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Open Mike – 04/04/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 4th, 2010 - 52 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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52 comments on “Open Mike – 04/04/2010”

  1. Bored 1

    Terry Heffernan RIP.

    Reading the Dom yesterday there was an obituary for Terry, I was rather shocked and reminded of our own mortality having known him well at Uni. Terry was that wonderful thing, a truly honest man who had the enviable record of standing for every party in NZ and never winning. The true political chameleon whose views did not change as those around him did.

    I first met Terry in a tutorial, he was years senior to a spotty first year but displayed his true nature, friendly and prepared to debate, not dictate. He tolerated our extreme leftism and was never dismissive. More importantly he was always friendly, ready to engage and cheerful. This attracted the epithet “Heffernana” to which he would smile broadly. Odd ball perhaps but a lovely guy.

    I ran into Terry only a few times over the years, kept an eye on him through the papers. It saddened me that his demise did not attract much media coverage, he might not have been a political winner but he was a trier and as they say God loves a trier.

    So, heres to you Terry, RIP.

  2. Cnr Joe 2

    Nice to see the Standard back up and running.
    What would the current political debate be like without it?

    • (NOT) Galeandra 2.1

      Less facile ?

      [lprent: Bugger off gitmo. Go back to playing with yourself. ]

  3. The Chairman 3

    On a sewer project that was originally supposed to cost $250 million, the county now owed a total of $1.28 billion just in interest and fees on the debt.

    The destruction of Jefferson County reveals the basic battle plan of these modern barbarians, the way that banks like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have systematically set out to pillage towns and cities from Pittsburgh to Athens.

    Read more here:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/32906678/looting_main_street/1

  4. prism 4

    Less factual?

  5. sk 5

    nah Galendra, that is the Prime Minister you are referring to.

    Chris Carter’s comments on Red Alert re: NZ whaling policy being made up on the hoof, and pissing off the Australians and the UK highlights the very real limitations of our PM. The ‘Forrest Gump’ of NZ politics; in all the photos with a great smile (smirk), but . . .

  6. jcuknz 6

    Congrats on being up and running again … the world might have been less facile without you but less interesting too and you don’t have a monopoly on facilism. Good to see you back 🙂

  7. ropata 7

    I was going nuts without the Standard. Haere mai ki te korero!

    • lprent 7.1

      Didn’t realize you were a fan 🙂

      Testing the comment tab speed after a comment gets posted

      • bill brown 7.1.1

        There’s a spam leak in the “Nats fail on crime” thread

        • lprent 7.1.1.1

          Ok – I’ll have a look at it. We’re being targeted a bit at present – I guess because of the site change..

      • lprent 7.1.2

        Ok – that is significantly better response

        Changed from


        SELECT wp_comments.* FROM wp_comments
        JOIN wp_posts ON wp_posts.ID = wp_comments.comment_post_ID
        WHERE comment_approved = '1' AND post_status = 'publish'
        ORDER BY comment_date_gmt DESC LIMIT 15

        To

        select A.* FROM
        (
        SELECT wp_comments.* FROM wp_comments
        ORDER BY comment_date_gmt DESC LIMIT 100
        ) AS A, wp_posts
        WHERE wp_posts.ID = A.comment_post_ID
        AND comment_approved = '1'
        AND post_status = 'publish'

        It pulled 288 records in total to extract 100 records rather than 156k..

        Now it does everything using indexes rather than generating a temp table of 156k records. Even for a hash table that is quite a bit…

        Guess I’d better lumber up the svn and post that back to wordpress…

        • Lanthanide 7.1.2.1

          156k temp table vs 288? That’s crazy bad for original code used widely.

          • lprent 7.1.2.1.1

            Yeah. This is in the default widgets code for recent comments. I guess there aren’t that many sites having 150k+ comment showing recent comments at all.

      • ropata 7.1.3

        Yeah. Well I only usually comment when I want to argue about something otherwise I appreciate the worthwhile commentary round here, even if I don’t always agree it makes me think. Rangimarie.

        PS. Hurrah for indexes. Also you might want to get rid of the inline query and make it a stored proc. (if that’s possible in your DB)

        • lprent 7.1.3.1

          Yeah it is. MySQL does most of the standard database ops.

          However I try to keep wordpress as conformant as possible to the standard version as it reduces headaches when they do an upgrade – like in a few weeks. WordPress 3.0 has released their near to final beta that I’m anxious to play with.

