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Open mike 04/09/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 4th, 2015 - 66 comments
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66 comments on “Open mike 04/09/2015”

  1. dv 1


    UN Security Council inaction on Syria ‘past unacceptable’ says Murray McCully
    “The fact the Security Council has not managed to find a resolution amongst the parties is just past unacceptable. We are doing everything we can to try to create some sort of resolution that will enable the humanitarian challenges to be addressed

    Shame NZ isn’t doing every thing we can to met the humanitarian challenge.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Its all the UN’s fault …

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        It’s never Nationals fault even when it is.

        • Muttonbird

          Yep. Expect a flip-flop from Key on this in the very near future. Except it won’t be called a flip-flop – that term is reserved for the opposition. The government’s furious back-pedalling has already been framed as a “softening of position”, which sounds much nicer.

          What this shows is the default position of this government is indifference, and this is backed up by the sweeping changes to WINZ and social housing. However, they are happy to throw cruel ideology away at the first sign of trouble from their own voter base.

      • half crown 1.1.2

        “Its all the UN’s fault …”

        Nah, It’s Labour’s fault. Just ask the Spiv.

    • Tracey 1.2

      Always easy to speak tough on stuff you can’t change…. big bad courageous mccully

    • rhinocrates 1.3

      “Unacceptable” is a classic weasel word. Whenever a politician uses the word “unacceptable”, they mean that they want to be seen to be condemning someone else but never in a news release containing that word will you see an alternative or a commitment to do anything. It means, ‘thank you for doing what I would do, but which would make me more unpopular if I did it.’ When ‘leading Labour, Goff was very fond of it himself when he wasn’t saying ‘me too’.

    • Anne 2.1

      Note how quiet the MSM is keeping on the fact that John Key’s mother was a refugee from 1930s Europe. She was one of the lucky ones who escaped the holocaust and ended up starting a new life in NZ. She and her children were looked after by the state… lived in a warm, dry home… good food in their stomachs… and the recipients of a first class education.

      • tc 2.1.1

        Something the opposition should be skewering him over and using his cynical flag exercise costs as a clear example of vanity before humanity.

        Somedays I wonder if we even have an opposition…

        • Draco T Bastard

          You’ve got to remember that a large part of the opposition actually agree with National on charging for education and not providing social housing.

      • Tracey 2.1.2

        The Refugee Association mention sit every chance they get. I think People have forgotten that Key’s parents were refugees and I thought Little missed a great chance to look into the camera and speak to MR Key ” hey, remember how NZ helped your parents?”

        • Muttonbird

          Makes no difference to Key’s support base.

          To them, John Key’s parents were the right sort of refugees – they were white and had the right God, not brown and Islamic.

          Peter Dunne wants refugees to be vetted on an wealth and skills basis which defeats the entire idea of compassion, I would have thought. Further proof that this government is indifferent to the vulnerable.

          That daft Scots migrant, Jock Anderson, made a complete fool of himself on the radio yesterday afternoon advocating that only rich refugees be allowed access.

          • Tracey

            yes, a general misunderstanding of what a refugee is. We have categories for welathy immigrants, refugee is a different beats. It is of concern when so called intelligent people don’t get this, or don’t want to.

          • b waghorn

            But if we could take 10 000 that could support themselves as well as increasing our true refugee numbers buy double wouldn’t that be better.?

      • Chooky 2.1.3

        +100 Anne

  2. wyndham 3

    But, but Helen Clark did it too – – – –

    Key said it was easy for the Opposition to say the Government should do more and while the number of displaced people had increased in recent years – “there were still tens of millions when Helen Clark was Prime Minister”.

    From yesterdays’ DomPost

    • Anne 3.1

      What a snotty nosed, out of context and infantile response! Did the DomPost point out he’s behaving like a child? I’m sure the answer was ‘no’.

  3. Rodel 4

    Incisive leadership (sarc) on the refuge crisis from the Prime Minister.
    Quoted in today’s Press.

    “We’re not ruling out whether there’s more that we could possibly do earlier, and maybe specifically in relation to what we are seeing at the moment”

    I’m not comfortable with that level of ‘leadership’.

    • Muttonbird 4.1

      But he and Bling did rule it out, just two days ago.

      • Tracey 4.1.1

        yes, but he is a perpetual liar so does that. Remember that 2103 poll where only 28% believe anything he says?

