewhat inoculated through being a Kiwi… and more importantly to them, white.

                    I wouldn’t dismiss the need for a higher standard of living as merely an impulse to acquire ‘a lot of designer stuff’ because I wouldn’t presume to judge other’s buying behaviour, especially when the basics of living in New Zealand are so absurdly over-priced for those on a median salary. Calvinism isn’t a vote winner and Henry Ford was smart enough to pay his employees enough to afford one of his cars.

                    Before I visited last year — to walk in the Sounds and eat ice-cream in Waiouru on the way up North — I spoke with my brother and I said ‘what do you think of New Zealand these days?’

                    His reply:

                    ‘It’s become really Americanised.’

                    That has a deeper truth and resonance than some would realise. Elements of the Southern Strategy finding roots in New Zealand, amongst the fertile soil of the Rotary Club and the bowling club.

                    As Driftglass says: There is a club and you’re not in it.

                    Hasta la vista.

                    • karol

                      Yes, agreed, Furrball on many of your points. But, you’re not telling us anything we don’t know about how much of a struggle here it is for those on a low income. You’ll find many posts and comments here, over a long period, on that very issue.

                      On upper class consciousness – I was referring also to cultural attitudes associated with those economically better off in the UK., that is still stronger than here. And, from what I’ve seen of the UK from afar, and from friends back there, there’s a pretty vicious attack on the poor, and a strong privatisation programme going on there too.

                      Yep, it has become far more “Americanised” here than when I grew up here. But it’s always been between US & UK/European imperialism here – see RedLogix comments on that on the ‘Lusk papers 2- Selling out to America’ thread.
                      However, the US Imperialist cronyism, plus China-Imperialist syndrome have intensified under John Key’s watch.

                      When I first came back here from the UK via a stint in Howard’s Aussie., it was a bit of a relief to be living under the soft neoliberalism of the Clark government. However, that government just got into a bit of a holding pattern rather than truly turning things around. It’s been all down hill since then.

                      I’m pleased that you’re interested in politics here and in contributing. But don’t assume most lefty wingers here are politically unsophisticated country hicks. Most of the people here seem to have a pretty good idea of what we are up against – albeit, each with slightly different takes on it.

                      This blog is the site of pretty robust debates. And there’s a few round here who have been at the tough end at the forefront of left wing political struggles on the ground for a long time (I’m not talking about myself). I learn a lot from some of them.

                      And many here are continually looking to work out a more successful way of furthering left wing politics. There’s no quick easy fixes.

                • pollywog

                  We do set the bar pretty low.

                  It’s that work/money, quality of life trade off.

                  Is it wrong to not aspire to oecd measures of success, to want to be “rich” at the expense of others ?

                  It’s a simple common tragedy we face here but i still count my blessings compared to most other places.

                  She’ll be right, in the long term. Meanwhile soldier on…

            • handle

              That’s a fair assessment, Furrball. Some very black/white thinking from some.

            • prism

              Tall poppy syndrome. Does that apply to you furrball. We have had a genuine tall poppy on this blog? Actually that syndrome is a common one, possibly originally British. It is annoying but not as common as reported.

            • muzza

              Just a dozen or so posts and I’ve been accused of being a spin doctor, enamoured of neo-liberal speak and overly self-important which helps me to gauge elements of this community

              And yet in some way it may assist the understanding, of how NZ has found itself in the pedicament, it’s in now, during the time you’ve been abroad, Furrball.

              It doesn’t take long to get the, *vibe* of this site sussed out, as you have eluded to.

              For what it’s worth, your comments have been well reasoned and sensible, in my opinion!

          • prism

            Populuxe 1 Mirror Mirror on the wall who is the fairest of all. You?

            • Populuxe1

              Sorry prism, what was that? I couldn’t hear you over the shrill, persistant whine of your holier-than-thou self righteousness.

    • farmboy 2.3

      Try getting some friends that work.

      • Furrball 2.3.1

        I’m guessing that’s a reply to me, implying that my friends in New Zealand don’t work? Well, you’re wrong, my farmboy friend.

        I’m guessing that we wouldn’t agree politically, but take your non-argument, such as it is, up with the OECD and a barrage of international studies that clearly illustrate New Zealand’s decline of median standards of living since the 80s… as well as the peculiar fact that New Zealand is so expensive to live in.

        Why some should be so proud of this state of affairs — being ripped off to this degree by those who run things — is something I can’t quite explain. If it takes someone from outside to remind some people of these facts, then tough. Suck it up and do something about it.