          Just at present I have that one tweak for that SQL query because it was REALLY slowing down the posting of comments. Apart from that there is the theme written by mummybot with a few tweaks by me, and a series of 18 standard plugins, 2 plugins by me doing a few operations mainly for advertising support, and a plugin by mummybot supporting the theme.

          Most of the custom work is in the (L)AMP stack. PHP and MySQL have performance driven configurations. Apache2 uses mpm_worker and fast cgi to enhance performance, with mods like limitconn to keep the pesky bots under control. It also has some custom .htaccess for the site to minimize the server loadings.

          But this latest bug was in linux – the absolute last thing I suspected. It looked initially like a hardware fault. After that was eliminated I went through all of the rest first and finally wound up concluding it was something weird in the OS. I sure hope that is what it was, because I’d hate to go through all this again…

  8. prism 8

    Interesting interviews on death penalty, treatment of criminals on Chris Laidlaw by Jeremy Rose 11am Sunday 4/4/10. One small area of texas Harris County has greater death penalties than whole of Texas, and kills 40% of all USA
    criminal death sentences.
    NZ Prof Flynn effect talked about, and China talked about also. So quite wide, and interesting books written about.

  9. gingercrush 9

    Hmm what is going on with Scoop and thus having ads on here, Kiwiblog, PA and Pundit all mucking up?

  10. Anyone read the Herald this morning? There is this fascinating article about how there is a new group of working class conservatives and some comments about the last election.

    Did you know,

    1. Labour lost 4 “middle electorates”. I thought it was only three?
    2. Sam Lotu Liga bet Mark Gosche, I must ask Carol Beaumont about this.
    3. Pansy Wong winning Botany was a surprise, as if.
    4. Paula Bennett “stormed home” in Waitakere, if you coult winning by 600 votes “storming home”.
    5. John Banks has a chance of being the Super City Mayor, yeah right!
    6. An opinion poll from 5 months ago is quoted as evidence of continued support.

    They quote someone who was impressed by National because it has a “long term” view. I must check up the meaning of that phrase because it seems to have changed dramatically.

    Someone else voted National because she wanted more people paying tax. Boy she must be disappointed now.

    Another on a low income because she would get a tax cut. I wonder if she could sue for a broken promise.

    An accountant voting National is offered as evidence of the decline in Labour’s fortune.

    According to Stephen Joyce “The war for the Beehive, he says, was been won in places like Waitakere.” Give that man a dictionary!

    In the most telling statement a woman in Onehunga stated “I don’t think so, they just haven’t hit the right balance between what people want and what’s good for the company – sorry – country.”

    She was right first time!

    The link is at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10636275&pnum=0. I thought April 1 was a couple of days ago?

  11. Leopold 11

    Beware – names and emails are turning up in your “leave a reply” section at end of comments

    • lprent 11.1

      Ouch… That may explain what gitmo was doing. Thanks. I’ll check

    • lprent 11.2

      They are meant to show your own values from cookies (stored on your machine) once you’ve used them.

      Are you saying that you can see other peoples name, e-mail, and URL?

      If so, are you behind a company type firewall where the cookies could have become cached? What browser? Can anyone else see them…

      I can’t reproduce it…

      captcha: dictionary

  12. gingercrush 12

    I rather liked the article but something that is missing is any comments about lower turnout which did affect some electorates and notably the splitting of the left vote in electorates such as Auckland Central.

    [lprent: Damn – gitmo just used your details. Now to figure out what is going on. I’d suggest that people login in (that can’t be seen) until I get this fixed. In the meantime I’m going to disable anonymous comments. ]

  13. lprent 13

    Ok. That ‘should’ fix it. I’ll test in another browser

  14. Test comment…

    Maybe it is to do with the redit

  15. lprent 15

    Looks good. Php.ini was still in the default development mode for cookies. Updated with the correct file. There was a nasty flag on in the wordpress caching. One of those was probably the problem.

    If anyone sees a recurrence, please e-mail lprent [at] primary.geek.nz

    Thanks.

    Now to get mail set up for the registrations etc – after lunch

  16. vto 16

    Just harking back to recent debate about the profitability of Coro mines it seems that between 1888 and 1951 Martha Hill (the mine in central Waihi occupying about 300 acres) gave up 35,000,000 ounces (yes 35million) of gold. At today’s prices that is about $NZ55 billion. Not bad. And definitely profitable.

  17. (NOT) Sanctuary 17

    Leopold speaks:
    Not the real Sanctuary here -but it appears that names, e-mail addresses and URLs are still appearing on my computer (having logged out since last time). Don’t mind not being anonymous, but some would be thoroughly pissed off about messages sent under their own names
    (Sorry, Sanctuary!)