    • mac1 4.2

      Look at the careful imprecision of Key’s statement.

      1. “We’re not ruling out”. This says nothing and indicates very little positive action in a negative way.
      2. “more”. Not quantified or defined. Could have been a little more, lot more, a whole lot more.
      3. “possibly’. Again no action indicated and ‘possibly’ is very low down the chain of probability of something happening.
      4. “maybe specifically”. This is a wonderful juxtaposition of a low probability word ‘maybe’ with a very definite word ‘specifically’, meaning very little.
      4. “what we are seeing”. Not described. Later, Key could say he was talking about anything.

      This is not Orwellian “newspeak”. This is “nothingspeak”, “zilchtalk”, ‘nadamessaging”. It is the verbal equivalent of candy floss.

      • Rodel 4.2.1

        mac1-Candy floss?- I was thinking of another substance, somewhat heavier and brownish rather than pink. cheers!

        • mac1

          That substance possibly derives from good nutrition, whereas with Key there’s nothing to bite on, chew on, give nourishment. I prefer candy floss as a symbol since it also conjures up fairground hucksters, snake oil merchants and winning prizes that turn out to be less than the cost of the turn.

      • Tracey 4.2.2

        It is the words of a man who knows he will not be held to account for his words. And is waiting for more polling before he makes up his mind

      • mary_a 4.2.3

        @ mac1 (4.2) But … but did FJK make those statements as FJK (faux) PM, FJK NatzKEY leader, FJK private citizen, FJK Bronagh’s hubby, FJK Moonbeam’s dad, FJK Uncle Sam’s scrooge, or FJK whoever? His position at the time of flapping his gob off here, makes all the difference to where his responsibility lies!

        • mac1

          But did he make those statements, and did he mean what you think he said, because he can always get another opinion, and anyway actually Helen did it too, and Labour were to blame in their nine long years…………………….

  4. North 5

    ‘Leadership’ is soooo yesterday……for bleeding hearts, “munters”, Helen Clark a decade ago.

    The New Order is ‘CelebriKey’ !

    C’mon NiuZilndizz……”Gerr-Sarrm-Garrtzz !” Check it out on E! Channel, Seven PM Sharp, week nights.

    • Tracey 6.1


      A FLAG

    • freedom 6.2

      The only thing more upsetting than the story itself are the numerous comments underneath the story, where the compassion that used to be a hallmark of our nation is exposed to be woefully (and increasingly) absent.

      I also fail to understand how he could have run out of the WINZ office seeing as every WINZ office in the country currently has at least one security guard stationed at the door and usually another inside the offices themselves. Many also have a local representative from the Police in situ during office hours.

      I can’t see the country I was raised in anymore. I do miss it though.

    • mac1 6.3

      Thanks for the article, muttonbird. Very close to home, in more ways than one.

      Huge credit due to the helpers in this situation.

  5. lprent 7

    We got another bad link in a incoming RSS feed. Due to having a nasty cold last week, I didn’t find a permanent fix for this.

    People were getting locked out of the site for writing comments for several hours. I have cleared all of those blocks now, and the RSS feeds are switched off.

    They will stay off until I have time to build a permanent fix.

  6. ianmac 8

    A badge worn by members of RNZAF 3 squadron, has a silver fern and the stars of the southern cross in exactly the same location as the two flags designed by Kyle Lockwood. Designed or copied?
    Picture at http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/71710031/air-force-unit-has-been-wearing-one-of-final-four-flags-for-years.html

    • freedom 8.1

      was just about to post on that – but had site access issues – ….

      It’s not a brand, it’s a national flag, right? A national flag is about many things; pride, unity, respect, solidarity, patriotism. So why all the copyright issues circling the Flag referendum selections? We have the Rugby Union unequivocally putting their foot down about their rights. The Companies and Immigration Offices are both remarkably quiet about one of the selections, while (co-incidentally)the man who designed the NZRU Silver Fern talks up redesigning all the ferns that have been shortlisted.

      And have you seen the story where Kyle Lockwood is looking at challenging the RNZAF in a copyright battle over prior use of his Siver Fern Flag designs?