        Thanks for playing.

  3. idlegus 3

    another good piece of comedy writing by Armstrong, says in no way could that nice guy Key be compared to that old meanie Muldoon, heres one of the last paragraphs with some arguments from me

    “Muldoon’s use of the SIS to target, monitor and discredit prominent trade unionists”
    Key instead gets his childhood mate to run the Govt Secret Service

    “his cynically allowing the 1981 Springbok tour to go ahead to ensure National kept its grip on provincial electorates”
    Key talks about WMD instead

    “banning journalists from press conferences”
    Key damands journalists offer questions in writing before he answers

    “handing out big subsidies to National-voting farmers”
    D’oh, how many millions are going to irrigate canterbury farms?

    ” describing the leaders of African independence movements as having only “just come down from the trees” ”
    Key talks about joining a war against North Korea, calls Daid Beckhan thick, gets sleazy with South American Presidents wives, etc…

    “effectively awarding himself a knighthood”
    why did he brings the titles back in? if not to grant himself a knighthood


    • Dv 3.1

      Muldoon ran the cossack ads and canceled the super scheme.
      Key calls LabGreen far left and the devil beast and reduces contribution to kiwisaver.

    • Naturesong 3.2

      To be fair, David Beckham is pretty thick.
      He’s also more interesting and has better manners than John Key.

      • idlegus 3.2.1

        i actually dont think david beckham is thick at all, he might be a bit dim, but thick? i was just thinking of some poor statements by key about overseas ppl, theres plenty more.

      • Populuxe1 3.2.2

        And gorgeous, don’t forget gorgeous. A splendid specimen.

      • rosy 3.2.3

        “To be fair, David Beckham is pretty thick.
        He’s also more interesting and has better manners than John Key.”

        How can you criticise a man who knows how to make pots of money, be charming and have a gorgeous family? What else matters? I think he should be our PM! 😉

        (Actually I’m a Beckham fan, and don’t think he’s particularly thick. Just not a fan of people thinking people who know how to make money know how to run a country).

  4. tc 4

    Yes the sad old trougher doesnt seem to care he shows what a shill he is when he defends his lovechild Shonkey…..and they brought back QC’s and immediately granted one to fundlayshonk.

  5. AsleepWhileWalking 5

    Frankly Speaking: Crony Watch! http://fmacskasy3.wordpress.com/

    Might be worth emailing in any you are aware of but aren’t yet on the list.

  6. wyndham 6

    Pretty strong criticism of the dear departed Robert Muldoon ! Was Armstrong a political journalist during the Muldoon era ?

    If so, what did he have to say ?

    • karol 6.1

      Apparently Armstrong has been a political journalist since the 1980s.

      But John Armstrong, chief political reporter for the New Zealand Herald, says Mr Peters is a difficult man to cosy up to.

      “He was fairly close to the media in the early years but he’s had a snitch with the coverage of certain media,” he says.

      Mr Armstrong has been working in Parliament since the 1980s and he writes columns about the political heart of the Beehive – Government announcements, budgets, legislation as well as the “rows and distractions” he says go on in Parliament.

      He says the relationship between the media and politicians is symbiotic. “We need them to sell newspapers and they need us to get noticed, so they can get coverage.

      “We are all in bed together.”

      He says the best journalists are those who know how to get good sources. “It’s our job in the press gallery to make contact with personalities and it’s how we get stories. We have got to get to know them.”

      Curiously, there’s not a lot of background on Armstrong online.

      • Bearded Git 6.1.1

        I noticed the lack of information on Armstrong online too Karol. I can’t even find his out his age.

      • Morrissey 6.1.2

        A tired and depressed John Armstong came off second best when he foolishly took on the superior Gordon Campbell last year.

        Google it, fellas—it’s very, very entertaining.

      • veutoviper 6.1.3

        We must have been googling Armstrong’s background about the same time! And it is curious about how little there is about his background. I seem to recall having heard/read somewhere that he is originally from the UK – and that he has never become a NZ citizen. But cannot recall where or when so cannot verify that – or whether it was an unfounded claim about him.

  7. ianmac 7

    I remember Mr Key saying during the 2008 election that he admired Muldoon. Maybe, if my memory is correct, this could be used by Mr Norman.
    Anyway the real point of the speech was the diminishing of Democratic rights currently.

  8. Morrissey 8

    How much anguished speechifying by politicians was there after this hero murdered 16 Afghan CIVILIANS?