    [lprent: Thanks. You should find that it is not happening now (let me know if it is), because I turned supercache off. The problem is that there is a switch somewhere that is writing then at the server side rather than from cookies at the client-side. Hunting… ]

  18. lprent_test 18

    The stored e-mail values are still showing.

    Turned SuperCache off. It and the updated ajax reedit are the only possible remaining ones. I still haven’t managed to sight it myself. So I’m just going to read the HTML to see what loads those fields. They’re meant to all come from the client side. But they must be being set at the server.

  19. lprent_test 19

    Damn it is writing the values in at the server. I can see them in the code. Therefore they will get cached at the server by supercache.

    Since that didn’t used to happen, I have a setting wrong. Hunting….

  20. Lindsey 20

    It is increasingly obvious that The Herald no longer employs people who are capable of doing the most basic of fact searches, or sub-editors who are capable of spotting the most basic of factual errors. They do their political masters no service when their repeaters are not even capable of establishing the basic facts upon which to hang their pre-determined lines of “analysis”.

  21. lprent_testing 21

    Test message to see if I’ve gotten rid of the redisplay of comment emails

    Yes… Now to get it to redisplay at the client side

  22. lprent 23

    Ok that is solved in between other bits and pieces. It now loads the defaults on the client side from the cookies using javascript.

    You’re safe to use the anonymous commenting.

    I think I’ll leave the requirement to validate the first comment by a user on. It’ll make it easier to constrain the people that like leaving multiple comments under different names.

    The e-mail at the server is up for registration and passwords again after I convinced the mail serve at my side that it wasn’t a rogue mail server. Generally it is a lot easier for people to login. For a start the captcha is off if you are logged in, and it is a hell of a lot more secure.

  23. armchair critic 24

    It looks like it is working properly.

  24. lprent 25

    Ok search is back online.
    The RSS feeds appear to be working (including a slow query that I’ll have to fix later).
    The slow queries have virtually disappeared except under load.

    I suppose I’d better get the banner ad running again, and do the upgrades I’d planned for friday

    Oh and put some batteries in my mouse… Looks like it has been overused ..

    • Jenny 25.1

      It’s fascinating reading about your struggles Lynn. Great work, I must say. I only pray you don’t have to do it ever again. (or is this what you do in you day job, day in day out?)

      • lprent 25.1.1

        Hell no. Being a permanent sysop would drive me nuts. Usually I figure out how to make the systems largely bullet-proof so I don’t have to deal with these issues. But we haven’t the resources at The Standard to do that.

        Mostly I write library level c++/c# code with a number of other languages. Sometimes as a member of a team of developers, sometimes as the team lead (which I generally prefer to avoid), sometimes as the development manager (which I really try to avoid). I like programming. I tend to specialize in GUI, architectural design, and my favorite – solving structural design problems – solving the unsolvable.

        Knowing how to get systems working is a incidental by-product and so has been the commercial web development (although I like writing webapps). Most of the web stuff has been done in my spare time.

        • Lanthanide 25.1.1.1

          What actually happened with the site? I haven’t seen any post or comment anywhere about the downtime. If I’ve missed it, please link it. I’ve gleaned that you’ve moved the site to a new server/hosting provider, presumably for bandwidth reasons?

          • lprent 25.1.1.1.1

            Still too busy to write one..

            Nope. There was something deadlocking up at the bottom of the system. The number of php5 processes went up massively as connections came in and weren’t serviced. It’d happened a few times over the last couple of months and I’d gotten around it by various tweaks and a hefty number of service restarts.

            This time it was so bad that the bots just looking at the maintenance screen (ie wordpress options database access only) were sufficient to cause a failure cascade.

            I initially thought it was hardware, but we eliminated that after the techs looked at the system. They also checked the other VPS’es to see of there was something hogging something. There was one contender, but after they eliminated that, I started looking for something in our configuration.

            Read all of the /var/log files looking for something. They showed the slowdown results but not the cause.

            The database worked fine when I hit it from several systems at the same time. Another wordpress site (Lyn’s doco site) on the same system ran fine with their limited traffic.

            So I started on our wordpress configuration. First I had to write a variant index.php so I could startup and shutdown the site access fast by renaming a file to prevent the cascade from making ssh unusable. Then reversing out the recent changes in wordpress one at a time (and wait 10-20 minutes to see if the bots could still kill at the maintenance screen, which they did). Then I reimplemented a new version of the site from scratch – still failed. Created a new site which worked. Loaded it with data and made it the standard, and it failed.