      These stories highlight how the focus of the exercise seems to be flagging. I don’t see how prior use copyright battles with the very people you are freely giving up your copyright claims to, can be said to support any of those tall standards of pride, unity, respect, solidarity & patriotism. It has recently been reported people representing Kyle Lockwood are making inquiries about the “kiwi party plates” and their possible breach of his designs’ copyright. They seem to have been slow off the mark however, the Silver Fern Flag website states they first became aware of the plates back in 2011.

      As I might have mentioned previously, his designs are meant to have had all rights signed over to the government under part 15 of the Flag Design Terms and Conditions. (excepting some recent application of part 19 of course) https://www.govt.nz/browse/engaging-with-government/the-nz-flag-your-chance-to-decide/resources/terms-and-conditions/

      These are very clear terms. We have no reason not to think they have been rightfully enacted by that very same government he is now questioning over rights of prior use. Rights that would now let the government comfortably use any such design in the very function the [prior] owner of the copyright is making enquiries about.

      His lawyers may well have a case about prior use (though there are enough design variances to raise doubt) but under the terms of the flag selection process, Kyle Lockwood has to sign over all rights for current and future use (and should have already done so). Considering it is a group within the RNZAF whom, it is questioned, might have committed a prior use infringement, we are left to puzzle over his motivations for even bothering to contest it. Companies selling plastic plates is one thing. The armed forces of the nation whose flag your design is shortlisted to replace does seem an odd choice of litigant, if it gets that far.

      Remember, Kyle Lockwood was also very passionate about NZ bringing back ten year passports and petitioned the government on the issue and was spokesperson for the ‘NZ Ten’ campaign. http://www.nzten.com/petition.html I thank him for that, and thank all those who played their small part in pushing for this incredibly important return to sanity.

      Kyle Lockwood seems to have a genuine passion for NZ, the fact he is currently based in Melbourne is irrelevant and yes, his career should rightfully beneift from the exposure of his designs’ success. However, I do not believe that success should include ongoing commercial gain directly drawn from the sale of flags and associated materials bearing a design that is now meant to be the commercial and legal property of the NZ government. Not only is the commercial activity continuing, after all rights are meant to have been signed over, but he is actually expanding the commercial activity related to his design. It appears he plans to sell even more flags.

      Due to unprecedented demand as a result of the Crown’s top four release, all flags have sold out, however more are on the way. our manufacturers are busily making new flags and we are setting up distribution centres in Auckland, Wellington and Melbourne, with a view to opening a London distribution centre.

      Please bear with us if your flags take a little while to arrive, thank you!

      Kyle Lockwood, Designer.

      How much longer is he going to be selling the flags for?
      Have the Silver Fern Flag outlets become some unofficial marketing or revenue arm of the referendum process?

      Weird huh? What’s weirder still? Even though he proudly updated the commercial arm of his website there is STILL not any update announcing his designs’ success either on the Homepage, or the Press page! As the copyright lawyers get together and the media have said as little as possible, the government seems happy to leave the entire issue in legal limbo. Seems Lockwood is free to carry on selling product I guess. At least we can rest peacefully knowing “It’s not a brand”.

      • Tracey 8.1.1

        You mean it has become all about money?

        quel horreur!

        So much for the flag representing all of us as a nation…

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2

        There really is a very limited number of ways to draw a Silver Fern and they will all look similar, ergo, I think Kyle Lockwood can go fuck himself. The original copyright holder is Nature and She’s not complaining.

        • McFlock

          I thought he could go fuck himself when there were conflicting stories about whether he is based in Hutt Valley or Melbourne.

          I don’t give a shit either way, it just seems to me that he’s been clumsily bullshitting in order to get people to give a fuck. And, it seems, make himself money.

        • freedom

          ” and She’s not complaining”
          can be awesome when worked up though ..

  7. Tracey 9

    A settlement with the Crown enables Key and Smith to get some of that Auckland land for housing.

    The agreement appears to reinforce the first right of refusal principle and leads to the withdrawal of the legal challenge..

    “The Government and Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau have come to an agreement, where we will be able to get on and use vacant public land for housing while at the same time ensuring Treaty settlements covering the Auckland region are respected and upheld. I welcome the decision by Ngāti Whātua Rōpū to withdraw legal proceedings to allow the programme to continue at pace,” Dr Smith says.

    And the Iwi have withdrawn it cos they have had their right of first refusal acknowledged by the Government, which is what they were challenging.