    The US Army staff sergeant charged with killing 16 villagers in one of the worst atrocities of the Afghanistan war has agreed to plead guilty in a deal to avoid the death penalty.

    11:29PM BST 29 May 2013

    Robert Bales is scheduled to enter guilty pleas to charges of premeditated murder on June 5 at a military base in the US, his lawyer John Henry Browne said. A trial for Bales’ sentencing is set for September. The judge and the base’s commanding general must approve a plea deal.

    “The judge will be asking questions of Sgt. Bales about what he did, what he remembers and his state of mind,” Mr Browne said.

    Bales slipped away from his remote southern Afghanistan outpost early on March 11, 2012, and attacked mud-walled compounds in two sleeping villages nearby. Most of the victims were women and children, and some of the bodies were piled and burned.

    The killings drew such angry protests that the US temporarily halted combat operations in Afghanistan.

    A plea deal could inflame tensions in Afghanistan. In April, relatives of the victims became outraged at the notion Bales might escape the death penalty and even vowed revenge.

    “For this one thing, we would kill 100 American soldiers,” said Mohammed Wazir, who had 11 family members killed that night, including his mother and two-year-old daughter.

    Mr Browne previously had indicated Bales remembered little from the night of the massacre. But as further details and records emerged, Bales began to remember what he did, the lawyer said.
    Bales is contrite about the killings, Mr Browne said.

    Edited by Bonnie Malkin for telegraph.co.uk

  9. The UK Tories are reeling from another sex scandal, this one centered on 10 Downing Street. There is apparently an interim injunction preventing publication of details, good luck with that …

    One aide said that the situation was ‘dynamite’ and a ‘complete mess’.

    Initial speculation was that it was Cameron’s wife Samantha and Boris Johnson! Current speculation is that it is Press Secretary Alex Cameron & disgraced News of the World phone hacking editor Rebekah Brooks.

    But the news will come out. Don’t they realise the Internet always wins?


    • karol 9.1

      Snap. My google search brought up the PM’s wife & Johnson. But I thought it was both/and the Coulson-Brooks one, not either/or..

      • mickysavage 9.1.1

        Oops I meant to say Andy Coulson – not enough coffee …


        • rosy

          Can’t see a Brooks/Coulson affair being much of a scandal. They collude, confide anyway – an affair is just a more personal expression of that, and only of concern to their families. A bit of a push to call Coulson middle-aged, imo.

          Now if it was an affair between a formerly seemingly unconnected political/media power pair that’s a completely different situation.

        • Puddleglum

          Maybe you were remembering these texts?

          • rosy

            I certainly was 🙂 rather flirty, but why not, if it gets access? A good warning for politicians and bureaucrats to keep a distance from media people. But apparently that’s not the connection (not someone in government), hence the Coulson rumours, I suppose.

    • North 9.2

      I thought (hoped) that Brooks bitch was in jail. As a proxy albeit for the Evil (I Own Several Sovereign HaHaHa States) Rupert. Couldn’t be Whatever The Name Is Madame Cameron. One mortal in one lifetime could not possibly twice engage such wicked taste ! Surely ?

    • North 9.3

      Interim injunction what ? The ruling class serving the ruling class !

      • mickysavage 9.3.1

        There is a bit more information coming out. It sounds like there is no interim injunction but the papers were “reminded” that certain issues were sub judice. This almost confirms that it is Brooks and Coulson who are still facing trial over the phone tapping allegations.

        • rosy

          It does rather. Making it a gossip story rather than enlightening, given their already close relationship. Just panic that Cameron should have known so will look a bit silly or deflection?

  10. karol 10

    No country seems to do political sex scandals like the Brits. Will it detract from Andy Coulson’s right wing media manipulations? And now the whole Downing Street thing.

    Sheesh – takes cronyism to a new level.

    • North 10.1

      True, the Brits do it excellently. Bonyism on top of (or however you like it) Cronyism.

  11. Herodotus 11

    Is there are increase in scaremongering to temper the absurd Auckland property market or is there an increasing warning being issued ?
    Poverty in many people’s mind is nz’s no. 1, yet the implications of this continuous expanding bubble is just as destructive and wide ranging.

    • karol 11.1

      It looks to me like those that have a vested interest in the property market are running scared and not sure which way to turn right now.

      Sooner or later their bubble will burst. The best solution is for Kiwis to move away from trying to increase their wealth through property ownership & speculation. However, the vested interested are bound to take a hit. Most of the MSM journos who write on it, are not helping.