            Then I looked at the slow queries and eliminated them. Checked all of the mutexes and lock files in use in wordpress for permission issues. Did the same with the pid and sock files.

            Then looked at the LAMP stack and reloaded that in several configurations. Dropped apache from worker/fast cgi down to prefork, and eliminated most of the mods. Played with the MySQL and PHP configurations.

            Eventually was left with the OS. Spend considerable time backing everything off (and managed to lose a couple of months of images because (as I found out later) filezilla ftp doesn’t like symbolic linked directories, and hadn’t been picking then up in backups (back to ncftp push next time..)).

            Reimaged, reloaded the final test system on the installed pacakages and presto… It worked correctly. Bloody slow, but didn’t fall over.

            Then started putting everything back one bit at a time to get to the far more speedy system testing all of the way.

            Short answer is that I have no frigging idea what was actually going wrong. I suspect it was the actual VPS container because this one seems a lot different (more constrained) than the last one. I think that we hit it when wordpress shifted from largely using temp mem hash tables to temp disk tables and we hit something in the filesystem, and it was something about the size of data we were using (as the comments went up). But I can’t prove anything….. But when I grew the wordpress database to a similar size with random generated records, I got similar effects

            The only upside is that I’m happy with the software and services configuration. Now I know it wasn’t the cause, I can turn APC back on for PHP.

            But hardwarewise, I think that we need to shift to something like a dual Xeon level box to give us some headroom. Growth last month in page views was 9% greater than feb, and feb was our largest month ever. The bots and rss feeds are loving us to death… So are the unique visitors and page views per visitor..

            Time to grow the server again. But it is clear that we’re going to have to get a warm backup/load spreader as well for precisely this type of issue. It outgrew my old dual Opteron last year as the warmish backup. Time to start setting up database replication (which is fun) and looking at mod_proxy so we can tandem the system for peak loading…

            We knew this was coming up. That is why the advertising went on. It is getting past my ability to pay for the monthly running costs. Marty reckons that we’re really going to start to get some serious traffic this mid-term year, and election year will be crazy.. Plus I’d like to start a few sister sites.

            • Lanthanide 25.1.1.1.1.1

              Ouch, no wonder it took so long to fix.

              • You should put a serious plan for financing together, sort of a “friends of the Standard” group. If you get a hundred people pledging $10 per month then you would have some cash coming in. I have no idea now much time or money it takes to keep the site going but by the look of your description concerning the remedial work required above it must be considerable.

                • lprent

                  Normally it isn’t that bad. It is more the unpredictability that is a problem. It always seems to happen while I’m at work, which limits my remedial powers.

                  This time I was just lucky that the really bad one happened at easter. Makes you feel like there is some kind of divine intervention.

            • mickysavage 25.1.1.1.1.2

              Have you thought about a “The Standard” T shirt? There are a few Labour conferences and meetings coming up where they could be sold and I am sure the Greens would do the same.

              I would buy a few!

  25. ianmac 26

    As a superannuant I would be happy to pay $10 per month Micky Savage. When the Standard went down its abscence made me realise how important the site is. A terrible responsibility eh Iprent! 🙂

    • lprent 26.1

      Oh yeah… Working on the upgrades for advertising now so we may have revenues when we have a bank account (trust starts on the new financial year).

      But there is always the donate button, but you have to have a paypal account or credit card. I’ll add the account number when we know what it is. Revenue is always useful 🙂

  26. RedLogix 27

    Well done Lyn…..that’s your Easter fracked for all time. But the rest of us can do more than just express appreciation, Mickey’s idea is a good one and I’d for one would be prepared to back it.

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    5 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    1 week ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    1 week ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Holy bin chickens: ancient Egyptians tamed wild ibis for sacrifice
    Sally Wasef, Griffith University and David Lambert, Griffith University These days, not many Aussies consider the ibis a particularly admirable creature. But these birds, now colloquially referred to as “bin chickens” due to their notorious scavenging antics, have a grandiose and important place in history – ancient Egyptian history, to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
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    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New measures for wood processing boost
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry The Government will further strengthen New Zealand’s wood processing sector as part of our focus on ‘value over volume’ in our forestry industry, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones will today meet with forestry representatives in Northland to signal new measures to help the ...
    1 hour ago
  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    1 day ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    3 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    3 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago

  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
    Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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