  8. adam 10

    Last night the Turkish government just rolled over the war against ISIS – and in one sense extended it to include active participation in Syria. Will this come with them fighting against the Kurds? As Kurdish forces control many of the vital strategic and tactical cross roads on the northern Syrian and Southern Turkish boarder.


    Also have the Kurds done to well? If our troops had to be in the region, I would have preferred them helping Kurdish and other minorities, against the worlds latest theocratic state.


    • McFlock 10.1

      Turkey has been bombing the kurds for a while.

      From what I recall they recently got some additional US gear in exchange for ramping up against ISIL, but also sneak in a few attacks against the kurds. They cooled off against the kurds previously because the kurds were the only ones opposing ISIL with any success.

      Basically, Turkey seems happy to let the Kurds and ISIL weaken each other, and turkey will take on the weakened victor.

      • adam 10.1.1

        I agree McFlock – the Kurds victories over ISIS have been protracted and bloody. They have been slowly dragging more and more of their population into the militias. I’m not sure for stability it is a good tactic from Turkey.

        I know from Greek friends, they are mightily pissed off with Turkey at the moment. One friend said there has been some sabre-rattling from the Greek military over Turkey again. It all seem fubar.

  9. plumington 12

    The comment Anne said about John Keys Mother is timely
    Apart from not being war torn what can NZ offer refugees when our social services (housing, child poverty etc)are abysmal, maybe we should get our own house in order and politicians should fix (instead of talking )NZs social issues
    Grandstanding on issues like refugees doesn’t help anyone and is insincere point scoring, nothing more
    IMO the import of more refugees will be detrimental for NZ and it’s social services “the cart before the horse “comes to mind

  10. Ad 13

    Good to see NZFirst standing against the proposed sale of 50% of Silver Ferm Farms to the Chinese.

    Whether it’s Chinse, Russian, British or Fijian, it pisses me off.
    There has been huge multi-year efforts by NZ farmers to try and get the two big meat operators to cooperate

    Until this takeover succeeds, there is still a chance to form a common NZ international marketing organisation for NZ grass-fed beef, just like Zespri, and the old ENZA etc. it is so crap that the two of them compete on the same Sainsbury meat shelf on price, when the power of the national food brand remains so high internationally. And the government have not lifted a finger to help. Typical.

    A massive tragedy if this sale goes through.

    NZFirst are on the money.

  11. Ad 14

    Graeme Brazier, our own Gluepot Zoolander.

    Gutter Black!

  12. freedom 15


    do unto others as we did to your mother

    Last month, last week, even yesterday, the PM could have announced an immediate increase of a hundred places without any real concern about costs and support infrastructure and still run with ‘we’ll see what the reports say and maybe have a look at a greater increase soon… ‘

    Now, any action he forwards is branded for what it is, shame induced tokenism

    • freedom 15.1


      Documents obtained under the Official Information Act show the 2013 advice to Cabinet on the refugee quota was based on the preferences of the Prime Minister and did not allow for the relevant Ministers or Immigration officials to put forward a previously suggested case for an increase.

      On Monday the Prime Minister admitted that he thought the nation’s annual refugee quota was “three or four thousand”. He later corrected himself by acknowledging just over one thousand total places were available every year.

      Here is the interview with Paul Henry where the PM states the Family Re-unification process pushes the quota of 750 refugees up to “three to four thousand people” every year and he obviously accepts that number, as he goes on to say “we are set in about the right place”
      (note that three to four thousand is a number which he later corrected to a much lower figure -see above quote)


      During the interview, he discusses how including family Re-unification numbers, the total of three to four thousand is about where the numbers should be. He admitted after the interview he was incorrect in the number of refugees NZ does take in, but if he was comfortable talking about three to four thousand people as being “set in about the right place” surely he accepts there is a case for increasing the number of refugees?

  13. Once was Tim 16

    Public Service Announcement specifically directed @ Morissey….
    Please DON’T bother with this arvo’s “The Panel”. It’ll be damaging to your health. (Especially once you’ve got past the ‘suffistik- aided woin’ analysis, and when the ‘father of the Nayshun’ (Jum Mora) comes on board.
    Truly fuckn horrible.
    I was thinking of emailing the Jessy to tell him to ease up a bit. It’s not yet “The Wireless” on the ether and airwaves – no matter how much he might like it – and there’s still a generation from above as well as a Natzi gummint looking for an excuse.
    Whilst I’m no longer a regular here – I feel it my duty to warn you on the grounds of health prevention and in the knowledge that it may make you want to just hoik at them (Memories of those signs “no spitting on the pavement” that used to adorn kent terrace/courtenay place lamposts)

    How did it come to thus? oi akse moisef

    Oh….. and didja know…. Mex Koi is a DeeJay!