      • Herodotus 11.1.1

        Auckland market corrects say 20%. What are the implications ?
        Here are some:
        As long as the mortgagee is earning the bank is still protected, the homeowner bears the entire cost in the terms of lost equity, house construction dramatically drops, council spending continues yet their rates base does not grow at the same rate = increased debt or rates increases. Interest rates increase. We become slaves in our own country working for diminishing wages as it becomes dog eat dog as each of us fights to survive. And politically, whoever is in power at the time is kicked out, on the other side property increases in value = current govt is rewarded with another term in power.
        Govt debt is not the real issue, our private debt and the consequences of all this debt servicing being exported.

  12. felix 12

    I reckon seeing as Dunne is Minister of revenue, his party registration should work the same as my car’s registration – continuous.

    i.e. he should be paying to de-register, and if not then any suckers who want to join have to pay up right back to when his rego ran out.

  13. muzza 13


    But city councillor Dave Macpherson said the decision not to include the authority was, in hindsight, a “whoops moment”. He said it would have been useful to have the authority directly involved in the leadership group.

    “It wasn’t a deliberate snub but I think it’s fair to say we overlooked it. A problem we often have in council is we think we have all the answers without checking sometimes,” he said.

    Um, yeah, ok Dave!

  14. ghostrider888 14

    (this film sums things up nicely).

  15. Tautoko Viper 15

    I see that TVNZ are suggesting that the buildings and grounds of schools that have been closed in Christchurch may be in demand by those wishing to set up charter schools. If the rationale for closing the schools was because the student numbers were insufficient to make the school viable then why should the Government be able to direct public funds for a charter school on that site?

    • Puddleglum 15.1

      Because charter schools will be such a boon to the low achieving, low decile children …

      I can see the rationale now: ‘Well, if they [the charter school proposers] think they can make a go of it then good on them. It’s up to them to work out a way to meet the rigorous contractual obligations we’ll impose on them. Private sector efficiencies, after all, are so much greater than in the public sector [that we are running!].’

  16. North 16

    Hear Hear Tautoko Viper ! You wouldn’t put it past those crooks ShonKey Python, Heki Pirau, and Botox Banks. More public asset applied for the benefit of the already filthy rich.

    “It’s the best for the nation don’t you know ?”

    In a completely different context, maximum prejudice to David Cameron, the Hurrah Henry Bastard of Britain ! It’s probably his latest Mr Humphreys, or am I confusing “Yes Minister” with “Are You Being Served ?” I suspect I am. The Westminster ministerial help was “Sir” somebody wasn’t he ?

    Whatever. Tory arseholes pick their help terribly badly if that’s the case. (Coulson). Couldn’t be the “downstairs” people. They’d just be sacked and sent home on the Tube with a mortified Hurrah Henry flea in the ear and no reference.


    Wouldn’t it be a hoot if it was just a good old root that knobbled the bastard ?

  17. karol 17

    Is the F-word making a come back? In the UK at least? A Guardian article on the new generation of digital-savvy feminists reckons it is.

    It was a remarkable victory when the social networking giant Facebook caved in to pressure last week and promised to “do better” to tackle anti-women hate pages on its site. A campaign by three women succeeded where many previous efforts had failed, forcing Facebook to take action over content celebrating rape and domestic violence.

    It took just a week for the campaigners to rouse hundreds of thousands of supporters, thanks to a growing digital network of women who are part of the “great feminist revival”. Spare Rib magazine is soon to relaunch, women’s groups are enjoying a growth in interest, and online feminism is flourishing in blogs and tweets. Beyoncé and Madonna were in London for the Chime for Change concert, promoting global empowerment for women and girls.

    Madonna and Beyonce aren’t top of my list of feminists to take notice of. I am interested to know more about Laura Penny who the article describes 26, author, feminist, socialist and columnist.

    She blogs and tweets under the name Penny Red and is now a contributing editor at the New Statesman.

    “There is a lot of fighting out there at the moment within feminism over what it is and what it should be, and it’s exhausting but necessary. It’s part of the process,” she says.

    And she’s written, Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism (Zer0 books, 2011).

  18. Anne 18

    I see Craig Heatley has been made a Companion of the NZ Order of Merit (NZOM) for services to business. His donations to the National Party (via the Waitemata Trust?) must have been substantial.

  19. mac1 19

    With regard to the Nisbet cartoon, I am sorry to say that the Marlborough Express has not retracted but compounded its error with tonight’s editorial. The editor who is a decent enough man did however have the gumption to print nine letters criticising his stance directly under his editorial.

    It says firstly the cartoon was “possibly” offensive but not racist, according to the ruling by Susan Devoy, which the editorial writer says found the cartoon “beneath the official threshold required for racism.”

    It says it “was intended as a provocative comment on the Right-wing stereotyping of those who may try to take advantage of the Government’s new ‘food in schools’ programme.”

    Funny way to do that, I would have thought.

    Anyway it seems that those of us “who saw skin colour first, above all else, might like to consider whether they were guilty of that sentiment.”

    The editorial criticised emotively those of us who wrote “hate mail” and who were “screaming racism.” I think that is called blaming the messenger.

    • North 19.1

      That’s bullshit that it was intended to lampoon the right wing. I heard the guy being interviewed and there was no way he was lampooning the right. He was actually quite feisty and said nothing about lampooning the lunatics. He sounded to me like one of those know it all superior white bastards who have not just a subliminal anti-Maori number about them but also a conscious negativity and sneer. Which they’re cunning enough to moderate somewhat in their talk after the event. It still comes through though.

      Nisbet’s a provincial racist prick using his platform to peddle his own racist shit. Not lampooning anyone but (unwittingly) himself and his provincial little shit hole. And (deliberately) Maori.

      • Populuxe1 19.1.1

        I just love it when some arrogant, presumably JAFA tosser starts flinging around “provincial” as a perjorative. It just reveals what utter contempt you have for the rest of the country.

        • felix

          I’m amazed you can type this stuff with what appears to be zero irony or self-awareness.

          • Populuxe1

            That’s a bit rich coming from someone as pompously oblivious to irony as you, felix. I would almost describe it as condescending, except that would imply you had some level of authority to begin with.