    • Stephen 16.1

      Only heard Steve McCabe on school buildings. On the money!

    • Gabby 16.2

      Jesse Mulligan’s smartarse 6th former delivery is irritating. Simon Pound is a bass frog. they’re marginally less annoying than emphysemic mouthbreather Chris Trotter. For fucksake back away from the mike, Trotter!

      • North 16.2.1

        Yeah….Mulligan’s RNZ could easily be Coast or Breeze. Eminently missable indeed approaching unlistenable. Rhema’s bloody near more interesting. From memory he doesn’t have the proudest recent provenance….for a time riding second shotgun to Mutton/Lamb Hosking on Seven PM Sharp ?

        In fact the only afternooon RNZ I anticipate at all is Mensa (Allegedly) Mora. And then only when BFs Boag/Edwards are on. The ‘joshing’ across the Putative Political Divide and the Punch & Judy-ness of them resonates a little I confess. The House & Garden stuff they trot out almost always is sweet as well.

        In a month it’s all the Once-Ferbulous-Aging-Auckland-Glit’s (and ubiquitous silver two-door Merc’ criminally slow up College Hill) that I need !

  14. adam 17

    WOW, Just WOW.

    Clarke and Dawe. Hat tip us over this side of the ditch.

    “Can I get a cup of tea?”

  15. Tautoko Mangō Mata 18

    A discussion on the possible effects of the TPPA on a country’s ability to protect the environment.


  16. Morrissey 19

    The US and UK tried to bring “freedom and democracy” to the Middle East.
    Well, that’s what Waikato’s AL GILLESPIE asserted this afternoon.

    The Panel, Radio NZ National, Friday 4 September 2015
    Jim Mora, Steve McCabe, Simon Pound

    The Harvard School of Law, with its monstrous needles-under-the-fingernails enthusiast Alan Dershowitz and his incompetent dean Elena Kagan, has long been the natural home for the academic psychopath; now it looks as if the Waikato School of Law might be giving it a run for its money.

    Last year I praised Waikato University law professor Al Gillespie as “an honorable exception to the troubling collection of cranks and fanatics that are ensconced at Waikato”. [1] And indeed, he is vastly superior to the likes of such Waikato mediocrities as Jacqueline Rowarth, Ron Smith, Willem De Lange and Dov Bing.

    But when you think about it, that’s faint praise. Last month, I was appalled to hear Prof. Gillespie intone, in apparent high seriousness: “To a degree we have to trust the government.” He assured the Panel that in future, governments would have learned their lesson and would never be as secretive as this one has been about the TPPA “negotiations.” [2] That is the sort of complacent, irresponsible statement that Panel sufferers would expect from such regulars as Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, Barry Corbett, David Farrar or Karl Du Fresne.

    Professor Gillespie’s brief appearance on this afternoon’s program raises further questions about his judgement. After Jim Mora and his two guests had spent a couple of minutes sighing about the refugee crisis in Europe, it was time to talk to the designated “expert”—Professor Gillespie. Mora raised a question which he said “a few people have been asking”, i.e., why do we never hear any admission by American and British leaders that they bear a huge responsibility for this disaster?

    Professor Gillespie then spoke for a couple of minutes, but whatever he said was surely rendered null and void by the bizarre statement he made right at the end of his contribution. The United States and Great Britain, he told the panelists, had “tried to bring democracy and freedom to these countries.”

    Perhaps some time in the future Prof. Gillespie should try making that statement to an audience comprising Egyptian democracy activists, Iranians who experienced the American-backed dictatorship of Reza Pahlavi, Iraqis who experienced the American-backed dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, Palestinians, Saudi dissidents, Yemenis, Qataris, Indonesians….

    [1] /open-mike-24062014/#comment-837881
    [2] /open-mike-17082015/#comment-1059852

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    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    3 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    7 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    7 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    7 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
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