  20. Mark Robertson 20

    I am amazed at the complete lack of coverage of the latest Roy Morgan poll which came out on the 29th May. Nats down to 41%— Surely thats headline material you would have thought. The Roy Morgan poll has been the most accurate by far of all the polling companies at the last two elections yet is consistently overlooked. Goes together with the complete lack of coverage nationally of Ch-Ch voters turning on the Nats. Latest polls down south have led the editor of the press to suggest that Christchurch is going red. Now all we need is the MSM nationally to report whats happening. Vain hope I know.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The coronavirus outbreak in China: what a difference a week makes
    When it comes to emerging infectious diseases and outbreaks, so much can happen in a week. In the case of the coronavirus outbreak in China, I’ve gone from not being too alarmed, to thinking “oh, crap!”. But that still doesn’t mean we should all panic. As I’m writing this on ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    10 hours ago
  • National cries wolf over Coronavirus
    Opposition MP Michael WoodhouseLast week, the current National Party leader, Simon Bridges, claimed that the Minister of Health wasn’t leading on ‘significant issues that matter to New Zealanders within his Health portfolio’ when commenting about the Government’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak.This silly comment was made despite David Clark working ...
    19 hours ago
  • Fluoridation and sex steroid hormones – or the mouse that roared
    All the recent research anti-fluoride campaigners promote as “evidence” of harm from community water fluoridation amount to cherry-picking a very few statistically significant results from a large number of non-significant results. The whole exercise is a bit like the “Mouse that Roared.” Credit: The Mouse that Roared – TMTR Intro ...
    22 hours ago
  • Leave Neve alone
    Neve Te Aroha Gayford at RatanaI’m sure I’m not the only one to notice that the Ratana birthday celebrations this year were a well-attended event that went off without much of a hitch. This is in stark contrast to previous years, where some form of controversy has usually taken centre ...
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #4
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 19, 2020 through Sat, Jan 25, 2020 Editor's Pick The companies that have contributed most to climate change Thought-provoking readings on those most responsible for the pollution. Sometimes, ...
    2 days ago
  • The swimming pool paradox
    It’s another warm day, but the breeze isn’t helping much, so off I go to the inviting outdoor swimming pool (banner picture) at the other end of campus. It’s an unheated pool (well, there’s no artificial heat source), which means one thing: It’s going to feel cold when I get ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • 100 seconds to midnight
    The Doomsday Clock is a tracker created by he Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for how close we are to global destruction. Created in 1947, it got worse as the Cold War started, then improved as it cooled down, then got worse again as Ronald Reagan tried to confront the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A multitude of drops: Social tipping points in climate action
    If you’re here, you probably know that the climate crisis is upon us, that it’s getting steadily worse, and that attempts to address it haven’t worked yet. People are still driving and even advertising SUVs with impunity, and oil companies are exploring like crazy, even in New Zealand. Politically, socially, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • The Thoughtful Mr Parker.
    Stunningly Wrong-Headed: So blinded are the “left-wing” believers in free markets and free trade (like Trade Minister, David Parker) that even when they are staring directly at the wreckage of the lives and communities which these “unconscionable freedoms” (to borrow Marx’s telling phrase) have left in their wake, they cannot ...
    4 days ago
  • What’s the problem with all science being “done” in English?
    I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which ...
    SciBlogsBy Andreea Calude
    4 days ago
  • Snakeflu?! An intriguing source suggested for new Chinese coronavirus
    The whole world is on edge over a coronavirus outbreak that started in early December in Wuhan City, China. The virus is thought to have first infected people working at a seafood and live animal market. So what could the original source have been? There’s no official word yet, but ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Simon’s Philippine jaunt: #LittleBoysPlayingToughguys
    Not too far back, Simon Bridges the Leader of the Opposition and National Party, went on an excursion to China. This was arranged not by MFAT (NZ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), but by their MP Jian Yang – a man who also just happened to “forget to mention” ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Will Turia ever forgive Labour?
    Dame Tariana Turia with former PM John KeyWhat is it about Tariana Turia’s grudge against the Labour Party? Not content with attacking the Government over Whānau Ora funding, which was increased by $80 million in 2019, she has now made it personal by saying that Jacinda Ardern is out of her ...
    5 days ago
  • What are the recent fluoride-IQ studies really saying about community water fluoridation?
    Scaremongering graphic currently being promoted by Declan Waugh who is well known for misrepresenting the fluoride science This graphic is typical of current anti-fluoride propaganda. It is scare-mongering, in that it is aimed at undermining community ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #3, 2020
    Biography of a policy metric Bård Lahn performs a sweeping literature review to present the history of our notion of a "global carbon budget" and how this number has come  to encapsulate a massive amount of scientific research into a useful, easily grasped tool in our policy skill set.  A ...
    5 days ago
  • Oxfam Report: Time to Care – Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis
    January 2020 Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • How to avoid being a cunt to hospo workers’
    Working hospo is hard mahi for many reasons, from long hours and gruelling high-volume weekends to customers who treat us as their servants. There are always lovely and polite customers who treat hospo workers with respect and kindness but, throughout my 15-years in the biz, I’ve collected a number of ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • 2019-nCoV (the new coronavirus): Should we be concerned, and will there be a vaccine?
    Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    6 days ago
  • The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?
    By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    6 days ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    6 days ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    7 days ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    1 week ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Should I ditch my fossil-fueled car?
    Yes. Reducing the number of cars in your household, or switching from petrol/diesel to electric, will dramatically reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. It’s one of the easiest and highest-impact climate steps you can take. New Zealand is being flooded with cars The New Zealand vehicle fleet is increasing rapidly. In ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Planet History: Taking Tea with Quentin
    This interview with Quentin Crisp is part of a series of articles republished from Planet, the independent magazine I edited in the early 90s from a base at 309 Karangahape Road, along with Grant Fell, Rachael Churchward, Fiona Rae, David Teehan, Mere Ngailevu and others.Inevitably, you forget things, and over ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #1, 2020
    Supply Side How are we doing with CO2 emissions? It's an important question, increasingly posed to a mixed bag of CO2 contributors who may or may not provide accurate reportage. Liu et al present a new, additional means of measurement based on satellite observations of nitrogen dioxide co-emitted from ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Donald Trump’s strategic gamble
    There’s a meme going around the Internet at the moment claiming that Donald Trump is a bit of an idiot. To outside eyes it does seem as though the President of the United States thumbs his nose at his own countries laws and administration far too often to be taken ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Is the prostitute the seller or the sold?
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman, Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the third part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna Whitmore. Part 1 was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • The climate crisis is also a biodiversity crisis
    Dr Andrea Byrom Like many of us, the summer break has seen me transfixed with horror at the scale and magnitude of the bushfire crisis in Australia. As an ecologist, I can’t help but be appalled at the loss of some of Australia’s most beautiful ecosystems and landscapes. And ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    5 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    6 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    7 days ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Mark expresses “absolute confidence” in NZDF forces stationed in Iraq
    While feeling worried about increased Middle East tensions, Defence Minister Ron Mark said he had "absolute confidence" in New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) leadership. His statements come as the fate of Kiwi troops stationed in Iraq comes under intense scrutiny. Forty-five Defence Force personnel were thought to be in the ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago